[Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
Marc A. Pelletier wrote:

> Tomasz, while it seems clear that communications about that move seem to
> have been lacking, I think it's unwarranted to ascribe ill-intent to the
> WMF staff.  Perhaps you should wait for a response from them before you
> declare what their wishes may be or what their reasons were?

I cannot tell what was the /intent/ of the WMF when they acted (for
obvious reasons), but I think that my description of the situation was
pretty justified — and the message sent to all those desysopped
volunteers could not have been more clear. If the WMF wants their help,
why would they desysop them in the first place?

If you had read my e-mail, then I'm sure you noticed that I actually
asked about the reasons for this decision and its execution, as I am
unable to find any justification for what happened.

[Yes, I do understand there is a considerable time difference, etc; I'll
be patiently waiting for a response from the WMF.]

        -- Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

theo10011
On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 9:32 PM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski <[hidden email]
> wrote:

>
> [Yes, I do understand there is a considerable time difference, etc; I'll
> be patiently waiting for a response from the WMF.]


Might even have to wait till Monday. This was done on a Friday night I
think.

There doesn't seem to be any method to how these rights are being assigned
and retained. Observations-

1) Only 2 of the current board members (besides Jimmy) have admin rights.
Prob. on the argument that they are community-elected?
2) A few of the current admins that retained their flag have never made a
contribution, or made any in the last year.
3) Phoebe for some reason, retains her right while currently not being on
staff or the board.
4) Only 2 people are prob. assigned on the basis of "advisory board"
without any explanation. There is no updated list to check who is on the
advisory board this time.

There does seem to be a pattern about how this is being cleaned up, and I
don't think Gayle is the impetus behind this though she is taking the blame
for it.

Theo
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Seb35
In reply to this post by Marc-Andre
Le Sat, 11 May 2013 17:50:18 +0200, Marc A. Pelletier <[hidden email]> a  
écrit:
> Perhaps you should wait for a response from them before you
> declare what their wishes may be or what their reasons were?

At the same time, it’s a very bad timing of doing such a controversial  
action just before weekend, and let people wondering during two days the  
reasons behind this action. So waiting still 2 days..

Sébastien

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Sue Gardner-2
In reply to this post by K. Peachey-2
Gayle is travelling today and not online, so I'll take a crack at
responding to this.

The editors are responsible for the projects: the Wikimedia Foundation
knows that, acknowledges it, and is deeply appreciative (as are all
readers) for the work that volunteers do in the projects. The Wikimedia
Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia Foundation wiki (and the blog).
We are grateful to get community help there, and a small number of
community members do really good work with us on both the WMF wiki and the
blog. But ultimately that wiki, and the blog, are our responsibility, and
we are accountable for making sure that e.g. the staff page, the Board
bios, the resolution texts, etc., are maintained and in good shape. Most
material on the WMF is not created via collaborative production processes
-- it's "corporate" in nature, meaning that it is developed by the
Wikimedia Foundation, for an audience of Wikimedia Foundation stakeholders,
which includes community members and prospective community members, donors,
readers of the projects, media, and others.

My understanding is that administrator rights have been removed from a
small number of volunteers, but that those people still have basic editing
rights. My understanding is that the Wikimedia Foundation staff who work on
the Foundation wiki have been grateful (and are grateful) for the help
they've gotten from community members in maintaining the Foundation wiki,
and that we hope they'll continue to help us. They've been great, and we're
grateful.

But, my understanding is also that occasionally volunteers have overridden
decisions made by staff on the Wikimedia Foundation wiki. I don't think
that's ever been a huge problem: I don't think we've ever had a situation
in which extensive discussion hasn't reached an okay conclusion. But, the
extensive discussions --which, I understand, have typically been
one-on-one, by which I mean, not a large number of community members or a
community consensus against something the Foundation has wanted to do, but
rather one volunteer disagreeing with something staff have been asked to do
as part of their job --- occasionally, those discussions have been
extremely time-consuming. That's not good. The staff working on the
Wikimedia Foundation wiki have jobs they've got to get done, in support of
the entire movement. If they spend days or weeks needing to persuade a
single community member of the merits of something they want to do on the
Foundation wiki, or if they need to modify their plans extensively to
accommodate the opinions of a single community member, that reduces the
amount of time available for them to do the rest of their work. Which, I
repeat, is in the service of the movement overall.

So I would say this:

This decision is not about "the community" versus "the WMF." This decision
is about the WMF staff, and making it possible for them to do their work on
the WMF wiki with some reasonable degree of efficiency and effectiveness.
This decision clarifies roles-and-responsibilities. On the projects, the
volunteers are the editorial leads, and the WMF plays a supporting role by
creating functionality, maintaining the servers, paying the bandwidth
bills, and so forth. On the WMF wiki, the WMF is the editorial lead, and
volunteers can (and do) play a supporting role helping staff organize
pages, maintain pages, and so forth. That's a reasonable division, and I
think having clarity around it is a good thing.

Slightly more broadly: when the Wikimedia movement was very young,
everybody did everything and there wasn't much division of
roles-and-responsibilities. I remember when the Wikimedia Foundation
budgets were prepared by volunteers, when the trademarks were managed by
volunteers, and so forth. That was appropriate for the time, and even
though it was messy, it was kind of great. Then we all went through a
period in which roles-and-responsibilities were utterly unclear -- it
wasn't at all obvious who should do what, and many
roles-and-responsibilities were hotly disputed. Personally, I feel like
we're moving into a period now in which things are getting clearer. We
don't pay staff to edit the projects: staff who edit do it on their own
time, as a hobby or special personal interest. We do pay staff to do things
that are better done by staff than by volunteers, such as managing the
trademark portfolio. Some volunteers (such as Domas) have very special
privileges and powers, because they've proved over time they are
exceptionally skilled. Some volunteers support the Wikimedia Foundation
staff in their work in a variety of ways, because they've proved their
interest and abilities. Some work happens in close partnership between
staff and volunteers, such as production of blog posts, speaking with the
media, and in projects such as the Global Ed one. Sometimes organized
groups of volunteers are created by volunteers and supported by staff (e.g.
ArbCom or AffCom) and sometimes organized groups of volunteers are created
by the Wikimedia Foundation and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation (such
as the FDC). Upshot: community members and Wikimedia Foundation staff work
together in many different coordinated fashions. The ways on which we work
together are becoming increasingly clear, and I think that clarity is good.

So. People can disagree with this decision, and that's okay. But
ultimately, the Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia
Foundation wiki: it's our job to figure out how best to manage and maintain
it. That's what we're doing here.

Thanks,
Sue
On May 11, 2013 4:15 AM, "K. Peachey" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> This is the email that got sent out to everyone,
>
> ---
> Dear XXX,
> Thank you for your work with the Foundation wiki.  At this time, we
> are formalizing a new requirement, which is that administrator access
> is given only to staff and board.  I am having administrator access to
> accounts that are neither staff or board be disabled, effective
> immediately.
> Sincerely,
> Gayle
> --
> Gayle Karen K. Young
> Chief Talent and Culture Officer
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 415.310.8416
> www.wikimediafoundation.org
> ---
>
> Gayle's response (which was the first time she has edited the wiki in
> ~5 months[2]) seems lacking[1] in general and the subsequent responses
> about knowing what these people do on the wiki
>
> Another interesting fact is that Mz got desysoped first, When you
> would expect it to be done in alphabetically order.
>
> "We've been discussing this for awhile, and the thought is that it's
> ultimately the Foundation's web presence, not the community's web
> presence. A useful parallel to consider might be how userrights are
> given to staffers on the community wikis; they're distributed as and
> when they're needed for a specific task."
>
> Um, Rights for staff on wikis are given out like candy?, although not
> as much thee days but it still happens.
>
> Also, How is the foundation wiki not apart of the community? Has the
> position of the legal department changed? or the boards? just randomly
> changing without any imput or discussions seems utlimately strange.
> since it is actually their wiki (just like everything else that falls
> under the foundation)
>
> [1]. <
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?diff=91857&oldid=91855#Users_stripped_of_rights.3F
> >
> [2]. <
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3AContributions&target=Gyoung
> >
> [3]. <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:Log/rights>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

MZMcBride-2
Sue Gardner wrote:
>So. People can disagree with this decision, and that's okay. But
>ultimately, the Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia
>Foundation wiki: it's our job to figure out how best to manage and
>Maintain it. That's what we're doing here.

wikimediafoundation.org has historically been managed by the Board. Not
Gayle or Philippe.

I'm still waiting on the Board to chime in here. It's my understanding
that several Board members (current and former) wanted to open the wiki to
more editing and cleanup in the short-term and in the long-term re-unite
the wiki with Meta-Wiki at www.wikimedia.org.

This is a step in the wrong direction.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Marc-Andre
In reply to this post by Seb35
On 05/11/2013 12:41 PM, Seb35 wrote:
> At the same time, it’s a very bad timing of doing such a controversial
> action just before weekend, and let people wondering during two days the
> reasons behind this action. So waiting still 2 days..

Yes, IMO that was a faux-pas.  This should have been announced in
advance and not done late Friday, if only to avoid those open questions.

I note, however, that Sue gave an extended response in this thread a bit
ago, so while it may not have been the best of timings, it's been swift.
 :-)

-- Marc


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Tomasz W. Kozlowski
In reply to this post by Sue Gardner-2
I'm not going to respond to all the points raised in your e-mail, Sue
(partially because most of them are just too general), so let me just
mentioned some of them.

> The editors are responsible for the projects: the Wikimedia Foundation
> knows that, acknowledges it, and is deeply appreciative (as are all
> readers) for the work that volunteers do in the projects. The Wikimedia
> Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia Foundation wiki (and the blog).

Then it should perhaps be renamed as the Wikimedia Foundation Blog With
Guests Post from Community Members.

> We are grateful to get community help there, and a small number of
> community members do really good work with us on both the WMF wiki and the
> blog. But ultimately that wiki, and the blog, are our responsibility, and
> we are accountable for making sure that e.g. the staff page, the Board
> bios, the resolution texts, etc., are maintained and in good shape. Most
> material on the WMF is not created via collaborative production processes
> -- it's "corporate" in nature, meaning that it is developed by the
> Wikimedia Foundation, for an audience of Wikimedia Foundation stakeholders,
> which includes community members and prospective community members, donors,
> readers of the projects, media, and others.

Well, then I am still surprised to see you thank those volunteers for
their work in this matter—by desysopping them all in one, unannounced
and not discussed user rights purge.

The most important reason why all those pages that you mention, Sue, are
maintained and in good shape is that community members have been very
often driving changes, helping with importing translations, and making
thousands of small changes (be it typos, categorisation or design-like).

Seeing that there aren't any WMF employees who contributed as much time
and work as some community members (with the possible exception of
Philippe and Heather), I'm puzzled to see you make this decision.

This having been written, I would like to reiterate my questions again
(and add another one):

1) Who made the decision to remove adminship from all community members?
2) Why did you make this decision now? What changed?
3) Why did you decide to desysop people straight away instead of
discussing things with them first?
4) /NEW/ Who precisely (what department) is responsible for the
maintenance of the wiki, and why didn't they perform their roles before?

        -- Tomasz

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Nathan Awrich
Argh, why do we have to keep going through this over and over again?
I'm sure we're long past the point where Sue and many members of the
staff are convinced that they will be attacked by someone in reaction
to any decision they could make. Maybe that's true, but its no excuse
for transforming such a picayune change into a drama bomb through the
utter failure to manage the implementation of a change that affects
dedicated volunteers. An advanced notice, an explanation, a thank you,
an expression of hope that volunteers will continue to help. That's
all it would have taken to preserve this as what it ought to have
been, a non-issue. Instead, they received a terse and impersonal
notice after the fact that amounted to the corporate version of
ordering someone off your lawn.

Now we have an explanation, but it's a bit late - and it comes in
place of what the first WMF response ought to have been, an apology
for once again bungling an interaction with volunteers. Not all that
long ago the WMF seemed to consider ahead of time the potential
reaction of volunteers, and to tailor actions and communication to
limit the chance of anger, disappointment and hurt feelings among
them. Perhaps it was a natural, and unspoken, priority at a time when
many WMF leaders were volunteers and former volunteers. Maybe we're
past that point, and the WMF needs to begin actively pushing this
ethos into the organizational culture of both staff and volunteer
leadership groups.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Seb35
In reply to this post by Sue Gardner-2
Thanks a lot for this explanation.

On the other side, wikis not only need content producers (here WMF) but  
also curators (wikignomes) who are sorting the pages, deleting and moving  
pages, typocorrecting, templating things, helping new users in formatting  
texts, etc. (I read some of the Florence’s blogposts :) -- and not being  
admin restricts a lot the possible actions.

And on the example you give about disagreement between two editors (e.g.  
staffer and volunteer), in theory there is no reason the staffer’s  
solution is better or worse than the volunteer’s solution, but perhaps a  
mean solution can be better than any of the two initial solutions; and in  
this case, the spent time is not a waste of time.

Sébastien

Le Sat, 11 May 2013 18:48:38 +0200, Sue Gardner <[hidden email]> a  
écrit:

> Gayle is travelling today and not online, so I'll take a crack at
> responding to this.
>
> The editors are responsible for the projects: the Wikimedia Foundation
> knows that, acknowledges it, and is deeply appreciative (as are all
> readers) for the work that volunteers do in the projects. The Wikimedia
> Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia Foundation wiki (and the  
> blog).
> We are grateful to get community help there, and a small number of
> community members do really good work with us on both the WMF wiki and  
> the
> blog. But ultimately that wiki, and the blog, are our responsibility, and
> we are accountable for making sure that e.g. the staff page, the Board
> bios, the resolution texts, etc., are maintained and in good shape. Most
> material on the WMF is not created via collaborative production processes
> -- it's "corporate" in nature, meaning that it is developed by the
> Wikimedia Foundation, for an audience of Wikimedia Foundation  
> stakeholders,
> which includes community members and prospective community members,  
> donors,
> readers of the projects, media, and others.
>
> My understanding is that administrator rights have been removed from a
> small number of volunteers, but that those people still have basic  
> editing
> rights. My understanding is that the Wikimedia Foundation staff who work  
> on
> the Foundation wiki have been grateful (and are grateful) for the help
> they've gotten from community members in maintaining the Foundation wiki,
> and that we hope they'll continue to help us. They've been great, and  
> we're
> grateful.
>
> But, my understanding is also that occasionally volunteers have  
> overridden
> decisions made by staff on the Wikimedia Foundation wiki. I don't think
> that's ever been a huge problem: I don't think we've ever had a situation
> in which extensive discussion hasn't reached an okay conclusion. But, the
> extensive discussions --which, I understand, have typically been
> one-on-one, by which I mean, not a large number of community members or a
> community consensus against something the Foundation has wanted to do,  
> but
> rather one volunteer disagreeing with something staff have been asked to  
> do
> as part of their job --- occasionally, those discussions have been
> extremely time-consuming. That's not good. The staff working on the
> Wikimedia Foundation wiki have jobs they've got to get done, in support  
> of
> the entire movement. If they spend days or weeks needing to persuade a
> single community member of the merits of something they want to do on the
> Foundation wiki, or if they need to modify their plans extensively to
> accommodate the opinions of a single community member, that reduces the
> amount of time available for them to do the rest of their work. Which, I
> repeat, is in the service of the movement overall.
>
> So I would say this:
>
> This decision is not about "the community" versus "the WMF." This  
> decision
> is about the WMF staff, and making it possible for them to do their work  
> on
> the WMF wiki with some reasonable degree of efficiency and effectiveness.
> This decision clarifies roles-and-responsibilities. On the projects, the
> volunteers are the editorial leads, and the WMF plays a supporting role  
> by
> creating functionality, maintaining the servers, paying the bandwidth
> bills, and so forth. On the WMF wiki, the WMF is the editorial lead, and
> volunteers can (and do) play a supporting role helping staff organize
> pages, maintain pages, and so forth. That's a reasonable division, and I
> think having clarity around it is a good thing.
>
> Slightly more broadly: when the Wikimedia movement was very young,
> everybody did everything and there wasn't much division of
> roles-and-responsibilities. I remember when the Wikimedia Foundation
> budgets were prepared by volunteers, when the trademarks were managed by
> volunteers, and so forth. That was appropriate for the time, and even
> though it was messy, it was kind of great. Then we all went through a
> period in which roles-and-responsibilities were utterly unclear -- it
> wasn't at all obvious who should do what, and many
> roles-and-responsibilities were hotly disputed. Personally, I feel like
> we're moving into a period now in which things are getting clearer. We
> don't pay staff to edit the projects: staff who edit do it on their own
> time, as a hobby or special personal interest. We do pay staff to do  
> things
> that are better done by staff than by volunteers, such as managing the
> trademark portfolio. Some volunteers (such as Domas) have very special
> privileges and powers, because they've proved over time they are
> exceptionally skilled. Some volunteers support the Wikimedia Foundation
> staff in their work in a variety of ways, because they've proved their
> interest and abilities. Some work happens in close partnership between
> staff and volunteers, such as production of blog posts, speaking with the
> media, and in projects such as the Global Ed one. Sometimes organized
> groups of volunteers are created by volunteers and supported by staff  
> (e.g.
> ArbCom or AffCom) and sometimes organized groups of volunteers are  
> created
> by the Wikimedia Foundation and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation  
> (such
> as the FDC). Upshot: community members and Wikimedia Foundation staff  
> work
> together in many different coordinated fashions. The ways on which we  
> work
> together are becoming increasingly clear, and I think that clarity is  
> good.
>
> So. People can disagree with this decision, and that's okay. But
> ultimately, the Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for the Wikimedia
> Foundation wiki: it's our job to figure out how best to manage and  
> maintain
> it. That's what we're doing here.
>
> Thanks,
> Sue
> On May 11, 2013 4:15 AM, "K. Peachey" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> This is the email that got sent out to everyone,
>>
>> ---
>> Dear XXX,
>> Thank you for your work with the Foundation wiki.  At this time, we
>> are formalizing a new requirement, which is that administrator access
>> is given only to staff and board.  I am having administrator access to
>> accounts that are neither staff or board be disabled, effective
>> immediately.
>> Sincerely,
>> Gayle
>> --
>> Gayle Karen K. Young
>> Chief Talent and Culture Officer
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>> 415.310.8416
>> www.wikimediafoundation.org
>> ---
>>
>> Gayle's response (which was the first time she has edited the wiki in
>> ~5 months[2]) seems lacking[1] in general and the subsequent responses
>> about knowing what these people do on the wiki
>>
>> Another interesting fact is that Mz got desysoped first, When you
>> would expect it to be done in alphabetically order.
>>
>> "We've been discussing this for awhile, and the thought is that it's
>> ultimately the Foundation's web presence, not the community's web
>> presence. A useful parallel to consider might be how userrights are
>> given to staffers on the community wikis; they're distributed as and
>> when they're needed for a specific task."
>>
>> Um, Rights for staff on wikis are given out like candy?, although not
>> as much thee days but it still happens.
>>
>> Also, How is the foundation wiki not apart of the community? Has the
>> position of the legal department changed? or the boards? just randomly
>> changing without any imput or discussions seems utlimately strange.
>> since it is actually their wiki (just like everything else that falls
>> under the foundation)
>>
>> [1]. <
>> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?diff=91857&oldid=91855#Users_stripped_of_rights.3F
>> >
>> [2]. <
>> https://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3AContributions&target=Gyoung
>> >
>> [3]. <https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Special:Log/rights>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Sue Gardner-2
On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM, Sue Gardner <[hidden email]> wrote:

> My understanding is that administrator rights have been removed from a
> small number of volunteers, but that those people still have basic editing
> rights.

Far more than basic, actually. The WMF wiki is unusual in that it
allows insertion of raw HTML by any registered user (this is because
the donation forms used to be hosted there; they're now developed on a
dedicated site). Regular users also have permission to edit the
MediaWiki: namespace, which helps with translation. This means that
regular users can add arbitrary code that will be executed in the
reader's browser, something that only admins can do on most of our
other wikis. There are >600 registered users on the WMF wiki.

While I understand the frustration with admin access being restricted,
volunteers on this particular wiki are still trusted with
extraordinary rights (without prejudice as to whether that
configuration should be broadened or narrowed in future). I asked
Philippe yesterday, and he said that account requests from Meta would
continue to be processed (by JamesA and himself going forward). As Sue
says, having the overall governance responsibilities on the wiki
clarified is a normal step. Sorry for the rocky transition; no
disrespect was intended.

The original text on
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Welcome (written in
2004 when there was no WMF staff) with regard to the Board resolving
all disputes should indeed be updated; the Board delegates day-to-day
operational responsibilities to the organizational staff, and while
the sentence is technically true, it was written at a time when that
delegation was not possible. Nonetheless, it was clear from the very
beginning that the WMF wiki was not operated according to the
community governance practices established in other wikis because it
serves a distinct purpose.

Erik
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Katherine Casey
Having read through this entire thread, I have to ask: would there have
been any value in, instead of desysopping non-staff (because there appears
to be a possibly-valid argument that non-staff did most of the
administrative work on the wmf wiki), instead making it clear that unlike
on all other wikis, +staff users had the final say in any
administrative/editing dispute on the wmf wiki? That is, since Sue says a
large part of the problem was non-staff making staff justify themselves and
their decisions endlessly, why not just short-circuit that particular weak
spot and otherwise let work carry on? I guess the operative questions here
would be something like:

   1. Was there actual misuse of admin tools being done by non-staff?
   2. Were there other, non-misuse issues that arose from non-staff having
   +admin (i.e. we already know about "too many challenges to staff", but was
   there anything else that made non-staff admins suboptimal? this would
   include even things like "it looks weird to outsiders to have non-staff
   changing 'corporate' content")
   3. If there weren't other issues, could the issue of "non-staff
   challenging staff decisions" have been corrected with a less-drastic
   solution (such as clarifying who had final say in things)
   4. Is it true that non-staff admins do significant portions of the work
   on that wiki, such that their loss will now cause the wiki to go un- or
   more-poorly-maintained?
   5. If 4 is true, what solutions can we/the WMF put in place to pick up
   that slack so the wiki doesn't become worse?

None of these questions are intended to apportion blame or determine who
was "right", but they may help us figure out why actions are being done,
how we could have routed around this huge blow-up, and where to go from
here.

-Fluffernutter


On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 2:19 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM, Sue Gardner <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > My understanding is that administrator rights have been removed from a
> > small number of volunteers, but that those people still have basic
> editing
> > rights.
>
> Far more than basic, actually. The WMF wiki is unusual in that it
> allows insertion of raw HTML by any registered user (this is because
> the donation forms used to be hosted there; they're now developed on a
> dedicated site). Regular users also have permission to edit the
> MediaWiki: namespace, which helps with translation. This means that
> regular users can add arbitrary code that will be executed in the
> reader's browser, something that only admins can do on most of our
> other wikis. There are >600 registered users on the WMF wiki.
>
> While I understand the frustration with admin access being restricted,
> volunteers on this particular wiki are still trusted with
> extraordinary rights (without prejudice as to whether that
> configuration should be broadened or narrowed in future). I asked
> Philippe yesterday, and he said that account requests from Meta would
> continue to be processed (by JamesA and himself going forward). As Sue
> says, having the overall governance responsibilities on the wiki
> clarified is a normal step. Sorry for the rocky transition; no
> disrespect was intended.
>
> The original text on
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Welcome (written in
> 2004 when there was no WMF staff) with regard to the Board resolving
> all disputes should indeed be updated; the Board delegates day-to-day
> operational responsibilities to the organizational staff, and while
> the sentence is technically true, it was written at a time when that
> delegation was not possible. Nonetheless, it was clear from the very
> beginning that the WMF wiki was not operated according to the
> community governance practices established in other wikis because it
> serves a distinct purpose.
>
> Erik
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

phoebe ayers-3
In reply to this post by Tomasz W. Kozlowski
On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 3:26 AM, Tomasz W. Kozlowski <[hidden email]
> wrote:

>
> These are questions directed at the WMF—for you regular folks, I have a
> riddle (I'll give a WikiLove barnstar to the first person to submit a
> correct answer). There is /at least/ one community member who does not hold
> any official position within the WMF, and who has not been desysopped in
> yesterday's purge—do you know who this person is?
>

If you're talking about me (I still seem to have admin rights, and no
official position) I'll happily give up my admin flag -- not sure why I was
left out of the batch. At any rate, I haven't edited much on the wmf wiki
since last year; I just had admin rights so i could move files around when
I was board secretary.

As for the whole thing -- it seems like especially poor timing and
communication around the action. It also seems dumb to desysop some of the
users who know the most about how to format and work with wikis. On the
other hand, the WMF wiki is special -- as the home of material from the
organization that basically does not get changed -- and I know there's been
some incidents, as Sue refers to, of reversals of staff decisions that led
to a lot of misunderstandings. I, and I suspect most of us, just take this
in stride because it's happened to us dozens of times; newer staff may not,
however.

Going forward I'd still support merging most of WMF wiki into meta, where
we can use a normal community admin process; and keeping a limited version
of it around for version-of-record documents and whatever technical needs
re: fundraising it fills, and simply being a lot more clear about policies
around that content.

-- phoebe

--
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers <at>
gmail.com *
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Jake Orlowitz
In reply to this post by Tomasz W. Kozlowski
I just want to highlight Nathan's excellent and reasonable point:

The WMF could work on: "manag[ing] the implementation of a change that
affects dedicated volunteers. An advanced notice, an explanation, a thank
you, an expression of hope that volunteers will continue to help. That's all
it would have taken to preserve this as what it ought to have been, a
non-issue."

There's a lot of adversarial dynamics between the Foundation and the
Community.  A little bit of courtesy and civility and thoughtfulness would
go a long way towards avoiding antagonism.

Wikipedians are mission-driven and autonomy-craving.  Work with us on that,
respect it, use it to your advantage.

There are pain points in transition, some of them unavoidable, but WMF
should still seek to minimize harm and improve mutual understanding at each
step.  Otherwise, we get situations that take far more energy than a simple
explanation and expression of appreciation from the outset would have taken.

To paraphrase one of my favorite quotes: "It takes less *time *to *do* a
thing *right*, than it does to explain why you did it *wrong."  Easier said
than done, but a worthy goal nonetheless.*

Jake (Ocaasi)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Casey Brown-5
In reply to this post by K. Peachey-2
On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 7:15 AM, K. Peachey <[hidden email]> wrote:
> This is the email that got sent out to everyone,

For what it's worth, this didn't get sent out to everyone. I was a
bureaucrat and administrator, and have the most edits on that wiki
(afaik?), and wasn't notified. Like Huib, I was also in the batch of
blog moderator removals and wasn't notified about that either.

I'm not very active anymore, so it's not really a huge deal, but it's
still bad form to have not gotten any kind of notification at all.

--
Casey Brown (Cbrown1023)
caseybrown.org

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

K. Peachey-2
In reply to this post by Jake Orlowitz
(Inline comments most likely, So shoot me)

On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 2:48 AM, Sue Gardner <[hidden email]> wrote:
> …
> But, my understanding is also that occasionally volunteers have overridden
> decisions made by staff on the Wikimedia Foundation wiki. I don't think
> that's ever been a huge problem:
> …

Can you expand on this? I haven't really involved in foundationwiki
and I'm not going to go check all the edits for this, But this seems
like a kindly odd-shaped argument in my view. (The only time I was
involved with a staff-vol spat on wmfwiki, is when the staff member
decided the to need to take it to another wiki and then onto IRC as
well, where I and others had to bug staff members to find out whom
they were reporting to)

I highly doubt volunteers are just "randomly" undoing edits of staff
"just because", We should be looking at the underlining issues behind
this, with what they are trying to fix and improving the workflow of
staff and volunteers. Just /randomly/ revoking seems counter-proactive
and detrimental to this.

> …
> So I would say this:
>
> This decision is not about "the community" versus "the WMF." This decision
> is about the WMF staff, and making it possible for them to do their work on
> the WMF wiki with some reasonable degree of efficiency and effectiveness.

How many staff members that have jobs that rely on editing
foundationwiki? I did a quick scan of the last ~1000 or so edits and
really couldn't see any examples that stood out, If a volunteer
changes a staff edit, Yes it should be looked at but there is
generally a good reason (I've seen plently of staff members editing
other wikis that are clueless about the wiki world and people have
been fixing up their edits), And just removing admin rights doesn't
seem to have anything to do with that at all, Because the volunteers
can still edit (afaik the only rights they really loose are delete and
protect now)

> …
> This decision clarifies roles-and-responsibilities…

Not really, It was done "randomly" and at the end of a Friday when
most of the foundation stops working for the weekend, with lack of
meaningful communication to those involved (or in some cases,
communication at al), Personally it leaves more questions than
anything.

> …
> Personally, I feel like
> we're moving into a period now in which things are getting clearer. We
> don't pay staff to edit the projects:

I know at least one staff on a project, that has a bit to do with
there work, and has been directed to append "staff" to all their edit
summaries.

-Crazed ramblings out,
Peachey

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Mono mium
There's been a long-term conflict with volunteers & staff on
wikimediafoundation.org. As a user, I understand. Each staff member likes
to keep everything their way. They frequently revert changes (take a look
at the discussion and user talk pages, especially for MZMcBride) on 'staff
authority'. This is a logical next step against these users (most likely
MZ) so there's no conflict.

Is this a bad thing? Most likely not. Is the reason behind it a bad thing?
Yes.


On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 4:06 PM, K. Peachey <[hidden email]> wrote:

> (Inline comments most likely, So shoot me)
>
> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 2:48 AM, Sue Gardner <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > …
> > But, my understanding is also that occasionally volunteers have
> overridden
> > decisions made by staff on the Wikimedia Foundation wiki. I don't think
> > that's ever been a huge problem:
> > …
>
> Can you expand on this? I haven't really involved in foundationwiki
> and I'm not going to go check all the edits for this, But this seems
> like a kindly odd-shaped argument in my view. (The only time I was
> involved with a staff-vol spat on wmfwiki, is when the staff member
> decided the to need to take it to another wiki and then onto IRC as
> well, where I and others had to bug staff members to find out whom
> they were reporting to)
>
> I highly doubt volunteers are just "randomly" undoing edits of staff
> "just because", We should be looking at the underlining issues behind
> this, with what they are trying to fix and improving the workflow of
> staff and volunteers. Just /randomly/ revoking seems counter-proactive
> and detrimental to this.
>
> > …
> > So I would say this:
> >
> > This decision is not about "the community" versus "the WMF." This
> decision
> > is about the WMF staff, and making it possible for them to do their work
> on
> > the WMF wiki with some reasonable degree of efficiency and effectiveness.
>
> How many staff members that have jobs that rely on editing
> foundationwiki? I did a quick scan of the last ~1000 or so edits and
> really couldn't see any examples that stood out, If a volunteer
> changes a staff edit, Yes it should be looked at but there is
> generally a good reason (I've seen plently of staff members editing
> other wikis that are clueless about the wiki world and people have
> been fixing up their edits), And just removing admin rights doesn't
> seem to have anything to do with that at all, Because the volunteers
> can still edit (afaik the only rights they really loose are delete and
> protect now)
>
> > …
> > This decision clarifies roles-and-responsibilities…
>
> Not really, It was done "randomly" and at the end of a Friday when
> most of the foundation stops working for the weekend, with lack of
> meaningful communication to those involved (or in some cases,
> communication at al), Personally it leaves more questions than
> anything.
>
> > …
> > Personally, I feel like
> > we're moving into a period now in which things are getting clearer. We
> > don't pay staff to edit the projects:
>
> I know at least one staff on a project, that has a bit to do with
> there work, and has been directed to append "staff" to all their edit
> summaries.
>
> -Crazed ramblings out,
> Peachey
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Nathan Awrich
If the conflict was primarily with MZMcBride (which seems to be the
case), then it was a bit cowardly to overhaul the entire scheme on the
site in order to avoid telling him to knock it off.

On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 7:44 PM, Mono <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There's been a long-term conflict with volunteers & staff on
> wikimediafoundation.org. As a user, I understand. Each staff member likes
> to keep everything their way. They frequently revert changes (take a look
> at the discussion and user talk pages, especially for MZMcBride) on 'staff
> authority'. This is a logical next step against these users (most likely
> MZ) so there's no conflict.
>
> Is this a bad thing? Most likely not. Is the reason behind it a bad thing?
> Yes.
>
>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Casey Brown-5
Casey Brown wrote:
>On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 7:15 AM, K. Peachey <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> This is the email that got sent out to everyone,
>
>For what it's worth, this didn't get sent out to everyone. I was a
>bureaucrat and administrator, and have the most edits on that wiki
>(afaik?), and wasn't notified. Like Huib, I was also in the batch of
>blog moderator removals and wasn't notified about that either.

I'm left a little speechless by this. I've always considered my values to
be largely aligned with Wikimedia's, but more and more, I find myself
distanced from it. I don't really want to be associated with people who
can't treat volunteers with basic respect and dignity. Ultimately, like
every other volunteer, I have to evaluate whether my time is better spent
elsewhere.

It's a really sad day for Wikimedia. You and many others who were
summarily stripped of their user rights were integral to building that
wiki and you deserve to be recognized and appreciated, not thrown out on a
whim without notice or warning. Sue talks so much about stewardship, but
this apparently includes anointing a ruler of the wiki who isn't capable
of caring out her own commands. What does this say about the stewardship
of the wiki? Meanwhile the questions about who will actually keep the site
running go unanswered.

For people like Gayle and Philippe to privately collude and then fire us
at the end of the day on a Friday like we're disgruntled employees was
pretty bad. (Both of whom seemed to have been in such a rush to act, but
now are mysteriously too busy to participate in the community mailing list
discussion about their actions.) Watching Erik and Sue try to defend their
actions has been even more painful to watch. But it's long-time community
members who know that this isn't right and who have chosen to not say
anything that are bothering me the most.

It's unsurprising that you and many others aren't very active anymore. :-/
 You're so much better than they deserve.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
Nathan wrote:
>If the conflict was primarily with MZMcBride (which seems to be the
>case), then it was a bit cowardly to overhaul the entire scheme on the
>site in order to avoid telling him to knock it off.

What'd I do?

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Mono mium
On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 7:44 PM, Mono <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > There's been a long-term conflict with volunteers & staff on
> > wikimediafoundation.org. As a user, I understand. Each staff member
> likes
> > to keep everything their way. They frequently revert changes (take a look
> > at the discussion and user talk pages, especially for MZMcBride) on
> 'staff
> > authority'. This is a logical next step against these users (most likely
> > MZ) so there's no conflict.
> >
> > Is this a bad thing? Most likely not. Is the reason behind it a bad
> thing?
> > Yes.

Nathan wrote:
>> >If the conflict was primarily with MZMcBride (which seems to be the
>> >case), then it was a bit cowardly to overhaul the entire scheme on the
>> >site in order to avoid telling him to knock it off.
>>
>>> What'd I do?
>>> MZMcBride
>>
>>
MZMcBride, when I originally wrote this I was referencing nothing in
particular. I was just observing a pattern of reversions and conflicts
between you, me, staff & others. Looking at the history of your talk page
on wmfwiki (and mine), this can be found.
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