Hi all,

I've received an enquiry regarding the below email when I mentioned that I
consulted with a WMF staffer about the action taken on the mailing list. As
how this sentence has been interpreted and was hoped to be interpreted are
different, I wish to clarify.

I asked the staffer after this thread started) whether myself and Charles,
as list admins, were within our rights as list admins to remove people from
the list, and was advised that unless we have rules to the contrary, we
were. I also asked if this seemed to be an abuse of power, and advised that
while it is ideal we have someone independent to action such requests, what
we did was not an abuse of power.

This is what "no issues" meant. I did not mean to imply that the specific
action was signed off on by the staffer before implementation, but that
they did not see a breach of process or an abuse of power in our approach.

As you all know, David Gerard is now the list admin, and the list we been
re-titled as "Australian Wikimedians mailing list" (before it was
"Wikimedia Australia mailing list" or something along those lines which
implied it was more a public list for the chapter, rather than being for
general discussion about the Wikimedia movement in Australia.


On 16/03/2014 6:52 pm, "Steven Zhang" <steven.zh...@wikimedia.org.au> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Just to confirm, this was a deliberate removal and not a technical error.
> Two brief points here:
> 1. This was not a unilateral action that I took - it was a discussion that
> the committee had in its January meeting, and decided on as a whole, in
> addition to being a decision that was made between another list
> administrator and myself. WMF staff have also been consulted and had no
> issues with the action taken.
> 2. We welcome discussion about the organisation, and having differing
> opinions is perfectly fine, but actively disrupting the list is against
> both the rules and spirit of the list, and always has been. The former
> member concerned has engaged in repeated personal attacks on a number of
> individuals, and it had reached a point where we were receiving complaints
> from members, along with other members resigning from the organisation due
> to the conduct on the mailing list.
> This list amongst other things is intended for use as a method for
> Australian community members (including but not limited to Wikimedia
> Australia members) to collaborate and communicate. In practice most of that
> has been regarding activities of the chapter. In order for it to be used
> for those purposes, it needs to be a safe and constructive space. Admin
> action was taken only to ensure that this continued to be the case.
> As always, the committee encourages feedback and input wherever possible
> if it can be of benefit to the organisation, and if you as members have any
> questions or concerns we encourage you to discuss them with us. As an
> organisation over the past few years we have too often engaged in conflict
> with each other rather than work with each other, and it's something that
> we as a committee hope to change.
> Regards,
> --
> Steven Zhang
> President - Wikimedia Australia
> steven.zh...@wikimedia.org.au
> On 16 March 2014 18:45, John Mark Vandenberg <jay...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, Mar 16, 2014 at 1:53 PM, Sam Wilson <s...@samwilson.id.au> wrote:
>> > Yeah, Hanlon's razor perhaps should be remembered here! :-) Not that I
>> mean
>> > to imply any incompetence on the part of the list administrators, but I
>> do
>> > imagine that it's more likely that someone's made a mistake here and is
>> not
>> > being actively mean.
>> Unfortunately Tony's allegations are spot on.
>> For background, Nathan Carter handed over the list admin to me in
>> January 2013 when he needed to shift his load around.  I added Charles
>> Gregory as list admin in October 2013.  Without consultation with me,
>> Steven Zhang was added as list admin.  I dont know when.  Charles, did
>> you add Steven as list admin, or was the WMF involved in that?
>> I've quickly spoken with Steven about Tony being put on the kill list,
>> and received confirmation both him and from Charles.  They acted as a
>> majority of list admins, without informing me, but with approval from
>> the Wikimedia Australia committee and after discussion with a
>> Wikimedia Foundation staff member.  It seems it happened in January,
>> in response to the emails Tony sent to the list in that month:
>> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaau-l/2014-January/003979.html
>> Steven Zhang was the person responsible for performing the kill list
>> addition.
>> I dont think that Tony's emails warranted this type of response.
>> Putting a respected member of our community on a kill list will
>> neither be particularly successful at silencing criticism, nor is the
>> kill list the appropriate tool - moderation would have been the tool
>> to use if Tony was being disruptive, and direct private discussion
>> between Tony and moderators didn't result in a better path forward.
>> Typically the kill list is used for spammers and people who are banned
>> from Wikimedia projects and are being disruptive on the mailing lists.
>>  That does not apply to Tony.
>> It is rude to take these types of moderator actions without informing
>> the person involved, and informing other list admins even after the
>> fact if the action needed to be taken quickly to maintain decorum on
>> the list.
>> Steven and Charles are a bit vague on the details of how this
>> happened, so it is possible that not everyone who was consulted did
>> actually agree to Tony being put on a kill list, and I hope most of
>> them had envisaged that it was going to be implemented with with
>> utmost care for a volunteer that they strive to serve and support.  I
>> hope the WMAU committee will give a more detailed explanation of their
>> involvement in this.  To everyone who did knowingly agree to Tony
>> being put on a kill list: whether for incompetence, bad communication,
>> or some other excuse - I dont care why - you _should_ be ashamed of
>> yourselves.
>> This is a good time to have someone else, outside of the current
>> committee, step up to be list admin again so that this list does not
>> become effectively controlled by Wikimedia Australia, as we've now
>> seen the organisation will stoop to censorship of this list.
>> --
>> John Vandenberg
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