I want to chime in briefly, since I have direct personal experience in WMF0-initiated bans.

Not long ago, Support & Safety took an action to exclude somebody for whom I, as a volunteer, felt some responsibility. Initially, I felt that there was inadequate communication with me, and as a result the action put me in a difficult position. I brought the issue to James Alexander's attention. He took the time to discuss the issue in some depth; he acknowledged that it should have been handled better by WMF, and assured me that the experience would inform future efforts. If we're going to be using letter grades, I would James and his colleagues an "A" on the debrief, and I am confident that he and his colleagues have done/will do better after the fact.


There are good reasons for some bans to be handled by volunteers, and good reasons for some bans to be handled entirely by professionals. There are also some incidents that clearly fall into a grey area where cooperation is needed, and it's important that such incidents be handled with a sensitivity to their unique qualities, which requires trust in the various people involved to judge how much public communication is appropriate.

Final point -- all of this is now very much a departure from the subject line and the original topic, which were about permissions *for WMF staff*. If discussion on bans continues, I'd suggest introducing a new subject line.

-Pete

[[User:Peteforsyth]]


On 02/17/2017 11:49 AM, Adrian Raddatz wrote:
I'm not convinced of the problem. The WMF global bans are designed to step
in where community processes would not be appropriate. From their page on
Meta: "global bans are carried out ... to address multi-project misconduct,
to help ensure the trust and safety of the users of all Wikimedia sites, or
to assist in preventing prohibited behavior". The last two reasons should
not be dealt with by the community; our volunteers do not have the
resources, qualifications, or liability required to deal with them. But
perhaps "multi-project misconduct" could be handled by the WMF differently.
Instead of imposing a WMF ban, they could build a case for a community ban,
and follow that process instead. As I said though, I'm not convinced that
there is a problem with how things are done currently. Some things
shouldn't be handled by community governance.

Adrian Raddatz

On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 11:40 AM, Pine W <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

How would you suggest modifying the process so that it is compatible with
community governance? Note that while I'm dissatisfied with the system that
is in place now, I doubt that there will be a perfect solution that is free
from all possible criticism and drama. I would give the current system a
grade of "C-" for transparency and a grade of "F" for its compatibility
with community governance. I don't expect ether grade to get to an "A", but
I would be satisfied with "B" for transparency and "B+" for community
governance.



Pine


On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 11:21 AM, Adrian Raddatz <ajradd...@gmail.com>
wrote:

Wikimedia isn't a country, the global ban policy isn't a law. Any such
metaphors are honestly a bit ridiculous. The WMF bans are, for the most
part, sensitive. And that means that they all need to be, because if you
have a list of reasons that you can disclose, then any bans without
comment
are going to be on a very short list of quite serious reasons. Plus, the
ones without a reason would still have the "wikipediocracy-lite" crowd
that
seems to dominate this list in a fuss.

It's also worth noting that the WMF provides some basic details of global
bans to certain trusted community groups. The issue isn't with
disclosure,
it's with mass disclosure.

On Feb 17, 2017 11:09 AM, "Pine W" <wiki.p...@gmail.com> wrote:

I am glad to hear that WMF global bans are processed through multiple
people. Still, I am deeply uncomfortable with the lack of community
involvement in this process as well as the lack of transparency. In the
US
we don't trust professional law enforcement agencies to make decisions
about who should go to jail without giving the accused the right to a
trial
by a jury of their peers. Unless we have lost faith in peer governance
(which would be a radical break with open source philosophy) I think it
is
both unwise and inappropriate to have "the professionals" make these
decisions behind closed doors and with zero community involvement in
the
process.

I am in favor of professionals working on investigations, and in
enforcement of community decisions to ban *after* those decisions have
been
made by the community through some meaningful due process. I oppose
letting
"the professionals" decide among themselves who should be banned.
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