Hi Pete,

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I carefully considered whether to publish this email
> before doing so. I'm confident I'm on solid ethical ground (i.e., didn't
> violate anyone's rights), and I'm pretty sure the impact on Wikimedia will
> be positive in the end as well.

​It's hard to argue with this statement one way or the other (when you are
sure, but you cannot prove.) From experience we have seen that Wikimedia is
a big
​ and distributed​
Movement and the impact of such actions on the Movement is unlikely to be


Specifics about my choice to release the email below:
> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 10:18 PM, Erik Moeller <eloque...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com>:
> >
> > > I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> > > surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> > > interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> > > worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing
> it.)

​It is problematic that you have checked with James but not Jimmy prior to
publishing this email. The content of the email does not justify this
action for me.

> Erik,
> So the "private channel" you mention has never existed between Jimmy Wales
> and myself. There has never been an agreement, either explicit or implied,
> between us about whether our communications are private.

There are norms that people follow in online communications. It is expected
that you check with the sender of the email before publishing his/her
email. People expect private conversations to stay private, and the
definition of a private conversation is not complicated in most of the
people's minds: if a conversation doesn't happen in a public channel, it's
considered private.

Where I do have a healthy line of communication with someone, I agree with
> you.

​If you see that you don't have a healthy line of communication with Jimmy,
you may want to consider not communicating with him at all. Initiating
and/or participating in conversations about someone when you cannot have a
healthy conversation with that person won't be beneficial. You will end up
being in a position that you cannot improve things between the two of you,
but you will have extra information that you will feel burdened to share
with others.

I hope you think about what you did here, and you decide to take a
different course of action in the future.


​​Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Pete Forsyth
> Date: Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM
> Subject: Re: A conversation?
> To: Jimmy Wales, James Heilman
> Jimmy, thanks for following up -- and James, thanks for alerting me of this
> (it went to an old email address I no longer check. Good reminder though, I
> am putting an auto-reply on there.)
> I see that we have three things under discussion, and I want to reiterate
> that I strongly urge the first:
>    1. JW and JMH have a private conversation with the support of an
>    independent, skilled facilitator
>    2. JW and JMH have a truly one-on-one conversation
>    3. JW and JMH have a conversation with PF as informal facilitator
> I appreciate being looped in here, but I want to say very clearly: I don't
> have the professional skills to serve as a facilitator here, even if I did
> I am too involved to do it well, and I also don't really have the
> bandwidth. However, I'm sure the WMF's HR department could refer you to
> some excellent people. (I could give referrals, but I'm sure the HR
> department is better equipped for that.) I think that the value of
> professional facilitation/mediation/ombuds/whatever is well known, so I
> won't go into the details of why I think this is a good idea unless asked.
> In the meantime, I would very strongly urge you, Jimmy, to cease making
> speculative statements about James' honesty or state of mind. James is
> probably much less volatile than me, but personally I would probably freak
> out if somebody was saying stuff like that about me, either publicly or
> privately. It's highly inflammatory.
> I would also request that you address (publicly, I hope) my main question
> about your interpretation of the board vote about "discussing long term
> strategy" as evidence of James' dishonesty. I think that is a point you
> could, and should, walk back without much drama. I think it's safe to say
> that it's highly obvious that you two agree about what constitutes "long
> term strategy," and that's fine -- but the fact that it's become a
> referendum on somebody's integrity is not, in my view, fine at all. I think
> it would help things a great deal if you could publicly acknowledge that
> point.
> I'll leave the other points to be dealt with between you, ideally with
> professional support. I really can't play the mediator role here.
> -Pete
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