[Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Thomas Morton
And more to the point; not knowing is a poor defence. Surely any level of
due diligence on new board members would have exposed this troubling
incident?

Tom

On Sat, 9 Jan 2016 09:27 Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 9 January 2016 at 09:06, Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> ...
> > Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon,
> which
> > they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet
> more
> > emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
> ...
>
> Correction to "they [the board] were clearly not aware":
>
> Yesterday Jimmy Wales confirmed that:[1]
> "I cannot speak for the entire board. As for myself, I was aware (from
> googling him and reading news reports) that he had a small part in the
> overall situation when he was told by Eric Schmidt that Google had a
> policy of not recruiting from Apple, and that a recruiter had done it,
> and that the recruiter should be fired, and he agreed to do so."
>
> It is not true that the WMF board were unaware before Arnnon was
> offered a seat on the board, when there were trustees that knew he
> took part in illegal activities at Google. The first page of results
> of a google search shows that Arnnon was a named defence party in the
> court case.
>
> Links
> 1.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Jimbo_Wales&diff=698802294&oldid=698801520
>
> Fae
> --
> [hidden email] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Austin Hair
In reply to this post by Kat Walsh-4
Having waited two days for any kind of meaningful response from either
the Board or from individual trustees, I have to say that Kat's
comments (unsurprisingly) nailed it.

I mean, seriously, nobody googled him?

Austin


On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 9:48 PM, Kat Walsh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I wish the best for the new board, and for the movement. But I am
> troubled to learn of this.
>
> I have always welcomed the appointed seats on the board--in my
> experience they brought useful perspectives and experience with their
> view from the outside, and I don't expect them all to begin their
> tenure as perfect representatives of the priorities and ideals of the
> Wikimedia movement as the community-selected members are.
>
> But as they are full voting members, participating in all decisions,
> we have always expected them to share key values, and probably the
> most important of those is integrity. It's always hard to judge
> beforehand; what you really really want to know is how someone would
> act in a situation they haven't yet been faced with. But if the news
> reports are true (or even just mostly true) about Arnnon Geshuri's
> role in the staffing scandal, then this is a disappointing choice by
> the WMF board. (Of course, someone who refused to go along with it
> probably would not have been visible to the selection
> committee--uncompromising ethical standards make it much harder to get
> and keep a position of responsibility and expertise in most
> organizations; the exceptions exist but less commonly than I'd wish,
> and I hope we're among them. But this is probably a systematic failure
> in recruiting for us.)
>
> The reason this bothers me so much--enough to break my list
> silence--is that I think integrity is the most important and most
> difficult thing for a board member of this organization. One of the
> key things that distinguishes Wikimedia from other entities is that it
> does not take the easy path: it does not sell the privacy of users, it
> does not make restricted content deals, it does not believe influence
> over content or governance should be able to be bought. If these
> decisions were easy and came without tradeoffs or pressures everyone
> would make them, but they don't; we see all over that Wikimedia is an
> outlier, not the norm, while others make decisions that look good in
> the short term but are damaging in the long term. Organizations with
> tremendous reach and influence--such as Google and Wikipedia--have a
> great responsibility not to take actions that systematically harm the
> people that rely on them. To know that someone at such an organization
> participated in something unethical in this way does not give me great
> confidence in them for leadership in Wikimedia.
>
> I don't envy the current board the problems they are faced with, and
> recognize the difficulty in recruiting for it given the level of
> commitment involved--and I don't doubt that the new appointee has much
> to recommend him. But despite the wealth of experience he would bring,
> if the situation is as it seems to be, I cannot be supportive of this
> choice.
>
> -Kat
>
> On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 12:16 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Upon hearing of Arnnon's history at Google, I confess to being surprised to
>> the point of a long silence.
>>
>> If these news reports are true, this is disturbing to say the least.
>> Whether he was happy about it or not, it appears that he chose to
>> participate in illegal activity in a prominent role as a "Senior Staffing
>> Strategist", and described a Google employee's noncompliance with the
>> illegal scheme as "an error in judgment". I cannot think of an excuse from
>> an HR professional that I would accept for this.
>>
>> Dariusz, you said in your statement that was published in the Wikimedia
>> Blog that WMF "considered dozens of candidates from all over the world,
>> with not-for-profit and technology experience, and the highest professional
>> standards.” I would be interested to hear how you reconcile "highest
>> professional standards" with the prior actions of Arnnon,
>>
>> Lila, you said that "Kelly and Arnnon bring a special combination of
>> expertise, integrity, and love for our mission." I am interested in hearing
>> how you reconcile this assessment with the reports about Arnnon's role in
>> this illegal scheme at Google.
>>
>> Looking at the WMF situation more broadly in light of the Board's removal
>> of James and its surrounding circumstances, I am very disappointed with
>> what we are learning and I am losing confidence in the governance of WMF. I
>> am considering strategic options for the community.
>>
>> Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Anders Wennersten-2
In reply to this post by Chris Keating-2
Very good point Chris.

I also think it would be good  to remember that WMF transformation from
the "Superprotect disaster" to a very much appreciated 2015 Community
Wishlist Survey. To go from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" model in
deciding what functionality to develop is a revolution. And even if we
as users all applaud this change, we should also respect it can be felt
tough to adjust to if you are "inside"

I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for
supporting this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as
main purpose)

Anders

Den 2016-01-09 kl. 10:06, skrev Chris Keating:

>> I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig into the
>> matter, and prepare an answer
> Quite, and thanks for saying that Lodewijk.
>
> In my view, the WMF board's top priority has to be the issues about
> strategy, leadership and staff morale that are being made public now. It is
> in everyone's interests that these issues get sorted out and some key parts
> of the solution have to happen in private.
>
> I am sure that the Board have invested a huge amount of time and energy in
> these issues already. Unless you have been on the board of an organisation
> that's gone through a serious problem it's difficult to appreciate the
> pressure this creates. I have, and I would urge everyone to take a deep
> breath and  think before emailing. It's worth repeating that Board members
> are all volunteers with jobs and families and what's more are trying to
> coordinate between three different continents.
>
> In particular hundred-email threads on this list where everyone speculates
> and demands answers to their particular questions  (and some people
> downright stir the shit) are less than helpful - a board member who spends
> 5 hours a week on WMF business could easily spend that just reading all the
> emails....
>
> Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon, which
> they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet more
> emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
>
> Regards,
>
> Chris Keating
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Steinsplitter Wiki
The removal of a community elected member whiteout a community consultation is a scandal. I can see nothing which justifies a immediately removal (such as unlawful behavior). A scandal.

That James was replaced with Geshuri, who was involved in a scandal is yet a other scandal.

IMHO Geshuri schould be removed from the Board ASAP (if it is true what was wrote about him on media - even in non english media) to restore the trust of the community.

If the Board is ignoring Community voice, then we have to start a formal procedure (RFC, Open letter) to remove Mr. Geshuri. Or to start a re-election.

I am highly disappointed . Trust is broken. :-(

With best regards,
Steinsplitter

> To: [hidden email]
> From: [hidden email]
> Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2016 12:12:34 +0100
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google
>
> Very good point Chris.
>
> I also think it would be good  to remember that WMF transformation from
> the "Superprotect disaster" to a very much appreciated 2015 Community
> Wishlist Survey. To go from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" model in
> deciding what functionality to develop is a revolution. And even if we
> as users all applaud this change, we should also respect it can be felt
> tough to adjust to if you are "inside"
>
> I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for
> supporting this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as
> main purpose)
>
> Anders
>
> Den 2016-01-09 kl. 10:06, skrev Chris Keating:
> >> I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig into the
> >> matter, and prepare an answer
> > Quite, and thanks for saying that Lodewijk.
> >
> > In my view, the WMF board's top priority has to be the issues about
> > strategy, leadership and staff morale that are being made public now. It is
> > in everyone's interests that these issues get sorted out and some key parts
> > of the solution have to happen in private.
> >
> > I am sure that the Board have invested a huge amount of time and energy in
> > these issues already. Unless you have been on the board of an organisation
> > that's gone through a serious problem it's difficult to appreciate the
> > pressure this creates. I have, and I would urge everyone to take a deep
> > breath and  think before emailing. It's worth repeating that Board members
> > are all volunteers with jobs and families and what's more are trying to
> > coordinate between three different continents.
> >
> > In particular hundred-email threads on this list where everyone speculates
> > and demands answers to their particular questions  (and some people
> > downright stir the shit) are less than helpful - a board member who spends
> > 5 hours a week on WMF business could easily spend that just reading all the
> > emails....
> >
> > Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon, which
> > they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet more
> > emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Chris Keating
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> 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] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Yaroslav M. Blanter
On 2016-01-09 12:54, Steinsplitter Wiki wrote:
> That James was replaced with Geshuri, who was involved in a scandal is
> yet a other scandal.
>

James Heilman was never replaced by Arnnon Geshuri. Arnnon replaced Stu
West, and James will be replaced by a to-be-elected community member
later this year.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Ilario Valdelli
Yes but this overlapping generates this kind of misunderstanding.

For people being outside wikimedia community there are several changes too
much complicated.
Il 09/Gen/2016 13:08, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> ha scritto:

> On 2016-01-09 12:54, Steinsplitter Wiki wrote:
>
>> That James was replaced with Geshuri, who was involved in a scandal is
>> yet a other scandal.
>>
>>
> James Heilman was never replaced by Arnnon Geshuri. Arnnon replaced Stu
> West, and James will be replaced by a to-be-elected community member later
> this year.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Yaroslav M. Blanter
On 2016-01-09 13:14, Ilario Valdelli wrote:
> Yes but this overlapping generates this kind of misunderstanding.
>
> For people being outside wikimedia community there are several changes
> too
> much complicated.
> Il 09/Gen/2016 13:08, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> ha
> scritto:
>

To be honest, I think people outside the Wikimedia community do not
care.

The problem at this point is the lack of mutual trust between WMF and
the community, which started to get repaired in the second half of 2015,
and which was not helped by the recent events.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Ilario Valdelli
Yes but this list is public.

Being in the shoes of an external I would have so much material to do a
science fictional romance.
Il 09/Gen/2016 13:21, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> ha scritto:

> On 2016-01-09 13:14, Ilario Valdelli wrote:
>
>> Yes but this overlapping generates this kind of misunderstanding.
>>
>> For people being outside wikimedia community there are several changes too
>> much complicated.
>> Il 09/Gen/2016 13:08, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> ha
>> scritto:
>>
>>
> To be honest, I think people outside the Wikimedia community do not care.
>
> The problem at this point is the lack of mutual trust between WMF and the
> community, which started to get repaired in the second half of 2015, and
> which was not helped by the recent events.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Steinsplitter Wiki
Wikimedians can have misunderstandings as well, can't they?

(sorry for the offtopic)

Steinsplitter

> Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2016 13:23:56 +0100
> From: [hidden email]
> To: [hidden email]
> CC: [hidden email]
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google
>
> Yes but this list is public.
>
> Being in the shoes of an external I would have so much material to do a
> science fictional romance.
> Il 09/Gen/2016 13:21, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> ha scritto:
>
> > On 2016-01-09 13:14, Ilario Valdelli wrote:
> >
> >> Yes but this overlapping generates this kind of misunderstanding.
> >>
> >> For people being outside wikimedia community there are several changes too
> >> much complicated.
> >> Il 09/Gen/2016 13:08, "Yaroslav M. Blanter" <[hidden email]> ha
> >> scritto:
> >>
> >>
> > To be honest, I think people outside the Wikimedia community do not care.
> >
> > The problem at this point is the lack of mutual trust between WMF and the
> > community, which started to get repaired in the second half of 2015, and
> > which was not helped by the recent events.
> >
> > Cheers
> > Yaroslav
> >
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Yaroslav M. Blanter
On 2016-01-09 13:30, Steinsplitter Wiki wrote:
> Wikimedians can have misunderstandings as well, can't they?
>
> (sorry for the offtopic)
>

Sure, but they should have developed a habit of double-checking
statements and recognizing which sources are reliable.

(getting closer to my January limit on the number of messages).

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
In reply to this post by Anders Wennersten-2
ObDisclaimer: This reply consists of my own personal views and in no way
represents anything official.

I think I can leak a little useful information on this topic without fear.
;)

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:12 AM, Anders Wennersten <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I also think it would be good  to remember that WMF transformation from
> the "Superprotect disaster" to a very much appreciated 2015 Community
> Wishlist Survey. To go from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" model in
> deciding what functionality to develop is a revolution. And even if we as
> users all applaud this change, we should also respect it can be felt tough
> to adjust to if you are "inside"
>

You seem to be assuming that staff have had a negative reaction to the idea
of the Community Wishlist. From what I've seen on the internal mailing
list, staff are very supportive of this. The word "awesome" was used
several times in replies on the thread announcing it.

The closest thing to a negative comment I see wasn't very negative at all.
Paraphrased, "At first I was afraid this would be more lip-serivce, but now
I see it and you're really interested in community input."

For more positive comments you can see some of the staff replies to <
https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2015-December/080329.html>,
since that announcement was CCed to the internal list and some people used
"reply all".


> I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for supporting
> this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as main purpose)


IMO, you should give credit to the Community Tech team. They're the ones
who came up with the wishlist idea and did it, unless I'm totally mistaken.

You could also give some credit to the staffers who originally proposed
creating the Community Tech team. It wasn't a top-down proposal.


--
Brad Jorsch (Anomie)
Senior Software Engineer
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

MZMcBride-2
Brad Jorsch (Anomie) wrote:
>IMO, you should give credit to the Community Tech team. They're the ones
>who came up with the wishlist idea and did it, unless I'm totally
>mistaken.
>
>You could also give some credit to the staffers who originally proposed
>creating the Community Tech team. It wasn't a top-down proposal.

I think I've said this elsewhere, but the idea of having a "Community
Tech" team continues to strike me as very strange as it immediately raises
the question of what everyone else is working on. "What do you mean
there's a Community Tech team? Are there technology teams at the Wikimedia
Foundation working on technology not for the Wikimedia community?" Or put
another way: every team at the Wikimedia Foundation should be carefully
considering the needs of the Wikimedia community and working with it.

It's also really not impressive to create a survey and solicit ideas.
In my brief skimming, a lot of the proposals listed at
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Community_Wishlist_Survey> aren't
even new ideas. I'm happy to give credit when some of these proposals are
properly implemented, by whoever takes the time to create a plan of
action, write the necessary code, and get it deployed. But for now, it
seems pretty silly to try to give credit for essentially having a group of
people vote on Phabricator Maniphest tasks.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Fæ
Hello everyone, I would like to put out a friendly reminder that good
practice is to keep threads on topic within reason, and to create new
discussion threads for distinct tangents or complete spin off
discussions.

"Community Tech Team" and "Lila's performance" are interesting, and to
be fair they deserve their own threads. If your email to this thread
does not mention the appointment of Arnnon Geshuri as a new WMF
trustee (see thread title), it is worth considering which thread it
ought to be posted under, or whether it is time to create a new
subject line.

Thanks,
Fae

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Austin Hair
Austin Hair wrote:
>Having waited two days for any kind of meaningful response from either
>the Board or from individual trustees, I have to say that Kat's
>comments (unsurprisingly) nailed it.
>
>I mean, seriously, nobody googled him?

Since it doesn't seem to have been mentioned in this thread already, one
of the trustees, Jimmy Wales, has provided some responses on his English
Wikipedia talk page. He directly mentions googling and Google.

---
I cannot speak for the entire board. As for myself, I was aware (from
googling him and reading news reports) that he had a small part in the
overall situation when he was told by Eric Schmidt that Google had a
policy of not recruiting from Apple, and that a recruiter had done it, and
that the recruiter should be fired, and he agreed to do so. As for your
other allegations, that he "helped manage that collusion", the part about
some "ugly and humiliating" termination, and chastisement by a Federal
Judge, I don't (yet) know anything about that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:41,
8 January 2016 (UTC)
---

In response to a request to further expand on Mr. Geshuri's suitability to
be a trustee:

---
Sure, I'll offer my views when the time is right. At the moment, I'm
waiting for a staff report and some board discussion to take place. It
would be inappropriate for me to offer a public opinion at this early
stage.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:03, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
---

There's also:

---
I don't think this board has any unhealthy relationship with
Google.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
---

Source: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/699004139>.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Craig Franklin
... and the court papers, and the smoking gun documents, and ...

This is the sort of thing that needs some serious explaining. Assume
good faith, but we're starting from some pretty *startling*
circumstances and evidence here.


- d.

On 9 January 2016 at 09:19, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Chris,
>
> Thanks for saying that.  I'd also add that while the situation with Arrnon
> looks damning on the face of it, I'm a little disappointed that people are
> breaking out the pitchforks based purely on media reports, before he has a
> chance to present his own side of the story and before Dariusz and the
> others can properly look into the matter.  I also think that some of the
> more 'excitable' commentary on this list in the past couple of weeks is
> more likely to push the trustees away than get us the explanations we
> want.  Yes, what is happening is deeply concerning, but lets not all lose
> our heads.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 9 January 2016 at 19:06, Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> > I suspect they need a few days, based on past experiences. To dig into
>> the
>> > matter, and prepare an answer
>>
>> Quite, and thanks for saying that Lodewijk.
>>
>> In my view, the WMF board's top priority has to be the issues about
>> strategy, leadership and staff morale that are being made public now. It is
>> in everyone's interests that these issues get sorted out and some key parts
>> of the solution have to happen in private.
>>
>> I am sure that the Board have invested a huge amount of time and energy in
>> these issues already. Unless you have been on the board of an organisation
>> that's gone through a serious problem it's difficult to appreciate the
>> pressure this creates. I have, and I would urge everyone to take a deep
>> breath and  think before emailing. It's worth repeating that Board members
>> are all volunteers with jobs and families and what's more are trying to
>> coordinate between three different continents.
>>
>> In particular hundred-email threads on this list where everyone speculates
>> and demands answers to their particular questions  (and some people
>> downright stir the shit) are less than helpful - a board member who spends
>> 5 hours a week on WMF business could easily spend that just reading all the
>> emails....
>>
>> Dariusz has said the Board is looking into the situation with Arnnon, which
>> they were clearly not aware of - that is what needs to happen and yet more
>> emails on this list won't mean that happens any more quickly.
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Chris Keating
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Fæ
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
On 9 January 2016 at 17:34, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I don't think this board has any unhealthy relationship with
> Google.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
> Source: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Permalink/699004139>.

LOL.

A new WMF trustee was proven in court to have been *acting illegally
for Google*, yet the WMF board are completely confident that they have
no "unhealthy relationship with Google" and the WMF Chairman has
firmly stated in writing that they have no plans to have an
independent review of the board governance because they are so darn
happy with their professional self-governance.

Jeez, this board are complacent beyond the point of incompetence. We
are well overdue for a major turnover of board members. For goodness
sake, what a bunch of clowns we have put in charge of the cash cow.

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

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Risker
On 9 January 2016 at 10:09, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> <snip>
>


>   We are well overdue for a major turnover of board members.
> Fae
> --
>
>

While I have largely kept out of this thread to this time, this statement
needs to be rebutted.  There are ten seats on the board.  Five of them -
all three "community-selected" seats and two of the four board-appointed
seats - have changed hands in the last six months.  An additional
board-selected seat changed hands not long before Wikimania last year (Guy
Kawasaki).  That means six of the 10 board members have less than a year's
experience in the role.  (One of those has now been removed, but that still
means half the board has very limited experience.)

Of the remaining seats, two are "Chapter/Thorg-selected" seats that will be
contested in the near future. Historically, only one of the incumbents of
those seats have been reseated, and I make no predictions for this year.
Jimmy Wales is assumed to still hold the Founder seat, and the fourth
board-appointed seat is held by longtime community member Alice Weigand.

We do not know how the board will decide to fill the recently vacated
"community-selected" seat - the options appear to be narrowed to appointing
the fourth-place candidate from the last election (which would bring an
experienced board member back to the table) or an election, which could
also bring a completely new trustee.

At minimum, we already have five board members who weren't board members
this time last year.  By the end of their Wikimania board meeting, we could
have as many as eight trustees with less than 18 months of experience under
their belt.  Of all the problems the board has, insufficient turnover is
NOT one of them.

Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Todd Allen
There is still a significant problem the Board does have, though.
"Chapter/thorg selected seats" are not community seats. And we've recently
found out that none of the seats at all are actually considered to be
community-selected, and that a community elected board member can be
removed without referendum to the community.

A majority, at least six seats, on the Board, should be directly elected by
the Wikimedia community. (Not "chapters", the entire community). And
"directly elected" should mean that the member cannot be removed
involuntarily except by vote of that same electorate, whether by referendum
or the community's own initiative.

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 11:29 AM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 9 January 2016 at 10:09, Fæ <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> > <snip>
> >
>
>
> >   We are well overdue for a major turnover of board members.
> > Fae
> > --
> >
> >
>
> While I have largely kept out of this thread to this time, this statement
> needs to be rebutted.  There are ten seats on the board.  Five of them -
> all three "community-selected" seats and two of the four board-appointed
> seats - have changed hands in the last six months.  An additional
> board-selected seat changed hands not long before Wikimania last year (Guy
> Kawasaki).  That means six of the 10 board members have less than a year's
> experience in the role.  (One of those has now been removed, but that still
> means half the board has very limited experience.)
>
> Of the remaining seats, two are "Chapter/Thorg-selected" seats that will be
> contested in the near future. Historically, only one of the incumbents of
> those seats have been reseated, and I make no predictions for this year.
> Jimmy Wales is assumed to still hold the Founder seat, and the fourth
> board-appointed seat is held by longtime community member Alice Weigand.
>
> We do not know how the board will decide to fill the recently vacated
> "community-selected" seat - the options appear to be narrowed to appointing
> the fourth-place candidate from the last election (which would bring an
> experienced board member back to the table) or an election, which could
> also bring a completely new trustee.
>
> At minimum, we already have five board members who weren't board members
> this time last year.  By the end of their Wikimania board meeting, we could
> have as many as eight trustees with less than 18 months of experience under
> their belt.  Of all the problems the board has, insufficient turnover is
> NOT one of them.
>
> Risker
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

Pete Forsyth-2
In reply to this post by Anders Wennersten-2
Hi Anders,

Your perspective is very different from mine or from any I've heard, and
I'd like to understand it better:

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:12 AM, Anders Wennersten <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I also think it would be good  to remember that WMF transformation from
> the "Superprotect disaster"

I do not see the transition you suggest. As I understand it, we are still
very much in the "Superprotect disaster" era -- one which began under the
same Executive Director we have today and, I believe, four of the present
Trustees. None has publicly acknowledged the existence of the letter signed
by 1,000 people,[1] nor addressed the (IMO more important) second of the
letter's two requests.

These sentiments reflect the more-or-less-unanimous (depending how you
interpret the comments) perspectives of those responding to an informal
poll I requested,[2] which was presented in a November 2015 op-ed I
published in the English Wikipedia Signpost.[3]

Since the poll is informal, it is in no way "closed" -- if you have a
different perspective, Anders (or for any who agree, for that matter), I
would appreciate any additions to that page.

to a very much appreciated 2015 Community Wishlist Survey.

I am aware of the existence of the Community Wishlist Survey, and I
appreciate that it reflects a desire to move forward, which is a good
thing; but I would stop well short of "very much appreciated," for two
reasons:

(a) In the absence of a clear assertion from the WMF about the role of
local projects (along the lines of what was requested in the letter), I am
personally reluctant to engage in WMF-directed engagement processes (on the
principle "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.") I
prefer to put my time into efforts where I have confidence that I will have
appropriate influence.

(b) The name "Community Wishlist Survey" continues a misguided notion that
has been prevalent at WMF for many years: Namely, that "the community" is a
constituency among others, which should be appeased. My experience of
people in "the community" is utterly different: many volunteers are just as
concerned about the future of Wikipedia, and issues like demographic
biases, the needs of readers, etc. as WMF personnel. These things are in
fact what *drive* us to volunteer to begin with. But according to the
artificial distinction of "community" as a stakeholder group distinct from
"reader" that is prevalent at the WMF, it is a truism that "community
interests" are something other from "reader interests." That truism is in
fact false.

I would rather see a "Wishlist Survey" (another name for which could be
"Open Strategic Planning Process"), than a *community-specific* wishlist
survey. But this year, unlike the five year plan created in 2010, we have
no such thing.

To go from an "inside-out" to an "outside-in" model in deciding what
> functionality to develop is a revolution.


The trend in recent years, in my view, has been in the opposite direction.


> And even if we as users all applaud this change, we should also respect it
> can be felt tough to adjust to if you are "inside"
>

It is my view that many who are "inside" -- staff at the WMF -- have been
pushing hard to have the kind of "revolution" you seem to think has already
happened. Given the number of staff who have lost their jobs, I believe
they are doing so at their own peril, which makes that work all the more
admirable. I wish I could name names here, as there has been excellent work
done within the walls of WMF by a large number of people; but I expect that
in the present environment, they would prefer *not* to be named and
acknowledged.


> I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for supporting
> this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as main purpose)
>

I would have to give this final point a big "citation needed" tag.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]


> [1]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Letter_to_Wikimedia_Foundation:_Superprotect_and_Media_Viewer
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Letter_to_Wikimedia_Foundation:_Superprotect_and_Media_Viewer#November_2015_poll:_Has_the_letter_achieved_its_goal.3F
> [3]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2015-11-11/Op-ed
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF trustee Arnnon Geshuri and part in anticompetitive agreements in Google

SarahSV
On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 12:56 PM, Pete Forsyth <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> > I give Lila 100% credit for this change and thank the Board for
> supporting
> > this change (and also to have recruited Lila with this as main purpose)
> >
>
> I would have to give this final point a big "citation needed" tag.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
>
> ​Pete, it does seem that since Lila arrived a lot of the tension between
the Foundation and community has gone. I've several times heard her talk of
the need to respect the community because Wikipedia is nothing without it. ​


​You wrote above: "​As I understand it, we are still very much in the
'Superprotect disaster' era -- one which began under the same Executive
Director we have today."

Superprotect was implemented just after Lila arrived, but it was a decision
of Erik's. The tensions behind it were very much a product of the pre-Lila
era, and had been growing for years. It appeared that Lila quickly
understood that it needed to go.

Sarah
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