I'm forking this discussion from the (no subject) thread.

I think it might be a good idea to have some sort of guidance, such as a
TCC, for how incivility is handled in technical spaces beyond reporting
problems with WMF employees to their WMF managers and/or HR, because not
everyone works for WMF, so it might be good to have a way to handle
situations when someone who is not a WMF employee causes problems in
technical spaces.

However, I'm not sure that I agree that the TCC is "a (draft) community
policy, being approved by the community.  The community has already
approved a large fraction of it.  It's not a (draft) WMF policy."

A substantial proportion of the comments on the talk page (and the
archives) are from WMF employees, not community members. I realize, Matt,
that you have been attempting to recruit broader participation, but it
looks like the results have been less than one would have hoped.
Given WMF's history of clashing with the community about subjects such as
Superprotect, VisualEditor, and ACTRIAL, it seems to me that while WMF
participation in discussions such as this is good, the high proportion of
WMF representation on the talk page makes the resulting document more
likely to reflect the view of WMF and its employees rather than the larger
community. So, no, I would not consider this draft to be a community
document at this time. The proportion of participation from WMF staff is
too high.

However, there are some paths forward: (1) Proceed with this as a policy
that applies to WMF staff only, (2) get the WMF Board to approve the
document as a policy, or (3) get the document to pass a community RFC,
closed by a community steward.

My advice, if WMF wants this TCC to hold weight with the community, is to
put a lot of distance between WMF and this document. WMF can support the
document's creation, but should not be in a leadership role, and WMF staff
should be far less prominent on the talk page. That the lower the
proportion of WMF involvement in the creation of this document, the more
likely the document is to be viewed in a positive light by the community.

I don't mean to sound like I intend to halt the entire TCC process, but I
would advise proceeding with it differently than the talk page suggests has
been happening so far.

Regarding the applicability of the proposed policy to IRC, I view the
proposed TCC as requiring explicit opt-in from IRC channels through their
own internal governance processes. The TCC's assertion that it applies to
IRC channels does not, by itself, actually make that happen without
explicit opt-in from those channels; similarly, my drafting a policy on
English Wikipedia that claims to apply to #wikipedia-en would have no
validity without opt-in from #wikipedia-en.

I need to attend to other matters so I won't participate in further
discussions on this topic for the near future, but I welcome comments (and
differing opinions) from others. To reiterate: I think that there could be
benefits from a TCC, but I would suggest (1) softening the WMF's role in
the creation of this document and (2) stating that the TCC applies to IRC
channels on an opt-in basis.


On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 7:04 PM, Matthew Flaschen <mflasc...@wikimedia.org>
On 11/17/2016 10:30 PM, Pine W wrote:

> As a reminder: IRC is governed by Freenode. Channels can have their own
> rules, and there are widely varying systems of internal governance for
> Wikimedia IRC channels. I think it's important to note that WMF and the
> Wikimedia community are guests on Freenode, and I'm uncomfortable with the
> proposition to extend a WMF policy into IRC channels without explicit
> consent from the ops of those channels; it seems to me that the TCC would
> be a per-channel opt-in on IRC, not a WMF blanket standard.

I just wanted to note that this is a (draft) community policy, being
approved by the community.  The community has already approved a large
fraction of it.  It's not a (draft) WMF policy.

(It is subject to Legal requirements like some other community policies,
but it seems this will only affect a small section.)


Matt Flaschen
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