Hi all,

A number of staff and volunteers have been talking about community health
for some time now, and I think it’s a point most can agree with that
technical improvements alone don’t represent a comprehensive approach to
the problem. While we believe they can substantially help those working on
the front lines to deal with issues, it is true that there is much work to
be done on reducing the number and severity of problems on the social side.
As I mentioned in an earlier post
on the topic, improvements in how we as a community both deal with and
define problem behaviour is needed. The Wikimedia Foundation is working in
other areas as well and hopes to further help communities research what is
working and what is not, and provide support for trialing new approaches
and processes.

The Support and Safety team at the Wikimedia Foundation is currently making
progress on the development of training modules on both keeping events safe
[3] and dealing with online harassment
Making use of community input and feedback, we're hoping to publish these
in multiple languages by the beginning of the summer. We know that training
alone will not eliminate harassment, but it will allow for the development
of best practices in handling harassment online and at events, and help
these practices to become more widespread on the Wikimedia projects.

Some challenging harassment situations arise from longstanding unresolved
disputes between contributors. Asaf Bartov has done some innovative work
with communities on identifying more effective methods of resolving
conflicts - you can see his presentation at the recent Metrics meeting
<https://youtu.be/6fF4xLHkZe4?t=19m>,[2] and there will be a more detailed
report on this initiative next week. Improvement of dispute resolution
practices could be of use on other projects as well, through the Community
Capacity Development program or through other initiatives, which the
Wikimedia Foundation may be able to support.

Our movement also has a variety of different policy approaches to bad
behaviour and different enforcement practices in different communities.
Some of these work well; others, perhaps not so much. The Foundation can
support communities by helping research the effectiveness of these policies
and practices, and we can work with contributors to trial new approaches.

We plan on proposing more of these types of approaches in our upcoming
Annual Plan process over the next few months, and we are working to make
anti-harassment programs more cross-disciplinary and collaborative between
the technical and community teams. As Delphine mentions, affiliates have
already taken a lead on some new initiatives, and we must help scale those
improvements to the larger movement.

I think this thread illustrates how we can continue brainstorming on the
sometimes less-straightforward social approaches to harassment mitigation
(Lodewijk came up with some intriguing ideas above) and find ways forward
that combine effective tools and technical infrastructure with an improved
social environment.


[2] https://youtu.be/6fF4xLHkZe4?t=19m


On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 12:51 PM, Delphine Ménard <notafi...@gmail.com>

> On 27 January 2017 at 18:17, Lodewijk <lodew...@effeietsanders.org> wrote:
> [snip]
> > What I am curious about, is whether there are also efforts ongoing that
> are
> > focused on influencing community behavior in a more preventive manner.
> I'm
> > not sure how that would work out in practice,
> [snip]
> But I do want to express my hope that somewhere in the
> > Foundation (and affiliates), work is being done to also look at
> preventing
> > bullying and harassment - besides handling it effectively. And that you
> > maybe keep that work in mind, when developing these tools. Some overlap
> may
> > exist - for example, I could imagine that if the
> > harassment-identificationtool is reliable enough, it could trigger
> warnings
> > to users before they save their edit, or the scores could be used in
> admin
> > applications (and for others with example-functions). A more social
> > approach that is unrelated, would be to train community members on how to
> > respond to poisonous behavior. I'm just thinking out loud here, and
> others
> > may have much better approaches in mind (or actually work on them).
> Actually Lodewijk, it's happening not too far from you. Wikimedia
> Nederland [1] has been working on this for a while, quietly, with
> small samples and small steps, but with good results and most
> importantly, a lot of hope and resilience to pursue this really really
> hard work.
> Delphine
> [1] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/
> 2016-2017_round1/Wikimedia_Nederland/Proposal_form#
> Program_1:_Community_health
> --
> @notafish
> NB. This gmail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails will get
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> Intercultural musings: Ceci n'est pas une endive -
> http://blog.notanendive.org
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Patrick Earley
Manager, Support and Safety
Wikimedia Foundation
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