Hello everyone,

As many of you know, over the past couple of years the Wikimedia Foundation
has taken a focused look at community health—particularly in regards to
harassment. The Foundation's Board has been monitoring and discussing this
issue over the past year with great interest. We have prepared a statement
offering our thoughts on this topic, and providing a clear mandate for the
Foundation’s leadership to fully engage on this issue.

Our statement is below and has been posted on Meta-Wiki, where it is set up
for translation:

Since the Foundation was established, we have been invested in building a
positive community culture. As part of these efforts, we have monitored the
projects for instances of harassment, escalating our capacity to respond in
recent years. Thanks to the work of the Foundation's Support and Safety
Team, we now have data in the form of the 2015 Harassment Survey[1] about
the nature of the issue. This has enabled us to identify key areas of
concern, and step up our response appropriately. This research shows that
harassment has a negative impact on participation in our projects. This has
implications for our ability to collect, share, and disseminate free
knowledge in support of the Wikimedia vision. Our statement speaks to the
Board's duty to help the Foundation fulfill its mission.

The Board is committed to making our communities safer and will not accept
harassment and toxic behavior on Wikimedia projects. We believe this matter
deserves the Foundation's attention and resources, and have confirmed this
responsibility at our latest Board meeting on November 13th. The questions
that lay before us all now are how to best address this threat, rather than
if we should attempt to do so.

The Board especially appreciates and applauds the work being done to
address this important issue by many community leaders across the movement
and teams within the Foundation. We look forward to seeing this cooperative
work not only continue, but expand. Finally, we encourage everyone who is
interested in helping the Foundation address this threat to our vision and
mission to engage in the upcoming discussions around this issue.

On behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees,

Christophe Henner, Board Chair

María Sefidari, Board Vice Chair

[1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Harassment_survey_2015

Statement by the Wikimedia Board on Healthy Community Culture, Inclusivity,
and Safe Spaces

At our Board meeting on November 13, and in Board meetings in September and
June, we spent considerable time discussing the issues of harassment and
hostility on the internet generally, and more specifically on the Wikimedia

This is an important issue. Approximately 40% of internet users, and 70% of
women internet users, have personally experienced harassment.[1] Of people
who have reported experiencing harassment on Wikimedia projects, more than
50% reported decreasing their participation in our community.[2] Based on
this and other research, we conclude that harassment and toxic behavior on
the Wikimedia projects negatively impacts the ability of the Wikimedia
projects to collect, share, and disseminate free knowledge. This behavior
is contrary to our vision and mission.

Our communities deserve safe spaces in which they can contribute
productively and debate constructively. It is our belief that the Wikimedia
Foundation should be proactively engaged in eliminating harassment,
promoting inclusivity, ensuring a healthier culture of discourse, and
improving the safety of Wikimedia spaces. We request management to dedicate
appropriate resources to this end.

We urge every member of the Wikimedia communities to collaborate in a way
that models the Wikimedia values of openness and diversity, step forward to
do their part to stop hostile and toxic behavior, support people who have
been targeted by such behavior, and help set clear expectations for all

[1] 2014 Pew Research Center Study, found at:

[2] 2015 WMF Harassment Survey, found at:

Christophe HENNER
Chair of the board of trustees

twitter *@schiste*        skype *christophe_henner*
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