[Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

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[Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Fæ
Re: http://twkozlowski.net/the-pot-and-the-kettle-the-wikimedia-way/

Two questions:

1. Where can I find a response from either the WMF board or WMF
funding/finance to the criticisms of a lack of transparency or the
apparent failure of the project to deliver value for the donor's money
as raised in this blog post?

2. Where can I read an officially recognized report for the outcomes
of this project in terms of value for Wikimedia projects? Obviously we
do not want to rely on second-hand analysis when reports to the WMF
are a requirement for such projects.

Thanks,
Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

ENWP Pine
That's a very interesting blog post, and at first glance situation looks bad in a number of ways. I'm bothered by the lack of reporting as well as the COI issues involved.

Anasuya, at I don't think the $53,690 number is the right one, but regardless of how much money was involved,  can you look at this issue, figure out what happened from start to finish, and respond to the other questions raised in this discussion? Can you confirm what the amount of money involved was, clarify why Sandole was listed as a WMF Fundraiser contractor which implied that he raised money for WMF instead of being a grantee receiving money from WMF, that the money came entirely from Stanton, how it was accounted for in the financial statements referenced by Tomasz, and what reports were produced that may have been sent back to Stanton or WMF about what the outcomes of the grant were?

I would also be interested in knowing what COI rules were established as conditions of this grant, by Stanton, Harvard, and/or WMF. It would be interesting to get full copies of any contracts or grant award documents although that may be appropriate for review by the Board in private.

I'm also CCing this to Garfield and WMF Legal. It looks like something went very wrong here.

Thanks,

Pine
     
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Jan-Bart de Vreede-3
Hey

So while I do not know the background of this case I am a little concerned by the tone of the email (and similar emails in the past)

Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae’s) seems to imply that they work directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really only need one person to be their manager :)  

In this case: thank you both for pointing out this post and someone within the Foundation will undoubtedly come back with some response in the coming period.

Jan-Bart de Vreede



On 20 Mar 2014, at 07:59, ENWP Pine <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That's a very interesting blog post, and at first glance situation looks bad in a number of ways. I'm bothered by the lack of reporting as well as the COI issues involved.
>
> Anasuya, at I don't think the $53,690 number is the right one, but regardless of how much money was involved,  can you look at this issue, figure out what happened from start to finish, and respond to the other questions raised in this discussion? Can you confirm what the amount of money involved was, clarify why Sandole was listed as a WMF Fundraiser contractor which implied that he raised money for WMF instead of being a grantee receiving money from WMF, that the money came entirely from Stanton, how it was accounted for in the financial statements referenced by Tomasz, and what reports were produced that may have been sent back to Stanton or WMF about what the outcomes of the grant were?
>
> I would also be interested in knowing what COI rules were established as conditions of this grant, by Stanton, Harvard, and/or WMF. It would be interesting to get full copies of any contracts or grant award documents although that may be appropriate for review by the Board in private.
>
> I'm also CCing this to Garfield and WMF Legal. It looks like something went very wrong here.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Pine
>    
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Fæ
On 20 March 2014 17:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae’s) seems to imply that they work directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really only need one person to be their manager :)

Hi Jan-Bart,

Unless you are joking, you have put me in a position of feeling
obliged to defend myself for raising basic questions. My email was
directed to this list as an open request about where I could find
information. For all I knew the information was published but hard for
me to find. It was directed at the Wikimedia Community, not employees
of the WMF. There was no implication otherwise.

Thanks for replying so quickly with your personal commitment on behalf
of the Wikimedia Foundation, that there will be official responses to
the detailed questions in raised here and in the original blog post. I
have no doubt that as further information is published, the community
will have more questions, I hope you will continue to fulfil your
track record for insisting on reasonable transparency and full
accountability.

PS If the board of trustees believes that I should be directing
employees, then this is flattering, though please do consider paying
me for it. I'm always good value. ;-)

Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Lisa Gruwell
I am happy to chime in here.  WMF served as a fiscal sponsor for the
Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center at Harvard University in this
project, which started in 2012 and lasted one year. Stanton, a trusted
supporter of ours for many years, had asked us to do so. This was reported
to the community here. [1]  The Stanton Foundation covered all of the costs
associated with it (approximately $50,000).  While WMF provided advice and
posted the position on the Wikimedia Blog, Belfer made the final hiring
decision, which is customary in fiscal sponsorship arrangements.   Harvard
University is now considering similar positions for other centers.[2] WMF
was not asked to fiscally sponsor for this new project at Harvard.

Best,

Lisa Gruwell


*[1] **https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
<https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/>
*
*[2] **http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
<http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX>*


On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 20 March 2014 17:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the
> Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae's) seems to imply that they work
> directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really only
> need one person to be their manager :)
>
> Hi Jan-Bart,
>
> Unless you are joking, you have put me in a position of feeling
> obliged to defend myself for raising basic questions. My email was
> directed to this list as an open request about where I could find
> information. For all I knew the information was published but hard for
> me to find. It was directed at the Wikimedia Community, not employees
> of the WMF. There was no implication otherwise.
>
> Thanks for replying so quickly with your personal commitment on behalf
> of the Wikimedia Foundation, that there will be official responses to
> the detailed questions in raised here and in the original blog post. I
> have no doubt that as further information is published, the community
> will have more questions, I hope you will continue to fulfil your
> track record for insisting on reasonable transparency and full
> accountability.
>
> PS If the board of trustees believes that I should be directing
> employees, then this is flattering, though please do consider paying
> me for it. I'm always good value. ;-)
>
> Fae
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

ENWP Pine
In reply to this post by Fæ
Hi Jan-Bart,

I'm saying that this looks bad and asking what happened. I directed my email to the people who I think are in the best positions to respond or would want to look at this for themselves.

There is a point at which asking questions becomes trolling or wasting resources but I think the consensus here is that this situation should be investigated.

Please assume good faith (:

Pine
     
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Fæ
In reply to this post by Lisa Gruwell
On 20 March 2014 19:05, Lisa Gruwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I am happy to chime in here.  WMF served as a fiscal sponsor for the
> Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center at Harvard University in this
> project, which started in 2012 and lasted one year. Stanton, a trusted
...

Hi Lisa,

Could you link me to the report of outcomes for the 2012 position, or
if they exist the regular project reports? The blog post mentions
expectations but I have yet to find the reports that explain what was
later delivered for the investment.

I am aware that the WMF required public reporting for all sponsored
projects back in 2012. Having been a Chapter trustee myself that year,
I recall how rigorous the requirements for accountability and
reporting were. :-)

Thanks,
Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Anasuya Sengupta
In reply to this post by Lisa Gruwell
Hi all,

Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process did
not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.

thanks,
Anasuya


On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM, Lisa Gruwell <[hidden email]>wrote:

> I am happy to chime in here.  WMF served as a fiscal sponsor for the
> Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center at Harvard University in this
> project, which started in 2012 and lasted one year. Stanton, a trusted
> supporter of ours for many years, had asked us to do so. This was reported
> to the community here. [1]  The Stanton Foundation covered all of the costs
> associated with it (approximately $50,000).  While WMF provided advice and
> posted the position on the Wikimedia Blog, Belfer made the final hiring
> decision, which is customary in fiscal sponsorship arrangements.   Harvard
> University is now considering similar positions for other centers.[2] WMF
> was not asked to fiscally sponsor for this new project at Harvard.
>
> Best,
>
> Lisa Gruwell
>
>
> *[1] **
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
> <
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
> >
> *
> *[2] **
> http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
> <
> http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
> >*
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On 20 March 2014 17:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the
> > Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae's) seems to imply that they
> work
> > directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really
> only
> > need one person to be their manager :)
> >
> > Hi Jan-Bart,
> >
> > Unless you are joking, you have put me in a position of feeling
> > obliged to defend myself for raising basic questions. My email was
> > directed to this list as an open request about where I could find
> > information. For all I knew the information was published but hard for
> > me to find. It was directed at the Wikimedia Community, not employees
> > of the WMF. There was no implication otherwise.
> >
> > Thanks for replying so quickly with your personal commitment on behalf
> > of the Wikimedia Foundation, that there will be official responses to
> > the detailed questions in raised here and in the original blog post. I
> > have no doubt that as further information is published, the community
> > will have more questions, I hope you will continue to fulfil your
> > track record for insisting on reasonable transparency and full
> > accountability.
> >
> > PS If the board of trustees believes that I should be directing
> > employees, then this is flattering, though please do consider paying
> > me for it. I'm always good value. ;-)
> >
> > Fae
> > --
> > [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--


*Anasuya SenguptaSenior Director of GrantmakingWikimedia Foundation*

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!
Support Wikimedia <https://donate.wikimedia.org/>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Mike Peel
Hi Anasuya and Lisa,

I'm not sure I understand what is meant by fiscal sponsor here. I'd have thought that would mean that the funding to the sponsored organisation is analogous to a grant provided by the WMF, even thought the money is actually provided (directly?) by another organisation. Wouldn't that mean that the same duty of care should be present here as is the case for WMF grants?

Either way, if the WMF (as the largest Wikimedia organisation) choses to do this sort of endorsement of a project, then it should really follow it through to the end and ensure that it has had the best possible impact on the WIkimedia projects, rather than just providing initial support and advertising, and then leaving things dangling in doubt, as seems to have happened here... That really doesn't set a good example for other Wikimedia organisations that might consider doing similar work...

(I'm rather worried about similar project/positions taking place at other Harvard centres without any sort of Wikimedia organisation or community support - that sounds like a recipe for disaster...)

Thanks,
Mike

On 20 Mar 2014, at 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process did
> not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
> fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
> recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.
>
> thanks,
> Anasuya
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM, Lisa Gruwell <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> I am happy to chime in here.  WMF served as a fiscal sponsor for the
>> Stanton Foundation and the Belfer Center at Harvard University in this
>> project, which started in 2012 and lasted one year. Stanton, a trusted
>> supporter of ours for many years, had asked us to do so. This was reported
>> to the community here. [1]  The Stanton Foundation covered all of the costs
>> associated with it (approximately $50,000).  While WMF provided advice and
>> posted the position on the Wikimedia Blog, Belfer made the final hiring
>> decision, which is customary in fiscal sponsorship arrangements.   Harvard
>> University is now considering similar positions for other centers.[2] WMF
>> was not asked to fiscally sponsor for this new project at Harvard.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Lisa Gruwell
>>
>>
>> *[1] **
>> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
>> <
>> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
>>>
>> *
>> *[2] **
>> http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
>> <
>> http://www.latimes.com/nation/shareitnow/la-sh-harvard-job-wikipedian-in-residence-20140313,0,5003509.story#axzz2wWQo2cXX
>>> *
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> On 20 March 2014 17:49, Jan-Bart de Vreede <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Anasuya, Garfield and indeed the entire legal department work for the
>>> Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae's) seems to imply that they
>> work
>>> directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really
>> only
>>> need one person to be their manager :)
>>>
>>> Hi Jan-Bart,
>>>
>>> Unless you are joking, you have put me in a position of feeling
>>> obliged to defend myself for raising basic questions. My email was
>>> directed to this list as an open request about where I could find
>>> information. For all I knew the information was published but hard for
>>> me to find. It was directed at the Wikimedia Community, not employees
>>> of the WMF. There was no implication otherwise.
>>>
>>> Thanks for replying so quickly with your personal commitment on behalf
>>> of the Wikimedia Foundation, that there will be official responses to
>>> the detailed questions in raised here and in the original blog post. I
>>> have no doubt that as further information is published, the community
>>> will have more questions, I hope you will continue to fulfil your
>>> track record for insisting on reasonable transparency and full
>>> accountability.
>>>
>>> PS If the board of trustees believes that I should be directing
>>> employees, then this is flattering, though please do consider paying
>>> me for it. I'm always good value. ;-)
>>>
>>> Fae
>>> --
>>> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
>
> --
>
>
> *Anasuya SenguptaSenior Director of GrantmakingWikimedia Foundation*
>
> Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
> the sum of all knowledge.  Help us make it a reality!
> Support Wikimedia <https://donate.wikimedia.org/>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Fæ
In reply to this post by Anasuya Sengupta
On 20 March 2014 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process did
> not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
> fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
> recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.

I am sure you are technically correct, however the blog post that Lisa
linked to[1] appears to directly contradict your statement. In
particular it informed the community that:
"... the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce ... We’re seeking
an experienced Wikipedia editor for a one year,"
There is no qualification of any sort, so the blog post has been
written so that the WMF is directly claiming to be running or
responsible for the recruitment.

Further, Stephen Walling states in a comment that:
".... when we say we’re looking for a Wikipedian, that means we are
looking for someone experienced as a volunteer editor of the free
encyclopedia."
This statement can only be read as the WMF running the recruitment,
there can be no other interpretation of "we" when this is on the WMF
blog and written by a WMF employee.

The post does state that "This position is funded by a generous grant
from the Stanton Foundation This philanthropic institution has
supported ... the Wikimedia Foundation in the past.." However there is
no implication that the Stanton Foundation were doing anything other
than providing a grant to the WMF and that the WMF were responsible
for .

There is no doubt that the WMF provided its name against this post and
officially promoted and endorsed it, putting the reputation of the WMF
firmly against this project. I hope that someone can provide a report
of the beneficial outcomes of this project for Wikimedia and open
knowledge showing exactly what was purchased for this generous grant
that was claimed to be provided to the WMF or for the benefit of WMF
projects.

Links:
1. https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/

Fae
--
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by ENWP Pine
On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:59 PM, ENWP Pine <[hidden email]> wrote:
> clarify why Sandole was listed as a WMF Fundraiser contractor

Presumably because the fiscal sponsorship was handled through
fundraising, and HR simply tallies the contracts per department and
didn't have the backstory. I've corrected the report, pointing out the
error in the earlier version.

https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Foundation_Report,_August_2012&diff=7907453&oldid=5390952

Erik

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

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Liam Wyatt
In reply to this post by Fæ
Myself and several other community members who are heavily involved in the
development of 'Wikipedian in Residence' and GLAM-WIKI became aware of this
project in early 2012, just before the job description was published. I
will let them speak for themselves if they wish to weigh-in. But the TL;DR
version is "we told them so".

We tried, oh how we tried, to tell the relevant WMF staff that this was a
terribly designed project, but the best we got in response was that we
could help edit the job description *after* it had already been published!
Some WMF staff 'got it' and tried to help but the process (Thank you to
those staff) was apparently already in motion and had too much momentum to
change. We did get to dilute the worst of the original job description so
it wasn't so blatant a paid editing role but our suggestions that the
position be 'paused' until the community could help was rejected because of
a deadline that had been set by Stanton/Harvard apparently.
Other concerns about reporting outcomes and where the money came from/to
have already been raised. The odd financial and organisational relationship
of Stanton-Harvard-WMF is just one of them.

The original job description (here
https://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/Job.aspx?j=o52lWfw8&c=qSa9VfwQ) is on the
WMF's page and says that "Wikipedia, in cooperation with the Belfer Center...
is seeking applicants for a Campus Wikipedian...." with the first task of
the position being "Researching relevant topics and improving the
articles".Stanton is not mentioned anywhere as the actual funding
organisation (are
we ok with that?), and since when does "Wikipedia" hire people?

Some of the issues that we were arguing about at the time included why,
when the GLAM-focused Wikimedians have tried to ensure that WiR roles are
about facilitating a relationship between the community and an
organisation's academics/researchers/curators/etc, does this position focus
on editing articles directly, for money. Even if that wasn't the actual
primary purpose it certainly LOOKED that way according to the job
description and you'd think that of ALL groups in the community the WMF
would see the 'red flag' of posting a job on its OWN contractors page
asking for a paid editor. Furthermore, the WMF have in the past frequently
refused to directly support WiR roles on the basis that this kind of direct
outreach was not its role but more a role of the Chapters (this is before
the current 'affiliation' system and before the 'Individual engagement
grants' etc. and in that situation their position was fair enough). And
yet, this position was a direct contradiction - the WMF ITSELF advertising
for a WiR and administering the payment of the person. At the very least
that made it feel like a double standard for the rest of us.
There was no transparency with the people in the community that could have
helped facilitate the successful 'birth' of the project - what should have
been a great recognition of our projects' value - but instead felt like a
betrayal of our hard-earned trust with the cultural/education sectors.

The WMF dug themselves into this hole despite the frantic attempts, which
were largely rebuffed, of several of the GLAM-WIKI community help them fix
it - or at least reduce the number of problems. Now, it's up to the WMF to
dig themselves out again. Ironic given the current attention being given by
the WMF to paid editing...

-Liam/Wittylama

On 21 March 2014 09:23, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 20 March 2014 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process
> did
> > not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
> > fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
> > recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.
>
> I am sure you are technically correct, however the blog post that Lisa
> linked to[1] appears to directly contradict your statement. In
> particular it informed the community that:
> "... the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce ... We're seeking
> an experienced Wikipedia editor for a one year,"
> There is no qualification of any sort, so the blog post has been
> written so that the WMF is directly claiming to be running or
> responsible for the recruitment.
>
> Further, Stephen Walling states in a comment that:
> ".... when we say we're looking for a Wikipedian, that means we are
> looking for someone experienced as a volunteer editor of the free
> encyclopedia."
> This statement can only be read as the WMF running the recruitment,
> there can be no other interpretation of "we" when this is on the WMF
> blog and written by a WMF employee.
>
> The post does state that "This position is funded by a generous grant
> from the Stanton Foundation This philanthropic institution has
> supported ... the Wikimedia Foundation in the past.." However there is
> no implication that the Stanton Foundation were doing anything other
> than providing a grant to the WMF and that the WMF were responsible
> for .
>
> There is no doubt that the WMF provided its name against this post and
> officially promoted and endorsed it, putting the reputation of the WMF
> firmly against this project. I hope that someone can provide a report
> of the beneficial outcomes of this project for Wikimedia and open
> knowledge showing exactly what was purchased for this generous grant
> that was claimed to be provided to the WMF or for the benefit of WMF
> projects.
>
> Links:
> 1.
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
>
> Fae
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Fæ
In reply to this post by Lisa Gruwell
On 20 March 2014 19:05, Lisa Gruwell <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
> ...  The Stanton Foundation covered all of the costs
> associated with it (approximately $50,000).  While WMF provided advice and
> posted the position on the Wikimedia Blog, Belfer made the final hiring
> decision, which is customary in fiscal sponsorship arrangements.
...

Hi Lisa,

I have been re-reading your statement and I feel there is some
ambiguity over how this is being explained here versus how it might
have been declared to others by the Stanton Foundation.

To be clear, could you please confirm that the WMF has officially stated that:

A. No grant or other money was ever taken or managed by the WMF for
Sandole's project/job.
B. The Stanton Foundation has never declared this as a grant for the
WMF or for WMF projects.
C. The WMF did not authorize or otherwise approve Sandole's project or
appointment and has never employed Sandole.
D. The WMF Fundraising department managed Sandole's contract[1]
E. The WMF has neither paid tax nor claimed tax relief as a result of
Sandole's project/job.
F. No financial benefit has been gained by any organization due to the
WMF claiming to be a "fiscal sponsor" of Sandole's appointment as no
money has changed hands.

I am aware that the statements may be contradictory, where this is the
case is would be great if the position could be unambiguously
clarified and the Wikimedia community could be pointed to what WMF
legal consider official and final public reports, noting that what
should be an official past report linked below has changed during this
discussion.

Links:
1. https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Foundation_Report,_August_2012&diff=7907453&oldid=5390952

Fae
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Pete Forsyth-2
In reply to this post by Liam Wyatt
I'd like to confirm that I am one of the community members Liam
considerately declined to name; I agree with Liam's account of what
happened; and I agree with Fae's proposed solution (a detailed, public
report from the WMF, the Belfer Center, and/or the Stanton Foundation). The
report should explicitly address the structural and ethical issues raised
on this list and on Odder's blog post.

I do have a bit more to say about this, but will leave it at that for now.
I'll probably post on my blog in the next 24 hours.

Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]


On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Myself and several other community members who are heavily involved in the
> development of 'Wikipedian in Residence' and GLAM-WIKI became aware of this
> project in early 2012, just before the job description was published. I
> will let them speak for themselves if they wish to weigh-in. But the TL;DR
> version is "we told them so".
>
> We tried, oh how we tried, to tell the relevant WMF staff that this was a
> terribly designed project, but the best we got in response was that we
> could help edit the job description *after* it had already been published!
> Some WMF staff 'got it' and tried to help but the process (Thank you to
> those staff) was apparently already in motion and had too much momentum to
> change. We did get to dilute the worst of the original job description so
> it wasn't so blatant a paid editing role but our suggestions that the
> position be 'paused' until the community could help was rejected because of
> a deadline that had been set by Stanton/Harvard apparently.
> Other concerns about reporting outcomes and where the money came from/to
> have already been raised. The odd financial and organisational relationship
> of Stanton-Harvard-WMF is just one of them.
>
> The original job description (here
> https://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/Job.aspx?j=o52lWfw8&c=qSa9VfwQ) is on
> the WMF's page and says that "Wikipedia, in cooperation with the Belfer
> Center... is seeking applicants for a Campus Wikipedian...." with the
> first task of the position being "Researching relevant topics and
> improving the articles". Stanton is not mentioned anywhere as the actual
> funding organisation (are we ok with that?), and since when does
> "Wikipedia" hire people?
>
> Some of the issues that we were arguing about at the time included why,
> when the GLAM-focused Wikimedians have tried to ensure that WiR roles are
> about facilitating a relationship between the community and an
> organisation's academics/researchers/curators/etc, does this position focus
> on editing articles directly, for money. Even if that wasn't the actual
> primary purpose it certainly LOOKED that way according to the job
> description and you'd think that of ALL groups in the community the WMF
> would see the 'red flag' of posting a job on its OWN contractors page
> asking for a paid editor. Furthermore, the WMF have in the past frequently
> refused to directly support WiR roles on the basis that this kind of direct
> outreach was not its role but more a role of the Chapters (this is before
> the current 'affiliation' system and before the 'Individual engagement
> grants' etc. and in that situation their position was fair enough). And
> yet, this position was a direct contradiction - the WMF ITSELF advertising
> for a WiR and administering the payment of the person. At the very least
> that made it feel like a double standard for the rest of us.
> There was no transparency with the people in the community that could have
> helped facilitate the successful 'birth' of the project - what should have
> been a great recognition of our projects' value - but instead felt like a
> betrayal of our hard-earned trust with the cultural/education sectors.
>
> The WMF dug themselves into this hole despite the frantic attempts, which
> were largely rebuffed, of several of the GLAM-WIKI community help them fix
> it - or at least reduce the number of problems. Now, it's up to the WMF to
> dig themselves out again. Ironic given the current attention being given by
> the WMF to paid editing...
>
> -Liam/Wittylama
>
> On 21 March 2014 09:23, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On 20 March 2014 21:51, Anasuya Sengupta <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > Just to be clear and follow up on Lisa's mail: this project and process
>> did
>> > not involve grants from WMF, and WMF's role (as Lisa explained) was as a
>> > fiscal sponsor, and thereby to provide initial advice as they began
>> > recruiting and to inform the community as they did so.
>>
>> I am sure you are technically correct, however the blog post that Lisa
>> linked to[1] appears to directly contradict your statement. In
>> particular it informed the community that:
>> "... the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to announce ... We're seeking
>> an experienced Wikipedia editor for a one year,"
>> There is no qualification of any sort, so the blog post has been
>> written so that the WMF is directly claiming to be running or
>> responsible for the recruitment.
>>
>> Further, Stephen Walling states in a comment that:
>> ".... when we say we're looking for a Wikipedian, that means we are
>> looking for someone experienced as a volunteer editor of the free
>> encyclopedia."
>> This statement can only be read as the WMF running the recruitment,
>> there can be no other interpretation of "we" when this is on the WMF
>> blog and written by a WMF employee.
>>
>> The post does state that "This position is funded by a generous grant
>> from the Stanton Foundation This philanthropic institution has
>> supported ... the Wikimedia Foundation in the past.." However there is
>> no implication that the Stanton Foundation were doing anything other
>> than providing a grant to the WMF and that the WMF were responsible
>> for .
>>
>> There is no doubt that the WMF provided its name against this post and
>> officially promoted and endorsed it, putting the reputation of the WMF
>> firmly against this project. I hope that someone can provide a report
>> of the beneficial outcomes of this project for Wikimedia and open
>> knowledge showing exactly what was purchased for this generous grant
>> that was claimed to be provided to the WMF or for the benefit of WMF
>> projects.
>>
>> Links:
>> 1.
>> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/26/can-you-help-wikipedians-collaborate-with-harvard-university/
>>
>> Fae
>> --
>> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Liam Wyatt
On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 4:59 PM, Liam Wyatt <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The original job description (here
> https://hire.jobvite.com/Jobvite/Job.aspx?j=o52lWfw8&c=qSa9VfwQ) is on the
> WMF's page and says that "Wikipedia, in cooperation with the Belfer Center...
> is seeking applicants for a Campus Wikipedian...." with the first task of
> the position being "Researching relevant topics and improving the
> articles".Stanton is not mentioned anywhere as the actual funding
> organisation (are
> we ok with that?), and since when does "Wikipedia" hire people?

Disclaimer - I had no involvement in the project and am unaware of the
details. As far as I can tell, this was a pretty opportunistic one-off
agreement primarily supporting a funder's desire to boost the
Wikipedians in Residence model. The frustration by Liam and Pete
expressed in this thread does suggest that we erred on the side of
moving too quickly - I respect their engagement in the field highly
and appreciate all the efforts they've made to help develop clear
models and practices for this type of work.

I'll note that Timothy Sandole disclosed his affiliation with Harvard
on his user page, and stated that he was "tasked to author, edit and
improve Wikipedia articles". Given that any substantial influence on
what he did clearly came from Harvard rather than WMF, I think from an
ethical standpoint, that's the most important part. However, I agree
that if we ever engage in such projects again, we should aim for the
highest standard of disclosure, including any pass-through agreements.
That's especially true in light of the disclosure requirements
currently under discussion.

I'd love to see more visibility into the project's outcomes as well.
We ask people to write detailed reports even as part of travel grants
[1], so if there's no public report of any kind, that's a bit
disheartening. This project was not funded through the individual
donations of the general public but rather through a third party
foundation that had an interest in seeing this happen, so from an
ethical perspective, it's reasonable that the standards of
accountability differ -- but if we have the ability to obtain any kind
of public report after the fact, I think as a matter of good practice,
it would be a good thing to do so.

I saw SJ already left a question on Timothy's talk page. I also just
pinged him via the email feature in case he has time to comment here a
bit more about the nature of his work. Without such visibility, it's
hard to see how much Timothy's work deviated from the
community-developed WiR guidelines [2], which don't say that WiRs
shouldn't edit, but which emphasize the issue of conflicts-of-interest
and the idea that a WiR shouldn't be an in-house editor.

Erik

[1] e.g. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:TPS/Daniel_Mietchen/58th_Annual_Meeting_of_the_Biophysical_Society/Report
[2] https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Fæ
On 21 March 2014 00:56, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
> This project was not funded through the individual
> donations of the general public but rather through a third party
> foundation that had an interest in seeing this happen, so from an
> ethical perspective, it's reasonable that the standards of
> accountability differ
...

There may be a massive cultural gap between Europe and North America,
but no, no, no.

The WMF officially endorsed this project in the same year that the WMF
was stomping down with its hobnail boots on Wikimedia UK so hard on
matters of ethics and accountability, that it threatened to destroy
the organization (literally, based on my personal experience). Just
because a well known second party organization is providing funds for
the project does not obviate the WMF from ensuring that programmes
that it officially endorses meet precisely the same ethical standards
that it enforces so firmly on all other Wikimedia organizations.

Eric, in this thread you are officially speaking for the WMF. Does the
WMF really want to say it is "ethical" to have different
accountability rules for funding organizations that want to use the
Wikimedia brand because there are different rules for the rich? On
that basis, WMUK should be free to do a deal to offer the Wikimedia
brand to officially endorse (or be a "fiscal sponsor") for a
Conservative Party or Catholic Church programme of paid editing
directed to "fix" Wikipedia to match their world view, and the WMF
would have nothing to criticise as the Chapter could wash its hands as
it did not directly handle the payments.

The Wikimedia brand value was not spontaneously created by the
Foundation, but by unpaid volunteers like me that create the content
of our projects. If the WMF wants to retain the hearts and minds of
the community of volunteers, it cannot afford to have fluid ethics
that conveniently shift to cover up any embarrassingly bad decisions
it makes.

Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Federico Leva (Nemo)
In reply to this post by Jan-Bart de Vreede-3
Jan-Bart de Vreede, 20/03/2014 18:49:
> work for the Wikimedia Foundation. Your email (and Fae’s) seems to imply that they work directly for you, which is of course not the case (because they really only need one person to be their manager

Nice one, can be reused with profit. Next time someone (e.g. WMF) asks a
question to a volunteer editor, board member or anything I'll suggest to
reply "I'm a volunteer so I don't work directly for you and I have only
one manager, that is myself".

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Erik Moeller-4
In reply to this post by Fæ
On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 11:55 PM, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Eric, in this thread you are officially speaking for the WMF. Does the
> WMF really want to say it is "ethical" to have different
> accountability rules for funding organizations that want to use the
> Wikimedia brand because there are different rules for the rich?

No, that's not the point. The point is that a grant given to us goes
through a different process than, say, a grant from us to WMFR, and
that necessarily leads to different practices -- the grant-giver has
their own expectations on how to do accounting, reporting, etc.

The project was publicly announced through a blog post, the
responsibilities for the Wikipedian in Residence were publicly posted,
and the user in question publicly disclosed their affiliation (that
disclosure didn't, but should have, included more details including
the WMF sponsorship). The edits are, as any, a matter of public record
and easily scrutinized, criticized, and corrected or reverted if
needed, to fully expose Harvard's evil agenda and the secret workings
of the reptilian order which most WMF senior staff are part of.

Timothy noted [1]  hat there's a report which he compiled as part of
his residency. I've reached out to Lisa, and we're looking into
publishing the report at the earliest opportunity. Hopefully this will
make it possible to collectively draw some more conclusions about the
project. I've added [2] the residency to the public directory and also
created a holding space for capturing observations and conclusions.
[3] Contributions welcome, and I hope we can avoid personalizing
things as I'm sure Timothy worked in good faith and did his best to
meet the expectations of the project. :)

Cheers,
Erik

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Timothysandole&diff=600543335&oldid=600410517
[2] https://outreach.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedian_in_Residence&diff=65415&oldid=65414
[3] https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Russavia
On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:

> [3] Contributions welcome, and I hope we can avoid personalizing
> things as I'm sure Timothy worked in good faith and did his best to
> meet the expectations of the project. :)

On this I do agree, that Sandole was used as a tool by Stanton/Belfer,
and was not given any support by the WMF (his employer) should not be
held against him in any way shape or form.

It's not his fault that the WMF is a mickey mouse organisation.

Russavia

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Timothy Sandole and (apparently) $53, 690 of WMF funding

Fæ
In reply to this post by Erik Moeller-4
On 21 March 2014 07:37, Erik Moeller <[hidden email]> wrote:
...
> needed, to fully expose Harvard's evil agenda and the secret workings
> of the reptilian order which most WMF senior staff are part of.
...

Erik, you are a senior manager within the WMF. If you cannot resist
offensive schoolboy sarcasm in your responses in a thread about what
now seems to be an admitted serious failure of governance within the
WMF, then you are doing a disservice for the WMF and the Wikimedia
movement. I do not think Russavia's use of "mickey mouse" in his email
is helpful either, but it almost seems fitting if you are making
official statement for the Foundation with these "jokes".

I am pleased to read that Lisa is now working on an official
investigation. I hope this report will be published for the benefit of
the Wikimedia community within days rather than weeks and will be
written in a detailed and frank way, that reflects how seriously the
majority of the Wikimedia Community, especially those of us working
hard with Chapters and GLAM partners, see this breach of our trust in
you.

Fae
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