Hi there,

A bit of context is needed in this discussion about the Code of Conduct for
Wikimedia technical spaces

On Sun, Nov 20, 2016 at 6:45 AM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

> A substantial proportion of the comments on the talk page (and the
> archives) are from WMF employees, not community members.

The dichotomy WMF employees vs community members is false in Wikimedia
technical spaces (and probably beyond, but I'll keep the scope in Wikimedia
tech here). Even the roles of WMF employee / volunteer are quite mixed,
since the WMF has been hiring prolific technical volunteers during years.

While having WMF usernames administrating or simply editing articles in
i.e. English Wikipedia would be basically unthinkable, in Wikimedia
technical spaces is sometimes a norm, sometimes a requirement. Look at the
admin groups of MediaWiki.org, wikitech.wikimedia.org, Phabricator, Gerrit,
many technical mailing lists and IRC channels. Look also at the maintainers
of many software projects and Phabricator projects. look as well in the
list of people who contribute code, bug reports, and other types of
technical contributions.

> 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.

The discussion of the Code of Conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces
<https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Talk:Code_of_Conduct/Draft> (which happens
in MediaWiki.org, not Phabricator) is probably the process that has been
more widely and continuously advertised in Wikimedia technical spaces. It
is a good example of a tough and quite exhausting long-term discussion that
is likely to drive away many people.

The saddest paradox is that such discussion dynamics work against the main
beneficiaries of the CoC: newcomers, minority groups, and other people with
weaker defenses against harassment and disrespect. If you look at the
participants regularly active in the discussion, you will find that the big
majority (regardless affiliation, myself included) fit in a quite narrow
and homogeneous profile in terms of gender, academic level, English
proficiency, discussion style, color and thickness of skin, stubbornness...

Given WMF's history of clashing with the community about subjects such as
> Superprotect, VisualEditor, and ACTRIAL

Can you provide examples of such WMF vs volunteers clashes in Wikimedia
technical spaces?

The toughest and most polarized discussions that I recall had WMF and
volunteers in both sides. In fact, it is not uncommon to see opposition to
"a WMF move" coming from WMF members, in their volunteer or professional

The discussion about this CoC is no exception, and we have seen WMF
employees with different opinions and votes at almost every point.

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.

Can you specify where in the draft do you see "the view of WMF and its
employees rather than the larger

We have been discussing this draft for more than a year now, and almost
every sentence has been reviewed and discussed. My main concern (inspired
by other promoters of this Code) has been to reflect the view and the
interests of the potential beneficiaries of the CoC. In fact, many of the
toughest and longest discussions were not centered around the interests of
these existing and potential community members at all.

A bit more context to address other replies to this thread:

Action against harassment and disrespect is already taken in Wikimedia
technical spaces, partly thanks to a social pressure that (I dare to say)
is less tolerant to such disruptions than many Wikimedia communities,
partly thanks to the many admins/maintainers in many different spaces, each
of them with different tools to address harassment. A subset of the
Technical Communication team
handles the reports that we receive, and recently we started publishing a
metric of cases handled in the Community Engagement quarterly reviews

All this is happening thanks to the initiative of many individuals with
different affiliations (for instance, those who participated in the writing
of the Bugzilla (now Phabricator) etiquette
However, it is happening in a quite ad hoc way (i.e. nobody decided that
the Technical Collaboration team would handle harassment reports, we just
kept receiving them and decided to do something about them).

The Code of Conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces should provide a common
framework for all the different venues shared by the technical community,
and a mechanism to handle reports and enforce the Code (a committee open to
all affiliations).

Quim Gil
Engineering Community Manager @ Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, 

Reply via email to