Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2015-03-30 Thread Lila Tretikov
Wikimedians,

Per my commitment, we have now added this escalation process/whistleblower
policy to the WMF staff handbook to address the issues discussed in this
thread:

To serve the WMF Guiding Principles of shared power and stewardship, it's
important that our work reflects community policies. If you feel that some
of your work is not consistent with key community policies, you should feel
free to escalate the matter to your manager, the Deputy Director, or the
Executive Director, as appropriate under the circumstances.

We will also do work around staff training as I previously mentioned,
including adding this to our on-boarding.

Thanks to everyone who have provided input on this issue.

Lila

On Mon, Jan 26, 2015 at 5:27 PM, Lila Tretikov l...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi Nemo,

 Thanks for bringing this to my attention. You are correct -- this did not
 make my to do list, but I believe honoring commitments made by the WMF is
 important and therefor I've been looking this issue. Here is what I found
 and what we will do:


- This issue was a clear oversight error.
- To prevent issues like these in the future two paths are important:
1. ability to highlight issues through escalation
   2. improved clarity on which programs or grants qualify for funding
   (through training) and the process by which that is done
- The first point will be addressed this quarter by HR in the employee
handbook through the modified escalation policy and escalation channel.
- The second will be addressed through changes to grantmaking program,
which we proposed to open for discussion this spring/summer (Q4/Q1)
starting with the FDC-level grants

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Advisory_Group/Recommendations/2014/ED_Response.
In short, we are looking to be very clear on goals, parameters, and focus
of grants we distribute to ensure they are handled and validated
consistently and accurately.


 The two aspects together should help avoid these types of issues. I am
 also asking to include some 'guardrail items in employee training. No
 system is perfect however, and we will continue to tune it to avoid
 problems.

 Finally, while I sincerely appreciate you bringing up the issue, I would
 also appreciate if this is done without snark or disparagement in the
 future. This would ensure everyone is more productive in their solutions.
 We will respond in kind.

 Thank you,
 Lila

 On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 4:23 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 Sue Gardner, 01/04/2014 05:23:

 On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 We will update the wiki page at
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_
 Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
 with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
 in this as a collaborative process.


 Thanks Erik.

 For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
 postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
 from Erik above.


 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assessment_of_Belfer_
 Center_Wikipedian_in_Residence_program#Decisions_made said:
  The ED plans, with the C-level team, to develop a better process for
  staff to escalate and express concerns about any WMF activities that
  staff think may in tension with, or in violation of, community
  policies or best practices. It will take some time to develop a
  simple, robust process: we aim to have it done by 1 May 2014.

 I think we're well past the deadline–unless 2014 was a typo for 2015,
 or ED a typo for Sue Gardner in her spare time. Any updates?

 Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2015-03-04 Thread Andreas Kolbe
Just as a postscript to the Belfer Center affair, regular readers will
remember that Russavia wrote in March 2014[1] that –


*The Stanton Foundation has been a long-term donor to the Wikimedia
Foundation [...] Stanton has no website, and apart from several
high-profile grants to the Wikimedia Foundation, it has made grants to the
Council on Foreign Relations, MIT's Department of Political Science, the
Rand Corporation, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in
addition to the Belfer Center. All of these organisations operate in the
arena of international relations.*

*The trustee of Stanton and contact point for the Wikimedia Foundation is
Elisabeth (Liz) K. Allison [...] From the outset, it should be noted that
Liz Allison (Stanton) is married to Graham Allison (Belfer).*

In December 2014, the $500,000 award Jimmy Wales received from the UAE
government proved controversial among Wikipedians; see for example William
Beutler's summary titled Jimmy Wales and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good,
Very Bad Prize Money, published on his blog, The Wikipedian[2].

In the wake of the UAE award, it transpired that Wales had previously been
reported[3] on the World Economic Forum website to have contributed to a
Guide to Good Government and Trust-Building compiled in cooperation and
with the support of the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

When Wales was pointed to the UAE government's human rights violations and
asked why he had lent his name to the effort, given the UAE government's
signal lack of credentials in this field, Wales said that he had been asked
to contribute by Prof. Nye of Harvard.[4] According to the Harvard website,
Prof. Nye, too, works at the Belfer Center.[5]

Some Wikipedians also raised Wales' 2011 Wikipedian of the Year award for
the Kazakh WikiBilim organisation in the discussion of the UAE award.[6][7]
William Beutler referred to this part of the discussion in his piece,
saying that the Kazakh situation [had] always struck [him] like a misstep
on the part of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wales both—seemingly a
partnership entered into without a clear understanding of the situation.[2]

Jimmy Wales commented in a 2013 discussion, As far as I know, the
Wikibilim organization is not politicized. This always struck me as
strange. Quite apart from WikiBilim's state financing, the Kazakh Prime
Minister's photograph appears on every page of WikiBilim's website, which
says that In order to increase the attention of society and especially
young generation of internet users Wikibilim started to administrate Kazakh
Wikipedia.[7]

Just to put this in perspective: does it not seem inconceivable that Jimmy
Wales would give a Wikipedian of the Year award to a Russian Wikipedia
organisation that had Putin's or Medvedev's face on every page of its
website, where it claimed to administrate the Russian Wikipedia? How is
Kazakhstan different? I still do not understand it.

It came to my attention some weeks ago that Graham Allison, the Belfer
Center's director, is not just the husband of the Stanton Foundation's Liz
Allison, but also a past recipient of a special medal of friendship from
Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev, for his contribution to
strengthening friendship and cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United
States.[9]

Allison also authored the introduction to President Nazarbayev's book,
Epicenter of Peace.[9]

Given the above past instances of Wikimedia Foundation leaders obliging
Belfer Center staff by acceding to their requests, do people think that
this reported friendship between the Belfer Center's Director and the
Kazakh government may in some way have influenced dealings between
Wikimedia Foundation board members and WikiBilim?

I would further recall here that in July 2012, Kazakh media reported that
Jimmy Wales had thanked the Kazakh government for creating conditions for
significant achievements in the development of the Kazakh language
Wikipedia.[10] This was half a year after A [Kazakh] law that took effect
in January 2012 required owners of internet cafés to obtain users’ names
and monitor and record their activity, and to share their information with
the security services if requested, as noted by Freedom House in its 2013
report on freedom of the press in Kazakhstan, among many other issues.[11]

If the quote in the Kazakh media report is accurate, wasn't this a strange
statement to make for a self-declared champion of free speech? How does it
fit with the movement's goals and values?

[1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-March/070665.html
[2] http://thewikipedian.net/2014/12/26/uae-prize-money-human-rights/
[3]
http://www.weforum.org/news/global-agenda-council-launches-guide-good-government-and-trust-building
[4] https://archive.today/Ui7PK
[5] http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/experts/3/joseph_s_nye.html
[6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_179#Congratulations
[7]

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2015-01-26 Thread Lila Tretikov
Hi Nemo,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. You are correct -- this did not
make my to do list, but I believe honoring commitments made by the WMF is
important and therefor I've been looking this issue. Here is what I found
and what we will do:


   - This issue was a clear oversight error.
   - To prevent issues like these in the future two paths are important:
   1. ability to highlight issues through escalation
  2. improved clarity on which programs or grants qualify for funding
  (through training) and the process by which that is done
   - The first point will be addressed this quarter by HR in the employee
   handbook through the modified escalation policy and escalation channel.
   - The second will be addressed through changes to grantmaking program,
   which we proposed to open for discussion this spring/summer (Q4/Q1)
   starting with the FDC-level grants
   
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Advisory_Group/Recommendations/2014/ED_Response.
   In short, we are looking to be very clear on goals, parameters, and focus
   of grants we distribute to ensure they are handled and validated
   consistently and accurately.


The two aspects together should help avoid these types of issues. I am also
asking to include some 'guardrail items in employee training. No system
is perfect however, and we will continue to tune it to avoid problems.

Finally, while I sincerely appreciate you bringing up the issue, I would
also appreciate if this is done without snark or disparagement in the
future. This would ensure everyone is more productive in their solutions.
We will respond in kind.

Thank you,
Lila

On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 4:23 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com
wrote:

 Sue Gardner, 01/04/2014 05:23:

 On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 We will update the wiki page at
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_
 Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
 with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
 in this as a collaborative process.


 Thanks Erik.

 For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
 postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
 from Erik above.


 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assessment_of_Belfer_
 Center_Wikipedian_in_Residence_program#Decisions_made said:
  The ED plans, with the C-level team, to develop a better process for
  staff to escalate and express concerns about any WMF activities that
  staff think may in tension with, or in violation of, community
  policies or best practices. It will take some time to develop a
  simple, robust process: we aim to have it done by 1 May 2014.

 I think we're well past the deadline–unless 2014 was a typo for 2015,
 or ED a typo for Sue Gardner in her spare time. Any updates?

 Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2015-01-26 Thread Pete Forsyth
Lila, and all,

I am glad to hear this will be revived. I read your message with interest
and appreciation, up to the final paragraph: in this instance, WMF is in a
very poor position to chide anybody for snark. Nemo's snark was
lighthearted and minimal, and doesn't even register next to the WMF's
damaging and disrespectful actions on this issue now spanning more than
three years. Let me be direct, though -- I'll take care to lay things out
in a snark-free manner here.

Last spring, WMF found itself in a bit of a bind, of its own making: this
list, the blogosphere, etc. were making a lot of noise about how the WMF
had actively undermined the efforts of Wikipedians to guide organizations
in ethical engagement with the project. One action above all others served
to quiet that noise: the announcement of specific reforms quoted by Nemo
above.

Now, many months overdue and apparently forgotten, it appears that the
announcement was made *for the purpose* of quieting the noise, as opposed
to being made out of actual concern for how universities interact with
Wikipedia, or how the WMF interacts with knowledgeable members of the
Wikimedia movement. An oversight, in general, is understandable and human.
But overlooking something that was *specifically undertaken to correct past
mistakes* is something different. That kind of oversight, I contend,
provides a clear view of the level of interest the organization actually
has in addressing the problems under discussion. The WMF is clearly not
very interested in undoing the damage it wrought.

The Wikimedia movement, and English Wikipedia, have worked hard over many
years to establish guidelines and policies that frame an ethical approach
and guide volunteers toward producing high quality and consistent content.
The GLAM sub-movement in particular has worked to bridge that framework and
the operations of mission-aligned organizations like museums and
universities. But that work -- which the WMF enjoys talking about in its
annual reports, etc. -- was ignored by the WMF the moment it became
inconvenient. The moment it interfered with a grant. At precisely the
moment when the WMF had a chance to positively influence a leading
university, it instead gave that university license to disregard the
relevant ethical concerns.

Making all of that right, the WMF told us last year, was a priority. But
apparently it was not.

I am glad to learn that the remedies then under discussion will be picked
back up. The WMF will be a healthier organization because of it. But I
emphatically request that you refrain from scolding those of us who are
frustrated by the need for non-WMF staff to repeatedly, over a span of over
three years, remind the WMF that important things need doing.

A little snark, in this case, should be the very least of your concerns.
Pete
--
Pete Forsyth
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

On Mon, Jan 26, 2015 at 5:27 PM, Lila Tretikov l...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi Nemo,

 Thanks for bringing this to my attention. You are correct -- this did not
 make my to do list, but I believe honoring commitments made by the WMF is
 important and therefor I've been looking this issue. Here is what I found
 and what we will do:


- This issue was a clear oversight error.
- To prevent issues like these in the future two paths are important:
1. ability to highlight issues through escalation
   2. improved clarity on which programs or grants qualify for funding
   (through training) and the process by which that is done
- The first point will be addressed this quarter by HR in the employee
handbook through the modified escalation policy and escalation channel.
- The second will be addressed through changes to grantmaking program,
which we proposed to open for discussion this spring/summer (Q4/Q1)
starting with the FDC-level grants

 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Funds_Dissemination_Committee/Advisory_Group/Recommendations/2014/ED_Response
 .
In short, we are looking to be very clear on goals, parameters, and
 focus
of grants we distribute to ensure they are handled and validated
consistently and accurately.


 The two aspects together should help avoid these types of issues. I am also
 asking to include some 'guardrail items in employee training. No system
 is perfect however, and we will continue to tune it to avoid problems.

 Finally, while I sincerely appreciate you bringing up the issue, I would
 also appreciate if this is done without snark or disparagement in the
 future. This would ensure everyone is more productive in their solutions.
 We will respond in kind.

 Thank you,
 Lila

 On Wed, Jan 21, 2015 at 4:23 AM, Federico Leva (Nemo) nemow...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  Sue Gardner, 01/04/2014 05:23:
 
  On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 
  We will update the wiki page at
  https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_
  Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
  with more information and details. 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2015-01-21 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Sue Gardner, 01/04/2014 05:23:

On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

We will update the wiki page at
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
in this as a collaborative process.


Thanks Erik.

For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
from Erik above.


https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Assessment_of_Belfer_Center_Wikipedian_in_Residence_program#Decisions_made 
said:

 The ED plans, with the C-level team, to develop a better process for
 staff to escalate and express concerns about any WMF activities that
 staff think may in tension with, or in violation of, community
 policies or best practices. It will take some time to develop a
 simple, robust process: we aim to have it done by 1 May 2014.

I think we're well past the deadline–unless 2014 was a typo for 
2015, or ED a typo for Sue Gardner in her spare time. Any updates?


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-05-19 Thread David Gerard
On 19 May 2014 08:26, ENWP Pine deyntest...@hotmail.com wrote:

 I'm giving this thread a poke because we're still waiting for answers to 
 questions. The most recent email was from Srikanth on May 7.


But Benghazi!


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-05-07 Thread Srikanth Ramakrishnan
Pine, I have another question to add to the initial question:
Will the Foundation prohibit chapters and other thematic organizations from
the creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
regardless of who is initiating or managing the process as a condition of
receiving WMF funding and using the WMF trademarks?

Will the WMF itself ensure that foundation money will not be used to
generate content on a long term basis?

I think this is more of an appropriate question?

I have used long term because stuff like Contests/Challenges [there is one
on right now]  can be considered short term, you know, just to keep editors
interests up.



On Wed, May 7, 2014 at 6:24 AM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:

  On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com
  wrote:
  
  
   I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
   outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
   thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently
 said:
  
   Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
   best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the
 community.
   [1]
  
   That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no
  special
   rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
   community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems
 there
   is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
   endorsement from the WMF:
  
   In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse
 the
   creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
   regardless of who is initiating or managing the process. [2]
  
   Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within
 the
   rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
   other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful
  consideration,
   as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.
  
   Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
   based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian
 in
   Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and
 I
   believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
   policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation
 to
  an
   absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe
 should
  be
   taken lightly.
 
 
  Hi Pete,
 
  Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, and I hope you can clarify for me so
 that
  I can follow your position. I don't see the contradiction at all between
  the two policy-related statements. In the first case, the WMF says that
 the
  editorial policies that apply to its employees are promulgated by
 specific
  projects and their communities, not the WMF. In the second, it says
  effectively that the WMF will not sponsor paid editing. The presumption
 in
  the first instance is that the WMF already does not pay its employees to
  edit, so Sue was not referring to paid editing at all.  Russavia's
  question was about editing with a conflict of interest, not payment.
 
  I'm not seeing any conflict between those two statements, and the WMF
 does
  not appear to me to be applying different standards to others than to
  itself. In fact, the only time paid editing by an employee has come up as
  an issue, the employee was quickly dismissed. Perhaps you can explain?
  ___
 
 
 Nathan:

 Again, I don't say it's a contradiction, it's not. But I do think it's an
 important contrast, and yes, I'll try to clarify why.

 Does the Wikimedia Foundation create additional policies, related to
 editing Wikipedia, over and above those established by the Wikipedia
 community and documented on Wikipedia?

 For its staff, according to the email I quoted above, the answer is no.
 (You're right, there is one case that might suggest otherwise, relating to
 paid editing -- but we don't, and shouldn't, have public access to all the
 specifics of that case, so it's a tricky one to draw conclusions from,
 especially in a public forum.) But, there are countless ways in which
 Wikimedia Foundation staff edit Wikipedia and other projects as a part of
 their compensated work (and also, in their free time). There is apparently
 no policy from the WMF governing that behavior beyond general trust in its
 staff to abide by community-set rules.

 For other organizations, though, that might seek Wikimedia funds and/or
 endorsement, the answer is apparently yes (according to the Belfer Center
 report.)

 I think that's a contrast that merits some consideration. I think Pine's
 example is a good one to consider: if a movement-affiliated organization
 wants to guide another organization in adding content to Wikipedia, and
 there is 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-05-06 Thread Pete Forsyth
Pine, I think you raise some important questions below. Obviously there has
been a lot going on in the last week, so I'd like to give this a bump and
add a couple points:

On Thu, May 1, 2014 at 12:17 AM, ENWP Pine deyntest...@hotmail.com wrote:

 Will the Foundation prohibit chapters and other thematic organizations
 from the creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core
 focus, regardless of who is initiating or managing the process as a
 condition of receiving WMF funding and using the WMF trademarks?


I am not up to date on how often the WMF funds pass-through projects that
include Wikipedian-in-Residence-like roles. But to whatever extent it does,
I absolutely agree with Pine -- applying a litmus test of whether article
writing is a core focus would be an inappropriate oversimplification of a
complex subject. There are certainly cases where roles that are centrally
focused on article writing could strongly advance to the Wikimedia mission.
(In case anybody is surprised to hear me say this -- the concerns I voiced
about the paid editing aspect of the Belfer Center project were very much
based in the specifics of that case.)

I think carefully managed article writing can be done successfully by
 chapters and other organizations, for example if a Wikimedia DC wanted to
 sponsor a Wikipedian in Residence at the National Institutes of Health to
 improve articles about cancer. The responsibility for training and
 supervision could rest with the chapter and the host organization, and the
 edits could be tagged for community review.

Excellent example. There are of course ways such a project could be
designed that would be problematic -- for instance, insufficient
disclosure, or a bullish attitude in adding controversial points -- but
under the guidance of Wikimedia DC, whose board and staff include many
longtime Wikipedians, I would have a high degree of confidence they would
avoid such problems.


 Pete posted some good ideas for WiRs in general in the Signpost last week:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-04-23/Op-ed
 .

Thank you, glad you liked that :)


 The situation with Belfer had a lot of problems, but I don't think it
 should completely stop us from having Wikimedia-sponsored WiRs add content.
 That would be a bridge too far.

Agreed.

I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently said:

Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the community. [1]

That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no special
rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems there
is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
endorsement from the WMF:

In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse the
creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
regardless of who is initiating or managing the process. [2]

Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within the
rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful consideration,
as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.

Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian in
Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and I
believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation to an
absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe should be
taken lightly.

Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

[1] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-April/071161.html

[2] 
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment#Decisions_made

[3] 
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence#Core_characteristics_of_a_Wikipedian_in_Residence
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-05-06 Thread Nathan
On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com wrote:


 I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
 outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
 thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently said:

 Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
 best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the community.
 [1]

 That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no special
 rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
 community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems there
 is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
 endorsement from the WMF:

 In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse the
 creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
 regardless of who is initiating or managing the process. [2]

 Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within the
 rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
 other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful consideration,
 as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.

 Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
 based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian in
 Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and I
 believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
 policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation to an
 absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe should be
 taken lightly.


Hi Pete,

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, and I hope you can clarify for me so that
I can follow your position. I don't see the contradiction at all between
the two policy-related statements. In the first case, the WMF says that the
editorial policies that apply to its employees are promulgated by specific
projects and their communities, not the WMF. In the second, it says
effectively that the WMF will not sponsor paid editing. The presumption in
the first instance is that the WMF already does not pay its employees to
edit, so Sue was not referring to paid editing at all.  Russavia's
question was about editing with a conflict of interest, not payment.

I'm not seeing any conflict between those two statements, and the WMF does
not appear to me to be applying different standards to others than to
itself. In fact, the only time paid editing by an employee has come up as
an issue, the employee was quickly dismissed. Perhaps you can explain?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-05-06 Thread Pete Forsyth
On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com
 wrote:
 
 
  I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
  outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
  thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently said:
 
  Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
  best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the community.
  [1]
 
  That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no
 special
  rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
  community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems there
  is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
  endorsement from the WMF:
 
  In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse the
  creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
  regardless of who is initiating or managing the process. [2]
 
  Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within the
  rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
  other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful
 consideration,
  as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.
 
  Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
  based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian in
  Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and I
  believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
  policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation to
 an
  absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe should
 be
  taken lightly.


 Hi Pete,

 Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, and I hope you can clarify for me so that
 I can follow your position. I don't see the contradiction at all between
 the two policy-related statements. In the first case, the WMF says that the
 editorial policies that apply to its employees are promulgated by specific
 projects and their communities, not the WMF. In the second, it says
 effectively that the WMF will not sponsor paid editing. The presumption in
 the first instance is that the WMF already does not pay its employees to
 edit, so Sue was not referring to paid editing at all.  Russavia's
 question was about editing with a conflict of interest, not payment.

 I'm not seeing any conflict between those two statements, and the WMF does
 not appear to me to be applying different standards to others than to
 itself. In fact, the only time paid editing by an employee has come up as
 an issue, the employee was quickly dismissed. Perhaps you can explain?
 ___


Nathan:

Again, I don't say it's a contradiction, it's not. But I do think it's an
important contrast, and yes, I'll try to clarify why.

Does the Wikimedia Foundation create additional policies, related to
editing Wikipedia, over and above those established by the Wikipedia
community and documented on Wikipedia?

For its staff, according to the email I quoted above, the answer is no.
(You're right, there is one case that might suggest otherwise, relating to
paid editing -- but we don't, and shouldn't, have public access to all the
specifics of that case, so it's a tricky one to draw conclusions from,
especially in a public forum.) But, there are countless ways in which
Wikimedia Foundation staff edit Wikipedia and other projects as a part of
their compensated work (and also, in their free time). There is apparently
no policy from the WMF governing that behavior beyond general trust in its
staff to abide by community-set rules.

For other organizations, though, that might seek Wikimedia funds and/or
endorsement, the answer is apparently yes (according to the Belfer Center
report.)

I think that's a contrast that merits some consideration. I think Pine's
example is a good one to consider: if a movement-affiliated organization
wants to guide another organization in adding content to Wikipedia, and
there is payment involved, the WMF apparently won't support that.

Is that really a good rule to have? I don't think so. Many organizations
have added material directly to Wikipedia, in some cases with the guidance
of a Wikipedian in Residence, with unequivocally positive impact to the
Wikimedia mission, and with much support from the Wikipedia community. I
don't think it's a great idea for the WMF to distance itself from such
projects on the basis of paid editing.

Pete
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-19 Thread Anthony Cole
The press release, signed by LiAnna Davis, Head of Communications and
External Relations, that Andreas links to in his comment says, The
program, in which students write Wikipedia articles in place of traditional
term papers, created the equivalent of more than 7,000 printed pages of
new, high-quality content during the fall term of 2013 and the equivalent
of more than 36,000 printed pages of content since its start in 2010.

Can anybody point to a source for the 7,000 printed pages of new,
high-quality content during the fall term - particularly the evidence for
the high quality of that content?


Anthony Cole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthonyhcole



On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 16 April 2014 15:19, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
 ...
  Apparently, Tim Sandole complains of not having been managed properly by
  anybody, saying, The person I dealt with at Wikimedia didn't seem to
 know
  anything about Wikipedia.

 I believe it was clear from Sue's frank report and Pete's more
 detailed report, that knowledge of Wikipedia was not required by the
 manager within the Foundation that Sandole was reporting to. It is no
 surprise that someone within the Funding department might not be an
 expert in English Wikipedia policies or guidelines for editors.

 Does anyone know of any positive action taken yet by the Foundation as
 a result of this governance failure, beyond Sue's report?

 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-19 Thread Anthony Cole
Sorry. I just realised what the heading of this thread is. I'll email
LiAnna directly.

Anthony Cole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthonyhcole



On Sat, Apr 19, 2014 at 10:12 PM, Anthony Cole ahcole...@gmail.com wrote:

 The press release, signed by LiAnna Davis, Head of Communications and
 External Relations, that Andreas links to in his comment says, The
 program, in which students write Wikipedia articles in place of traditional
 term papers, created the equivalent of more than 7,000 printed pages of
 new, high-quality content during the fall term of 2013 and the equivalent
 of more than 36,000 printed pages of content since its start in 2010.

 Can anybody point to a source for the 7,000 printed pages of new,
 high-quality content during the fall term - particularly the evidence for
 the high quality of that content?


 Anthony Cole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthonyhcole



 On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 16 April 2014 15:19, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
 ...
  Apparently, Tim Sandole complains of not having been managed properly by
  anybody, saying, The person I dealt with at Wikimedia didn't seem to
 know
  anything about Wikipedia.

 I believe it was clear from Sue's frank report and Pete's more
 detailed report, that knowledge of Wikipedia was not required by the
 manager within the Foundation that Sandole was reporting to. It is no
 surprise that someone within the Funding department might not be an
 expert in English Wikipedia policies or guidelines for editors.

 Does anyone know of any positive action taken yet by the Foundation as
 a result of this governance failure, beyond Sue's report?

 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-19 Thread Simon Knight
Bear in mind her email address has now changed as she's moved to 
@wikiedfoundation.org

E.g. this link re: quality 
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/10/04/spring-2012-wikipedia-education-program-quality/
 but I've seen more recent stuff

Simon

-Original Message-
From: wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org 
[mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Anthony Cole
Sent: 19 April 2014 15:15
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF 
funding

Sorry. I just realised what the heading of this thread is. I'll email LiAnna 
directly.

Anthony Cole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthonyhcole



On Sat, Apr 19, 2014 at 10:12 PM, Anthony Cole ahcole...@gmail.com wrote:

 The press release, signed by LiAnna Davis, Head of Communications and 
 External Relations, that Andreas links to in his comment says, The 
 program, in which students write Wikipedia articles in place of 
 traditional term papers, created the equivalent of more than 7,000 
 printed pages of new, high-quality content during the fall term of 
 2013 and the equivalent of more than 36,000 printed pages of content since 
 its start in 2010.

 Can anybody point to a source for the 7,000 printed pages of new, 
 high-quality content during the fall term - particularly the evidence 
 for the high quality of that content?


 Anthony Cole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Anthonyhcole



 On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:56 PM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 16 April 2014 15:19, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
 ...
  Apparently, Tim Sandole complains of not having been managed 
  properly by anybody, saying, The person I dealt with at Wikimedia 
  didn't seem to
 know
  anything about Wikipedia.

 I believe it was clear from Sue's frank report and Pete's more 
 detailed report, that knowledge of Wikipedia was not required by the 
 manager within the Foundation that Sandole was reporting to. It is no 
 surprise that someone within the Funding department might not be an 
 expert in English Wikipedia policies or guidelines for editors.

 Does anyone know of any positive action taken yet by the Foundation 
 as a result of this governance failure, beyond Sue's report?

 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-19 Thread LiAnna Davis

 On Sat, Apr 19, 2014 at 10:12 PM, Anthony Cole ahcole...@gmail.com
 wrote:
 
  Can anybody point to a source for the 7,000 printed pages of new,
  high-quality content during the fall term - particularly the evidence
  for the high quality of that content?


Replying on-list since you asked on-list. :) We've done two quality studies
on articles written by students participating in the Wikipedia Education
Program in the U.S. and Canada, one covering the first two terms of the
pilot (fall 2010 and spring 2011) and then again a year later, in spring
2012.

Here's the 2010-11:
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Student_Contributions_to_Wikipedia

Here's the spring 2012:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Ambassadors/Research/Article_quality/Results

As you might imagine, hand-assessing two versions of an article (the
version immediately prior to the student's first edit and the version it
was at their last edit) is an extremely time-consuming process. Given we
found pretty similar results (the vast majority of students significantly
improve articles through our program), we have stopped doing these studies
because they take up so much valuable volunteer time. If there were an
automatic way to gauge article quality that didn't involve volunteer time,
I'd love to repeat the study every term, but I haven't seen any good way of
gauging article quality that doesn't involve hand assessment of articles.

In terms of the 7,000 printed pages, we use WikiMetrics (
https://metrics.wmflabs.org/) to determine how much content students add to
the article namespace each term.

Hope this helps.
LiAnna




-- 
LiAnna Davis
Head of Communications and External Relations
Wiki Education Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-16 Thread Andreas Kolbe
Article on the matter in The Daily Dot, April 14:

http://www.dailydot.com/business/wikipedia-paid-editing-scandal-stanton/

Apparently, Tim Sandole complains of not having been managed properly by
anybody, saying, The person I dealt with at Wikimedia didn't seem to know
anything about Wikipedia.

Also from April 14, news that the Stanton Foundation have given the
Wikimedia Foundation another grant of $1.39 million to support programmatic
activities of the Wiki Education Foundation.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Education_Foundation/Press_Release_14_April_2014


On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 2:49 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Russavia wrote:
 Annd queue crickets.

 I believe you want cue here.

 MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-16 Thread
On 16 April 2014 15:19, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
...
 Apparently, Tim Sandole complains of not having been managed properly by
 anybody, saying, The person I dealt with at Wikimedia didn't seem to know
 anything about Wikipedia.

I believe it was clear from Sue's frank report and Pete's more
detailed report, that knowledge of Wikipedia was not required by the
manager within the Foundation that Sandole was reporting to. It is no
surprise that someone within the Funding department might not be an
expert in English Wikipedia policies or guidelines for editors.

Does anyone know of any positive action taken yet by the Foundation as
a result of this governance failure, beyond Sue's report?

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-08 Thread Tomasz W. Kozlowski

Pete Forsyth wrote:


I also published a response to the WMF report:
http://wikistrategies.net/belfer1/


This is an absolutely fantastic blog post, and a must-read for anyone 
interested in making sure this... controversy never happens again.


Thanks so much for taking the time to post that, Pete.

Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-08 Thread MZMcBride
Russavia wrote:
Annd queue crickets.

I believe you want cue here.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-07 Thread Pete Forsyth
All:

I have added my own timeline to the page set up to debrief the Belfer
Center Wikipedian in Residence project:
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment#Pete_Forsyth_notes

I also published a response to the WMF report:
http://wikistrategies.net/belfer1/

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]


On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 8:23 PM, Sue Gardner sgard...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
  We will update the wiki page at
 
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
  with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
  in this as a collaborative process.

 Thanks Erik.

 For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
 postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
 from Erik above. Suffice to say here that we implemented the Belfer
 Wikipedian-in-Residence project with editing as a core activity of the
 WIR role, despite internal and external voices strongly advising us
 not to. That was a mistake, and we shouldn't have done it.

 I want to apologize for it, particularly to Asaf Bartov, Siko
 Bouterse, LiAnna Davis, Frank Schulenburg, Pete Forsyth, Lori Phillips
 and Liam Wyatt, who tried to guide the project in the right direction
 and whose voices didn't get heard. We did advise the Belfer Center and
 the Wikipedian-in-Residence about conflict-of-interest policies on
 enWP, and so far we haven't seen any evidence to suggest major
 problems with Timothy's edits. That said, we didn't structure the
 program in a way that would've appropriately mitigated the risk of
 problematic edits, and we wish we had. We also wish we'd been better
 able to support our partner organizations in understanding and
 navigating community policies and best practices.

 Thanks,
 Sue

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-07 Thread Russavia
Annd queue crickets.


On Tue, Apr 8, 2014 at 6:49 AM, Pete Forsyth petefors...@gmail.com wrote:

 All:

 I have added my own timeline to the page set up to debrief the Belfer
 Center Wikipedian in Residence project:

 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment#Pete_Forsyth_notes

 I also published a response to the WMF report:
 http://wikistrategies.net/belfer1/

 -Pete
 [[User:Peteforsyth]]


 On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 8:23 PM, Sue Gardner sgard...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:

  On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
   We will update the wiki page at
  
 
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
   with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
   in this as a collaborative process.
 
  Thanks Erik.
 
  For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
  postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
  from Erik above. Suffice to say here that we implemented the Belfer
  Wikipedian-in-Residence project with editing as a core activity of the
  WIR role, despite internal and external voices strongly advising us
  not to. That was a mistake, and we shouldn't have done it.
 
  I want to apologize for it, particularly to Asaf Bartov, Siko
  Bouterse, LiAnna Davis, Frank Schulenburg, Pete Forsyth, Lori Phillips
  and Liam Wyatt, who tried to guide the project in the right direction
  and whose voices didn't get heard. We did advise the Belfer Center and
  the Wikipedian-in-Residence about conflict-of-interest policies on
  enWP, and so far we haven't seen any evidence to suggest major
  problems with Timothy's edits. That said, we didn't structure the
  program in a way that would've appropriately mitigated the risk of
  problematic edits, and we wish we had. We also wish we'd been better
  able to support our partner organizations in understanding and
  navigating community policies and best practices.
 
  Thanks,
  Sue
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-05 Thread Russavia
Sue,

I, as well as others, are wondering whether you will be responding to the
questions and other concerns which have been raised on this list?

Members of the BoT,

I would like to enquire as to when the Board of Trustees became aware of
this issue for the first time. Could we get some statement from individual
board members, present and past (at the time of the issue) as to when they
became aware of it.

Given that this issue was basically common knowledge at the higher echelons
of the WMF, and it was actively ignored by not only the WMF but also the
wider community, I find it improbable that the Board, or at the very least
individual board members, were in the dark on the issue

Cheers,

Russavia






On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM, Sue Gardner sgard...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
  We will update the wiki page at
 
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
  with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
  in this as a collaborative process.

 Thanks Erik.

 For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
 postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
 from Erik above. Suffice to say here that we implemented the Belfer
 Wikipedian-in-Residence project with editing as a core activity of the
 WIR role, despite internal and external voices strongly advising us
 not to. That was a mistake, and we shouldn't have done it.

 I want to apologize for it, particularly to Asaf Bartov, Siko
 Bouterse, LiAnna Davis, Frank Schulenburg, Pete Forsyth, Lori Phillips
 and Liam Wyatt, who tried to guide the project in the right direction
 and whose voices didn't get heard. We did advise the Belfer Center and
 the Wikipedian-in-Residence about conflict-of-interest policies on
 enWP, and so far we haven't seen any evidence to suggest major
 problems with Timothy's edits. That said, we didn't structure the
 program in a way that would've appropriately mitigated the risk of
 problematic edits, and we wish we had. We also wish we'd been better
 able to support our partner organizations in understanding and
 navigating community policies and best practices.

 Thanks,
 Sue

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-02 Thread Risker
I'm still a bit confused as to why you reported this to Arbcom (Wikipedia
in residence programs, paid editing, and general review of accounts are all
outside of their purview), or what  they're supposedly looking at.  This is
a community and WMF issue, and I do not see anything at all for Arbcom to
do here.  In fact, I'd be concerned if they're poking around on this when
there are several matters well within their mandate that are not apparently
being addressed.

Risker/Anne


On 2 April 2014 03:07, ENWP Pine deyntest...@hotmail.com wrote:

 Although much of my original email to Arbcom about this situation is
 outdated, I can report that Arbcom is having a look at this situation. I
 don't think there is any action needed on their part at the moment. I am
 only relaying my personal views and not speaking on their behalf.

 While we wait for further answers and documentation about this issue, I
 hope those who have some spare time will look at the proposed Annual Plan
 for the next fiscal year. I am glad WMF is providing good opportunities for
 community and public input.

 Pine

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread ENWP Pine



Thanks Sue.

I think there are ways WiRs could add valuable content directly such as doing 
mass uploads of archived documents to Commons, or add article content as 
happened here. However I don't think it's a good idea for WMF to involve itself 
so much with content generation, and the manner in which this project was 
started and managed had problems as you described. I think that WiRs need a 
higher level of training and supervision than happened here, especially if the 
WiR is not already an established Wikimedia contributor and familiar with the 
relevant policies for their work.

Could WMF also discuss the copyright issues involved? 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Timothysandole#Copyright_release_for_excerpts_from_reports

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Russia%E2%80%93United_States_relations#Recent_removal_of_apparent_copyright_violation:_context

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia%E2%80%93United_States_relationsdiff=601379035oldid=524953814

Thanks,

Pine
 
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Craig Franklin
Thankyou from me as well, it's refreshing to see such a candid summary of
the failings that occurred in this case, and to see the Foundation taking
responsibility for those.  I hope that the opportunity can be taken for all
of us to learn from this so that it does not happen with future projects.

Cheers,
Craig


On 1 April 2014 15:27, Liam Wyatt liamwy...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 1 April 2014 16:22, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

  Sue Gardner wrote:
  For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
  postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
  from Erik above. Suffice to say here that we implemented the Belfer
  Wikipedian-in-Residence project with editing as a core activity of the
  WIR role, despite internal and external voices strongly advising us
  not to. That was a mistake, and we shouldn't have done it.
 
  Thank you for taking the time to put the postmortem together. I've been
  very impressed with and appreciate the candor and thoughtfulness that
 have
  gone into the responses to this discussion. Growing pains are still
  pains, of course, but I'm hopefully optimistic that the Wikimedia
  Foundation is learning from its experiences, good and bad, as it matures.
 
  MZMcBride
 
  Let me second that sentiment. Thank you Sue, Erik et al. at the WMF.
 While
 I'm sure there will be ongoing discussions about this topic on the mailing
 lists and on-wiki, I too am heartened by the genuine concern,
 non-defensiveness (in the face of criticism - including mine), and
 willingness to investigate this issue.

 Sincerely,
 -Liam / Wittylama

 wittylama.com
 Peace, love  metadata
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread
Hi Sue,

Thank you for your report at
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment.

Could you please clarify if In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation
will not support or endorse the creation of paid roles that have
article writing as a core focus, regardless of who is initiating or
managing the process should be read by the FDC that Chapters and
Thorgs should not plan to use their funds for paid editing projects,
and that we will not support partnerships with other organizations
where this is an expected outcome?

As well as the list of people that you thanked, I would like to add my
thanks for Tomasz who took the time to research his original blog
post, and to Russavia for his analysis, both invested significant
unpaid volunteer time to do this research on behalf of the community.
Without their work I would not have thought to ask my basic questions
about the project on this list, nor would we have so much detailed
evidence to support your report.

I find it disappointing that when difficult governance questions like
this are raised in public, that some leading members of our community
default to treating the concerned whistle-blower as a troll, or press
for the question and discussion to stay secret from the main body of
our community by moving it to closed channels when there are no
privacy or personal issues to justify that secrecy or confidentiality.
This behaviour drives whistle-blowers underground or leaves them
tediously sniping on certain soap-box forums and wiki-discussion pages
using anonymous accounts.

I may help for us to consider how valuable good faith whistle-blowing
can be, and how we could avoid deriding or dismissing the questioner
as troll or a 'drama queen' and damaging their standing within our
community in the process.

Thanks,
Fae (troll, drama queen, speaking from the grave, etc.)
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Marc A. Pelletier
On 04/01/2014 07:43 AM, Fæ wrote:
 I find it disappointing that when difficult governance questions like
 this are raised in public, that some leading members of our community
 default to treating the concerned whistle-blower as a troll

I think, Fæ, that you will find that it's not the subject matter that is
the issue so much as the manner.  It is perfectly possible to express
concern - even outrage - without being provocative and offensive.

That analysis and examination of that bad move would have been done just
and quickly and effectively by polite inquiry than it would have with
shrill cries.

We're an extraordinarily transparent movement; we don't need
whistleblowers -- we need vigilant participants.  Compare MzMcBride's
approach to... that of some others on this thread, and you will see the
difference between raising an issue and being needlessly provocative.

-- Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread
On 1 April 2014 14:23, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org wrote:
...
 That analysis and examination of that bad move would have been done just
 and quickly and effectively by polite inquiry than it would have with
 shrill cries.

 We're an extraordinarily transparent movement; we don't need
 whistleblowers -- we need vigilant participants.  Compare MzMcBride's
 approach to... that of some others on this thread, and you will see the
 difference between raising an issue and being needlessly provocative.
...

I am sure than the viewpoint is different for employees within the WMF
like yourself, compared to unpaid volunteers outside, like me. This
may be part of the reason we see this governance failure in a
different light.

The evidence of this case, as summarized in Sue's own published words,
shows that there were multiple attempts to raise polite inquiry. These
were consistently overlooked or ignored over an extremely long period.

Yes, the movement certainly does need whilstle-blowers like Tomasz in
order for serious failures to be opportunities to take action and
learn from.

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Marc A. Pelletier
On 04/01/2014 09:34 AM, Fæ wrote:
 I am sure than the viewpoint is different for employees within the WMF
 like yourself, compared to unpaid volunteers outside, like me. This
 may be part of the reason we see this governance failure in a
 different light.

That's actually amusingly wrong, though I can see why you'd think that.
 I've been an unpaid volunteer outside for very many years before I've
been within; and my job at the foundation is only technical and
community-facing.

I have *zero* to do with Governance, no stake in that project, and I
don't even actually interact with any of the involved departments.  I
can tell you with absolute certainty that my comments on this thread
would have been exactly the same 18 months ago.

 The evidence of this case, as summarized in Sue's own published words,
 shows that there were multiple attempts to raise polite inquiry. These
 were consistently overlooked or ignored over an extremely long period.

Indeed.  That was mostly a failure of oversight -- possibly combined
with unjustified optimism.  You know what they say: hindsight is 20/20.
 I still see no reason to believe that - given the same timing - a
deliberate question would not have been just as effective as the less
optimal way this matter was raised.

It is *much* easier to get the stakeholders to collaborate when they
don't have to go on the defensive.

-- Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Martijn Hoekstra
On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 5:23 AM, Sue Gardner sgard...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
  We will update the wiki page at
 
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
  with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
  in this as a collaborative process.

 Thanks Erik.

 For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
 postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
 from Erik above. Suffice to say here that we implemented the Belfer
 Wikipedian-in-Residence project with editing as a core activity of the
 WIR role, despite internal and external voices strongly advising us
 not to. That was a mistake, and we shouldn't have done it.

 I want to apologize for it, particularly to Asaf Bartov, Siko
 Bouterse, LiAnna Davis, Frank Schulenburg, Pete Forsyth, Lori Phillips
 and Liam Wyatt, who tried to guide the project in the right direction
 and whose voices didn't get heard. We did advise the Belfer Center and
 the Wikipedian-in-Residence about conflict-of-interest policies on
 enWP, and so far we haven't seen any evidence to suggest major
 problems with Timothy's edits. That said, we didn't structure the
 program in a way that would've appropriately mitigated the risk of
 problematic edits, and we wish we had. We also wish we'd been better
 able to support our partner organizations in understanding and
 navigating community policies and best practices.

 Thanks,
 Sue



Hi Sue et al,

tl;dr: The underlying why did this happen still goes unanswered. Can we do
better?

It's great to see that the WMF put this post-mortem together, and
identified the mistakes that were made in this project (or possibly that
this entire project was a mistake), and especially what decisions were
made. While reading the report, it strikes me somewhat as a concession to
some aspects of this mailinglist (repent! publicly! now grovel! louder!
like you mean it! again, but now on one leg!) which may be understandable,
but not all that necessary, and possibly counter-productive in that it may
create an atmosphere that mistakes are OK when you repent deeply afterwards
- while in reality mistakes are to be expected, and investigating them an
effective means for improvement of the movement. This is also where my
concerns in the report are.

I'll immediately concede that I don't have much experience in what is
customary in these kinds of reports. The important part of lessons learned
to me shouldn't stop at what went wrong, but why. The current Lessons
learned section only identifies the mistakes made, but doesn't go in to
the reasons these mistakes were made. It's possible that lessons learned
is customary corporate-speak -which I am not fluent in- for mistakes
made. This leaves out the underlying causes, which are somewhat addressed
in the decisions made, but never made explicit, so I'm asking these
questions here. (transparency never hurts the movement - though it can
definitely sting the people involved at times, but let's rip off the
band-aid completely)

1. At the point when it became clear that this project was not a simple
pass-through grant but required programmatic work, the Executive Director
should have transferred responsibility for it to a programmatic area. In
general, it's a good practice to separate fundraising and programmatic
work, because programmatic staff have programmatic expertise that
fundraising staff lack. (For example in this instance, programmatic
oversight would have likely resulted in regular public reporting.) Having
programmatic work overseen by the fundraising department was a mistake.

So how did it end up at the fundraising department, and why didn't it get
transferred? Did the fundraising department regard it as their programme,
or did they maybe fear deteriorating relations with the donor of they
didn't handle the programme themselves? Were boundries between fundraising
and programmatic activities too vague, or were they deliberately
overstepped in the believe it would work out? Did the fundraising staff at
any point feel they were doing something outside their expertese? If so,
what were the causes they didn't solicit help? If not, do there need to be
clearer guidelines what is and isn't within their remit?

2. [T]he WMF acceded to that request, replacing the job description with a
new version provided by the Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center. The
WMF didn't give that new version enough scrutiny before agreeing to it, and
didn't inform the people who'd been advising us. This was a mistake.

So why did this happen? Were the people who accepted the replacement
thinking people were being difficult and overstepping their boundaries?
Was this discussed internally? If so, what was the outcome, and why? Did
fundraising identify the concerns about the job description as an important
problem, or did it get more or less dismissed as meddling 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Andreas Kolbe
As far as I am concerned, what was wrong with this situation wasn't that
the Wikimedia Foundation paid a trained academic to edit Wikipedia. I
venture that most donors and members of the general public wouldn't have a
problem with that at all.

What was wrong?

1. The obvious appearance of impropriety given that the Stanton Foundation
is probably the Foundation's single biggest donor, and the administrator of
the Stanton Foundation's funds is married to the director of the Belfer
Center (who according to the center's website has now taken on the former
Wikipedian in Residence as a staff assistant). Whether this was the case or
not, it *looks* like the WMF was simply used so that Mrs Harris could get
Mr Harris another member of staff who would not show up on the Center's
payroll.

2. The fact that the WMF appears to have departed from usual procedures
(such as locating this Wikipedian in Residence in Fundraising, allowing the
Belfer Center to write the job description, etc.) to please its biggest
donor.

3. The fact that in his reports to the WMF the Wikipedian in Residence on
more than one occasion billed three hours of research and *six hours* of
drafting in MS Word for a 150-word insertion in a Wikipedia article that
another Wikipedian could have drafted in a fraction of an hour, and that
this apparently was not questioned.

4. The fact that the edits the Wikipedian in Residence made included
conflict-of-interest and copyright violations, according to multiple
Wikipedians.

These, to me, are the real problems. I have no problem *at all* with the
fact that the Wikimedia Foundation paid an academically qualified expert to
make edits to Wikipedia. In fact, I find it disheartening that the
Foundation now feels it has to state that nothing like this will ever
happen again. This is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Let's for a moment look at the practicality of the idea that a Wikipedian
in Residence should not personally edit Wikipedia. If Graham Allison had
physically made the edits that Tim Sandole made, would this have made any
material difference whatsoever to the situation?

Clearly, it would not.

Saying that a Wikipedian in Residence will not physically click Edit, but
will merely instruct experts at his institution in how to make and source
edits (and perhaps even draft them for them in MS Word ...) is a very thin
smokescreen.

The material question is not whether a Wikipedian in Residence will
physically edit. The question is whether the edits resulting from any WiR
placement will be in line with Wikipedia policies and guidelines, including
neutral point of view, conflict of interest, copyright, plagiarism,
verifiability, and so on, and whether they will improve project content -
making it more accurate, more readable, more up to date.

What is required here? It's that whichever person ultimately performs the
edits receive proper training in Wikipedia policies, guidelines, editing
methods, etc., so that their subject matter expertise can be leveraged to
optimum effect. Standardised training courses to impart that
Wikipedia-specific knowledge to subject matter experts are an area the
Foundation could profitably invest in.

Saying that Wikipedians in Residence won't edit doesn't address that. It
merely absolves the Foundation from responsibility - a purely cosmetic
exercise if the quantity and quality of the resulting edits is the same as
it was in this case.

What counts for the reading and donating public is the quality of the edits
that result from a WiR placement, not who makes those edits. The Foundation
should not shirk, but embrace its responsibility to use donated funds to
optimum effect.

Andreas


On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org wrote:

 On 04/01/2014 09:34 AM, Fæ wrote:
  I am sure than the viewpoint is different for employees within the WMF
  like yourself, compared to unpaid volunteers outside, like me. This
  may be part of the reason we see this governance failure in a
  different light.

 That's actually amusingly wrong, though I can see why you'd think that.
  I've been an unpaid volunteer outside for very many years before I've
 been within; and my job at the foundation is only technical and
 community-facing.

 I have *zero* to do with Governance, no stake in that project, and I
 don't even actually interact with any of the involved departments.  I
 can tell you with absolute certainty that my comments on this thread
 would have been exactly the same 18 months ago.

  The evidence of this case, as summarized in Sue's own published words,
  shows that there were multiple attempts to raise polite inquiry. These
  were consistently overlooked or ignored over an extremely long period.

 Indeed.  That was mostly a failure of oversight -- possibly combined
 with unjustified optimism.  You know what they say: hindsight is 20/20.
  I still see no reason to believe that - given the same timing - a
 deliberate question would not have been just as 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Erik Moeller
On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 * The Stanton Foundation does not have a financial interest in these
 topics. With that said, Liz Allison, who heads the Stanton Foundation,
 and Graham Allison, who heads the Belfer Center, are wife and husband,
 and the Stanton Foundation funds other programs related to
 international security.

A little bit more detail: As per [1], the Allisons helped care for Dr.
Stanton before his death in 2006. Frank Stanton was a member of the
Harvard board and a long-time Harvard supporter. [1] [2] The Stanton
Foundation was set up in Frank Stanton's name after his death and is a
private foundation. We don't have reason to assume that there's
anything untoward about the relationship between the Stanton
Foundation and Graham Allison / the Belfer Center, and our assessment
focuses solely on WMF's mistakes in taking on this project.

Erik

[1] 
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/26/business/media/26stanton.html?_r=0pagewanted=print
[2] 
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/02/ksg-community-pays-tribute-to-frank-stanton/

-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Peter Southwood

Good points.
Peter
- Original Message - 
From: Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com

To: Wikimedia Mailing List wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2014 4:47 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53,690 of WMF 
funding




As far as I am concerned, what was wrong with this situation wasn't that
the Wikimedia Foundation paid a trained academic to edit Wikipedia. I
venture that most donors and members of the general public wouldn't have a
problem with that at all.

What was wrong?

1. The obvious appearance of impropriety given that the Stanton Foundation
is probably the Foundation's single biggest donor, and the administrator 
of

the Stanton Foundation's funds is married to the director of the Belfer
Center (who according to the center's website has now taken on the former
Wikipedian in Residence as a staff assistant). Whether this was the case 
or

not, it *looks* like the WMF was simply used so that Mrs Harris could get
Mr Harris another member of staff who would not show up on the Center's
payroll.

2. The fact that the WMF appears to have departed from usual procedures
(such as locating this Wikipedian in Residence in Fundraising, allowing 
the

Belfer Center to write the job description, etc.) to please its biggest
donor.

3. The fact that in his reports to the WMF the Wikipedian in Residence on
more than one occasion billed three hours of research and *six hours* of
drafting in MS Word for a 150-word insertion in a Wikipedia article that
another Wikipedian could have drafted in a fraction of an hour, and that
this apparently was not questioned.

4. The fact that the edits the Wikipedian in Residence made included
conflict-of-interest and copyright violations, according to multiple
Wikipedians.

These, to me, are the real problems. I have no problem *at all* with the
fact that the Wikimedia Foundation paid an academically qualified expert 
to

make edits to Wikipedia. In fact, I find it disheartening that the
Foundation now feels it has to state that nothing like this will ever
happen again. This is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Let's for a moment look at the practicality of the idea that a Wikipedian
in Residence should not personally edit Wikipedia. If Graham Allison had
physically made the edits that Tim Sandole made, would this have made any
material difference whatsoever to the situation?

Clearly, it would not.

Saying that a Wikipedian in Residence will not physically click Edit, but
will merely instruct experts at his institution in how to make and source
edits (and perhaps even draft them for them in MS Word ...) is a very thin
smokescreen.

The material question is not whether a Wikipedian in Residence will
physically edit. The question is whether the edits resulting from any WiR
placement will be in line with Wikipedia policies and guidelines, 
including

neutral point of view, conflict of interest, copyright, plagiarism,
verifiability, and so on, and whether they will improve project content -
making it more accurate, more readable, more up to date.

What is required here? It's that whichever person ultimately performs the
edits receive proper training in Wikipedia policies, guidelines, editing
methods, etc., so that their subject matter expertise can be leveraged to
optimum effect. Standardised training courses to impart that
Wikipedia-specific knowledge to subject matter experts are an area the
Foundation could profitably invest in.

Saying that Wikipedians in Residence won't edit doesn't address that. It
merely absolves the Foundation from responsibility - a purely cosmetic
exercise if the quantity and quality of the resulting edits is the same as
it was in this case.

What counts for the reading and donating public is the quality of the 
edits
that result from a WiR placement, not who makes those edits. The 
Foundation

should not shirk, but embrace its responsibility to use donated funds to
optimum effect.

Andreas


On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org 
wrote:



On 04/01/2014 09:34 AM, Fæ wrote:
 I am sure than the viewpoint is different for employees within the WMF
 like yourself, compared to unpaid volunteers outside, like me. This
 may be part of the reason we see this governance failure in a
 different light.

That's actually amusingly wrong, though I can see why you'd think that.
 I've been an unpaid volunteer outside for very many years before I've
been within; and my job at the foundation is only technical and
community-facing.

I have *zero* to do with Governance, no stake in that project, and I
don't even actually interact with any of the involved departments.  I
can tell you with absolute certainty that my comments on this thread
would have been exactly the same 18 months ago.

 The evidence of this case, as summarized in Sue's own published words,
 shows that there were multiple attempts to raise polite inquiry. These
 were consistently overlooked or ignored over an extremely 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Erik Moeller
On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 7:27 AM, Martijn Hoekstra
martijnhoeks...@gmail.com wrote:

 Did the fundraising department regard it as their programme

No, on the contrary, fundraising actively looped in other staff. Folks
like Siko and Asaf were involved early on. That's how the advice to
not turn this into a paid editing role and to re-craft the JD came
into play in the first place (in turn Lori, Pete, Liam got looped in,
who all articulated this very clearly). In fact for some time, it was
considered to run this as equivalent to a fellowship.

From my read of the situation, as the hiring process dragged on and
Belfer turned down candidates with strong Wikipedia experience, the
programmatic experts ultimately disengaged (seeing that Wikipedia
expertise was not a required part of the job from Belfer's
perspective, so the fellowship model didn't apply). Because the
project had been held by fundraising in the first place, it
ultimately ended up solely being managed by the fundraising staff.

 or did they maybe fear deteriorating relations with the donor

If you're a professional fundraiser, it's your job to build and
maintain good relationships with donors - there's nothing wrong with
that. We've taken on restricted grants in the past, and while these
are never a slam dunk and always a bit challenging, on all of these
projects, there has always been a healthy tension between what the
funder wants vs. what WMF thinks we should do, with programmatic
experts providing direct pushback if needed. The issue here isn't that
fundraising tried to maintain good relationships with a funder - the
issue is that the project oversight and execution wasn't firewalled
off to programs as it ordinarily should be.

 Were boundries between fundraising and programmatic activities too vague

Yes.

Erik

-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Erik Moeller
On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 7:47 AM, Andreas Kolbe jayen...@gmail.com wrote:
 I have no problem *at all* with the
 fact that the Wikimedia Foundation paid an academically qualified expert to
 make edits to Wikipedia. In fact, I find it disheartening that the
 Foundation now feels it has to state that nothing like this will ever
 happen again. This is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Perhaps. As I've said in the past, I think it'd be best for any such
ethical paid editing work to be conducted within a completely
different organizational context, with that org's sole focus being to
support and enable it being done well. Organizations need focus, and
this isn't ours for good reasons. In fact, nobody would stop you - or
anyone - from setting up such an organization and seeking funding for
it. I do think there's an inherent risk with situating paid editors
within specific institutions, because there may be a tendency that
comes with that to attach undue weight to that institution's work.

Erik
-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Russavia
Erik

A quick question: was the legal department involved in this debacle prior
to it becoming known?

I'm just curious as to why Geoff Brigham was involved in the production of
Sue's assessment. Was it because Legal was involved, or was he simply
vetting what is already being called a candid assessment to make sure it
wasn't too candid.

Refer to Martijn Hoekstra's email and questions as to why this candid
assessment isn't really that candid at all.

Russavia
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Russavia
Marc

On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 9:45 PM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org wrote:


 I have *zero* to do with Governance, no stake in that project, and I
 don't even actually interact with any of the involved departments.  I
 can tell you with absolute certainty that my comments on this thread
 would have been exactly the same 18 months ago.

This is a pretty big statement to make, so I thought it would be a good
idea to engage in a little research to see if your comment stands up to
scrutiny. I like research.[1]

We can see from your stats of postings to the mailing list[2], that 18
months ago you weren't active; you only really became active after you
landed yourself a job with the WMF.[3] So I went back just a little further
-- only by a few months, and I found this comment[4] from you to (at the
time) Board member, Phoebe Ayers[5]:

beginquote

I think that the first thing that should be learned -- and indeed that
should have been learned /before/ this farce -- is that begging the
question in a referendum is fundamentally dishonest.

I was oh so very pleased to learn that I get to give my opinion on
insignificant implementation details of a feature that stands in
opposition to everything Wikipedia stands for which is going to be
committed against us whether we like it or not.

endquote

 It is *much* easier to get the stakeholders to collaborate when they
 don't have to go on the defensive.

Really, Marc? Really?[4]

What is entirely ironic, and quite sad actually, is that we can all
remember your diva rage quit of the English Wikipedia Arbcom in 2013[6], in
which you accused the committee of being politicised. I call your attention
to this statement by you:

What I mean by 'politicized' was that decisions are not being argued
around 'what is best for the project' but 'what will make [the committee]
look good'. Add to that stonewalling, filibustering, and downright
'bullying' from those who aren't getting their way - to the point of having
arbitrators being ... creative ... with ethics in order to get the upper
hand.

I see no difference between what you accused the en.wp Arbcom of doing, and
the way that you are bullying and needlessly attacking community members
who are presenting relevant information and asking relevant questions.

To other list members, I am sorry that the above has had to be said
on-list, but the way that Fae has been treated and attacked by numerous
members of this list in this very thread is a disgrace, and I for one have
had a gutful of it.

Russavia


[1] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-March/070665.html

[2] http://www.infodisiac.com/Wikipedia/ScanMail/Marc_A._Pelletier.html

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Coren/disclosure

[4]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2011-August/067518.html

[5]
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Former_Board_of_Trustees_members#Phoebe_Ayers

[6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2013-03-18/News_and_notes
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Marc A. Pelletier
On 04/01/2014 02:10 PM, Russavia wrote:
 Really, Marc? Really?

Yes, Really.  I can't recall having ever said that I never misbehave
myself, nor that I ever reacted in anger before.  Anyone who claims to
is deluded or lying.

With, perhaps, the pointed difference that this cannot be said to be my
normal modus operandi.

 I see no difference between what you accused the en.wp Arbcom of doing,
 and the way that you are bullying and needlessly attacking community
 members who are presenting relevant information and asking relevant
 questions.

You mean, except for the niggling fact that I haven't done either of
those things?  I can't recall any point at which I have expressed any
objection to relevant information and relevant question being
presented except noting that the manner in which some participants have
chosen to express them was needlessly antagonistic (yes, that includes
you, and this very message).

I certainly have not theatened you in any way over any of it!

Hell, I even agree with the substance of the points you have originally
made.  If you imagine being bullied because someone disagrees with
/how/ you make them, the issues lies strictly with you.

-- Marc


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[Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Amy Vossbrinck
Hello All:

I have been following this thread with great interest and a kind of deeply
appreciative fascination.

First to say that I am relatively new to WMF - having been on board for
just a bit over a year.  Previously the jobs that I had pretty much covered
the entire waterfront:

Summer jobs in high school
Jobs while in college (didn't we all do that!)
4 years in a combination of corporations and small businesses
17 years as a volunteer as I raised my two sons
17 years in non-profits (helping to found 3 of them)
2 years in county government
2 years as a scheduler for a Presidential campaign
and most recently, just before I came here,  6 years as a scheduler for a
US Congressman.

She must be 'old as dirt you are thinking - well not just yet - and among
other things that set WMF apart - they do not discriminate on the basis of
age :-) :-) :-)

WMF is unique in so many ways from all the other places I have worked, just
to name a few:

Basic operating manual:  Assume good faith!  Look for the truth!  Express
your views in an unbiased way!  (a slight rewording of the rules for
editing).

Everything is discussed in the open.

Everyone is welcome to express their opinion.

The leadership (all the way to the top) openly apologizes when mistakes
are made.

Rather than dig in and insist on continuing processes that don't work,
people at WMF put their heads together and look for a different solution.
 Much like the point in the movie Apollo 13 when they discover that the
air in the stranded capsule is slowly killing the astronauts.  The team is
told to bring everything to a meeting that the astronauts have available
inside the capsule.  They all come into the room shouting and pointing
fingers at each other in an effort to lay blame regarding what went wrong.
 At some point Ed Harris, who plays the White Team Flight Director, yells,
Let's just work the problem!  WMF is good at working the problem.

When I reflect on the above, I ask, what if the entire world worked this
way, or even half the world, or even just enough people to get us to the
tipping point.  It would be powerful stuff.

I don't intend to imply that we are looking at perfect - but then, life is
not about perfection of action (we are after all human), it is about
perfection of intention which is not that from assume good faith.

Take good care, Amy

-- 
*Amy Vossbrinck*
*Executive Assistant to the*
*Chief of Finance and Administration, Garfield Byrd*
*Wikimedia Foundation*
*149 New Montgomery Street*
*San Francisco, CA 94105*
*415.839.6885  ext 6628*
*avossbri...@wikimedia.org avossbri...@wikimedia.org*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-04-01 Thread Richard Symonds
Nicely put!
On 1 Apr 2014 22:29, Amy Vossbrinck avossbri...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hello All:

 I have been following this thread with great interest and a kind of deeply
 appreciative fascination.

 First to say that I am relatively new to WMF - having been on board for
 just a bit over a year.  Previously the jobs that I had pretty much covered
 the entire waterfront:

 Summer jobs in high school
 Jobs while in college (didn't we all do that!)
 4 years in a combination of corporations and small businesses
 17 years as a volunteer as I raised my two sons
 17 years in non-profits (helping to found 3 of them)
 2 years in county government
 2 years as a scheduler for a Presidential campaign
 and most recently, just before I came here,  6 years as a scheduler for a
 US Congressman.

 She must be 'old as dirt you are thinking - well not just yet - and among
 other things that set WMF apart - they do not discriminate on the basis of
 age :-) :-) :-)

 WMF is unique in so many ways from all the other places I have worked, just
 to name a few:

 Basic operating manual:  Assume good faith!  Look for the truth!  Express
 your views in an unbiased way!  (a slight rewording of the rules for
 editing).

 Everything is discussed in the open.

 Everyone is welcome to express their opinion.

 The leadership (all the way to the top) openly apologizes when mistakes
 are made.

 Rather than dig in and insist on continuing processes that don't work,
 people at WMF put their heads together and look for a different solution.
  Much like the point in the movie Apollo 13 when they discover that the
 air in the stranded capsule is slowly killing the astronauts.  The team is
 told to bring everything to a meeting that the astronauts have available
 inside the capsule.  They all come into the room shouting and pointing
 fingers at each other in an effort to lay blame regarding what went wrong.
  At some point Ed Harris, who plays the White Team Flight Director, yells,
 Let's just work the problem!  WMF is good at working the problem.

 When I reflect on the above, I ask, what if the entire world worked this
 way, or even half the world, or even just enough people to get us to the
 tipping point.  It would be powerful stuff.

 I don't intend to imply that we are looking at perfect - but then, life is
 not about perfection of action (we are after all human), it is about
 perfection of intention which is not that from assume good faith.

 Take good care, Amy

 --
 *Amy Vossbrinck*
 *Executive Assistant to the*
 *Chief of Finance and Administration, Garfield Byrd*
 *Wikimedia Foundation*
 *149 New Montgomery Street*
 *San Francisco, CA 94105*
 *415.839.6885  ext 6628*
 *avossbri...@wikimedia.org avossbri...@wikimedia.org*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-31 Thread Sue Gardner
On 21 March 2014 13:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 We will update the wiki page at
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
 with more information and details. I encourage others to participate
 in this as a collaborative process.

Thanks Erik.

For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
from Erik above. Suffice to say here that we implemented the Belfer
Wikipedian-in-Residence project with editing as a core activity of the
WIR role, despite internal and external voices strongly advising us
not to. That was a mistake, and we shouldn't have done it.

I want to apologize for it, particularly to Asaf Bartov, Siko
Bouterse, LiAnna Davis, Frank Schulenburg, Pete Forsyth, Lori Phillips
and Liam Wyatt, who tried to guide the project in the right direction
and whose voices didn't get heard. We did advise the Belfer Center and
the Wikipedian-in-Residence about conflict-of-interest policies on
enWP, and so far we haven't seen any evidence to suggest major
problems with Timothy's edits. That said, we didn't structure the
program in a way that would've appropriately mitigated the risk of
problematic edits, and we wish we had. We also wish we'd been better
able to support our partner organizations in understanding and
navigating community policies and best practices.

Thanks,
Sue

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-31 Thread Liam Wyatt
On 1 April 2014 16:22, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 Sue Gardner wrote:
 For everyone: following up on Erik's e-mail, the WMF has done a
 postmortem of the Belfer situation, which I've just posted at the link
 from Erik above. Suffice to say here that we implemented the Belfer
 Wikipedian-in-Residence project with editing as a core activity of the
 WIR role, despite internal and external voices strongly advising us
 not to. That was a mistake, and we shouldn't have done it.

 Thank you for taking the time to put the postmortem together. I've been
 very impressed with and appreciate the candor and thoughtfulness that have
 gone into the responses to this discussion. Growing pains are still
 pains, of course, but I'm hopefully optimistic that the Wikimedia
 Foundation is learning from its experiences, good and bad, as it matures.

 MZMcBride

 Let me second that sentiment. Thank you Sue, Erik et al. at the WMF. While
I'm sure there will be ongoing discussions about this topic on the mailing
lists and on-wiki, I too am heartened by the genuine concern,
non-defensiveness (in the face of criticism - including mine), and
willingness to investigate this issue.

Sincerely,
-Liam / Wittylama

wittylama.com
Peace, love  metadata
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-28 Thread
On 21 March 2014 20:23, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
...
 I have a copy of the weekly memos as well, and we've asked for his
 permission to release them.

Hi Erik,

A helpful visual table of the weekly reports is available at
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Belfer_Center_Campus_Wikipedian_Reports
and there is permission on OTRS for all reports to the managers of
this project. There appear to be several weeks missing, in fact even
accounting for standard holidays or additional sick leave, I estimate
there are around 10 weeks with no reports.

Could these be published so that we have a complete record to review
before the WMF finalizes its own final report?

Thanks,
Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread Michael Snow

On 3/22/2014 2:04 PM, Tim Landscheidt wrote:

Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com wrote:

As such, it seems clear that the donor in question is in the
best position to evaluate whether the funds achieved their
intended purpose. We don't really have good information in
this case to do that for them, and imposing our ideas of
what should be done with someone else's money is just
wishful thinking.
At the same time, it is clear that there are legitimate
concerns with this project from the perspective of good
editing practices and conflicts of interest. This is a good
argument that it would have been better for the Wikimedia
Foundation not to participate in the transaction, and gives
reason to be leery of such pass-through arrangements in
general. And in terms of organizational philosophy, it's
also why the foundation focuses on fundraising from the
general public rather than restricted gifts from individual
donors. Looking at this from an audit committee perspective,
the information so far suggests that the foundation could
more carefully screen such gifts for alignment with our
values, but at this point I haven't seen indications that
this rises to the level of misuse of donor funds.

Eh, that is not the point in my mind.  If A wants to assist
his relative B's work, and, for administrative reasons,
they want to engage WMF as a middle man to make it appear as
if there is no direct financial flow, then it's not for A to
evaluate whether the funds achieved their intended pur-
pose.
There isn't a legitimate basis for evaluating how the funds are spent 
other than A's desires and intentions. It's still a restricted gift, we 
can't pretend that this is money from general fundraising and decide it 
should have been spent in a way that better fits our priorities. Had the 
Wikimedia Foundation actually done that, it would be highly improper. 
Depriving A of the ability to direct the use of the funds may vaguely 
feel like a just consequence for acting with impure motives, but we do 
not have the right to enforce such a result.


The correct answer is much more likely to be a set of two possibilities. 
Either more work should have gone into ensuring alignment with our 
goals, or the foundation should have declined to get involved. The 
former is what Liam and others have tried to emphasize, and would 
require having conversations along the lines of, These are the kinds of 
things Wikipedians-in-Residence are expected to focus on, are you 
comfortable with your money being directed to those types of 
activities? The latter option, meanwhile, is always an acceptable 
course for us to take if it's not clear that we have a mutual 
understanding with the donor about how to spend the money.

Organizations that distribute funds according to the deposi-
tors' wishes are called banks and they have to ensure their
compliance with relevant regulations.
That's a very simplistic formulation which ignores the wide variety of 
organizations and professions that may need to handle funds belonging to 
other parties. Trustees, lawyers, and agents of various kinds do this 
all the time without needing to be banks, although certainly they 
typically use bank accounts as part of the process. Nonprofit 
organizations effectively do this when they accept restricted gifts. For 
many nonprofits, private foundations in particular, this is basically 
what they do with all the money that comes in the door.


Compliance with the relevant regulations, meanwhile, is precisely the 
point. If the Wikimedia Foundation accepts such a donation, the rules 
require it to be distributed according to the terms set by the donor. 
Which again is why the fundraising emphasis is on general, unrestricted 
donations.

WMF should make it
very clear that it doesn't engage in any fishy transactions.
No disagreement there. It's not clear if any of the staff involved were 
aware of the relevant facts at the time or understood their 
implications, but if the real motivation for the arrangement was to 
avoid disclosure or scrutiny of a related-party transaction on the part 
of either the Stanton Foundation or the Belfer Center, it suggests that 
the Wikimedia Foundation should have declined to participate.


--Michael Snow


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread
On 23/03/2014, Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com
 There isn't a legitimate basis for evaluating how the funds are spent
 other than A's desires and intentions. It's still a restricted gift, we
 can't pretend that this is money from general fundraising and decide it
 should have been spent in a way that better fits our priorities. Had the
...

When I was getting legal advice on the issues of Wikimedia UK becoming
a charity, one of the issues I had to bend my mind around was the tax
implications of how the charity could provide grants to non-UK
projects.

It is not possible for a UK charity to offer restricted grants without
risking having to pay tax as if they were paying for a profit making
commercial service, rather than gifting money. For this reason the UK
charity will only offer *unrestricted* grants, based on a published
proposal from the non-UK organization that will spend the grant on
charitable purposes. I have little doubt that the IRS rules are just
as stringent, otherwise US charities would be frequently used as
container companies for tax avoidance and money-laundering. Something
the WMF is extremely careful to avoid.

I have no doubt that this will be specifically explained in the
detailed governance report that is being worked on by WMF Legal and
will hopefully be published next week.

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread Michael Snow

On 3/23/2014 1:08 AM, Fæ wrote:

On 23/03/2014, Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com

There isn't a legitimate basis for evaluating how the funds are spent
other than A's desires and intentions. It's still a restricted gift, we
can't pretend that this is money from general fundraising and decide it
should have been spent in a way that better fits our priorities. Had the

...

When I was getting legal advice on the issues of Wikimedia UK becoming
a charity, one of the issues I had to bend my mind around was the tax
implications of how the charity could provide grants to non-UK
projects.

It is not possible for a UK charity to offer restricted grants without
risking having to pay tax as if they were paying for a profit making
commercial service, rather than gifting money. For this reason the UK
charity will only offer *unrestricted* grants, based on a published
proposal from the non-UK organization that will spend the grant on
charitable purposes. I have little doubt that the IRS rules are just
as stringent, otherwise US charities would be frequently used as
container companies for tax avoidance and money-laundering.
I'm not sure why you're responding to a point about the Wikimedia 
Foundation in the role of receiving a grant, one that in this case did 
not require funds to be transferred outside their country of origin, 
with a hypothetical discussion about Wikimedia UK in the role of making 
a grant, in which the funds would be transferred between countries that 
would not necessarily have the same systems for taxation or charitable 
organizations. Are charities in the UK prohibited from accepting 
donations to which any form of restriction is attached?


--Michael Snow


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread Richard Symonds
Are charities in the UK prohibited from accepting donations to which any
form of restriction is attached?

No. It can be quite common.
On 23 Mar 2014 08:33, Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com wrote:

 On 3/23/2014 1:08 AM, Fæ wrote:

 On 23/03/2014, Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com

 There isn't a legitimate basis for evaluating how the funds are spent
 other than A's desires and intentions. It's still a restricted gift, we
 can't pretend that this is money from general fundraising and decide it
 should have been spent in a way that better fits our priorities. Had the

 ...

 When I was getting legal advice on the issues of Wikimedia UK becoming
 a charity, one of the issues I had to bend my mind around was the tax
 implications of how the charity could provide grants to non-UK
 projects.

 It is not possible for a UK charity to offer restricted grants without
 risking having to pay tax as if they were paying for a profit making
 commercial service, rather than gifting money. For this reason the UK
 charity will only offer *unrestricted* grants, based on a published
 proposal from the non-UK organization that will spend the grant on
 charitable purposes. I have little doubt that the IRS rules are just
 as stringent, otherwise US charities would be frequently used as
 container companies for tax avoidance and money-laundering.

 I'm not sure why you're responding to a point about the Wikimedia
 Foundation in the role of receiving a grant, one that in this case did not
 require funds to be transferred outside their country of origin, with a
 hypothetical discussion about Wikimedia UK in the role of making a grant,
 in which the funds would be transferred between countries that would not
 necessarily have the same systems for taxation or charitable organizations.
 Are charities in the UK prohibited from accepting donations to which any
 form of restriction is attached?

 --Michael Snow


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread
On 23 March 2014 08:32, Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com wrote:
 On 3/23/2014 1:08 AM, Fæ wrote:

 On 23/03/2014, Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com

 There isn't a legitimate basis for evaluating how the funds are spent
 other than A's desires and intentions. It's still a restricted gift, we
 can't pretend that this is money from general fundraising and decide it
 should have been spent in a way that better fits our priorities. Had the

 ...

 When I was getting legal advice on the issues of Wikimedia UK becoming
 a charity, one of the issues I had to bend my mind around was the tax
 implications of how the charity could provide grants to non-UK
 projects.

 It is not possible for a UK charity to offer restricted grants without
 risking having to pay tax as if they were paying for a profit making
 commercial service, rather than gifting money. For this reason the UK
 charity will only offer *unrestricted* grants, based on a published
 proposal from the non-UK organization that will spend the grant on
 charitable purposes. I have little doubt that the IRS rules are just
 as stringent, otherwise US charities would be frequently used as
 container companies for tax avoidance and money-laundering.

 I'm not sure why you're responding to a point about the Wikimedia Foundation
 in the role of receiving a grant, one that in this case did not require
 funds to be transferred outside their country of origin, with a hypothetical
 discussion about Wikimedia UK in the role of making a grant, in which the
 funds would be transferred between countries that would not necessarily have
 the same systems for taxation or charitable organizations. Are charities in
 the UK prohibited from accepting donations to which any form of restriction
 is attached?

No, but they would have to be pretty badly managed not to understand
if there would be later tax, criminality, or reputation damage
implications either for themselves or the donating party.

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread John Mark Vandenberg
On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 6:59 AM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org wrote:
 On 03/22/2014 02:45 PM, Russavia wrote:
 It's already been established that there is massive copyvio in there,
 and I think it is absolutely unacceptable for a copyvio to still be in
 this article under the circumstances.

 It's unacceptable under /any/ circumstances, but I don't see an obvious
 copyright violation, nor can I find a place where you pointed out one?
 Where was that established?

Responding to your second email first, a search for copyright
violation on all emails on this list will lead you right to the
relevant post, by Russavia.

Or search for copyright violations in the following page

http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/wiki/foundation/443518

And in the email you quoted Russavia gave the diff where it can be found.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia-United_States_relationsdiff=prevoldid=524972499

On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 8:46 PM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org wrote:
 Russavia,

 First, I write here in my capacity as a volunteer and a member of the
 community you claim to speak on behalf of, clearly not as a staffer of
 the Foundation (not that engineering has anything to do with programs
 like this anyways).

 On 03/22/2014 09:00 AM, Russavia wrote:
 I understand this is a difficult time for the WMF, but many in the
 community (the number one stakeholder in our projects) will not be happy
 with simply getting a few reports from Sandole

 Whether or not you have a point about that position having been badly
 considered or having a been a waste of money -- and I'd be inclined to
 think that it was at least a little of both -- you've squarely crossed
 the line between asking legitimate questions and pointless harassment.

You have selectively quoted Russavia.  His email wasnt pointless harassment.

http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-March/070681.html

The email was primarily Russavia asking:

Can you please provide the original JDF so the rest of the community
has the opportunity to look at it.

That is a legitimate question in the circumstances, given this was a
document that appears to have been revised after publication and it is
being discussed on this list without it being public.

The tone of Russavia's email around that request had some rough edges,
but so does your email. Credit where it is due : Russavia appears to
have put quite a lot of time into this in the last few days, and
shared an analysis that at least fairly conclusively points towards a
serious problem.

I'm not expecting Erik to make it his primary task on Monday morning
to find and publish this, and do appreciate that he has been
personally answering questions and publishing relevant documents
already, but it is a pretty simple request and he has staff who can do
it.

Honestly this type of information should be publicly accessible from the get go.
Why wasnt the JDF published on wiki?  And discussed on wiki?
It is surprising that quite a few people have known about this, and
said nothing until now.  It is also surprising that (afaik) the WMF
didnt announce the person selected for this position to the community,
to facilitate continual review of the ongoing program and its
contributions, and hasnt undertaken a program evaluation of this
already - one half of the Belfer position should have fallen directly
in the scope of the Editing Workshops evaluation.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Programs:Evaluation_portal/Library/Editing_workshops

 Even if Timothy has been highly disruptive rather than just apparently
 very inefficient (which he wasn't),

promotional paid editing, inserting pro-U.S. POV and
copyvio/plagiarism into English Wikipedia may not be 'highly
disruptive', especially as there were so few edits involved, but it is
far from 'just apparently very inefficient'.

 or if it has been donors' money that
 had been spent (which it wasn't),

It is appropriate to distinguish between general public unrestricted
donations vs 'the donor of the restricted money telling WMF what to do
with it', however focusing on what was 'spent' is not appropriate.
There are direct costs which may be larger than the granted amount;
there are indirect costs, and there are opportunity costs.  From what
I have seen, I think it is fair to conclude that general public
unrestricted donations will suffer from this broadly speaking.

There may be quite a bit of direct costs that arnt covered by the
Stanton grant per se, including selection process, onboarding,
reviewing their work, and now handling the fallout of a failed project
(e.g. Erik's time and I presume Jay is also working overtime).  The
Stanton grant quite probably included an amount for normal overheads
related to the position (selection, onboarding, monitoring), but those
costs could have blown out and/or the WMF decided to absorb the costs
given the size of the restricted grant for program activity.

However it is the indirect costs which will hurt.

As the WMF 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread ENWP Pine
Before we start thinking about the implications for WiR in general or WMF's 
relationship with Stanton, I think we should focus on establishing the facts of 
what happened here. After we have a good understanding of the facts we can 
discuss the implications.

I'm still waiting for Arbcom to get back to me before I comment more 
extensively. I'm guessing that they may take awhile if they need to establish 
consensus among themselves before responding.

Pine
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-23 Thread David Goodman
With respect to Sandole's editing
 of the article on [[Opposition to military action against Iran]]

The edit listed in this thread
*
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Opposition_to_military_action_against_Irandiff=514822741oldid=514817891

by itself would seem to show undue emphasis on one particular researcher at
the center.

But looking at it in context of the entire body of his additions to the
article
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Opposition_to_military_action_against_Irandiff=519399894oldid=513945067
shows   he has also adding a long section by another scholar criticizing
 Kroenig. (the  section dealing with
three other people at the Center was there long before he began editing the
article. )

I think this   shows an attempt at balance,
but I suppose it could be argued that it represents an attempt at further
enhancing Kroenig's  importance








On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 4:14 PM, John Mark Vandenberg jay...@gmail.comwrote:

 On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 6:59 AM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org
 wrote:
  On 03/22/2014 02:45 PM, Russavia wrote:
  It's already been established that there is massive copyvio in there,
  and I think it is absolutely unacceptable for a copyvio to still be in
  this article under the circumstances.
 
  It's unacceptable under /any/ circumstances, but I don't see an obvious
  copyright violation, nor can I find a place where you pointed out one?
  Where was that established?

 Responding to your second email first, a search for copyright
 violation on all emails on this list will lead you right to the
 relevant post, by Russavia.

 Or search for copyright violations in the following page

 http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/wiki/foundation/443518

 And in the email you quoted Russavia gave the diff where it can be found.


 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia-United_States_relationsdiff=prevoldid=524972499

 On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 8:46 PM, Marc A. Pelletier m...@uberbox.org
 wrote:
  Russavia,
 
  First, I write here in my capacity as a volunteer and a member of the
  community you claim to speak on behalf of, clearly not as a staffer of
  the Foundation (not that engineering has anything to do with programs
  like this anyways).
 
  On 03/22/2014 09:00 AM, Russavia wrote:
  I understand this is a difficult time for the WMF, but many in the
  community (the number one stakeholder in our projects) will not be happy
  with simply getting a few reports from Sandole
 
  Whether or not you have a point about that position having been badly
  considered or having a been a waste of money -- and I'd be inclined to
  think that it was at least a little of both -- you've squarely crossed
  the line between asking legitimate questions and pointless
 harassment.

 You have selectively quoted Russavia.  His email wasnt pointless
 harassment.

 http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-March/070681.html

 The email was primarily Russavia asking:

 Can you please provide the original JDF so the rest of the community
 has the opportunity to look at it.

 That is a legitimate question in the circumstances, given this was a
 document that appears to have been revised after publication and it is
 being discussed on this list without it being public.

 The tone of Russavia's email around that request had some rough edges,
 but so does your email. Credit where it is due : Russavia appears to
 have put quite a lot of time into this in the last few days, and
 shared an analysis that at least fairly conclusively points towards a
 serious problem.

 I'm not expecting Erik to make it his primary task on Monday morning
 to find and publish this, and do appreciate that he has been
 personally answering questions and publishing relevant documents
 already, but it is a pretty simple request and he has staff who can do
 it.

 Honestly this type of information should be publicly accessible from the
 get go.
 Why wasnt the JDF published on wiki?  And discussed on wiki?
 It is surprising that quite a few people have known about this, and
 said nothing until now.  It is also surprising that (afaik) the WMF
 didnt announce the person selected for this position to the community,
 to facilitate continual review of the ongoing program and its
 contributions, and hasnt undertaken a program evaluation of this
 already - one half of the Belfer position should have fallen directly
 in the scope of the Editing Workshops evaluation.


 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Programs:Evaluation_portal/Library/Editing_workshops

  Even if Timothy has been highly disruptive rather than just apparently
  very inefficient (which he wasn't),

 promotional paid editing, inserting pro-U.S. POV and
 copyvio/plagiarism into English Wikipedia may not be 'highly
 disruptive', especially as there were so few edits involved, but it is
 far from 'just apparently very inefficient'.

  or if it has been donors' money that
  had been spent (which it wasn't),

 It is appropriate to distinguish 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread ENWP Pine
Thanks Erik.

I am going to be discussing this in private with the English Wikipedia 
Arbitration Committee before making further comments here. 

Pine


  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Russavia
Thank you for this Erik, we look forward to receiving on Commons the other
25 weeks (half a years worth) of reports -- especially the reports from the
weeks the 3 seminars were held.

There will certainly be lots to look at, and I noted on one report:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Timothy_Sandole_Memo_April_22-26.pdf

Monday, April 22
- Researched offensive realism and the concept, 'buck passing' (3 hours).
- Wrote a draft on buck passing in MS Word. Coded/authored the stub, Buck
passing, on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_passing (6 hours).

Does anyone believe for one minute that
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Buck_passingdiff=551697085oldid=549480580took
6 hours to draft? And anywhere between 0 and 3 hours to research?

This would have taken one no more than 10 minutes to do -- research books
relating to buck passing and find one (5 minutes), copy and paste a quote
from the book (as was done here) (2 minutes), do wikimarkup/references (not
HTML) (2 minutes), hit save (1 minute). Voila!

Seriously, this is a disgrace, particularly given this was some 7 months
into the project.

There is no way that 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for an entire year was
spent on this full-time position, and the above is just plain evidence of
that.

Comment from anyone at the WMF welcome.

Russavia










On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 4:36 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

  I have a copy of the weekly memos as well, and we've asked for his
  permission to release them.

 This is now done:

 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Belfer_Center_Campus_Wikipedian_Reports

 I've not scrutinized or touched the reports except for converting docx
 to PDF (thank you, LibreOffice command line options). These are all
 the ones Sara has, I'll double-check with Timothy that there weren't
 any others.

 Erik
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread
On 22 March 2014 09:40, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.com wrote:
...
 Does anyone believe for one minute that
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Buck_passingdiff=551697085oldid=549480580took
 6 hours to draft? And anywhere between 0 and 3 hours to research?
...

Correction to link (missing space):
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Buck_passingdiff=551697085oldid=549480580

The point made by Russavia on *extremely* poor value for charitable
monies is well made, especially as it now appears that the Wikimedia
Foundation had a duty of care in the form of line management or
oversight of this work. There are unimpressive direct links to Google
books as a source citations, against Wikipedia best practices. Were
this my research student I would wonder if they were surfing Google
books and as a result only reading partial quotes, rather than getting
the original out of the library and ensuring they have checked the
entire source material and understood what the author intended.

These are understandable beginner mistakes, but when burning $50,000+
a year grant money, I would expect WMF officially endorsed paid
editing to be first class examples.

Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Russavia
Erik,

In Liam's email to the list he mentioned:

We did get to dilute the worst of the original job description so it
wasn't so blatant a paid editing role but our suggestions that the position
be 'paused' until the community could help was rejected because of a
deadline that had been set by Stanton/Harvard apparently.

Can you please provide the original JDF so the rest of the community has
the opportunity to look at it.

I understand this is a difficult time for the WMF, but many in the
community (the number one stakeholder in our projects) will not be happy
with simply getting a few reports from Sandole, a heap of spin from the WMF
and then move on; as we do on Wikipedia projects, we present information
and let the readers make their own minds up.

I also had a question relating to
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Wikimedia_Foundation_Guiding_Principles#Independence
but
given you weren't involved in this (perhaps the only person in management
at the WMF who wasn't!), I will leave my question for Sue to answer when
she gets back.

Anyway, I would welcome the community being able to peruse the original
JDF, that at least Liam and LoriLee was privvy too, at the earliest
opportunity.

Cheers

Russavia
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Marc A. Pelletier
Russavia,

First, I write here in my capacity as a volunteer and a member of the
community you claim to speak on behalf of, clearly not as a staffer of
the Foundation (not that engineering has anything to do with programs
like this anyways).

On 03/22/2014 09:00 AM, Russavia wrote:
 I understand this is a difficult time for the WMF, but many in the
 community (the number one stakeholder in our projects) will not be happy
 with simply getting a few reports from Sandole

Whether or not you have a point about that position having been badly
considered or having a been a waste of money -- and I'd be inclined to
think that it was at least a little of both -- you've squarely crossed
the line between asking legitimate questions and pointless harassment.

Even if Timothy has been highly disruptive rather than just apparently
very inefficient (which he wasn't), or if it has been donors' money that
had been spent (which it wasn't), or if you had /actually/ been
appointed to speak for the number one stakeholder in our projects
(which you haven't); it wouldn't justify your continuing harangue when
you have been clearly told that no further substantive information would
come until Sue returns next week.

You've made your point and raised the issue, and now the information for
informed judgment is being published.  How about you let the /rest/ of
the community examine it and reach its own conclusions?  Because, right
now, you seem more interested in stoking the fires of your vendetta by
harping on what you /want/ that conclusion to be than any actual
interest in figuring out what happened and how to prevent it from
happening again if it was a problem.

-- Coren / Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Tomasz W. Kozlowski

Marc A. Pelletier wrote:


Whether or not you have a point about that position having been badly
considered or having a been a waste of money -- and I'd be inclined to
think that it was at least a little of both -- you've squarely crossed
the line between asking legitimate questions and pointless harassment.


Yes, think of the employees! How dare you ask very acute questions! How 
dare you ask any questions at all! It's harassment, and it's even worse 
than that! It's pointless harassment!



Even if Timothy has been highly disruptive rather than just apparently
very inefficient (which he wasn't), or if it has been donors' money that
had been spent (which it wasn't), or if you had /actually/ been
appointed to speak for the number one stakeholder in our projects
(which you haven't); it wouldn't justify your continuing harangue when
you have been clearly told that no further substantive information would
come until Sue returns next week.


It was donors' money that was spent on this position, Marc. And if you 
can point me to where Russavia said he was speaking of behalf of the 
community, and not on behalf of himself, it would be appreciated.


Otherwise, if you think community members can only speak their mind if 
they have been appointed by the rest of the Wikimedia contributors, this 
needs to be added to our mailing list guidelines. Or maybe we should get 
rid of the mailing lists altogether to avoid such misunderstandings in 
the future.



You've made your point and raised the issue, and now the information for
informed judgment is being published.  How about you let the /rest/ of
the community examine it and reach its own conclusions?  


How about you stop telling people what to do? You're not Russavia's 
boss, so just stop, and do it fast. Thanks.


Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread MZMcBride
Marc A. Pelletier wrote:
Russavia,

[...]

You've made your point and raised the issue, and now the information for
informed judgment is being published.  How about you let the /rest/ of
the community examine it and reach its own conclusions?  Because, right
now, you seem more interested in stoking the fires of your vendetta by
harping on what you /want/ that conclusion to be than any actual
interest in figuring out what happened and how to prevent it from
happening again if it was a problem.

Yes, this. ^^^

In general, just being a bit kinder would go a long way here. Erik and
others have been incredibly accommodating to your research requests and
the primary response I've seen from the interrogators is now do this!
Chill out.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Michael Snow

On 3/22/2014 7:42 AM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski wrote:

Even if Timothy has been highly disruptive rather than just apparently
very inefficient (which he wasn't), or if it has been donors' money that
had been spent (which it wasn't), or if you had /actually/ been
appointed to speak for the number one stakeholder in our projects
(which you haven't); it wouldn't justify your continuing harangue when
you have been clearly told that no further substantive information would
come until Sue returns next week.

It was donors' money that was spent on this position, Marc.
It was one single donor's money that was spent on this position, not 
money from the general pool of donations, which I believe is the point 
Marc was trying to make. Moreover, that donor specifically wanted the 
money spent on this position. It's not like the Wikimedia Foundation had 
the option to spend the money on other, better program opportunities.


As such, it seems clear that the donor in question is in the best 
position to evaluate whether the funds achieved their intended purpose. 
We don't really have good information in this case to do that for them, 
and imposing our ideas of what should be done with someone else's money 
is just wishful thinking.


At the same time, it is clear that there are legitimate concerns with 
this project from the perspective of good editing practices and 
conflicts of interest. This is a good argument that it would have been 
better for the Wikimedia Foundation not to participate in the 
transaction, and gives reason to be leery of such pass-through 
arrangements in general. And in terms of organizational philosophy, it's 
also why the foundation focuses on fundraising from the general public 
rather than restricted gifts from individual donors. Looking at this 
from an audit committee perspective, the information so far suggests 
that the foundation could more carefully screen such gifts for alignment 
with our values, but at this point I haven't seen indications that this 
rises to the level of misuse of donor funds.


--Michael Snow


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread ENWP Pine
As important as this issue is let's remember that the big picture mission is to 
have high quality content that is easy and free to access. WMF management has a 
lot to handle in addition to this investigation and the Sandole situation 
shouldn't consume such a large portion of management's time that other 
priorities get neglected. For example I heard that WMF is very close to finally 
appointing a new ED and they're also working on VE, Flow, mobile, grants, legal 
issues, the Annual Plan, and a million other things that we also care about.

I may have more to say about the Sandole situation after I hear back from 
Arbcom. 

Pine
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Russavia
Coren / Marc (cc'ing to your personal email as well)

Odder's blog post was posted 3 weeks ago, and my analysis was posted 24
hours ago, and many English Wikipedia admins have said they have seen
either and/or both.

Yet,
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia-United_States_relationsdiff=prevoldid=524972499is
still there.

It's already been established that there is massive copyvio in there, and I
think it is absolutely unacceptable for a copyvio to still be in this
article under the circumstances.

Could you please be so kind as to:

1) Revert the article back to
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia-United_States_relationsoldid=524953814
2) Revdel all edits going back to
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Russia-United_States_relationsoldid=524953814to
ensure that the copyright violation is hidden from public view as is
best practice
3) Perhaps you could leave a message on the article talk page, and perhaps
also leave messages at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_International_relations-
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Russia and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_United_Statesadvising
them that this article which is rated as top importance for 2 of
these projects have had to be revdelled back to November 2012 (a year and a
half) and that they may wish to work on the article given the circumstances.

I have more examples of copyvios as well, so if you like I would be happy
to send them through to you for you to action. Would that be ok with you?

Cheers

Russavia
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Tim Landscheidt
Michael Snow wikipe...@frontier.com wrote:

 Even if Timothy has been highly disruptive rather than just apparently
 very inefficient (which he wasn't), or if it has been donors' money that
 had been spent (which it wasn't), or if you had /actually/ been
 appointed to speak for the number one stakeholder in our projects
 (which you haven't); it wouldn't justify your continuing harangue when
 you have been clearly told that no further substantive information would
 come until Sue returns next week.
 It was donors' money that was spent on this position, Marc.
 It was one single donor's money that was spent on this
 position, not money from the general pool of donations,
 which I believe is the point Marc was trying to
 make. Moreover, that donor specifically wanted the money
 spent on this position. It's not like the Wikimedia
 Foundation had the option to spend the money on other,
 better program opportunities.

 As such, it seems clear that the donor in question is in the
 best position to evaluate whether the funds achieved their
 intended purpose. We don't really have good information in
 this case to do that for them, and imposing our ideas of
 what should be done with someone else's money is just
 wishful thinking.

 At the same time, it is clear that there are legitimate
 concerns with this project from the perspective of good
 editing practices and conflicts of interest. This is a good
 argument that it would have been better for the Wikimedia
 Foundation not to participate in the transaction, and gives
 reason to be leery of such pass-through arrangements in
 general. And in terms of organizational philosophy, it's
 also why the foundation focuses on fundraising from the
 general public rather than restricted gifts from individual
 donors. Looking at this from an audit committee perspective,
 the information so far suggests that the foundation could
 more carefully screen such gifts for alignment with our
 values, but at this point I haven't seen indications that
 this rises to the level of misuse of donor funds.

Eh, that is not the point in my mind.  If A wants to assist
his relative B's work, and, for administrative reasons,
they want to engage WMF as a middle man to make it appear as
if there is no direct financial flow, then it's not for A to
evaluate whether the funds achieved their intended pur-
pose.

Organizations that distribute funds according to the deposi-
tors' wishes are called banks and they have to ensure their
compliance with relevant regulations.  WMF should make it
very clear that it doesn't engage in any fishy transactions.

Tim


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-22 Thread Marc A. Pelletier
On 03/22/2014 02:45 PM, Russavia wrote:
 It's already been established that there is massive copyvio in there,
 and I think it is absolutely unacceptable for a copyvio to still be in
 this article under the circumstances.

It's unacceptable under /any/ circumstances, but I don't see an obvious
copyright violation, nor can I find a place where you pointed out one?
Where was that established?

-- Coren / Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread
On 21 March 2014 00:56, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
...
 This project was not funded through the individual
 donations of the general public but rather through a third party
 foundation that had an interest in seeing this happen, so from an
 ethical perspective, it's reasonable that the standards of
 accountability differ
...

There may be a massive cultural gap between Europe and North America,
but no, no, no.

The WMF officially endorsed this project in the same year that the WMF
was stomping down with its hobnail boots on Wikimedia UK so hard on
matters of ethics and accountability, that it threatened to destroy
the organization (literally, based on my personal experience). Just
because a well known second party organization is providing funds for
the project does not obviate the WMF from ensuring that programmes
that it officially endorses meet precisely the same ethical standards
that it enforces so firmly on all other Wikimedia organizations.

Eric, in this thread you are officially speaking for the WMF. Does the
WMF really want to say it is ethical to have different
accountability rules for funding organizations that want to use the
Wikimedia brand because there are different rules for the rich? On
that basis, WMUK should be free to do a deal to offer the Wikimedia
brand to officially endorse (or be a fiscal sponsor) for a
Conservative Party or Catholic Church programme of paid editing
directed to fix Wikipedia to match their world view, and the WMF
would have nothing to criticise as the Chapter could wash its hands as
it did not directly handle the payments.

The Wikimedia brand value was not spontaneously created by the
Foundation, but by unpaid volunteers like me that create the content
of our projects. If the WMF wants to retain the hearts and minds of
the community of volunteers, it cannot afford to have fluid ethics
that conveniently shift to cover up any embarrassingly bad decisions
it makes.

Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Jan-Bart de Vreede, 20/03/2014 18:49:

work for the Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae’s) seems to imply that 
they work directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they 
really only need one person to be their manager


Nice one, can be reused with profit. Next time someone (e.g. WMF) asks a 
question to a volunteer editor, board member or anything I'll suggest to 
reply I'm a volunteer so I don't work directly for you and I have only 
one manager, that is myself.


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Erik Moeller
On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:55 PM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 Eric, in this thread you are officially speaking for the WMF. Does the
 WMF really want to say it is ethical to have different
 accountability rules for funding organizations that want to use the
 Wikimedia brand because there are different rules for the rich?

No, that's not the point. The point is that a grant given to us goes
through a different process than, say, a grant from us to WMFR, and
that necessarily leads to different practices -- the grant-giver has
their own expectations on how to do accounting, reporting, etc.

The project was publicly announced through a blog post, the
responsibilities for the Wikipedian in Residence were publicly posted,
and the user in question publicly disclosed their affiliation (that
disclosure didn't, but should have, included more details including
the WMF sponsorship). The edits are, as any, a matter of public record
and easily scrutinized, criticized, and corrected or reverted if
needed, to fully expose Harvard's evil agenda and the secret workings
of the reptilian order which most WMF senior staff are part of.

Timothy noted [1]  hat there's a report which he compiled as part of
his residency. I've reached out to Lisa, and we're looking into
publishing the report at the earliest opportunity. Hopefully this will
make it possible to collectively draw some more conclusions about the
project. I've added [2] the residency to the public directory and also
created a holding space for capturing observations and conclusions.
[3] Contributions welcome, and I hope we can avoid personalizing
things as I'm sure Timothy worked in good faith and did his best to
meet the expectations of the project. :)

Cheers,
Erik

[1] 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Timothysandolediff=600543335oldid=600410517
[2] 
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedian_in_Residencediff=65415oldid=65414
[3] 
https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Russavia
On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 [3] Contributions welcome, and I hope we can avoid personalizing
 things as I'm sure Timothy worked in good faith and did his best to
 meet the expectations of the project. :)

On this I do agree, that Sandole was used as a tool by Stanton/Belfer,
and was not given any support by the WMF (his employer) should not be
held against him in any way shape or form.

It's not his fault that the WMF is a mickey mouse organisation.

Russavia

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread
On 21 March 2014 07:37, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:
...
 needed, to fully expose Harvard's evil agenda and the secret workings
 of the reptilian order which most WMF senior staff are part of.
...

Erik, you are a senior manager within the WMF. If you cannot resist
offensive schoolboy sarcasm in your responses in a thread about what
now seems to be an admitted serious failure of governance within the
WMF, then you are doing a disservice for the WMF and the Wikimedia
movement. I do not think Russavia's use of mickey mouse in his email
is helpful either, but it almost seems fitting if you are making
official statement for the Foundation with these jokes.

I am pleased to read that Lisa is now working on an official
investigation. I hope this report will be published for the benefit of
the Wikimedia community within days rather than weeks and will be
written in a detailed and frank way, that reflects how seriously the
majority of the Wikimedia Community, especially those of us working
hard with Chapters and GLAM partners, see this breach of our trust in
you.

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Erik Moeller
On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 1:08 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 Erik, you are a senior manager within the WMF. If you cannot resist
 offensive schoolboy sarcasm in your responses

Just after talking about stomping down with its hobnail boots on
Wikimedia UK, huh? :-) I'm sorry to have offended your delicate
sensibilities. These kinds of things always warrant scrutiny,
iteration and improvement, but excessive hyperbole is rarely helpful.
You tend to add a drama factor of 10x to any discussion I've ever seen
you participate in, and it gets tiresome after a while. Give it a
rest.

Cheers,
Erik

-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Bence Damokos
Thanks Erik, for looking into it constructively. Looking forward to the
report and the learnings from the assessment.

Best regards,
Bence


On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 8:37 AM, Erik Moeller e...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:55 PM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

  Eric, in this thread you are officially speaking for the WMF. Does the
  WMF really want to say it is ethical to have different
  accountability rules for funding organizations that want to use the
  Wikimedia brand because there are different rules for the rich?

 No, that's not the point. The point is that a grant given to us goes
 through a different process than, say, a grant from us to WMFR, and
 that necessarily leads to different practices -- the grant-giver has
 their own expectations on how to do accounting, reporting, etc.

 The project was publicly announced through a blog post, the
 responsibilities for the Wikipedian in Residence were publicly posted,
 and the user in question publicly disclosed their affiliation (that
 disclosure didn't, but should have, included more details including
 the WMF sponsorship). The edits are, as any, a matter of public record
 and easily scrutinized, criticized, and corrected or reverted if
 needed, to fully expose Harvard's evil agenda and the secret workings
 of the reptilian order which most WMF senior staff are part of.

 Timothy noted [1]  hat there's a report which he compiled as part of
 his residency. I've reached out to Lisa, and we're looking into
 publishing the report at the earliest opportunity. Hopefully this will
 make it possible to collectively draw some more conclusions about the
 project. I've added [2] the residency to the public directory and also
 created a holding space for capturing observations and conclusions.
 [3] Contributions welcome, and I hope we can avoid personalizing
 things as I'm sure Timothy worked in good faith and did his best to
 meet the expectations of the project. :)

 Cheers,
 Erik

 [1]
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Timothysandolediff=600543335oldid=600410517
 [2]
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedian_in_Residencediff=65415oldid=65414
 [3]
 https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
 --
 Erik Möller
 VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Tomasz W. Kozlowski

Erik Moeller wrote:


You tend to add a drama factor of 10x to any discussion I've ever seen
you participate in, and it gets tiresome after a while. Give it a
rest.


Why are you making this issue unnecessarily personal, Erik? This isn't 
about Fae, you, or even Timothy Sandole -- so give it a rest, okay?


Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Nathan
On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 5:42 AM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski tom...@twkozlowski.net
 wrote:

 Erik Moeller wrote:

  You tend to add a drama factor of 10x to any discussion I've ever seen
 you participate in, and it gets tiresome after a while. Give it a
 rest.


 Why are you making this issue unnecessarily personal, Erik? This isn't
 about Fae, you, or even Timothy Sandole -- so give it a rest, okay?

 Tomasz


Erik is right, and anyone who regularly reads this list (or especially the
WMUK list) knows that he is right. Fae's legitimate points (of which there
are many) tend to be obscured by the massively off-putting way in which he
makes them.

That said, Fae's points (which are really your [Tomasz'] points, and better
said by you in the blog post) are perfectly legit. You pointed out a couple
of edits where it looks like Sandole was promoting the director of the
Belfer Center. While many other edits seem useful and additive, those are
concerning and point up the risks generally of paid editors (including
WiRs). Sandole's disclosure of his link to the Belfer Center on his
userpage does not solve the problem, though it does mostly satisfy the
disclosure requirements of the ToU -- as it seems to have been the Belfer
Center directing his actions and not the WMF.

Since Sandole says he wrote a comprehensive report on his WiR and submitted
it to the WMF, when Erik gets that report publicized I'm sure things will
become much more clear. Meanwhile, use of an accusatory or interrogatory
tone towards WMF employees is probably not helpful, as it rarely is in
professional communication.

~Nathan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread
On 21 March 2014 11:31, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:
...
 it seems to have been the Belfer
 Center directing his actions and not the WMF.

If Sandole is a reliable source for his employment during 2012-13,
then we must take into account his recent statement which indicates
that the WMF had some defined responsibility for directing his
actions, presumably as they were acting as his line manager even if
they were not controlling grant payment:
... Sara Lasner at the Wikimedia Foundation, as she was my direct
boss during my one-year stint as Wikipedian[1][2]

Links:
1. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Timothysandolediff=600543335oldid=600410517
2. http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/User:Slasner

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread ENWP Pine



Russiavia, thanks for your efforts to make a comprehensive report. It's 
certainly worth reading, although I am refraining from personally reaching 
major conclusions until after we have heard more details from WMF.

Regarding Timothy Sandole's qualifications for the job, he could have been an 
experienced Wikipedian who had solid editing experience in an anonymous account 
before he registered the Sandole account for the purpose of Belfair-related 
editing. I hope this is the case.

I'm surprised that Belfair would hire him if he knew very little about 
copyright, but Belfair may not have had enough experience with Wikipedia to 
know what questions to ask. I hope that WMF asks basic questions about 
copyright if someone will be editing for pay or training new editors.

It's very problematic to hear from Timothy that anyone at WMF was his direct 
boss. This raises lots of red flags and adds more complex problems. This is 
also one of the reasons I hope WMF Legal is aware of this situation because I 
can think of multiple types of liability this could create.

I would encourage WMF not to rush the process of investigating what happened 
here including what seem to be contradictory statements in WMF documents and 
from WMF employees. It would be best to get a comprehensive report even if that 
takes a week or two.

I appreciate WMF investigating this and that WMF board members have taken an 
interest.

Pine



  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Erik Moeller
Hi all,

I've just met with Lisa Gruwell and Sara Lasner about it to get more
of a debrief of the situation. For the purpose of clarity, I'm looking
into this on Sue's behalf while she's traveling; she should be able to
look into it next week. As noted previously, this isn't a project I
was previously familiar with, so bear with me if I'm getting any bits
wrong.

Here are some initial high level observations:

* This project was initiated by Sue Gardner in response to a request
by Liz Allison from Stanton Foundation, who initially attempted to
fund the project with a direct grant to Harvard. For administrative
reasons, both Harvard and Stanton ended up preferring to have
Wikimedia Foundation act as a fiscal sponsor for the position. (This
included administrative oversight by Sara Lasner, and a minimal degree
of programmatic oversight by Sara and Lisa, with a primary
programmatic point of contact at the Belfer Center.) The project was
overseen by Lisa Gruwell.

* WMF agreed to help recruit candidates for the position and to
provide three candidates to the Belfer Center for selection.  Frank,
Siko and Lisa participated in the first round of interviews.  The
first candidate we put forward was a former Harvard librarian and
active WIkipedian, but she was rejected by the Belfer Center for a
lack of knowledge in the field on International Security.  Then, the
Belfer Center posted the JD on a list-serve of top academic programs
in International Security.  WMF interviewed two candidates from this
pool and Belfer selected Timothy Sandole for his strong academic
background in International Security.  He had just completed a
master's program at Columbia University.

* The Stanton Foundation has a long-standing interest in promoting
awareness regarding issues of international security and nuclear
security, which dates back to the founder of the Foundation, Frank
Stanton (former president of CBS).

* The Stanton Foundation does not have a financial interest in these
topics. With that said, Liz Allison, who heads the Stanton Foundation,
and Graham Allison, who heads the Belfer Center, are wife and husband,
and the Stanton Foundation funds other programs related to
international security.

* As noted previously, the Wikimedia Foundation communicated about the
program in a blog post:
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
Timothy Sandole also disclosed his affiliation with the Belfer Center
on his user page, but did not disclose the funding relationship with
WMF or Stanton in the same manner.

* Timothy's residency included training programs, but it was heavily
weighted towards editing work.

* Sara Lasner acted as an administrative point of contact at Wikimedia
(handling payments, vacation requests, etc.). Not being steeped in
Wikimedia's culture, Sara gave minimal guidance regarding policies and
practices, but forwarded instructional materials and pointed out the
above conflict-of-interest issues to Timothy. There was a
communications contact at the Belfer Center, James Smith, who provided
subject-matter guidance.

* Timothy himself compiled a weekly report to the Belfer Center and to
Sara, and a final report at the end of the project. With his
permission, I've published the final report here:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Timothy_Sandole_-_Belfer_Center_Report.pdf

I have a copy of the weekly memos as well, and we've asked for his
permission to release them.

In addition, the Wikimedia Foundation compiled a report to Stanton at
the end of the project largely identical to the report to Timothy.
We've asked the Stanton Foundation for permission to release this
report, as well, for the sake of full transparency.

Edits like the following are indeed problematic:

* 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuban_missile_crisisdiff=prevoldid=512468645
- potentially undue visibility for research conducted by the head of
the Belfer Center

* 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Opposition_to_military_action_against_Irandiff=514822741oldid=514817891
- potentially undue visibility for the Stanton Nuclear Security
Fellowship, which was funded by the same Stanton Foundation which
funded the program.

In September 2012, Sara Lasner had a call with Timothy Sandole
specifically asking him to be conscious of not over-representing
Harvard University in his research, and Lisa Gruwell sent an email to
James Smith and Timothy Sandole regarding awareness of
conflict-of-interest issues in general.

Timothy's edits weren't monitored in detail by the Wikimedia
Foundation. We'll take a closer look now, and appreciate the
community's help in ensuring that, in light of the above potential
conflicts-of-interests, that they're consistent with policies and
guidelines.

At the same time, it's important to note that Stanton Foundation did
not stand to benefit financially from this project.  The nature of
potential bias here is more subtle (e.g. over-representation of

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Anders Wennersten
Thanks Erik for this clear and, as far as I can see, rather 
comprehensive report


There will always be mistakes done, both from us as individuals and as 
organizations.


Critical, though, is that we treat these mistakes with openness and 
tranparancies and that we learn from our mistakes


In my opinion you have now handled this issue in this correct way, and I 
hope we now can take in the necessary learnings in our routines


Anders





Erik Moeller skrev 2014-03-21 21:23:

Hi all,

I've just met with Lisa Gruwell and Sara Lasner about it to get more
of a debrief of the situation. For the purpose of clarity, I'm looking
into this on Sue's behalf while she's traveling; she should be able to
look into it next week. As noted previously, this isn't a project I
was previously familiar with, so bear with me if I'm getting any bits
wrong.

Here are some initial high level observations:

* This project was initiated by Sue Gardner in response to a request
by Liz Allison from Stanton Foundation, who initially attempted to
fund the project with a direct grant to Harvard. For administrative
reasons, both Harvard and Stanton ended up preferring to have
Wikimedia Foundation act as a fiscal sponsor for the position. (This
included administrative oversight by Sara Lasner, and a minimal degree
of programmatic oversight by Sara and Lisa, with a primary
programmatic point of contact at the Belfer Center.) The project was
overseen by Lisa Gruwell.

* WMF agreed to help recruit candidates for the position and to
provide three candidates to the Belfer Center for selection.  Frank,
Siko and Lisa participated in the first round of interviews.  The
first candidate we put forward was a former Harvard librarian and
active WIkipedian, but she was rejected by the Belfer Center for a
lack of knowledge in the field on International Security.  Then, the
Belfer Center posted the JD on a list-serve of top academic programs
in International Security.  WMF interviewed two candidates from this
pool and Belfer selected Timothy Sandole for his strong academic
background in International Security.  He had just completed a
master's program at Columbia University.

* The Stanton Foundation has a long-standing interest in promoting
awareness regarding issues of international security and nuclear
security, which dates back to the founder of the Foundation, Frank
Stanton (former president of CBS).

* The Stanton Foundation does not have a financial interest in these
topics. With that said, Liz Allison, who heads the Stanton Foundation,
and Graham Allison, who heads the Belfer Center, are wife and husband,
and the Stanton Foundation funds other programs related to
international security.

* As noted previously, the Wikimedia Foundation communicated about the
program in a blog post:
http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
Timothy Sandole also disclosed his affiliation with the Belfer Center
on his user page, but did not disclose the funding relationship with
WMF or Stanton in the same manner.

* Timothy's residency included training programs, but it was heavily
weighted towards editing work.

* Sara Lasner acted as an administrative point of contact at Wikimedia
(handling payments, vacation requests, etc.). Not being steeped in
Wikimedia's culture, Sara gave minimal guidance regarding policies and
practices, but forwarded instructional materials and pointed out the
above conflict-of-interest issues to Timothy. There was a
communications contact at the Belfer Center, James Smith, who provided
subject-matter guidance.

* Timothy himself compiled a weekly report to the Belfer Center and to
Sara, and a final report at the end of the project. With his
permission, I've published the final report here:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Timothy_Sandole_-_Belfer_Center_Report.pdf

I have a copy of the weekly memos as well, and we've asked for his
permission to release them.

In addition, the Wikimedia Foundation compiled a report to Stanton at
the end of the project largely identical to the report to Timothy.
We've asked the Stanton Foundation for permission to release this
report, as well, for the sake of full transparency.

Edits like the following are indeed problematic:

* 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cuban_missile_crisisdiff=prevoldid=512468645
- potentially undue visibility for research conducted by the head of
the Belfer Center

* 
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Opposition_to_military_action_against_Irandiff=514822741oldid=514817891
- potentially undue visibility for the Stanton Nuclear Security
Fellowship, which was funded by the same Stanton Foundation which
funded the program.

In September 2012, Sara Lasner had a call with Timothy Sandole
specifically asking him to be conscious of not over-representing
Harvard University in his research, and Lisa Gruwell sent an email to
James Smith and Timothy Sandole regarding awareness of
conflict-of-interest issues 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Erik Moeller, 21/03/2014 08:37:

On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:55 PM, Fæ wrote:


Eric, in this thread you are officially speaking for the WMF. Does the
WMF really want to say it is ethical to have different
accountability rules for funding organizations that want to use the
Wikimedia brand because there are different rules for the rich?



No, that's not the point. The point is that a grant given to us goes
through a different process than, say, a grant from us to WMFR, and
that necessarily leads to different practices -- the grant-giver has
their own expectations on how to do accounting, reporting, etc.


True. But I'd go further: the problem here is not that WMF has not been 
ethical enough, rather that it wasn't smart enough to properly wash 
its hands of a possibly (possibly) unethical affair. From the looks of 
it, this is just the boring story of a rather standard academical trick: 
A and B are connected and want to hire C; X is introduced as middle man, 
receives money from A and opportunity from B, blindly transfers them 
(and nothing more, or something less) to C; formally nobody has any 
responsibility or knowledge of what's going on and magically everyone is 
happy.
However, X either earns something or doesn't want any responsibility on 
the choice of C, taking only care of the financial part as a mere 
clearing account (if that's the term in English)/gift. The 
responsibility is put on either A or B, usually the one who benefits 
more from the operation.


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Russavia
Thanks Erik for your email which was full of spin, and which will be
discussed later.

But for now, I need to present something that needs clarification from
Timothy.

In reference to
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Timothy_Sandole_-_Belfer_Center_Report.pdf

On Page 2 of his report he states the following:

Articles I helped to create: Two Wikipedia articles, AirSea Battle and
Operation Olympic
Games, were stubs before I contributed to them. A stub is an article
containing only one or a
few sentences of text that, although providing some useful information, is
too short to provide
encyclopedic coverage of a subject. I was inspired to add content to
AirSea Battle and
Operation Olympic Games because they are popular in international
relations scholarship. The
two leading voices on these issues, Andrew Krepinevich and David E. Sanger,
happen to be
Harvard graduates and affiliates of the Belfer Center

Why is it when I look at
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AirSea_Battleaction=history do
I not see Sandole in the edit history.

There is an edit at
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AirSea_Battlediff=564567483oldid=399022349which
did add a lot of content.

Is it true that Sandole is in fact
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Hcobbwho according to his user page
divides his time
between Pacheco, Californiahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacheco,_California
 and Pune https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pune, has a website at
http://www.hcobb.com/, is into fan fiction and feedbooks.

Or is there something else to it?

Cheers

Russavia
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-21 Thread Russavia
Erik,

As you are in contact with Sandole, can you please ask him to fix the
article in his report to AirLand Battle, as per
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AirLand_Battlediff=515849256oldid=510840175--
he has written AirSea Battle, and this is obviously not correct. But I
guess it goes to show that no-one at the WMF really read the report or gave
it anymore than a quick glance, otherwise this error would have been picked
up by the appropriate person.

There are obviously other issues in his report which need addressing at the
appropriate time.

Erik, whilst you are at it, can you please also have Sandole email
permission-comm...@wikimedia.org to confirm that he agrees to licence the
report under the licence you uploaded it under -- this is required for all
files where the uploader is not the copyright holder. If you like, let me
know when he does this, and I can attend to it so that the file isn't
inadvertently deleted in 7 days.

Cheers,

Russavia


On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 5:26 AM, Russavia russavia.wikipe...@gmail.comwrote:

 Thanks Erik for your email which was full of spin, and which will be
 discussed later.

 But for now, I need to present something that needs clarification from
 Timothy.

 In reference to
 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Timothy_Sandole_-_Belfer_Center_Report.pdf

 On Page 2 of his report he states the following:

 Articles I helped to create: Two Wikipedia articles, AirSea Battle and
 Operation Olympic
 Games, were stubs before I contributed to them. A stub is an article
 containing only one or a
 few sentences of text that, although providing some useful information, is
 too short to provide
 encyclopedic coverage of a subject. I was inspired to add content to
 AirSea Battle and
 Operation Olympic Games because they are popular in international
 relations scholarship. The
 two leading voices on these issues, Andrew Krepinevich and David E.
 Sanger, happen to be
 Harvard graduates and affiliates of the Belfer Center

 Why is it when I look at
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AirSea_Battleaction=historydo I 
 not see Sandole in the edit history.

 There is an edit at
 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=AirSea_Battlediff=564567483oldid=399022349which
  did add a lot of content.

 Is it true that Sandole is in fact
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Hcobb who according to his user page
 divides his time between Pacheco, 
 Californiahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacheco,_California
  and Pune https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pune, has a website at
 http://www.hcobb.com/, is into fan fiction and feedbooks.

 Or is there something else to it?

 Cheers

 Russavia

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread ENWP Pine
That's a very interesting blog post, and at first glance situation looks bad in 
a number of ways. I'm bothered by the lack of reporting as well as the COI 
issues involved.

Anasuya, at I don't think the $53,690 number is the right one, but regardless 
of how much money was involved,  can you look at this issue, figure out what 
happened from start to finish, and respond to the other questions raised in 
this discussion? Can you confirm what the amount of money involved was, clarify 
why Sandole was listed as a WMF Fundraiser contractor which implied that he 
raised money for WMF instead of being a grantee receiving money from WMF, that 
the money came entirely from Stanton, how it was accounted for in the financial 
statements referenced by Tomasz, and what reports were produced that may have 
been sent back to Stanton or WMF about what the outcomes of the grant were?

I would also be interested in knowing what COI rules were established as 
conditions of this grant, by Stanton, Harvard, and/or WMF. It would be 
interesting to get full copies of any contracts or grant award documents 
although that may be appropriate for review by the Board in private.

I'm also CCing this to Garfield and WMF Legal. It looks like something went 
very wrong here.

Thanks,

Pine
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread Jan-Bart de Vreede
Hey

So while I do not know the background of this case I am a little concerned by 
the tone of the email (and similar emails in the past)

Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the Wikimedia 
Foundation. Your email (and Fae’s) seems to imply that they work directly for 
you, which is of course not the case (because they really only need one person 
to be their manager :)  

In this case: thank you both for pointing out this post and someone within the 
Foundation will undoubtedly come back with some response in the coming period. 

Jan-Bart de Vreede



On 20 Mar 2014, at 07:59, ENWP Pine deyntest...@hotmail.com wrote:

 That's a very interesting blog post, and at first glance situation looks bad 
 in a number of ways. I'm bothered by the lack of reporting as well as the COI 
 issues involved.
 
 Anasuya, at I don't think the $53,690 number is the right one, but regardless 
 of how much money was involved,  can you look at this issue, figure out what 
 happened from start to finish, and respond to the other questions raised in 
 this discussion? Can you confirm what the amount of money involved was, 
 clarify why Sandole was listed as a WMF Fundraiser contractor which implied 
 that he raised money for WMF instead of being a grantee receiving money from 
 WMF, that the money came entirely from Stanton, how it was accounted for in 
 the financial statements referenced by Tomasz, and what reports were produced 
 that may have been sent back to Stanton or WMF about what the outcomes of the 
 grant were?
 
 I would also be interested in knowing what COI rules were established as 
 conditions of this grant, by Stanton, Harvard, and/or WMF. It would be 
 interesting to get full copies of any contracts or grant award documents 
 although that may be appropriate for review by the Board in private.
 
 I'm also CCing this to Garfield and WMF Legal. It looks like something went 
 very wrong here.
 
 Thanks,
 
 Pine
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread
On 20 March 2014 17:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the 
 Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae’s) seems to imply that they work 
 directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really only 
 need one person to be their manager :)

Hi Jan-Bart,

Unless you are joking, you have put me in a position of feeling
obliged to defend myself for raising basic questions. My email was
directed to this list as an open request about where I could find
information. For all I knew the information was published but hard for
me to find. It was directed at the Wikimedia Community, not employees
of the WMF. There was no implication otherwise.

Thanks for replying so quickly with your personal commitment on behalf
of the Wikimedia Foundation, that there will be official responses to
the detailed questions in raised here and in the original blog post. I
have no doubt that as further information is published, the community
will have more questions, I hope you will continue to fulfil your
track record for insisting on reasonable transparency and full
accountability.

PS If the board of trustees believes that I should be directing
employees, then this is flattering, though please do consider paying
me for it. I'm always good value. ;-)

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread ENWP Pine
Hi Jan-Bart,

I'm saying that this looks bad and asking what happened. I directed my email to 
the people who I think are in the best positions to respond or would want to 
look at this for themselves.

There is a point at which asking questions becomes trolling or wasting 
resources but I think the consensus here is that this situation should be 
investigated.

Please assume good faith (:

Pine
  
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread
On 20 March 2014 19:05, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 I am happy to chime in here.  WMF served as a fiscal sponsor for the
 Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center at Harvard University in this
 project, which started in 2012 and lasted one year. Stanton, a trusted
...

Hi Lisa,

Could you link me to the report of outcomes for the 2012 position, or
if they exist the regular project reports? The blog post mentions
expectations but I have yet to find the reports that explain what was
later delivered for the investment.

I am aware that the WMF required public reporting for all sponsored
projects back in 2012. Having been a Chapter trustee myself that year,
I recall how rigorous the requirements for accountability and
reporting were. :-)

Thanks,
Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread Anasuya Sengupta
Hi all,

Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process did
not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.

thanks,
Anasuya


On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.orgwrote:

 I am happy to chime in here.  WMF served as a fiscal sponsor for the
 Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center at Harvard University in this
 project, which started in 2012 and lasted one year. Stanton, a trusted
 supporter of ours for many years, had asked us to do so. This was reported
 to the community here. [1]  The Stanton Foundation covered all of the costs
 associated with it (approximately $50,000).  While WMF provided advice and
 posted the position on the Wikimedia Blog, Belfer made the final hiring
 decision, which is customary in fiscal sponsorship arrangements.   Harvard
 University is now considering similar positions for other centers.[2] WMF
 was not asked to fiscally sponsor for this new project at Harvard.

 Best,

 Lisa Gruwell


 *[1] **
 https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
 
 https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
 
 *
 *[2] **
 http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
 
 http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
 *


 On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

  On 20 March 2014 17:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org
  wrote:
   Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the
  Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae's) seems to imply that they
 work
  directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really
 only
  need one person to be their manager :)
 
  Hi Jan-Bart,
 
  Unless you are joking, you have put me in a position of feeling
  obliged to defend myself for raising basic questions. My email was
  directed to this list as an open request about where I could find
  information. For all I knew the information was published but hard for
  me to find. It was directed at the Wikimedia Community, not employees
  of the WMF. There was no implication otherwise.
 
  Thanks for replying so quickly with your personal commitment on behalf
  of the Wikimedia Foundation, that there will be official responses to
  the detailed questions in raised here and in the original blog post. I
  have no doubt that as further information is published, the community
  will have more questions, I hope you will continue to fulfil your
  track record for insisting on reasonable transparency and full
  accountability.
 
  PS If the board of trustees believes that I should be directing
  employees, then this is flattering, though please do consider paying
  me for it. I'm always good value. ;-)
 
  Fae
  --
  fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
 
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-- 


*Anasuya SenguptaSenior Director of GrantmakingWikimedia Foundation*

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!
Support Wikimedia https://donate.wikimedia.org/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread Michael Peel
Hi Anasuya and Lisa,

I'm not sure I understand what is meant by fiscal sponsor here. I'd have 
thought that would mean that the funding to the sponsored organisation is 
analogous to a grant provided by the WMF, even thought the money is actually 
provided (directly?) by another organisation. Wouldn't that mean that the same 
duty of care should be present here as is the case for WMF grants?

Either way, if the WMF (as the largest Wikimedia organisation) choses to do 
this sort of endorsement of a project, then it should really follow it through 
to the end and ensure that it has had the best possible impact on the WIkimedia 
projects, rather than just providing initial support and advertising, and then 
leaving things dangling in doubt, as seems to have happened here... That really 
doesn't set a good example for other Wikimedia organisations that might 
consider doing similar work...

(I'm rather worried about similar project/positions taking place at other 
Harvard centres without any sort of Wikimedia organisation or community support 
- that sounds like a recipe for disaster...)

Thanks,
Mike

On 20 Mar 2014, at 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta asengu...@wikimedia.org wrote:

 Hi all,
 
 Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process did
 not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
 fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
 recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.
 
 thanks,
 Anasuya
 
 
 On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.orgwrote:
 
 I am happy to chime in here.  WMF served as a fiscal sponsor for the
 Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center at Harvard University in this
 project, which started in 2012 and lasted one year. Stanton, a trusted
 supporter of ours for many years, had asked us to do so. This was reported
 to the community here. [1]  The Stanton Foundation covered all of the costs
 associated with it (approximately $50,000).  While WMF provided advice and
 posted the position on the Wikimedia Blog, Belfer made the final hiring
 decision, which is customary in fiscal sponsorship arrangements.   Harvard
 University is now considering similar positions for other centers.[2] WMF
 was not asked to fiscally sponsor for this new project at Harvard.
 
 Best,
 
 Lisa Gruwell
 
 
 *[1] **
 https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
 
 https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
 
 *
 *[2] **
 http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
 
 http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
 *
 
 
 On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:
 
 On 20 March 2014 17:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:
 Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the
 Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae's) seems to imply that they
 work
 directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really
 only
 need one person to be their manager :)
 
 Hi Jan-Bart,
 
 Unless you are joking, you have put me in a position of feeling
 obliged to defend myself for raising basic questions. My email was
 directed to this list as an open request about where I could find
 information. For all I knew the information was published but hard for
 me to find. It was directed at the Wikimedia Community, not employees
 of the WMF. There was no implication otherwise.
 
 Thanks for replying so quickly with your personal commitment on behalf
 of the Wikimedia Foundation, that there will be official responses to
 the detailed questions in raised here and in the original blog post. I
 have no doubt that as further information is published, the community
 will have more questions, I hope you will continue to fulfil your
 track record for insisting on reasonable transparency and full
 accountability.
 
 PS If the board of trustees believes that I should be directing
 employees, then this is flattering, though please do consider paying
 me for it. I'm always good value. ;-)
 
 Fae
 --
 fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
 
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 -- 
 
 
 *Anasuya SenguptaSenior Director of GrantmakingWikimedia Foundation*
 
 Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
 the sum 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread
On 20 March 2014 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta asengu...@wikimedia.org wrote:
 Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process did
 not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
 fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
 recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.

I am sure you are technically correct, however the blog post that Lisa
linked to[1] appears to directly contradict your statement. In
particular it informed the community that:
... the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce ... We’re seeking
an experienced Wikipedia editor for a one year,
There is no qualification of any sort, so the blog post has been
written so that the WMF is directly claiming to be running or
responsible for the recruitment.

Further, Stephen Walling states in a comment that:
 when we say we’re looking for a Wikipedian, that means we are
looking for someone experienced as a volunteer editor of the free
encyclopedia.
This statement can only be read as the WMF running the recruitment,
there can be no other interpretation of we when this is on the WMF
blog and written by a WMF employee.

The post does state that This position is funded by a generous grant
from the Stanton Foundation This philanthropic institution has
supported ... the Wikimedia Foundation in the past.. However there is
no implication that the Stanton Foundation were doing anything other
than providing a grant to the WMF and that the WMF were responsible
for .

There is no doubt that the WMF provided its name against this post and
officially promoted and endorsed it, putting the reputation of the WMF
firmly against this project. I hope that someone can provide a report
of the beneficial outcomes of this project for Wikimedia and open
knowledge showing exactly what was purchased for this generous grant
that was claimed to be provided to the WMF or for the benefit of WMF
projects.

Links:
1. 
https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread Erik Moeller
On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:59 PM, ENWP Pine deyntest...@hotmail.com wrote:
 clarify why Sandole was listed as a WMF Fundraiser contractor

Presumably because the fiscal sponsorship was handled through
fundraising, and HR simply tallies the contracts per department and
didn't have the backstory. I've corrected the report, pointing out the
error in the earlier version.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Foundation_Report,_August_2012diff=7907453oldid=5390952

Erik

-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread Liam Wyatt
Myself and several other community members who are heavily involved in the
development of 'Wikipedian in Residence' and GLAM-WIKI became aware of this
project in early 2012, just before the job description was published. I
will let them speak for themselves if they wish to weigh-in. But the TL;DR
version is we told them so.

We tried, oh how we tried, to tell the relevant WMF staff that this was a
terribly designed project, but the best we got in response was that we
could help edit the job description *after* it had already been published!
Some WMF staff 'got it' and tried to help but the process (Thank you to
those staff) was apparently already in motion and had too much momentum to
change. We did get to dilute the worst of the original job description so
it wasn't so blatant a paid editing role but our suggestions that the
position be 'paused' until the community could help was rejected because of
a deadline that had been set by Stanton/Harvard apparently.
Other concerns about reporting outcomes and where the money came from/to
have already been raised. The odd financial and organisational relationship
of Stanton-Harvard-WMF is just one of them.

The original job description (here
https://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/Job.aspx?j=o52lWfw8c=qSa9VfwQ) is on the
WMF's page and says that Wikipedia, in cooperation with the Belfer Center...
is seeking applicants for a Campus Wikipedian with the first task of
the position being Researching relevant topics and improving the
articles.Stanton is not mentioned anywhere as the actual funding
organisation (are
we ok with that?), and since when does Wikipedia hire people?

Some of the issues that we were arguing about at the time included why,
when the GLAM-focused Wikimedians have tried to ensure that WiR roles are
about facilitating a relationship between the community and an
organisation's academics/researchers/curators/etc, does this position focus
on editing articles directly, for money. Even if that wasn't the actual
primary purpose it certainly LOOKED that way according to the job
description and you'd think that of ALL groups in the community the WMF
would see the 'red flag' of posting a job on its OWN contractors page
asking for a paid editor. Furthermore, the WMF have in the past frequently
refused to directly support WiR roles on the basis that this kind of direct
outreach was not its role but more a role of the Chapters (this is before
the current 'affiliation' system and before the 'Individual engagement
grants' etc. and in that situation their position was fair enough). And
yet, this position was a direct contradiction - the WMF ITSELF advertising
for a WiR and administering the payment of the person. At the very least
that made it feel like a double standard for the rest of us.
There was no transparency with the people in the community that could have
helped facilitate the successful 'birth' of the project - what should have
been a great recognition of our projects' value - but instead felt like a
betrayal of our hard-earned trust with the cultural/education sectors.

The WMF dug themselves into this hole despite the frantic attempts, which
were largely rebuffed, of several of the GLAM-WIKI community help them fix
it - or at least reduce the number of problems. Now, it's up to the WMF to
dig themselves out again. Ironic given the current attention being given by
the WMF to paid editing...

-Liam/Wittylama

On 21 March 2014 09:23, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 20 March 2014 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta asengu...@wikimedia.org wrote:
  Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process
 did
  not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
  fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
  recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.

 I am sure you are technically correct, however the blog post that Lisa
 linked to[1] appears to directly contradict your statement. In
 particular it informed the community that:
 ... the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce ... We're seeking
 an experienced Wikipedia editor for a one year,
 There is no qualification of any sort, so the blog post has been
 written so that the WMF is directly claiming to be running or
 responsible for the recruitment.

 Further, Stephen Walling states in a comment that:
  when we say we're looking for a Wikipedian, that means we are
 looking for someone experienced as a volunteer editor of the free
 encyclopedia.
 This statement can only be read as the WMF running the recruitment,
 there can be no other interpretation of we when this is on the WMF
 blog and written by a WMF employee.

 The post does state that This position is funded by a generous grant
 from the Stanton Foundation This philanthropic institution has
 supported ... the Wikimedia Foundation in the past.. However there is
 no implication that the Stanton Foundation were doing anything other
 than providing a grant to the WMF and that the WMF 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread
On 20 March 2014 19:05, Lisa Gruwell lgruw...@wikimedia.org wrote:
...
 ...  The Stanton Foundation covered all of the costs
 associated with it (approximately $50,000).  While WMF provided advice and
 posted the position on the Wikimedia Blog, Belfer made the final hiring
 decision, which is customary in fiscal sponsorship arrangements.
...

Hi Lisa,

I have been re-reading your statement and I feel there is some
ambiguity over how this is being explained here versus how it might
have been declared to others by the Stanton Foundation.

To be clear, could you please confirm that the WMF has officially stated that:

A. No grant or other money was ever taken or managed by the WMF for
Sandole's project/job.
B. The Stanton Foundation has never declared this as a grant for the
WMF or for WMF projects.
C. The WMF did not authorize or otherwise approve Sandole's project or
appointment and has never employed Sandole.
D. The WMF Fundraising department managed Sandole's contract[1]
E. The WMF has neither paid tax nor claimed tax relief as a result of
Sandole's project/job.
F. No financial benefit has been gained by any organization due to the
WMF claiming to be a fiscal sponsor of Sandole's appointment as no
money has changed hands.

I am aware that the statements may be contradictory, where this is the
case is would be great if the position could be unambiguously
clarified and the Wikimedia community could be pointed to what WMF
legal consider official and final public reports, noting that what
should be an official past report linked below has changed during this
discussion.

Links:
1. 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Foundation_Report,_August_2012diff=7907453oldid=5390952

Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread Pete Forsyth
I'd like to confirm that I am one of the community members Liam
considerately declined to name; I agree with Liam's account of what
happened; and I agree with Fae's proposed solution (a detailed, public
report from the WMF, the Belfer Center, and/or the Stanton Foundation). The
report should explicitly address the structural and ethical issues raised
on this list and on Odder's blog post.

I do have a bit more to say about this, but will leave it at that for now.
I'll probably post on my blog in the next 24 hours.

Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]


On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM, Liam Wyatt liamwy...@gmail.com wrote:


 Myself and several other community members who are heavily involved in the
 development of 'Wikipedian in Residence' and GLAM-WIKI became aware of this
 project in early 2012, just before the job description was published. I
 will let them speak for themselves if they wish to weigh-in. But the TL;DR
 version is we told them so.

 We tried, oh how we tried, to tell the relevant WMF staff that this was a
 terribly designed project, but the best we got in response was that we
 could help edit the job description *after* it had already been published!
 Some WMF staff 'got it' and tried to help but the process (Thank you to
 those staff) was apparently already in motion and had too much momentum to
 change. We did get to dilute the worst of the original job description so
 it wasn't so blatant a paid editing role but our suggestions that the
 position be 'paused' until the community could help was rejected because of
 a deadline that had been set by Stanton/Harvard apparently.
 Other concerns about reporting outcomes and where the money came from/to
 have already been raised. The odd financial and organisational relationship
 of Stanton-Harvard-WMF is just one of them.

 The original job description (here
 https://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/Job.aspx?j=o52lWfw8c=qSa9VfwQ) is on
 the WMF's page and says that Wikipedia, in cooperation with the Belfer
 Center... is seeking applicants for a Campus Wikipedian with the
 first task of the position being Researching relevant topics and
 improving the articles. Stanton is not mentioned anywhere as the actual
 funding organisation (are we ok with that?), and since when does
 Wikipedia hire people?

 Some of the issues that we were arguing about at the time included why,
 when the GLAM-focused Wikimedians have tried to ensure that WiR roles are
 about facilitating a relationship between the community and an
 organisation's academics/researchers/curators/etc, does this position focus
 on editing articles directly, for money. Even if that wasn't the actual
 primary purpose it certainly LOOKED that way according to the job
 description and you'd think that of ALL groups in the community the WMF
 would see the 'red flag' of posting a job on its OWN contractors page
 asking for a paid editor. Furthermore, the WMF have in the past frequently
 refused to directly support WiR roles on the basis that this kind of direct
 outreach was not its role but more a role of the Chapters (this is before
 the current 'affiliation' system and before the 'Individual engagement
 grants' etc. and in that situation their position was fair enough). And
 yet, this position was a direct contradiction - the WMF ITSELF advertising
 for a WiR and administering the payment of the person. At the very least
 that made it feel like a double standard for the rest of us.
 There was no transparency with the people in the community that could have
 helped facilitate the successful 'birth' of the project - what should have
 been a great recognition of our projects' value - but instead felt like a
 betrayal of our hard-earned trust with the cultural/education sectors.

 The WMF dug themselves into this hole despite the frantic attempts, which
 were largely rebuffed, of several of the GLAM-WIKI community help them fix
 it - or at least reduce the number of problems. Now, it's up to the WMF to
 dig themselves out again. Ironic given the current attention being given by
 the WMF to paid editing...

 -Liam/Wittylama

 On 21 March 2014 09:23, Fæ fae...@gmail.com wrote:

 On 20 March 2014 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta asengu...@wikimedia.org wrote:
  Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process
 did
  not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
  fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
  recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.

 I am sure you are technically correct, however the blog post that Lisa
 linked to[1] appears to directly contradict your statement. In
 particular it informed the community that:
 ... the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce ... We're seeking
 an experienced Wikipedia editor for a one year,
 There is no qualification of any sort, so the blog post has been
 written so that the WMF is directly claiming to be running or
 responsible for the recruitment.

 Further, Stephen Walling 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-20 Thread Erik Moeller
On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM, Liam Wyatt liamwy...@gmail.com wrote:
 The original job description (here
 https://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/Job.aspx?j=o52lWfw8c=qSa9VfwQ) is on the
 WMF's page and says that Wikipedia, in cooperation with the Belfer Center...
 is seeking applicants for a Campus Wikipedian with the first task of
 the position being Researching relevant topics and improving the
 articles.Stanton is not mentioned anywhere as the actual funding
 organisation (are
 we ok with that?), and since when does Wikipedia hire people?

Disclaimer - I had no involvement in the project and am unaware of the
details. As far as I can tell, this was a pretty opportunistic one-off
agreement primarily supporting a funder's desire to boost the
Wikipedians in Residence model. The frustration by Liam and Pete
expressed in this thread does suggest that we erred on the side of
moving too quickly - I respect their engagement in the field highly
and appreciate all the efforts they've made to help develop clear
models and practices for this type of work.

I'll note that Timothy Sandole disclosed his affiliation with Harvard
on his user page, and stated that he was tasked to author, edit and
improve Wikipedia articles. Given that any substantial influence on
what he did clearly came from Harvard rather than WMF, I think from an
ethical standpoint, that's the most important part. However, I agree
that if we ever engage in such projects again, we should aim for the
highest standard of disclosure, including any pass-through agreements.
That's especially true in light of the disclosure requirements
currently under discussion.

I'd love to see more visibility into the project's outcomes as well.
We ask people to write detailed reports even as part of travel grants
[1], so if there's no public report of any kind, that's a bit
disheartening. This project was not funded through the individual
donations of the general public but rather through a third party
foundation that had an interest in seeing this happen, so from an
ethical perspective, it's reasonable that the standards of
accountability differ -- but if we have the ability to obtain any kind
of public report after the fact, I think as a matter of good practice,
it would be a good thing to do so.

I saw SJ already left a question on Timothy's talk page. I also just
pinged him via the email feature in case he has time to comment here a
bit more about the nature of his work. Without such visibility, it's
hard to see how much Timothy's work deviated from the
community-developed WiR guidelines [2], which don't say that WiRs
shouldn't edit, but which emphasize the issue of conflicts-of-interest
and the idea that a WiR shouldn't be an in-house editor.

Erik

[1] e.g. 
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:TPS/Daniel_Mietchen/58th_Annual_Meeting_of_the_Biophysical_Society/Report
[2] https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence
-- 
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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[Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

2014-03-19 Thread
Re: http://twkozlowski.net/the-pot-and-the-kettle-the-wikimedia-way/

Two questions:

1. Where can I find a response from either the WMF board or WMF
funding/finance to the criticisms of a lack of transparency or the
apparent failure of the project to deliver value for the donor's money
as raised in this blog post?

2. Where can I read an officially recognized report for the outcomes
of this project in terms of value for Wikimedia projects? Obviously we
do not want to rely on second-hand analysis when reports to the WMF
are a requirement for such projects.

Thanks,
Fae
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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