[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)

Keegan Peterzell
On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Peter Southwood <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Lets get a few things in perspective:
> > 1. How many community members were abusive/unreasonable/whatever beyond
> > what might be considered a startle reaction to an apparent attack without
> > warning?
> > 2 How many people constitute this community
> > Divide answer 1 by answer 2
> >
> > Consider how much of the response was a snowball effect of frustration
> due
> > to a distinct shortage of explanation and direct answers to what might be
> > considered reasonable questions.
> >
> > And yes, "Welcome to Wikipedia "
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
>
> 2 is an unreasonable number to divide by when it's such a small cross
> section of the actual community on these lists.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>

That's a bit relative, James.  The active folk on this mailing list make
for a pretty good cross section of thoughts/feelings/opinions of the
movement.  I've refrained from this discussion and will continue to do so
on specifics, because it's politics and that's not something I do on
Wikipedia/Wikimedia.

Things have been said in this discussion that I agree with, things have
been said that I do not agree with.  All in all, my opinion is not needed
because it has been expressed by others, and I do not feel compelled to say
my side.  This is where we speak and we listen, and it is disheartening to
read that you feel embarrassed to be from the community when you have to
explain "drama" to them.

These threads bring out the best and the worst in Wikimedians, for certain,
but it's all out of cause of passion.  We're here because we care, no
matter the pattern or the tone of conversations.  This is a global
audience, intelligent, collaborative, and willing to learn.  The Wikimedia
Foundation is global, intelligent, and I assume good faith about
collaboration and willingness to learn.  Gayle's email reflects her opinion
on getting this concept and working with it in the future, and I'm happy
with that.

All in all, I guess I just agree with Phoebe.

--
~Keegan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Thomas Goldammer-2
2013/5/13 Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>

> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
>
> > On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Peter Southwood <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > Lets get a few things in perspective:
> > > 1. How many community members were abusive/unreasonable/whatever beyond
> > > what might be considered a startle reaction to an apparent attack
> without
> > > warning?
> > > 2 How many people constitute this community
> > > Divide answer 1 by answer 2
> > >
> > > Consider how much of the response was a snowball effect of frustration
> > due
> > > to a distinct shortage of explanation and direct answers to what might
> be
> > > considered reasonable questions.
> > >
> > > And yes, "Welcome to Wikipedia "
> > >
> > > Cheers,
> > > Peter
> > >
> >
> > 2 is an unreasonable number to divide by when it's such a small cross
> > section of the actual community on these lists.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >
>
> That's a bit relative, James.  The active folk on this mailing list make
> for a pretty good cross section of thoughts/feelings/opinions of the
> movement.  I've refrained from this discussion and will continue to do so
> on specifics, because it's politics and that's not something I do on
> Wikipedia/Wikimedia.
>
> Things have been said in this discussion that I agree with, things have
> been said that I do not agree with.  All in all, my opinion is not needed
> because it has been expressed by others, and I do not feel compelled to say
> my side.  This is where we speak and we listen, and it is disheartening to
> read that you feel embarrassed to be from the community when you have to
> explain "drama" to them.
>
> These threads bring out the best and the worst in Wikimedians, for certain,
> but it's all out of cause of passion.  We're here because we care, no
> matter the pattern or the tone of conversations.  This is a global
> audience, intelligent, collaborative, and willing to learn.  The Wikimedia
> Foundation is global, intelligent, and I assume good faith about
> collaboration and willingness to learn.  Gayle's email reflects her opinion
> on getting this concept and working with it in the future, and I'm happy
> with that.
>
> All in all, I guess I just agree with Phoebe.
>
> --
> ~Keegan
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> _______________________________________________
> 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)

Thomas Goldammer-2
Just a general note, could you please all wait for Gayle to get back to her
office? ^^ I think she wanted to address some of the things discussed here
on Monday, which is by San Francisco time. So maybe let it rest for a few
hours now? :)

Th.
p.s. sorry about the empty email, my mouse is broken and clicks randomly.


2013/5/13 Thomas Goldammer <[hidden email]>

>
>
> 2013/5/13 Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>
>
>> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]
>> >wrote:
>>
>> > On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Peter Southwood <
>> > [hidden email]> wrote:
>> >
>> > > Lets get a few things in perspective:
>> > > 1. How many community members were abusive/unreasonable/whatever
>> beyond
>> > > what might be considered a startle reaction to an apparent attack
>> without
>> > > warning?
>> > > 2 How many people constitute this community
>> > > Divide answer 1 by answer 2
>> > >
>> > > Consider how much of the response was a snowball effect of frustration
>> > due
>> > > to a distinct shortage of explanation and direct answers to what
>> might be
>> > > considered reasonable questions.
>> > >
>> > > And yes, "Welcome to Wikipedia "
>> > >
>> > > Cheers,
>> > > Peter
>> > >
>> >
>> > 2 is an unreasonable number to divide by when it's such a small cross
>> > section of the actual community on these lists.
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> > [hidden email]
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>> >
>>
>> That's a bit relative, James.  The active folk on this mailing list make
>> for a pretty good cross section of thoughts/feelings/opinions of the
>> movement.  I've refrained from this discussion and will continue to do so
>> on specifics, because it's politics and that's not something I do on
>> Wikipedia/Wikimedia.
>>
>> Things have been said in this discussion that I agree with, things have
>> been said that I do not agree with.  All in all, my opinion is not needed
>> because it has been expressed by others, and I do not feel compelled to
>> say
>> my side.  This is where we speak and we listen, and it is disheartening to
>> read that you feel embarrassed to be from the community when you have to
>> explain "drama" to them.
>>
>> These threads bring out the best and the worst in Wikimedians, for
>> certain,
>> but it's all out of cause of passion.  We're here because we care, no
>> matter the pattern or the tone of conversations.  This is a global
>> audience, intelligent, collaborative, and willing to learn.  The Wikimedia
>> Foundation is global, intelligent, and I assume good faith about
>> collaboration and willingness to learn.  Gayle's email reflects her
>> opinion
>> on getting this concept and working with it in the future, and I'm happy
>> with that.
>>
>> All in all, I guess I just agree with Phoebe.
>>
>> --
>> ~Keegan
>>
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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)

Huib Laurens
In reply to this post by James Alexander-3
Hi,

The Wikimedia Foundation site says the following: The Wikimedia Foundation
is proud <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Values> to be one of the most
transparent non-profit organizations in the world.

But the decission to remove administrator rights is made internaly, thats
not transparent? On the WMF site people now 3? days later get a message on
the talkpage. That messages says two things that are a bit conflicting:

1: We've been talking internally for a while about making the governance
structure of this wiki more clear, i.e
2: I apologize, though, for the hasty implementation of this decision!

Next to that only 50% of the people where the rights are removed did get
that message today.

As last Philippe removed all the rights and is after that pointing to other
people to explain. That is just stupid, if you do something you should be
able to respond to questions. Cause Phillipe pressed the button.. It would
be strange and I'm sure it would be not OK if Tim Starling decided to pull
the plug from all all the servers and then says "you want reasons? Ask
Brion... Ow wait, he is on holiday now".


But now I am still wondering about the following: Where does the foundation
wants to go? Cause volunteers are removed from the blog, removed from the
Foundation wiki. If I read correctly its not ok from the WMF side to have
volunteers to help with the Toolserver as sysadmin? What will be the next
step? Remove all administrators from the projects and let it only be
handled by staff? Volunteers are the reasons we have staff. Without
volunteers there will be no Wikipedia / media / versity etc and they will
all be out jobs. So why are removing all the volunteer functions?


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:03 PM, James Alexander <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Peter Southwood <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Lets get a few things in perspective:
> > 1. How many community members were abusive/unreasonable/whatever beyond
> > what might be considered a startle reaction to an apparent attack without
> > warning?
> > 2 How many people constitute this community
> > Divide answer 1 by answer 2
> >
> > Consider how much of the response was a snowball effect of frustration
> due
> > to a distinct shortage of explanation and direct answers to what might be
> > considered reasonable questions.
> >
> > And yes, "Welcome to Wikipedia "
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Peter
> >
>
> 2 is an unreasonable number to divide by when it's such a small cross
> section of the actual community on these lists.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



--
Met vriendelijke groet,

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

Heather Ford-4
In reply to this post by phoebe ayers-3
On May 13, 2013, at 6:57 AM, phoebe ayers wrote:

You know, it's kind of the
ultimate Wikimedian tempest: arguing over who gets to add users and delete
pages on what is quite possibly the world's most boring wiki[1]...

I would take a stab and stay that it's not about who gets access but about how people are treated. Sending a mass email to a bunch of people saying that they no longer have admin access is pretty much like firing them by mass email with no warning - but it's probably a bit worse than that since the people who do this work do it because they love Wikipedia and because they care about it, and it's a slap in the face to be given the pink slip like this. And it is also rightfully worrying because it isn't the first time it's happened.

I know this because a few years ago, while perusing the WMF wiki, I noticed that my name had moved from current to past advisory board members. Shocked, I emailed around to find out what had happened. Apparently I'd been fired and thanked for my service (another mass email that had apparently gone to my iCommons email address and which I no longer had access to) but to this day I have never received any advice on why I was removed, despite asking for clarification in person and via email on a few occasions. I don't like to whine and complain [1] and I thought that it was just me, but it made me sad and upset because I felt like I'd done a lot for Wikimedia, was one of the few advisory board members who showed up to meetings and tried to get things done, and to be discarded like that was really upsetting.

This is what this is about. It's about people engaging with one another on a personal, human level and understanding what it means to be a part of this thing, this crazy wonderful thing. Maybe it also takes some deeper engagement in editing these things to understand the implications of what seems to be just a technical thing like removing rights, placing in different categories but is heavily political, heavily personal.

And so I'd offer different advice from taking a walk or eating an ice cream or writing more mass emails to this list. I'd suggest that the people concerned to write personal emails to the *individuals* who were affected by this and to engage in a conversation among individuals about why this happened and how they're going to make it better together. At iCommons, when I was on the receiving end of similar anger, I had a mantra that I tried to stick to. When someone sends something that is upsetting, get on the phone with them. Sort it out one-on-one. This, for me, passionately for me, is what's needed here.

Best,
Heather

[1] here I am whining and complaining but hopefully it is to make a point at least.

Heather Ford
Oxford Internet Institute Doctoral Programme
www.ethnographymatters.net<http://www.ethnographymatters.net>
@hfordsa on Twitter
http://hblog.org





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

Huib Laurens
In reply to this post by Thomas Goldammer-2
Thomas,

She is on holiday, she will not be in the office today?

Huib


On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:22 PM, Thomas Goldammer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Just a general note, could you please all wait for Gayle to get back to her
> office? ^^ I think she wanted to address some of the things discussed here
> on Monday, which is by San Francisco time. So maybe let it rest for a few
> hours now? :)
>
> Th.
> p.s. sorry about the empty email, my mouse is broken and clicks randomly.
>
>
> 2013/5/13 Thomas Goldammer <[hidden email]>
>
> >
> >
> > 2013/5/13 Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]>
> >
> >> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]
> >> >wrote:
> >>
> >> > On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Peter Southwood <
> >> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > Lets get a few things in perspective:
> >> > > 1. How many community members were abusive/unreasonable/whatever
> >> beyond
> >> > > what might be considered a startle reaction to an apparent attack
> >> without
> >> > > warning?
> >> > > 2 How many people constitute this community
> >> > > Divide answer 1 by answer 2
> >> > >
> >> > > Consider how much of the response was a snowball effect of
> frustration
> >> > due
> >> > > to a distinct shortage of explanation and direct answers to what
> >> might be
> >> > > considered reasonable questions.
> >> > >
> >> > > And yes, "Welcome to Wikipedia "
> >> > >
> >> > > Cheers,
> >> > > Peter
> >> > >
> >> >
> >> > 2 is an unreasonable number to divide by when it's such a small cross
> >> > section of the actual community on these lists.
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >> > [hidden email]
> >> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >> >
> >>
> >> That's a bit relative, James.  The active folk on this mailing list make
> >> for a pretty good cross section of thoughts/feelings/opinions of the
> >> movement.  I've refrained from this discussion and will continue to do
> so
> >> on specifics, because it's politics and that's not something I do on
> >> Wikipedia/Wikimedia.
> >>
> >> Things have been said in this discussion that I agree with, things have
> >> been said that I do not agree with.  All in all, my opinion is not
> needed
> >> because it has been expressed by others, and I do not feel compelled to
> >> say
> >> my side.  This is where we speak and we listen, and it is disheartening
> to
> >> read that you feel embarrassed to be from the community when you have to
> >> explain "drama" to them.
> >>
> >> These threads bring out the best and the worst in Wikimedians, for
> >> certain,
> >> but it's all out of cause of passion.  We're here because we care, no
> >> matter the pattern or the tone of conversations.  This is a global
> >> audience, intelligent, collaborative, and willing to learn.  The
> Wikimedia
> >> Foundation is global, intelligent, and I assume good faith about
> >> collaboration and willingness to learn.  Gayle's email reflects her
> >> opinion
> >> on getting this concept and working with it in the future, and I'm happy
> >> with that.
> >>
> >> All in all, I guess I just agree with Phoebe.
> >>
> >> --
> >> ~Keegan
> >>
> >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Keegan
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> >> [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> >>
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>



--
Met vriendelijke groet,

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

Thomas Goldammer-2
"but will circle back when I return to work next Monday." (Gayle)

Wait for that. Whatever time it actually means. :)

Th.


2013/5/13 Huib Laurens <[hidden email]>

> Thomas,
>
> She is on holiday, she will not be in the office today?
>
> Huib
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Thomas Morton
I've been watching this unfold over the weekend. And am sorely disapointed
with the rudeness from ALL sides (not from everyone, it should be said)

The action of removing admin access with little warning, and last thing on
a Friday is obnoxious and rude. I'd expect the foundation to review
policies of interacting with community members and remind staff that
important or controversial actions should occur when people are available
to respond in a timely fashion.

I'd also like to see more explanation of foundation actions, in advance
preferably. And will expect to see feedback soon on how to handle
situations such as these better :)

Conversely, a number of community members here should be ashamed. Righteous
anger is ridiculous and pointless. Certainly if you are one of the
ex-admins I can understand a level of furstration and hurt. But with few
exceptions those individuals have been positively expressing that hurt.

It's the others, seizing on the opportunity to swing for the foundation
that are a disappointment. I've pretty much stopped trying to be an admin
on EN wiki because of the attitude of entitlement that takes up so much
time and energy that could be spent writing content

It's sad to see this is a cross movement problem.

Everyone; buck your ideas up.

Tom

On Monday, May 13, 2013, Thomas Goldammer wrote:

> "but will circle back when I return to work next Monday." (Gayle)
>
> Wait for that. Whatever time it actually means. :)
>
> Th.
>
>
> 2013/5/13 Huib Laurens <[hidden email] <javascript:;>>
>
> > Thomas,
> >
> > She is on holiday, she will not be in the office today?
> >
> > Huib
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email] <javascript:;>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by theo10011
On 5/13/13 8:54 AM, Theo10011 wrote:

> Hi Casey
>
> First, I miss seeing you around, in case you are not omnipresent anymore.
>
> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM, Casey Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 8:28 PM, Theo10011 <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> Try and be a bit nicer please. Gayle is still relatively new and this
>> level
>>> of scrutiny might be jarring for someone.
>>
>> Comments like these have always bothered me.
>>
>> Gayle isn't some random secretary or new run-of-the-mill employee. She
>> is a C-level staff member who has been here for more than a year and
>> made a policy decision that people have feedback on. While the
>> feedback may not have come in the nicest form, it is still valid and
>> we can't just ignore it because "it wasn't nice enough". As a high
>> level staff member in charge of your own department, you need to deal
>> with it -- this is one thing that comes with the job, unfortunately.
>> It's an insult to Gayle to assume that she will not be able to handle
>> criticism or answer people's responses. A C-level staff member needs
>> to be able to handle this "scrutiny", even high level scrutiny, when
>> they were the one that made the call, and I'm sure she's more than
>> capable of doing that.
>>
>>
> Fair point. I'll concede that one, I might have a soft spot for certain
> people for no apparent reason. Out of anyone else affected perhaps you're
> truly the really slighted party in all of this, and it really wouldn't be
> my place to tell you to be nicer.
>
> I still find out in bits and pieces how many things Casey handled. You and
> Cary made these issues disappear and made a lot more currently broken
> things function. The cracks seem to be showing more these days, which lends
> credence to a theory that you and Cary might have acted as buffer points on
> some of these things. As both of you became more inactive, minor things
> start generating more friction.
>
> Perhaps, it's a bit of maturity that makes the difference here, but there
> is no real-world implication of "C-Level" - they have these tiers that
> supposedly imply something in staff but they aren't born different or sent
> to army camps for training - they are just people. You know, people
> fumbling around, making mistakes, accidentally pissing other people off. We
> all stumbled our way here I think, no one started editing perfectly or
> never said a wrong thing or made a faux-pas - I made 4 today. Yes, some
> people handle criticism better than others, but I can tell your from
> witnessing it first-hand that being singled out by ~100 strangers is an
> emotionally taxing experience. Or maybe the gender gap discussions have
> sensitized me too much :P and I'm being biased.
>
> Lastly, I'll ask again, what was the expectation here? "Yes, I took some
> time out between clubbing baby seals, and kicking blind people, to take
> away flags I don't understand, from strangers I don't know. You know,
> because I'm evil like that" - nothing short of that would have gratified
> the current quest. There are two possible reasons, either someone else on
> staff asked or Ms. Young wasn't provided all the facts and didn't realize
> the implications. Both involve implicating another staff member, the course
> she took seems evident that it's not the road she wants to go down. While I
> don't agree, given her position, I can empathize.
>
>
>> [Note that I'm speaking generally -- I personally think Gayle can
>> handle criticism and she seems very nice. She also probably had no
>> idea this would create dramz. My comment is directed towards the
>> general "omg think of the staff member!" response to criticism that is
>> systemic in our movement.]
>
>
> You've actually read my mail on those other lists, do you really think I'm
> the one to say "omg think of the staff member!" ? I recall arguing the
> opposite on at least 3 very visible occasions.
>
> On the other hand, I had deja vu reading Philippe's email. Between the two,
> I think Gayle is far more pensive than Philippe's appears to be. It's
> almost combative. He agrees that he advised her wrong, and then spends the
> latter half chastising the tone on IRC and emails, and ends with a familiar
> sign-off. I vehemently believe he had more to do with this than just being
> the trigger-man. Considering how long he's known Mz, the amount of
> interactions they've had, even the times Mz has helped Philippe. He knew
> the reaction, perhaps why this was done first without warning in this way.
> I would point out "seven years ago the WMF was paralyzed from lack of
> strategy and direction" - and say I can really make an argument that it's
> actually the other way round. The strategy then was to grow. Now it's
> running in every direction and switching mid-stream - you can start from
> global development, to the education program and find a lot in between.
>
> -Theo

Just as a side comment, I laughed a bit when I read that "seven years
ago, WMF was paralyzed".

Eck... early 2006, Wikimedia Foundation was hardly more than two years
old. I would have many words to paint these days, some black, some white
and many greys. But "paralyzed" would definitly not be a word I would use.

I would urge people who were not part of the Foundation at that time to
avoid making comparisons "out of thin air".
I know this is usual for higher staff to criticize and belittle the way
a company was run *before* they came to save it. It is an easy way to
boost their ego and make them appear saviors and I can not entirely
blame them for doing that. Fair enough.
Still, I find it more disturbing coming from community members who
became staff and are directly benefiting from the work done by previous
people.

Philippe... early 2006... 7 years ago... you were still not even an
editor. How can you comment on the WMF "paralysis" back then ?

Except for repeating what you heard, a common meme carved to boost the
current troops ?

The WMF was never paralyzed. It has been through different stages of
development. And each stage had its challenges. It is completely
different now that what it used to be obviously. I think you should use
a grain of salt with the strategy that consist of criticizing the work
done by people who worked essentially as volunteers to lay the ground of
what is now strong enough to provide you a paycheck. Stay critical about
stories of a past you have not enjoyed yourself please :)

Flo



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

Peter Southwood
In reply to this post by James Alexander-3
You realise that this is going to continue until an actual explanation of
the desysopping comes out?
Some of us are waiting for the reasons before posting opinions. The weekend
is now over and maybe now some reasons can emerge.
Cheers,
Peter
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Alexander" <[hidden email]>
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2013 7:50 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)


> *
>
> I'm just going to top post here because responding to you in line won't be
> helpful to anybody.The staff ARE held to a higher standard, they are held
> to a higher standard day in and day out. If you don't think they are then
> you're blind. They get attacked at a level that is NOTHING compared to
> what
> they do or dish out NOTHING. They hold back because they're staff and they
> should hold back.
>
> Can the foundation get better? Of course it can, is every single thing
> Philippe said still true? Yes, in fact I'd probably be harsher about it.
> I'm sometimes embarrassed to be from the community when I read the mailing
> list and, less often, on wiki. Even I have to sit down on my hands, calm
> down, have a cup of tea and then go on damage control explaining to other
> staff members that we need to get better but that the community isn't
> nearly as bad as it seems sometimes. I have to remind myself that I'm not
> lying when I tell them that it isn't the entire community yelling at them,
> just a dozen or two on a mailing list and that they don't represent
> everyone. There is no doubt that the Foundation can get better in many
> areas, but I will 100% stand by my statement that the way that some
> portions of the community (that tend to congregate on the mailing lists
> and
> certain areas on wiki)  is embarrassing and insane. Given some of the
> statements that are made I'm not actually sure staff SHOULD respond to
> those people, yet they still do in the end because they're staff, and
> they're held to a higher standard.
>
> Is it true that some of this is 'the wiki way' and they should 'get used
> to
> it' because 'that's how we treat ourselves'? I'd say that 99%+ of the wiki
> isn't anywhere near as bad though I sadly admit that some of it is though
> most realize that's bad. The lack of civility on wiki has been a long
> running problem we have all known about, yet for some reason some people
> have decided that targeting the staff is fair game.
>
> In the US, and most countries I know, employers have a legal obligation to
> ensure a "healthy working environment" both physical and emotional. The
> working environment for our staff is NOT always emotionally healthy.
> *
> *
> *
> *James*
> *
>
> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 10:05 PM, Casey Brown <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 8:28 PM, Theo10011 <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > Try and be a bit nicer please. Gayle is still relatively new and this
>> level
>> > of scrutiny might be jarring for someone.
>>
>> Comments like these have always bothered me.
>>
>> Gayle isn't some random secretary or new run-of-the-mill employee. She
>> is a C-level staff member who has been here for more than a year and
>> made a policy decision that people have feedback on. While the
>> feedback may not have come in the nicest form, it is still valid and
>> we can't just ignore it because "it wasn't nice enough". As a high
>> level staff member in charge of your own department, you need to deal
>> with it -- this is one thing that comes with the job, unfortunately.
>> It's an insult to Gayle to assume that she will not be able to handle
>> criticism or answer people's responses. A C-level staff member needs
>> to be able to handle this "scrutiny", even high level scrutiny, when
>> they were the one that made the call, and I'm sure she's more than
>> capable of doing that.
>>
>> [Note that I'm speaking generally -- I personally think Gayle can
>> handle criticism and she seems very nice. She also probably had no
>> idea this would create dramz. My comment is directed towards the
>> general "omg think of the staff member!" response to criticism that is
>> systemic in our movement.]
>>
>> On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM, Philippe Beaudette
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > With that said: I'm afraid we're headed toward a precipice.  What I'm
>> > seeing scares me.  I see less and less good faith being offered toward
>> the
>> > WMF.
>>
>> This is something that bothers me too.
>>
>> The situation is always framed as "poor WMF". Yes, it is true that bad
>> faith is assumed on both sides, but I don't really think the community
>> (including the chapters) is the only one doing that. A lot of the
>> reason the community responds with such little faith or with such
>> outrage at the actions of the Wikimedia Foundation is because they do
>> not afford them any good faith either -- the community is simply
>> acting on the defensive. Many decisions are just handed out, are
>> half-baked, or are handled behind closed doors, so people have no idea
>> how to respond and feel no ownership.
>>
>> If people have no control over a situation, the only way to respond is
>> to point fingers and complain. We all work on things together -- there
>> aren't many areas that are exclusively community or WMF. If you don't
>> let the community do anything to fix a problem or constructively
>> contribute to bettering the situation, you're going to find yourself
>> stuck with a lot of bad faith and complaining.
>>
>> Take the WMFwiki policy decision for example -- was it really
>> necessary to discuss everything behind closed doors? Did the action
>> need to be taken two hours before the work week ended and before the
>> "decision maker" would be out of reach? We're always painting the
>> Wikimedia Foundation as the victim, but we're forgetting that they
>> definitely have their share of the blame. I realize that we're all
>> human, but, at the end of the day, the Foundation *should* be held to
>> a higher standard -- they are being paid to learn from their mistakes,
>> get things done correctly, and handle criticism. If something is going
>> to be controversial, it should not be done on a Friday before work
>> ends and then say no one can respond until Monday when someone
>> critiques it.
>>
>> [Again: I'm speaking more generally. I don't personally care that much
>> about the WMFwiki issue, since I'm not active much anymore.]
>>
>> We definitely have an agency issue here. The volunteers and the
>> community should not be viewed as a lone "aggressor" -- they're who
>> the Foundation ultimately report to: Staff => ED => Board =>
>> Community. The readers and donors are clear stakeholders, but the
>> community is at the top of the pyramid. The Foundation is not
>> completely innocent, but when things go wrong, we can't just call the
>> community out for complaining and then ignore the reason for that
>> complaint.
>>
>> --
>> Casey Brown (Cbrown1023)
>> caseybrown.org
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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)

Fæ
In reply to this post by Keegan Peterzell
On 13 May 2013 08:18, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]>wrote:
> That's a bit relative, James.  The active folk on this mailing list make
> for a pretty good cross section of thoughts/feelings/opinions of the
> movement.  I've refrained from this discussion and will continue to do so
> on specifics, because it's politics and that's not something I do on
> Wikipedia/Wikimedia.

On this, I have watched this thread with interest. I started following
it when sitting in a chapter board meeting all day on Saturday. From
the outset I knew I would not want to make any specific comment and
get sucked into another dramah, I have too big a pile of these already
anyway.

There are lessons to be learned here. I continue to hope that the WMF
can find a way of learning from these experiences, particularly if
they set a long term pattern, in addition to answering the specific
questions about this incident. For me, I certainly have learned that
for the other organizations I am involved with that control wikis and
have the wonderful luxury of working through the good will of unpaid
volunteer admins and bureaucrats, the policies that apply should only
change with careful and recorded consultation, even if I am personally
sure that there are very clear legal or excellent good and important
or urgent governance reasons to make changes.

For those on Monday morning finding a little egg left on their faces,
perhaps it is time to brew some freshly ground coffee, make some hot
buttered toast and turn this into a productive breakfast? Stay mellow.
;-)

PS I'm not attempting to claim any high ground here, so before anyone
points it out, yes I'm pretty darn flawed myself. Sometimes I do learn
from mistakes though, I have a lifetime of foolishness to regret and
learn from.

Cheers,
Fae
--
[hidden email] http://j.mp/faewm
Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/mfae

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

Peter Southwood
In reply to this post by James Alexander-3
That was actually my point.
Cheers,
Peter
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Alexander" <[hidden email]>
To: "Wikimedia Mailing List" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2013 9:03 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)


> On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12:00 AM, Peter Southwood <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Lets get a few things in perspective:
>> 1. How many community members were abusive/unreasonable/whatever beyond
>> what might be considered a startle reaction to an apparent attack without
>> warning?
>> 2 How many people constitute this community
>> Divide answer 1 by answer 2
>>
>> Consider how much of the response was a snowball effect of frustration
>> due
>> to a distinct shortage of explanation and direct answers to what might be
>> considered reasonable questions.
>>
>> And yes, "Welcome to Wikipedia "
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Peter
>>
>
> 2 is an unreasonable number to divide by when it's such a small cross
> section of the actual community on these lists.
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Heather Ford-4
On 5/13/13 9:27 AM, Heather Ford wrote:

> On May 13, 2013, at 6:57 AM, phoebe ayers wrote:
>
> You know, it's kind of the
> ultimate Wikimedian tempest: arguing over who gets to add users and delete
> pages on what is quite possibly the world's most boring wiki[1]...
>
> I would take a stab and stay that it's not about who gets access but about how people are treated. Sending a mass email to a bunch of people saying that they no longer have admin access is pretty much like firing them by mass email with no warning - but it's probably a bit worse than that since the people who do this work do it because they love Wikipedia and because they care about it, and it's a slap in the face to be given the pink slip like this. And it is also rightfully worrying because it isn't the first time it's happened.
>
> I know this because a few years ago, while perusing the WMF wiki, I noticed that my name had moved from current to past advisory board members. Shocked, I emailed around to find out what had happened. Apparently I'd been fired and thanked for my service (another mass email that had apparently gone to my iCommons email address and which I no longer had access to) but to this day I have never received any advice on why I was removed, despite asking for clarification in person and via email on a few occasions. I don't like to whine and complain [1] and I thought that it was just me, but it made me sad and upset because I felt like I'd done a lot for Wikimedia, was one of the few advisory board members who showed up to meetings and tried to get things done, and to be discarded like that was really upsetting.
>
> This is what this is about. It's about people engaging with one another on a personal, human level and understanding what it means to be a part of this thing, this crazy wonderful thing. Maybe it also takes some deeper engagement in editing these things to understand the implications of what seems to be just a technical thing like removing rights, placing in different categories but is heavily political, heavily personal.
>
> And so I'd offer different advice from taking a walk or eating an ice cream or writing more mass emails to this list. I'd suggest that the people concerned to write personal emails to the *individuals* who were affected by this and to engage in a conversation among individuals about why this happened and how they're going to make it better together. At iCommons, when I was on the receiving end of similar anger, I had a mantra that I tried to stick to. When someone sends something that is upsetting, get on the phone with them. Sort it out one-on-one. This, for me, passionately for me, is what's needed here.
>
> Best,
> Heather
>
> [1] here I am whining and complaining but hopefully it is to make a point at least.
>
> Heather Ford
> Oxford Internet Institute Doctoral Programme
> www.ethnographymatters.net<http://www.ethnographymatters.net>
> @hfordsa on Twitter
> http://hblog.org
>

And for the record, here are the minutes of the discussion which
ultimately resulted in the removal of several advisory board members.
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/November_13-15,_2009#Advisory_Board_Update

I sympathize Heather.


Regarding your proposition... I believe it is a good one.

This said... attempts to implement it may reveal really hard for the
person looking for a phone discussion. Calling anyone at San Francisco
is a real challenge as everything is done to discourage people to call
the office (I understand why :)).

I tried too many times to have good memory of that experience...
(answering machine... talking to me in English... asking me unknown
extension numbers... pouah)


Florence



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

Craig Franklin
In reply to this post by Fæ
Upon reading Gayle's response, and reflecting on some of the comments I
made on Saturday night, I have come to the conclusion that some of the
things I said may have come across as a little harsh and condescending.
 While that was my intention (my point was that "sometimes the community
can bite, so you have to watch your fingers while interacting with them!"),
I think that what I said could quite easily have come across as
patronising.  This wasn't my intent, but I sincerely and unreservedly
apologise to Gayle if this was how it was taken and if my words caused
anyone any distress.

Later, after I have dinner, I'm going to respond with a post to analyse
what went wrong and offer some positive suggestions to how I think these
situations can be avoided in the future, but the positive suggestion I am
going to take for myself at this point is Florence's excellent advice to
step back and let people explain themselves *before* I jump down their
throat.

Cheers,
Craig


On 13 May 2013 18:02, Fae <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 13 May 2013 08:18, Keegan Peterzell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:03 AM, James Alexander <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
> > That's a bit relative, James.  The active folk on this mailing list make
> > for a pretty good cross section of thoughts/feelings/opinions of the
> > movement.  I've refrained from this discussion and will continue to do so
> > on specifics, because it's politics and that's not something I do on
> > Wikipedia/Wikimedia.
>
> On this, I have watched this thread with interest. I started following
> it when sitting in a chapter board meeting all day on Saturday. From
> the outset I knew I would not want to make any specific comment and
> get sucked into another dramah, I have too big a pile of these already
> anyway.
>
> There are lessons to be learned here. I continue to hope that the WMF
> can find a way of learning from these experiences, particularly if
> they set a long term pattern, in addition to answering the specific
> questions about this incident. For me, I certainly have learned that
> for the other organizations I am involved with that control wikis and
> have the wonderful luxury of working through the good will of unpaid
> volunteer admins and bureaucrats, the policies that apply should only
> change with careful and recorded consultation, even if I am personally
> sure that there are very clear legal or excellent good and important
> or urgent governance reasons to make changes.
>
> For those on Monday morning finding a little egg left on their faces,
> perhaps it is time to brew some freshly ground coffee, make some hot
> buttered toast and turn this into a productive breakfast? Stay mellow.
> ;-)
>
> PS I'm not attempting to claim any high ground here, so before anyone
> points it out, yes I'm pretty darn flawed myself. Sometimes I do learn
> from mistakes though, I have a lifetime of foolishness to regret and
> learn from.
>
> Cheers,
> Fae
> --
> [hidden email] http://j.mp/faewm
> Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/mfae
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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)

Philippe Beaudette-2
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
I actually was, Florence :-)

—————————
Philippe Beaudette
Director, Community Advocacy
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc



On May 13, 2013, at 12:52 AM, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Philippe... early 2006... 7 years ago... you were still not even an editor. How can you comment on the WMF "paralysis" back then ?

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

Federico Leva (Nemo)
Philippe Beaudette, 13/05/2013 11:21:
> I actually was, Florence :-)

Let's see... <https://en.wikipedia.org/?diff=prev&oldid=55625971>
First (registered user, non deleted) edit 28 May... so not 7 years yet? ;-)
And of course answering on day counts is a very constructive way to
address Florence's points, congrats.

Nemo

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

Heather Ford-4
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On May 13, 2013, at 9:10 AM, Florence Devouard wrote:

On 5/13/13 9:27 AM, Heather Ford wrote:
On May 13, 2013, at 6:57 AM, phoebe ayers wrote:

You know, it's kind of the
ultimate Wikimedian tempest: arguing over who gets to add users and delete
pages on what is quite possibly the world's most boring wiki[1]...

I would take a stab and stay that it's not about who gets access but about how people are treated. Sending a mass email to a bunch of people saying that they no longer have admin access is pretty much like firing them by mass email with no warning - but it's probably a bit worse than that since the people who do this work do it because they love Wikipedia and because they care about it, and it's a slap in the face to be given the pink slip like this. And it is also rightfully worrying because it isn't the first time it's happened.

I know this because a few years ago, while perusing the WMF wiki, I noticed that my name had moved from current to past advisory board members. Shocked, I emailed around to find out what had happened. Apparently I'd been fired and thanked for my service (another mass email that had apparently gone to my iCommons email address and which I no longer had access to) but to this day I have never received any advice on why I was removed, despite asking for clarification in person and via email on a few occasions. I don't like to whine and complain [1] and I thought that it was just me, but it made me sad and upset because I felt like I'd done a lot for Wikimedia, was one of the few advisory board members who showed up to meetings and tried to get things done, and to be discarded like that was really upsetting.

This is what this is about. It's about people engaging with one another on a personal, human level and understanding what it means to be a part of this thing, this crazy wonderful thing. Maybe it also takes some deeper engagement in editing these things to understand the implications of what seems to be just a technical thing like removing rights, placing in different categories but is heavily political, heavily personal.

And so I'd offer different advice from taking a walk or eating an ice cream or writing more mass emails to this list. I'd suggest that the people concerned to write personal emails to the *individuals* who were affected by this and to engage in a conversation among individuals about why this happened and how they're going to make it better together. At iCommons, when I was on the receiving end of similar anger, I had a mantra that I tried to stick to. When someone sends something that is upsetting, get on the phone with them. Sort it out one-on-one. This, for me, passionately for me, is what's needed here.

Best,
Heather

[1] here I am whining and complaining but hopefully it is to make a point at least.

Heather Ford
Oxford Internet Institute Doctoral Programme
www.ethnographymatters.net<http://www.ethnographymatters.net>
@hfordsa on Twitter
http://hblog.org


And for the record, here are the minutes of the discussion which ultimately resulted in the removal of several advisory board members.
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/November_13-15,_2009#Advisory_Board_Update

I sympathize Heather.


Regarding your proposition... I believe it is a good one.

This said... attempts to implement it may reveal really hard for the person looking for a phone discussion. Calling anyone at San Francisco is a real challenge as everything is done to discourage people to call the office (I understand why :)).

Ah, I meant it more as people in the San Francisco office calling (or at least attempting to call) volunteers :) A personal email would be a good second best, though :) Sending apologies to the whole list: certainly. But sending apologies to real individuals affected by this requires personal emails - and not just the ones where you copy and paste!


I tried too many times to have good memory of that experience...
(answering machine... talking to me in English... asking me unknown extension numbers... pouah)


Florence



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

Philippe Beaudette-2
In reply to this post by Federico Leva (Nemo)
Previous account, Nemo. :)

—————————
Philippe Beaudette
Director, Community Advocacy
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc



On May 13, 2013, at 3:01 AM, "Federico Leva (Nemo)" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Philippe Beaudette, 13/05/2013 11:21:
>> I actually was, Florence :-)
>
> Let's see... <https://en.wikipedia.org/?diff=prev&oldid=55625971>
> First (registered user, non deleted) edit 28 May... so not 7 years yet? ;-)
> And of course answering on day counts is a very constructive way to address Florence's points, congrats.
>
> Nemo

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

Florence Devouard-3
omg, he just admitted sockpupetting !!!


On 5/13/13 12:35 PM, Philippe Beaudette wrote:

> Previous account, Nemo. :)
>
> —————————
> Philippe Beaudette
> Director, Community Advocacy
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc
>
>
>
> On May 13, 2013, at 3:01 AM, "Federico Leva (Nemo)" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Philippe Beaudette, 13/05/2013 11:21:
>>> I actually was, Florence :-)
>>
>> Let's see... <https://en.wikipedia.org/?diff=prev&oldid=55625971>
>> First (registered user, non deleted) edit 28 May... so not 7 years yet? ;-)
>> And of course answering on day counts is a very constructive way to address Florence's points, congrats.
>>
>> Nemo
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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)

K. Peachey-2
On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 9:45 PM, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> omg, he just admitted sockpupetting !!!

ePitchforks, $2ea or 3 for $5, step right up.

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