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Sad news

Romaine Wiki-2
Dear all,

Right now I am feeling much hurt after a conversation I just had.

What has happened?
- People say I have been talking to loud, however I do not know where that was, but for those who complained about that: I am very sorry, not my intention. Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself much less, as well as I have periodically tinnitus.
I would appreciate it very much if anyone who notices I speak to loud, to tell me, I do not want to disturb or invasive or ...

- People have said that with some people I have been standing to close to them or I may have touched a shoulder. I am very very sorry if that gave anyone a bad feeling. Such is never my intention. Because of my bad hearing I might also stand closer to people.
I am pretty sensitive myself to this as well, and I always try to respect the personal space of others as I would love anyone at the conference to feel well.

About two years ago I was the subject of harassment myself, resulting in that I felt horrible for two weeks and couldn't do anything in the movement. Having it experienced myself, I am feeling horrible that I brought others in the situation that made them feel terrible.
It feels for me really bad with helping someone that it results in the other having an uncomfortable feeling.


Also during the day I walked in a room during a session to hand out, on request, something to the someone in the room, and left almost immediately. Some hours later I heard that one of the presenters in the room got stressed by my short presence in the room. I feel sorry if I may have disturbed this session in some way, and hope that the presenter will not hold a grudge. I am open for a conversation if needed.
Either way, this resulted in an official complaint on my address.

Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer organiser for this year's Wikimania.

I am very sorry that it has influence on my support of this conference, but I will be around.

Kind regards,

Romaine




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Re: Sad news

Luca Martinelli
I don't know what to say, except for "think it again tomorrow morning" and "don't do it".

Hugs,

L.

Il gio 19 lug 2018, 21:31 Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> ha scritto:
Dear all,

Right now I am feeling much hurt after a conversation I just had.

What has happened?
- People say I have been talking to loud, however I do not know where that was, but for those who complained about that: I am very sorry, not my intention. Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself much less, as well as I have periodically tinnitus.
I would appreciate it very much if anyone who notices I speak to loud, to tell me, I do not want to disturb or invasive or ...

- People have said that with some people I have been standing to close to them or I may have touched a shoulder. I am very very sorry if that gave anyone a bad feeling. Such is never my intention. Because of my bad hearing I might also stand closer to people.
I am pretty sensitive myself to this as well, and I always try to respect the personal space of others as I would love anyone at the conference to feel well.

About two years ago I was the subject of harassment myself, resulting in that I felt horrible for two weeks and couldn't do anything in the movement. Having it experienced myself, I am feeling horrible that I brought others in the situation that made them feel terrible.
It feels for me really bad with helping someone that it results in the other having an uncomfortable feeling.


Also during the day I walked in a room during a session to hand out, on request, something to the someone in the room, and left almost immediately. Some hours later I heard that one of the presenters in the room got stressed by my short presence in the room. I feel sorry if I may have disturbed this session in some way, and hope that the presenter will not hold a grudge. I am open for a conversation if needed.
Either way, this resulted in an official complaint on my address.

Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer organiser for this year's Wikimania.

I am very sorry that it has influence on my support of this conference, but I will be around.

Kind regards,

Romaine



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Re: Sad news

Jane Darnell
Sad news indeed! So sorry to read this and I can at least say that I am only grateful for your thoughtful help and clear explanations at Wikimedia events I have attended in the past.

On Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 9:40 PM, Luca Martinelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
I don't know what to say, except for "think it again tomorrow morning" and "don't do it".

Hugs,

L.

Il gio 19 lug 2018, 21:31 Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> ha scritto:
Dear all,

Right now I am feeling much hurt after a conversation I just had.

What has happened?
- People say I have been talking to loud, however I do not know where that was, but for those who complained about that: I am very sorry, not my intention. Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself much less, as well as I have periodically tinnitus.
I would appreciate it very much if anyone who notices I speak to loud, to tell me, I do not want to disturb or invasive or ...

- People have said that with some people I have been standing to close to them or I may have touched a shoulder. I am very very sorry if that gave anyone a bad feeling. Such is never my intention. Because of my bad hearing I might also stand closer to people.
I am pretty sensitive myself to this as well, and I always try to respect the personal space of others as I would love anyone at the conference to feel well.

About two years ago I was the subject of harassment myself, resulting in that I felt horrible for two weeks and couldn't do anything in the movement. Having it experienced myself, I am feeling horrible that I brought others in the situation that made them feel terrible.
It feels for me really bad with helping someone that it results in the other having an uncomfortable feeling.


Also during the day I walked in a room during a session to hand out, on request, something to the someone in the room, and left almost immediately. Some hours later I heard that one of the presenters in the room got stressed by my short presence in the room. I feel sorry if I may have disturbed this session in some way, and hope that the presenter will not hold a grudge. I am open for a conversation if needed.
Either way, this resulted in an official complaint on my address.

Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer organiser for this year's Wikimania.

I am very sorry that it has influence on my support of this conference, but I will be around.

Kind regards,

Romaine



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Re: Sad news

Isaac Olatunde
Hi Romain, 

I haven't met you in person but you have been very helpful to me and my team on countless occasion. 

I am really sad to hear this news.  I am not in Capetown, I would have love to meet you.  Members of Wikimedia User Group, Shola and Sam are in Capetown and may reach out to you. 

Regards, 

Isaac 

On Jul 19, 2018 8:48 PM, "Jane Darnell" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Sad news indeed! So sorry to read this and I can at least say that I am only grateful for your thoughtful help and clear explanations at Wikimedia events I have attended in the past.

On Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 9:40 PM, Luca Martinelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
I don't know what to say, except for "think it again tomorrow morning" and "don't do it".

Hugs,

L.

Il gio 19 lug 2018, 21:31 Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> ha scritto:
Dear all,

Right now I am feeling much hurt after a conversation I just had.

What has happened?
- People say I have been talking to loud, however I do not know where that was, but for those who complained about that: I am very sorry, not my intention. Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself much less, as well as I have periodically tinnitus.
I would appreciate it very much if anyone who notices I speak to loud, to tell me, I do not want to disturb or invasive or ...

- People have said that with some people I have been standing to close to them or I may have touched a shoulder. I am very very sorry if that gave anyone a bad feeling. Such is never my intention. Because of my bad hearing I might also stand closer to people.
I am pretty sensitive myself to this as well, and I always try to respect the personal space of others as I would love anyone at the conference to feel well.

About two years ago I was the subject of harassment myself, resulting in that I felt horrible for two weeks and couldn't do anything in the movement. Having it experienced myself, I am feeling horrible that I brought others in the situation that made them feel terrible.
It feels for me really bad with helping someone that it results in the other having an uncomfortable feeling.


Also during the day I walked in a room during a session to hand out, on request, something to the someone in the room, and left almost immediately. Some hours later I heard that one of the presenters in the room got stressed by my short presence in the room. I feel sorry if I may have disturbed this session in some way, and hope that the presenter will not hold a grudge. I am open for a conversation if needed.
Either way, this resulted in an official complaint on my address.

Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer organiser for this year's Wikimania.

I am very sorry that it has influence on my support of this conference, but I will be around.

Kind regards,

Romaine



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Re: Sad news

KuboF Hromoslav
In reply to this post by Romaine Wiki-2
Sad to read this Romaine...

I am not aware of all details but as I personally know you, you are very helpful and skilled. As we say "only those who do nothing, do no errors". Some people can perceive some helpful actions as damaging (I certainly do in some contexts) but it is not good reason to stop helping. I would suggest more personal responsibility for those who perceive you speaking loudly and standing closely to ask you do it in other way. I remember no one time when Wikimanian refused to do so if gently and clearly asked.

Sleep well and rethink tommorow
KuboF Hromoslav

Dňa štvrtok 19. júla 2018 Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> napísal(a):
Dear all,

Right now I am feeling much hurt after a conversation I just had.

What has happened?
- People say I have been talking to loud, however I do not know where that was, but for those who complained about that: I am very sorry, not my intention. Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself much less, as well as I have periodically tinnitus.
I would appreciate it very much if anyone who notices I speak to loud, to tell me, I do not want to disturb or invasive or ...

- People have said that with some people I have been standing to close to them or I may have touched a shoulder. I am very very sorry if that gave anyone a bad feeling. Such is never my intention. Because of my bad hearing I might also stand closer to people.
I am pretty sensitive myself to this as well, and I always try to respect the personal space of others as I would love anyone at the conference to feel well.

About two years ago I was the subject of harassment myself, resulting in that I felt horrible for two weeks and couldn't do anything in the movement. Having it experienced myself, I am feeling horrible that I brought others in the situation that made them feel terrible.
It feels for me really bad with helping someone that it results in the other having an uncomfortable feeling.


Also during the day I walked in a room during a session to hand out, on request, something to the someone in the room, and left almost immediately. Some hours later I heard that one of the presenters in the room got stressed by my short presence in the room. I feel sorry if I may have disturbed this session in some way, and hope that the presenter will not hold a grudge. I am open for a conversation if needed.
Either way, this resulted in an official complaint on my address.

Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer organiser for this year's Wikimania.

I am very sorry that it has influence on my support of this conference, but I will be around.

Kind regards,

Romaine





--
KuboF Hromoslav (Michal Matúšov)


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Re: Sad news

Gabriel Thullen
Hi Romaine,

I am sad to hear about this, it may well tarnish the very good opinion I have had so far about this year's Wikimania.
I am also quite sorry to say that I do not know if we have met in person, I have such a bad memory, so please forgive me if we know each other.
I would dare to suggest that you stick around, I know that it would be quite difficult for you, and I hope that some of our WMF staff will reach out to you, but if you show up tomorrow I feel certain that you will find the support of a lot of wikimedians you have been helpful to. Please reconsider...

Best regards
Gabriel

On Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 10:03 PM KuboF Hromoslav <[hidden email]> wrote:
Sad to read this Romaine...

I am not aware of all details but as I personally know you, you are very helpful and skilled. As we say "only those who do nothing, do no errors". Some people can perceive some helpful actions as damaging (I certainly do in some contexts) but it is not good reason to stop helping. I would suggest more personal responsibility for those who perceive you speaking loudly and standing closely to ask you do it in other way. I remember no one time when Wikimanian refused to do so if gently and clearly asked.

Sleep well and rethink tommorow
KuboF Hromoslav

Dňa štvrtok 19. júla 2018 Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> napísal(a):
Dear all,

Right now I am feeling much hurt after a conversation I just had.

What has happened?
- People say I have been talking to loud, however I do not know where that was, but for those who complained about that: I am very sorry, not my intention. Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself much less, as well as I have periodically tinnitus.
I would appreciate it very much if anyone who notices I speak to loud, to tell me, I do not want to disturb or invasive or ...

- People have said that with some people I have been standing to close to them or I may have touched a shoulder. I am very very sorry if that gave anyone a bad feeling. Such is never my intention. Because of my bad hearing I might also stand closer to people.
I am pretty sensitive myself to this as well, and I always try to respect the personal space of others as I would love anyone at the conference to feel well.

About two years ago I was the subject of harassment myself, resulting in that I felt horrible for two weeks and couldn't do anything in the movement. Having it experienced myself, I am feeling horrible that I brought others in the situation that made them feel terrible.
It feels for me really bad with helping someone that it results in the other having an uncomfortable feeling.


Also during the day I walked in a room during a session to hand out, on request, something to the someone in the room, and left almost immediately. Some hours later I heard that one of the presenters in the room got stressed by my short presence in the room. I feel sorry if I may have disturbed this session in some way, and hope that the presenter will not hold a grudge. I am open for a conversation if needed.
Either way, this resulted in an official complaint on my address.

Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer organiser for this year's Wikimania.

I am very sorry that it has influence on my support of this conference, but I will be around.

Kind regards,

Romaine





--
KuboF Hromoslav (Michal Matúšov)

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Re: Sad news

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by KuboF Hromoslav
KuboF Hromoslav, 20/07/2018 00:03:
> I am not aware of all details but as I personally know you, you are very
> helpful and skilled. As we say "only those who do nothing, do no errors".

Indeed, or in Italian "chi non fa non sbaglia". I hope in the future
Wikimania will be inclusive and able to foster collaboration between
good spirited people even if they're "different".

Which reminds me, these days some interesting things happened in
Johannesburg around Mandela day.
https://youtu.be/9P3c8wAETjc
https://youtu.be/mviqiDKIqDc?t=2h13m10s

Federico

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Re: Sad news

Jaqen
In reply to this post by Romaine Wiki-2
Hi Romaine, hi everybody,

it is very painful for me to read this. 

I have hearing problems myself, so I sometimes speak too loud, I may not hear someone calling me, I may walk around someone to get in a position where I can hear him/her well, etc. 

These behaviors may look rude, but as a movement we should be able to deal with them without asking people to step down.

Jaqen

On Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 9:30 PM, Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear all,

Right now I am feeling much hurt after a conversation I just had.

What has happened?
- People say I have been talking to loud, however I do not know where that was, but for those who complained about that: I am very sorry, not my intention. Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself much less, as well as I have periodically tinnitus.
I would appreciate it very much if anyone who notices I speak to loud, to tell me, I do not want to disturb or invasive or ...

- People have said that with some people I have been standing to close to them or I may have touched a shoulder. I am very very sorry if that gave anyone a bad feeling. Such is never my intention. Because of my bad hearing I might also stand closer to people.
I am pretty sensitive myself to this as well, and I always try to respect the personal space of others as I would love anyone at the conference to feel well.

About two years ago I was the subject of harassment myself, resulting in that I felt horrible for two weeks and couldn't do anything in the movement. Having it experienced myself, I am feeling horrible that I brought others in the situation that made them feel terrible.
It feels for me really bad with helping someone that it results in the other having an uncomfortable feeling.


Also during the day I walked in a room during a session to hand out, on request, something to the someone in the room, and left almost immediately. Some hours later I heard that one of the presenters in the room got stressed by my short presence in the room. I feel sorry if I may have disturbed this session in some way, and hope that the presenter will not hold a grudge. I am open for a conversation if needed.
Either way, this resulted in an official complaint on my address.

Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer organiser for this year's Wikimania.

I am very sorry that it has influence on my support of this conference, but I will be around.

Kind regards,

Romaine




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Re: Sad news

John Hendrik Weitzmann
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)


Dear Romaine,

my personal opnion on this: You probably (as most of us) fell victim to today's spreading zeitgeist of taking offence in very small transgressions. This doesn't only concern the so-called "snowflake generation", but has morphed into a general culture of sensitivities that serve identity building purposes.

While this started as well-meant protection of minorities and people with special needs against normative disadvantages, it has lead to a mindset where the civil exercise of hiding one's sensitivities in order to make human interaction work has almost entirely vanished.

In other words: It is crucial for civilised societies that everyone in them is willing (ability is not the problem) to endure other people's quirks, shortcomings and unintentional transgressions to some extent. Instead, it has become a matter of identity to express anything that one is in the slightest way offended by, and demand protection against that.

This development IMHO has to stop, if we don't want to end up in a totally atomised, solidarity-free society. I hope you continue to support our event.

Best
John



Am Fr., 20. Juli 2018 um 09:28 Uhr schrieb Federico Leva (Nemo) <[hidden email]>:
KuboF Hromoslav, 20/07/2018 00:03:
> I am not aware of all details but as I personally know you, you are very
> helpful and skilled. As we say "only those who do nothing, do no errors".

Indeed, or in Italian "chi non fa non sbaglia". I hope in the future
Wikimania will be inclusive and able to foster collaboration between
good spirited people even if they're "different".

Which reminds me, these days some interesting things happened in
Johannesburg around Mandela day.
https://youtu.be/9P3c8wAETjc
https://youtu.be/mviqiDKIqDc?t=2h13m10s

Federico

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Re: Sad news

Andy Mabbett-2
In reply to this post by Romaine Wiki-2
On 19 July 2018 at 20:30, Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:

> - People say I have been talking to loud

> Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself

> Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer
> organiser for this year's Wikimania.

As someone with family members who are profoundly hard of hearing and
affected by tinnitus, I am sorry to learn that you have been
discriminated against in this way.

I hope that whoever is responsible for our safe spaces policy will
ensure that this does not happen to you - or anyone else - again.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: Sad news

Lodewijk
Hi all,

while I have much sympathy for Romaine, and cannot comprehend the decision with the available information, I do want to guard us to continue discussing this further here. We (even Romaine) have only a limited part of the information available to us. I trust that Romaine works with the very best intentions, and also that the Trust & Safety team has the best intentions in their implementation. I also trust that the team will make a full evaluation after Wikimania is completed as their default practice. 

As part of this conversation, both here online and offline, I seem to hear several people who are unhappy with how the policy is implemented. Let us also recognize that it is important to have a friendly space - and that this is a Hard Thing to accomplish. Agreeing or disagreeing in public with a decision while only having part of the information can only make that job harder and/or harm individuals.

If you have beef with the policy and how it is implemented, I suggest that you try to set up a meetup with the Trust & Safety team, and you can have a conversation with them about the broader policy. They can perhaps share some rough broader statistics as part of that. Otherwise, it is probably more appropriate to have this online discussion after the conference has concluded, based on the policy and practices as a whole, and not an individual case. 

Just my two cents...

Lodewijk

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 10:15 AM Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 19 July 2018 at 20:30, Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:

> - People say I have been talking to loud

> Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself

> Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer
> organiser for this year's Wikimania.

As someone with family members who are profoundly hard of hearing and
affected by tinnitus, I am sorry to learn that you have been
discriminated against in this way.

I hope that whoever is responsible for our safe spaces policy will
ensure that this does not happen to you - or anyone else - again.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: Sad news

Luca Martinelli
Il giorno ven 20 lug 2018 alle ore 10:23 Lodewijk
<[hidden email]> ha scritto:
> As part of this conversation, both here online and offline, I seem to hear several people who are unhappy with how the policy is implemented. Let us also recognize that it is important to have a friendly space - and that this is a Hard Thing to accomplish. Agreeing or disagreeing in public with a decision while only having part of the information can only make that job harder and/or harm individuals.
>
> If you have beef with the policy and how it is implemented, I suggest that you try to set up a meetup with the Trust & Safety team, and you can have a conversation with them about the broader policy. They can perhaps share some rough broader statistics as part of that. Otherwise, it is probably more appropriate to have this online discussion after the conference has concluded, based on the policy and practices as a whole, and not an individual case.

First of all, I apologise for my first message, because I
misunderstood Romaine's announcement: I thought it was a voluntary
step down, not a *request* for it.

This all the more saddens me, as I have worked briefly with Romaine as
voluntary on the first day of Wikimania 2016, and I had the
opportunity of seeing first-hand how dedicated and sweet and full of
joy and energy as a volunteer he might be.

Even if I agree with Lodewijk this is not the place to "overrun" the
decision of the T&S Team, or discuss/amend/whatever Wikimania's Safe
Space Policy, I'd like to get my message considered as a public
display of thankfulness and appreciation for Romaine's work throughout
the years, not as an explicit critic to anyone - but to be fully
honest, I'm quite puzzled by the decision nonetheless.

Cheers,

--
Luca "Sannita" Martinelli
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utente:Sannita

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Re: Sad news

David Cuenca Tudela
I don't know Romaine personally but with the limited information I have it seems that a small series of incidents have been blown out of proportion. It saddens me that when asking to respect diversity and sensitivities, not all volunteers seem to have the same weight. People taking responsibilities also need to be taken care of, we cannot ask them to conform to fixed ideas, there should be some room to be oneself. As John said it is necessary that we are tolerant with small transgressions, otherwise we are creating a prison to ourselves based on the sensitivities of others.

I only hope that this has been escalated progressively, and that there was an open communication at all stages of the process. 

Cheers,
Micru

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 10:37 AM Luca Martinelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Il giorno ven 20 lug 2018 alle ore 10:23 Lodewijk
<[hidden email]> ha scritto:
> As part of this conversation, both here online and offline, I seem to hear several people who are unhappy with how the policy is implemented. Let us also recognize that it is important to have a friendly space - and that this is a Hard Thing to accomplish. Agreeing or disagreeing in public with a decision while only having part of the information can only make that job harder and/or harm individuals.
>
> If you have beef with the policy and how it is implemented, I suggest that you try to set up a meetup with the Trust & Safety team, and you can have a conversation with them about the broader policy. They can perhaps share some rough broader statistics as part of that. Otherwise, it is probably more appropriate to have this online discussion after the conference has concluded, based on the policy and practices as a whole, and not an individual case.

First of all, I apologise for my first message, because I
misunderstood Romaine's announcement: I thought it was a voluntary
step down, not a *request* for it.

This all the more saddens me, as I have worked briefly with Romaine as
voluntary on the first day of Wikimania 2016, and I had the
opportunity of seeing first-hand how dedicated and sweet and full of
joy and energy as a volunteer he might be.

Even if I agree with Lodewijk this is not the place to "overrun" the
decision of the T&S Team, or discuss/amend/whatever Wikimania's Safe
Space Policy, I'd like to get my message considered as a public
display of thankfulness and appreciation for Romaine's work throughout
the years, not as an explicit critic to anyone - but to be fully
honest, I'm quite puzzled by the decision nonetheless.

Cheers,

--
Luca "Sannita" Martinelli
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Re: Sad news

Gnangarra
It doesnt sound like it was good application of process, I think that this could have been solved simply when the issue was raise with as Romaine has already done explained and apologised his support should have continued.  It looks bad as someone who isnt there and knows Romaine that issue is be blown out this much, I think its one that must be resolved today rather than sometime in the future after the event when everyone has gone home.

Romaine right to have come to the list so that it gets the immediate attention it needs, that is seeking help.   Leaving until after the event isnt going to resolve anything all its going to do is allow it to linger and fester potentially causing even more drama.   I think its beholden to the organisers or at least the Trust & Safety team leaders to seek out the parties involved  rather than let this continue.

On 20 July 2018 at 17:02, David Cuenca Tudela <[hidden email]> wrote:
I don't know Romaine personally but with the limited information I have it seems that a small series of incidents have been blown out of proportion. It saddens me that when asking to respect diversity and sensitivities, not all volunteers seem to have the same weight. People taking responsibilities also need to be taken care of, we cannot ask them to conform to fixed ideas, there should be some room to be oneself. As John said it is necessary that we are tolerant with small transgressions, otherwise we are creating a prison to ourselves based on the sensitivities of others.

I only hope that this has been escalated progressively, and that there was an open communication at all stages of the process. 

Cheers,
Micru

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 10:37 AM Luca Martinelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Il giorno ven 20 lug 2018 alle ore 10:23 Lodewijk
<[hidden email]> ha scritto:
> As part of this conversation, both here online and offline, I seem to hear several people who are unhappy with how the policy is implemented. Let us also recognize that it is important to have a friendly space - and that this is a Hard Thing to accomplish. Agreeing or disagreeing in public with a decision while only having part of the information can only make that job harder and/or harm individuals.
>
> If you have beef with the policy and how it is implemented, I suggest that you try to set up a meetup with the Trust & Safety team, and you can have a conversation with them about the broader policy. They can perhaps share some rough broader statistics as part of that. Otherwise, it is probably more appropriate to have this online discussion after the conference has concluded, based on the policy and practices as a whole, and not an individual case.

First of all, I apologise for my first message, because I
misunderstood Romaine's announcement: I thought it was a voluntary
step down, not a *request* for it.

This all the more saddens me, as I have worked briefly with Romaine as
voluntary on the first day of Wikimania 2016, and I had the
opportunity of seeing first-hand how dedicated and sweet and full of
joy and energy as a volunteer he might be.

Even if I agree with Lodewijk this is not the place to "overrun" the
decision of the T&S Team, or discuss/amend/whatever Wikimania's Safe
Space Policy, I'd like to get my message considered as a public
display of thankfulness and appreciation for Romaine's work throughout
the years, not as an explicit critic to anyone - but to be fully
honest, I'm quite puzzled by the decision nonetheless.

Cheers,

--
Luca "Sannita" Martinelli
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utente:Sannita

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Out now: A.Gaynor, P. Newman and P. Jennings (eds.), Never Again: Reflections on Environmental Responsibility after Roe 8, UWAP, 2017.  Order here.


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Re: Sad news

Florence Devouard-6
In reply to this post by David Cuenca Tudela
Hi all

I was disturbed when I read Romaine email. For all what is worth, I would like to outline I trust Romaine meant the best, appreciate his work for the community and the project, including what he has done during the previous wikimanias, am sad he has been removed from the team, and realize how unconfortable he may be right now.

This said, I realized someone felt unconfortable enough to actually report Romaine. And that can not be dismissed.

But I think irl meetings are important moments for some of us to actually touch, hug, kiss and I would thoroughly disappointing if this would stop because some people feel unconfortable with physical contact. Plus... in noisy environments, we need to get closer to one another to understand, especially when not primarily English speaking. And this is more unconfortable to some than to others.

So, I am thinking that... whilst some of us put little stickers on our badges to indicate we do not want to be taken in picture, perhaps we need to consider also little stickers to put on our badges to indicate that we prefer "a certain physical distance" and warn others that we may be sensitive to closeness so they be aware it might be an issue ?

Flo

PS: feel free to hug me

Le 20/07/2018 à 11:02, David Cuenca Tudela a écrit :
I don't know Romaine personally but with the limited information I have it seems that a small series of incidents have been blown out of proportion. It saddens me that when asking to respect diversity and sensitivities, not all volunteers seem to have the same weight. People taking responsibilities also need to be taken care of, we cannot ask them to conform to fixed ideas, there should be some room to be oneself. As John said it is necessary that we are tolerant with small transgressions, otherwise we are creating a prison to ourselves based on the sensitivities of others.

I only hope that this has been escalated progressively, and that there was an open communication at all stages of the process. 

Cheers,
Micru

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 10:37 AM Luca Martinelli <[hidden email]> wrote:
Il giorno ven 20 lug 2018 alle ore 10:23 Lodewijk
<[hidden email]> ha scritto:
> As part of this conversation, both here online and offline, I seem to hear several people who are unhappy with how the policy is implemented. Let us also recognize that it is important to have a friendly space - and that this is a Hard Thing to accomplish. Agreeing or disagreeing in public with a decision while only having part of the information can only make that job harder and/or harm individuals.
>
> If you have beef with the policy and how it is implemented, I suggest that you try to set up a meetup with the Trust & Safety team, and you can have a conversation with them about the broader policy. They can perhaps share some rough broader statistics as part of that. Otherwise, it is probably more appropriate to have this online discussion after the conference has concluded, based on the policy and practices as a whole, and not an individual case.

First of all, I apologise for my first message, because I
misunderstood Romaine's announcement: I thought it was a voluntary
step down, not a *request* for it.

This all the more saddens me, as I have worked briefly with Romaine as
voluntary on the first day of Wikimania 2016, and I had the
opportunity of seeing first-hand how dedicated and sweet and full of
joy and energy as a volunteer he might be.

Even if I agree with Lodewijk this is not the place to "overrun" the
decision of the T&S Team, or discuss/amend/whatever Wikimania's Safe
Space Policy, I'd like to get my message considered as a public
display of thankfulness and appreciation for Romaine's work throughout
the years, not as an explicit critic to anyone - but to be fully
honest, I'm quite puzzled by the decision nonetheless.

Cheers,

--
Luca "Sannita" Martinelli
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utente:Sannita

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Re: Sad news

Andy Mabbett-2
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
On 20 July 2018 at 09:23, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I trust that [...] the Trust & Safety team has the best intentions in
> their implementation

I note that Romaine does not mention the team in his email, only that
there was a "demand" that he stand down; he did not say who made this
demand.

Indeed, the only mention of the T&S team before yours was my call for
them to support a member of the community who seems to feel he has
been discriminated against because of the effects of his hearing
issue.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: Sad news

Mykola Kozlenko
In reply to this post by Lodewijk
Hi,

I am very sad to see this happen. I think this is a case when we cannot gave a win-win implementation of the policy
* On one hand, Romaine *has* to be close to a person he is talking to, otherwise he is unable to hear them. I know him, he really is.
* On the other hand, in some cultures standing very close to a person who is not a friend can be really impolite. Some people prefer to keep more distance when they are talking to someone. (See  https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_space )
* On one hand, entering a room when someone needs an item urgently can be normal. A person quite legitimately may want to help as quickly as possible when they are asked to.
* On the other hand, a person entering and immediately leaving the room can indeed be a significant distraction for a speaker. A speaker may come from a culture where such behaviour is considered impolite.

We are all coming from different backgrounds, and what is normal for one person might be offensive to another. Looking forward, can we probably assume more good faith? We might not be aware what another person's background is, so perhaps we should begin with asking them why they are doing that and why you are not OK with that.

Best regards,
Mykola (NickK)

--- Оригінальне повідомлення ---
Від кого: "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]>
Дата: 20 липня 2018, 10:23:49

Hi all,

while I have much sympathy for Romaine, and cannot comprehend the decision with the available information, I do want to guard us to continue discussing this further here. We (even Romaine) have only a limited part of the information available to us. I trust that Romaine works with the very best intentions, and also that the Trust & Safety team has the best intentions in their implementation. I also trust that the team will make a full evaluation after Wikimania is completed as their default practice. 

As part of this conversation, both here online and offline, I seem to hear several people who are unhappy with how the policy is implemented. Let us also recognize that it is important to have a friendly space - and that this is a Hard Thing to accomplish. Agreeing or disagreeing in public with a decision while only having part of the information can only make that job harder and/or harm individuals.

If you have beef with the policy and how it is implemented, I suggest that you try to set up a meetup with the Trust & Safety team, and you can have a conversation with them about the broader policy. They can perhaps share some rough broader statistics as part of that. Otherwise, it is probably more appropriate to have this online discussion after the conference has concluded, based on the policy and practices as a whole, and not an individual case. 

Just my two cents...

Lodewijk

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 10:15 AM Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 19 July 2018 at 20:30, Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:

> - People say I have been talking to loud

> Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself

> Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer
> organiser for this year's Wikimania.

As someone with family members who are profoundly hard of hearing and
affected by tinnitus, I am sorry to learn that you have been
discriminated against in this way.

I hope that whoever is responsible for our safe spaces policy will
ensure that this does not happen to you - or anyone else - again.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: Sad news

James Alexander-4
In reply to this post by Andy Mabbett-2
Hey all,

I am, as always, sorry, that this has spilled out into the public sphere more I do not think that is ever a good thing as discussion of specific situations like this only serves to increase discomfort, make people feel even less safe and make victims of everyone.

Event Safety and Friendly Spaces is a top priority of any conference whether big or small as well as one of the issues that can be most difficult to deal with since it is always a balance of situations, feelings and people who are frequently acting in good faith. I can confirm that Trust & Safety was involved here and, like most people who are working on Friendly Spaces, we never aim to take serious actions if we are able to avoid it. Most issues are dealt with by local attendees or organizing volunteers with only short reminders or chats and escalate from there only as things become more serious or repetitive. The same is true for T&S who generally doesn't even become involved until it is a larger situation. I will admit that whenever a local organizer or volunteer is involved the seriousness is increased some because they are, rightly or wrongly, seen as in a position of influence and power which amplifies any and all issues that arise. It does not, however, change the focus of trying to take the least amount of actions possible.

I will be the first to admit (and did when talking to Romaine yesterday) that he has done an enormous amount of great work for events and nothing we did was meant to demean that even if it felt that way to Romaine. Like any Friendly Spaces actions nothing we did was meant as a punishment (even though, again, I understand it can feel that way) but was done because we felt they were the best thing to do for event safety. I can certainly guarantee that the decision was not taken lightly.

As many have noted the entire story is not out in the open and, honestly, won't be. I know that won't make everyone happy but unfortunately is almost always going to be the case for specific cases. If you want to speak about process questions and the like, the team (including myself) is certainly willing to do so. We have a table on the 2nd floor or you can grab one of us around the conference.

James

James Alexander
Manager, Trust & Safety (Operations)
Wikimedia Foundation

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 11:40 AM Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 20 July 2018 at 09:23, Lodewijk <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I trust that [...] the Trust & Safety team has the best intentions in
> their implementation

I note that Romaine does not mention the team in his email, only that
there was a "demand" that he stand down; he did not say who made this
demand.

Indeed, the only mention of the T&S team before yours was my call for
them to support a member of the community who seems to feel he has
been discriminated against because of the effects of his hearing
issue.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: Sad news

Huib Laurens
In reply to this post by Mykola Kozlenko
I think we forget the mention of touching, even if its a shoulder. Touching can be very uncomfortable.... 

On Fri, 20 Jul 2018 at 12:17, Mykola Kozlenko <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,

I am very sad to see this happen. I think this is a case when we cannot gave a win-win implementation of the policy
* On one hand, Romaine *has* to be close to a person he is talking to, otherwise he is unable to hear them. I know him, he really is.
* On the other hand, in some cultures standing very close to a person who is not a friend can be really impolite. Some people prefer to keep more distance when they are talking to someone. (See  https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_space )
* On one hand, entering a room when someone needs an item urgently can be normal. A person quite legitimately may want to help as quickly as possible when they are asked to.
* On the other hand, a person entering and immediately leaving the room can indeed be a significant distraction for a speaker. A speaker may come from a culture where such behaviour is considered impolite.

We are all coming from different backgrounds, and what is normal for one person might be offensive to another. Looking forward, can we probably assume more good faith? We might not be aware what another person's background is, so perhaps we should begin with asking them why they are doing that and why you are not OK with that.

Best regards,
Mykola (NickK)

--- Оригінальне повідомлення ---
Від кого: "Lodewijk" <[hidden email]>
Дата: 20 липня 2018, 10:23:49

Hi all,

while I have much sympathy for Romaine, and cannot comprehend the decision with the available information, I do want to guard us to continue discussing this further here. We (even Romaine) have only a limited part of the information available to us. I trust that Romaine works with the very best intentions, and also that the Trust & Safety team has the best intentions in their implementation. I also trust that the team will make a full evaluation after Wikimania is completed as their default practice. 

As part of this conversation, both here online and offline, I seem to hear several people who are unhappy with how the policy is implemented. Let us also recognize that it is important to have a friendly space - and that this is a Hard Thing to accomplish. Agreeing or disagreeing in public with a decision while only having part of the information can only make that job harder and/or harm individuals.

If you have beef with the policy and how it is implemented, I suggest that you try to set up a meetup with the Trust & Safety team, and you can have a conversation with them about the broader policy. They can perhaps share some rough broader statistics as part of that. Otherwise, it is probably more appropriate to have this online discussion after the conference has concluded, based on the policy and practices as a whole, and not an individual case. 

Just my two cents...

Lodewijk

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 10:15 AM Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 19 July 2018 at 20:30, Romaine Wiki <[hidden email]> wrote:

> - People say I have been talking to loud

> Please be aware I have a hearing problem and I do hear myself

> Because of these complaints, it was demanded to step down as a volunteer
> organiser for this year's Wikimania.

As someone with family members who are profoundly hard of hearing and
affected by tinnitus, I am sorry to learn that you have been
discriminated against in this way.

I hope that whoever is responsible for our safe spaces policy will
ensure that this does not happen to you - or anyone else - again.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Met vriendelijke groet, 

Huib Laurens

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Re: Sad news

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Mykola Kozlenko
Hello - I wouldn't claim to know anything about the specifics of
what's happened here but did just want to respond to this:

> * On one hand, Romaine *has* to be close to a person he is talking to, otherwise he is unable to hear them. I know him, he really is.

I work in an office where about 20% of the workforce are deaf or hard
of hearing. I have never known a situation where someone feels they
'have' to be so close to someone to hear that the other party feels
uncomfortable.

There is plenty one can do to make life easier for a deaf friend or
colleague (speak clearly, make eye contact, keep your face in full
view, use plenty of body language...) but standing right next to them
is not the normal way to do it.

Thanks,

Chris

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