There has already been discussion amongst some affiliates about this issue 
(including one on Meta-Wiki) - which is where this comes from.

I suggest we leave it private for now and see what the affiliates on the list 
would like to do.

I disagree with your sentiment that none of the 10 points require privacy. One 
of them is discussing affiliate-specific issues - which might include financial 
or privacy issues facing an affiliates, an interaction with the WMF, or advice 
on discussing an issue with the broader community. My understanding is that 
there is a fear people may be more reserved in discussing topics if their 
comments are up for public discussion.

If private lists or wikis were a new concept, I think the expectation might be 
something more fair to proceed with. However, there are several private lists 
already in use, and as stated, this is in response to requests from affiliates. 
That request included that the list be made private, which seems reasonable.

Ultimately, I do not feel comfortable making this decision for the affiliates, 
and since they initially requested it be private, I would like to respect that 
and allow them to discuss it more.

I agree that having a discussion about how we achieve transparency is worth 
doing. However, starting that discussion (or restarting it I suppose) by 
imposing a new measure that was specifically not wanted by the target audience 
of that resource is not the best way to move things forward. The end result 
would likely be that they wind up not using the list as much, or create a 
separate list to fulfill their initial request. I would like to avoid that.


> On Oct 19, 2015, at 1:56 PM, Sam Klein <> wrote:
> +1 for public archives to start.  Private lists are almost never made
> public later, even where there's no need for privacy.
> A more transparent alternative is to make any list publicly-archived
> (archives world-readable, even if membership and ability to post to the
> list is restricted), while setting it up and discussing its purpose.  If
> list members have specific uses that would require privacy, that purpose
> can drive a decision to make it private. Then at least those founding
> discussions and the reason for list privacy are visible to others.
> The converse doesn't happen.  The only people whose voices count in a
> decision to make a list public are generally those already on the list.
> And they have access, so they have no pressing need to review whether its
> archives should be public.
> Gregory Varnum writes:
>> the whole point of creating it would be defeated.
> Well, Carlos mentioned 10 uses for the list, none of which need private
> discussion. It sounds like you're saying an 11th is "encouraging affiliates
> who don't currently write about their work and experiences, to do so" and
> you think a significant number will only do so if their messages are not
> publicly visible or archived.
> The downside is that you defined the list very broadly, also encouraging
> people who currently write about their work publicly to start using this
> new list: so now those thoughts will be lost to the larger community
> forever.  And the majority of outreach projects, event organizers, local
> communities, and groups (which aren't interested in going through a formal
> recognition process) will be walled out.
> SJ
> On Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 1:18 PM, Gregory Varnum <>
> wrote:
>> Our current plan is to bring this up with the list once there is a good
>> number of people on it.
>> Given that the list is for affiliates, our feeling is that it is best for
>> them to decide how they would like to use the list. If a structure is
>> imposed on them, it is less likely they will use the list, and the whole
>> point of creating it would be defeated. Since there were requests for the
>> list to be private, it seemed easier to start from that point and make
>> changes based on the consensus of those we hope will utilize the list most.
>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>> Vice Chair, Affiliations Committee
>>> On Oct 19, 2015, at 1:10 PM, Ed Erhart <> wrote:
>>> I too question the need for a private mailing list. We should require
>> more
>>> than a just a "consistent request" before we reduce transparency and
>> create
>>> yet another walled garden away from the community.
>>> --Ed
>>> On Oct 16, 2015 12:07 AM, "Pine W" <> wrote:
>>>> Got it. Thanks Varnent.
>>>> Regarding the privacy question: I'm sort of thinking that if we really
>> want
>>>> to keep the new list private for legal or other reasons, it should be
>> run
>>>> outside of WMF servers like the chapters list is. On the other hand, if
>> the
>>>> purpose of the new list is to facilitate discussion among affiliates in
>> a
>>>> smaller and less public group while still being open to WMF employees
>> to a
>>>> limited degree, then the hosting proposed here makes sense. Personally,
>> I
>>>> get the sense that the affiliate and WMF relationships have generally
>>>> (there are exceptions) warmed a bit over the past couple of years as
>>>> affiliate governance and leadership have evolved and as WMF's evaluation
>>>> capacity has improved, so I'm fine with the new design. Thanks for
>> working
>>>> on this.
>>>> Pine
>>>> On Oct 15, 2015 8:55 PM, "Gregory Varnum" <>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Hey Pine,
>>>>> As you know, AffCom started looking into this list after some
>> discussions
>>>>> with affiliates in Berlin, Wikimania, and at that page you referred to.
>>>> We
>>>>> did talk with that list’s moderators about potentially reusing that
>> list
>>>>> (largely why the creation of this list took awhile). However,
>> ultimately,
>>>>> we decided to proceed with the creation of this list.
>>>>> The old list is not on Wikimedia servers or officially connected to
>>>>> AffCom, so I cannot speak to its future. However, it has becoming
>>>>> increasingly inactive, is limited to chapters (so excludes a majority
>> of
>>>>> our affiliates), and not something we have promoted recently. My
>> personal
>>>>> hope is that this new broader list replaces that one over time, but
>> that
>>>> is
>>>>> not something we can “force” as it’s not a resource we officially help
>>>>> manage.
>>>>> -greg (User:Varnent)
>>>>> Vice Chair, Affiliations Committee
>>>>>> On Oct 15, 2015, at 5:19 PM, Pine W <> wrote:
>>>>>> Hi Carlos,
>>>>>> Can you clarify how this list relates to the existing chapters mailing
>>>>>> list? (Also, please see the discussion at
>>>>>> ).
>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>> Pine
>>>>>> On Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 2:04 PM, Carlos M. Colina <
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> Dear all,
>>>>>>> On behalf of the Affiliations Committe, I am pleased to introduce the
>>>>>>> launch of the Wikimedia Affiliates mailing list, which is basically a
>>>>> place
>>>>>>> for all the affiliates (chapters, thematic organizations, user
>> groups)
>>>>> to
>>>>>>> discuss issues related to affiliates, make announcements to other
>>>>>>> affiliates, and collaborate on activities and community-wide events.
>>>> The
>>>>>>> idea is to help facilitate the dialogue affiliates across our
>>>> movement,
>>>>>>> plus collaborative discussions like community-wide activities, joint
>>>>>>> edit-a-thons, regional conferences, blog/report posts, or other
>>>>>>> communications from affiliates.
>>>>>>> Each Wikimedia movement affiliate is allocated three spots on the
>>>>> mailing
>>>>>>> list. All affiliates may contact the Affiliations Committee to
>> request
>>>>>>> additional spots if needed.
>>>>>>> Please find a bit more information on Meta:
>>>>>>> and do not hesitate contacting us if you have further questions.
>>>>>>> Regards,
>>>>>>> Carlos
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> "*Jülüjain wane mmakat* ein kapülain tü alijunakalirua jee
>>>> wayuukanairua
>>>>>>> junain ekerolaa alümüin supüshuwayale etijaanaka. Ayatashi waya
>>>> junain."
>>>>>>> Carlos M. Colina
>>>>>>> Socio, A.C. Wikimedia Venezuela | RIF J-40129321-2 |
>>>>>>> <>
>>>>>>> Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Affiliations Committee
>>>>>>> Phone: +972-52-4869915
>>>>>>> Twitter: @maor_x
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> Samuel Klein          @metasj          w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266
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