Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2007/Candidates/WarX/questions

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2007 board elections
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Questions[edit]

Add your questions for WarX at the bottom.

Non-free images and other media[edit]

Hi WarX. What are your opinions on the use of non-free images and other non-free media on Wikimedia Foundation projects? Should they be used at all, or disallowed completely? What are your opinions on this 23 March board resolution regarding licensing? Picaroon (Talk) 23:31, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm against using non-free images on Wikimedia projects. I know that removing non-free content would damage projects like en.wiki, so those projects should be left with their content and maybe only better control of images being uploaded and falling into non-free category. Wikinews is the special case - cause it's news character in many countries it can use non-free images according to local copyright and forbidding this by WMF will only hurt it's position in comparison with other media. I think that some day in future we (as Wikimedians) will have enough power to force governments to make copyright more liberal and end-user friendly then now. I think that resolution is step in good direction, cause it clearly specifies what WMF demand from communities in this matter.--WarX 07:19, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
I think you just got a significant portion of the wikinews vote. Bawolff 00:49, 12 June 2007 (UTC)


This is the most important issue to me in this election, so I am going to ask some more detailed (Wikipedia-centric) questions:

I'm against using non-free images on Wikimedia projects

Do you think that images like en:Image:Tianasquare.jpg or en:Image:Inselian.jpg should be removed from Wikipedia?

Please remember that Wikipedia != en.wiki, en.wiki is just a (potentially small) part of all WMF wikis. As I stated above I'm against running and deleting all non-free content through projects, but I support reducing stream of new non-free content. In many-year future we will be able to free media for use in Wikipedia (it's working in proof-of-concept state in pl.wiki - we say: give us for Wikipedia your materials, but you need to use free license and people do it!)--WarX 16:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Some important content is not available under a free license. Do you think that a goal of disseminating "the sum of all human knowledge" conflicts with a goal of creating free content? What do you think is our fundamental goal?

As I written above - we should try to make it free and not suck tons of non-free using FAIR USE. --WarX 16:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

The Board's Licensing Policy officially endorses this definition of Free content, written by a board member, which, in my interpretation, states that copyright is a form of government suppression, and that the concept of intellectual property is inherently morally wrong. Do you think this is a sentiment shared by most editors? Do you think it is the place of the WMF to make declarations like this?

I think that resolution is step in good direction, cause it clearly specifies what WMF demand from communities in this matter

Do you believe that the purpose of the WMF is to demand things of the community, or to represent the will of the community?

Remember that board represents community in the same way as parliament represents citizens. It's easier to make wise, but not popular decision in smaller group of representatives --WarX 16:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Do you think this resolution is widely supported? If not, should it be altered? — Omegatron 00:09, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Don't know - on pl.wiki it's fully supported cause we have very strict rules (maybe in some fields even more strict than commons)--WarX 16:09, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

In many-year future we will be able to free media for use in Wikipedia (it's working in proof-of-concept state in pl.wiki - we say: give us for Wikipedia your materials, but you need to use free license and people do it!)

You have never had any problem obtaining free licenses for content? There are no articles that lack images because no free image could be found? — Omegatron 03:47, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
No it doesn't work pefectly, but I hope it will in the future. Wikipedia is young and small ;) but we are getting bigger and bigger every month (AFAIK still exponentially) so it will be possible to obtain more free content. It's positive feedback - more free content make obtaining new easier ;) Many things aren't available because people don't know that they can release, not because don't want.--WarX 18:19, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, we'll go to the people of Europe and say--"release the Euro from copyright please". We'll do that for a lot of countries--most flags and monies are copyrighted. The International Symbol of Access....copyrighted. Does the copyright prevent us from using it? No. The copyright is to protect the image--to keep people from using the image in regards to anything other than restricted mobility access/restricted mobility. There's so much copyright material out there that legally, we can use. Why isn't legal good enough? Miss Mondegreen talk  11:31, June 27 2007 (UTC)

Ads, branding, business dev., GHGs.[edit]

Possible Signpost article.

I'm busy creating an article for the Wikipedia Signpost about the board election candidates' positions on certain topics, and was wondering if you'd like to answer some questions:

  1. On the board, will you vote for ads on Wikimedia sites?
    1. yes
      1. pop-ups/flash/banners/graphics
      2. flash/banners/graphics in skin whitespace or at bottom
      3. company logos in site notices
      4. prominent text ads
      5. company names in site notices
      6. text ads in skin whitespace or at bottom
      7. opt out
      8. opt in
      9. other
    2. maybe
      1. only for a huge amount of money
      2. only during budget emergencies
      3. only if editors support it
    3. never
    4. other
  2. What are your thoughts on Wikimedia branding?
  3. What are your thoughts on the foundation's hiring of a business developer?
  4. How would you vote on the board about the foundation reducing or offsetting anthropogenic greenhouse gases, e.g. power used by hardware, flights, etc.?

Thanks. -- Jeandré, 2007-06-10t18:36z

  1. I'm against any kind of adverts on Wikimedia projects. I'm one of those people who would be able to leave projects if there were any adverts.
  2. I have some negative opinions about Wikimedia logos:
    • logo of WMF uses non-free font and cause of that I had very large problem with preparing WM-PL logo
    • logo of Wikipedia is ugly - it's probably impossible to vectorise (2 best SVGizers from pl.wiki resigned during work), it's impossible to paint it on eg. mug without reducing shades (which makes it even more ugly), it uses unknown font (I was unable to find it specifications)
    • all logos are inconsistent - different styles, color schemes, dimensions, etc.
    I know, that some of those problems are uncorrectable, but some should be fixed
  3. It's great that WMF provides possibility of voluntary creating content, but I think that itself it needs some workers to exist. As far as some job positions are needed, they should be filled with hired professionals (but still steering wheel of WMF should be held by representatives of community).
  4. I think that WMF is good institution to start making world a better place (we do it all the time with Wikipedia :) and every action which target is doing so is good ;) --WarX 07:36, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
These answers won't be part of an article on Signpost. -- Jeandré, 2007-06-13t11:12z

Change[edit]

Hi WarX,

What is the top 3 things you want to have changed in the current strategy of the foundation? Thanks, Effeietsanders 20:37, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

For me most important thing that should be changed is speed ;) From my observations of different discussions I see that in many cases there is large bureaucratic slowness inside Foundation which should be accelerated. For now it's one thing but I think most important ;) --WarX 20:52, 10 June 2007 (UTC) (hope I will develop my answer soon)
  • Wikis are slow by nature. One advantage is that it is open to more people to participate. Surely the foundation itself is not run as a wiki, but can you cite actual examples of the bureaucratic slowness, and how is it problematic? Hillgentleman 00:05, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Please pardon my interjection, but consider your statement "wikis are slow by nature". Wikis are ostensibly quick by nature. If that's no longer true of Wikimedia projects, you may have answered your own question. heqs 16:52, 16 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Could you please provide a top-3? I can imagine that there are more things you want to change in the way the Foundation operates compared with the current situation. Thanks. Effeietsanders 10:21, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Added Value[edit]

What kind of value do you add to the current set of boardmembers in the area of Legal, Financial, Accounting etc expertise? Thanks, Effeietsanders 20:37, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

  • For now I'm educated in physics and IT. Being honest I wont add any value on graduate degree in any of those disciplines, but don't think Board should consist only from Lawyers or Accountants ;). In those disciplines WMF should pay full-time professionals in the same manner as board in any company uses advisors in those fields. --WarX 20:47, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

"Post-communist" reference[edit]

"My goal in the Board would be to make it more aware of the situation in post-communist countries, being not as rich as the western countries which dominate in the current Board."

I'm curious to know in what context this affects Wikimedia? Do you raise this point, in suggestion that residents of post-Communist countries have less access to reference materials, or computers with internet access? Or is this in relation to financially sustaining the projects of local chapters? The point seems just a little too non-specific to guess at. -- Zanimum 13:49, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

  • Having spent some time on Ivy League schools, and being originally from Central (yes, not "Eastern", buy yourself a map ;) Europe, I must say that there are differences fundamentally rooted in culture. They most certainly affect Wikimedia and the fact that the board is predominantly Western is just as sensible as making it male or Caucasian only. (pundit@pl)

I am from Czech Republic and I really do not understand what you mean by it. Could you explain it to me, Central European? Isn't it only problem of Poland in fact? Honza Záruba 08:06, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it is a problem of anybody. In fact there are many Poles who share your belief. However, cultural differences are out there - e.g. the perception of time, the approach to formalities, the authority enactment, the perception of knowledge etc. are all culturally dependent (I don't think I need to bring too many examples after the works of Hall, Hofstede, Adam, etc.). Even minor y]] 16:18, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
There's no belief of mine to share, I just didn't understand it. OK, there are some differences between people, but I don't see any relevant for work in Board. If all members of Board were Caucasian male, I don't see any problem as long as they were elected according to the rules. If the only qualification for Board membership is being different (or from different place etc.), it's just populism, there's nothing really useful to offer. Sorry. Honza Záruba 16:28, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for mentioning populism, one step to Godwin? But seriously, in no place did I mention that just being different is the only qualification to the board. However, I do believe that cultural variety is of value. I understand that you may see no problem in the board members being white Caucasians only. Fortunately enough, at least this diversity will be most certainly assured. Pundit 06:23, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Who's Godwin? I don't see any other goal in candidate's statement than this. Honza Záruba 11:01, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I respect your point of view, although I don't share it. Godwin's Law is a term describing a school of internet argumentation. Pundit 05:46, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I haven't mentioned Hitler or nazism, you did :D Honza Záruba 07:58, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
well, technically not really, but I won't argue ;) what I meant is that labeling your adversary as "populist" is not entirely neutral. But that's ok. all the best from sunny Warsaw. Pundit 09:30, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, sorry. This discussion is not to be neutral. But if the only his goal is not "to make Board more aware of the situation in post-communist countries" (whatever it means) what are other goals of his program? I do not see any (I admit I haven't read all this talk page.) Honza Záruba 09:47, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Class division?[edit]

Do you believe that an economic stratification or class division exists on the project? It seems as if you were trying to polarize the "haves" and the "have nots" against each other with the highlighted text, but I'm just one person and maybe I'm hearing something different because I'm from one of the rich western countries. I'd rather not assume anything, so I'm hoping you can clarify this. Thanks! - CHAIRBOY () 06:46, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I see that you've answered other questions since this was posted, I hope you'll have a chance to follow up on this one soon. - CHAIRBOY () 13:50, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry - I've a bit hard week in work and home (weird working hours, conferences, renovation in house). I do not think, that there is any division mentioned by you inside wikimedia projects ;). But it doesn't mean that there are no divisions in real life - I cannot meet my friends Wikimedians from USA cause I don't have visa nor money for air ticket :P. I saw some strange things that came from maybe not well understood situation in some countries (maybe not very well called by me post-communist). Eg. policy about mandatory reveling personal information by users who have access to OTRS or checkuser logs (or interface). Maybe in USA or France it's acceptable but my friends from Poland said that they will resign from their functions if they will have to show their IDs to anyone. I think that this was specific to people from countries in which there was no very specific ways taking care of citizens by Soviet Union and it's satellite countries. I think that it would be good if Board will have someone not from western countries which will lead do less POV in it's decisions.--WarX 16:11, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Could you show us more examples of recent Wikimedia Board's decisions which you think are "western-rich"-POV? Or use your imagination and tell us what kind of "western-rich"-POV decissions might be taken by Board in the future you may be against. Polimerek 09:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, he sort of just did. You must also remember, that our cultural programming not only influences the decision-making process, but also limits the areas we want to focus on (so also the ommission of some issues may be a result of monoculture - e.g. not thinking of scholarships for Wikipedians from poorer countries to help them participate in the society's meetings). It is difficult to single out particular decisions, and I am most certain that the board is working fine and without much POV. Just as it probably would if it consisted only of WASP males from the Wikipedia society. Nevertheless, diversity is of value even if the committee decisions do not strike as explicitly biased, just because we all know that cultural views do differ. And again, just as if the board was 100% white men, even if it made sensible decisions, it would be impoverishing. Pundit 06:02, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I think that last year scholarships for Wikimania were wrong organized - their target were people from countries which needed visas for entering USA and decisions were made too late for obtaining visa after knowing if scholarship was given :( --WarX 08:57, 24 June 2007 (UTC)\
One foreseeing example: we know that some materials being PD in EU are copyrighted in USA, so for me WMF should work on changing law in USA not demand removal of such materials from projects ;) --WarX 08:57, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia awareness[edit]

What do you think about Wikipedia awareness, eg. do people know about Wikipedia? Should the board do something to increase participation, at least in less spoken languages, or countries that have a smaller Wikipeda, than the number of speakers of the language would suggest? --Dami 01:19, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

I've returned from Web 2.0 conference and I'm bit shocked about what I met there: lots of people know about Wikipedia (eg. they use it), but most people don't know how it works and it's free to edit! After this conference I have in mind organizing some kind of advertising campaign of editability of Wikipedia ;) inside pl.wiki Probably nearly 50% of internauts in Poland know about axistence of Wikipedia, so now it's time to convert them in to Wikimedians :P--WarX 16:13, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Non-profit governance[edit]

What kind of competences and experience should the WMF Board as a whole have, in your view? How will your competences and experience contribute to that ideal?--BradPatrick 02:54, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Flagged revisions[edit]

What is your view on the use of flagged revisions to help prevent vandalism from appearing before it is reverted and the extension's possible use to mark "quality" versions which would display by default even instead of the stable (non-vandalized) version? —METS501 (talk) 05:18, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Other than wikipedia and commons[edit]

How much have you participated in the various smaller projects, such as wikibooks, wikisource and wikinews?Hillgentleman 13:50, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd personally suggest the answer to this question would be more informative if the question were phrased "Who aware are you of the goings-on on the Wikimedia projects, besides Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons?" One can provide insight into the daily troubles of the other projects, without ever having contributed to them. In the same way, someone could have contributed tons to a project, without really becoming part of the community. (I know for years that I've tend to jump onto Wikiquote, dump stuff there from Wikipedia, and hope the community does their stuff. Thus, quantity of participation doesn't necessarily parallel knowledge of a project.) Anyway, whichever version of the question you'd like to answer, WarX. -- Zanimum 14:56, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Even better, "how aware are you..." ;) Majorly (talk) 18:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes I jump on Wikinews, Wikiquote and Wiktionary, but I do not edit. I frequently speak with editors from polish versions of those projects so I know some going-ons. For now I try to support all projects by getting accreditations etc. (on Saturday Wikimedian was going to make photos and interview for Wikinews with top-level Polish band - Hey, but his car broke :( on the road)

Office evolution[edit]

In what way do you forsee the office (and staff) evolving under your tenure as a board member, should you be elected? i.e. would you be in favor of expansion, contraction, status quo, more interns, new positions, less, what?Swatjester 01:05, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Lesser-known projects[edit]

What is your opinion on some of the projects that are not as well-known as Wikipedia? Would you favour a situation where attempts are made to nurture these projects rather than almost-solely concentrate on the one that has the highest profile? --Brian McNeil / talk 14:42, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

I do not imagine any strategy that would boost any project at the expense of Wikipedia and vice versa. Sister projects are niche - if anybody prefers developing them, he does. Wikipedia, which is a wider-recognized project means that more people will have a chance to get to know it's sister projects, larger sister projects will facilitate the growth of Wikipedia.--WarX 18:52, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Wiki account(s)[edit]

What is your opinion on family members/close friends using another person's Wiki account? Would you vouch not to allow other people use your account as <unnamed> board member did? MatthewFenton 16:59, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

There were such situations on pl.wiki and I was neutral - I think that as far as shared account works and people using it are very close to each other (eg wife and husband) it's totally OK. As long as there is no legal problem about it there should be no problem and community ought to respect such people cause it's their own decision to reveal information about it. Using shared accounts between different people to attack other Wikimedians should be forbidden (eg. complicated user-account connections for sockpuppeting) or treated like other abuses. --WarX 14:42, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Membership[edit]

Last December, the Wikimedia Foundation revised its bylaws to change itself from a membership organization to a non-membership organization. In a membership organization, the trustees are directly responsible to the membership; in a non-membership organization, the trustees are ultimately responsible only to one another (and indirectly to donors, who presumably will not donate if they feel the trustees are not being responsible). Do you feel that the Foundation, constituted as it is as a non-membership organization, provides sufficient structural checks and balances to ensure that the trustees observe their fiduciary responsibilities appropriately? Would a return to a membership structure, with the ability of members to bring policy proposals themselves at the annual meeting or by other methods, to remove board members by appropriate vote, and to sue the Foundation under certain conditions limit the ability of the Trustees to do what they need to do? If you do support a return to a membership structure, how would you determine who the voting members are? Kelly Martin 18:43, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Checkuser policy[edit]

What is your opinion of the privacy policy, particularly relating to checkusering of adminship candidates? Majorly (talk) 13:25, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Communication with communities[edit]

Smaller communities in my experience can have problem drawing attention of the Board to important community issues where Board input is really necessary. Do you recognise such needs are currently left unanswered, and what could change to let the Board process such requests?--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 15:08, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I think that best way is to address someone personally with our problems then just say it to everyone. If I have chosen someone to represent me I have the right to ask him for help ;) When I wanted something to be done in WMF I asked Notafish (who is not in Board ;) to represent me in WMF :P --WarX 18:41, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Religious Picture Ban – Muhammed (Islam) versus Bahá'u'lláh (Baha'i)[edit]

Islam is a religion which don't want to see/show pictures or images of the founder Muhammed. Baha'i is a religion which don't want to see/show pictures of the founder Bahá'u'lláh. Wikipedia in most languages show respect for Islam and don't show Muhammed. But Wikipedia in most languages show a picture of Bahá'u'lláh. Wikipedia show more respect for the picture ban in islam than it show for the picture ban in Baha'i. What do you think is the cause for this and do you think that Wikipedia shall treat religions equal? Caspiax

Yes Wikipedia should treat all religions in same way. But what does it really mean? It's very complex problem (probably one of most complex we can meat in Wikipedia) - imagine religion in which it's stated that sun is a god and saying something else is heresy. So shall we change the article about our star? Probably not. I'm not a theologists (being honest I'm atheist), so I do not know what are other problems like those, but I think that especially NPOV and verifiability suggests that all religions should be described as probable and not as is. eg. It should be stated in according to religion XYZ the only god is ZYX, and not the only god is ZYX in all articles mentioning god. I could answer on your question: both religions should be treated in same way, but I'm sure that it means some problems ;)--WarX 16:46, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Headquarters location[edit]

From time to time there has been discussion about whether the Foundation's current headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, in the United States, is the best location for the office. Do you think that the Foundation should continue to be headquartered in and operate out of Florida, or would you support a move to another location? If you think a move is appropriate, where would you move the Foundation to, and why? Kelly Martin 21:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I think there is no really need of moving anywhere with WMF - it would generate costs and probably law problems (AFAIK there are local laws in every state of USA and moving to other country would be disaster :P). If there are any problems with local law (eg. copyright like not applicable Bern's convention in USA) we should think long term and try to change it. I think that one day we will have enough power to do it! --WarX 14:34, 19 June 2007 (UTC)


Professional?=[edit]

By nature and design, wiki communities are an amateur, unstable amalgam of widely differing perspectives and agendas. There is no individual or collective responsibility and no competence test for participation. Yet, the board of the ever-expanding and legally constituted foundation that runs one of the world’s top websites, needs to be highly professionally, highly competent, collectively coherent and responsible. It must have business savvy, and be willing to make hard-nosed and even unpopular decisions. In your opinion:

  1. Is the current board, vision and structure fit for that purpose?
  2. Are you? (Would you be a competent candidate for a board in any non-profit venture?)

(same asked of all candidates)--Doc glasgow 14:45, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Chapters[edit]

Taking into account the growing importance of Wikimedia chapters in furthering our common goals on the one hand and the impact the decisions made by the Wikimedia Foundation have on the work (if not existence) of the Wikimedia Chapters on the other hand: What do you think about the idea of giving the chapters a formal say in WMF's decision making process? What do you think especially about a) letting the chapters appoint one or more board members (beside the ones elected by the community) and/or b) changing the WMF back to a membership organization (with the chapters as members)? Do you have any other ideas to achieve more checks and balances between Foundation and chapters? On top of that, would you care to elaborate on your vision about the current and future role of the Wikimedia chapters? Thanks in advance, Arne (akl) 15:43, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm against giving Chapters possibility of appointing Board members - reason for this is very pragmatic: probably during this election there will vote more than 10 times larger amount of Wikimedians than number of chapter members. So Member chosen in this this election will better represent community. Of course if proportions between active community members and chapter members equalize it will be good moment for starting discussion about it ;) I do not know bureaucratic consequences of changing status of WMF from non-member to member organization, but as board member of WM-PL I have never had a need of changing relationship between WMF and WM-PL (for many reasons we can assume that now we are equal partners cause our opposite interests don't cover) giving chapter stronger position (what even would cause serious problems). I think that WM chapters are very very very important and it would be great if in every country in which there are active Wikimedians there was chapter. Most powerful thing in chapters is that they are legal entities and they can represent local communities in negotiations with other organizations. On my own example I can say it's much easier to establish some kind of cooperation with others when representing formal organization than undefinied community. --WarX 18:36, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Project policy involvement[edit]

What are your views on board involvement in writing and implementing policy for the various projects, especially in controversial areas where it appears that community consensus will be difficult to establish, such as on the "attack sites" [1] and biography of living people (BLP) [2] issues? Cla68 15:57, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

As I stated somewhere above ;): I think Board represents Wikimedia community in same way as parliament represents citizens. It means that it's easier to make some (maybe controversial) decisions in smaller group of representatives. We have to remember that we as a community choose Board members and we can ask them during their work about they opinions, not only during elections. I think that one of my strengths in Board would be that I'm from different region than other members so I have a bit different point of view on some things (As I stated in my candidature - I've more eastern-Europe and a bit poorer country than any other Board member).--WarX 18:17, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I read through all the answers above and I'm not totally sure which statement of yours that you're referring to as related to this question. Is it that each chapter should have its own governing body that makes policy decisions? Cla68 00:09, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

What if[edit]

What would you do/recommend when elected and faced with 40% budget deficit? Absolwent 18:37, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

As far as I observed for now there is no such possibility as budget deficit ;) WMF is not a country - for know it prepares some financial plans and then starts found raising. If foundraiser would be unsuccessful there can be another one next few months, if it's successful there is enough money, so deficit is impossible with this tactics (but it's based on the assumption that people want to give us money ;)--WarX 16:00, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Cash & users[edit]

We need money and people. We have lost users (for a while) after this event. Nobody expected it, but... the same was in 2006. Do you want to talk about money (with these wealthy guys) and what's your opinion about that event ;)? Przykuta 11:56, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews and Accredited reporters attending events[edit]

Wikinews may be one of the lesser-known projects, but we recently managed to get a contributor entry to the G8 conference. Efforts were made to get the Board involved in the drafting of a letter for the reporter's entry to the G8, but these received no response. As an involved party there is more about this issue on Eloquence's questions page [3]. What is your opinion on this, it is - I believe - an issue the board should take seriously. Those of us who contribute on Wikinews are ambitious enough to think that we can overtake the Wikipedia article count (although I may be retired before we manage it there are new news stories every day). As we really want to be able to do truly original reporting we need people who can "almost" say they represent us. Do you support this, and do you believe the board should have been involved for something as important as sending a reporter to the G8 conference? --Brian McNeil / talk 21:07, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I think no. For me it's job for local chapters to organize it in their countries. WMF should help as much as possible with that (especially encourage for doing this) but not do this directly (this implies creating local chapter in USA ;) --WarX 16:38, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Impending failure[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation at a corporate level is soaked in its own drama and if conditions don't improve soon, it will crash and burn. I want the newly elected trustees to act as catalystic mediators to simply and peacefully transform drama into productivity and then success for the foundation. How do you plan on doing this? Signed, your friendly neighborhood MessedRocker. 06:10, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry I do not understand this question :( --WarX 16:35, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Messedrocker wants to know whether you have a talent for encouraging other people to work together. :) —{admin} Pathoschild 00:48:39, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I think yes. I have some success on pl.wiki with connecting people to work on some topics in cooperation ;) --WarX 12:33, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Smaller Wikis[edit]

Within the Wikimedia Foundation, there are multiple smaller wikis such as the Simple English Wikiquote, the Romanian Wikisource, and the Cherokee Wiktionary. All of these wikis lack local communities, and many go for long periods of time without any improvements made. Most also lack any active admins and 'crats and are prone to vandalism. First, do you think it is worth keeping these wikis, or do you think we should close them down until there is more active? Second, if they were to be kept, what would you do to improve the local communities? Wikihermit 20:41, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I think that making read only of inactive projects could be good cause their vulnerability to vandalism. But this will make it much more complicated for editors to start edit those projects (how to contact someone to turn it on? , etc.) I think that developing projects driven by small communities should be target for local chapters cause it's easier for them to contact right people ;). This question suggested me, that WM-PL should take care of csb (kashubian) projects.--WarX 08:47, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

IRC Debate[edit]

This is a mass question being posted to all candidates. A couple days ago there was a proposal to hold an all candidates debate on IRC at a time TBD. The planning page is at ElectionDebate07 - please indicate if you are interested and if so, a time that would work for you. -- Tawker 23:01, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Experience and Qualifications[edit]

Your platform makes no mention of any relevant experience to running a major organisation; please detail what experience you have in the running of corporate organisations, specifically regarding their finance, management, marketing, and human resources. --Alison Wheeler 11:57, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm Board Member of WM-PL since December 2006, before that I was normal member working in strict coordination with Board. I'm working with people both in WM-PL (during organizing accreditations, getting free content, etc.) and on Wikipedia (helping to contact people who need their special abilities). As I stated before - I think that Board should not consist only from lawyers, accountants and managers, cause WMF can hire them. Board should consist of vissionaires with open minds to hold the steering wheel ;)

Usability[edit]

Most Wikipedia users are technically inclined, but usability studies have turned up serious problems for non-geeks, and many of these problemsd remain uncorrected.

Have you read these usability studies? Do you consider them to be important? Would you commission more such studies? How would you implement their results?

Here's an example from just a couple months ago: a journalist working for a major newspaper thought that "there's no way to tell who wrote the entry or how many people contributed to it" until one of his readers corrected him -- he works for the media! How many regular people know how to check an article's contributors?
 If i might be permitted to opine for a second: the fact that you can view the revisions of an article should be obvious from the design of the webpage, but it's not: "history" is a terrible, non-obvious name for the function.

Put yourself in your parents' shoes: you're reading a page about Thailand that you found through Google, and you see a square that says "history". You click the square expecting to read about the history of Thailand and suddenly you're faced with a long, mysterious list of nonsensical words and numbers. You click the back button.
 Aaron Swartz gave one of the best summaries of the issue that I've seen:

"The page design the site uses encourages specific actions by making some links clear and prominent. Software functions like categories make certain kinds of features possible. The formatting codes used for things like infoboxes and links determine how easy it is for newcomers to edit those pieces of the site.

All of these things are political choices, not technical ones. It's not like there's a right answer that's obvious to any intelligent programmer. And these choices can have huge effects on the community.

...

One presentation was by a usability expert who told us about a study done on how hard people found it to add a photo to a Wikipedia page. The discussion after the presentation turned into a debate over whether Wikipedia should be easy to to use. Some...questioned whether confused users should be allowed to edit the site at all -- were their contributions even valuable?

As a programmer, I have a great deal of respect for the members of my trade. But with all due respect, are these really decisions that the programmers should be making?"

How would you solve this problem?

Tlogmer 00:11, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

Recruiting expertise[edit]

Danny Wool has proposed replacing the current board with "a professional board consisting of captains of industry and academia" -- presumbaly, web leaders and information academics, etc. Do you agree? What do you think Wikipedia can learn from, for example, professional writers of paper encyclopedias like Britannica? How should the foundation best recruit their advice and put it into practice? Tlogmer 00:11, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

For me is obvious that Board should consist from involved Wikimedians. This is only way to be sure that Wikipedia won't be ever sold! As far as I know that Board Members are same editors like me, edit every day, spending most of their free time on it I'm sure that eg. they won't allow adverts on Wikipedia. If anyone want to be Bard Member he can start to contribute, became community member and then be elected. --WarX 17:58, 25 June 2007 (UTC)


Appropriate conduct for Board members[edit]

Recently, in a non-Mediawiki forum, Erik Moeller made the following comments: "Cyde's and Kelly's arguments are on the same level: they are driven by blind hostility, not thoughtful analysis." [4] Do you believe that responding to criticism of one's credentials and conduct as a member of the Board with personal attacks such as these is appropriate for a member of the Board of Trustees? Kelly Martin 00:52, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

We have to remember that we are only humans. I think that everybody sometimes has strong need of saying something not nice. I'm always trying not to make it in very public places (eg. Wikipedia, blogs, etc.) but my friends from IRC can say that sometimes I use very bad language :P I think this cite is not very bad and should be lightly punished. --WarX 09:35, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikiquote & copyright[edit]

What's your stance regarding Wikiquote and copyrights? As it is, most wikiquotes depend and extensively use fair use content, which is contrary to the philosophy of most other projects. What are your views on this? Should wikiquotes move to only free content? Should resolution on fair use have a special exemption for wikiquote? Should fair use quotes be removed from Wikiquote after deadline for the resolution? drini [es:] [commons:] 16:06, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

As I understand copyright act in Poland quotes are much more strictly free than US FAIR USE for other content. AFAIK in Poland you can always quote someone as long as it's still only a quote. If there is no such large freedom in other countries it's good field for changing their law ;) I'm very serious - copyrighting quote would damage freedom of people and if there is such problem in any country we should consider it's only temporary fault of law in this country!--WarX 09:48, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
But wikiquote projects are not restricted to Poland, what's your big view? drini [es:] [commons:] 19:13, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
It's my view of this problem - I will not believe that this problem really exists if I not see proof of it. If in any country there is really problem that copyright law forbids free usage of quotes we should work on changing this law ;)--WarX 16:30, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

IRC Debate[edit]

Hi, as this seems to get closer to the time that the elections are to start, I thought it would be best to go ahead and attempt to get the unofficial IRC debate a time and a place. By the time analysis on the talk page, the best time for the debate appears to be 1800 UTC, to 1900 UTC. As it would be best for this debate to occur before the elections, June 27 was chosen as the day. I know that this is short notice, but the whole unofficial debate thing was on a very short notice to start with. I hope that you are able to attend. Again the time is 18:00 UTC, June 27, 2007, it will be held at ##wikimedia-debate. Please do note that this debate is unofficial, and you are not required to attend. —— Eagle101 Need help? 20:40, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Donors and scope[edit]

Asked of all candidiates: Okay, I'm not naive so yeah, it follows that large donors will probably get some pull when policies, direction and the scope of the foundation get decided, but what's your take on it all? How far do we bend to satisfy our donors, and to what extent are ideals of the foundation non-negotiable? In five years say, would you expect the foundation to still exist in the same legal fashion as now and assert ownership over the assets it currently has? Steve block 20:43, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia was raised on ideological basis. If WMF turned back to those ideas it would be equal to self cutting of head - we will loose editors and probably small donors. We should be independent at all costs - if someone want to play with us he should obey our rules. --WarX 09:41, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply. Steve block 15:37, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia in China[edit]

Dear WarX, what should the Foundation do to enhance Wikipedia popularity in People's Republic of China? Best regards, Incnis Mrsi 21:28, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

I think that this is job for WM-PRCh. WMF should only encourage people to make this chapter ;) --WarX 09:29, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

What do you do when faced with a difficult decision to take ?[edit]

I saw in the recent irc debate the following question. Would you support releasing the state of the foundation's finances quarterly? Why or why not.. Of course, making such a decision is a matter of board-level policy. Now, the job of the board is also oversight. So, let's imagine the hypothesis that the board made a policy for quarterly release, the staff was asked to provide the statements according to the policy... and in spite of this, the report does not come. As board, you are embarassed. First because the policy is not respected. Second because the community is complaining. And third because, with no financial statements, there is no oversight possible. Please imagine you are facing this situation, reminded the staff once, then twice, then three times, and still no report.

What do you do ?

I have never experienced employer-employee type relations as employer. I think that in situation as presented above there is no other way as firing employee who does not want to do his job. I hope we will never face such problems and even if we met, it won't be bad faith of anyone, but just temporary problems! --WarX 16:27, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

fund raiser and chapters[edit]

do you support to facilitate fundraising by offering a direct link to country specific donation possibilities? an example woulde be medecins sans frontier's donation page. in wikimedia's case the donation page for the year end fundraiser would contain flags, and the links behind the flags would go to the donation page of local chapters, for two reasons:

  1. local law (which donators know and can make use of) strengtens donators feeling, that their donations are used at their will
  2. local tax exemption allows to donate up to 50% more without paying more

--ThurnerRupert 12:14, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

  1. There are two sides of fundraiser for local chapters: on one hand in many countries chapters are charities so people giving them money have some kind of tax exemption. But on the other hand being charity means that in most countries chapters cannot move money abroad. This means that if for example someone in Poland want to support infrastructure (servers, etc.) he should send money to WMF, cause WM-PL is forbidden to transfer money to WMF. So if we want collective fundraiser with chapters it should be explicitly stated what are pros and cons of giving money to chapter. I support this solution ;) (many people in Poland asked me about what I stated above)--WarX 15:12, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
what would prevent you from stating the local wishes and guidelines on the polish page, as you write it now? --ThurnerRupert 16:02, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I do not understand you question :( --WarX 20:21, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
talked to some of your board members recently and it is only forbidden for a part of the money to be transferred out of the country. but i also learned polish tax system is the best example to make a local donation page, as donations could be hugely increased. --83.215.194.249 10:26, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Committees[edit]

The committee system has been around for roughly a year and a half now, not counting previous initiatives. Several of the committees are now dormant and some never got off the ground. Some, conversely, have done fairly well.

I know this is a long-standing and groan-inducing topic of debate, but what is your view on the committee system? Do you have ideas for reviving the current committee system or making it more functional? Do you think there is a place in the Foundation, in theory at least, for community-based committees to do some of the day-to-day work or oversee certain areas? Who should the committees report to, ideally? Are there new committees that should be formed, or old ones to be reworked?

Sorry about posting my question(s) so late! -- phoebe 00:38, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Free resources[edit]

Wikipedia, being one of the ten most visited sites in internet, has some negotiation power. I believe we should be able to use this power in order to increase both the freedom and quality of the encyclopedia. In example, the board could contact copyright holders of promotional images (places, objects, models, singers, bands, etc), and convince them to release their items under a free license. I have been doing this myself, but I believe the Board could have better chances than a single person, a WikiProject or even a Wikipedia project. What do you think, do you think this could be a priority? And good luck! -- ReyBrujo 18:40, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes and this is my priority both as a Member of WM-PL Board and as a WMF Board of Trustees candidate ;) --WarX 20:20, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Glad to hear! Do you have any idea you could share at this moment? -- ReyBrujo 05:21, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Several questions[edit]

I am asking these exact same questions of you and all your opponents so I can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

  1. Do you think the Wikimedia Foundation should invest in stocks and bonds so that it has a source of income if donations dry up? If so, should its investment strategy be active or passive, diversified or focus, value or growth?
    I think WMF should only gather money by donations
  2. Do you think the Foundation's spending on travel and conferences before it has a long-term source of income is responsible?
    Yes. Conferences are important. Meet of someone may give much more than costs of conference (eg. I started my adventure with Wikipedia after reading about Jimbo's speech on Wizards of OS conference)
  3. Should some of the Foundation's major financial decisions, such as expansion of the paid staff, be subject to referenda of the editors and donors?
    I think no, cause it would be too complicated. Board Members represent community and I think that complaints should be sent to Board Mebers ;)
  4. The oversight function -- where edits are hidden even from admins -- has legitimate uses, but the potential for misuse is Orwellian. How can abuse be avoided?
    Having strict rules of using this tool ;)
  5. Do you believe control over Wikipedia content policy should ultimately rest with the man who created the skeleton of the site, or the editors who create its flesh and blood and/or their elected representatives?
    It depends - policies connected to probable law problems should be done by Board, other not.
  6. What is your position on freedom of expression in the User namespace?
    I think users should have freedom as long as they do not make illegal statements or aggresive to other people (especially Wikimedians). Of course all non-Wikimedia adverts should be strictly forbidden.
  7. Where U.S. copyright law unfairly impedes Wikimedia Foundation projects, should the Foundation lobby for the law to be changed? If so, how should it do so without spending money it can't afford?
    USA should accept Berne's Convention and WMF should advert petitions about it (it doesn't cost at all)
  8. To what extent is Wikipedia yet reaching the developing world, and what could you do during your term to speed that up?
    I think that accesibility of internet is the main problem for today.

Seahen 05:37, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

  1. --WarX 20:31, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews and building on an unexpected publicity opportunity[edit]

As I would hope you have seen, Wikinews has made a splash in the news as the original non-blog source for the story of a prank edit to w:Chris Benoit's Wikipedia page. Our Alexa rating has skyrocketed, Google news has hundreds of articles that mention - or cite - us. I had planned to sponsor a Writing Contest on Wikinews following these elections - but this seems like too good an opportunity to miss. I've asked a few people to contribute to the prize pot, but most of our local contributors don't have the spare cash.

  • First question, should we do things like this - we've had other competitions in the past and the daily article count has gone up significantly.
  • Second, are you prepared to put your money where our projects are and donate to the prize fund?
  • Third, if you are prepared to donate to the prize pot would you also be prepared to help out as a judge? I feel the impartial position the board should strive to take day to day would be welcome in defining rules and judging a competition. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:18, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
  • I think that writing contests are great idea, but it should not be financed nor by WMF or other chapters. Doing so may cause that someone will think that you can get money for writing on Wikimedia Projects. If third party would organize such event it would be not so much damagefull and best thing would be if prizes won't be material thing but for example invitation to conference. I would happily join jury of contest but I'm very enthusiastic and would give prize to everyone :P --WarX 20:44, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

International Symbol of Access[edit]

If elected, would you act to remove the Foundation's ban on the use of the International Symbol of Access and International Symbol for Deafness outside the scope of fair use? If you are unfamiliar with this issue, it boils down to the fact that these symbols may be freely used for their intended purpose but are extremely unlikely to be released under a free license. Because they are internationally recognized symbols, no free equivalent could be created to replace them. There would be no legal risk to either the Wikimedia Foundation or to downstream users if we were to use these symbols in infoboxes to designate handicapped accessible metro stations, Disney rides, etc. I'm not asking for permission to use them in userboxes or the like. I just think that the current Foundation-level policy of lumping them into the "fair use" category is quite detrimental our goals.

There is actually general consensus to make this change on the English Wikipedia. The only thing standing in the way is the Foundation's policy. —Remember the dot 04:02, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

On en.wiki is stated that first symbol was added to Unicode charset. So if so it became normal letter in next few years and copyright won't be applicable to idea of this sign but only font copyright. I think that making exceptions to rule about onlyy free content would in long term make much more damage than we can imagine. Today those 2 symbols, tomorrow 2 other graphics, etc. --WarX 20:37, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
First, the International Symbol for Deafness was not added to Unicode. Second, the exception would ideally be for all copyrighted international symbols, not just these. Remember the dot 20:45, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
It's better to try asking author for PD or any other free license than making exceptions in our rules about licenses. --WarX 19:14, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
The exception would be a general loosening of the rules for non-free international symbols, not just these examples. But please feel free to tell the ICTA that we refuse to use their symbols because we aren't allowed to mutilate them or use them deceptively. Remember the dot 20:59, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

"Attack site" link bans[edit]

On English Wikipedia, there has been some controversy about whether it is, or ought to be, the policy that linking to so-called "attack sites" against Wikipedia and Wikipedians is to be banned. Some administrators have (overzealously, in some others' opinions) removed links to criticism sites from such places as talk pages, evidence pages for ArbCom cases, and even in a few cases from actual articles where they were being used as a source. I wrote an essay on this issue. What is your opinion? Dtobias 04:03, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

How will you deal with this...[edit]

Whenever I can not find the specific answer to a question in an article I turn to Wikipedia help. In many instances, however, the reply is devoid of thought or knowledge and merely a student's guess to fill blank space on the page as if to say: "Here is my guess. I've done my job. You have received my authoritative response."


Rectification[edit]

Do you think, we should work on a better editing program, involving a rectification system, similar to the Windows one for example, [the Microsoft Word]), which can easily correct many orthographic and constitutional errors and make our edit’s trouble-free? Or you keep non-native speakers under second party supervision. Thank you and Good luck. naseem abi shaheen.01:22 4 July 2007

How to deal with consensus of uninformed editors[edit]

Sometimes a popular opinion is contradicted by scientific evidence. Majority of editors stick to the popular opinion (which is also theirs) and vote to delete all pages that contradict their opinion (intrinsic weakness of democracy). As a result Wikipedia propagates old prejudices. How would you solve this problem?

Supporting evidence for the problem: Once I wrote several pages on Einsteinian physics (I'm just doing my PhD on it) and all of them were deleted by consensus of editors (9:1) who preferred their old high school physics :-). Unfortunately their high school physics was invalidated about 100 years ago by Einstein. Yet till today one can read as the first statement of Wikipedia's Gravitation: "Gravitation is a natural phenomenon by which all objects attract each other". According to contemporary science objects don't attract each other they just look like they do. Similarly as the Sun looks like running around the Earth while it doesn't and there exists a simple explanation in both cases. So I just explained the simple Einsteinian mechanism of this apparent attraction, since I thought it may be interesting to Wikipedia's readers. All those pages were deleted by consensus of editors cooling my enthusiasm for Wikipedia. So the issue of propagating old prejudices, because of democratic process involved in editing, seems to be very real in Wikipedia. JimJast 14:12, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Majority biasing the facts[edit]

12:33, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Dear Candidate,

it is an increasing frustration to me that a supermajority of wikipedians has apparently decided to defend their common view of the world as the only truth. All minority views are blocked. This goes so far as to not allow facts, which are acknowledged to be true, on article pages when they are seemingly at odds with this view. This tends to make the articles POV and destroys the knowledge and hard work brought together by many, many editors in this unique enterprise. It makes wikipedia a very unreliable and biased source of information. Subjects are e.g. terrorist attacks. Will you make an effort to change this trend? It is imortant to us that the guidelines are upheld fairly and equally, and not just to defend a single viewpoint.

regards,

Xiutwel
NL

How to attract authors who know facts[edit]

How to attract authors who know facts (e.g. from the scientific literature) and could pupularize them dispelling cultural prejudice about those facts but don't have time to waste on fighting misinformed editors. Those editors unconcsiously push their popular, and therefore already generally accepted, POVs (since brain, being a perfect antibody, automatically rejects any new idea) deleting the new pages by those authors. Those editors always prevail since they have much more time than those authors. How would you address this issue? JimJast 17:42, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Who Writes Wikipedia?[edit]

Late question: do you have any thoughts on this essay (and if so, what)? It suggests that Jimbo formed a radically false picture of anonymous users and their contributions to Wikipedia. This may have far-reaching implications. Dan(pedia) 21:46, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


A Fairer Voting System[edit]

Would you support the use of choice voting in the next Board Elections?


Choice voting protects majority rule while providing for the fair representation of minority views. Voters rank the candidates 1, 2, 3, and so on, in order of preference. If your top choice either is not elected or already has enough votes to win a seat, your vote goes to your next choice. No vote is wasted, and all viewpoints are represented. Choice voting would drastically reduce the number of wasted votes.

Choice voting can be used for single or multiple position elections. It is used for national elections in a number of countries including the Republic of Ireland. It is also used by a wide variety of organsations such as students' unions, charities, trade unions, universities, hospital trusts and housing associations. Choice voting is already used to elect the board of Nominet UK.

Choice voting is also called preference voting or wikipedia:single transferable vote (STV)

John Cross 16:59, 7 July 2007 (UTC)