Community Advocacy

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Community Advocacy (CA) serves the Wikimedia Foundation, readers and contributors by providing support on Foundation initiatives with a focus on community consultations, governance, and training. CA comprises part of the Community Engagement department, and works closely with the Legal team. Much of our time is spent "fire-fighting" and triaging customer service contacts to get them to the correct group of editing volunteers. We also monitor issues of emerging concern for the communities and provide support to other departments so that they can effectively work with the community.

Our work includes[edit]

Change management
We provide support on the rollout of major changes, such as legal policy updates and OTRS software upgrade.
Volunteer support
We liaise closely with volunteers in various community-created groups such as OTRS email volunteer response team, CheckUser teams, the cross-wiki Ombudsman Commission, arbitration committees, Oversighters, election committee, and other global functionaries. The CA team works to build bridges between our international and linguistically diverse editor base and maintains contact with communities across the globe.
Wikimedia Foundation staff support
We assist staff routinely with community and content related concerns, including processing DMCA takedown and notification requirements and, where necessary, responding to search warrants and legally valid subpoenas. We help onboard new staff about community norms and practices, and we manage requests for advanced user rights required for staff members to do their work by assessing needs and liaising with the stewards.
Internal tools and processes creation
We work on creating internal tools and processes to assist Wikimedia Foundation staff with necessary processes, such as documenting the release of private information in accordance with the privacy policy and ensuring transparency by automatically reporting DMCA takedown requests to Chilling Effects.
Correspondence management
The CA team responds to or redirects postal mail sent to the Wikimedia Foundation by readers, community members, and others; it also responds to or processes emails addressed to the Wikimedia Foundation via the email system. We act as the non-technical product owner of the mailing lists, among other duties overseeing the creation of lists by authorized community members. We monitor several email lists for major problems on Wikimedia projects, including suicide threats, threats of violence, child pornography, and various other issues.

Who we are[edit]

The Community Advocacy team consists of five people with an average of over 7 years each of volunteer contributions to our project.

Philippe Beaudette
Philippe registered as a user on the English language Wikipedia as User:Philippe on 28 May 2006. He was an administrator on Wikipedia and helped to develop processes for elections for the Board of Trustees. He started his work with the Wikimedia Foundation a little over three years later on 15 July 2009 as Facilitator for the Strategy project. Thereafter, he became involved in Fundraising in 2010, serving as the Head of Reader Relations in 2010 and 2011 until he became the Director of Community Advocacy.
James Alexander
James joined the movement as User:Jamesofur on 22 November 2006. He came on board with the Wikimedia Foundation in August 2010, originally as an Associate Community Officer for the fundraiser and has since then contributed in many areas, including as Wikimedia Fellow, Business Analyst, and Manager Wikimedia Merchandise. He is currently a Community Advocate and Project Manager.
Maggie Dennis
Maggie created an account on the English Wikipedia as User:Moonriddengirl on 8 April 2007. There, she dedicated a good bit of her time to administrative work, particularly in the area of copyright cleanup, and to creating articles as a member of the albums WikiProject. She joined the Wikimedia Foundation as its first Community Liaison in May 2011. She is the Senior Community Advocate.
Patrick Earley
Patrick registered as User:The Interior on Christmas Day 2008. With a focus on topics related to his home country of Canada and on bringing access to resource materials to other volunteers through the Wikipedia Library, Patrick began at the Wikimedia Foundation as a Community Liaison in July 2013. He is now a Community Advocate (International).
Jan Eissfeldt
Jan became a registered editor on the German Wikipedia in March 2004 as User:Jan eissfeldt, focusing heavily (but not exclusively) on topics related to philosophy and argumentation theory. He joined the Wikimedia Foundation as a Community Advocate (International) in April 2013.

Contacting us[edit]

Do you have a question for or about the Community Advocacy team? You can reach us at ca at

The Community Advocacy team

Philippe Beaudette
Director of Community Advocacy
James Alexander
Community Advocate/Project Manager
Maggie Dennis
Senior Community Advocate
Patrick Earley
Community Advocate (International)
Jan Eissfeldt
Community Advocate (International)