We have an update on the community health initiative mentioned following
the Board's Statement on Healthy Community Culture, Inclusivity, and Safe

As Patrick Earley from the Support and Safety team noted on Wikimedia-l
last month[2], we’ve been developing a community health initiative to help
address the harassment issues discussed in the Board's statement. We
believe an important aspect of our efforts to combat harassment is
providing the volunteer community with better tools to more effectively
respond to instances of harassment as they arise.

We’re excited to announce that the Craig Newmark Foundation and craigslist
Charitable Fund have agreed to provide initial funding to help the
Wikimedia Foundation begin this work. The two seed restricted grants,
collectively a gift of $500,000, will enable the Foundation to scale up our
support of these efforts and provide us with the resources to do it right.

In preparing for this work, we’ve been discussing issues with the current
tools and processes with active administrators and functionaries. These
discussions have resulted in requested improvements in several key areas
where admins and functionaries see immediate needs—better reporting systems
for volunteers, smarter ways to detect and address problems early, and
improved tools and workflows related to the blocking process.

In the coming months, the Community Tech team, working with the Support and
Safety team, will be expanding their work on development of these tools.
The long-term goal for this effort is to build up the toolbox that
volunteers can use to combat harassment and other disruptive behavior on
our wikis.

Specifically, there are four areas where we think new tools will help:

1. Detection - Improve our detection and prevention tools, like
AbuseFilter, and build new features to detect aggressive behavior.

2. Reporting - Design ways to report harassment that are less chaotic, more
respectful of privacy, and less stressful than the current workflow.

3. Evaluating - Offer admins tools that make evaluating harassment reports
easier, so that they can make good decisions.

4. Blocking - When someone is blocked from the site, we can make it more
difficult for them to return under a different name or IP address.

Of course, these improvements need to be made with the participation and
support of the volunteers who will be using the tools. We don't want to
create new systems and workflows that create more work for an already
overburdened team of wiki administrators. We want to make these tasks less
grueling and able to more consistently produce effective outcomes.

Work in other areas - such as project policies and better training for
administrators and functionaries - still needs to be done in order to
comprehensively tackle the overall issue of harassment and harmful behavior
on the projects. However, we believe that improving and building better
tools for volunteers currently most engaged in this effort is a necessary
first step.

We welcome your feedback on this approach, and invite you to join us in
thanking Craig and his charitable organizations for their support of this

We’ll be sharing regular updates about the progress of this work in the
coming months. If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out
to us on the talk page of the Meta-Wiki page where you can find more
information: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_health_initiative

You can also find more details about this announcement in this blog post:

Danny Horn (Product Manager, Community Tech) and Patrick Earley (Manager,
Support & Safety)


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