Mailing List Archive

Board Resolution: Openness
Dear community,

on the IRC board meeting at April 8th 2011 the board approved
unanimously the following resolution:



We, the Wikimedia Foundation Board, believe that the continued health of
our project communities is crucial to fulfilling our mission. The
Wikimedia projects are founded in the culture of openness,
participation, and quality that has created one of the world's great
repositories of human knowledge. But while Wikimedia's readers and
supporters are growing around the world, recent studies of editor trends
show a steady decline in the participation and retention of new editors.

As laid out in our five-year Strategic Plan, and emphasized by these
findings, Wikimedia needs to attract and retain more new and diverse
editors, and to retain our experienced editors. A stable editing
community is critical to the long-term sustainability and quality of
both our current Projects and our movement.

We consider meeting this challenge our top priority. We ask all
contributors to think about these issues in your daily work on the
Projects.
We support the Executive Director in making this the top staff priority,
and recommend she increase the allocation of Foundation resources
towards addressing this problem, through community outreach,
amplification of community efforts, and technical improvements.
And we support the developers, editors, wikiprojects and Chapters that
are working to make the projects more accessible, welcoming, and
supportive.

The Board resolves to help move these efforts forward, and invites
specific requests for Foundation assistance to do so. We welcome and
encourage new ideas to help reach our goals of
[[strategy:Openness|openness and broader participation]].

We urge the Wikimedia community to promote openness and collaboration, by:
* Treating new editors with patience, kindness, and respect; being aware
of the challenges facing new editors, and reaching out to them; and
encouraging others to do the same;
* Improving communication on the projects; simplifying policy and
instructions; and working with colleagues to improve and make friendlier
policies and practices regarding templates, warnings, and deletion;
* Supporting the development and rollout of features and tools that
improve usability and accessibility;
* Increasing community awareness of these issues and supporting outreach
efforts of individuals, groups and Chapters;
* Working with colleagues to reduce contention and promote a friendlier,
more collaborative culture, including more thanking and affirmation; and
encouraging best practices and community leaders; and
* Working with colleagues to develop practices to discourage disruptive
and hostile behavior, and repel trolls and stalkers.


;Resources
:
[[strategy:Wikimedia_Movement_Strategic_Plan_Summary|Wikimedia_Movement_Strategic_Plan_Summary]]
: [[strategy:Editor_Trends_Study|2011 Editor Trends Study]]
([[strategy:March_2011_Update|Executive Director's summary]],
[[strategy:Openness|ideas]])


--
Ting Chen
Member of the Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
E-Mail: tchen@wikimedia.org


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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
Hello,

This resolution is a very positive step. I hope we will soon be updated
about practical steps to implement it.

Two such practical steps that are easy to implement and would make a
significant difference, in my opinion:

(1) Administrators' decisions about bans, sanctions etc. should be made
more public. They are, of course, accessible to anyone as a policy of
all projects, but they are often "hidden" in many pages with
non-intuitive titles (for detailed analysis of the problem, see Ayelet
Oz's presentation in Wikimania 2009
http://wikimania2009.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proceedings:149). Had someone
followed the administrators' decisions on the biggest projects, and
publish a monthly newsletter with copies of the most prominent decisions
about bans and sanctions, it would increase transparency and make
administrators much more careful about checking cases and providing
justifications for their actions, especially in what concerns treatment
of new users. It would also give a better picture about disruptive
behaviors of users.

(2) Appealing sanctions should be made much easier. I would even go as
far as opening a special small wiki for such complaints. Reply should be
provided within a limited period of time, and refer specifically to the
new user's arguments. This may sound trivial, but projects often fail to
do so.

Dror K

בתאריך 08/04/11 22:35, ציטוט Ting Chen:
> Dear community,
>
> on the IRC board meeting at April 8th 2011 the board approved
> unanimously the following resolution:
>
>
>
> We, the Wikimedia Foundation Board, believe that the continued health of
> our project communities is crucial to fulfilling our mission. The
> Wikimedia projects are founded in the culture of openness,
> participation, and quality that has created one of the world's great
> repositories of human knowledge. But while Wikimedia's readers and
> supporters are growing around the world, recent studies of editor trends
> show a steady decline in the participation and retention of new editors.
>
> As laid out in our five-year Strategic Plan, and emphasized by these
> findings, Wikimedia needs to attract and retain more new and diverse
> editors, and to retain our experienced editors. A stable editing
> community is critical to the long-term sustainability and quality of
> both our current Projects and our movement.
>
> We consider meeting this challenge our top priority. We ask all
> contributors to think about these issues in your daily work on the
> Projects.
> We support the Executive Director in making this the top staff priority,
> and recommend she increase the allocation of Foundation resources
> towards addressing this problem, through community outreach,
> amplification of community efforts, and technical improvements.
> And we support the developers, editors, wikiprojects and Chapters that
> are working to make the projects more accessible, welcoming, and
> supportive.
>
> The Board resolves to help move these efforts forward, and invites
> specific requests for Foundation assistance to do so. We welcome and
> encourage new ideas to help reach our goals of
> [[strategy:Openness|openness and broader participation]].
>
> We urge the Wikimedia community to promote openness and collaboration, by:
> * Treating new editors with patience, kindness, and respect; being aware
> of the challenges facing new editors, and reaching out to them; and
> encouraging others to do the same;
> * Improving communication on the projects; simplifying policy and
> instructions; and working with colleagues to improve and make friendlier
> policies and practices regarding templates, warnings, and deletion;
> * Supporting the development and rollout of features and tools that
> improve usability and accessibility;
> * Increasing community awareness of these issues and supporting outreach
> efforts of individuals, groups and Chapters;
> * Working with colleagues to reduce contention and promote a friendlier,
> more collaborative culture, including more thanking and affirmation; and
> encouraging best practices and community leaders; and
> * Working with colleagues to develop practices to discourage disruptive
> and hostile behavior, and repel trolls and stalkers.
>
>
> ;Resources
> :
> [[strategy:Wikimedia_Movement_Strategic_Plan_Summary|Wikimedia_Movement_Strategic_Plan_Summary]]
> : [[strategy:Editor_Trends_Study|2011 Editor Trends Study]]
> ([[strategy:March_2011_Update|Executive Director's summary]],
> [[strategy:Openness|ideas]])
>
>

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
While I am all about openness and journalism, I had a recent incident which made me re-think something on these lines.
I had a few years back, started creating an open visible search-indexed index to ArbCom proceedings.
Some editors however edit using their real names, not something I would necessarily recommend if you end up at ArbCom and then a search on your name, get's a top Goog because of an index like mine.

People will common names could simply say it's someone else, but people with rare names like Dror Kamir for example, might have some intrepid employer say, "Oh Gee you were involved in that whole xxxx versus yyyy big controversy in Wikipedia, I don't think your personality would be a good fit here...."

I can see it happening in this connected age, I have done it myself when propositioning a new client, to see what's out there on them. I decided to make my index invisible temporarily while I mull this over more.

Will Johnson










-----Original Message-----
From: Dror Kamir <dqamir@bezeqint.net>
To: foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
Sent: Fri, Apr 8, 2011 1:16 pm
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Board Resolution: Openness


Hello,



This resolution is a very positive step. I hope we will soon be updated

about practical steps to implement it.



Two such practical steps that are easy to implement and would make a

significant difference, in my opinion:



(1) Administrators' decisions about bans, sanctions etc. should be made

more public. They are, of course, accessible to anyone as a policy of

all projects, but they are often "hidden" in many pages with

non-intuitive titles (for detailed analysis of the problem, see Ayelet

Oz's presentation in Wikimania 2009

http://wikimania2009.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proceedings:149). Had someone

followed the administrators' decisions on the biggest projects, and

publish a monthly newsletter with copies of the most prominent decisions

about bans and sanctions, it would increase transparency and make

administrators much more careful about checking cases and providing

justifications for their actions, especially in what concerns treatment

of new users. It would also give a better picture about disruptive

behaviors of users.



(2) Appealing sanctions should be made much easier. I would even go as

far as opening a special small wiki for such complaints. Reply should be

provided within a limited period of time, and refer specifically to the

new user's arguments. This may sound trivial, but projects often fail to

do so.



Dror K



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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
> While I am all about openness and journalism, I had a recent incident
> which made me re-think something on these lines.
> I had a few years back, started creating an open visible search-indexed
> index to ArbCom proceedings.
> Some editors however edit using their real names, not something I would
> necessarily recommend if you end up at ArbCom and then a search on your
> name, get's a top Goog because of an index like mine.
>
> People will common names could simply say it's someone else, but people
> with rare names like Dror Kamir for example, might have some intrepid
> employer say, "Oh Gee you were involved in that whole xxxx versus yyyy
> big controversy in Wikipedia, I don't think your personality would be a
> good fit here...."
>
> I can see it happening in this connected age, I have done it myself when
> propositioning a new client, to see what's out there on them. I decided
> to make my index invisible temporarily while I mull this over more.
>
> Will Johnson

I've noticed that old crap from years ago doesn't show on on your eBay
feedback rating. I appreciate that. And, frankly, if someone is doing
good work on Wikipedia now, who cares about some big blowup years ago?

Fred


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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
Fred Bauder wrote:
>> While I am all about openness and journalism, I had a recent incident
>> which made me re-think something on these lines.
>> I had a few years back, started creating an open visible
>> search-indexed index to ArbCom proceedings.
>> Some editors however edit using their real names, not something I
>> would necessarily recommend if you end up at ArbCom and then a
>> search on your name, get's a top Goog because of an index like mine.
>>
>> People will common names could simply say it's someone else, but
>> people with rare names like Dror Kamir for example, might have some
>> intrepid employer say, "Oh Gee you were involved in that whole
>> xxxx versus yyyy big controversy in Wikipedia, I don't think your
>> personality would be a good fit here...."
>>
>> I can see it happening in this connected age, I have done it myself
>> when propositioning a new client, to see what's out there on them.
>> I decided to make my index invisible temporarily while I mull this
>> over more.
>>
>> Will Johnson
>
> I've noticed that old crap from years ago doesn't show on on your eBay
> feedback rating. I appreciate that. And, frankly, if someone is doing
> good work on Wikipedia now, who cares about some big blowup years ago?
>
> Fred

An excellent point. Someone please let ArbCom know this.

User:Rodhullandemu

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
on 4/8/11 3:35 PM, Ting Chen at tchen@wikimedia.org wrote:

> Dear community,
>
> on the IRC board meeting at April 8th 2011 the board approved
> unanimously the following resolution:
>
>
>
> We, the Wikimedia Foundation Board, believe that the continued health of
> our project communities is crucial to fulfilling our mission. The
> Wikimedia projects are founded in the culture of openness,
> participation, and quality that has created one of the world's great
> repositories of human knowledge. But while Wikimedia's readers and
> supporters are growing around the world, recent studies of editor trends
> show a steady decline in the participation and retention of new editors.
>
> As laid out in our five-year Strategic Plan, and emphasized by these
> findings, Wikimedia needs to attract and retain more new and diverse
> editors, and to retain our experienced editors. A stable editing
> community is critical to the long-term sustainability and quality of
> both our current Projects and our movement.
>
> We consider meeting this challenge our top priority. We ask all
> contributors to think about these issues in your daily work on the
> Projects.
> We support the Executive Director in making this the top staff priority,
> and recommend she increase the allocation of Foundation resources
> towards addressing this problem, through community outreach,
> amplification of community efforts, and technical improvements.
> And we support the developers, editors, wikiprojects and Chapters that
> are working to make the projects more accessible, welcoming, and
> supportive.
>
> The Board resolves to help move these efforts forward, and invites
> specific requests for Foundation assistance to do so. We welcome and
> encourage new ideas to help reach our goals of
> [[strategy:Openness|openness and broader participation]].
>
> We urge the Wikimedia community to promote openness and collaboration, by:
> * Treating new editors with patience, kindness, and respect; being aware
> of the challenges facing new editors, and reaching out to them; and
> encouraging others to do the same;
> * Improving communication on the projects; simplifying policy and
> instructions; and working with colleagues to improve and make friendlier
> policies and practices regarding templates, warnings, and deletion;
> * Supporting the development and rollout of features and tools that
> improve usability and accessibility;
> * Increasing community awareness of these issues and supporting outreach
> efforts of individuals, groups and Chapters;
> * Working with colleagues to reduce contention and promote a friendlier,
> more collaborative culture, including more thanking and affirmation; and
> encouraging best practices and community leaders; and
> * Working with colleagues to develop practices to discourage disruptive
> and hostile behavior, and repel trolls and stalkers.
>
>
> ;Resources
> :
> [[strategy:Wikimedia_Movement_Strategic_Plan_Summary|Wikimedia_Movement_Strate
> gic_Plan_Summary]]
> : [[strategy:Editor_Trends_Study|2011 Editor Trends Study]]
> ([[strategy:March_2011_Update|Executive Director's summary]],
> [[strategy:Openness|ideas]])
>

Thank you, all, for this. This resolution is great news; and a great
commitment of support for the Wikipedia Project, as well as for the
individual Community Members who are at the heart of it.


Marc Riddell, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology/Psychotherapy



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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 5:02 PM, Marc Riddell <michaeldavid86@comcast.net> wrote:
>
> Thank you, all, for this. This resolution is great news; and a great
> commitment of support for the Wikipedia Project, as well as for the
> individual Community Members who are at the heart of it.

That's welcome feedback, Marc. Half of the board meeting in Berlin
two weeks ago was devoted to discussing ways to better help the
community and contributors; this point was important enough to have a
separate meeting about it today.

There is now a page on the strategy wiki to summarize and link to
related proposals and essays. Please feel free to add to it:

http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Openness_and_Participation

Sam.

PS - I would like to give props to the Audit Committee, which does
great and sometimes less visible work -- they compile an annual risks
assessment, which thoughtfully addresses things far outside the realm
of financial risk. "Declining participation" was the top risk in late
2009, and helped drive related strategic research and discussion.
Thanks to that group for helping to focus attention on this.
(http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Top_risks_2009)

--
Samuel Klein          identi.ca:sj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
2011/4/8 Dror Kamir <dqamir@bezeqint.net>:
> Had someone
> followed the administrators' decisions on the biggest projects, and
> publish a monthly newsletter with copies of the most prominent decisions
> about bans and sanctions, it would increase transparency and make
> administrators much more careful about checking cases and providing
> justifications for their actions, especially in what concerns treatment
> of new users. It would also give a better picture about disruptive
> behaviors of users.

The Wikimedia Signpost, the English Wikipedia's de-facto newspaper,
publishes something like this in every issue. AFAIK it's published by
volunteers and i salute their perseverance. Every Wikipedia edition
can do this with a little motivation and persistence.

--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
"We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
Thanks for this input, it seems like the right direction, but it is not
enough. Administrators' decisions should be followed much more closely
in order to prevent misuse of administrative power. It is crucial that
people who are not too involved themselves in the projects would do it.
Collecting information from open pages and summarizing it in a way that
would make it accessible to the general public is very much in line with
the "non-intervention" policy taken vis-à-vis the projects. That's my
idea for the Foundation or anyone else in the Wikimedia movement who is
looking for ways to make the projects more welcoming.

Dror K

בתאריך 09/04/11 10:43, ציטוט Amir E. Aharoni:
> 2011/4/8 Dror Kamir<dqamir@bezeqint.net>:
>> Had someone
>> followed the administrators' decisions on the biggest projects, and
>> publish a monthly newsletter with copies of the most prominent decisions
>> about bans and sanctions, it would increase transparency and make
>> administrators much more careful about checking cases and providing
>> justifications for their actions, especially in what concerns treatment
>> of new users. It would also give a better picture about disruptive
>> behaviors of users.
> The Wikimedia Signpost, the English Wikipedia's de-facto newspaper,
> publishes something like this in every issue. AFAIK it's published by
> volunteers and i salute their perseverance. Every Wikipedia edition
> can do this with a little motivation and persistence.
>
> --
> Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
> http://aharoni.wordpress.com
> "We're living in pieces,
> I want to live in peace." - T. Moore
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
On 04/08/2011 10:16 PM, Dror Kamir wrote:
> This resolution is a very positive step. I hope we will soon be updated
> about practical steps to implement it.
>
> Two such practical steps that are easy to implement and would make a
> significant difference, in my opinion:
>
> (1) Administrators' decisions about bans, sanctions etc. should be made
> more public. They are, of course, accessible to anyone as a policy of
> all projects, but they are often "hidden" in many pages with
> non-intuitive titles (for detailed analysis of the problem, see Ayelet
> Oz's presentation in Wikimania 2009
> http://wikimania2009.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proceedings:149). Had someone
> followed the administrators' decisions on the biggest projects, and
> publish a monthly newsletter with copies of the most prominent decisions
> about bans and sanctions, it would increase transparency and make
> administrators much more careful about checking cases and providing
> justifications for their actions, especially in what concerns treatment
> of new users. It would also give a better picture about disruptive
> behaviors of users.
>
> (2) Appealing sanctions should be made much easier. I would even go as
> far as opening a special small wiki for such complaints. Reply should be
> provided within a limited period of time, and refer specifically to the
> new user's arguments. This may sound trivial, but projects often fail to
> do so.

Besides that, there should be limits on sanctions. For example, I think
that we should limit all non-spam as well as some troll-like behavior
blocks to, let's say, two years.

All civilized places on Earth have restrictions on punishment system if
it is about minor offenses. And our system is dealing with minor
offenses, as all major offenses should be handled by judicial systems.

And that's Board's job, too.

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 06:46, Milos Rancic <millosh@gmail.com> wrote:
> Besides that, there should be limits on sanctions. For example, I think
> that we should limit all non-spam as well as some troll-like behavior
> blocks to, let's say, two years.

There's a bit of a contradiction here, Milos. If we want to attract
new editors and keep existing ones, the way to do that is to reduce
the trolling and disruption, not welcome back people who've caused it.
The trolling and general silliness is (anecdotally) one of the main
reasons established editors have been leaving, and it must be
incredibly off-putting to new people too.

Sarah

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
About the foundation openness,
I wanted to write a comment on the foundation page, but it was not open.
So I wrote my comment on SJ talk page,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sj#Openness

Here is what I have to say about wikipedia and openness :
;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

HI, I wanted to comment on
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Talk:Resolution:Openness

I have lost interest in wasting my time on wikipedia after being harassed by
WhiteWriter and his friends while editing articles related to kosovo. The
serbs are stalking and harassing anyone who even wants to add simple facts
and make life difficult for anyone. It is a real pain. I hope that you will
get them under control some day, they are really messing wikipedia up.
thanks, mike James Michael DuPont<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mdupont>(
talk <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Mdupont>) 21:54, 8 April 2011

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Mike
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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
> On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 06:46, Milos Rancic <millosh@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Besides that, there should be limits on sanctions. For example, I think
>> that we should limit all non-spam as well as some troll-like behavior
>> blocks to, let's say, two years.
>
> There's a bit of a contradiction here, Milos. If we want to attract
> new editors and keep existing ones, the way to do that is to reduce
> the trolling and disruption, not welcome back people who've caused it.
> The trolling and general silliness is (anecdotally) one of the main
> reasons established editors have been leaving, and it must be
> incredibly off-putting to new people too.
>
> Sarah

We need to do both things at once: near-zero tolerance AND ready, indeed,
near automatic, coded, forgiveness.

And, of course, that should not apply to people who cause serious
problems, or their facilitators.

Fred


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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
> About the foundation openness,
> I wanted to write a comment on the foundation page, but it was not open.
> So I wrote my comment on SJ talk page,
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sj#Openness
>
> Here is what I have to say about wikipedia and openness :
> ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
>
> HI, I wanted to comment on
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Talk:Resolution:Openness
>
> I have lost interest in wasting my time on wikipedia after being harassed
> by
> WhiteWriter and his friends while editing articles related to kosovo. The
> serbs are stalking and harassing anyone who even wants to add simple
> facts
> and make life difficult for anyone. It is a real pain. I hope that you
> will
> get them under control some day, they are really messing wikipedia up.
> thanks, mike James Michael
> DuPont<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mdupont>(
> talk <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Mdupont>) 21:54, 8 April
> 2011
>
> ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
>
> Mike

Was there an arbitration case? Or other dispute resolution events? If so,
could you share your reactions to the fairness and comprehensiveness of
what happened? Please give us some links...

Fred


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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
I cannot comment on the case of Kosovo, because I have no information
about this case (as far as Wikipedia is concerned, that is), however,
phenomena which resemble this description are very common in articles
about conflicts, especially the Middle East conflict. There are groups
of editors whose aim is watching an article so it would represent their
political view, and these groups often file complaints about editors who
try to edit the certain article in a different way, in order to have
them blocked or the article put under special protection. The current
administrative system of Wikipedia cannot handle these phenomena.
Various attempts were made in order to handle this problem, but
unfortunately, they just added damage rather than ease the problem. I
can understand why Wikimedians with influence are reluctant to deal with
problems related to politics. The Wikimedia projects are not political,
and any decision about this kind of issues might be perceived as
political decision. And yet, the problem is there and it grows and it
cannot be avoided forever.

Dror K

בתאריך 09/04/11 20:09, ציטוט Mike Dupont:
> About the foundation openness,
> I wanted to write a comment on the foundation page, but it was not open.
> So I wrote my comment on SJ talk page,
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sj#Openness
>
> Here is what I have to say about wikipedia and openness :
> ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
>
> HI, I wanted to comment on
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Talk:Resolution:Openness
>
> I have lost interest in wasting my time on wikipedia after being harassed by
> WhiteWriter and his friends while editing articles related to kosovo. The
> serbs are stalking and harassing anyone who even wants to add simple facts
> and make life difficult for anyone. It is a real pain. I hope that you will
> get them under control some day, they are really messing wikipedia up.
> thanks, mike James Michael DuPont<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mdupont>(
> talk<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Mdupont>) 21:54, 8 April 2011
>
> ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
>
> Mike
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
> I cannot comment on the case of Kosovo, because I have no information
> about this case (as far as Wikipedia is concerned, that is), however,
> phenomena which resemble this description are very common in articles
> about conflicts, especially the Middle East conflict. There are groups
> of editors whose aim is watching an article so it would represent their
> political view, and these groups often file complaints about editors who
> try to edit the certain article in a different way, in order to have
> them blocked or the article put under special protection. The current
> administrative system of Wikipedia cannot handle these phenomena.
> Various attempts were made in order to handle this problem, but
> unfortunately, they just added damage rather than ease the problem. I
> can understand why Wikimedians with influence are reluctant to deal with
> problems related to politics. The Wikimedia projects are not political,
> and any decision about this kind of issues might be perceived as
> political decision. And yet, the problem is there and it grows and it
> cannot be avoided forever.
>
> Dror K

This seems to have happened at the article "Astrology" where the
astrology advocates were suckered by the skeptics into an edit war over
astrology being characterized as "pseudoscience". The POV editors even
cite my words to justify their nonsense, see the top of Talk:Astrology

What I say now counts for nothing of course.

Fred


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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
Fred, arbitration doesn't help in such cases. The arbitrators are not in
a position to make editorial decisions. All they can do is tell the
parties to control themselves, reiterate the principle of NPOV and
decide upon further sanctions, which usually just add fuel to the fire.
That's exactly what I was talking about in my previous message.
Furthermore, the arbitrations are often conducted like a trial, and
anyone who is not too acquainted with the legal language and procedures
gets lost there.

As for sanctions against disruptors - Clearly, a person who deletes
paragraphs or adds f-words is a vandal that should be blocked. The
problem is, that most blocked editors are not like that. Wikipedia used
to have too major rules that are totally ignored today, namely _assume
good faith_ and _ignore all rules_. The former rule means that any user
has the right to be considered as a good person who came to enrich
Wikipedia unless clearly proved otherwise. In most cases today,
administrators assume that users (particularly new users) came to make
disruptions unless proven otherwise. The latter rule means that
Wikipedia is not about technicalities. If your actions are against the
rules but derive from a sincere intention to improve Wikipedia, than you
should not be considered a disruptor. Today, for example, a violation of
the 3-revert rule is considered a justification for a ban, even if the
user had a good reason to violate the rule. Even in the most harsh legal
systems people are not always punished for breaking the law, because
circumstances are also taken into account. It is quite awkward that
Wikipedia, that started with the "ignore all rules" principle, has
become even harsher with regards to users' violations of rules.

Dror K


בתאריך 09/04/11 21:47, ציטוט Fred Bauder:

>> About the foundation openness,
>> I wanted to write a comment on the foundation page, but it was not open.
>> So I wrote my comment on SJ talk page,
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Sj#Openness
>>
>> Here is what I have to say about wikipedia and openness :
>> ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
>>
>> HI, I wanted to comment on
>> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Talk:Resolution:Openness
>>
>> I have lost interest in wasting my time on wikipedia after being harassed
>> by
>> WhiteWriter and his friends while editing articles related to kosovo. The
>> serbs are stalking and harassing anyone who even wants to add simple
>> facts
>> and make life difficult for anyone. It is a real pain. I hope that you
>> will
>> get them under control some day, they are really messing wikipedia up.
>> thanks, mike James Michael
>> DuPont<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mdupont>(
>> talk<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Mdupont>) 21:54, 8 April
>> 2011
>>
>> ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
>>
>> Mike
> Was there an arbitration case? Or other dispute resolution events? If so,
> could you share your reactions to the fairness and comprehensiveness of
> what happened? Please give us some links...
>
> Fred
>
>
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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
> Fred, arbitration doesn't help in such cases. The arbitrators are not in
> a position to make editorial decisions. All they can do is tell the
> parties to control themselves, reiterate the principle of NPOV and
> decide upon further sanctions, which usually just add fuel to the fire.
> That's exactly what I was talking about in my previous message.
> Furthermore, the arbitrations are often conducted like a trial, and
> anyone who is not too acquainted with the legal language and procedures
> gets lost there.
>
> As for sanctions against disruptors - Clearly, a person who deletes
> paragraphs or adds f-words is a vandal that should be blocked. The
> problem is, that most blocked editors are not like that. Wikipedia used
> to have too major rules that are totally ignored today, namely _assume
> good faith_ and _ignore all rules_. The former rule means that any user
> has the right to be considered as a good person who came to enrich
> Wikipedia unless clearly proved otherwise. In most cases today,
> administrators assume that users (particularly new users) came to make
> disruptions unless proven otherwise. The latter rule means that
> Wikipedia is not about technicalities. If your actions are against the
> rules but derive from a sincere intention to improve Wikipedia, than you
> should not be considered a disruptor. Today, for example, a violation of
> the 3-revert rule is considered a justification for a ban, even if the
> user had a good reason to violate the rule. Even in the most harsh legal
> systems people are not always punished for breaking the law, because
> circumstances are also taken into account. It is quite awkward that
> Wikipedia, that started with the "ignore all rules" principle, has
> become even harsher with regards to users' violations of rules.
>
> Dror K

That's what we're talking about...

Fred


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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
Are there people who would like to help me collect such cases like those
of Astrology, Kosovo, the Middle East etc. and/or cases that were sent
to arbitration which didn't help much and the like, and productively
analyze them in order to think of better ways to treat them and the
users involve? I am going to talk about the issue on Wikimania 2011 (in
Haifa), but there is no reason to wait. I believe that this is one of
the major reason why potential users are reluctant to join and new users
are driven out.

Dror K

בתאריך 10/04/11 00:59, ציטוט Fred Bauder:
>> Even in the most harsh legal
>> systems people are not always punished for breaking the law, because
>> circumstances are also taken into account. It is quite awkward that
>> Wikipedia, that started with the "ignore all rules" principle, has
>> become even harsher with regards to users' violations of rules.
>>
>> Dror K
> That's what we're talking about...
>
> Fred
>
>
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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
Getting back on topic, the board's resolution says:


We urge the Wikimedia community to promote openness and collaboration, by:
* Treating new editors with patience, kindness, and respect; being aware
of the challenges facing new editors, and reaching out to them; and
encouraging others to do the same;
* Improving communication on the projects; simplifying policy and
instructions; and working with colleagues to improve and make friendlier
policies and practices regarding templates, warnings, and deletion;
* Supporting the development and rollout of features and tools that
improve usability and accessibility;
* Increasing community awareness of these issues and supporting outreach
efforts of individuals, groups and Chapters;
* Working with colleagues to reduce contention and promote a friendlier,
more collaborative culture, including more thanking and affirmation; and
encouraging best practices and community leaders; and
* Working with colleagues to develop practices to discourage disruptive
and hostile behavior, and repel trolls and stalkers.



This is an area where every project is going to have its own take on things,
and we can probably learn from each other's experience; however, what
information there is seems to be housed on the strategy wiki, which many
users avoid because it's not part of the WMF matrix (i.e., SUL doesn't
apply). With that in mind, I wonder if there can be a place where projects
discuss what has helped and not helped, located somewhere on Meta.

Coming from the behemoth English Wikipedia, where I make most of my
contributions, I know that communication becomes increasingly difficult as
size increases, and that there is a tendency to "standardize" messages and
processes to the point that they begin to immobilize sensible action.

I'm particularly interested in policy simplification; I know our project has
far, far too many complex and even contradictory policies, guidelines, and
miscellaneous pages that result in "alphabet soup" messages that even
experienced users find almost impenetrable. I pity the newbie who gets a
"welcome" message that leads them to the Manual of Style, for example.
Featured article writers "discuss" what it really means on a regular basis,
so there's little hope an inexperienced editor will be able to follow the
contradictions in it.

A few thoughts to bring us back where we started.

Risker/Anne
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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
On Sun, Apr 10, 2011 at 1:03 PM, Dror Kamir <dqamir@bezeqint.net> wrote:
> Are there people who would like to help me collect such cases like those
> of Astrology, Kosovo, the Middle East etc. and/or cases that were sent
> to arbitration which didn't help much and the like, and productively
> analyze them in order to think of better ways to treat them and the
> users involve? I am going to talk about the issue on Wikimania 2011 (in
> Haifa), but there is no reason to wait. I believe that this is one of
> the major reason why potential users are reluctant to join and new users
> are driven out.

I don't mean to minimise the importance of keeping our established
users happy and free from harassment, but I want to caution against
the biases that we will undoubtedly have in considering our focus.

Anecdotally, we tend to hear a lot more about established users
picking up and leaving, because these are our friends — we work with
them, chat with them on IRC, and whatever else. But for every story we
hear about an established user leaving because of harassment, there
are ten new-ish users who encounter the same hostile environment and
stop editing without all the pomp and ceremony that necessarily
accompanies the departure of a popular or well-known member of the
community.

So let's make sure we deal with the factors that make our overall
editing environment conducive to hostile conduct. I don't want to see
us fall into the trap of thinking only about long-term established
users who are harassed in the long term, rather than the newer users
who don't get a chance to be harassed in the long term because they
pick up and leave straight away.

--
Andrew Garrett
http://werdn.us/

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 11:20 PM, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
> This is an area where every project is going to have its own take on things,
> and we can probably learn from each other's experience; however, what
> information there is seems to be housed on the strategy wiki, which many
> users avoid because it's not part of the WMF matrix (i.e., SUL doesn't
> apply).  With that in mind, I wonder if there can be a place where projects
> discuss what has helped and not helped, located somewhere on Meta.

Since when does SUL not apply on strategywiki?

--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
> Are there people who would like to help me collect such cases like those
> of Astrology, Kosovo, the Middle East etc. and/or cases that were sent
> to arbitration which didn't help much and the like, and productively
> analyze them in order to think of better ways to treat them and the
> users involve? I am going to talk about the issue on Wikimania 2011 (in
> Haifa), but there is no reason to wait. I believe that this is one of
> the major reason why potential users are reluctant to join and new users
> are driven out.
>
> Dror K

What I remember about the worst of these, perhaps the eastern Europe and
Balkans, the Armenia-Azerbaijan cases, Pakistan-India, was that it was
hideously difficult to sort out all the different editors, many socking,
and really do justice in each individual editor's case. That resulted in
blanket remedies where the article, or even the whole geographical area
was put on "probation". This gives administrators considerable power and
discretion. This was part of a movement empowering administrators, based
essentially on the realization that careful consideration of each detail
by a small central group was so difficult as to be impossible. The hope
was that the administrators would grown into the enlarged responsibility.

I have a feeling that thinking of "better ways to treat them" may be
quite difficult. Aggressive edit warring drives people away, but often
the people being driven away have point of view agendas of their own,
they are just not knowledgeable enough about Wikipedia techniques to get
away with it. Right there I think there might be some progress
made...cutting some slack for new editors who engage in naive point of
view editing. From my experience, I doubt the other side of that
equation, griefing experienced editors who aggressively bully is very
practical.

Fred

>
> בתאריך 10/04/11 00:59, ציטוט Fred Bauder:
>>> Even in the most harsh legal
>>> systems people are not always punished for breaking the law, because
>>> circumstances are also taken into account. It is quite awkward that
>>> Wikipedia, that started with the "ignore all rules" principle, has
>>> become even harsher with regards to users' violations of rules.
>>>
>>> Dror K
>> That's what we're talking about...
>>
>> Fred
>>
>>
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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
On 9 April 2011 23:39, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>
> On 9 April 2011 23:27, Casey Brown <lists@caseybrown.org> wrote:
>
>> On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 11:20 PM, Risker <risker.wp@gmail.com> wrote:
>> > This is an area where every project is going to have its own take on
>> things,
>> > and we can probably learn from each other's experience; however, what
>> > information there is seems to be housed on the strategy wiki, which many
>> > users avoid because it's not part of the WMF matrix (i.e., SUL doesn't
>> > apply). With that in mind, I wonder if there can be a place where
>> projects
>> > discuss what has helped and not helped, located somewhere on Meta.
>>
>> Since when does SUL not apply on strategywiki?
>>
>>
> As far as I know, since always, Casey. One must log in separately there;
> going from another WMF project, one's login doesn't follow. One of the main
> reasons for the creation of SUL was so users could go from WMF project to
> project without having to log in again; partly for ease of use, but also
> because there are an awful lot of editors who don't want to link their
> usernames to their IP addresses, even accidentally. Especially now that most
> experienced users take SUL for granted, it's a barrier to participation when
> a link to a WMF project seeking broad participation requires editors to log
> in again, and hope that someone else hasn't created an account with their
> username first.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
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Re: Board Resolution: Openness [ In reply to ]
On Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 21:37, Fred Bauder <fredbaud@fairpoint.net> wrote:
> I have a feeling that thinking of "better ways to treat them" may be
> quite difficult.

I fear the Foundation is making a mistake by focusing on quantity, not
quality. The last 10 years has seen the creation of a very experienced
editor and admin base. It's still not large (speaking now of the
English Wikipedia), but jointly it has a huge amount of really
valuable experience -- in writing, research, sourcing, achieving
neutrality, negotiating, compromising, managing crowds -- that
companies around the world would give their eye teeth to secure for
free. And yet we see so little focus on how to stop those volunteers
from leaving.

My own view is that if we focus on quality, new editors will continue
to arrive, because they'll see this as something worth being part of.

Sarah

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