Circling back to a subject that I've mentioned before, I favor having
meetings of the WMF Board be open and recorded by default, with limited
exceptions for discussions of legally privileged information and other
subjects for which there is a strong reason that deliberations should
remain private. Note that "wiki-political sensitivity" is not one of those
I hope that recent events illustrate that it may be better to be
transparent from the beginning than try to suppress information that
eventually leaks out or emerges after a lengthy series of questions.
The WMF Board minutes tend to be brief, and the Board's deliberations are
rarely public. This is disappointing for an organization in the open source
movement. WMF should be an exemplar of transparent and open governance.
To illustrate the kind of detail that can be omitted from Board minutes and
the temptation to omit information for questionable reasons, I suggest this
clip from the British satire "Yes, Minister", in which two civil servants
discuss the Prime Minister's wish to suppress the publication of a chapter
of a book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNKjShmHw7s
I hope that, as the WMF Board moves forward, it transforms into a model of
transparency and openness; less "Yes, Minister" and paralysis and
resistance to the community, and more transparency and vigor in public
service. Having WMF Board meetings be open and recorded by default would be
a wonderful step in aligning the Board with the value of transparency.
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