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Welcome to the Board of Trustees' noticeboard. This is a message board for discussing issues related to Wikimedia Foundation governance and policies, and related Board work. Please post new messages at the bottom of the page and sign them.
  • For details of the Board's role and processes, see the Board Handbook.
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Gang Culture vs Neutrality Issue[edit]

"Wikipedia:Neutral point of view is the most important rule in changing pages.

Anyone can change articles without making a username.

The "wiki process" is the way to decide what is put on the project. See WP:CONSENSUS."

The problem you have is a few longterm wiki friends or even very smart sock puppets are removing large amount of content regardless of it having good source or not, blocking good people (who then have to create new accounts) and then targeting them as "persistent sock puppetry" and "vandalism".

I used to have confidence in Wikipedia but I am now starting to doubt the credibility and nutrality of the information because the few people have gained enough power to abuse and skew the way they want to and as they have the knowledge of the system they make full advantage of their knowledge to skew subjects.

For fairness and public trust I feel you should look at C.Fred/Favonian/Bishonen/Ms Sarah Welch and all their work with a suspicious eye.

Policing what information is added is a good thing however the fact is when a few people who work as a group blindly protect each others edit and decisions to block people and lock pages then what you have is a form of gang culture and abuse to the point you might as well lock all the pages and have a permission system put in place.

I have to create more ID's to fight their abuse but I am sure many people just stay off wikipedia learning how these gangs operate.

Please look into this before this post is also removed by them. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by WPQUACK (talk) 18:39, 22. Jan. 2018‎

The Foundation Board does not get involved in individual editing disputes and administrative blocks. That aside, it was not difficult to locate your other accounts and the dispute you are involved in. When you are unanimously opposed by a dozen or more editors, including multiple administrators, by a former member of ARBCOM, and other long standing and respected members of the editing community, you should consider the possibility that your edits have indeed been incompatible with various policies and community expectations on how the encyclopedia should be written. Among those problems, it is considered inappropriate to delete large blocks of well-sourced sourced content and replace it with large quantities of primary source religious scripture. Alsee (talk) 23:54, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

Then you join in to target and remove content SUBJECTIVELY rather than OBJECTIVELY! (23:15, 25 January 2018‎

Alsee

(talk | contribs)‎ . . (11,060 bytes) (-866)‎ Undid revision 812468260 by SourceOnly The reason for migration failed WP:V & appears false. Unsourced claim about Devi & Kalki. Also travelogue is a weak source & doesn't say especially known for Parsi.)

No surprise https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Wikipedia and other websites are rising fast.

You do not see "Ms Sarah Welch"'s block removal of content as "policy" violation?

As I said Gang Culture.

NOTE: NO NEED TO ANSWER.

WMF Funding Transparency (Grants)[edit]

Hello! I have tried to find detailed information about major grants received by the WMF. It seems that the WMF doesn't disclose most of it. There are undisclosed grantmakers, amounts and grant purpose. It's not only that the level of transparency is low, but it seems it has been reduced in recent years: received grants, with their amounts and purposes, were briefly disclosed here and there, now there seems to be a higher amount of undisclosed information. I have created a detailed list of grants on the Grants given to Wikimedia Foundation page to help gathering the available data in a single place, but I would like to suggest some improvements to the BoT:

  1. Disclose all information on grants that are currently not subject to confidentiality. That's just a first step. It seems that the WMF withholds grant data on donor privacy grounds, even when the donor makes the data public in their grantmaking site, or even when it is already reported to the US Government in 990 Forms and already available online (just with ~2 years of delay).
  2. Change the policy to not accept any restricted grant. This has been discussed in the past multiple times, but information requests here were dismissed most of the time. There might be a case for anonymous unrestricted grants, but there isn't for restricted ones. Restricted grants make the grantmaker influence the direction of the WMF beyond any community control.
  3. Add a threshold for anonymous grants/gifts. A ~$1,000 donation by an individual is worth keeping anonymous for privacy reasons. A six figures donation from a large organization is not. That's not "privacy", that's making accountability on conflicts of interests de facto impossible.

I think these proposals offer a minimum transparency that might be easy to get consensus on. In fact, reading past conversations, it seems these already have consensus in the community (not in the WMF though). Thanks! --MarioGom (talk) 12:30, 12 March 2018 (UTC)

Hi MarioGom,
Thanks for your message. Let me say that the Board of Trustees takes our responsibility to our donors and our community very seriously. As per the Wikimedia Foundation Gift policy, we review all gifts over $250,000 USD and all gifts offered with restrictions, regardless of amount (i.e., restricted gifts). All of the grants on the table you created listed as "Purpose: Undisclosed" were/are unrestricted grants to the Wikimedia Foundation. They were given by the donors without conditions on how they should be spent in support of the Foundation's mission, and were applied toward the general operating costs of the Foundation. Donors giving over $1,000 USD are given the option of disclosing their support publicly on the Wikimedia Foundation site. Some chose not to be listed for privacy reasons or our of humility. The vast majority of large gifts to the Foundation are unrestricted, and the very few restricted gifts serve an important role for our revenue mix.
We share a lot of information about the restricted grants that we do receive. You can read about the two restricted gifts we received last year in the annual fundraising report and on the blog. So while it could be interesting to debate internally some or all of the points you make - and the Board does ongoing reviews of its practices to continually improve and better serve our Movement and our donors -, and possibly have the Audit Committee lead a cost-benefit analysis about them, you will understand some slight pushback towards the premises of lack of transparency or efforts from WMF. Kind regards, Raystorm (talk) 13:50, 21 March 2018 (UTC)
Hi Raystorm! Thank you for your response. I really appreciate the clarifications. Note that while I do think that the level of transparency is lacking, I do not think it is because of lack of effort or interest on your side (and of course, I thank you for all the effort you all volunteer). My impression is that it's more about differing views about transparency and privacy. I think privacy does not apply to companies and non-profits. Of course, most countries guarantee some level of secrecy for organizations (e.g. trade secrets for companies), but IMHO it's a trade-off between accountability and organizational secrecy (both from the WMF and non-individual donors), not privacy. In any case, I'm happy to hear that you're open to consider improvements on this area. Thank you. Best, --MarioGom (talk) 18:32, 22 March 2018 (UTC)
Legal persons don't have privacy rights, indeed: there was a clear ruling about this in Italy, which I assume is consistent with EU law; the relevant directive makes a distinction between privacy rights of persons and "legitimate interests" of legal persons. Then of course things may change. --Nemo 22:24, 23 March 2018 (UTC)