Tim Starling wrote:
>Board members have a duty to act in the interests of the WMF as a
>whole, but it does not follow that denying anonymity to whistleblowers
>is in the best interests of the WMF. In fact, I think this Lila/KF/KE
>case demonstrates the opposite.
>I would encourage the Board to extend the current whistleblower policy
>to provide protection to employees making anonymous complaints via
>certain intermediaries (such as active Board members), rather than
>requiring complaints to be made directly to the Chair of the Board;
>and to specify that the forwarding of such anonymous reports by Board
>members to the Chair would be permissible.
>If we want to avoid a repeat of this affair, then employees should be
>encouraged to communicate serious concerns to the Board as early as


You mention anonymous complaints and serious concerns, but the current
whistleblower policy seems to be pretty clear that it only applies to
laws, rules, and regulations. The text of the policy indicates, to me at
least, that even alleged violations of other Wikimedia Foundation policies
would not be covered by the whistleblower policy. Would you extend the
Wikimedia Foundation whistleblower policy to cover regular (i.e.,
non-legal and non-regulatory) grievances?

My understanding is that the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees sought
out and then appointed a tech-minded chief executive, who came from a tech
organization, in order to "transform" the Wikimedia Foundation from an
educational non-profit to be more like a traditional tech company. Many
employees of the Wikimedia Foundation disagreed with this decision and the
chief executive made a series of poor hires who ran amok (looking at you,
Damon), but I don't think anything rose to the level of illegal behavior.

From my perspective, whether rightfully or wrongfully, the staff mutinied
and ultimately successfully deposed the appointed executive director. I
don't see how this whistleblower policy or most variations of it that a
typical non-profit would enact would really be applicable here.


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