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

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

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

ENWP Pine
I agree with the general idea of some of the questions being raised a few emails above this, but can we please keep the Sandole discussion to a single thread if possible?

I'll restate the issue by Russavia in a different way, and I would like to direct this question to WMF instead of the chapters.

Will the Foundation prohibit chapters and other thematic organizations from the "creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
regardless of who is initiating or managing the process" as a condition of receiving WMF funding and using the WMF trademarks?

I think carefully managed article writing can be done successfully by chapters and other organizations, for example if a Wikimedia DC wanted to sponsor a Wikipedian in Residence at the National Institutes of Health to improve articles about cancer. The responsibility for training and supervision could rest with the chapter and the host organization, and the edits could be tagged for community review.

Pete posted some good ideas for WiRs in general in the Signpost last week: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-04-23/Op-ed.

The situation with Belfer had a lot of problems, but I don't think it should completely stop us from having Wikimedia-sponsored WiRs add content. That would be a bridge too far.

Regards,

Pine
     
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

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

Pete Forsyth-2
Pine, I think you raise some important questions below. Obviously there has
been a lot going on in the last week, so I'd like to give this a "bump" and
add a couple points:

On Thu, May 1, 2014 at 12:17 AM, ENWP Pine <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Will the Foundation prohibit chapters and other thematic organizations
> from the "creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core
> focus, regardless of who is initiating or managing the process" as a
> condition of receiving WMF funding and using the WMF trademarks?
>

I am not up to date on how often the WMF funds pass-through projects that
include Wikipedian-in-Residence-like roles. But to whatever extent it does,
I absolutely agree with Pine -- applying a litmus test of whether article
writing is a core focus would be an inappropriate oversimplification of a
complex subject. There are certainly cases where roles that are centrally
focused on article writing could strongly advance to the Wikimedia mission.
(In case anybody is surprised to hear me say this -- the concerns I voiced
about the paid editing aspect of the Belfer Center project were very much
based in the specifics of that case.)

I think carefully managed article writing can be done successfully by
> chapters and other organizations, for example if a Wikimedia DC wanted to
> sponsor a Wikipedian in Residence at the National Institutes of Health to
> improve articles about cancer. The responsibility for training and
> supervision could rest with the chapter and the host organization, and the
> edits could be tagged for community review.
>
Excellent example. There are of course ways such a project could be
designed that would be problematic -- for instance, insufficient
disclosure, or a bullish attitude in adding controversial points -- but
under the guidance of Wikimedia DC, whose board and staff include many
longtime Wikipedians, I would have a high degree of confidence they would
avoid such problems.

>
> Pete posted some good ideas for WiRs in general in the Signpost last week:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2014-04-23/Op-ed
> .
>
Thank you, glad you liked that :)

>
> The situation with Belfer had a lot of problems, but I don't think it
> should completely stop us from having Wikimedia-sponsored WiRs add content.
> That would be a bridge too far.
>
Agreed.

I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently said:

"Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the community." [1]

That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no special
rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems there
is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
endorsement from the WMF:

"In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse the
creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
regardless of who is initiating or managing the process." [2]

Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within the
rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful consideration,
as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.

Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian in
Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and I
believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation to an
absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe should be
taken lightly.

Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

[1] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2014-April/071161.html

[2] https://outreach.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikipedian_in_Residence/Harvard_University_assessment#Decisions_made

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

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

Nathan Awrich
On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
> outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
> thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently said:
>
> "Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
> best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the community."
> [1]
>
> That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no special
> rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
> community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems there
> is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
> endorsement from the WMF:
>
> "In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse the
> creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
> regardless of who is initiating or managing the process." [2]
>
> Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within the
> rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
> other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful consideration,
> as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.
>
> Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
> based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian in
> Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and I
> believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
> policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation to an
> absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe should be
> taken lightly.


Hi Pete,

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, and I hope you can clarify for me so that
I can follow your position. I don't see the contradiction at all between
the two policy-related statements. In the first case, the WMF says that the
editorial policies that apply to its employees are promulgated by specific
projects and their communities, not the WMF. In the second, it says
effectively that the WMF will not sponsor paid editing. The presumption in
the first instance is that the WMF already does not pay its employees to
edit, so Sue was not referring to "paid editing" at all.  Russavia's
question was about editing with a conflict of interest, not payment.

I'm not seeing any conflict between those two statements, and the WMF does
not appear to me to be applying different standards to others than to
itself. In fact, the only time paid editing by an employee has come up as
an issue, the employee was quickly dismissed. Perhaps you can explain?
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

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

Pete Forsyth-2
On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
> > outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
> > thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently said:
> >
> > "Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
> > best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the community."
> > [1]
> >
> > That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no
> special
> > rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
> > community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems there
> > is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
> > endorsement from the WMF:
> >
> > "In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse the
> > creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
> > regardless of who is initiating or managing the process." [2]
> >
> > Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within the
> > rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
> > other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful
> consideration,
> > as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.
> >
> > Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
> > based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian in
> > Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and I
> > believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
> > policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation to
> an
> > absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe should
> be
> > taken lightly.
>
>
> Hi Pete,
>
> Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, and I hope you can clarify for me so that
> I can follow your position. I don't see the contradiction at all between
> the two policy-related statements. In the first case, the WMF says that the
> editorial policies that apply to its employees are promulgated by specific
> projects and their communities, not the WMF. In the second, it says
> effectively that the WMF will not sponsor paid editing. The presumption in
> the first instance is that the WMF already does not pay its employees to
> edit, so Sue was not referring to "paid editing" at all.  Russavia's
> question was about editing with a conflict of interest, not payment.
>
> I'm not seeing any conflict between those two statements, and the WMF does
> not appear to me to be applying different standards to others than to
> itself. In fact, the only time paid editing by an employee has come up as
> an issue, the employee was quickly dismissed. Perhaps you can explain?
> _______________________________________________
>
>
Nathan:

Again, I don't say it's a contradiction, it's not. But I do think it's an
important contrast, and yes, I'll try to clarify why.

Does the Wikimedia Foundation create additional policies, related to
editing Wikipedia, over and above those established by the Wikipedia
community and documented on Wikipedia?

For its staff, according to the email I quoted above, the answer is "no."
(You're right, there is one case that might suggest otherwise, relating to
paid editing -- but we don't, and shouldn't, have public access to all the
specifics of that case, so it's a tricky one to draw conclusions from,
especially in a public forum.) But, there are countless ways in which
Wikimedia Foundation staff edit Wikipedia and other projects as a part of
their compensated work (and also, in their free time). There is apparently
no policy from the WMF governing that behavior beyond general trust in its
staff to abide by community-set rules.

For other organizations, though, that might seek Wikimedia funds and/or
endorsement, the answer is apparently "yes" (according to the Belfer Center
report.)

I think that's a contrast that merits some consideration. I think Pine's
example is a good one to consider: if a movement-affiliated organization
wants to guide another organization in adding content to Wikipedia, and
there is payment involved, the WMF apparently won't support that.

Is that really a good rule to have? I don't think so. Many organizations
have added material directly to Wikipedia, in some cases with the guidance
of a Wikipedian in Residence, with unequivocally positive impact to the
Wikimedia mission, and with much support from the Wikipedia community. I
don't think it's a great idea for the WMF to distance itself from such
projects on the basis of paid editing.

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

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

Srikanth Ramakrishnan-3
Pine, I have another question to add to the initial question:
Will the Foundation prohibit chapters and other thematic organizations from
the "creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
regardless of who is initiating or managing the process" as a condition of
receiving WMF funding and using the WMF trademarks?

"Will the WMF itself ensure that foundation money will not be used to
generate content on a long term basis?"

I think this is more of an appropriate question?

I have used long term because stuff like Contests/Challenges [there is one
on right now]  can be considered short term, you know, just to keep editors
interests up.



On Wed, May 7, 2014 at 6:24 AM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 5:34 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, May 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > I want to point out something that stands out to me. This is not an
> > > outright contradiction, but it's a puzzling contrast. In an unrelated
> > > thread on this email list, Executive Director Sue Gardner recently
> said:
> > >
> > > "Editorial policies [for WMF staff] are developed, and therefore also
> > > best-understood and best-enforced, not by the WMF but by the
> community."
> > > [1]
> > >
> > > That is the WMF policy as it applies to WMF staff: essentially, no
> > special
> > > rules, use your own judgment in interpreting how to best comply with
> > > community standards. But here, in the report Sue authored, it seems
> there
> > > is a very different standard for movement partners who seek funding or
> > > endorsement from the WMF:
> > >
> > > "In the future, the Wikimedia Foundation will not support or endorse
> the
> > > creation of paid roles that have article writing as a core focus,
> > > regardless of who is initiating or managing the process." [2]
> > >
> > > Again: this is not a direct contradiction, and it is entirely within
> the
> > > rights of the WMF to apply different standards to its own staff vs. to
> > > other organizations. But I do think it deserves some careful
> > consideration,
> > > as to *why* such different standards would be appropriate.
> > >
> > > Decision point #1 in the Belfer Center report is not something that is
> > > based in any Wikipedia policy. It does have a basis in the Wikipedian
> in
> > > Residence page on the Outreach Wiki.[3] That is an important page, and
> I
> > > believe many in the movement consider it to have the weight of a formal
> > > policy; but I don't. Elevating it from a best practice recommendation
> to
> > an
> > > absolute rule is a significant step, and one that I don't believe
> should
> > be
> > > taken lightly.
> >
> >
> > Hi Pete,
> >
> > Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, and I hope you can clarify for me so
> that
> > I can follow your position. I don't see the contradiction at all between
> > the two policy-related statements. In the first case, the WMF says that
> the
> > editorial policies that apply to its employees are promulgated by
> specific
> > projects and their communities, not the WMF. In the second, it says
> > effectively that the WMF will not sponsor paid editing. The presumption
> in
> > the first instance is that the WMF already does not pay its employees to
> > edit, so Sue was not referring to "paid editing" at all.  Russavia's
> > question was about editing with a conflict of interest, not payment.
> >
> > I'm not seeing any conflict between those two statements, and the WMF
> does
> > not appear to me to be applying different standards to others than to
> > itself. In fact, the only time paid editing by an employee has come up as
> > an issue, the employee was quickly dismissed. Perhaps you can explain?
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> >
> Nathan:
>
> Again, I don't say it's a contradiction, it's not. But I do think it's an
> important contrast, and yes, I'll try to clarify why.
>
> Does the Wikimedia Foundation create additional policies, related to
> editing Wikipedia, over and above those established by the Wikipedia
> community and documented on Wikipedia?
>
> For its staff, according to the email I quoted above, the answer is "no."
> (You're right, there is one case that might suggest otherwise, relating to
> paid editing -- but we don't, and shouldn't, have public access to all the
> specifics of that case, so it's a tricky one to draw conclusions from,
> especially in a public forum.) But, there are countless ways in which
> Wikimedia Foundation staff edit Wikipedia and other projects as a part of
> their compensated work (and also, in their free time). There is apparently
> no policy from the WMF governing that behavior beyond general trust in its
> staff to abide by community-set rules.
>
> For other organizations, though, that might seek Wikimedia funds and/or
> endorsement, the answer is apparently "yes" (according to the Belfer Center
> report.)
>
> I think that's a contrast that merits some consideration. I think Pine's
> example is a good one to consider: if a movement-affiliated organization
> wants to guide another organization in adding content to Wikipedia, and
> there is payment involved, the WMF apparently won't support that.
>
> Is that really a good rule to have? I don't think so. Many organizations
> have added material directly to Wikipedia, in some cases with the guidance
> of a Wikipedian in Residence, with unequivocally positive impact to the
> Wikimedia mission, and with much support from the Wikipedia community. I
> don't think it's a great idea for the WMF to distance itself from such
> projects on the basis of paid editing.
>
> Pete
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Srikanth Ramakrishnan
Treasurer,
Wikimedia Chapter [India]

Donate to the Wikimedia India Chapter today<http://wiki.wikimedia.in/Donations>
_______________________________________________
Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
[hidden email]
Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>