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[Wikimedia-l] Announcing staff changes at the WMF
I have just noticed that Damon Sicore's account has been removed from
the Foundation wiki[1] and that his global account has just been
locked on Meta[2].

However, Damon is still marked as the Vice-President of Engineering at
the Foundation's staff page at the time of this writing[3], which
makes the situation a little bit confusing.

I am not aware if the Foundation has any severance policy in place,
but it appears quite concerning that an employee's accounts are being
removed and blocked before any formal announcement are made, which can
only result in needless speculation.

Could someone at the Foundation please clarify Damon's position at the
Foundation at this time?

Thanks!

== References ==
* [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:Log/block
* [2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Damon_Sicore_%28WMF%29
* [3] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Staff_and_contractors

--
Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing staff changes at the WMF [ In reply to ]
On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 9:01 AM, Tomasz W. Kozłowski <twkozlowski@gmail.com>
wrote:

> I have just noticed that Damon Sicore's account has been removed from
> the Foundation wiki[1] and that his global account has just been
> locked on Meta[2].
>
>

Hi Tomasz,

We adjust the rights of, or access to, staff accounts for many different
reasons. For example, last weekend, we temporarily removed the rights from
another staff member because they were in a country where having those
permissions could have been sensitive. Sometimes we can’t disclose reasons
prior to taking an action, or discuss them immediately. Although we aim for
full transparency, occasionally there are factors in place that mean we
can’t be as transparent as we'd like in the moment. Thanks for
understanding.

James



James Alexander
Community Advocacy
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing staff changes at the WMF [ In reply to ]
> On Jun 18, 2015, at 11:55 AM, James Alexander <jalexander@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
> On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 9:01 AM, Tomasz W. Kozłowski <twkozlowski@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> I have just noticed that Damon Sicore's account has been removed from
>> the Foundation wiki[1] and that his global account has just been
>> locked on Meta[2].
>>
>>
>
> Hi Tomasz,
>
> We adjust the rights of, or access to, staff accounts for many different
> reasons. For example, last weekend, we temporarily removed the rights from
> another staff member because they were in a country where having those
> permissions could have been sensitive. Sometimes we can’t disclose reasons
> prior to taking an action, or discuss them immediately. Although we aim for
> full transparency, occasionally there are factors in place that mean we
> can’t be as transparent as we'd like in the moment. Thanks for
> understanding.

Not to be "that guy" or anything, but there are no special rights associated with foundationwiki that exist outside of that wiki, and yet his account was locked there (there aren't any sekrit bits of data there, either).

Were his rights to officewiki removed as well?


---
Brandon Harris :: bharris@gaijin.com :: made of steel wool and whiskey
Re: [Wikimedia-l] Announcing staff changes at the WMF [ In reply to ]
TL;DR - This is clearly a private personnel matter, but why is the WMF
being needlessly secretive about its own official statement?

I became aware that this account had been locked too. And was,
naturally enough, very curious what it meant. Although this statement
above by James is diplomatically vague, it is clear that this
particular lock is an extraordinary action due to the severity of the
locks in place. Damon’s log states:

“…with an expiry time of indefinite (account creation disabled,
autoblock disabled, email disabled, cannot edit own talk page) (edit
summary removed)"

This is quite different and significantly more stringent than the
standard log when an employee leaves, which always states:

“…with an expiry time of indefinite (autoblock disabled) (No longer
employed with WMF)”

I note that ALL logs on this page are for when employees leave the
foundation and their account is permanently locked, or, an old
employee is rehired and their account is re-activated. None of these
are designed as temporary actions.
See: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:Log/block

So, being curious about this, I asked several WMF employees about it.
They have all *verbally* told me precisely - to the word - the same
thing:
“Damon is on two weeks leave.”

It is likely that all staff of the WMF have received this official
statement, and none but the executives know anything more. Clearly,
this is a very significant event that requires an extraordinary degree
of care and privacy in handling. This is obviously an
employment-related matter, and that comes with serious considerations
about handling it delicately. I strongly respect that.

HOWEVER, this is what I find really really weird…
The statement “Damon is on two weeks leave” is the official statement
that all staff have been told, and this is what they were instructed
to tell the community if anyone asks. So, when I asked some foundation
employees, this is precisely what they told me. BUT, here’s the
strange part, no foundation employee is allowed to write the phrase
“Damon is on two weeks leave” down in words. It is the official
statement of the WMF, and a statement that has been instructed to be
shared with the community if they ask, but only by audio, not text.
So… as a non-WMF employee who has asked WMF-employees for info, and
have received the official response, I am sharing the official
response here in writing because they are not allowed to: Damon is on
two weeks leave.

Like I said above, I am not interested in prying into a matter that is
obviously private and sensitive and should remain that way. What I AM
interested to know is: on what legal/policy/risk-assessment/rule basis
are WMF staff not allowed to put in writing the WMF’s own official
statement?

- Liam / Wittylama

wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata

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