[Wikimedia-l] WMF Global Bans

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[Wikimedia-l] WMF Global Bans

Craig Franklin
This is a good point Pete.  I only know the full circumstances of a couple
of the global bans, but in each case it is based on non-public information
that we would not want going public.  Just because each discussion is not
subject to a yes/no decision on Meta, does not mean there is no community
involvement.  Generally though, I want to see more leadership from the
Foundation in working against antisocial users, not less.

I'd additionally add that the circumstances around some of these bans it
may be the case that the Foundation would be criminally negligent in *not*
stepping in and taking action.  In this case running extensive community
consultation where there can only be one result would be a waste of time,
both for the Foundation and also for the community.

The only suggestion for improvement I'd have is that in a situation like we
have currently where Maggie is sitting in two roles that both should play a
separate oversight role in this process, an extra set of eyes is
temporarily empowered to review and approve.  Not that I don't have
complete faith in James, Maggie and Michelle to make a fair and competent
decision, but if it normally requires four separate approvals, transient
staffing issues shouldn't be knocking the requirement down to three (or
two, or one).

Cheers,
Craig



On 18 February 2017 at 06:56, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I want to chime in briefly, since I have direct personal experience in
> WMF0-initiated bans.
>
> Not long ago, Support & Safety took an action to exclude somebody for whom
> I, as a volunteer, felt some responsibility. Initially, I felt that there
> was inadequate communication with me, and as a result the action put me in
> a difficult position. I brought the issue to James Alexander's attention.
> He took the time to discuss the issue in some depth; he acknowledged that
> it should have been handled better by WMF, and assured me that the
> experience would inform future efforts. If we're going to be using letter
> grades, I would James and his colleagues an "A" on the debrief, and I am
> confident that he and his colleagues have done/will do better after the
> fact.
>
> There are good reasons for some bans to be handled by volunteers, and good
> reasons for some bans to be handled entirely by professionals. There are
> also some incidents that clearly fall into a grey area where cooperation is
> needed, and it's important that such incidents be handled with a
> sensitivity to their unique qualities, which requires trust in the various
> people involved to judge how much public communication is appropriate.
>
> Final point -- all of this is now very much a departure from the subject
> line and the original topic, which were about permissions *for WMF staff*.
> If discussion on bans continues, I'd suggest introducing a new subject line.
>
> -Pete
>
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
>
>
> On 02/17/2017 11:49 AM, Adrian Raddatz wrote:
>
>> I'm not convinced of the problem. The WMF global bans are designed to step
>> in where community processes would not be appropriate. From their page on
>> Meta: "global bans are carried out ... to address multi-project
>> misconduct,
>> to help ensure the trust and safety of the users of all Wikimedia sites,
>> or
>> to assist in preventing prohibited behavior". The last two reasons should
>> not be dealt with by the community; our volunteers do not have the
>> resources, qualifications, or liability required to deal with them. But
>> perhaps "multi-project misconduct" could be handled by the WMF
>> differently.
>> Instead of imposing a WMF ban, they could build a case for a community
>> ban,
>> and follow that process instead. As I said though, I'm not convinced that
>> there is a problem with how things are done currently. Some things
>> shouldn't be handled by community governance.
>>
>> Adrian Raddatz
>>
>> On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 11:40 AM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> How would you suggest modifying the process so that it is compatible with
>>> community governance? Note that while I'm dissatisfied with the system
>>> that
>>> is in place now, I doubt that there will be a perfect solution that is
>>> free
>>> from all possible criticism and drama. I would give the current system a
>>> grade of "C-" for transparency and a grade of "F" for its compatibility
>>> with community governance. I don't expect ether grade to get to an "A",
>>> but
>>> I would be satisfied with "B" for transparency and "B+" for community
>>> governance.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Pine
>>>
>>>
>>> On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 11:21 AM, Adrian Raddatz <[hidden email]>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Wikimedia isn't a country, the global ban policy isn't a law. Any such
>>>> metaphors are honestly a bit ridiculous. The WMF bans are, for the most
>>>> part, sensitive. And that means that they all need to be, because if you
>>>> have a list of reasons that you can disclose, then any bans without
>>>>
>>> comment
>>>
>>>> are going to be on a very short list of quite serious reasons. Plus, the
>>>> ones without a reason would still have the "wikipediocracy-lite" crowd
>>>>
>>> that
>>>
>>>> seems to dominate this list in a fuss.
>>>>
>>>> It's also worth noting that the WMF provides some basic details of
>>>> global
>>>> bans to certain trusted community groups. The issue isn't with
>>>>
>>> disclosure,
>>>
>>>> it's with mass disclosure.
>>>>
>>>> On Feb 17, 2017 11:09 AM, "Pine W" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> I am glad to hear that WMF global bans are processed through multiple
>>>>> people. Still, I am deeply uncomfortable with the lack of community
>>>>> involvement in this process as well as the lack of transparency. In the
>>>>>
>>>> US
>>>>
>>>>> we don't trust professional law enforcement agencies to make decisions
>>>>> about who should go to jail without giving the accused the right to a
>>>>>
>>>> trial
>>>>
>>>>> by a jury of their peers. Unless we have lost faith in peer governance
>>>>> (which would be a radical break with open source philosophy) I think it
>>>>>
>>>> is
>>>>
>>>>> both unwise and inappropriate to have "the professionals" make these
>>>>> decisions behind closed doors and with zero community involvement in
>>>>>
>>>> the
>>>
>>>> process.
>>>>>
>>>>> I am in favor of professionals working on investigations, and in
>>>>> enforcement of community decisions to ban *after* those decisions have
>>>>>
>>>> been
>>>>
>>>>> made by the community through some meaningful due process. I oppose
>>>>>
>>>> letting
>>>>
>>>>> "the professionals" decide among themselves who should be banned.
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