Dear Yair Rand (saying this honestly not as a form), with all respect to
your much engaged and always informative contributions on many topics (from
which I learned so much), I would have to respond this time with some extra
positions you and others might want to consider as inline comments and
observations from 'other' angles...

On Mon, Sep 19, 2022 at 2:26 AM Yair Rand <> wrote:

> Without having looked into the actual substance of whatever dispute is
> going on among frwiki and LSP, I want to put forward some good general
> principles:

I think it is generous of you to invest time in proposing these principles,
but I would rather see it as a separate thread and maybe on Meta then here
where focus is a very personal case in a very specific context. I will try
to explain why and hope you can assume good faith as I do for yours.

I fear that by generalizing it almost immediately but not indicating it as
an Meta RfC you do not help advance either direction as much as I think you
This is a very dangerous but an established pattern for Wikimedians. It
kind of maintains the status quo, while each old-school contributor feels
they can pat themselves on their shoulders, as if something is done, while
actually it is stalled, derailed or even suspended indefinatly.*

> * The individual hiring and firing decisions of our organizations should
> be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the entities assigned those
> responsibilities. Public community pressure should not be able to get
> someone fired or hired, or prevent any particular hiring or firing
> decision. A public protest against someone's hiring is unproductive and
> damages the collaborative environment.

This sounds overly generic and somewhat naive... if we would live in a
world of uniformed abstraction and absolute values, sure easy to agree. We
do not.
The Environment is not by the norm collaborative, but participatory, so all
the coordination and collaboration is extra that needs focused and constant
(intelectual, social and emotional) labor, that is unlike the technical
MediaWiki tool a far less obvious component.

> * Responding to a community's attitude by sending out a monodirectional
> communication, organized off-wiki and listing supporters' affiliate
> positions, is basically the most conflict-oriented way possible to approach
> this.

I hear what you say and I can empathise with efforts to diffuse conflicts
but I can not agree with this in content or form.
Firstly I would hope Wikimedians stop assuming a singular community. In the
Wikimedia ecosystem of super diverse individuals with different levels of
anonymity, visibility, vulnerability and also social, cultural, political,
material capital, we are at best coordinated and synchronized communities
and formal entities with shared goals, but neither our positions, means,
motivations or methods are shared. Maybe there was a historical moment
where proximity and difference was smaller and one could stretch it to call
all things Wikimedia a single community, but after 20 years this feels a
bit like celebratory PR, that is counter-productive to accepting more
complex relational realities.
Assuming that one model of organizing and doing communication work off wiki
is somehow less authentic I fear is part of that logic.
Not everything was/is/would be done on Wikis for the assumed 'credibility'
and 'peace'...this is just not an option for many who are less privileged.

How an affiliate manages their individual hires is the affiliate's
> business. HR activities are complicated, and do not need to be handled in
> the public sphere. If an affiliate wants to hire whoever, the community
> doesn't get to veto it.

I fully agree with this.

> How a community reacts to an affiliate's actions is their own business.
> Affiliates do not get a say in local community affairs.

If both are in relatively 'healthy' dynamics I would also easily agree.
Sometimes they are not.

> A usergroup's or chapter's collective opinion is completely irrelevant in
> a community dialogue.

I would love for you to be explicit about what You assume a community is
and where one can set up markers of its borders.
Also how starting multiple points on wiki targeting a single person is
potentially fitting in your vision of a _dialogue_?
(I am sorry if this sounds like conflicting, I would have invited you for
an over the drink discussion if we were closer)

> If the community wants to ban someone, or even the entire membership of a
> group, they can do that, and affiliates don't get to veto it.
> (Seriously: It doesn't matter if you're the WMF's Board Chair, the CEO, or
> whatever, you don't get an extra vote in an RfC.)

Sure, but was this an RfC? Was this a vote related situation? How does this
even start to relate to targeted individual?

> (It should go without saying that hostile/uncivil behaviour, harassment,
> and accusations of bad faith are not acceptable.)
> Everyone, please stay in your lane. This is like the only place on
> Wikimedia where we clearly even _have_ obvious distinct lanes, it should be
> manageable.

I am super curious to hear how this is exactly manageable?
By giving all the space and freedom to frontally, wrongly and preemptively
accuse Nat to all the anonymous individuals + their right wing press
supporters space, while sitting on our hands and 'acting' some kind of
privileged vision of civility and righteous abstract (but non-existent)

I hope we can at least agree that these are separate discussion topics.
Maybe we should not assume we are in the same position and the same methods
are equally productive for all.

> -- Yair Rand

Best wishes and thank you for your contributions - Z. Blace

* I myself fell into a crack of bad+dysfunctional wikimedia-stewards system
last year year for 2 months and was aware of this
systemic(no)fixing(no)work by Wikimedians as a kind of second nature of
turning the blind eye from non-productive work (edit 'collaboratively',
support individuals 'exceptionally'). If it was not for a handful of
prominent people like (Denny, Philip, Richard...and among few Nat) that
kept me sane and above water and still around *(against any logic of sane
burnout self-care)... Meanwhile the system of support for individuals does
not exist and the WIKIMEDIA systems that exist are still too often broken
or in many places with cracks, packed with people who had bad, terrible or
traumatic experiences.
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