[Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

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[Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Marie-Alice Mathis
Hello all,

I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.

The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now complete
and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
frustration of these past few months.

I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had more
time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I had
a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie Martin
or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I have
I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.

Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign based
on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with them
closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly believed
everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF sites,
email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist rant
against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early in
the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware of
the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe for
facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.

Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that case,
right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds for
personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you very
much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“. None
of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community has
clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and the
Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in the
hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the crisis.

I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us (the
Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased English
summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated on
this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.

But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a “fair
game” target for harassment.

Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of executive
staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record breaking 4
years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens as a
result of harmful group behaviour within the community.

Sincerely,
Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon


PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in this
crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
from Sept 20.

Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)

In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from my
position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that any
Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.

You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle civil
and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal action
is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.

Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.

First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.

Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to harassment,
sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care and
my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place on
WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
<http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the WMF-hosted,
publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members to
challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented the
Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
attacks.
When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site visit
you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me for
being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment on
my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the misconduct
allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you asked
that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the "Grant
expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded allegations,
and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this day
we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was moderated
on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks against
me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the members
was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse to
do anything about it.

Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims by
denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is not
for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.

For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations. With
most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I came
in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about your
actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.

Sincerely,
Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

John Erling Blad
When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions to
them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
are an invitation to fierce battles.

Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
problems, and move on.

No, I do not know any of the people involved.

John Erling Blad
/jeblad

On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
>
> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now complete
> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> frustration of these past few months.
>
> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had more
> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I had
> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie Martin
> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I have
> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
>
> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign based
> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with them
> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly believed
> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF sites,
> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist rant
> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early in
> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware of
> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe for
> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
>
> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that case,
> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds for
> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you very
> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“. None
> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community has
> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and the
> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in the
> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> crisis.
>
> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us (the
> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased English
> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated on
> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
>
> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a “fair
> game” target for harassment.
>
> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of executive
> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record breaking 4
> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens as a
> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
>
> Sincerely,
> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
>
>
> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in this
> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
> from Sept 20.
>
> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
>
> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from my
> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that any
> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
>
> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle civil
> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal action
> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
>
> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
>
> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
>
> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to harassment,
> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care and
> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place on
> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> WMF-hosted,
> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members to
> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented the
> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
> attacks.
> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site visit
> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me for
> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment on
> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the misconduct
> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you asked
> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the "Grant
> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded allegations,
> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this day
> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was moderated
> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks against
> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the members
> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse to
> do anything about it.
>
> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims by
> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is not
> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
>
> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations. With
> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I came
> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about your
> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
>
> Sincerely,
> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

María Sefidari-3
Dear all,


We would like to specifically address the allegations related to harassment
in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation employed
independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on the
information presented, the investigation found no support for the
allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation Board
as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.

The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation if
presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
allegations to be without merit.


On behalf of the Board,


María Sefidari

El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:

When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions to
them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
are an invitation to fierce battles.

Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
problems, and move on.

No, I do not know any of the people involved.

John Erling Blad
/jeblad

On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
>
> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now complete
> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> frustration of these past few months.
>
> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had more
> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I
had
> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie Martin
> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I have
> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
>
> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign based
> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
them
> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
believed

> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF sites,
> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist rant
> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early in
> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware of
> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe for
> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
>
> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that case,
> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds for
> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you very
> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“. None
> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community has
> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and the
> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in the
> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> crisis.
>
> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us (the
> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased English
> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated
on

> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
>
> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a “fair
> game” target for harassment.
>
> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of executive
> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record breaking 4
> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens as
a
> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
>
> Sincerely,
> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
>
>
> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
this

> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
> from Sept 20.
>
> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
>
> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from my
> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that
any
> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
>
> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle civil
> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
action

> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
>
> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
>
> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
>
> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to harassment,
> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care and
> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place on
> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
<http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>

> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> WMF-hosted,
> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members to
> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented the
> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
> attacks.
> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site visit
> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me for
> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment on
> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
misconduct
> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you asked
> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the "Grant
> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
allegations,

> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this day
> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was moderated
> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks against
> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the members
> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse to
> do anything about it.
>
> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims
by
> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is not
> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
>
> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
With

> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I came
> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about your
> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
>
> Sincerely,
> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
wiki/Wikimedia-l
New messages to: [hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
<mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Natacha Rault
Hi Maria, thank you.

Personnally, and as an engaged feminist in real life, I dont believe one word of these allegations.

My support goes to Christophe, and like you wrote, these allegations I think are not backed up by evidence as far as I have been informed).

Too many people within the francophone community are being accused - causing resentment - of too many things that are simply not true, for me to be able to believe in this.

Kind regards,

Natacha / Nattes à chat

> Le 11 oct. 2017 à 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
> Dear all,
>
>
> We would like to specifically address the allegations related to harassment
> in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation employed
> independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on the
> information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation if
> presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> allegations to be without merit.
>
>
> On behalf of the Board,
>
>
> María Sefidari
>
> El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
>
> When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions to
> them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
> anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
> are an invitation to fierce battles.
>
> Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
> of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> problems, and move on.
>
> No, I do not know any of the people involved.
>
> John Erling Blad
> /jeblad
>
> On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hello all,
>>
>> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
>> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
>>
>> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now complete
>> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
>> frustration of these past few months.
>>
>> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had more
>> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
>> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I
> had
>> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie Martin
>> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I have
>> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
>>
>> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
>> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign based
>> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
>> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
> them
>> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
>> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> believed
>> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF sites,
>> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
>> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
>> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist rant
>> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
>> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
>> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
>> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
>> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early in
>> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
>> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware of
>> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe for
>> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
>> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
>> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
>>
>> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
>> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that case,
>> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds for
>> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
>> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
>> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
>> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you very
>> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“. None
>> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
>> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community has
>> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and the
>> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in the
>> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
>> crisis.
>>
>> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us (the
>> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
>> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
>> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased English
>> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated
> on
>> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
>> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
>>
>> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
>> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
>> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
>> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
>> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
>> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a “fair
>> game” target for harassment.
>>
>> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
>> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of executive
>> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record breaking 4
>> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
>> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens as
> a
>> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
>>
>>
>> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
> this
>> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
>> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
>> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
>> from Sept 20.
>>
>> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
>>
>> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
>> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from my
>> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that
> any
>> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
>>
>> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
>> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle civil
>> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
>> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> action
>> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
>>
>> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
>>
>> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
>> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
>> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
>> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
>> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
>>
>> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to harassment,
>> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
>> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
>> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care and
>> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place on
>> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
>> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
>> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
>> WMF-hosted,
>> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
>> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members to
>> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
>> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
>> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented the
>> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
>> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
>> attacks.
>> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site visit
>> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me for
>> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
>> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
>> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment on
>> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> misconduct
>> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
>> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you asked
>> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the "Grant
>> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
>> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
>> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
>> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> allegations,
>> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
>> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
>> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
>> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this day
>> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
>> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was moderated
>> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks against
>> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the members
>> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse to
>> do anything about it.
>>
>> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
>> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
>> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
>> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
>> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims
> by
>> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
>> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
>> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is not
>> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
>>
>> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
>> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
> With
>> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
>> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
>> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I came
>> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
>> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about your
>> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

John Erling Blad
For the moment I have virtually zero trust in all involved, including the
wmf board. Reorganize and regain trust!

John Erling Blad

On Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 11:28 PM, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Maria, thank you.
>
> Personnally, and as an engaged feminist in real life, I dont believe one
> word of these allegations.
>
> My support goes to Christophe, and like you wrote, these allegations I
> think are not backed up by evidence as far as I have been informed).
>
> Too many people within the francophone community are being accused -
> causing resentment - of too many things that are simply not true, for me to
> be able to believe in this.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Natacha / Nattes à chat
>
> > Le 11 oct. 2017 à 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> a écrit :
> >
> > Dear all,
> >
> >
> > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> harassment
> > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> employed
> > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on
> the
> > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board
> > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation
> if
> > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> > allegations to be without merit.
> >
> >
> > On behalf of the Board,
> >
> >
> > María Sefidari
> >
> > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> >
> > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions
> to
> > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
> > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
> > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> >
> > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
> > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > problems, and move on.
> >
> > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> >
> > John Erling Blad
> > /jeblad
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Hello all,
> >>
> >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
> >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> >>
> >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> complete
> >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> >> frustration of these past few months.
> >>
> >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had
> more
> >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
> >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I
> > had
> >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> Martin
> >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I
> have
> >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
> >>
> >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
> >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign
> based
> >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
> >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
> > them
> >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > believed
> >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> sites,
> >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
> >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist
> rant
> >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
> >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
> >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
> >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
> >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early
> in
> >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
> >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware
> of
> >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe
> for
> >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> >>
> >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
> >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> case,
> >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds
> for
> >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
> >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
> >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
> >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you
> very
> >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“.
> None
> >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
> >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community
> has
> >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and
> the
> >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in
> the
> >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> >> crisis.
> >>
> >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us
> (the
> >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
> >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
> >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> English
> >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated
> > on
> >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
> >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> >>
> >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
> >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
> >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
> >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
> >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
> >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a
> “fair
> >> game” target for harassment.
> >>
> >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
> >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> executive
> >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> breaking 4
> >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
> >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens
> as
> > a
> >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> >>
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> >>
> >>
> >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
> > this
> >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
> >> from Sept 20.
> >>
> >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> >>
> >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
> >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from
> my
> >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that
> > any
> >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> >>
> >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
> >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle
> civil
> >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
> >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> > action
> >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
> >>
> >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> >>
> >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
> >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
> >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
> >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
> >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> >>
> >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> harassment,
> >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
> >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care
> and
> >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place
> on
> >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> >> WMF-hosted,
> >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members
> to
> >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
> >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
> >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented
> the
> >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
> >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
> >> attacks.
> >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site
> visit
> >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me
> for
> >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
> >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment
> on
> >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > misconduct
> >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> asked
> >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> "Grant
> >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
> >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
> >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > allegations,
> >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
> >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this
> day
> >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
> >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> moderated
> >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> against
> >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> members
> >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse
> to
> >> do anything about it.
> >>
> >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
> >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
> >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims
> > by
> >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is
> not
> >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> >>
> >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
> > With
> >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
> >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
> >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I
> came
> >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
> >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about
> your
> >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> >>
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Alessandro Marchetti
I worked in France some years ago, and I had the feeling that in my experience allegations of harassment were more common there than in other countries. At least in the tertiary sector.

My idea is that instead of fixing the disfunctionalities of the working environment (which in France seemed to be above avarage compared to other countries) it is inevitable to add another one on the list. There is usually some professional boss at the end of the chain that cut them before it's too late.

There was not even a point in blaming a specific person for something at a certain point (they always balmed someone, I ma just saying no point to me)...  it all looked like a continuum of mismanaged issues where evrybody was victim and executioner at the same time. I believe that this is what happen in a system that shows a relatively scarcity of common sense, combined with an inability to admit there is an issue before it grows too much. It's like something involuting in its own parody, and sometimes it looks tragic and comic at the same time.

Once I made fun with a André Malroux style of the death of the working ethics of the "Génération Mitterrand", but they so much did not like that. Of course I am aware that I am not the free spirit à la Sartre that knows how to to criticize the decadence of the French bourgeoise in the right way.

 

    Il Mercoledì 11 Ottobre 2017 23:51, John Erling Blad <[hidden email]> ha scritto:
 

 For the moment I have virtually zero trust in all involved, including the
wmf board. Reorganize and regain trust!

John Erling Blad

On Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 11:28 PM, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Maria, thank you.
>
> Personnally, and as an engaged feminist in real life, I dont believe one
> word of these allegations.
>
> My support goes to Christophe, and like you wrote, these allegations I
> think are not backed up by evidence as far as I have been informed).
>
> Too many people within the francophone community are being accused -
> causing resentment - of too many things that are simply not true, for me to
> be able to believe in this.
>
> Kind regards,
>
> Natacha / Nattes à chat
>
> > Le 11 oct. 2017 à 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> a écrit :
> >
> > Dear all,
> >
> >
> > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> harassment
> > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> employed
> > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on
> the
> > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board
> > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation
> if
> > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> > allegations to be without merit.
> >
> >
> > On behalf of the Board,
> >
> >
> > María Sefidari
> >
> > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> >
> > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions
> to
> > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
> > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
> > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> >
> > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
> > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > problems, and move on.
> >
> > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> >
> > John Erling Blad
> > /jeblad
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Hello all,
> >>
> >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
> >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> >>
> >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> complete
> >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> >> frustration of these past few months.
> >>
> >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had
> more
> >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
> >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I
> > had
> >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> Martin
> >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I
> have
> >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
> >>
> >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
> >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign
> based
> >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
> >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
> > them
> >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > believed
> >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> sites,
> >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
> >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist
> rant
> >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
> >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
> >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
> >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
> >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early
> in
> >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
> >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware
> of
> >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe
> for
> >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> >>
> >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
> >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> case,
> >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds
> for
> >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
> >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
> >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
> >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you
> very
> >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“.
> None
> >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
> >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community
> has
> >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and
> the
> >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in
> the
> >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> >> crisis.
> >>
> >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us
> (the
> >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
> >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
> >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> English
> >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated
> > on
> >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
> >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> >>
> >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
> >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
> >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
> >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
> >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
> >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a
> “fair
> >> game” target for harassment.
> >>
> >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
> >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> executive
> >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> breaking 4
> >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
> >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens
> as
> > a
> >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> >>
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> >>
> >>
> >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
> > this
> >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
> >> from Sept 20.
> >>
> >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> >>
> >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
> >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from
> my
> >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that
> > any
> >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> >>
> >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
> >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle
> civil
> >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
> >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> > action
> >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
> >>
> >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> >>
> >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
> >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
> >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
> >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
> >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> >>
> >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> harassment,
> >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
> >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care
> and
> >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place
> on
> >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> >> WMF-hosted,
> >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members
> to
> >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
> >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
> >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented
> the
> >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
> >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
> >> attacks.
> >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site
> visit
> >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me
> for
> >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
> >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment
> on
> >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > misconduct
> >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> asked
> >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> "Grant
> >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
> >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
> >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > allegations,
> >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
> >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this
> day
> >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
> >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> moderated
> >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> against
> >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> members
> >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse
> to
> >> do anything about it.
> >>
> >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
> >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
> >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims
> > by
> >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is
> not
> >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> >>
> >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
> > With
> >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
> >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
> >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I
> came
> >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
> >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about
> your
> >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> >>
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> wiki/Wikimedia-l
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>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Emeric Vallespi
In reply to this post by María Sefidari-3
Dear Maria,
Dear all,

The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the legal management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your board, and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts from his time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).

It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather her testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could have requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies, so that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no solicitation. Why?
From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to stifle the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid "independent lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He responded, to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board of trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself, the Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a flat denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to assume?
 
We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive Director…) who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any kind of listening or help.

Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the sexist harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members. Nathalie and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued by real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and what did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff legitimizing the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly stated against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?

The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and this is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member think they are).
The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control. The problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the measure of all things.
No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally, people) or at least to hear them.
Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness and respect?

I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is accusing of lying other women because of their private then public declarations. Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening me about true fight with feminism.

I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but I can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and simply against human values.

N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior. Thanks for your understanding.

Regards,
--
Emeric Vallespi

> On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Dear all,
>
>
> We would like to specifically address the allegations related to harassment
> in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation employed
> independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on the
> information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation if
> presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> allegations to be without merit.
>
>
> On behalf of the Board,
>
>
> María Sefidari
>
> El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
>
> When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions to
> them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
> anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
> are an invitation to fierce battles.
>
> Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
> of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> problems, and move on.
>
> No, I do not know any of the people involved.
>
> John Erling Blad
> /jeblad
>
> On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hello all,
>>
>> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
>> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
>>
>> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now complete
>> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
>> frustration of these past few months.
>>
>> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had more
>> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
>> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I
> had
>> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie Martin
>> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I have
>> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
>>
>> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
>> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign based
>> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
>> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
> them
>> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
>> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> believed
>> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF sites,
>> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
>> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
>> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist rant
>> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
>> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
>> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
>> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
>> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early in
>> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
>> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware of
>> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe for
>> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
>> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
>> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
>>
>> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
>> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that case,
>> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds for
>> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
>> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
>> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
>> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you very
>> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“. None
>> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
>> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community has
>> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and the
>> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in the
>> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
>> crisis.
>>
>> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us (the
>> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
>> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
>> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased English
>> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated
> on
>> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
>> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
>>
>> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
>> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
>> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
>> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
>> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
>> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a “fair
>> game” target for harassment.
>>
>> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
>> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of executive
>> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record breaking 4
>> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
>> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens as
> a
>> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
>>
>>
>> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
> this
>> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
>> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
>> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
>> from Sept 20.
>>
>> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
>>
>> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
>> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from my
>> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that
> any
>> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
>>
>> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
>> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle civil
>> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
>> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> action
>> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
>>
>> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
>>
>> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
>> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
>> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
>> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
>> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
>>
>> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to harassment,
>> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
>> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
>> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care and
>> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place on
>> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
>> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
>> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
>> WMF-hosted,
>> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
>> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members to
>> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
>> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
>> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented the
>> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
>> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
>> attacks.
>> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site visit
>> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me for
>> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
>> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
>> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment on
>> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> misconduct
>> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
>> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you asked
>> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the "Grant
>> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
>> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
>> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
>> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> allegations,
>> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
>> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
>> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
>> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this day
>> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
>> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was moderated
>> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks against
>> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the members
>> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse to
>> do anything about it.
>>
>> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
>> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
>> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
>> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
>> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims
> by
>> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
>> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
>> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is not
>> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
>>
>> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
>> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
> With
>> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
>> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
>> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I came
>> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
>> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about your
>> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
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> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Caroline Becker
Hi Emeric,

I am very pleased that you take mental health seriously. I remember, not so
long ago, that your actions while you were in Wikimedia France had serious
impact on the mental health of at least two of your members.

In January, someone had a meltdown just in front of you. Could you remind
us what you did after that ?

In April, you learnt that your actions as a chair caused me a medical
leave. What can the Foundation and the movement as a whole learn about how
you dealt with the situation ?

Warmly,

Caroline

2017-10-12 12:39 GMT+02:00 Emeric Vallespi <[hidden email]>:

> Dear Maria,
> Dear all,
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the legal
> management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie
> Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your board,
> and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts from his
> time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).
>
> It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather her
> testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
> At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could have
> requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies, so
> that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no solicitation.
> Why?
> From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to stifle
> the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid "independent
> lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He responded,
> to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
> Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
> Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
> Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board of
> trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself, the
> Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
> During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a flat
> denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
> Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for
> confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to
> assume?
>
> We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management
> responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive Director…)
> who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the
> Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any kind
> of listening or help.
>
> Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the sexist
> harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members. Nathalie
> and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued by
> real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and what
> did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff legitimizing
> the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly stated
> against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
> What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?
>
> The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and this
> is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member think
> they are).
> The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power
> position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control. The
> problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you
> legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the
> measure of all things.
> No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally,
> people) or at least to hear them.
> Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness and
> respect?
>
> I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is accusing
> of lying other women because of their private then public declarations.
> Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening me
> about true fight with feminism.
>
> I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but I
> can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and simply
> against human values.
>
> N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my
> selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior. Thanks
> for your understanding.
>
> Regards,
> --
> Emeric Vallespi
>
> > On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Dear all,
> >
> >
> > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> harassment
> > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> employed
> > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on
> the
> > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board
> > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation
> if
> > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> > allegations to be without merit.
> >
> >
> > On behalf of the Board,
> >
> >
> > María Sefidari
> >
> > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> >
> > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions
> to
> > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
> > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the users
> > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> >
> > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the role
> > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > problems, and move on.
> >
> > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> >
> > John Erling Blad
> > /jeblad
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > [hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> Hello all,
> >>
> >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
> >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> >>
> >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> complete
> >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> >> frustration of these past few months.
> >>
> >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had
> more
> >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
> >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years I
> > had
> >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> Martin
> >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I
> have
> >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s values.
> >>
> >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
> >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign
> based
> >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of all
> >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
> > them
> >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > believed
> >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> sites,
> >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve been
> >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist
> rant
> >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
> >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
> >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats to
> >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC funding.
> >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early
> in
> >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
> >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware
> of
> >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe
> for
> >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> >>
> >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by prominent
> >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> case,
> >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds
> for
> >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French justice
> >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to gratuitous
> >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and dictating
> >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you
> very
> >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“.
> None
> >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
> >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community
> has
> >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and
> the
> >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in
> the
> >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> >> crisis.
> >>
> >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us
> (the
> >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only a
> >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
> >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> English
> >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly circulated
> > on
> >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s bylaws),
> >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> >>
> >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily the
> >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever for
> >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no place
> >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with this
> >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out individuals’
> >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a
> “fair
> >> game” target for harassment.
> >>
> >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue of
> >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> executive
> >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> breaking 4
> >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that this
> >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens
> as
> > a
> >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> >>
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> >>
> >>
> >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
> > this
> >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy Love
> >> from Sept 20.
> >>
> >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> >>
> >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr, you
> >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from
> my
> >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and that
> > any
> >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> >>
> >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if you
> >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle
> civil
> >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
> >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> > action
> >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or staff.
> >>
> >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> >>
> >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come from
> >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
> >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
> >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
> >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> >>
> >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> harassment,
> >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the point
> >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care
> and
> >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place
> on
> >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> >> WMF-hosted,
> >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community members
> to
> >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
> >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at the
> >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented
> the
> >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
> >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
> >> attacks.
> >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site
> visit
> >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me
> for
> >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
> >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the harassment
> on
> >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > misconduct
> >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> asked
> >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> "Grant
> >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what we
> >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
> >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > allegations,
> >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it to
> >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this
> day
> >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
> >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> moderated
> >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> against
> >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> members
> >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse
> to
> >> do anything about it.
> >>
> >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against chapter
> >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
> >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence victims
> > by
> >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is
> not
> >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> >>
> >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
> > With
> >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
> >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at the
> >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I
> came
> >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit to
> >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about
> your
> >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> >>
> >> Sincerely,
> >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Fæ
In reply to this post by María Sefidari-3
Taking María's statement on behalf of the WMF by itself, there are a
couple of simple in-line questions about handling governance I would
like to make, based on my experience with a number of governance
issues both within and outside of Wikimedia related organizations.

I'm sticking to this being a governance case, as the WMF Board can
only be expected to make resolutions on the basis of good governance.

On 11 October 2017 at 18:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> We would like to specifically address the allegations related to harassment
> in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation employed
> independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on the
> information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation Board
> as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.

The statement is short on factual detail despite being described as
specific. It would be reassuring if the following actions would be
considered by the Board, and responded to even if rejected:
1. Publish the timeline of events, which would be essential for any
governance review. Several events are implicit in the statement, but
absent any facts about when or who, they easily lead to later
confusion.
2. Publish the report from the investigators. If necessary this can be
redacted, however from emails that have been made a public record so
far, it's hard to imagine what now needs to remain confidential.
3. Explain who was contracted to produce the report and why and how
they were chosen.
4. Explain what information has been presented, so there can be no
doubt whether the WMF and the Board have been presented with all the
information available and the steps taken to ensure potential bias in
how information was selected was minimized, for example by not
pre-selecting who to talk to, rather than giving the investigators a
free hand to ask for interviews.

> The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation if
> presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> allegations to be without merit.

This closing sentence seem to give a heavy implication that the Board
is aware that more information may exist than was used. It seems
unhelpful to have an investigation or review that does not take
proactive steps to gather information from all the stakeholders
identified so that it can stick as a final resolution. In the absence
of specifics, it's hard to imagine that anyone outside of the WMF
board will be able to understand if you are missing any critical
information, yet somehow that appears to be what you are expecting.

> On behalf of the Board,
>
>
> María Sefidari

Thanks for making a statement as a board to the email list, it's a
helpful communication channel to use this way. I appreciate that a
governance based response to allegations against a named trustee, will
not be the same as judging a harassment case that should happen
elsewhere.

Fae
--
[hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Pierre-Selim
I don't trust any of the harassement accusations made by Nathalie, Emeric,
Marie-Alice and Rémi.

I know for sure that they use this kind of accusations very lightly. They
used it on myself too.
Marie-Alice wrote to me on July 5th, that my membership was refused due to
my long standing relationship with someone who defended a community member
and our values.
In the right of response of the board published on July 30th the motivation
for the refusal of my membership changed to harassement. Well quite
convenient when things are not convincing enough or don't work their way,
they accuse people of harassement.

Thoses accusations came very late in this affair: It is clearly a smear
campaign to divert attention from their own responsabilities.

How can we trust people who are doxxing Wikimedians on regular basis ?
(Nathalie did it at least 4 times since early July).

How can we trust people who are publishing information without regards to
privacy even when a legal counsel of the WMF ask them to remove it ?

I'm sorry, but I'm asking for help now, these people Nathalie, Emeric,
Marie-Alice and Rémi are hurting us, the French community.
Yes community members are getting medical leaves (not only this group of
people), and are also having real physical consequences.


Yours Sincerely,
User:PierreSelim
Sysop & Oversighter on Wikimedia Commons,

2017-10-12 14:50 GMT+02:00 Fæ <[hidden email]>:

> Taking María's statement on behalf of the WMF by itself, there are a
> couple of simple in-line questions about handling governance I would
> like to make, based on my experience with a number of governance
> issues both within and outside of Wikimedia related organizations.
>
> I'm sticking to this being a governance case, as the WMF Board can
> only be expected to make resolutions on the basis of good governance.
>
> On 11 October 2017 at 18:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Dear all,
> >
> > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> harassment
> > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia Foundation
> > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> employed
> > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on
> the
> > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board
> > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
>
> The statement is short on factual detail despite being described as
> specific. It would be reassuring if the following actions would be
> considered by the Board, and responded to even if rejected:
> 1. Publish the timeline of events, which would be essential for any
> governance review. Several events are implicit in the statement, but
> absent any facts about when or who, they easily lead to later
> confusion.
> 2. Publish the report from the investigators. If necessary this can be
> redacted, however from emails that have been made a public record so
> far, it's hard to imagine what now needs to remain confidential.
> 3. Explain who was contracted to produce the report and why and how
> they were chosen.
> 4. Explain what information has been presented, so there can be no
> doubt whether the WMF and the Board have been presented with all the
> information available and the steps taken to ensure potential bias in
> how information was selected was minimized, for example by not
> pre-selecting who to talk to, rather than giving the investigators a
> free hand to ask for interviews.
>
> > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation
> if
> > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider the
> > allegations to be without merit.
>
> This closing sentence seem to give a heavy implication that the Board
> is aware that more information may exist than was used. It seems
> unhelpful to have an investigation or review that does not take
> proactive steps to gather information from all the stakeholders
> identified so that it can stick as a final resolution. In the absence
> of specifics, it's hard to imagine that anyone outside of the WMF
> board will be able to understand if you are missing any critical
> information, yet somehow that appears to be what you are expecting.
>
> > On behalf of the Board,
> >
> >
> > María Sefidari
>
> Thanks for making a statement as a board to the email list, it's a
> helpful communication channel to use this way. I appreciate that a
> governance based response to allegations against a named trustee, will
> not be the same as judging a harassment case that should happen
> elsewhere.
>
> Fae
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Pierre-Selim
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Katherine Maher
In reply to this post by Caroline Becker
Everyone,

The past six months have been a complex and troubling time for our
community in France. Let me be absolutely clear, with no confusion or
ambiguity, that the Wikimedia Foundation condemns harassment. We take all
harassment claims seriously, investigate them promptly, and take the
appropriate action to enforce our policies whenever necessary. My goal here
today is to provide more information about the actions of the Wikimedia
Foundation, the principles to which we adhere, and the situation in which
our movement finds itself.

As many of you know, there have been months of discussion within the French
Wikimedia community, independent committees and governance bodies, and the
Wikimedia Foundation about the governance and operations of Wikimédia
France. During this time, we have seen growing tensions between a number of
the former leaders of Wikimédia France and some members of the French
Wikimedia community. This situation created great strain on the French
community, former and current staff of Wikimédia France, and concerned
Wikimedia volunteers around the world. Much of this was documented by
community members[1] and in the press.[2] Over the past months the
Foundation has received formal and informal complaints alleging harassment
and other harmful behaviour, and we have enforced existing policies
whenever applicable.

Recently, an individual associated with our movement published an essay
about the events in France on the blogging site Medium and shared that
essay with this list. It contained a number of deeply concerning
allegations of harassment. Let me first address the most troubling claims
of the recent essay—those regarding the Foundation’s handling of
allegations against the Wikimedia Foundation’s current Board Chair.

In May of 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation was informed, in a letter and for
the first time, that the then-Executive Director of Wikimédia France was
alleging claims of harassment against the current Board Chair of the
Wikimedia Foundation, dating back to his tenure as former Chair of
Wikimédia France. In this letter the Executive Director described a number
of interactions with the Foundation’s Board Chair when he was Chair of
Wikimédia France, and went on to accuse him of using his position as
Foundation Board Chair to to turn the Wikimedia Foundation’s sentiment
against the French chapter.

Contrary to the assertion in the Medium essay, while the former Wikimédia
France Executive Director’s letter detailed tense and disagreeable
interactions between the two individuals, it did not characterize those
interactions as sexual harassment. Also contrary to the essay’s assertions,
the Wikimedia Foundation took immediate and appropriate action after
receiving the complaint.

The Wikimedia Foundation, under clear direction from our Board, responded
promptly:

   - We notified the Vice Chair and Board Governance Chair immediately
   after receiving the then-Executive Director’s letter.
   - Under their direction and supervision, we promptly hired expert French
   legal counsel to conduct an investigation on this issue.
   - The Foundation Board Chair was informed of the investigation and
   recused from all relevant discussions. The Board Chair was also recused
   from any discussion regarding Wikimédia France and the French Wikimedia
   community, including any participation in funding decisions.
   - The investigation by the experts found that the French chapter’s
   Executive Director’s detailed statements of facts, in addition to not being
   characterized by her as sexual harassment, also did not support a finding
   of sexual harassment.
   - Based on the information provided, French counsel also looked at
   whether the allegations supported a finding of “moral” harassment,
   ultimately concluding that they did not.
   - The findings were conveyed to the then-chair of the board of Wikimédia
   France. The chapter leadership was asked on more than one occasion if it
   had any additional evidence or wished to further discuss the conclusions.
   No additional information was provided.
   - Under these circumstances, the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation found
   no merit to the charges.


*As has been repeatedly stated, the Foundation remains fully committed to
reviewing and investigating additional information, if presented, of sexual
or other harassment allegedly committed by any Wikimedia Foundation staff
or board member. We fully condemn harassment in the Wikimedia movement.*

The essay in Medium also references experiences of a number of former
Wikimédia France Board members who reportedly left their posts because of
alleged harassment from French Wikimedia community members. In the majority
of these cases, the Wikimedia Foundation has not received complaints and
has no further information about these allegations.

We are aware that some people working at the Foundation for some months
have received comments from a number of community members through informal
channels about alleged intra-community harassment. These included
complaints and allegations of harassment made against the former Wikimédia
France Executive Director and then-Board Chair by Wikimédia France staff
and community members, as well as counter-complaints from former Wikimédia
France board members against members of the French community. In each
instance of which we are aware, the individual raising the complaint was
directed to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Support and Safety team, which is
trained and equipped to independently investigate and assess these matters,
particularly where members of the larger Wikimedia community are concerned.

In total, the Foundation received roughly a dozen of these complaints. Each
of these complaints received by the Foundation was investigated and
responded to promptly, enforcing the relevant anti-harassment policies
whenever appropriate. In some cases, and when appropriate, our response
resulted in content (for example, content that identified Wikimedia
community members who guarded their anonymity) being removed from public
websites or the Foundation contacting users who posted inappropriate
material. In others, we found that while certain comments at times crossed
the lines of civility, the actions did not meet the threshold of sanction
under our policies or constitute intentional or sustained patterns of
harassment.

As a cumulative result of these complaints, the Wikimedia Foundation has
recommended to Wikimédia France that they take immediate steps to implement
a friendly space policy. At the chapter’s exceptional September general
assembly, the motion to develop and implement a friendly space policy
passed with overwhelming support, with 98% of the membership voting in
favor.[3] The Wikimedia Foundation has offered Wikimédia France our
assistance with this policy’s composition and implementation.

We are committed to working with the new Wikimédia France conseil
d’administration (governing board) to support the French community as they
work to address and resolve these and other outstanding issues. The
Wikimedia Foundation and the new leadership of Wikimédia France are already
cooperating to address the governance-related concerns raised by the
volunteer Funds Dissemination Committee in the first half of 2017. As part
of this work, we have encouraged them to review how they will independently
handle claims of harassment in the future. The Wikimedia Foundation and
Wikimédia France share a common goal: a healthy, welcoming, respectful,
inclusive Wikimedia community in France.

I know I am not alone in my dismay for how these events have unfolded. Many
dedicated, good-faith members of the French community, including current
community members and present and former Wikimédia France board and staff
members, have experienced distress and anxiety over recent months. Those
outside of the community have watched with dismay as our peers and friends
have found themselves disoriented, distressed, alienated, or at odds with
one another. And yet we also know that many in France now feel a renewed
sense of purpose for building the healthy and welcoming community we all
desire.

Situations such as the recent events in France provide us with an
opportunity to learn from the past in order to do better in the future. We
have seen this time and again in our communities, as organizations
(including the Wikimedia Foundation) have emerged from governance and other
challenges stronger, with deepened commitments to openness, collaboration,
and humility.

Today is another such opportunity.

Katherine

[1] https://www.mathisbenguigui.eu/wikimedia-timeline/

[2]
http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2017/09/11/vers-une-sortie-de-crise-a-wikimedia-france_5184101_4408996.html

http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/rue89/rue89-nos-vies-connectees/20170718.OBS2248/exclusions-menaces-budget-recale-c-est-la-crise-chez-wikimedia-france.html


[3]
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf/page1-2550px-WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf.jpg


On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM, Caroline Becker <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi Emeric,
>
> I am very pleased that you take mental health seriously. I remember, not so
> long ago, that your actions while you were in Wikimedia France had serious
> impact on the mental health of at least two of your members.
>
> In January, someone had a meltdown just in front of you. Could you remind
> us what you did after that ?
>
> In April, you learnt that your actions as a chair caused me a medical
> leave. What can the Foundation and the movement as a whole learn about how
> you dealt with the situation ?
>
> Warmly,
>
> Caroline
>
> 2017-10-12 12:39 GMT+02:00 Emeric Vallespi <[hidden email]>:
>
> > Dear Maria,
> > Dear all,
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the legal
> > management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie
> > Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your board,
> > and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts from
> his
> > time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).
> >
> > It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather her
> > testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
> > At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could have
> > requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies, so
> > that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no
> solicitation.
> > Why?
> > From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to stifle
> > the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid "independent
> > lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He
> responded,
> > to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
> > Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
> > Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
> > Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board of
> > trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself, the
> > Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
> > During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a flat
> > denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
> > Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for
> > confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to
> > assume?
> >
> > We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management
> > responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive Director…)
> > who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the
> > Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any
> kind
> > of listening or help.
> >
> > Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the sexist
> > harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members. Nathalie
> > and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued by
> > real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and
> what
> > did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff legitimizing
> > the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly stated
> > against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
> > What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?
> >
> > The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and
> this
> > is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member think
> > they are).
> > The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power
> > position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control. The
> > problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you
> > legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the
> > measure of all things.
> > No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally,
> > people) or at least to hear them.
> > Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness and
> > respect?
> >
> > I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is accusing
> > of lying other women because of their private then public declarations.
> > Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening me
> > about true fight with feminism.
> >
> > I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but I
> > can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and simply
> > against human values.
> >
> > N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my
> > selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior.
> Thanks
> > for your understanding.
> >
> > Regards,
> > --
> > Emeric Vallespi
> >
> > > On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > >
> > > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> > harassment
> > > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of harassment
> > > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia
> Foundation
> > > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> > employed
> > > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based on
> > the
> > > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > Board
> > > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent investigation
> > if
> > > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider
> the
> > > allegations to be without merit.
> > >
> > >
> > > On behalf of the Board,
> > >
> > >
> > > María Sefidari
> > >
> > > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> > >
> > > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more opinions
> > to
> > > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a partly
> > > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the
> users
> > > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> > >
> > > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the
> role
> > > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> > > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > > problems, and move on.
> > >
> > > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> > >
> > > John Erling Blad
> > > /jeblad
> > >
> > > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > > [hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hello all,
> > >>
> > >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am Marie-Alice
> > >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> > >>
> > >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> > complete
> > >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> > >> frustration of these past few months.
> > >>
> > >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally had
> > more
> > >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through the
> > >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for years
> I
> > > had
> > >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> > Martin
> > >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that I
> > have
> > >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s
> values.
> > >>
> > >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because I
> > >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign
> > based
> > >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of
> all
> > >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked with
> > > them
> > >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> > >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > > believed
> > >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> > sites,
> > >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> > >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve
> been
> > >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist
> > rant
> > >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called a
> > >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former chair
> > >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats
> to
> > >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC
> funding.
> > >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board early
> > in
> > >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now call
> > >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly aware
> > of
> > >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against Christophe
> > for
> > >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> > >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> > >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> > >>
> > >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by
> prominent
> > >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> > case,
> > >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter funds
> > for
> > >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French
> justice
> > >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to
> gratuitous
> > >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and
> dictating
> > >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you
> > very
> > >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses reimbursement“.
> > None
> > >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal of
> > >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider community
> > has
> > >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position and
> > the
> > >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media in
> > the
> > >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> > >> crisis.
> > >>
> > >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us
> > (the
> > >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with only
> a
> > >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were known.
> > >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> > English
> > >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly
> circulated
> > > on
> > >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s
> bylaws),
> > >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> > >>
> > >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily
> the
> > >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever
> for
> > >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no
> place
> > >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with
> this
> > >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out
> individuals’
> > >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a
> > “fair
> > >> game” target for harassment.
> > >>
> > >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue
> of
> > >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> > executive
> > >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> > breaking 4
> > >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that
> this
> > >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible happens
> > as
> > > a
> > >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> > >>
> > >> Sincerely,
> > >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role in
> > > this
> > >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> > >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> > >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy
> Love
> > >> from Sept 20.
> > >>
> > >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> > >>
> > >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr,
> you
> > >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign from
> > my
> > >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and
> that
> > > any
> > >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> > >>
> > >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if
> you
> > >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle
> > civil
> > >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you condition
> > >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> > > action
> > >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or
> staff.
> > >>
> > >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> > >>
> > >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come
> from
> > >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by French
> > >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board, and
> > >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting both
> > >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> > >>
> > >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> > harassment,
> > >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> > >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the
> point
> > >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient care
> > and
> > >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took place
> > on
> > >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> > >> WMF-hosted,
> > >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> > >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community
> members
> > to
> > >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a word
> > >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at
> the
> > >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you presented
> > the
> > >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and problematic,
> > >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their harmful
> > >> attacks.
> > >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site
> > visit
> > >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked me
> > for
> > >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made our
> > >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> > >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the
> harassment
> > on
> > >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > > misconduct
> > >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> > >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> > asked
> > >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> > "Grant
> > >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not what
> we
> > >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and illegal
> > >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> > >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > > allegations,
> > >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> > >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> > >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it
> to
> > >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To this
> > day
> > >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All the
> > >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> > moderated
> > >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> > against
> > >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> > members
> > >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and refuse
> > to
> > >> do anything about it.
> > >>
> > >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against
> chapter
> > >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides while
> > >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> > >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> > >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence
> victims
> > > by
> > >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> > >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> > >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it is
> > not
> > >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> > >>
> > >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> > >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant expectations.
> > > With
> > >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally revised
> > >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at
> the
> > >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I
> > came
> > >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see fit
> to
> > >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about
> > your
> > >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> > >>
> > >> Sincerely,
> > >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> > >> _______________________________________________
> > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> > >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Katherine Maher
Executive Director

*We moved! **Our new address:*

Wikimedia Foundation
1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104

+1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
+1 (415) 712 4873
[hidden email]
https://annual.wikimedia.org
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Patricio Lorente
Thanks so much, Katherine, for this detailed report. I really appreciate
this.

                                                   Patricio

El jue., 19 de oct. de 2017 a la(s) 18:20, Katherine Maher <
[hidden email]> escribió:

> Everyone,
>
> The past six months have been a complex and troubling time for our
> community in France. Let me be absolutely clear, with no confusion or
> ambiguity, that the Wikimedia Foundation condemns harassment. We take all
> harassment claims seriously, investigate them promptly, and take the
> appropriate action to enforce our policies whenever necessary. My goal here
> today is to provide more information about the actions of the Wikimedia
> Foundation, the principles to which we adhere, and the situation in which
> our movement finds itself.
>
> As many of you know, there have been months of discussion within the French
> Wikimedia community, independent committees and governance bodies, and the
> Wikimedia Foundation about the governance and operations of Wikimédia
> France. During this time, we have seen growing tensions between a number of
> the former leaders of Wikimédia France and some members of the French
> Wikimedia community. This situation created great strain on the French
> community, former and current staff of Wikimédia France, and concerned
> Wikimedia volunteers around the world. Much of this was documented by
> community members[1] and in the press.[2] Over the past months the
> Foundation has received formal and informal complaints alleging harassment
> and other harmful behaviour, and we have enforced existing policies
> whenever applicable.
>
> Recently, an individual associated with our movement published an essay
> about the events in France on the blogging site Medium and shared that
> essay with this list. It contained a number of deeply concerning
> allegations of harassment. Let me first address the most troubling claims
> of the recent essay—those regarding the Foundation’s handling of
> allegations against the Wikimedia Foundation’s current Board Chair.
>
> In May of 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation was informed, in a letter and for
> the first time, that the then-Executive Director of Wikimédia France was
> alleging claims of harassment against the current Board Chair of the
> Wikimedia Foundation, dating back to his tenure as former Chair of
> Wikimédia France. In this letter the Executive Director described a number
> of interactions with the Foundation’s Board Chair when he was Chair of
> Wikimédia France, and went on to accuse him of using his position as
> Foundation Board Chair to to turn the Wikimedia Foundation’s sentiment
> against the French chapter.
>
> Contrary to the assertion in the Medium essay, while the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director’s letter detailed tense and disagreeable
> interactions between the two individuals, it did not characterize those
> interactions as sexual harassment. Also contrary to the essay’s assertions,
> the Wikimedia Foundation took immediate and appropriate action after
> receiving the complaint.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation, under clear direction from our Board, responded
> promptly:
>
>    - We notified the Vice Chair and Board Governance Chair immediately
>    after receiving the then-Executive Director’s letter.
>    - Under their direction and supervision, we promptly hired expert French
>    legal counsel to conduct an investigation on this issue.
>    - The Foundation Board Chair was informed of the investigation and
>    recused from all relevant discussions. The Board Chair was also recused
>    from any discussion regarding Wikimédia France and the French Wikimedia
>    community, including any participation in funding decisions.
>    - The investigation by the experts found that the French chapter’s
>    Executive Director’s detailed statements of facts, in addition to not
> being
>    characterized by her as sexual harassment, also did not support a
> finding
>    of sexual harassment.
>    - Based on the information provided, French counsel also looked at
>    whether the allegations supported a finding of “moral” harassment,
>    ultimately concluding that they did not.
>    - The findings were conveyed to the then-chair of the board of Wikimédia
>    France. The chapter leadership was asked on more than one occasion if it
>    had any additional evidence or wished to further discuss the
> conclusions.
>    No additional information was provided.
>    - Under these circumstances, the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation found
>    no merit to the charges.
>
>
> *As has been repeatedly stated, the Foundation remains fully committed to
> reviewing and investigating additional information, if presented, of sexual
> or other harassment allegedly committed by any Wikimedia Foundation staff
> or board member. We fully condemn harassment in the Wikimedia movement.*
>
> The essay in Medium also references experiences of a number of former
> Wikimédia France Board members who reportedly left their posts because of
> alleged harassment from French Wikimedia community members. In the majority
> of these cases, the Wikimedia Foundation has not received complaints and
> has no further information about these allegations.
>
> We are aware that some people working at the Foundation for some months
> have received comments from a number of community members through informal
> channels about alleged intra-community harassment. These included
> complaints and allegations of harassment made against the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director and then-Board Chair by Wikimédia France staff
> and community members, as well as counter-complaints from former Wikimédia
> France board members against members of the French community. In each
> instance of which we are aware, the individual raising the complaint was
> directed to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Support and Safety team, which is
> trained and equipped to independently investigate and assess these matters,
> particularly where members of the larger Wikimedia community are concerned.
>
> In total, the Foundation received roughly a dozen of these complaints. Each
> of these complaints received by the Foundation was investigated and
> responded to promptly, enforcing the relevant anti-harassment policies
> whenever appropriate. In some cases, and when appropriate, our response
> resulted in content (for example, content that identified Wikimedia
> community members who guarded their anonymity) being removed from public
> websites or the Foundation contacting users who posted inappropriate
> material. In others, we found that while certain comments at times crossed
> the lines of civility, the actions did not meet the threshold of sanction
> under our policies or constitute intentional or sustained patterns of
> harassment.
>
> As a cumulative result of these complaints, the Wikimedia Foundation has
> recommended to Wikimédia France that they take immediate steps to implement
> a friendly space policy. At the chapter’s exceptional September general
> assembly, the motion to develop and implement a friendly space policy
> passed with overwhelming support, with 98% of the membership voting in
> favor.[3] The Wikimedia Foundation has offered Wikimédia France our
> assistance with this policy’s composition and implementation.
>
> We are committed to working with the new Wikimédia France conseil
> d’administration (governing board) to support the French community as they
> work to address and resolve these and other outstanding issues. The
> Wikimedia Foundation and the new leadership of Wikimédia France are already
> cooperating to address the governance-related concerns raised by the
> volunteer Funds Dissemination Committee in the first half of 2017. As part
> of this work, we have encouraged them to review how they will independently
> handle claims of harassment in the future. The Wikimedia Foundation and
> Wikimédia France share a common goal: a healthy, welcoming, respectful,
> inclusive Wikimedia community in France.
>
> I know I am not alone in my dismay for how these events have unfolded. Many
> dedicated, good-faith members of the French community, including current
> community members and present and former Wikimédia France board and staff
> members, have experienced distress and anxiety over recent months. Those
> outside of the community have watched with dismay as our peers and friends
> have found themselves disoriented, distressed, alienated, or at odds with
> one another. And yet we also know that many in France now feel a renewed
> sense of purpose for building the healthy and welcoming community we all
> desire.
>
> Situations such as the recent events in France provide us with an
> opportunity to learn from the past in order to do better in the future. We
> have seen this time and again in our communities, as organizations
> (including the Wikimedia Foundation) have emerged from governance and other
> challenges stronger, with deepened commitments to openness, collaboration,
> and humility.
>
> Today is another such opportunity.
>
> Katherine
>
> [1] https://www.mathisbenguigui.eu/wikimedia-timeline/
>
> [2]
>
> http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2017/09/11/vers-une-sortie-de-crise-a-wikimedia-france_5184101_4408996.html
>
>
> http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/rue89/rue89-nos-vies-connectees/20170718.OBS2248/exclusions-menaces-budget-recale-c-est-la-crise-chez-wikimedia-france.html
>
>
> [3]
>
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf/page1-2550px-WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf.jpg
>
>
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM, Caroline Becker <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Emeric,
> >
> > I am very pleased that you take mental health seriously. I remember, not
> so
> > long ago, that your actions while you were in Wikimedia France had
> serious
> > impact on the mental health of at least two of your members.
> >
> > In January, someone had a meltdown just in front of you. Could you remind
> > us what you did after that ?
> >
> > In April, you learnt that your actions as a chair caused me a medical
> > leave. What can the Foundation and the movement as a whole learn about
> how
> > you dealt with the situation ?
> >
> > Warmly,
> >
> > Caroline
> >
> > 2017-10-12 12:39 GMT+02:00 Emeric Vallespi <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > Dear Maria,
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the legal
> > > management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie
> > > Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your
> board,
> > > and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts from
> > his
> > > time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).
> > >
> > > It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather her
> > > testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
> > > At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could
> have
> > > requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies,
> so
> > > that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no
> > solicitation.
> > > Why?
> > > From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to stifle
> > > the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid
> "independent
> > > lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He
> > responded,
> > > to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
> > > Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
> > > Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
> > > Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board
> of
> > > trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself, the
> > > Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
> > > During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a
> flat
> > > denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
> > > Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for
> > > confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to
> > > assume?
> > >
> > > We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management
> > > responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive
> Director…)
> > > who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the
> > > Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any
> > kind
> > > of listening or help.
> > >
> > > Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the
> sexist
> > > harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members.
> Nathalie
> > > and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued
> by
> > > real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and
> > what
> > > did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff
> legitimizing
> > > the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly stated
> > > against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
> > > What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?
> > >
> > > The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and
> > this
> > > is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member think
> > > they are).
> > > The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power
> > > position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control.
> The
> > > problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you
> > > legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the
> > > measure of all things.
> > > No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally,
> > > people) or at least to hear them.
> > > Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness and
> > > respect?
> > >
> > > I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is
> accusing
> > > of lying other women because of their private then public declarations.
> > > Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening
> me
> > > about true fight with feminism.
> > >
> > > I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but
> I
> > > can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and simply
> > > against human values.
> > >
> > > N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my
> > > selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior.
> > Thanks
> > > for your understanding.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > --
> > > Emeric Vallespi
> > >
> > > > On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Dear all,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> > > harassment
> > > > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of
> harassment
> > > > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > > > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia
> > Foundation
> > > > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > > > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> > > employed
> > > > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based
> on
> > > the
> > > > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > > > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > Board
> > > > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> > > >
> > > > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent
> investigation
> > > if
> > > > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider
> > the
> > > > allegations to be without merit.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On behalf of the Board,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > María Sefidari
> > > >
> > > > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> > > >
> > > > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more
> opinions
> > > to
> > > > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a
> partly
> > > > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the
> > users
> > > > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> > > >
> > > > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the
> > role
> > > > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> > > > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > > > problems, and move on.
> > > >
> > > > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> > > >
> > > > John Erling Blad
> > > > /jeblad
> > > >
> > > > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > > > [hidden email]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Hello all,
> > > >>
> > > >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am
> Marie-Alice
> > > >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> > > >>
> > > >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> > > complete
> > > >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> > > >> frustration of these past few months.
> > > >>
> > > >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally
> had
> > > more
> > > >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through
> the
> > > >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for
> years
> > I
> > > > had
> > > >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> > > Martin
> > > >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that
> I
> > > have
> > > >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s
> > values.
> > > >>
> > > >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because
> I
> > > >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign
> > > based
> > > >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of
> > all
> > > >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked
> with
> > > > them
> > > >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> > > >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > > > believed
> > > >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> > > sites,
> > > >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> > > >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve
> > been
> > > >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist
> > > rant
> > > >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called
> a
> > > >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former
> chair
> > > >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats
> > to
> > > >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC
> > funding.
> > > >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board
> early
> > > in
> > > >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now
> call
> > > >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly
> aware
> > > of
> > > >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against
> Christophe
> > > for
> > > >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> > > >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> > > >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> > > >>
> > > >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by
> > prominent
> > > >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> > > case,
> > > >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter
> funds
> > > for
> > > >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French
> > justice
> > > >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to
> > gratuitous
> > > >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and
> > dictating
> > > >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you
> > > very
> > > >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses
> reimbursement“.
> > > None
> > > >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal
> of
> > > >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider
> community
> > > has
> > > >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position
> and
> > > the
> > > >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media
> in
> > > the
> > > >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> > > >> crisis.
> > > >>
> > > >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us
> > > (the
> > > >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with
> only
> > a
> > > >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were
> known.
> > > >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> > > English
> > > >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly
> > circulated
> > > > on
> > > >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s
> > bylaws),
> > > >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> > > >>
> > > >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily
> > the
> > > >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever
> > for
> > > >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no
> > place
> > > >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with
> > this
> > > >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out
> > individuals’
> > > >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a
> > > “fair
> > > >> game” target for harassment.
> > > >>
> > > >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue
> > of
> > > >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> > > executive
> > > >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> > > breaking 4
> > > >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that
> > this
> > > >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible
> happens
> > > as
> > > > a
> > > >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role
> in
> > > > this
> > > >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> > > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> > > >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> > > >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy
> > Love
> > > >> from Sept 20.
> > > >>
> > > >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> > > >>
> > > >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr,
> > you
> > > >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign
> from
> > > my
> > > >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and
> > that
> > > > any
> > > >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> > > >>
> > > >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if
> > you
> > > >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle
> > > civil
> > > >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you
> condition
> > > >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> > > > action
> > > >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or
> > staff.
> > > >>
> > > >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> > > >>
> > > >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come
> > from
> > > >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by
> French
> > > >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board,
> and
> > > >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting
> both
> > > >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> > > >>
> > > >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> > > harassment,
> > > >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> > > >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the
> > point
> > > >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient
> care
> > > and
> > > >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took
> place
> > > on
> > > >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> > > >> WMF-hosted,
> > > >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> > > >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community
> > members
> > > to
> > > >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a
> word
> > > >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at
> > the
> > > >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you
> presented
> > > the
> > > >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and
> problematic,
> > > >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their
> harmful
> > > >> attacks.
> > > >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site
> > > visit
> > > >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked
> me
> > > for
> > > >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made
> our
> > > >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> > > >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the
> > harassment
> > > on
> > > >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > > > misconduct
> > > >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> > > >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> > > asked
> > > >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> > > "Grant
> > > >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not
> what
> > we
> > > >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and
> illegal
> > > >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> > > >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > > > allegations,
> > > >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> > > >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> > > >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it
> > to
> > > >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To
> this
> > > day
> > > >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All
> the
> > > >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> > > moderated
> > > >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> > > against
> > > >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> > > members
> > > >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and
> refuse
> > > to
> > > >> do anything about it.
> > > >>
> > > >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against
> > chapter
> > > >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides
> while
> > > >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> > > >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> > > >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence
> > victims
> > > > by
> > > >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> > > >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> > > >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it
> is
> > > not
> > > >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> > > >>
> > > >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> > > >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant
> expectations.
> > > > With
> > > >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally
> revised
> > > >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at
> > the
> > > >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I
> > > came
> > > >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see
> fit
> > to
> > > >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about
> > > your
> > > >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> > > >> _______________________________________________
> > > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > >> Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > ,
> > > >> <mailto:[hidden email]
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe:
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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> > > > Unsubscribe:
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> > > _______________________________________________
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> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Katherine Maher
> Executive Director
>
> *We moved! **Our new address:*
>
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
>
> +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635 <(415)%20839-6885>
> +1 (415) 712 4873 <(415)%20712-4873>
> [hidden email]
> https://annual.wikimedia.org
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Emeric Vallespi
In reply to this post by Katherine Maher
Katherine,

Your answer is particularly shocking. Which right has the Foundation to
feel legitimate in order to describe the situation experienced by Nathalie
Martin or by other people? Only a judge can.
The movement organization does not take precedence over the laws of the
countries.

You rely on a single document (a letter) to judge that there is no moral or
sexual harassment?
What about the criminal complaint? And the medical leaves? And the
testimonies attached to the complaint? These other elements were not taken
into account, why?

The Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation ridiculed himself in the press [0]
when he said that he had discovered yesterday the reproaches that were
addressed to him as well as the complaint. His lawyer even tried to make it
appear that the complaint had never been filed.
Even though this whole situation has been known by the Wikimedia Foundation
for months!

Mockery reaches its top with your so-called measures. In case you do not
know Katherine, in France independent lawyers do not exist. Judges are
independent, not lawyers.
The lawyers you have appointed have been paid by the Foundation. They
*only* interviewed the defendant. In these conditions, how could the
outcome not be favorable to his version?

You did not answer any of my previous questions:

Why did not the Wikimedia Foundation hear Nathalie Martin at her request?
Just to have her version of the facts, it would have been - maybe ... - a
good idea.
Why did the experts who were supposed to conduct an adversarial
investigation not discussed with Nathalie or Marie-Alice? Would not that
have been the least of the things? Why did not they hear the board of
trustees’ member? Why did you refuse to organize, as you (or your
representatives) were offered, a confrontation between
complainant/defendant?
Why fear so much to hear the version of Nathalie?

You have witnessed what Marie-Alice and Nathalie have experienced with
social media as well as on the mailing-list you're hosting. You've done
absolutely nothing to protect them.
You're mentioning complaints that have been filed to the Support and Safety
committee, which has no legal existence in the real world (outside of the
movement). I am talking about real criminal complaints in a police station.
Whether you can compare the two shows your total unconsciousness.

Again, the role of the Wikimedia Foundation is not to determine whether the
current Chair is guilty or innocent. Nor whether the acts are sexual or
moral harassment.
Your role, as an organization, is, to a minimum, to hear the victims and to
ensure their protection. You have undertaken everything to mask this
situation in order to guarantee your tranquility. It is a shame for a
movement that wants to be humanistic.

Regards,
--
Emeric Vallespi

2017-10-19 23:19 GMT+02:00 Katherine Maher <[hidden email]>:

> Everyone,
>
> The past six months have been a complex and troubling time for our
> community in France. Let me be absolutely clear, with no confusion or
> ambiguity, that the Wikimedia Foundation condemns harassment. We take all
> harassment claims seriously, investigate them promptly, and take the
> appropriate action to enforce our policies whenever necessary. My goal here
> today is to provide more information about the actions of the Wikimedia
> Foundation, the principles to which we adhere, and the situation in which
> our movement finds itself.
>
> As many of you know, there have been months of discussion within the French
> Wikimedia community, independent committees and governance bodies, and the
> Wikimedia Foundation about the governance and operations of Wikimédia
> France. During this time, we have seen growing tensions between a number of
> the former leaders of Wikimédia France and some members of the French
> Wikimedia community. This situation created great strain on the French
> community, former and current staff of Wikimédia France, and concerned
> Wikimedia volunteers around the world. Much of this was documented by
> community members[1] and in the press.[2] Over the past months the
> Foundation has received formal and informal complaints alleging harassment
> and other harmful behaviour, and we have enforced existing policies
> whenever applicable.
>
> Recently, an individual associated with our movement published an essay
> about the events in France on the blogging site Medium and shared that
> essay with this list. It contained a number of deeply concerning
> allegations of harassment. Let me first address the most troubling claims
> of the recent essay—those regarding the Foundation’s handling of
> allegations against the Wikimedia Foundation’s current Board Chair.
>
> In May of 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation was informed, in a letter and for
> the first time, that the then-Executive Director of Wikimédia France was
> alleging claims of harassment against the current Board Chair of the
> Wikimedia Foundation, dating back to his tenure as former Chair of
> Wikimédia France. In this letter the Executive Director described a number
> of interactions with the Foundation’s Board Chair when he was Chair of
> Wikimédia France, and went on to accuse him of using his position as
> Foundation Board Chair to to turn the Wikimedia Foundation’s sentiment
> against the French chapter.
>
> Contrary to the assertion in the Medium essay, while the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director’s letter detailed tense and disagreeable
> interactions between the two individuals, it did not characterize those
> interactions as sexual harassment. Also contrary to the essay’s assertions,
> the Wikimedia Foundation took immediate and appropriate action after
> receiving the complaint.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation, under clear direction from our Board, responded
> promptly:
>
>    - We notified the Vice Chair and Board Governance Chair immediately
>    after receiving the then-Executive Director’s letter.
>    - Under their direction and supervision, we promptly hired expert French
>    legal counsel to conduct an investigation on this issue.
>    - The Foundation Board Chair was informed of the investigation and
>    recused from all relevant discussions. The Board Chair was also recused
>    from any discussion regarding Wikimédia France and the French Wikimedia
>    community, including any participation in funding decisions.
>    - The investigation by the experts found that the French chapter’s
>    Executive Director’s detailed statements of facts, in addition to not
> being
>    characterized by her as sexual harassment, also did not support a
> finding
>    of sexual harassment.
>    - Based on the information provided, French counsel also looked at
>    whether the allegations supported a finding of “moral” harassment,
>    ultimately concluding that they did not.
>    - The findings were conveyed to the then-chair of the board of Wikimédia
>    France. The chapter leadership was asked on more than one occasion if it
>    had any additional evidence or wished to further discuss the
> conclusions.
>    No additional information was provided.
>    - Under these circumstances, the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation found
>    no merit to the charges.
>
>
> *As has been repeatedly stated, the Foundation remains fully committed to
> reviewing and investigating additional information, if presented, of sexual
> or other harassment allegedly committed by any Wikimedia Foundation staff
> or board member. We fully condemn harassment in the Wikimedia movement.*
>
> The essay in Medium also references experiences of a number of former
> Wikimédia France Board members who reportedly left their posts because of
> alleged harassment from French Wikimedia community members. In the majority
> of these cases, the Wikimedia Foundation has not received complaints and
> has no further information about these allegations.
>
> We are aware that some people working at the Foundation for some months
> have received comments from a number of community members through informal
> channels about alleged intra-community harassment. These included
> complaints and allegations of harassment made against the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director and then-Board Chair by Wikimédia France staff
> and community members, as well as counter-complaints from former Wikimédia
> France board members against members of the French community. In each
> instance of which we are aware, the individual raising the complaint was
> directed to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Support and Safety team, which is
> trained and equipped to independently investigate and assess these matters,
> particularly where members of the larger Wikimedia community are concerned.
>
> In total, the Foundation received roughly a dozen of these complaints. Each
> of these complaints received by the Foundation was investigated and
> responded to promptly, enforcing the relevant anti-harassment policies
> whenever appropriate. In some cases, and when appropriate, our response
> resulted in content (for example, content that identified Wikimedia
> community members who guarded their anonymity) being removed from public
> websites or the Foundation contacting users who posted inappropriate
> material. In others, we found that while certain comments at times crossed
> the lines of civility, the actions did not meet the threshold of sanction
> under our policies or constitute intentional or sustained patterns of
> harassment.
>
> As a cumulative result of these complaints, the Wikimedia Foundation has
> recommended to Wikimédia France that they take immediate steps to implement
> a friendly space policy. At the chapter’s exceptional September general
> assembly, the motion to develop and implement a friendly space policy
> passed with overwhelming support, with 98% of the membership voting in
> favor.[3] The Wikimedia Foundation has offered Wikimédia France our
> assistance with this policy’s composition and implementation.
>
> We are committed to working with the new Wikimédia France conseil
> d’administration (governing board) to support the French community as they
> work to address and resolve these and other outstanding issues. The
> Wikimedia Foundation and the new leadership of Wikimédia France are already
> cooperating to address the governance-related concerns raised by the
> volunteer Funds Dissemination Committee in the first half of 2017. As part
> of this work, we have encouraged them to review how they will independently
> handle claims of harassment in the future. The Wikimedia Foundation and
> Wikimédia France share a common goal: a healthy, welcoming, respectful,
> inclusive Wikimedia community in France.
>
> I know I am not alone in my dismay for how these events have unfolded. Many
> dedicated, good-faith members of the French community, including current
> community members and present and former Wikimédia France board and staff
> members, have experienced distress and anxiety over recent months. Those
> outside of the community have watched with dismay as our peers and friends
> have found themselves disoriented, distressed, alienated, or at odds with
> one another. And yet we also know that many in France now feel a renewed
> sense of purpose for building the healthy and welcoming community we all
> desire.
>
> Situations such as the recent events in France provide us with an
> opportunity to learn from the past in order to do better in the future. We
> have seen this time and again in our communities, as organizations
> (including the Wikimedia Foundation) have emerged from governance and other
> challenges stronger, with deepened commitments to openness, collaboration,
> and humility.
>
> Today is another such opportunity.
>
> Katherine
>
> [1] https://www.mathisbenguigui.eu/wikimedia-timeline/
>
> [2]
> http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2017/09/11/vers-une-
> sortie-de-crise-a-wikimedia-france_5184101_4408996.html
>
> http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/rue89/rue89-nos-vies-
> connectees/20170718.OBS2248/exclusions-menaces-budget-
> recale-c-est-la-crise-chez-wikimedia-france.html
>
>
> [3]
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/
> WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf/page1-2550px-WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf.jpg
>
>
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM, Caroline Becker <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Emeric,
> >
> > I am very pleased that you take mental health seriously. I remember, not
> so
> > long ago, that your actions while you were in Wikimedia France had
> serious
> > impact on the mental health of at least two of your members.
> >
> > In January, someone had a meltdown just in front of you. Could you remind
> > us what you did after that ?
> >
> > In April, you learnt that your actions as a chair caused me a medical
> > leave. What can the Foundation and the movement as a whole learn about
> how
> > you dealt with the situation ?
> >
> > Warmly,
> >
> > Caroline
> >
> > 2017-10-12 12:39 GMT+02:00 Emeric Vallespi <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > Dear Maria,
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the legal
> > > management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie
> > > Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your
> board,
> > > and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts from
> > his
> > > time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).
> > >
> > > It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather her
> > > testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
> > > At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could
> have
> > > requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies,
> so
> > > that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no
> > solicitation.
> > > Why?
> > > From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to stifle
> > > the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid
> "independent
> > > lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He
> > responded,
> > > to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
> > > Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
> > > Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
> > > Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board
> of
> > > trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself, the
> > > Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
> > > During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a
> flat
> > > denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
> > > Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for
> > > confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to
> > > assume?
> > >
> > > We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management
> > > responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive
> Director…)
> > > who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the
> > > Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any
> > kind
> > > of listening or help.
> > >
> > > Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the
> sexist
> > > harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members.
> Nathalie
> > > and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued
> by
> > > real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and
> > what
> > > did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff
> legitimizing
> > > the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly stated
> > > against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
> > > What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?
> > >
> > > The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and
> > this
> > > is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member think
> > > they are).
> > > The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power
> > > position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control.
> The
> > > problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you
> > > legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the
> > > measure of all things.
> > > No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally,
> > > people) or at least to hear them.
> > > Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness and
> > > respect?
> > >
> > > I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is
> accusing
> > > of lying other women because of their private then public declarations.
> > > Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening
> me
> > > about true fight with feminism.
> > >
> > > I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but
> I
> > > can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and simply
> > > against human values.
> > >
> > > N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my
> > > selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior.
> > Thanks
> > > for your understanding.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > --
> > > Emeric Vallespi
> > >
> > > > On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Dear all,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> > > harassment
> > > > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of
> harassment
> > > > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > > > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia
> > Foundation
> > > > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > > > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> > > employed
> > > > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based
> on
> > > the
> > > > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > > > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > Board
> > > > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> > > >
> > > > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent
> investigation
> > > if
> > > > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider
> > the
> > > > allegations to be without merit.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On behalf of the Board,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > María Sefidari
> > > >
> > > > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> > > >
> > > > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more
> opinions
> > > to
> > > > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a
> partly
> > > > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the
> > users
> > > > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> > > >
> > > > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the
> > role
> > > > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> > > > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > > > problems, and move on.
> > > >
> > > > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> > > >
> > > > John Erling Blad
> > > > /jeblad
> > > >
> > > > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > > > [hidden email]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Hello all,
> > > >>
> > > >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am
> Marie-Alice
> > > >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> > > >>
> > > >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> > > complete
> > > >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> > > >> frustration of these past few months.
> > > >>
> > > >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally
> had
> > > more
> > > >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through
> the
> > > >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for
> years
> > I
> > > > had
> > > >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> > > Martin
> > > >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that
> I
> > > have
> > > >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s
> > values.
> > > >>
> > > >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because
> I
> > > >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign
> > > based
> > > >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of
> > all
> > > >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked
> with
> > > > them
> > > >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> > > >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > > > believed
> > > >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> > > sites,
> > > >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> > > >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve
> > been
> > > >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist
> > > rant
> > > >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called
> a
> > > >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former
> chair
> > > >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats
> > to
> > > >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC
> > funding.
> > > >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board
> early
> > > in
> > > >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now
> call
> > > >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly
> aware
> > > of
> > > >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against
> Christophe
> > > for
> > > >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> > > >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> > > >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> > > >>
> > > >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by
> > prominent
> > > >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> > > case,
> > > >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter
> funds
> > > for
> > > >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French
> > justice
> > > >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to
> > gratuitous
> > > >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and
> > dictating
> > > >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you
> > > very
> > > >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses
> reimbursement“.
> > > None
> > > >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal
> of
> > > >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider
> community
> > > has
> > > >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position
> and
> > > the
> > > >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media
> in
> > > the
> > > >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> > > >> crisis.
> > > >>
> > > >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us
> > > (the
> > > >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with
> only
> > a
> > > >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were
> known.
> > > >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> > > English
> > > >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly
> > circulated
> > > > on
> > > >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s
> > bylaws),
> > > >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> > > >>
> > > >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily
> > the
> > > >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever
> > for
> > > >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no
> > place
> > > >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with
> > this
> > > >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out
> > individuals’
> > > >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a
> > > “fair
> > > >> game” target for harassment.
> > > >>
> > > >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue
> > of
> > > >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> > > executive
> > > >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> > > breaking 4
> > > >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that
> > this
> > > >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible
> happens
> > > as
> > > > a
> > > >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role
> in
> > > > this
> > > >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> > > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> > > >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> > > >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy
> > Love
> > > >> from Sept 20.
> > > >>
> > > >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> > > >>
> > > >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr,
> > you
> > > >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign
> from
> > > my
> > > >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and
> > that
> > > > any
> > > >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> > > >>
> > > >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if
> > you
> > > >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle
> > > civil
> > > >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you
> condition
> > > >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> > > > action
> > > >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or
> > staff.
> > > >>
> > > >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> > > >>
> > > >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come
> > from
> > > >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by
> French
> > > >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board,
> and
> > > >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting
> both
> > > >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> > > >>
> > > >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> > > harassment,
> > > >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> > > >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the
> > point
> > > >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient
> care
> > > and
> > > >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took
> place
> > > on
> > > >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> > > >> WMF-hosted,
> > > >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> > > >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community
> > members
> > > to
> > > >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a
> word
> > > >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at
> > the
> > > >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you
> presented
> > > the
> > > >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and
> problematic,
> > > >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their
> harmful
> > > >> attacks.
> > > >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site
> > > visit
> > > >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked
> me
> > > for
> > > >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made
> our
> > > >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> > > >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the
> > harassment
> > > on
> > > >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > > > misconduct
> > > >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> > > >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> > > asked
> > > >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> > > "Grant
> > > >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not
> what
> > we
> > > >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and
> illegal
> > > >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> > > >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > > > allegations,
> > > >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> > > >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> > > >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it
> > to
> > > >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To
> this
> > > day
> > > >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All
> the
> > > >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> > > moderated
> > > >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> > > against
> > > >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> > > members
> > > >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and
> refuse
> > > to
> > > >> do anything about it.
> > > >>
> > > >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against
> > chapter
> > > >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides
> while
> > > >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> > > >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> > > >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence
> > victims
> > > > by
> > > >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> > > >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> > > >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it
> is
> > > not
> > > >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> > > >>
> > > >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> > > >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant
> expectations.
> > > > With
> > > >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally
> revised
> > > >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at
> > the
> > > >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I
> > > came
> > > >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see
> fit
> > to
> > > >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about
> > > your
> > > >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> > > >> _______________________________________________
> > > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > ,
> > > >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=
> unsubscribe>
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
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> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > > _______________________________________________
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> > > _______________________________________________
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> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
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> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Katherine Maher
> Executive Director
>
> *We moved! **Our new address:*
>
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
>
> +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
> +1 (415) 712 4873
> [hidden email]
> https://annual.wikimedia.org
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Rich Farmbrough
I think it very clear that these allegations were the last gasp of an
ancient regime, mired as it was in nepotism and other unsavoury practices.

The criminal allegations can be left to the police.  The description of the
steps taken by the WMF in this case seems to be of a very sensible
handlingerie of a difficult situation.

On 20 Oct 2017 12:22 am, "Emeric VALLESPI" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

Katherine,

Your answer is particularly shocking. Which right has the Foundation to
feel legitimate in order to describe the situation experienced by Nathalie
Martin or by other people? Only a judge can.
The movement organization does not take precedence over the laws of the
countries.

You rely on a single document (a letter) to judge that there is no moral or
sexual harassment?
What about the criminal complaint? And the medical leaves? And the
testimonies attached to the complaint? These other elements were not taken
into account, why?

The Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation ridiculed himself in the press [0]
when he said that he had discovered yesterday the reproaches that were
addressed to him as well as the complaint. His lawyer even tried to make it
appear that the complaint had never been filed.
Even though this whole situation has been known by the Wikimedia Foundation
for months!

Mockery reaches its top with your so-called measures. In case you do not
know Katherine, in France independent lawyers do not exist. Judges are
independent, not lawyers.
The lawyers you have appointed have been paid by the Foundation. They
*only* interviewed the defendant. In these conditions, how could the
outcome not be favorable to his version?

You did not answer any of my previous questions:

Why did not the Wikimedia Foundation hear Nathalie Martin at her request?
Just to have her version of the facts, it would have been - maybe ... - a
good idea.
Why did the experts who were supposed to conduct an adversarial
investigation not discussed with Nathalie or Marie-Alice? Would not that
have been the least of the things? Why did not they hear the board of
trustees’ member? Why did you refuse to organize, as you (or your
representatives) were offered, a confrontation between
complainant/defendant?
Why fear so much to hear the version of Nathalie?

You have witnessed what Marie-Alice and Nathalie have experienced with
social media as well as on the mailing-list you're hosting. You've done
absolutely nothing to protect them.
You're mentioning complaints that have been filed to the Support and Safety
committee, which has no legal existence in the real world (outside of the
movement). I am talking about real criminal complaints in a police station.
Whether you can compare the two shows your total unconsciousness.

Again, the role of the Wikimedia Foundation is not to determine whether the
current Chair is guilty or innocent. Nor whether the acts are sexual or
moral harassment.
Your role, as an organization, is, to a minimum, to hear the victims and to
ensure their protection. You have undertaken everything to mask this
situation in order to guarantee your tranquility. It is a shame for a
movement that wants to be humanistic.

Regards,
--
Emeric Vallespi

2017-10-19 23:19 GMT+02:00 Katherine Maher <[hidden email]>:

> Everyone,
>
> The past six months have been a complex and troubling time for our
> community in France. Let me be absolutely clear, with no confusion or
> ambiguity, that the Wikimedia Foundation condemns harassment. We take all
> harassment claims seriously, investigate them promptly, and take the
> appropriate action to enforce our policies whenever necessary. My goal
here
> today is to provide more information about the actions of the Wikimedia
> Foundation, the principles to which we adhere, and the situation in which
> our movement finds itself.
>
> As many of you know, there have been months of discussion within the
French
> Wikimedia community, independent committees and governance bodies, and the
> Wikimedia Foundation about the governance and operations of Wikimédia
> France. During this time, we have seen growing tensions between a number
of

> the former leaders of Wikimédia France and some members of the French
> Wikimedia community. This situation created great strain on the French
> community, former and current staff of Wikimédia France, and concerned
> Wikimedia volunteers around the world. Much of this was documented by
> community members[1] and in the press.[2] Over the past months the
> Foundation has received formal and informal complaints alleging harassment
> and other harmful behaviour, and we have enforced existing policies
> whenever applicable.
>
> Recently, an individual associated with our movement published an essay
> about the events in France on the blogging site Medium and shared that
> essay with this list. It contained a number of deeply concerning
> allegations of harassment. Let me first address the most troubling claims
> of the recent essay—those regarding the Foundation’s handling of
> allegations against the Wikimedia Foundation’s current Board Chair.
>
> In May of 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation was informed, in a letter and for
> the first time, that the then-Executive Director of Wikimédia France was
> alleging claims of harassment against the current Board Chair of the
> Wikimedia Foundation, dating back to his tenure as former Chair of
> Wikimédia France. In this letter the Executive Director described a number
> of interactions with the Foundation’s Board Chair when he was Chair of
> Wikimédia France, and went on to accuse him of using his position as
> Foundation Board Chair to to turn the Wikimedia Foundation’s sentiment
> against the French chapter.
>
> Contrary to the assertion in the Medium essay, while the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director’s letter detailed tense and disagreeable
> interactions between the two individuals, it did not characterize those
> interactions as sexual harassment. Also contrary to the essay’s
assertions,
> the Wikimedia Foundation took immediate and appropriate action after
> receiving the complaint.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation, under clear direction from our Board, responded
> promptly:
>
>    - We notified the Vice Chair and Board Governance Chair immediately
>    after receiving the then-Executive Director’s letter.
>    - Under their direction and supervision, we promptly hired expert
French

>    legal counsel to conduct an investigation on this issue.
>    - The Foundation Board Chair was informed of the investigation and
>    recused from all relevant discussions. The Board Chair was also recused
>    from any discussion regarding Wikimédia France and the French Wikimedia
>    community, including any participation in funding decisions.
>    - The investigation by the experts found that the French chapter’s
>    Executive Director’s detailed statements of facts, in addition to not
> being
>    characterized by her as sexual harassment, also did not support a
> finding
>    of sexual harassment.
>    - Based on the information provided, French counsel also looked at
>    whether the allegations supported a finding of “moral” harassment,
>    ultimately concluding that they did not.
>    - The findings were conveyed to the then-chair of the board of
Wikimédia
>    France. The chapter leadership was asked on more than one occasion if
it
>    had any additional evidence or wished to further discuss the
> conclusions.
>    No additional information was provided.
>    - Under these circumstances, the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation
found
>    no merit to the charges.
>
>
> *As has been repeatedly stated, the Foundation remains fully committed to
> reviewing and investigating additional information, if presented, of
sexual
> or other harassment allegedly committed by any Wikimedia Foundation staff
> or board member. We fully condemn harassment in the Wikimedia movement.*
>
> The essay in Medium also references experiences of a number of former
> Wikimédia France Board members who reportedly left their posts because of
> alleged harassment from French Wikimedia community members. In the
majority

> of these cases, the Wikimedia Foundation has not received complaints and
> has no further information about these allegations.
>
> We are aware that some people working at the Foundation for some months
> have received comments from a number of community members through informal
> channels about alleged intra-community harassment. These included
> complaints and allegations of harassment made against the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director and then-Board Chair by Wikimédia France staff
> and community members, as well as counter-complaints from former Wikimédia
> France board members against members of the French community. In each
> instance of which we are aware, the individual raising the complaint was
> directed to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Support and Safety team, which is
> trained and equipped to independently investigate and assess these
matters,
> particularly where members of the larger Wikimedia community are
concerned.
>
> In total, the Foundation received roughly a dozen of these complaints.
Each

> of these complaints received by the Foundation was investigated and
> responded to promptly, enforcing the relevant anti-harassment policies
> whenever appropriate. In some cases, and when appropriate, our response
> resulted in content (for example, content that identified Wikimedia
> community members who guarded their anonymity) being removed from public
> websites or the Foundation contacting users who posted inappropriate
> material. In others, we found that while certain comments at times crossed
> the lines of civility, the actions did not meet the threshold of sanction
> under our policies or constitute intentional or sustained patterns of
> harassment.
>
> As a cumulative result of these complaints, the Wikimedia Foundation has
> recommended to Wikimédia France that they take immediate steps to
implement

> a friendly space policy. At the chapter’s exceptional September general
> assembly, the motion to develop and implement a friendly space policy
> passed with overwhelming support, with 98% of the membership voting in
> favor.[3] The Wikimedia Foundation has offered Wikimédia France our
> assistance with this policy’s composition and implementation.
>
> We are committed to working with the new Wikimédia France conseil
> d’administration (governing board) to support the French community as they
> work to address and resolve these and other outstanding issues. The
> Wikimedia Foundation and the new leadership of Wikimédia France are
already
> cooperating to address the governance-related concerns raised by the
> volunteer Funds Dissemination Committee in the first half of 2017. As part
> of this work, we have encouraged them to review how they will
independently
> handle claims of harassment in the future. The Wikimedia Foundation and
> Wikimédia France share a common goal: a healthy, welcoming, respectful,
> inclusive Wikimedia community in France.
>
> I know I am not alone in my dismay for how these events have unfolded.
Many

> dedicated, good-faith members of the French community, including current
> community members and present and former Wikimédia France board and staff
> members, have experienced distress and anxiety over recent months. Those
> outside of the community have watched with dismay as our peers and friends
> have found themselves disoriented, distressed, alienated, or at odds with
> one another. And yet we also know that many in France now feel a renewed
> sense of purpose for building the healthy and welcoming community we all
> desire.
>
> Situations such as the recent events in France provide us with an
> opportunity to learn from the past in order to do better in the future. We
> have seen this time and again in our communities, as organizations
> (including the Wikimedia Foundation) have emerged from governance and
other

> challenges stronger, with deepened commitments to openness, collaboration,
> and humility.
>
> Today is another such opportunity.
>
> Katherine
>
> [1] https://www.mathisbenguigui.eu/wikimedia-timeline/
>
> [2]
> http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2017/09/11/vers-une-
> sortie-de-crise-a-wikimedia-france_5184101_4408996.html
>
> http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/rue89/rue89-nos-vies-
> connectees/20170718.OBS2248/exclusions-menaces-budget-
> recale-c-est-la-crise-chez-wikimedia-france.html
>
>
> [3]
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/
> WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf/page1-2550px-WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf.jpg
>
>
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM, Caroline Becker <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Emeric,
> >
> > I am very pleased that you take mental health seriously. I remember, not
> so
> > long ago, that your actions while you were in Wikimedia France had
> serious
> > impact on the mental health of at least two of your members.
> >
> > In January, someone had a meltdown just in front of you. Could you
remind

> > us what you did after that ?
> >
> > In April, you learnt that your actions as a chair caused me a medical
> > leave. What can the Foundation and the movement as a whole learn about
> how
> > you dealt with the situation ?
> >
> > Warmly,
> >
> > Caroline
> >
> > 2017-10-12 12:39 GMT+02:00 Emeric Vallespi <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > Dear Maria,
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the
legal
> > > management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie
> > > Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your
> board,
> > > and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts
from
> > his
> > > time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).
> > >
> > > It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather
her
> > > testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
> > > At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could
> have
> > > requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies,
> so
> > > that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no
> > solicitation.
> > > Why?
> > > From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to
stifle

> > > the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid
> "independent
> > > lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He
> > responded,
> > > to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
> > > Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
> > > Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
> > > Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board
> of
> > > trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself,
the

> > > Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
> > > During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a
> flat
> > > denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
> > > Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for
> > > confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to
> > > assume?
> > >
> > > We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management
> > > responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive
> Director…)
> > > who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the
> > > Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any
> > kind
> > > of listening or help.
> > >
> > > Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the
> sexist
> > > harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members.
> Nathalie
> > > and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued
> by
> > > real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and
> > what
> > > did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff
> legitimizing
> > > the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly stated
> > > against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
> > > What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?
> > >
> > > The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and
> > this
> > > is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member
think

> > > they are).
> > > The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power
> > > position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control.
> The
> > > problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you
> > > legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the
> > > measure of all things.
> > > No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally,
> > > people) or at least to hear them.
> > > Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness
and
> > > respect?
> > >
> > > I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is
> accusing
> > > of lying other women because of their private then public
declarations.
> > > Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening
> me
> > > about true fight with feminism.
> > >
> > > I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but
> I
> > > can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and
simply

> > > against human values.
> > >
> > > N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my
> > > selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior.
> > Thanks
> > > for your understanding.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > --
> > > Emeric Vallespi
> > >
> > > > On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Dear all,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> > > harassment
> > > > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of
> harassment
> > > > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed
that

> > > > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia
> > Foundation
> > > > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > > > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> > > employed
> > > > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based
> on
> > > the
> > > > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > > > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia
Foundation

> > > Board
> > > > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> > > >
> > > > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent
> investigation
> > > if
> > > > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider
> > the
> > > > allegations to be without merit.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On behalf of the Board,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > María Sefidari
> > > >
> > > > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> > > >
> > > > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more
> opinions
> > > to
> > > > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a
> partly
> > > > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the
> > users
> > > > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> > > >
> > > > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the
> > role
> > > > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for
WMF,

> > > > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > > > problems, and move on.
> > > >
> > > > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> > > >
> > > > John Erling Blad
> > > > /jeblad
> > > >
> > > > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > > > [hidden email]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Hello all,
> > > >>
> > > >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am
> Marie-Alice
> > > >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> > > >>
> > > >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> > > complete
> > > >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion
and

> > > >> frustration of these past few months.
> > > >>
> > > >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally
> had
> > > more
> > > >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through
> the
> > > >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for
> years
> > I
> > > > had
> > > >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> > > Martin
> > > >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that
> I
> > > have
> > > >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s
> > values.
> > > >>
> > > >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because
> I
> > > >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear
campaign
> > > based
> > > >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause
of

> > all
> > > >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked
> with
> > > > them
> > > >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> > > >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > > > believed
> > > >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> > > sites,
> > > >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> > > >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve
> > been
> > > >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly
sexist
> > > rant
> > > >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called
> a
> > > >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former
> chair
> > > >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the
threats

> > to
> > > >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC
> > funding.
> > > >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board
> early
> > > in
> > > >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now
> call
> > > >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly
> aware
> > > of
> > > >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against
> Christophe
> > > for
> > > >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> > > >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> > > >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> > > >>
> > > >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by
> > prominent
> > > >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> > > case,
> > > >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter
> funds
> > > for
> > > >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French
> > justice
> > > >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to
> > gratuitous
> > > >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and
> > dictating
> > > >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank
you

> > > very
> > > >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses
> reimbursement“.
> > > None
> > > >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal
> of
> > > >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider
> community
> > > has
> > > >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position
> and
> > > the
> > > >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media
> in
> > > the
> > > >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in
the
> > > >> crisis.
> > > >>
> > > >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked
us

> > > (the
> > > >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with
> only
> > a
> > > >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were
> known.
> > > >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> > > English
> > > >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly
> > circulated
> > > > on
> > > >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s
> > bylaws),
> > > >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> > > >>
> > > >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how
easily

> > the
> > > >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever
> > for
> > > >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no
> > place
> > > >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with
> > this
> > > >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out
> > individuals’
> > > >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and
a
> > > “fair
> > > >> game” target for harassment.
> > > >>
> > > >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the
issue

> > of
> > > >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> > > executive
> > > >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> > > breaking 4
> > > >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that
> > this
> > > >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible
> happens
> > > as
> > > > a
> > > >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role
> in
> > > > this
> > > >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> > > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> > > >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> > > >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy
> > Love
> > > >> from Sept 20.
> > > >>
> > > >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> > > >>
> > > >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr,
> > you
> > > >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign
> from
> > > my
> > > >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and
> > that
> > > > any
> > > >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> > > >>
> > > >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if
> > you
> > > >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to
stifle
> > > civil
> > > >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you
> condition
> > > >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that
legal

> > > > action
> > > >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or
> > staff.
> > > >>
> > > >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> > > >>
> > > >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come
> > from
> > > >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by
> French
> > > >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board,
> and
> > > >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting
> both
> > > >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> > > >>
> > > >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> > > harassment,
> > > >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by
community
> > > >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the
> > point
> > > >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient
> care
> > > and
> > > >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took
> place
> > > on
> > > >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
<http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>

> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> > > >> WMF-hosted,
> > > >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> > > >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community
> > members
> > > to
> > > >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a
> word
> > > >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff
at

> > the
> > > >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you
> presented
> > > the
> > > >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and
> problematic,
> > > >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their
> harmful
> > > >> attacks.
> > > >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the
site

> > > visit
> > > >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked
> me
> > > for
> > > >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made
> our
> > > >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> > > >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the
> > harassment
> > > on
> > > >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > > > misconduct
> > > >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> > > >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> > > asked
> > > >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> > > "Grant
> > > >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not
> what
> > we
> > > >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and
> illegal
> > > >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> > > >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > > > allegations,
> > > >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as
the
> > > >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> > > >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned
it

> > to
> > > >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To
> this
> > > day
> > > >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All
> the
> > > >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> > > moderated
> > > >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> > > against
> > > >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> > > members
> > > >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and
> refuse
> > > to
> > > >> do anything about it.
> > > >>
> > > >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against
> > chapter
> > > >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides
> while
> > > >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> > > >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> > > >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence
> > victims
> > > > by
> > > >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> > > >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may
be

> > > >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it
> is
> > > not
> > > >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> > > >>
> > > >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> > > >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant
> expectations.
> > > > With
> > > >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally
> revised
> > > >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at
> > the
> > > >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when
I
> > > came
> > > >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see
> fit
> > to
> > > >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly
about

> > > your
> > > >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> > > >> _______________________________________________
> > > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > ,
> > > >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=
> unsubscribe>
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Katherine Maher
> Executive Director
>
> *We moved! **Our new address:*
>
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
>
> +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
> +1 (415) 712 4873
> [hidden email]
> https://annual.wikimedia.org
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

metasj
On Oct 19, 2017 7:41 PM, "Richard Farmbrough" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

I think it very clear that these allegations were the last gasp of an
ancient regime,


Legal threats are surely the universal language of bad faith.  And I have
complete trust in Pierre-Selim and Caroline.

Thanks Katherine, for sharing details of what has been happening.

Sam.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Gabriel Thullen
Thank you Katherine for your long and thoughtful message on this difficult
subject. I feel that the Foundation took the necessary steps to ensure that
all parties concerned were treated fairly. I also tend to trust the
Foundation board when they say that there was "no merit to the charges".

This appears to be a classic case of "claims and counter claims" which the
Foundation has settled. Now that the smoke screen has been cleared, we now
need to address the other issues that are plaguing Wikimedia France.

Once again, thank you for setting the record straight in such a calm and
measured fashion. I sincerely hope that we will now be able to answer our
member's grievances and get to the bottom of this mess, with the
Foundation's help, experience and guidance,

Best regards
Gabriel

On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:56 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Oct 19, 2017 7:41 PM, "Richard Farmbrough" <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> I think it very clear that these allegations were the last gasp of an
> ancient regime,
>
>
> Legal threats are surely the universal language of bad faith.  And I have
> complete trust in Pierre-Selim and Caroline.
>
> Thanks Katherine, for sharing details of what has been happening.
>
> Sam.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

James Salsman-2
> Legal threats are surely the universal language of bad faith

That assumes that legal threats are never legitimate. If there are
criminal allegations of which the Foundation has not yet been made
aware, they should be emailed to the appropriate officials and role
accounts. Abuse of process is the bad faith subset.

On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 7:06 AM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thank you Katherine for your long and thoughtful message on this difficult
> subject. I feel that the Foundation took the necessary steps to ensure that
> all parties concerned were treated fairly. I also tend to trust the
> Foundation board when they say that there was "no merit to the charges".
>
> This appears to be a classic case of "claims and counter claims" which the
> Foundation has settled. Now that the smoke screen has been cleared, we now
> need to address the other issues that are plaguing Wikimedia France.
>
> Once again, thank you for setting the record straight in such a calm and
> measured fashion. I sincerely hope that we will now be able to answer our
> member's grievances and get to the bottom of this mess, with the
> Foundation's help, experience and guidance,
>
> Best regards
> Gabriel
>
> On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:56 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Oct 19, 2017 7:41 PM, "Richard Farmbrough" <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>
>> I think it very clear that these allegations were the last gasp of an
>> ancient regime,
>>
>>
>> Legal threats are surely the universal language of bad faith.  And I have
>> complete trust in Pierre-Selim and Caroline.
>>
>> Thanks Katherine, for sharing details of what has been happening.
>>
>> Sam.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> wiki/Wikimedia-l
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Dan Rosenthal
I think the broader point being that for any legal or criminal complaints,
the appropriate venue is the court system, not the Wikimedia-L mailing
list.

Dan Rosenthal

On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 12:45 AM, James Salsman <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > Legal threats are surely the universal language of bad faith
>
> That assumes that legal threats are never legitimate. If there are
> criminal allegations of which the Foundation has not yet been made
> aware, they should be emailed to the appropriate officials and role
> accounts. Abuse of process is the bad faith subset.
>
> On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 7:06 AM, Gabriel Thullen <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > Thank you Katherine for your long and thoughtful message on this
> difficult
> > subject. I feel that the Foundation took the necessary steps to ensure
> that
> > all parties concerned were treated fairly. I also tend to trust the
> > Foundation board when they say that there was "no merit to the charges".
> >
> > This appears to be a classic case of "claims and counter claims" which
> the
> > Foundation has settled. Now that the smoke screen has been cleared, we
> now
> > need to address the other issues that are plaguing Wikimedia France.
> >
> > Once again, thank you for setting the record straight in such a calm and
> > measured fashion. I sincerely hope that we will now be able to answer our
> > member's grievances and get to the bottom of this mess, with the
> > Foundation's help, experience and guidance,
> >
> > Best regards
> > Gabriel
> >
> > On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 3:56 AM, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> On Oct 19, 2017 7:41 PM, "Richard Farmbrough" <[hidden email]
> >
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> I think it very clear that these allegations were the last gasp of an
> >> ancient regime,
> >>
> >>
> >> Legal threats are surely the universal language of bad faith.  And I
> have
> >> complete trust in Pierre-Selim and Caroline.
> >>
> >> Thanks Katherine, for sharing details of what has been happening.
> >>
> >> Sam.
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Rémi Mathis
In reply to this post by Katherine Maher
Katherine,

I told you a month ago "Maybe you should reply as a responsible human being
and not as a trained crisis communication people". This is truer everyday.

What did you write this email yesterday, and not one,two, three months ago?
Because I left Wikimedia France, because a Fields Medallist left, because
the president of Picasso Museum left, and because journalists began to talk
about the harassment and the violence of some members of the community.
Because the fact that Nathalie Martin had filed a complaint against
Christophe Henner begins to spread not only amongst the community but also
outside.
Because the articles made people aware of the problem and that they are
victims too, and new testimonies are being sent to journalists.
Because you met Christophe Henner in person the day before.

Because you are doing your job to protect your boss and make as little
noise as possible. But when I donate to Wikimedia, when I edit Wikipedia,
that's not what I want from you. I want a safe community.

I wrote to you, Christophe and your team more than ten times between July
and today. I even met your Legal Conselor and Christophe Henner to talk
about the harassment. I never got an email back from you. Not a single word
to a private message I sent. You only answered once on Twitter, because it
was a public conversation.

Now, I'm for you "an individual", you never only *say my name*.
At the same time, I receive a letter from Henner's lawyer trying to make me
remove my post.
Still keeping people quiet instead of accepting and therefore tackling the
problems.

I spent nine years working for the movement as a benevolent member. I have
been chair for 3 years, I worked 9-12pm for the movement for years, I was
threatened by the French Intelligence Service. And thanks to this
dedication, I made a lot of friends ; I met a lot of extraordinay people ;
we contracted with the Bibliothèque nationale, Versailles Palace,
Ministries, etc. We made a huge and very good job.

Now, do you really think I'm leaving with no reason? Do you really think
I'm a liar or frivolous? Do you think I'm being manipulated by an evil
witch we had to get rid of - as some say to journalists and some add (with
neutrality of course) to the Wikipedia article about me?

Denouncing the violence, I'm losing 30 of my closest friends, stopping one
of my favouriste activities and canceling 9 years of my life.

Sending an email like this one, "managing" instead of "caring", you only do
the job you're getting paid for.
But, maybe you also realise that you are shatterring lives of
"individuals"... who have no names. But since we don't even have names,
since there is no violence or harassment problem to deal with, I'm sure you
will never have any problem to look at yourself in a mirror.

Even Hollywood is facing the violence and harassment problem. Wikimedia
still doesn't.
I'm sad. But now I'm only sad for you and one of the greatest human
projects of the time, you are currently making vile and foul.
As for me, it's over.

X, individual [used to be] associated with our movement




On 19 October 2017 at 23:19, Katherine Maher <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Everyone,
>
> The past six months have been a complex and troubling time for our
> community in France. Let me be absolutely clear, with no confusion or
> ambiguity, that the Wikimedia Foundation condemns harassment. We take all
> harassment claims seriously, investigate them promptly, and take the
> appropriate action to enforce our policies whenever necessary. My goal here
> today is to provide more information about the actions of the Wikimedia
> Foundation, the principles to which we adhere, and the situation in which
> our movement finds itself.
>
> As many of you know, there have been months of discussion within the French
> Wikimedia community, independent committees and governance bodies, and the
> Wikimedia Foundation about the governance and operations of Wikimédia
> France. During this time, we have seen growing tensions between a number of
> the former leaders of Wikimédia France and some members of the French
> Wikimedia community. This situation created great strain on the French
> community, former and current staff of Wikimédia France, and concerned
> Wikimedia volunteers around the world. Much of this was documented by
> community members[1] and in the press.[2] Over the past months the
> Foundation has received formal and informal complaints alleging harassment
> and other harmful behaviour, and we have enforced existing policies
> whenever applicable.
>
> Recently, an individual associated with our movement published an essay
> about the events in France on the blogging site Medium and shared that
> essay with this list. It contained a number of deeply concerning
> allegations of harassment. Let me first address the most troubling claims
> of the recent essay—those regarding the Foundation’s handling of
> allegations against the Wikimedia Foundation’s current Board Chair.
>
> In May of 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation was informed, in a letter and for
> the first time, that the then-Executive Director of Wikimédia France was
> alleging claims of harassment against the current Board Chair of the
> Wikimedia Foundation, dating back to his tenure as former Chair of
> Wikimédia France. In this letter the Executive Director described a number
> of interactions with the Foundation’s Board Chair when he was Chair of
> Wikimédia France, and went on to accuse him of using his position as
> Foundation Board Chair to to turn the Wikimedia Foundation’s sentiment
> against the French chapter.
>
> Contrary to the assertion in the Medium essay, while the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director’s letter detailed tense and disagreeable
> interactions between the two individuals, it did not characterize those
> interactions as sexual harassment. Also contrary to the essay’s assertions,
> the Wikimedia Foundation took immediate and appropriate action after
> receiving the complaint.
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation, under clear direction from our Board, responded
> promptly:
>
>    - We notified the Vice Chair and Board Governance Chair immediately
>    after receiving the then-Executive Director’s letter.
>    - Under their direction and supervision, we promptly hired expert French
>    legal counsel to conduct an investigation on this issue.
>    - The Foundation Board Chair was informed of the investigation and
>    recused from all relevant discussions. The Board Chair was also recused
>    from any discussion regarding Wikimédia France and the French Wikimedia
>    community, including any participation in funding decisions.
>    - The investigation by the experts found that the French chapter’s
>    Executive Director’s detailed statements of facts, in addition to not
> being
>    characterized by her as sexual harassment, also did not support a
> finding
>    of sexual harassment.
>    - Based on the information provided, French counsel also looked at
>    whether the allegations supported a finding of “moral” harassment,
>    ultimately concluding that they did not.
>    - The findings were conveyed to the then-chair of the board of Wikimédia
>    France. The chapter leadership was asked on more than one occasion if it
>    had any additional evidence or wished to further discuss the
> conclusions.
>    No additional information was provided.
>    - Under these circumstances, the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation found
>    no merit to the charges.
>
>
> *As has been repeatedly stated, the Foundation remains fully committed to
> reviewing and investigating additional information, if presented, of sexual
> or other harassment allegedly committed by any Wikimedia Foundation staff
> or board member. We fully condemn harassment in the Wikimedia movement.*
>
> The essay in Medium also references experiences of a number of former
> Wikimédia France Board members who reportedly left their posts because of
> alleged harassment from French Wikimedia community members. In the majority
> of these cases, the Wikimedia Foundation has not received complaints and
> has no further information about these allegations.
>
> We are aware that some people working at the Foundation for some months
> have received comments from a number of community members through informal
> channels about alleged intra-community harassment. These included
> complaints and allegations of harassment made against the former Wikimédia
> France Executive Director and then-Board Chair by Wikimédia France staff
> and community members, as well as counter-complaints from former Wikimédia
> France board members against members of the French community. In each
> instance of which we are aware, the individual raising the complaint was
> directed to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Support and Safety team, which is
> trained and equipped to independently investigate and assess these matters,
> particularly where members of the larger Wikimedia community are concerned.
>
> In total, the Foundation received roughly a dozen of these complaints. Each
> of these complaints received by the Foundation was investigated and
> responded to promptly, enforcing the relevant anti-harassment policies
> whenever appropriate. In some cases, and when appropriate, our response
> resulted in content (for example, content that identified Wikimedia
> community members who guarded their anonymity) being removed from public
> websites or the Foundation contacting users who posted inappropriate
> material. In others, we found that while certain comments at times crossed
> the lines of civility, the actions did not meet the threshold of sanction
> under our policies or constitute intentional or sustained patterns of
> harassment.
>
> As a cumulative result of these complaints, the Wikimedia Foundation has
> recommended to Wikimédia France that they take immediate steps to implement
> a friendly space policy. At the chapter’s exceptional September general
> assembly, the motion to develop and implement a friendly space policy
> passed with overwhelming support, with 98% of the membership voting in
> favor.[3] The Wikimedia Foundation has offered Wikimédia France our
> assistance with this policy’s composition and implementation.
>
> We are committed to working with the new Wikimédia France conseil
> d’administration (governing board) to support the French community as they
> work to address and resolve these and other outstanding issues. The
> Wikimedia Foundation and the new leadership of Wikimédia France are already
> cooperating to address the governance-related concerns raised by the
> volunteer Funds Dissemination Committee in the first half of 2017. As part
> of this work, we have encouraged them to review how they will independently
> handle claims of harassment in the future. The Wikimedia Foundation and
> Wikimédia France share a common goal: a healthy, welcoming, respectful,
> inclusive Wikimedia community in France.
>
> I know I am not alone in my dismay for how these events have unfolded. Many
> dedicated, good-faith members of the French community, including current
> community members and present and former Wikimédia France board and staff
> members, have experienced distress and anxiety over recent months. Those
> outside of the community have watched with dismay as our peers and friends
> have found themselves disoriented, distressed, alienated, or at odds with
> one another. And yet we also know that many in France now feel a renewed
> sense of purpose for building the healthy and welcoming community we all
> desire.
>
> Situations such as the recent events in France provide us with an
> opportunity to learn from the past in order to do better in the future. We
> have seen this time and again in our communities, as organizations
> (including the Wikimedia Foundation) have emerged from governance and other
> challenges stronger, with deepened commitments to openness, collaboration,
> and humility.
>
> Today is another such opportunity.
>
> Katherine
>
> [1] https://www.mathisbenguigui.eu/wikimedia-timeline/
>
> [2]
> http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2017/09/11/vers-une-
> sortie-de-crise-a-wikimedia-france_5184101_4408996.html
>
> http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/rue89/rue89-nos-vies-
> connectees/20170718.OBS2248/exclusions-menaces-budget-
> recale-c-est-la-crise-chez-wikimedia-france.html
>
>
> [3]
> https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/
> WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf/page1-2550px-WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf.jpg
>
>
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM, Caroline Becker <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Emeric,
> >
> > I am very pleased that you take mental health seriously. I remember, not
> so
> > long ago, that your actions while you were in Wikimedia France had
> serious
> > impact on the mental health of at least two of your members.
> >
> > In January, someone had a meltdown just in front of you. Could you remind
> > us what you did after that ?
> >
> > In April, you learnt that your actions as a chair caused me a medical
> > leave. What can the Foundation and the movement as a whole learn about
> how
> > you dealt with the situation ?
> >
> > Warmly,
> >
> > Caroline
> >
> > 2017-10-12 12:39 GMT+02:00 Emeric Vallespi <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > Dear Maria,
> > > Dear all,
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the legal
> > > management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie
> > > Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your
> board,
> > > and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts from
> > his
> > > time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).
> > >
> > > It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather her
> > > testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
> > > At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could
> have
> > > requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various testimonies,
> so
> > > that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no
> > solicitation.
> > > Why?
> > > From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to stifle
> > > the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid
> "independent
> > > lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He
> > responded,
> > > to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
> > > Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
> > > Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
> > > Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board
> of
> > > trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself, the
> > > Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
> > > During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a
> flat
> > > denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
> > > Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for
> > > confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to
> > > assume?
> > >
> > > We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management
> > > responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive
> Director…)
> > > who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the
> > > Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any
> > kind
> > > of listening or help.
> > >
> > > Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the
> sexist
> > > harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members.
> Nathalie
> > > and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued
> by
> > > real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and
> > what
> > > did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff
> legitimizing
> > > the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly stated
> > > against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
> > > What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?
> > >
> > > The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and
> > this
> > > is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member think
> > > they are).
> > > The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power
> > > position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control.
> The
> > > problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you
> > > legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the
> > > measure of all things.
> > > No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more generally,
> > > people) or at least to hear them.
> > > Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness and
> > > respect?
> > >
> > > I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is
> accusing
> > > of lying other women because of their private then public declarations.
> > > Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for enlightening
> me
> > > about true fight with feminism.
> > >
> > > I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously », but
> I
> > > can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and simply
> > > against human values.
> > >
> > > N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my
> > > selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior.
> > Thanks
> > > for your understanding.
> > >
> > > Regards,
> > > --
> > > Emeric Vallespi
> > >
> > > > On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Dear all,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> > > harassment
> > > > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of
> harassment
> > > > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed that
> > > > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia
> > Foundation
> > > > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France. We
> > > > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> > > employed
> > > > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based
> on
> > > the
> > > > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > > > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > Board
> > > > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> > > >
> > > > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent
> investigation
> > > if
> > > > presented with new information. Absent such information, we consider
> > the
> > > > allegations to be without merit.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On behalf of the Board,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > María Sefidari
> > > >
> > > > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]> escribió:
> > > >
> > > > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more
> opinions
> > > to
> > > > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a
> partly
> > > > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the
> > users
> > > > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> > > >
> > > > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating the
> > role
> > > > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for WMF,
> > > > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > > > problems, and move on.
> > > >
> > > > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> > > >
> > > > John Erling Blad
> > > > /jeblad
> > > >
> > > > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > > > [hidden email]> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> Hello all,
> > > >>
> > > >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am
> Marie-Alice
> > > >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> > > >>
> > > >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> > > complete
> > > >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion and
> > > >> frustration of these past few months.
> > > >>
> > > >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally
> had
> > > more
> > > >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through
> the
> > > >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for
> years
> > I
> > > > had
> > > >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED Nathalie
> > > Martin
> > > >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now that
> I
> > > have
> > > >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s
> > values.
> > > >>
> > > >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends because
> I
> > > >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear campaign
> > > based
> > > >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause of
> > all
> > > >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked
> with
> > > > them
> > > >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> > > >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > > > believed
> > > >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> > > sites,
> > > >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word scrutinised,
> > > >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying. I’ve
> > been
> > > >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly sexist
> > > rant
> > > >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been called
> a
> > > >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former
> chair
> > > >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the threats
> > to
> > > >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC
> > funding.
> > > >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board
> early
> > > in
> > > >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now
> call
> > > >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly
> aware
> > > of
> > > >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against
> Christophe
> > > for
> > > >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> > > >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> > > >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> > > >>
> > > >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by
> > prominent
> > > >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in that
> > > case,
> > > >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter
> funds
> > > for
> > > >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French
> > justice
> > > >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to
> > gratuitous
> > > >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and
> > dictating
> > > >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank you
> > > very
> > > >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses
> reimbursement“.
> > > None
> > > >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the goal
> of
> > > >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider
> community
> > > has
> > > >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position
> and
> > > the
> > > >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French media
> in
> > > the
> > > >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in the
> > > >> crisis.
> > > >>
> > > >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked us
> > > (the
> > > >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with
> only
> > a
> > > >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were
> known.
> > > >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> > > English
> > > >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly
> > circulated
> > > > on
> > > >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s
> > bylaws),
> > > >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal abuse.
> > > >>
> > > >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how easily
> > the
> > > >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard whatsoever
> > for
> > > >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no
> > place
> > > >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree with
> > this
> > > >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out
> > individuals’
> > > >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage and a
> > > “fair
> > > >> game” target for harassment.
> > > >>
> > > >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the issue
> > of
> > > >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> > > executive
> > > >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> > > breaking 4
> > > >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding that
> > this
> > > >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible
> happens
> > > as
> > > > a
> > > >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s role
> in
> > > > this
> > > >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> > > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> > > >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> > > >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy
> > Love
> > > >> from Sept 20.
> > > >>
> > > >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> > > >>
> > > >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of WMFr,
> > you
> > > >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign
> from
> > > my
> > > >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and
> > that
> > > > any
> > > >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> > > >>
> > > >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr if
> > you
> > > >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to stifle
> > > civil
> > > >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you
> condition
> > > >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that legal
> > > > action
> > > >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or
> > staff.
> > > >>
> > > >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> > > >>
> > > >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not come
> > from
> > > >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by
> French
> > > >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board,
> and
> > > >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting
> both
> > > >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> > > >>
> > > >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> > > harassment,
> > > >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by community
> > > >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the
> > point
> > > >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient
> care
> > > and
> > > >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took
> place
> > > on
> > > >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> > > >> WMF-hosted,
> > > >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> > > >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community
> > members
> > > to
> > > >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a
> word
> > > >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff at
> > the
> > > >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you
> presented
> > > the
> > > >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and
> problematic,
> > > >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their
> harmful
> > > >> attacks.
> > > >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the site
> > > visit
> > > >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and thanked
> me
> > > for
> > > >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made
> our
> > > >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> > > >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the
> > harassment
> > > on
> > > >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > > > misconduct
> > > >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our General
> > > >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day you
> > > asked
> > > >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> > > "Grant
> > > >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not
> what
> > we
> > > >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and
> illegal
> > > >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> > > >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > > > allegations,
> > > >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as the
> > > >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> > > >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned it
> > to
> > > >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To
> this
> > > day
> > > >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All
> the
> > > >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> > > moderated
> > > >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> > > against
> > > >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> > > members
> > > >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and
> refuse
> > > to
> > > >> do anything about it.
> > > >>
> > > >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against
> > chapter
> > > >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides
> while
> > > >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> > > >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> > > >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence
> > victims
> > > > by
> > > >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> > > >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may be
> > > >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because it
> is
> > > not
> > > >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> > > >>
> > > >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> > > >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant
> expectations.
> > > > With
> > > >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally
> revised
> > > >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way at
> > the
> > > >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect when I
> > > came
> > > >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see
> fit
> > to
> > > >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly about
> > > your
> > > >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> > > >>
> > > >> Sincerely,
> > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> > > >> _______________________________________________
> > > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
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> > ,
> > > >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=
> unsubscribe>
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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>
>
>
> --
> Katherine Maher
> Executive Director
>
> *We moved! **Our new address:*
>
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> San Francisco, CA 94104
>
> +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
> +1 (415) 712 4873
> [hidden email]
> https://annual.wikimedia.org
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] The other side of the crisis at WMFR

Andreas Kolbe-2
In reply to this post by Emeric Vallespi
On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 12:21 AM, Emeric VALLESPI <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> Katherine,
>
> [...]



> The lawyers you have appointed have been paid by the Foundation. They
> *only* interviewed the defendant.




Is this true? Because if what Emeric and Remi say is in fact true, it seems
inappropriate to characterise what happened as an "investigation". An
investigation listens to both sides.

If lawyers hear from one side only, that's called "seeking legal advice".
In other words, "We consulted a lawyer, and they advised us that the
allegations would not stand up in court."

More clarity on this would be appreciated. So, whom did, and didn't, the
expert French legal counsel appointed by the WMF interview?

Andreas





> In these conditions, how could the
> outcome not be favorable to his version?
>
> You did not answer any of my previous questions:
>
> Why did not the Wikimedia Foundation hear Nathalie Martin at her request?
> Just to have her version of the facts, it would have been - maybe ... - a
> good idea.
> Why did the experts who were supposed to conduct an adversarial
> investigation not discussed with Nathalie or Marie-Alice? Would not that
> have been the least of the things? Why did not they hear the board of
> trustees’ member? Why did you refuse to organize, as you (or your
> representatives) were offered, a confrontation between
> complainant/defendant?
> Why fear so much to hear the version of Nathalie?
>
> You have witnessed what Marie-Alice and Nathalie have experienced with
> social media as well as on the mailing-list you're hosting. You've done
> absolutely nothing to protect them.
> You're mentioning complaints that have been filed to the Support and Safety
> committee, which has no legal existence in the real world (outside of the
> movement). I am talking about real criminal complaints in a police station.
> Whether you can compare the two shows your total unconsciousness.
>
> Again, the role of the Wikimedia Foundation is not to determine whether the
> current Chair is guilty or innocent. Nor whether the acts are sexual or
> moral harassment.
> Your role, as an organization, is, to a minimum, to hear the victims and to
> ensure their protection. You have undertaken everything to mask this
> situation in order to guarantee your tranquility. It is a shame for a
> movement that wants to be humanistic.
>
> Regards,
> --
> Emeric Vallespi
>
> 2017-10-19 23:19 GMT+02:00 Katherine Maher <[hidden email]>:
>
> > Everyone,
> >
> > The past six months have been a complex and troubling time for our
> > community in France. Let me be absolutely clear, with no confusion or
> > ambiguity, that the Wikimedia Foundation condemns harassment. We take all
> > harassment claims seriously, investigate them promptly, and take the
> > appropriate action to enforce our policies whenever necessary. My goal
> here
> > today is to provide more information about the actions of the Wikimedia
> > Foundation, the principles to which we adhere, and the situation in which
> > our movement finds itself.
> >
> > As many of you know, there have been months of discussion within the
> French
> > Wikimedia community, independent committees and governance bodies, and
> the
> > Wikimedia Foundation about the governance and operations of Wikimédia
> > France. During this time, we have seen growing tensions between a number
> of
> > the former leaders of Wikimédia France and some members of the French
> > Wikimedia community. This situation created great strain on the French
> > community, former and current staff of Wikimédia France, and concerned
> > Wikimedia volunteers around the world. Much of this was documented by
> > community members[1] and in the press.[2] Over the past months the
> > Foundation has received formal and informal complaints alleging
> harassment
> > and other harmful behaviour, and we have enforced existing policies
> > whenever applicable.
> >
> > Recently, an individual associated with our movement published an essay
> > about the events in France on the blogging site Medium and shared that
> > essay with this list. It contained a number of deeply concerning
> > allegations of harassment. Let me first address the most troubling claims
> > of the recent essay—those regarding the Foundation’s handling of
> > allegations against the Wikimedia Foundation’s current Board Chair.
> >
> > In May of 2017 the Wikimedia Foundation was informed, in a letter and for
> > the first time, that the then-Executive Director of Wikimédia France was
> > alleging claims of harassment against the current Board Chair of the
> > Wikimedia Foundation, dating back to his tenure as former Chair of
> > Wikimédia France. In this letter the Executive Director described a
> number
> > of interactions with the Foundation’s Board Chair when he was Chair of
> > Wikimédia France, and went on to accuse him of using his position as
> > Foundation Board Chair to to turn the Wikimedia Foundation’s sentiment
> > against the French chapter.
> >
> > Contrary to the assertion in the Medium essay, while the former Wikimédia
> > France Executive Director’s letter detailed tense and disagreeable
> > interactions between the two individuals, it did not characterize those
> > interactions as sexual harassment. Also contrary to the essay’s
> assertions,
> > the Wikimedia Foundation took immediate and appropriate action after
> > receiving the complaint.
> >
> > The Wikimedia Foundation, under clear direction from our Board, responded
> > promptly:
> >
> >    - We notified the Vice Chair and Board Governance Chair immediately
> >    after receiving the then-Executive Director’s letter.
> >    - Under their direction and supervision, we promptly hired expert
> French
> >    legal counsel to conduct an investigation on this issue.
> >    - The Foundation Board Chair was informed of the investigation and
> >    recused from all relevant discussions. The Board Chair was also
> recused
> >    from any discussion regarding Wikimédia France and the French
> Wikimedia
> >    community, including any participation in funding decisions.
> >    - The investigation by the experts found that the French chapter’s
> >    Executive Director’s detailed statements of facts, in addition to not
> > being
> >    characterized by her as sexual harassment, also did not support a
> > finding
> >    of sexual harassment.
> >    - Based on the information provided, French counsel also looked at
> >    whether the allegations supported a finding of “moral” harassment,
> >    ultimately concluding that they did not.
> >    - The findings were conveyed to the then-chair of the board of
> Wikimédia
> >    France. The chapter leadership was asked on more than one occasion if
> it
> >    had any additional evidence or wished to further discuss the
> > conclusions.
> >    No additional information was provided.
> >    - Under these circumstances, the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation
> found
> >    no merit to the charges.
> >
> >
> > *As has been repeatedly stated, the Foundation remains fully committed to
> > reviewing and investigating additional information, if presented, of
> sexual
> > or other harassment allegedly committed by any Wikimedia Foundation staff
> > or board member. We fully condemn harassment in the Wikimedia movement.*
> >
> > The essay in Medium also references experiences of a number of former
> > Wikimédia France Board members who reportedly left their posts because of
> > alleged harassment from French Wikimedia community members. In the
> majority
> > of these cases, the Wikimedia Foundation has not received complaints and
> > has no further information about these allegations.
> >
> > We are aware that some people working at the Foundation for some months
> > have received comments from a number of community members through
> informal
> > channels about alleged intra-community harassment. These included
> > complaints and allegations of harassment made against the former
> Wikimédia
> > France Executive Director and then-Board Chair by Wikimédia France staff
> > and community members, as well as counter-complaints from former
> Wikimédia
> > France board members against members of the French community. In each
> > instance of which we are aware, the individual raising the complaint was
> > directed to the Wikimedia Foundation’s Support and Safety team, which is
> > trained and equipped to independently investigate and assess these
> matters,
> > particularly where members of the larger Wikimedia community are
> concerned.
> >
> > In total, the Foundation received roughly a dozen of these complaints.
> Each
> > of these complaints received by the Foundation was investigated and
> > responded to promptly, enforcing the relevant anti-harassment policies
> > whenever appropriate. In some cases, and when appropriate, our response
> > resulted in content (for example, content that identified Wikimedia
> > community members who guarded their anonymity) being removed from public
> > websites or the Foundation contacting users who posted inappropriate
> > material. In others, we found that while certain comments at times
> crossed
> > the lines of civility, the actions did not meet the threshold of sanction
> > under our policies or constitute intentional or sustained patterns of
> > harassment.
> >
> > As a cumulative result of these complaints, the Wikimedia Foundation has
> > recommended to Wikimédia France that they take immediate steps to
> implement
> > a friendly space policy. At the chapter’s exceptional September general
> > assembly, the motion to develop and implement a friendly space policy
> > passed with overwhelming support, with 98% of the membership voting in
> > favor.[3] The Wikimedia Foundation has offered Wikimédia France our
> > assistance with this policy’s composition and implementation.
> >
> > We are committed to working with the new Wikimédia France conseil
> > d’administration (governing board) to support the French community as
> they
> > work to address and resolve these and other outstanding issues. The
> > Wikimedia Foundation and the new leadership of Wikimédia France are
> already
> > cooperating to address the governance-related concerns raised by the
> > volunteer Funds Dissemination Committee in the first half of 2017. As
> part
> > of this work, we have encouraged them to review how they will
> independently
> > handle claims of harassment in the future. The Wikimedia Foundation and
> > Wikimédia France share a common goal: a healthy, welcoming, respectful,
> > inclusive Wikimedia community in France.
> >
> > I know I am not alone in my dismay for how these events have unfolded.
> Many
> > dedicated, good-faith members of the French community, including current
> > community members and present and former Wikimédia France board and staff
> > members, have experienced distress and anxiety over recent months. Those
> > outside of the community have watched with dismay as our peers and
> friends
> > have found themselves disoriented, distressed, alienated, or at odds with
> > one another. And yet we also know that many in France now feel a renewed
> > sense of purpose for building the healthy and welcoming community we all
> > desire.
> >
> > Situations such as the recent events in France provide us with an
> > opportunity to learn from the past in order to do better in the future.
> We
> > have seen this time and again in our communities, as organizations
> > (including the Wikimedia Foundation) have emerged from governance and
> other
> > challenges stronger, with deepened commitments to openness,
> collaboration,
> > and humility.
> >
> > Today is another such opportunity.
> >
> > Katherine
> >
> > [1] https://www.mathisbenguigui.eu/wikimedia-timeline/
> >
> > [2]
> > http://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2017/09/11/vers-une-
> > sortie-de-crise-a-wikimedia-france_5184101_4408996.html
> >
> > http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/rue89/rue89-nos-vies-
> > connectees/20170718.OBS2248/exclusions-menaces-budget-
> > recale-c-est-la-crise-chez-wikimedia-france.html
> >
> >
> > [3]
> > https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/
> > WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf/page1-2550px-WMFR_AG_2017-09-09.pdf.jpg
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 12:55 PM, Caroline Becker <
> [hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hi Emeric,
> > >
> > > I am very pleased that you take mental health seriously. I remember,
> not
> > so
> > > long ago, that your actions while you were in Wikimedia France had
> > serious
> > > impact on the mental health of at least two of your members.
> > >
> > > In January, someone had a meltdown just in front of you. Could you
> remind
> > > us what you did after that ?
> > >
> > > In April, you learnt that your actions as a chair caused me a medical
> > > leave. What can the Foundation and the movement as a whole learn about
> > how
> > > you dealt with the situation ?
> > >
> > > Warmly,
> > >
> > > Caroline
> > >
> > > 2017-10-12 12:39 GMT+02:00 Emeric Vallespi <[hidden email]
> >:
> > >
> > > > Dear Maria,
> > > > Dear all,
> > > >
> > > > The Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees, the executive and the
> legal
> > > > management of the Wikimedia Foundation have been informed of Nathalie
> > > > Martin's complaint against her former employer now member of your
> > board,
> > > > and then of the criminal complaint against this same person (facts
> from
> > > his
> > > > time in Wikimédia France and other from his time in your Board).
> > > >
> > > > It would have been logical for a board of trustees member to gather
> her
> > > > testimony. No one has sought to make contact with her. Why?
> > > > At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees could
> > have
> > > > requested a copy of the complaint, as well as the various
> testimonies,
> > so
> > > > that they could study them and make their opinion. We had no
> > > solicitation.
> > > > Why?
> > > > From what I see, the Wikimedia Foundation has done everything to
> stifle
> > > > the problem. Here is the only initiative WMF has taken: paid
> > "independent
> > > > lawyers" (a concept unknown to me…) to "question Christophe". He
> > > responded,
> > > > to the general surprise, that there was no problem.
> > > > Do you really feel that this is a serious investigation? Honestly?
> > > > Why did not these lawyers also hear Nathalie?
> > > > Why did these lawyers not ask questions to the Wikimédia France Board
> > of
> > > > trustees members? Only with the testimony of the defendant himself,
> the
> > > > Wikimedia Foundation today states that there is no problem. ...
> > > > During the site visit, Nathalie proposed to the Wikimedia Foundation
> > > > representatives to organize a confrontation. Not only did she have a
> > flat
> > > > denial, but, moreover, it was replied that it must not be addressed.
> > > > Why did the Wikimedia Foundation not accede to this request for
> > > > confrontation? Not to know the truth which can be too embarrassing to
> > > > assume?
> > > >
> > > > We have a movement employee who brilliantly held management
> > > > responsibilities for 4 years (great longevity for an Executive
> > Director…)
> > > > who asked for help. And what is the answer of the movement, of the
> > > > Wikimedia Foundation? Nothing. Nothing was undertaken to give her any
> > > kind
> > > > of listening or help.
> > > >
> > > > Marie-Alice Mathis, who courageously expressed disapproval of the
> > sexist
> > > > harassment of Nathalie, was also harassed by community members.
> > Nathalie
> > > > and Marie-Alice suffered health damages and had medical leaves issued
> > by
> > > > real general practitioners. The Wikimedia Foundation was informed and
> > > what
> > > > did you do? Nothing, or worst: two messages from your staff
> > legitimizing
> > > > the harassment and one from a member of your board who publicly
> stated
> > > > against Wikimédia France without any prior contact with us.
> > > > What kind of help or support did you offer to Marie-Alice?
> > > >
> > > > The outcome of the complaints is not even the issue at this stage and
> > > this
> > > > is not my point (I’m not a judge as you or other community member
> think
> > > > they are).
> > > > The real problem is that today a man in the movement, if he has power
> > > > position, can do absolutely everything he wants without any control.
> > The
> > > > problem is, despite all the empty values you’re communicating on, you
> > > > legitimize whatever the community does. Because the community is the
> > > > measure of all things.
> > > > No objective process is foreseen to protect women (and more
> generally,
> > > > people) or at least to hear them.
> > > > Do you find this normal for a movement that advocates inclusiveness
> and
> > > > respect?
> > > >
> > > > I’ve read an ardent defender of epicene style of writing who is
> > accusing
> > > > of lying other women because of their private then public
> declarations.
> > > > Having no clue of what is in the procedure. Thank you for
> enlightening
> > me
> > > > about true fight with feminism.
> > > >
> > > > I’m glad that « We take all allegations of harassment seriously »,
> but
> > I
> > > > can not endorse this functioning which goes against legality and
> simply
> > > > against human values.
> > > >
> > > > N.B: English is not my native language, may you be as tolerant of my
> > > > selected words or sentences construction as with harassing behavior.
> > > Thanks
> > > > for your understanding.
> > > >
> > > > Regards,
> > > > --
> > > > Emeric Vallespi
> > > >
> > > > > On 11 Oct 2017, at 19:54, María Sefidari <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > Dear all,
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > We would like to specifically address the allegations related to
> > > > harassment
> > > > > in this thread’s original email. We take all allegations of
> > harassment
> > > > > seriously. Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees was informed
> that
> > > > > allegations of harassment had been made against the Wikimedia
> > > Foundation
> > > > > Board Chair dating back to his time as chair of Wikimédia France.
> We
> > > > > immediately directed the Foundation to investigate. The Foundation
> > > > employed
> > > > > independent, external experts and conducted an investigation. Based
> > on
> > > > the
> > > > > information presented, the investigation found no support for the
> > > > > allegations. That conclusion was conveyed to the Wikimedia
> Foundation
> > > > Board
> > > > > as well as the chair of Wikimédia France.
> > > > >
> > > > > The Wikimedia Foundation remains committed to independent
> > investigation
> > > > if
> > > > > presented with new information. Absent such information, we
> consider
> > > the
> > > > > allegations to be without merit.
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > On behalf of the Board,
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > > María Sefidari
> > > > >
> > > > > El 8 oct. 2017 5:20, "John Erling Blad" <[hidden email]>
> escribió:
> > > > >
> > > > > When I first saw the posts I thought it would probably be more
> > opinions
> > > > to
> > > > > them than the very clear blame-game that were going on. Having a
> > partly
> > > > > anonymous community and a chapter that only represents some of the
> > > users
> > > > > are an invitation to fierce battles.
> > > > >
> > > > > Whatever going on at WMFR, I believe it is time for reevaluating
> the
> > > role
> > > > > of WMF in this. I'm wondering if there should be a new board for
> WMF,
> > > > > unless they get a new chair themselves asap. Reorganize, solve the
> > > > > problems, and move on.
> > > > >
> > > > > No, I do not know any of the people involved.
> > > > >
> > > > > John Erling Blad
> > > > > /jeblad
> > > > >
> > > > > On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 3:11 PM, Marie-Alice Mathis <
> > > > > [hidden email]> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > >> Hello all,
> > > > >>
> > > > >> I haven’t had a real opportunity to introduce myself: I am
> > Marie-Alice
> > > > >> Mathis, 32, a now ex-member of the Board of Wikimédia France.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> The transition with the newly elected members of the Board is now
> > > > complete
> > > > >> and I gladly step down to get away from the violence, exhaustion
> and
> > > > >> frustration of these past few months.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> I was a Board candidate because after completing my PhD I finally
> > had
> > > > more
> > > > >> time to contribute to the projects and serve the community through
> > the
> > > > >> French chapter: after watching my husband Rémi Mathis do it for
> > years
> > > I
> > > > > had
> > > > >> a pretty good idea of what it meant. I did not know our ED
> Nathalie
> > > > Martin
> > > > >> or our chair Émeric Vallespi before working with them, and now
> that
> > I
> > > > have
> > > > >> I can vouch for their hard work and attachment to the movement’s
> > > values.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Today, I have lost friends or people I thought were friends
> because
> > I
> > > > >> defended Nathalie and Émeric in good faith during the smear
> campaign
> > > > based
> > > > >> on the community’s assumption that they were the source and cause
> of
> > > all
> > > > >> the chapter’s problems, real or perceived. Although I have worked
> > with
> > > > > them
> > > > >> closely for a year, I have been repeatedly informed that I’ve been
> > > > >> manipulated by Nathalie from the start and should not have blindly
> > > > > believed
> > > > >> everything Émeric was saying. I’ve been personally attacked on WMF
> > > > sites,
> > > > >> email lists, and social media for weeks, my every word
> scrutinised,
> > > > >> questioned and mocked assuming I was either ignorant or lying.
> I’ve
> > > been
> > > > >> told by so-called feminists who were endorsing a particularly
> sexist
> > > > rant
> > > > >> against me to “stop making inflammatory comments”. I’ve been
> called
> > a
> > > > >> conspiracy theorist because I questioned the role of our former
> > chair
> > > > >> Christophe Henner, now chair of the Board at the WMF, in the
> threats
> > > to
> > > > >> withdraw our chapter agreement and the cutting of half our FDC
> > > funding.
> > > > >> People close to Christophe who have resigned from the WMFR Board
> > early
> > > > in
> > > > >> the crisis rather than take responsibility for their mistakes now
> > call
> > > > >> themselves victims and whistleblowers. The WMF, who is perfectly
> > aware
> > > > of
> > > > >> the charges of sexual harassment filed by Nathalie against
> > Christophe
> > > > for
> > > > >> facts dating back to when he was her boss at Wikimédia France, is
> > > > >> pretending WMFR leadership has used the threat of legal action to
> > > > >> intimidate chapter members and silence opposition.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Some unfounded allegations have been made on this very list by
> > > prominent
> > > > >> members of the community (and what is a newbie’s word worth in
> that
> > > > case,
> > > > >> right?): from extremely serious accusations of misuse of chapter
> > funds
> > > > for
> > > > >> personal gain (that strangely enough never made it to the French
> > > justice
> > > > >> system despite a so-called “rather convincing rationale”), to
> > > gratuitous
> > > > >> ones that Nathalie was making the Board’s decisions for us and
> > > dictating
> > > > >> our communication (I am old enough to write my own emails, thank
> you
> > > > very
> > > > >> much), to ever vague ones of “quite generous expenses
> > reimbursement“.
> > > > None
> > > > >> of this has been supported by proof or tangible facts, but the
> goal
> > of
> > > > >> spreading distrust and dissent in the chapter and the wider
> > community
> > > > has
> > > > >> clearly been reached. Even now that Nathalie has left her position
> > and
> > > > the
> > > > >> Board has resigned, some are still defaming her in the French
> media
> > in
> > > > the
> > > > >> hopes of winning the stupid argument of who were the bad guys in
> the
> > > > >> crisis.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> I am also extremely disappointed that no one from this list asked
> us
> > > > (the
> > > > >> Board) what was happening when these allegations were made, with
> > only
> > > a
> > > > >> handful of people suggesting to wait before all the facts were
> > known.
> > > > >> Instead, you took for granted the very short and extremely biased
> > > > English
> > > > >> summaries of the Board’s communications (which were instantly
> > > circulated
> > > > > on
> > > > >> this list without our consent and in violation of our chapter’s
> > > bylaws),
> > > > >> and joined in the chorus of outrage, condemnation and verbal
> abuse.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> But worse to me than all this, I am actually terrified at how
> easily
> > > the
> > > > >> Wikimedia community can turn on a person, with no regard
> whatsoever
> > > for
> > > > >> decency or legality, when it has made up its mind about who has no
> > > place
> > > > >> there. I have personally experienced what it means to disagree
> with
> > > this
> > > > >> angry mob: questioning the dominant opinion or calling out
> > > individuals’
> > > > >> toxic behaviour makes you in turn acceptable collateral damage
> and a
> > > > “fair
> > > > >> game” target for harassment.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Speaking of this, the movement as a whole needs to address the
> issue
> > > of
> > > > >> staff-volunteers relations exemplified by the rapid turnover of
> > > > executive
> > > > >> staff across chapters. Nathalie stayed at WMFR an almost record
> > > > breaking 4
> > > > >> years, but at what cost? I’m being extremely serious in adding
> that
> > > this
> > > > >> conversation needs to take place before something irreversible
> > happens
> > > > as
> > > > > a
> > > > >> result of harmful group behaviour within the community.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Sincerely,
> > > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis // AlienSpoon
> > > > >>
> > > > >>
> > > > >> PS: for your information about my position regarding the WMF’s
> role
> > in
> > > > > this
> > > > >> crisis and their recent unilaterally added conditions [
> > > > >> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grant_expectations_for_
> > > > >> Wikimedia_France_-_2017-2018]
> > > > >> for payment of our FDC-attributed grant, I attach my email to Katy
> > > Love
> > > > >> from Sept 20.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Katy, (Cc WMFr Board and Rémi)
> > > > >>
> > > > >> In the WMF "Grant expectations" document sent to the Board of
> WMFr,
> > > you
> > > > >> mention as a condition for APG funds payment that I do not resign
> > from
> > > > my
> > > > >> position on the Board until the governance review is complete, and
> > > that
> > > > > any
> > > > >> Board member planning to resign must report and justify it to WMF.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> You also mention that you retain the right to cease funding WMFr
> if
> > > you
> > > > >> consider that legal threats are being used inappropriately to
> stifle
> > > > civil
> > > > >> and appropriate participation in the chapter. Moreover, you
> > condition
> > > > >> payment to being informed if the chapter leadership feels that
> legal
> > > > > action
> > > > >> is appropriate to take against current or former board members or
> > > staff.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Let me be clear: these conditions are outrageous and unacceptable.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> First of all, my legitimacy as a Board member of WMFr does not
> come
> > > from
> > > > >> any commitment to WMF but from being democratically elected by
> > French
> > > > >> chapter members. WMF has no say in who stays or not on the Board,
> > and
> > > > >> trying to intervene on such governance issues is, again, putting
> > both
> > > > >> organisations at risk of being legally recognised as co-employers.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Second, as a (volunteer) Board member I have been subjected to
> > > > harassment,
> > > > >> sexist abuse, and unjustified allegations of misconduct by
> community
> > > > >> members, that have impacted my health and mental well being to the
> > > point
> > > > >> where I was no longer able to do my (paid) job in cancer patient
> > care
> > > > and
> > > > >> my GP put me on medical leave. A large volume of this abuse took
> > place
> > > > on
> > > > >> WMF property (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipédia:Le_Bistro
> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > > <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro>
> > > > >> <http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikip%C3%A9dia:Le_Bistro> and the
> > > > >> WMF-hosted,
> > > > >> publicly archived mailing lists wikimedia-l and wikimediafr).
> > > > >> You personally and on behalf of WMF encouraged French community
> > > members
> > > > to
> > > > >> challenge chapter leadership citing governance issues, without a
> > word
> > > > >> mentioning the violence suffered by the Board and executive staff
> at
> > > the
> > > > >> hands of some French members during this crisis. Worse, you
> > presented
> > > > the
> > > > >> Board's email condemning the harassment as inaccurate and
> > problematic,
> > > > >> which made the community feel all the more legitimate in their
> > harmful
> > > > >> attacks.
> > > > >> When I reported the abuse in person to WMF employees during the
> site
> > > > visit
> > > > >> you personally empathised with my distress at the time, and
> thanked
> > me
> > > > for
> > > > >> being honest about how your email to the wikimediafr list had made
> > our
> > > > >> already precarious situation untenable. And then you did nothing.
> > > > >> My husband Rémi, who witnessed first hand the effects of the
> > > harassment
> > > > on
> > > > >> my health, called on you to release the site visit report so the
> > > > > misconduct
> > > > >> allegations would stop. You didn't, until 3 days before our
> General
> > > > >> Assembly (where the allegations were repeated), on the same day
> you
> > > > asked
> > > > >> that I stay on as a Board member. Even your choice of words in the
> > > > "Grant
> > > > >> expectations" document is telling: "egregious incivility" is not
> > what
> > > we
> > > > >> are talking about here. We are talking about unacceptable and
> > illegal
> > > > >> defamation and harassment with serious real life consequences.
> > > > >> Rémi also called on the wikimedia-l list to stop the unfounded
> > > > > allegations,
> > > > >> and was attacked in turn because of "his conflict of interest as
> the
> > > > >> husband of a Board member". He also reported the abuse to the WMF
> > > > >> governance committee, to the Suport and Safety team and mentioned
> it
> > > to
> > > > >> Christophe Henner and Katherine Maher on Twitter, to no avail. To
> > this
> > > > day
> > > > >> we haven't received any support or acknowledgement whatsoever. All
> > the
> > > > >> while the sexist abuse continues, and French editor MrButler was
> > > > moderated
> > > > >> on the wikimediafr maling list for his continued personal attacks
> > > > against
> > > > >> me. This is exactly the kind of behaviour the Board's email to the
> > > > members
> > > > >> was calling out, yet you continue to deliberately ignore it and
> > refuse
> > > > to
> > > > >> do anything about it.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Finally, your asking to be informed of any legal action against
> > > chapter
> > > > >> members or staff is yet another example of the WMF taking sides
> > while
> > > > >> posing as a neutral arbitrator. Calling someone out on their toxic
> > > > >> behaviour or actually filing a complaint are no legal threats or
> > > > >> intimidation, but by claiming they are you are trying to silence
> > > victims
> > > > > by
> > > > >> denying them their basic rights to legal protection. At least two
> > > > >> complaints have been filed against community members and more may
> be
> > > > >> coming, including on my behalf. You will not be informed because
> it
> > is
> > > > not
> > > > >> for WMF to decide whether they are justified or frivolous.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> For all these reasons I am deeply shocked and hurt by your payment
> > > > >> conditions and will not abide by the terms of your grant
> > expectations.
> > > > > With
> > > > >> most of WMFr funding hanging in the balance your unilaterally
> > revised
> > > > >> conditions amount to blackmail but I will not stay in harm's way
> at
> > > the
> > > > >> request of the organisation who has failed me in every aspect
> when I
> > > > came
> > > > >> in good faith to work for the community. I will resign when I see
> > fit
> > > to
> > > > >> protect my health, and continue to speak honestly and publicly
> about
> > > > your
> > > > >> actions and empty words of safety and inclusivity.
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Sincerely,
> > > > >> Marie-Alice Mathis, vice chair of WMFr
> > > > >> _______________________________________________
> > > > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > >> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > >> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> > mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> > > ,
> > > > >> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=
> > unsubscribe>
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
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> > > > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
> > mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=
> unsubscribe>
> > > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
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> > > > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/
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> > > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > > wiki/Wikimedia-l
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> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Katherine Maher
> > Executive Director
> >
> > *We moved! **Our new address:*
> >
> > Wikimedia Foundation
> > 1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600
> > San Francisco, CA 94104
> >
> > +1 (415) 839-6885 ext. 6635
> > +1 (415) 712 4873
> > [hidden email]
> > https://annual.wikimedia.org
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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