[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
38 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Michel Vuijlsteke-2
...this is about that mail of yours to James that was going to be
published, right?

On 10 March 2016 at 11:01, jimmy wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Indeed George I agree with everything you have said about the internal
> effects of lack of transparency and openness.  Assuming I and other board
> members who continue to press for full openness about the James situation
>  are eventually successful this will all become more clear.
>
>
> Sent from my Samsung device
>
> -------- Original message --------
> From: George Herbert <[hidden email]>
> Date: 2016/03/10  9:49 AM  (GMT+00:00)
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Mar 10, 2016, at 1:25 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > ...
> > Those ideas never got traction
> > and never made it to the board level. ...
>
> I don't think you are lying or being deceptive, but it seems apparent in
> the various half-explanations that it did, to James, who either got mangled
> explanations and assumed worse or heard worse from someone incorrectly.
> Thence to mistrust.
>
> Assuming nobody is evil or insane, we have clear evidence and now open
> admissions of communications breakdowns at several levels and confused,
> contradictory explanations about who thought what secrecy was required and
> why.
>
> It seems like those fed upon each other into misunderstandings and
> mistrust.
>
> Have you not considered that lack of transparency and openness would have
> the same internal effect as external?
>
>
> George William Herbert
> Sent from my iPhone
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Jimmy Wales-4
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2

   
Yes.  When I can publish I will.


Sent from my Samsung device

-------- Original message --------
From: Michel Vuijlsteke <[hidden email]>
Date: 2016/03/10  10:05 AM  (GMT+00:00)
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

...this is about that mail of yours to James that was going to be
published, right?

On 10 March 2016 at 11:01, jimmy wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> Indeed George I agree with everything you have said about the internal
> effects of lack of transparency and openness.  Assuming I and other board
> members who continue to press for full openness about the James situation
>  are eventually successful this will all become more clear.
>
>
> Sent from my Samsung device
>
> -------- Original message --------
> From: George Herbert <[hidden email]>
> Date: 2016/03/10  9:49 AM  (GMT+00:00)
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Mar 10, 2016, at 1:25 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > ...
> > Those ideas never got traction
> > and never made it to the board level. ...
>
> I don't think you are lying or being deceptive, but it seems apparent in
> the various half-explanations that it did, to James, who either got mangled
> explanations and assumed worse or heard worse from someone incorrectly.
> Thence to mistrust.
>
> Assuming nobody is evil or insane, we have clear evidence and now open
> admissions of communications breakdowns at several levels and confused,
> contradictory explanations about who thought what secrecy was required and
> why.
>
> It seems like those fed upon each other into misunderstandings and
> mistrust.
>
> Have you not considered that lack of transparency and openness would have
> the same internal effect as external?
>
>
> George William Herbert
> Sent from my iPhone
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Anthony Cole
In reply to this post by Michel Vuijlsteke-2
Jimmy, your ymail is still going into my gmail spam.

It's time you released that email Sarah reminded you about, above.

I agree with Oliver's characterisation of your tone in that email to Peter
and James. I'm very disappointed to see Erik putting down Pete for exposing
the gargoyle behind the mask, rather than nailing you for the insulting
salvo you launched at James, in secret, where you thought no one would ever
know; and suggesting we all just calm down and leave the resolution to the
chair and a professional mediator. As if.

Per others above and me elsewhere, [1] please vacate the "founder's seat"
now, and run for a community seat at the next community selection.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_202#Your_role_as_spokesperson_for_the_Wikimedia_movement

Anthony Cole


On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 6:05 PM, Michel Vuijlsteke <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> ...this is about that mail of yours to James that was going to be
> published, right?
>
> On 10 March 2016 at 11:01, jimmy wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > Indeed George I agree with everything you have said about the internal
> > effects of lack of transparency and openness.  Assuming I and other board
> > members who continue to press for full openness about the James situation
> >  are eventually successful this will all become more clear.
> >
> >
> > Sent from my Samsung device
> >
> > -------- Original message --------
> > From: George Herbert <[hidden email]>
> > Date: 2016/03/10  9:49 AM  (GMT+00:00)
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> > Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Mar 10, 2016, at 1:25 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > ...
> > > Those ideas never got traction
> > > and never made it to the board level. ...
> >
> > I don't think you are lying or being deceptive, but it seems apparent in
> > the various half-explanations that it did, to James, who either got
> mangled
> > explanations and assumed worse or heard worse from someone incorrectly.
> > Thence to mistrust.
> >
> > Assuming nobody is evil or insane, we have clear evidence and now open
> > admissions of communications breakdowns at several levels and confused,
> > contradictory explanations about who thought what secrecy was required
> and
> > why.
> >
> > It seems like those fed upon each other into misunderstandings and
> > mistrust.
> >
> > Have you not considered that lack of transparency and openness would have
> > the same internal effect as external?
> >
> >
> > George William Herbert
> > Sent from my iPhone
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

jytdog
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales-5
Jimmy, a lot of us are bewildered and are finding it very hard to
understand, why you continue to spin and distract.  I do understand that
your current strategy is to pin a bunch of this on Damon. That is not going
to fly.

You are not accountable to anyone, Jimmy.  That you can write things like
what you write below to this whole list, is a testament to that.  That is
not good for anyone.  Not you, and not the movement.

What you apparently cannot see in your email to James, is the arrogance in
it, and that the certainty that you are correct and James is incorrect,
dressed in nice clothes.  Wikipedia is a laboratory of human behavior,
where all too often we all watch people flounder and persist in IDHT
behavior.  You apparently cannot see how transparent your behavior is.

I cannot understand why you continue digging.

Outside the sea of perception - here are three facts -  both you and
Patricio lost a boatload of credibility by misrepresenting the board's
stance in November. That was incredibly damaging to the movement.  None of
you have done anything in public to address that.

Here is my perception - your refusal in particular to deal in a
straightforward manner with James' dismissal and the whole KE debacle has
further made anything you say hard for me to believe.  I believe this is
true for a growing number of people.

My preference would be that you all pivot, disclose what has gone on over
the last year or so, and apologize.  I do not see that anywhere on the
horizon.

Why?  It is transparent to me, that it is because neither you nor the board
is accountable to anyone.  You all can behave as you did, and talk now
about that as you are talking now, and ... nothing happens.  Asking you to
be straightforward, has no effect.

I intend to work with others to make a significant number of board seats
elected.  This is coming down to a matter of power; we cannot rely on
values.



On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 4:25 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On 3/10/16 8:18 AM, Benjamin Lees wrote:
> > I was glad when I saw Jimbo indicate he was reaching out to James.  At
> > the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, maybe Jimbo should send James
> > another email, this time extending a clearer olive branch.  If we're
> > past the point of no return on that, then so be it, but I would be
> > happy to know that after three months of talking about and at each
> > other, you guys _sincerely_ tried talking to each other.
>
> I agree completely.  My email, which seems so horrifying to a few
> people, was meant exactly as that.  The truth is, I am genuinely
> bewildered and finding it very hard to understand why James says things
> that the entire rest of the board find contrary to fact.
>
> There is nothing horrible about encouraging him to think about whether
> emotion has blinded him.  When so many other people who know the facts
> are telling you that you have it wrong, it's a good idea to pause and
> reflect.
>
> And yes, it would have been more charitable and kind to include other
> options in that email.  I wrote it as an opening to a dialogue, not as a
> formal statement of position to be analyzed in public.  I invite people
> to think whether Pete's publishing of it was done in the interests of
> healing and harmony, rather than to further inflame and create drama.
>
> There's a lot more to respond to on wikimedia-l, and I may do so this
> weekend.  But there's one thing that is worth saying quite strongly:
> There was never a project at the Wikimedia Foundation to build a search
> engine to compete with Google.  This has been confirmed by engineers
> working in that area.  I have been very straightforward in telling
> people what I know about it, and I have not seen any evidence that the
> people who have told me what happened have lied to me about that.
>
> What there was, and this has become clear only recently, was a proposal
> by Damon, passed around with great cloak-and-dagger, with his ideas
> about how we could and should do that.  Those ideas never got traction
> and never made it to the board level.  What was proposed to the board
> was an investment in internal search and discovery.
>
> There's also the side issue - and I don't mean it is unimportant, I mean
> it is a side issue - of the language in the Knight Foundation some of
> which apparently survived from Damon's early brainstorms.  I am not
> happy about that language, but my understanding is that the Knight
> Foundation is fine, that they understood and understand that the
> deliverables in the grant - which is what matters - are modest and
> reasonable as an exploration of what we should do next in this area.
>
> --Jimbo
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] A conversation?

Chris Sherlock
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-3

> On 10 Mar 2016, at 5:18 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>:
>
>> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
>> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
>> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
>> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>
> Pete, regardless of Jimmy's words in this email, like others, I fail
> to see how it's okay to share a private email to this list. I can
> think of a few instances where this might be ethically defensible --
> like actual fraud being committed -- but this is not one of them. It's
> totally fair for people to ask Jimmy to clear the air on stuff
> himself, but this crosses the line, at least from my point of view.
>
> This comes down to giving a person you're corresponding with an
> honest, open channel by which they can apologize, clarify, and make
> things right. By violating that private channel you're making it
> implicitly impossible to have that kind of conversation.

Erik, that was an unsolicited email sent to James *and* Peter. It was addressed to
James, but yet Jimmy sent it to Peter, and in it he alleged that “one possibility”
is that James is a liar. The other is that he is too emotionally involved and it
coloured his thinking. Why did Jimmy feel the need to send such a potentially
damaging set of accusations to James and cc in Peter?

Oliver has said it best - that’s emotional gaslighting and it’s highly manipulative.
Telling James that he has a low EQ is focusing on James’ emotions and has nothing
to do with what James wanted answering. He wants Jimmy to give a clear understanding
as to why he was removed.

James’ concerns about a search engine are still legitimate. There was indeed a secret
plan that Jimmy claims he didn’t know about until well after October - WAY after
October. It’s understandable and quite justifiable that in October James was very
concerned that there was a plan in the WMF for a competing search engine for Google.

So now Jimmy is still maintaining the line, which he has repeated more than a number of
times now, in public and evidently in private (yet takes care to cc in Pete) that James
is a liar, or has serious emotional or psychological issues. That’s a strange tactic,
and I for one am very glad that it’s now in the open. Trying to suggest that there is
emotional trauma is a good way to undermine someone’s confidence. And the way this was
done was to use the fallacy of the undistributed middle; which is:

James could be a liar
James could have poor memory or low emotional intelligence
James might be emotionally traumatised
James’ statements therefore don’t line up with the facts

In fact, James in my view is none of those things. Frankly, it would be laughable to
think that someone who deals with life and death situations in an ER for as long as
James has would be as emotionally traumatised as Jimmy suggests. And nothing in
James’ emails or public utterances has been crazy, and everything he’s written so far
is level-headed and attempted to deal with facts and events. Possibly James got
some things wrong, but that doesn’t make him any of the alternatives given by Jimmy.

Furthermore, Jimmy’s language (“liar”, “low emotional intelligence”, etc.) is not
language I would expect to see in an email attempting to reconcile and hold a
reasonable discussion. Imagine that James was someone who did have, as Jimmy said,
“low emotional intelligence” or who is “emotionally traumatised”. I wonder what the
effect on them when they get an email like this from a powerful person who helped
remove the individual from a hard-fought for position within a movement that person
holds dear and is dedicated to working on?

As for the drama - Jimmy can hardly be complaining about drama. Calling someone a
liar, which he has done publicly now a few times, can possibly be excused the first
time as an outburst due to a highly stressful situation. When it is said over and
over, and inside “private” communications then it needs to be called out as publicly
as possible.

So Erik, Peter did a very difficult thing. In fact, it’s very brave because it leaves
him open to accusations that he was “leaking” private correspondence. If Peter reveals
it, then he knows some will see it poorly. Yet that email was unsolicited. None of the
information in that email is private, except for the appalling way that Jimmy wrote it.
There’s nothing in that email that Jimmy couldn’t have stated publicly. Except, of
course, if he’d written that directly to the mailing list there would have been an
uproar because it was out of line and manipulative.

I am incredibly surprised by this behaviour, and deeply saddened by it. It’s not acceptable.

Chris
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

rupert THURNER-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-3
On Mar 10, 2016 07:19, "Erik Moeller" <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>:
>
> > I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> > surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> > interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> > worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>
> Pete, regardless of Jimmy's words in this email, like others, I fail
> to see how it's okay to share a private email to this list. I can
> think of a few instances where this might be ethically defensible --
> like actual fraud being committed -- but this is not one of them. It's
> totally fair for people to ask Jimmy to clear the air on stuff
> himself, but this crosses the line, at least from my point of view.
>
> This comes down to giving a person you're corresponding with an
> honest, open channel by which they can apologize, clarify, and make
> things right. By violating that private channel you're making it
> implicitly impossible to have that kind of conversation.

I share this opinion.

Rupert
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales-4



> On Mar 10, 2016, at 2:01 AM, jimmy wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>
> Indeed George I agree with everything you have said about the internal effects of lack of transparency and openness.  Assuming I and other board members who continue to press for full openness about the James situation  are eventually successful this will all become more clear.

This situation - the lack of full openness and an OK for everyone to publicly discuss what they saw and believed happening - is incredibly damaging to the Foundation and movement by now.

The tension expressed with Board needs to keep some things confidential is real.  But...

I would go so far as to state that it appears to me. that Board members' fiduciary duty to the Foundation now argues for open disclosure, and is clearly and straightforwardly at odds with the Boards' current secrecy.

I understand that opinions and dynamics within the board are important, but your individual responsibilities are now becoming directly relevant.  I urge the board to resolve your internal obstacles to the openness swiftly.  If you cannot do so, your fiduciary duty must guide you.


George William Herbert
Sent from my iPhone


_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] A conversation?

Chris Sherlock
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales-5

> On 10 Mar 2016, at 8:25 PM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On 3/10/16 8:18 AM, Benjamin Lees wrote:
>> I was glad when I saw Jimbo indicate he was reaching out to James.  At
>> the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, maybe Jimbo should send James
>> another email, this time extending a clearer olive branch.  If we're
>> past the point of no return on that, then so be it, but I would be
>> happy to know that after three months of talking about and at each
>> other, you guys _sincerely_ tried talking to each other.
>
> I agree completely.  My email, which seems so horrifying to a few
> people, was meant exactly as that.  The truth is, I am genuinely
> bewildered and finding it very hard to understand why James says things
> that the entire rest of the board find contrary to fact.

Christ Jimmy, you sincerely told him he was either a liar, emotionally stunted,
or psychologically damaged! You think *that* is extending an olive branch?!?

> There is nothing horrible about encouraging him to think about whether
> emotion has blinded him.  When so many other people who know the facts
> are telling you that you have it wrong, it's a good idea to pause and
> reflect.

Then it’s a good idea to stick to, you know, the facts. Did you really
think that telling James that one option is he is a liar would be
conducive to reflections?

> And yes, it would have been more charitable and kind to include other
> options in that email.  I wrote it as an opening to a dialogue, not as a
> formal statement of position to be analyzed in public.  I invite people
> to think whether Pete's publishing of it was done in the interests of
> healing and harmony, rather than to further inflame and create drama.

“Charitable and kind”? What options might these have been?

If that email was the opening to a dialogue, then you might want to consider
your own level of EQ!

Chris


_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Pete Forsyth-2
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-3
Manipulative behavior thrives in an environment where a person can say
different things to different audiences, and can speak freely with the
expectation they will not be held accountable for their words.

Erik, thank you for articulating your views. As for my own actions, you
have either made some incorrect assumptions about the background, or you
operate on a set of principles that I don't entirely share. I'm pretty sure
it's the former. I carefully considered whether to publish this email
before doing so. I'm confident I'm on solid ethical ground (i.e., didn't
violate anyone's rights), and I'm pretty sure the impact on Wikimedia will
be positive in the end as well. Jimmy Wales sending this email, in my view,
tends to damage our project. It's worthwhile for those who care about
Wikimedia's future to know.

I agree very much with what you said in reply to SarahSV. You present a
very useful overview of how things could or should go in the future. Thank
you for that.

Specifics about my choice to release the email below:

On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 10:18 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>:
>
> > I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> > surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> > interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> > worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>
> Pete, regardless of Jimmy's words in this email, like others, I fail
> to see how it's okay to share a private email to this list. I can
> think of a few instances where this might be ethically defensible --
> like actual fraud being committed -- but this is not one of them. It's
> totally fair for people to ask Jimmy to clear the air on stuff
> himself, but this crosses the line, at least from my point of view.
>
> This comes down to giving a person you're corresponding with an
> honest, open channel by which they can apologize, clarify, and make
> things right. By violating that private channel you're making it
> implicitly impossible to have that kind of conversation.
>
> Meatball Wiki, as you know, has some wise words on this kind of stuff.
> http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/ForgiveAndForget is a good page to
> remember.
>
> And no, I'm not a fan how things have played out so far, and I'm not
> arguing for just moving on without addressing remaining grievances.
> But this isn't how we should move forward. Criticizing people's
> actions is fair game, even calling for resignation or other types of
> structural and organizational change. This kind of picking out of
> lines from private emails ought _not_ to be, in my view.
>
> Erik
>

Erik,

Jimmy Wales and I have never had a working relationship, or an ongoing
email correspondence. I'd guess we've exchanged under a dozen emails since
2008 or so, and spoken in person fewer times than that. I cannot think of a
single example of an exchange where we came to an agreement. The much more
common theme is that, the moment I express any kind of disagreement, he
vanishes without a word.

So the "private channel" you mention has never existed between Jimmy Wales
and myself. There has never been an agreement, either explicit or implied,
between us about whether our communications are private. Given our past
interactions, if he were to request of me that I keep our communications
private, I would refuse without hesitation.

Where I do have a healthy line of communication with someone, I agree with
you. It would take a very high bar (like fraud) for me to release such
communications publicly. We would simply work through any differences
together. I of course have this kind of communication all the time, as you
know. This situation is nothing like that, though. Jimmy and I have no such
relationship. And the bar is, indeed, pretty high: I read this as
manipulative communication, at odds with Jimmy's publicly expressed goals,
about things that impact the future of Wikimedia.

I did reply to Jimmy's email, and since my role is apparently something
people are interested in, I'm including my reply below. You'll see that I
was suggesting some of the same things you do, Erik. Jimmy never replied,
though.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pete Forsyth
Date: Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: A conversation?
To: Jimmy Wales, James Heilman


Jimmy, thanks for following up -- and James, thanks for alerting me of this
(it went to an old email address I no longer check. Good reminder though, I
am putting an auto-reply on there.)

I see that we have three things under discussion, and I want to reiterate
that I strongly urge the first:

   1. JW and JMH have a private conversation with the support of an
   independent, skilled facilitator
   2. JW and JMH have a truly one-on-one conversation
   3. JW and JMH have a conversation with PF as informal facilitator

I appreciate being looped in here, but I want to say very clearly: I don't
have the professional skills to serve as a facilitator here, even if I did
I am too involved to do it well, and I also don't really have the
bandwidth. However, I'm sure the WMF's HR department could refer you to
some excellent people. (I could give referrals, but I'm sure the HR
department is better equipped for that.) I think that the value of
professional facilitation/mediation/ombuds/whatever is well known, so I
won't go into the details of why I think this is a good idea unless asked.

In the meantime, I would very strongly urge you, Jimmy, to cease making
speculative statements about James' honesty or state of mind. James is
probably much less volatile than me, but personally I would probably freak
out if somebody was saying stuff like that about me, either publicly or
privately. It's highly inflammatory.

I would also request that you address (publicly, I hope) my main question
about your interpretation of the board vote about "discussing long term
strategy" as evidence of James' dishonesty. I think that is a point you
could, and should, walk back without much drama. I think it's safe to say
that it's highly obvious that you two agree about what constitutes "long
term strategy," and that's fine -- but the fact that it's become a
referendum on somebody's integrity is not, in my view, fine at all. I think
it would help things a great deal if you could publicly acknowledge that
point.

I'll leave the other points to be dealt with between you, ideally with
professional support. I really can't play the mediator role here.

-Pete
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Kevin Gorman
Jimmy, given the fact that James has requested you release it combined with
the fact that it contains no confidential information, please release the
particular email James requested you release.  You've said that you would
release it when you received permission from the board, but it was a
private communication between James and you that did not contain any
confidential information.  The combination of private emails from you to
Pete, me, and I suspect the email James refers to, combined with your
public statements, makes me honestly have serious doubts about your ability
to place the interests of the WMF above your personal interests, something
your position requires you do.

I'm expecting no bombshells in the email - I imagine it's just insulting or
untrue language directed at James - but you can't keep claiming to be an
advocate of radical transparency while refusing to release emails that
don't contain confidential information that shine light on an issue of
public contention.  In three seconds, you could demonstrate that my
concerns are unfounded and that your email was reasonable, and with a
little more you could demonstrate that there were defensible reasons for
removing James in the first place.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Manipulative behavior thrives in an environment where a person can say
> different things to different audiences, and can speak freely with the
> expectation they will not be held accountable for their words.
>
> Erik, thank you for articulating your views. As for my own actions, you
> have either made some incorrect assumptions about the background, or you
> operate on a set of principles that I don't entirely share. I'm pretty sure
> it's the former. I carefully considered whether to publish this email
> before doing so. I'm confident I'm on solid ethical ground (i.e., didn't
> violate anyone's rights), and I'm pretty sure the impact on Wikimedia will
> be positive in the end as well. Jimmy Wales sending this email, in my view,
> tends to damage our project. It's worthwhile for those who care about
> Wikimedia's future to know.
>
> I agree very much with what you said in reply to SarahSV. You present a
> very useful overview of how things could or should go in the future. Thank
> you for that.
>
> Specifics about my choice to release the email below:
>
> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 10:18 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> > > surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> > > interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> > > worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing
> it.)
> >
> > Pete, regardless of Jimmy's words in this email, like others, I fail
> > to see how it's okay to share a private email to this list. I can
> > think of a few instances where this might be ethically defensible --
> > like actual fraud being committed -- but this is not one of them. It's
> > totally fair for people to ask Jimmy to clear the air on stuff
> > himself, but this crosses the line, at least from my point of view.
> >
> > This comes down to giving a person you're corresponding with an
> > honest, open channel by which they can apologize, clarify, and make
> > things right. By violating that private channel you're making it
> > implicitly impossible to have that kind of conversation.
> >
> > Meatball Wiki, as you know, has some wise words on this kind of stuff.
> > http://meatballwiki.org/wiki/ForgiveAndForget is a good page to
> > remember.
> >
> > And no, I'm not a fan how things have played out so far, and I'm not
> > arguing for just moving on without addressing remaining grievances.
> > But this isn't how we should move forward. Criticizing people's
> > actions is fair game, even calling for resignation or other types of
> > structural and organizational change. This kind of picking out of
> > lines from private emails ought _not_ to be, in my view.
> >
> > Erik
> >
>
> Erik,
>
> Jimmy Wales and I have never had a working relationship, or an ongoing
> email correspondence. I'd guess we've exchanged under a dozen emails since
> 2008 or so, and spoken in person fewer times than that. I cannot think of a
> single example of an exchange where we came to an agreement. The much more
> common theme is that, the moment I express any kind of disagreement, he
> vanishes without a word.
>
> So the "private channel" you mention has never existed between Jimmy Wales
> and myself. There has never been an agreement, either explicit or implied,
> between us about whether our communications are private. Given our past
> interactions, if he were to request of me that I keep our communications
> private, I would refuse without hesitation.
>
> Where I do have a healthy line of communication with someone, I agree with
> you. It would take a very high bar (like fraud) for me to release such
> communications publicly. We would simply work through any differences
> together. I of course have this kind of communication all the time, as you
> know. This situation is nothing like that, though. Jimmy and I have no such
> relationship. And the bar is, indeed, pretty high: I read this as
> manipulative communication, at odds with Jimmy's publicly expressed goals,
> about things that impact the future of Wikimedia.
>
> I did reply to Jimmy's email, and since my role is apparently something
> people are interested in, I'm including my reply below. You'll see that I
> was suggesting some of the same things you do, Erik. Jimmy never replied,
> though.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Pete Forsyth
> Date: Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM
> Subject: Re: A conversation?
> To: Jimmy Wales, James Heilman
>
>
> Jimmy, thanks for following up -- and James, thanks for alerting me of this
> (it went to an old email address I no longer check. Good reminder though, I
> am putting an auto-reply on there.)
>
> I see that we have three things under discussion, and I want to reiterate
> that I strongly urge the first:
>
>    1. JW and JMH have a private conversation with the support of an
>    independent, skilled facilitator
>    2. JW and JMH have a truly one-on-one conversation
>    3. JW and JMH have a conversation with PF as informal facilitator
>
> I appreciate being looped in here, but I want to say very clearly: I don't
> have the professional skills to serve as a facilitator here, even if I did
> I am too involved to do it well, and I also don't really have the
> bandwidth. However, I'm sure the WMF's HR department could refer you to
> some excellent people. (I could give referrals, but I'm sure the HR
> department is better equipped for that.) I think that the value of
> professional facilitation/mediation/ombuds/whatever is well known, so I
> won't go into the details of why I think this is a good idea unless asked.
>
> In the meantime, I would very strongly urge you, Jimmy, to cease making
> speculative statements about James' honesty or state of mind. James is
> probably much less volatile than me, but personally I would probably freak
> out if somebody was saying stuff like that about me, either publicly or
> privately. It's highly inflammatory.
>
> I would also request that you address (publicly, I hope) my main question
> about your interpretation of the board vote about "discussing long term
> strategy" as evidence of James' dishonesty. I think that is a point you
> could, and should, walk back without much drama. I think it's safe to say
> that it's highly obvious that you two agree about what constitutes "long
> term strategy," and that's fine -- but the fact that it's become a
> referendum on somebody's integrity is not, in my view, fine at all. I think
> it would help things a great deal if you could publicly acknowledge that
> point.
>
> I'll leave the other points to be dealt with between you, ideally with
> professional support. I really can't play the mediator role here.
>
> -Pete
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Keegan Peterzell
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 12:33 PM, Kevin Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Jimmy, given the fact that James has requested you release it combined with
> the fact that it contains no confidential information, please release the
> particular email James requested you release.  You've said that you would
> release it when you received permission from the board, but it was a
> private communication between James and you that did not contain any
> confidential information.  The combination of private emails from you to
> Pete, me, and I suspect the email James refers to, combined with your
> public statements, makes me honestly have serious doubts about your ability
> to place the interests of the WMF above your personal interests, something
> your position requires you do.
>
> I'm expecting no bombshells in the email - I imagine it's just insulting or
> untrue language directed at James - but you can't keep claiming to be an
> advocate of radical transparency while refusing to release emails that
> don't contain confidential information that shine light on an issue of
> public contention.  In three seconds, you could demonstrate that my
> concerns are unfounded and that your email was reasonable, and with a
> little more you could demonstrate that there were defensible reasons for
> removing James in the first place.
>

​Kevin,

You've been touting your experience on Boards in giving advice, and I have
some experience there myself, so let's think of ​it in those Real World
terms:

Regardless of what anyone's personal opinion on what may or may not be
confidential, what may or may not be an insult or personal attack, what may
or may not be etc., there is a very real legal shield of confidentiality in
place not just for this board, but for any semi-professional organization
that exists because personal opinion does not matter in the eyes of the law.

​Multiple people are asking why James was removed. The answer has been
given: the Board felt that they were unable to work with James, and due to
the privacy of Board work, nothing can be disclosed further. While this
answer is frustrating in a movement where we demand transparency for trust
and collaboration (as we should), for Jimmy or anyone else to comment
further would be - as an understatement - a poor decision, and one I'm sure
Counsel would drop their jaw over, if not outright resign their position.

If you were in the same position, you'd do the exact same thing. If you
didn't, you'd be opening up a hole for a lawsuit that you can drive a truck
through. And that lawsuit and hole, friends, is what will be the death of
the Wikimedia Foundation. Not this.


--
~Keegan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan

This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
is in a personal capacity.
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Kevin Gorman
Keegan,

Jimmy has attacked James on a personal level in public multiple times, and
sent frankly confusing private emails to multiple people off-list.  There
is no general 'legal shield of confidentiality' surrounding organizations
in general.  Sometimes employees are forbidden from making information
public due to NDA's, etc.  I've never heard of a board member being asked
to sign an NDA regarding information of the sort apparently contained in
the email.  If the particular email in question is a reasonable email,
it'll silence a lot of the debate around this issue; if it's not, it'll
bring up a valid question and debate as whether or not one of
our fiduciaries is capable of carrying out his duties.

When Jimmy has already defamed James publicly, no counsel in their right
mind would have an issue with the publication of private emails that show
Jimmy behaving in a reasonable manner towards James.  As it stands, there
is more potential damage to WMF if the email in question is *not* released
than if it is, assming it is reasonable - although I have no doubt that
James would not take legal action, when you combine Jimmy's public
statements with the fact that James is a doctor, a profession where
confidentiality is paramount, it starts to look an awful lot like
defamation per se.  Besides the internal and external brand damage caused
by Jimmy's actions, you don't want to be in a situation where it looks like
one board member is literally commiting defamation per se against a former
remember removed for "cause."

BTW: besides there being no general "legal shield of confidentiality"
around organizations or boards, any lawyer worth his salt will, accurately,
tell the board members he's advising that unless there is a separate legal
basis for confidentiality (like an NDA signed on a grant,) that each
individual trustee is positively obligated to release information about
their organization or obtained from board meetings if they believe that
doing so is in the best interests of the organization.  Releases of
information should normally be coordinated with other trustees and with
comms staff, but if you end up in a situation where you disagree with the
rest of the board about whether or not it's in the best interests of an
organization to release information, there's not a separate legal basis for
confidentiality (and there normally isn't,) and you feel that releasing the
information is going to cause more benefit (or avert more harm) to the
organization than whatever damage it may do to the cohesiveness of the
board, you are obligated to release that information.

But that is pretty irrelevant when we're not dealing with issues that
really deal with the board as a whole, just an individual email that
doesn't contain confidential information between two board members.  Jimmy
has no legal obligation to keep it confidential, or to seek the permission
of the rest of the board to release it.  Neither does James - he could
release it this second if he decided to, but values privacy enough that
instead of doing so he's asking Jimmy to follow through with his promise of
radical transparency.

----
Kevin Gorman

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 11:11 AM, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 12:33 PM, Kevin Gorman <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Jimmy, given the fact that James has requested you release it combined
> with
> > the fact that it contains no confidential information, please release the
> > particular email James requested you release.  You've said that you would
> > release it when you received permission from the board, but it was a
> > private communication between James and you that did not contain any
> > confidential information.  The combination of private emails from you to
> > Pete, me, and I suspect the email James refers to, combined with your
> > public statements, makes me honestly have serious doubts about your
> ability
> > to place the interests of the WMF above your personal interests,
> something
> > your position requires you do.
> >
> > I'm expecting no bombshells in the email - I imagine it's just insulting
> or
> > untrue language directed at James - but you can't keep claiming to be an
> > advocate of radical transparency while refusing to release emails that
> > don't contain confidential information that shine light on an issue of
> > public contention.  In three seconds, you could demonstrate that my
> > concerns are unfounded and that your email was reasonable, and with a
> > little more you could demonstrate that there were defensible reasons for
> > removing James in the first place.
> >
>
> ​Kevin,
>
> You've been touting your experience on Boards in giving advice, and I have
> some experience there myself, so let's think of ​it in those Real World
> terms:
>
> Regardless of what anyone's personal opinion on what may or may not be
> confidential, what may or may not be an insult or personal attack, what may
> or may not be etc., there is a very real legal shield of confidentiality in
> place not just for this board, but for any semi-professional organization
> that exists because personal opinion does not matter in the eyes of the
> law.
>
> ​Multiple people are asking why James was removed. The answer has been
> given: the Board felt that they were unable to work with James, and due to
> the privacy of Board work, nothing can be disclosed further. While this
> answer is frustrating in a movement where we demand transparency for trust
> and collaboration (as we should), for Jimmy or anyone else to comment
> further would be - as an understatement - a poor decision, and one I'm sure
> Counsel would drop their jaw over, if not outright resign their position.
>
> If you were in the same position, you'd do the exact same thing. If you
> didn't, you'd be opening up a hole for a lawsuit that you can drive a truck
> through. And that lawsuit and hole, friends, is what will be the death of
> the Wikimedia Foundation. Not this.
>
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
>
> This is my personal email address. Everything sent from this email address
> is in a personal capacity.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Leila Zia
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2
Hi Pete,

On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I carefully considered whether to publish this email
> before doing so. I'm confident I'm on solid ethical ground (i.e., didn't
> violate anyone's rights), and I'm pretty sure the impact on Wikimedia will
> be positive in the end as well.


​It's hard to argue with this statement one way or the other (when you are
sure, but you cannot prove.) From experience we have seen that Wikimedia is
a big
​ and distributed​
Movement and the impact of such actions on the Movement is unlikely to be
noticeable
​.​



Specifics about my choice to release the email below:

>
> On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 10:18 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> > > surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> > > interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> > > worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing
> it.)
>

​It is problematic that you have checked with James but not Jimmy prior to
publishing this email. The content of the email does not justify this
action for me.


> Erik,
>
> So the "private channel" you mention has never existed between Jimmy Wales
> and myself. There has never been an agreement, either explicit or implied,
> between us about whether our communications are private.


There are norms that people follow in online communications. It is expected
that you check with the sender of the email before publishing his/her
email. People expect private conversations to stay private, and the
definition of a private conversation is not complicated in most of the
people's minds: if a conversation doesn't happen in a public channel, it's
considered private.

Where I do have a healthy line of communication with someone, I agree with
> you.


​If you see that you don't have a healthy line of communication with Jimmy,
you may want to consider not communicating with him at all. Initiating
and/or participating in conversations about someone when you cannot have a
healthy conversation with that person won't be beneficial. You will end up
being in a position that you cannot improve things between the two of you,
but you will have extra information that you will feel burdened to share
with others.

I hope you think about what you did here, and you decide to take a
different course of action in the future.

Best,
Leila

--
​​Leila Zia
Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation


>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Pete Forsyth
> Date: Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM
> Subject: Re: A conversation?
> To: Jimmy Wales, James Heilman
>
>
> Jimmy, thanks for following up -- and James, thanks for alerting me of this
> (it went to an old email address I no longer check. Good reminder though, I
> am putting an auto-reply on there.)
>
> I see that we have three things under discussion, and I want to reiterate
> that I strongly urge the first:
>
>    1. JW and JMH have a private conversation with the support of an
>    independent, skilled facilitator
>    2. JW and JMH have a truly one-on-one conversation
>    3. JW and JMH have a conversation with PF as informal facilitator
>
> I appreciate being looped in here, but I want to say very clearly: I don't
> have the professional skills to serve as a facilitator here, even if I did
> I am too involved to do it well, and I also don't really have the
> bandwidth. However, I'm sure the WMF's HR department could refer you to
> some excellent people. (I could give referrals, but I'm sure the HR
> department is better equipped for that.) I think that the value of
> professional facilitation/mediation/ombuds/whatever is well known, so I
> won't go into the details of why I think this is a good idea unless asked.
>
> In the meantime, I would very strongly urge you, Jimmy, to cease making
> speculative statements about James' honesty or state of mind. James is
> probably much less volatile than me, but personally I would probably freak
> out if somebody was saying stuff like that about me, either publicly or
> privately. It's highly inflammatory.
>
> I would also request that you address (publicly, I hope) my main question
> about your interpretation of the board vote about "discussing long term
> strategy" as evidence of James' dishonesty. I think that is a point you
> could, and should, walk back without much drama. I think it's safe to say
> that it's highly obvious that you two agree about what constitutes "long
> term strategy," and that's fine -- but the fact that it's become a
> referendum on somebody's integrity is not, in my view, fine at all. I think
> it would help things a great deal if you could publicly acknowledge that
> point.
>
> I'll leave the other points to be dealt with between you, ideally with
> professional support. I really can't play the mediator role here.
>
> -Pete
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Craig Franklin
A few days ago I asked what it was that we as the community could do to
enhance transparency within the Foundation.  This was not what I had in
mind.  Why would Jimmy or anyone else in a position of authority at the WMF
seek to engage with those making criticisms when they'll be subject to acts
like this; private emails posted without permission and shorn of context?
I'm sure that Jimmy will think twice next time before trying to explain his
thinking or give information, and who could blame him?  There might be a
line where it is acceptable to publicise an email without consent (say, if
Jimmy had threatened to punch James in the nose), but IMHO even though
Jimmy comes off as a bit of a jerk in this one, it falls far short of that
line.

I know Pete that you meant well with your actions, but I fear that you may
actually have done quite a bit of damage.

Cheers,
Craig

On 11 March 2016 at 08:24, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Pete,
>
> On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 9:21 AM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > I carefully considered whether to publish this email
> > before doing so. I'm confident I'm on solid ethical ground (i.e., didn't
> > violate anyone's rights), and I'm pretty sure the impact on Wikimedia
> will
> > be positive in the end as well.
>
>
> ​It's hard to argue with this statement one way or the other (when you are
> sure, but you cannot prove.) From experience we have seen that Wikimedia is
> a big
> ​ and distributed​
> Movement and the impact of such actions on the Movement is unlikely to be
> noticeable
> ​.​
>
> ​
>
> Specifics about my choice to release the email below:
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 10:18 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > 2016-03-09 16:56 GMT-08:00 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>:
> > >
> > > > I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> > > > surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> > > > interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what
> it's
> > > > worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing
> > it.)
> >
>
> ​It is problematic that you have checked with James but not Jimmy prior to
> publishing this email. The content of the email does not justify this
> action for me.
>
>
> > Erik,
> >
> > So the "private channel" you mention has never existed between Jimmy
> Wales
> > and myself. There has never been an agreement, either explicit or
> implied,
> > between us about whether our communications are private.
>
>
> There are norms that people follow in online communications. It is expected
> that you check with the sender of the email before publishing his/her
> email. People expect private conversations to stay private, and the
> definition of a private conversation is not complicated in most of the
> people's minds: if a conversation doesn't happen in a public channel, it's
> considered private.
>
> Where I do have a healthy line of communication with someone, I agree with
> > you.
>
>
> ​If you see that you don't have a healthy line of communication with Jimmy,
> you may want to consider not communicating with him at all. Initiating
> and/or participating in conversations about someone when you cannot have a
> healthy conversation with that person won't be beneficial. You will end up
> being in a position that you cannot improve things between the two of you,
> but you will have extra information that you will feel burdened to share
> with others.
>
> I hope you think about what you did here, and you decide to take a
> different course of action in the future.
>
> Best,
> Leila
>
> --
> ​​Leila Zia
> Research Scientist
> Wikimedia Foundation
> ​
>
> >
> > -Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: Pete Forsyth
> > Date: Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:49 AM
> > Subject: Re: A conversation?
> > To: Jimmy Wales, James Heilman
> >
> >
> > Jimmy, thanks for following up -- and James, thanks for alerting me of
> this
> > (it went to an old email address I no longer check. Good reminder
> though, I
> > am putting an auto-reply on there.)
> >
> > I see that we have three things under discussion, and I want to reiterate
> > that I strongly urge the first:
> >
> >    1. JW and JMH have a private conversation with the support of an
> >    independent, skilled facilitator
> >    2. JW and JMH have a truly one-on-one conversation
> >    3. JW and JMH have a conversation with PF as informal facilitator
> >
> > I appreciate being looped in here, but I want to say very clearly: I
> don't
> > have the professional skills to serve as a facilitator here, even if I
> did
> > I am too involved to do it well, and I also don't really have the
> > bandwidth. However, I'm sure the WMF's HR department could refer you to
> > some excellent people. (I could give referrals, but I'm sure the HR
> > department is better equipped for that.) I think that the value of
> > professional facilitation/mediation/ombuds/whatever is well known, so I
> > won't go into the details of why I think this is a good idea unless
> asked.
> >
> > In the meantime, I would very strongly urge you, Jimmy, to cease making
> > speculative statements about James' honesty or state of mind. James is
> > probably much less volatile than me, but personally I would probably
> freak
> > out if somebody was saying stuff like that about me, either publicly or
> > privately. It's highly inflammatory.
> >
> > I would also request that you address (publicly, I hope) my main question
> > about your interpretation of the board vote about "discussing long term
> > strategy" as evidence of James' dishonesty. I think that is a point you
> > could, and should, walk back without much drama. I think it's safe to say
> > that it's highly obvious that you two agree about what constitutes "long
> > term strategy," and that's fine -- but the fact that it's become a
> > referendum on somebody's integrity is not, in my view, fine at all. I
> think
> > it would help things a great deal if you could publicly acknowledge that
> > point.
> >
> > I'll leave the other points to be dealt with between you, ideally with
> > professional support. I really can't play the mediator role here.
> >
> > -Pete
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Thomas Morton
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2
The rights and wrongs of this dispute aside (and, crikey, I really have not
idea who is in the right at this point), and putting aside the right/wrong
of releasing the email (I tend to side with Erik):

This is the form of language that e.g. men use to dismiss women as
"emotional".

It's vile and judgemental.

It poses theories that James is either a liar, mentally ill or just so
angry he can't think straight.

It is not okay to say things like this, even in private. The effect of
words like this can be damaging in the least.

As a movement we should not accept this.

Jimmy, whilst you may not have explicitly meant these words in the way they
are being read, you need to perhaps step back and think about the impact of
what you have written here.

Tom

On Thu, 10 Mar 2016 at 00:56 Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Below is a message Jimmy Wales sent to James Heilman and myself on Feb. 29.
> I mentioned the existence of this message on the list on March 2:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-March/082901.html
>
> I feel this message can provide important insight into the dynamics
> surrounding James H.'s dismissal, and various people have expressed
> interest in seeing it, so I'm forwarding it to the list. (For what it's
> worth, I did check with James H.; he had no objection to my sharing it.)
>
> For context, as I understand it, Jimmy's message was more or less in
> response to this list message of mine:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082764.html
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>
> *From: *Jimmy Wales
>
> *Date: *February 29, 2016 6:21:46 AM
>
> *To: *Pete Forsyth,James Heilman
>
> *Subject: **A conversation?*
>
>
> James, I wonder if you'd be up for a one on one conversation. I've been
> struck in a positive way by some of the things that Pete has said and I
> realize that moving things forward on wikimedia-l, being sniped at by
> people who are as interested in creating drama as anything else, isn't
> really conducive to reaching more understanding.
>
> I have some questions for you - real, sincere, and puzzled questions.
> Some of the things that you have said strike me as very obviously out of
> line with the facts. And I wonder how to reconcile that.
>
> One hypothesis is that you're just a liar. I have a hard time with that
> one.
>
> Another hypothesis is that you have a poor memory or low emotional
> intelligence or something like that - you seem to say things that just
> don't make sense and which attempt to lead people to conclusions that
> are clearly not true.
>
> Another hypothesis is that the emotional trauma of all this has colored
> your perceptions on certain details.
>
> As an example, and I'm not going to dig up the exact quotes, you said
> publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
> Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm
> fine with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now way to
> get that from what I said - Indeed, I specifically said that we are NOT
> building a Google-competing search engine, and explained the much lower
> and much less complex ambition of improving search and discovery.
>
> As another example, you published a timeline starting with Wikia Search.
> It's really hard for me to interpret that in any other way than to try
> to lead people down the path of the conspiracy theorists that I had a
> pet project to compete with Google which led to a secret project to
> biuld a search engine, etc. etc. You know as well as I do that's a
> false narrative, so it's very hard for me to charitably interpret that.
>
> Anyway these are the kinds of things that I struggle with.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Chris Sherlock
In reply to this post by Keegan Peterzell


Sent from my iPad

> On 11 Mar 2016, at 6:11 AM, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> ​Kevin,
>
> You've been touting your experience on Boards in giving advice, and I have
> some experience there myself, so let's think of ​it in those Real World
> terms:
>
> Regardless of what anyone's personal opinion on what may or may not be
> confidential, what may or may not be an insult or personal attack, what may
> or may not be etc., there is a very real legal shield of confidentiality in
> place not just for this board, but for any semi-professional organization
> that exists because personal opinion does not matter in the eyes of the law.
>
> ​Multiple people are asking why James was removed. The answer has been
> given: the Board felt that they were unable to work with James, and due to
> the privacy of Board work, nothing can be disclosed further. While this
> answer is frustrating in a movement where we demand transparency for trust
> and collaboration (as we should), for Jimmy or anyone else to comment
> further would be - as an understatement - a poor decision, and one I'm sure
> Counsel would drop their jaw over, if not outright resign their position.
>
> If you were in the same position, you'd do the exact same thing. If you
> didn't, you'd be opening up a hole for a lawsuit that you can drive a truck
> through. And that lawsuit and hole, friends, is what will be the death of
> the Wikimedia Foundation. Not this.

And yet Keenan, Jimmy has indeed commented further and has further stated on numerous occasions that he would like transparency, and is working with the Board to release emails and provide a fuller explanation of their actions to remove James.

So when you talk about a shield of confidentiality for the Board, then if this is the case then Jimmy's actions in communicating with a non-board member (Pete) seems to put Jimmy in a very awkward position if he agrees with your statement that "for Jimmy or anyone else to comment further would be - as an understatement - a poor decision, and one I'm sure Counsel would drop their jaw over, if not outright resign their position." Or the very public utterances by Jimmy, not cleared by counsel, that he is a liar.

Just remember here that Jimmy sent that email unsolicited to Peter. It is not Jimmy I feel for here, but Peter. Peter gets an email that shocks him, and he feels is unacceptable and manipulative, possibly even defamatory. He responds to Jimmy telling him that he is not a mediator. Jimmy then makes comments on the list stating that he is in private communications with James to work through issues, to which I personally believed was an excellent and constructive thing for him to do. Yet we now see what sort of communication he is having with James: insults and denigration, and what looks like attempts to manipulate and inflame James.

If anything, that's incredibly unfair to James. On the one hand Jimmy can say to everyone that hand on heart he is working through things with James *in private*, and yet by doing so he can say whatever he wants to James and should James reveal their correspondence then he, and others like yourself, can claim that private communications were violated. Thus Jimmy can say what he wants with complete impunity, and at the same time appear to the wider community to be making good faith attempts at reconciling with James.

If I were in James' shoes, I would cease all communications with such a person and request a formal, third party, professions mediator. I would also advise Jimmy that any future communications that do not satisfy this condition can no longer be considered private and may well be publicised.

Jimmy: you need to stop calling, or even implying or suggesting James is a liar. I am not a lawyer, but I feel you are very lucky in many ways that you don't live in the UK, because I feel James would be well within his rights to sue for defamation from some of the things you have stated. I'm not sure if he would have grounds, or even much of a chance of winning, a defamation suit in the U.S. but I suspect he could try should he want to.

The bottom line is that a professional mediator probably now needs to get involved. If the WMF is unwilling to fund or provide one, then this issue is not going away. I suspect that regardless, James will campaign to be elected for the next available Board on a platform of making the Board's actions more transparent and accountable. The Board will be in a position, should he win, of not accepting the nomination or will need to allow him on the Board - and this time, should he be removed again the uproar will be extremely damaging to the WMF. The Board, in my view, has no one to blame but themselves for allowing this to occur.

Chris
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

SarahSV
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales-5
On Thu, Mar 10, 2016 at 2:25 AM, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>
> ​... ​
> The truth is, I am genuinely
> bewildered and finding it very hard to understand why James says things
> that the entire rest of the board find contrary to fact.
>
> With one exception that I can think of, everything James has said has
​so far ​
turned out to be true.​ The exception is that he said Dariusz had seconded
the motion to accept the Knight grant, but in fact it was Denny. When the
error was pointed out, he corrected himself. [1]

If you're saying he got
​ ​
other things wrong, i
​t would be​
better to show us
​ where.​


For example, in your 29 February 2016 email to James, you wrote that James
had "said publicly that you wrote to me in October that we were building a
Google-competing search engine and that I more or less said that I'm fine
with it. Go back and read our exchange. There's just now [sic] way to get
that from what I said ..."

It would help if you would publish the October 2015 exchange so that we can
judge it for ourselves. James has published his 7 October email to the
Board. [2]

Also, please point to where James said publicly that you more or less said
you were fine with building a Google-competing search engine. I don't
recall him saying anything like that. (If he had, someone would have asked
for more information about your statement, and I don't recall anyone asking
that either.)

Sarah

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk%3AWikimedia_Foundation_Board_of_Trustees&type=revision&diff=15396717&oldid=15396673
[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-02-03/In_focus
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: A conversation?

Chris Sherlock
In reply to this post by Leila Zia


Sent from my iPad

> On 11 Mar 2016, at 9:24 AM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> ​If you see that you don't have a healthy line of communication with Jimmy,
> you may want to consider not communicating with him at all. Initiating
> and/or participating in conversations about someone when you cannot have a
> healthy conversation with that person won't be beneficial. You will end up
> being in a position that you cannot improve things between the two of you,
> but you will have extra information that you will feel burdened to share
> with others.

That's pretty unfair. It was Jimmy who initiated this off list correspondence with James and Peter. He didn't ask Peter if he wanted to be a mediator, and I think Peter's response makes that clear. In fact, saying that Peter was an active participant in this discussion off list is totally inaccurate. As you can see from the response that Peter provided to Jimmy (which he has shared with us now), Peter has taken great pains to make it clear he doesn't want to be involved in direct correspondence on this issue and he wants any discussion he takes part in to be in public.

Basically, whilst I respect your views on this situation, in my view the email you are directing to Peter is better directed to Jimmy.

Chris
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
12