A big part of the problem is when these things are implemented, and people ask 
questions because they don't know what is going on, they are often met by 
complete absence of response from anyone at WMF, or in the case of the 
strategy, whoever it was that published the stuff for comment. I agree that 
there is an unreasonable expectation for instant response, but really it does 
not take much planning to ensure that someone is available to answer immediate 
questions, which would probably prevent most situations from going critical. 
Then someone presents a boilerplate non-answer from a group username and the 
shit hits the fan. Sure, we have our drama queens. By now the WMF should have 
noticed the pattern, and made a plan to work within the reality. Really poor PR 
demonstrating a lack of understanding of the audience.
Cheers,
Peter

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [mailto:wikimedia-l-boun...@lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of 
Aron Manning
Sent: 04 February 2020 13:56
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Movement Strategy: Recommendations and community 
conversations launching next week

On Tue, 4 Feb 2020 at 08:57, Chris Keating <chriskeatingw...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> In part this is because people were very angry about the issue at the time,
> and that anger was dealt with very poorly at the time.
>

While MediaViewer's introduction wasn't prepared appropriately and
superprotect was an inconsiderate, rushed and authoritarian solution to
stop the wheel-warring, it is a fundamental issue of the community that
such disagreements are always dealt with anger, combative actions and
rushed decisions.
The parallels with last year's Fram debacle are strong both on WMF's and
the communities' side: no conversation, drama, wheel-warring again,
immediately. This is how "collegial discussion" of differences should
happen?

I see this as a fundamental issue, that's strongly related to why so much
harassment (and lesser forms of incivility) are part of our everyday
editing experience (I'm talking about less-known members of the community,
who aren't protected by their established status, not us). Those
differences can't be dealt with anger, but only with level-headed, honest
and just moderation.


On Tue, 4 Feb 2020 at 11:23, Ziko van Dijk <zvand...@gmail.com> wrote:

> In the Strategy discussions, I have experienced and witnessed several times
> that defenders of the "strategy synthesis/recommendations" do not want to
> talk about an issue. They say things like:
>

With experience in projects on this scale, one can understand that not all
questions can be answered. While I wish the working group members would
have engaged more in the discussions (kudos to the few, who did, thank you
for showing an example to follow), it is very de-motivating to read
negative comments written in a matter of minutes, that reject months of
work with the strike of a few buttons, without making any effort to think
about solutions to the problem and realizing how hard (impossible, in fact)
it is to implement solutions that satisfy every individual's every need and
concern.

This is disrespectful to the hard work put into these recommendations and
damaging to the motivation of the volunteers and staff members, who gave
their time out of goodwill and -faith, and takes away from their time and
energy to improve the recommendations. What I find disheartening about this
is that most of the negative comments come from users, who opposed the 2017
Movement Direction
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Direction/Endorsement#Oppose>,
which is the basis for the current recommendations. Although the first name
is especially *not* representative of the "not constructive" comments, I
would hope that who don't understand or share this vision, would express
their "concerns" with less drama, respecting the work of those, who can
imagine a future with a more friendly and diverse editing culture.

Imagine, how helpful it would be if I were to approach users with
authority, to ask them to assume good faith and treat newcomers with
respect. It would cause some discord, which would turn into angry
responses, which would eventually result in my de facto ban. As it did on
enwiki. Fortunately, the consultations are a more civil atmosphere and
there is space for negative comments, to a certain extent.


> * "this feels like défa vu"

* "you are not constructive"
> * "we must look forward, not backward"
> * "we don't want to talk about details now, we leave that for later"
>

I don't know exactly what was implied with "déja vu" and fortunately, I
haven't met the last response, that I strongly disagree with. The concern
about some feedback not being constructive is, however, very valid, that
I've reflected on above. Responses that give alternative solutions,
highlight questions worth focusing on and generally *add* something to the
proposals, can be incorporated into the proposals and many of those were
included in the new iterations. The primary purpose is to incorporate the
feedback and it is understandable, that there's no capacity to respond to
everything and even feedback that found its way into the recommendations,
won't necessarily be answered. That's how projects of this size work.
Obviously, constructive comments will be answered first - that's rewarding
and helpful to the process -, rather than effortless "I don't agree with
this" responses, which is in fact not constructive, but very similar to the
stonewalling
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Status_quo_stonewalling> patterns
that often weigh heavily on discussions in the community.

It is understandable, that every change awakens our basic fear of
unpredictability. The future is unpredictable, what we can do is to give
our best in manifesting every change. Instead of theorizing about what
might be the result of the recommendations. To move forward we need to
explore new possibilities, and if it's not giving the expected results, we
need to move even further, until the desired results are accomplished. The
best result is seldom the first result. We could learn from the success of
SpaceX about how to achieve great things by moving fast, learning from the
mistakes and moving on.

Kind regards
Aron
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