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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.
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Growing Wikinews into the premier news site worldwide[edit]

I'd be pleased to have your reactions to my suggestions for wm2017:Submissions/Building Wikinews into the premier news site worldwide.

Progress on every substantive issue I can think of is blocked, because every plausible countermeasure threatens someone with substantive control over the mainstream media. My research on this is summarized on v:Winning the War on Terror.

I hope to discuss this with you and others at Wikimania 2017. My proposed session on this would provide a formal venue for discussing this idea. Thanks, DavidMCEddy (talk) 14:17, 16 May 2017 (UTC)

Two of the links do not work. Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:50, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Fixed, Doc James. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 16:06, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
Definitely worth a wider discussion. Pundit (talk) 06:01, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

User:DavidMCEddy a few thoughts:

  • As Wikipedia covers breaking news better and better, for example see [1], how does WikiNews differentiate itself from Wikipedia? Or would it be better to concentrate efforts on improving Wikipedia's coverage of news?
  • Wikipedia of course does not allow primary research (which I guess is the area were WikiNews could excel). But how does one verify reliability for primary research when the authors are anonymous?
  • The one area were primary research is needed is at the Signpost. The Signpost is currently struggling. Do you have any suggestions for how to revive the internal news organization of the Wikimedia movement?

Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:23, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Allow me to respond as well, @Doc James:.
  • Wikinews creates time-limited articles. A short time after they are published the article is archived to serve as a time capsule of what was known at a certain point in time. This is one of the two primary missions of Wikinews: to serve as a permanent record of current events - ostensibly to be used as a reference for Wikipedias as opposed to more ephemeral internet media (once upon a time someone reported about 30% of reference edits on en.WP were related to broken news/periodical media links, but of course now I cannot find the source.)
  • In practice, original research is something en.WN does not do well. Journalism is, in fact, hard work, requiring far more fact sourcing and checking - and documenting it - than most volunteers are willing to actually, er, volunteer. Instead, the majority of articles published on en.WN (aping current mainstream media) are aggregations, and any original reporting generally confined to additional facts in a story or the occasional interview-via-e-mail. As for verifying the reliability of primary research, you may not be aware that any journalist is required to keep notes, citations, and sources for every factual statement or claim. The same is supposed to be true for en.WN original research, with reporter's notes for original reporting published on the talk page of the article (sensitive notes are kept on a private wiki available only to accredited volunteers on en.WN; other languages may have similar procedures.) As someone who has articles published in research journals and news media, I much prefer the research juries - much lower standards for publication.
Research can also be published on Wikiversity. DavidMCEddy (talk) 12:18, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia does cover breaking events reasonably well, although not always with journalistic point of view (and, imo, less comprehensively than they once did.) It also does advertising and marketing much better than en.WN, misinformation, self-governance, legislation and enforcement, pointless-whiddling-about-grammar, and getting developers to help their project. In short, Wikipedia is much better, and much worse, because it is bigger. And because anything that is fun, even if definitionally non-encyclopedic (like, say, current events,) is what wikipedians will do most of. (Not a criticism, btw, that is just the best way to keep the volunteers happy.)
  • The Signpost seems to be suffering for much the same reason en.WN is suffering: it is hard work. I wish them the absolute best - niche 'zines can carry on a long time by sacrificing excellent volunteers to the fire of content creation. On another hand, Signpost has never seemed to me to be anything but an organ of the English Wikipedia, and definitely not the multi-lingual multi-project community. - Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 05:15, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the overview :-) Agree the Signpost is not multi lingual nor does it cover the whole movement. IMO it would be great if it did both of those things. Agree completely that good journalism is hard. Great to hear the details on background notes for stories. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:32, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
By "Signpost", I assume you are referring to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost? When I went there just now, I got VOLUME 13, ISSUE 3, 27 February 2017. At the bottom it said, "CHECK BACK FOR THE NEXT SIGNPOST ON MARCH 6". DavidMCEddy (talk) 12:18, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's the one. The enWP internal newspaper. It's got some redaction problems lately, as it's apparently centralised instead of like a wiki. The equivalent on the deWP, Der Kurier is organised de-central, which leads to sometimes controversial and confrontative articles, but keeps it alive nevertheless. But both have nothing in common with WikiNews. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:26, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes separate from WikiNews. What they have in common is both allow original research. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:46, 25 May 2017 (UTC)
There are more places for this, at least somehow: portals, talk pages, user pages, essays, it just must not contaminate the article namespace. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:21, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Repeating my test to see if anything has improved[edit]

Now that we have elected several new board members, I am repeating my test to see how many of the board members have this noticeboard on their watchlists.

Please respond (a simple "here" will do) so that we know that you read this noticeboard.

Also, please do not inform any other board member about this test; that would be cheating.

The test will be concluded and a count taken in two weeks, on Thursday, 08 June, 2017.

--Guy Macon (talk) 04:05, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Oh good lord, please, enough of this. Trustees *do* read this noticeboard, and many other places where high volume conversations are happening, and we try to spread ourselves to be aware and participate in as many as possible, so that there are not seven people - we are understaffed at the moment - in one place and zero in another, even though we know how impossible this is. We *are* volunteers, and answering roll calls is without a doubt a poor use of our limited time. Not to mention what poor governance practice it would be to have trustees being encouraged to *not* talk to each other about ongoing community discussions - "cheating" as you call it - I for one am not going to support that disastrous line of thinking at all. Do not expect to see (most of) us answering roll calls any more. If you have a reasonable and relevant concern you'd like to discuss, by all means bring it up, *ping*, and someone will come along to comment in due course. Thanks, Raystorm (talk) 14:23, 31 May 2017 (UTC)

And you know that (other than the two listed above) "trustees *do* read this noticeboard" ... how? One trustee Kelly Battles doesn't even have an account or email contact on Wikipedia. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:41, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
We talk with each other. Not that you need an account to read Meta, mind you. Raystorm (talk) 22:35, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
"Following a candidate's selection to the Board, the following steps should be carried out: [...] Emails and wiki accounts activated. At the direction of the Secretary, WMF's IT staff creates email and wiki accounts for the new Board member and arranges for systems access according to the Onboarding Permissions Protocol." --Wikimedia Foundation Board Handbook#Appointment and onboarding of new Board members. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:54, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and if you enter the relevant link you can see to which wikis the protocol applies. Kelly has an account to access them, and a Wikimedia email too, as do all trustees. Raystorm (talk) 22:35, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
  • I'm not really concerned that not ALL Trustees follow discussions on meta regularly. We divide labor according to experience, skills, expertise etc. However, I definitely agree that our communication system now is really imperfect and we should have a collective communication space for the Board, also with commitments tracking. I don't think it is useful to be angry at volunteers who point out the inefficiencies of our current communication system by conducting such tests. Pundit (talk) 08:55, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
    • I don't think it is particularly useful to promote unhealthy behaviors or misrepresent the purpose of this thread - or my comments, for that matter. Raystorm (talk) 09:25, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
      • The purpose of this thread, to my understanding, is checking if the current system of communication with the Board works well. Opinions can vary, but in my view, the thread proves that it is not very efficient. I agree it is not useful to promote unhealthy behaviors, that is probably a statement most people agree with. I miss how making sure if the thread is read is that much unhealthy though, given evidence that threads are often not replied for weeks. Per your last remark - if you believe that I misrepresent the purpose of your comments, please be a bit more specific. Phrases such as "Oh good lord, please, enough of this" are quite clearly not civil and I'm surprised an experienced Wikimedian, like you, uses them in reply to a volunteer you happen to disagree with - this is the sentence I read as you expressing your anger (was it something else that you wanted to convey? I admit that as a non-native speaker I definitely can misinterpret or misattribute, however calling it a "misrepresentation" assumes bad will). Guy only called "cheating" a situation in which Trustees would inform each other of this test, to create an illusion of being more watchful, than in reality. He in no way generalized that Trustees should not talk to each other, or inform about ongoing community discussions. He merely asked for an exception, for obvious reasons. I understand that you dislike the idea of testing if Trustees are observant, and I generally agree with the sentiment - we're overworked, and we do have more serious tasks to do than keep replying to tests of communication all the time. Nevertheless, these tests do not happen in a vacuum - in a previous one, our Chair admitted that he should have been more careful, and I also have made an effort since then to basically keep checking more frequently. Even this simple result is positive - and I hope we'll be able to return to the discussion on how we can improve the Board's communication more effectively as a whole. Pundit (talk) 10:43, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
        • It is good that you agree in theory with not promoting unhealthy behaviors. I don't think what I wrote was overly complex - this is not a thread that has dialogue and debate with Board members as its purpose. This is a thread that follows the following premise: if trustees sign during an arbitrary period of time, communication is therefore understood to not be problematic. Why would you or anyone else find this a valid test for communication beats me, especially considering it also relies on trustees not communicating with each other - however you are certainly free to support and encourage it as you see fit. Just like other trustees are free to not do it without alternative interpretations being put forward. I will also add that just as you expect people to respect that your English is not native, you might want to consider cultural differences in how other people comment too - and go with AAGF (I don't know why we are citing English Wikipedia policies, but can oblige you). Raystorm (talk) 11:32, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
          • I think the logical relations are confused here. No, signing and replying within an arbitrary period of time does not prove that communication is not problematic. However, not seeing questions for more than 2 weeks (and this is what the test declares to check, as the test itself assumes that a polite request to acknowledge seeing the message will not be ignored) is a signifier of poor communication. Do you disagree with the last statement? Or do you perceive the test as not meant to check this reaction? Maybe you have some external knowledge to believe otherwise, or perhaps you've experienced more such tests than I did (and thus are tired of the process? I'm just trying to guess, help me out). I'm not sure what the "alternative interpretations" you're referring to are. Can you be a bit more specific? I definitely understand that there are cultural differences, that's why I was precise in telling you which particular phrase seemed to sound as angry to me. I still am not sure if you didn't mean this effect (?). "Oh good lord, please, enough of this" sounds somewhat angry to me, that's why in good faith I'm pointing it out - so that you can correct me, explain the meaning actually meant, etc. I'm citing English Wikipedia because we're communicating in English - but civility is one of five pillars shared by most projects. I only speak English and Polish fluently enough, but if there is a nuance in some other language that you think I should be made aware of, I'll gladly do my best with Google Translate :) Pundit (talk) 11:51, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
          • Anyhow, I agree that testing and testing and testing somehow may be a bad will assumption. I'm defending this approach mainly because I do feel guilty of personally not being on the watch all the time. I think that if and when the changes that you and I have been trying to implement go through, the need for such tests will be moot. Apologies if I misconstrued anything. Pundit (talk) 12:12, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
There has to be at least one clear point on a SUL-wiki (i.e. not a mailing list, not IRC, no blog, no phab etc.) for the communities to get in contact with the board, and the board should use this as the place to communicate with the communities. Of course all of them should read it, the communities are the core asset of the Wikiverse and ultimately the "bosses", without the communities there will be no Wikiverse, without the WMF nothing much will change. Where, if not her, should this place be? And of course I expect from all board members to be wikiliterate, otherwise they are not suited for their position. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 14:38, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I think we need a better communication space, with commitments tracking, and a more user friendly design. I don't think ALL board members have to be wikiliterate - although it is definitely a useful skill. Pundit (talk) 15:26, 1 June 2017 (UTC)
I think it depends on your definition of wikiliterate. I think it's an absolute must to have done some wee editing on-wiki and have some basic understanding how this whole thing works to be a valuable trustee. You definitely don't have to have started double-digit articles and a few templates to to be it ;) Communication in the wikiverse should be mainly done on-wiki, if not in real life. Everything else is just some shady back-room, and transparency is something very important as well, so shady back-rooms are bad. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:28, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

User:Sänger is testing the functionality of the board / community communications mechanisms. I think these mechanisms are important and thus thank him for doing this. IMO board members should have at least ONE page on their watchlist and should read and possibly respond at said paid. If this simple method of communication does not work, I am not convinced more complicated methods of communication will be more effective. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:02, 1 June 2017 (UTC)

Results[edit]

The two weeks have passed. Here are the results of the test.

The following current board members are confirmed to have responded to this thread and to have respond in the past to questions asked on their user pages:

Doc James, Pundit, and Alice Wiegand also confirmed that they saw my post because they have this on my watch list and try to check it every week or two at the minimum. Just to make sure that I am making a claim that I can back up, Raystorm, could you please confirm that you responded because you check this page every so often, and not because someone told you about this discussion?

The following current board members are presumed to not read this page (the possibility exists that they read this page but have never responded here) but have responded to questions asked on their user pages in the last year:

Jimmy Wales in particular is very active on his own user page, which was established as his main venue for communication with the community long before this noticeboard was created.

The result for Nataliia Tymkiv may be bogus. She says on her user page "my home wiki is the Ukrainian Wikipedia" and it is very likely that there is an account that I could not locate that lacks the added "WMF". If anyone knows of such an account feel free to move her name to the correct location with the correct username.

The following current board member is not registered as a user on any Wikimedia Wiki, and has no publicly-available email address:

  • Kelly Battles

I call this a success. Five board members are confirmed to read this page, and of the remaining three, one has another well-established communication venue and one entry may be bogus (I could be looking at the wrong username). --Guy Macon (talk) 23:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)

User:NTymkiv (WMF) is User:Antanana, and her main activities are uk, commons, ua and meta. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:45, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Hello Guy Macon! Just to clarify: Kelly's Wikimedia email is mentioned publicly, for example here: Wikimedia Foundation Audit Committee/2016 call for Audit Committee observers --NTymkiv (WMF) (talk) 19:15, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

Hi Guy Macon. Don't worry, Pundit and DocJames did not communicate with me about your rollcall, as I'm sure they can confirm if you require them to... I did communicate it in passing with some trustees after I saw it, per my previously stated rationale. Cheers, Raystorm (talk) 22:46, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

No answers from Language committée[edit]

Language Committée is not responding at any request voor launching a new version of a wikiproject. Requests may open months without answer. Also no answers on talkpages of some of the members. Can the Board of Trustees admonish the LangCom members to give answer on questions. Thanks,

See; https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Language_committee#Request_for_launching_Wikinews.2C_Dutch_version

--Livenws (talk) 15:03, 29 May 2017 (UTC) (For more, you can send me an e-mail).

Have you emailed them directly? And if so what email did you use and when did you email them? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:23, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
As I saw here https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_committee#Observers , I think I'm not allowed to send an e-mail to them? Normally they should answer on the central request page. --Livenws (talk) 15:47, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
ps I've mailed 4 people (previous week) who are recently active here used the intern mailfunction of the wikiproject. First mail was send May 22, last mail saturday.
Maybe User:Millosh or User:Amire80 could answer here. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:46, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping. I forwarded it to the committee's mailing list. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 19:09, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for the forwarding, Amir. The emailing list of LangCom seems to be the primary means of communication. Within wikis, there are just too many pages to monitor - which LangCom members, at least if they're like me, are not able to do. Also, I usually do not react if contacted individually about a matter which concerns all of LangCom. Not sure how this is best communicated to the public but LangCom realities do not seem to be known by many Wikimedians. Fwiw, --Baba Tabita (talk) 19:42, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Happy to see this! :) Take your time to handle this request. I was only worrying why no one of the LangCom gave a reaction on the request page. --Livenws (talk) 20:56, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
But, I would ask if there is some information about the requests, that someone give a small reaction. Not giving answers is impolite for me. So when there is something to tell user:Baba Tabita, you can post it on the request page. I would like transparancy of the LangCom. --Livenws (talk) 21:11, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Also note that I'm almost every day trying to contact someone from te langcom, if no of my messages are answered, it's frustrating to me. All the time to try make contact with the langcom, is also time that I loss with editing Wikinews Dutch in the Incubator. --Livenws (talk) 21:38, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Additonal question: following the new guidelines as from May 18, a request must be handled within 7 days, now it's almost 40 days. --Livenws (talk) 21:56, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
Well, that's not how I read that guideline. LangCom certainly needs more time than 7 days to discuss (certain) requests! The 7 days refer to the time of voting, i.e. once a LangCom member puts a request out for voting (because all requirements have been met and discussion seems to have concluded), then 7 days later, the vote is counted, regardless of whether all LangCom members have voted or not. At least that's my interpretation. Fwiw, --Baba Tabita (talk) 05:26, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I wrongly expressed myself you're right ;) Take your time. --Livenws (talk) 08:30, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I support the launch of Dutch language Wikinews very much, as do some other volunteers there in the incubator. If more information is needed, please tell us so and where to write it down. If there is still anything needed, before it can be launched, please tell us what it is. Dutch language (NL, BE, SUR, and 3 provinces and 3 little countries in the Caribbean) Wikinews is active in the incubator since the beginning of January. I consider it very long (more than 800 articles were written). But if you think we should stay there longer, please tell us how long the term should be. If the amount of work should have been more, please tell us what is needed more. It has been so quiet from official side, that we really don't understand what we should/can do more. But if there is something, please inform us clearly so that we know what we can or can't expect. The best would be to launch it as soon as possible, since at this very moment there is still the momentum and the drive to make it a success. Motivation is a human thing, and please support us in keeping it high. Thank you for your attention. Ymnes (talk) 04:55, 30 May 2017 (UTC)
I think it may be better to follow up with the LC at this point (unless the issue pertains to the Board, which I think is not the case). Pundit (talk) 16:49, 30 May 2017 (UTC)

Still no answers[edit]

Could someone look again to the request? We want just know how far the langcom has been advanced, but they do not communicate with Dutch Wikinews community. If they want to keep us informed from now on, that would be nice. Maybe someone from The Board can contact someone from Langcom to ask for clarification? I have tried a lot but (almost 40 days) without success. It's like there is no willingness to move Wikinews outside the Incubater despite all criteria being fulfilled. It is urgent that Langcom does work here instead of doing nothing with our request. --Livenws (talk) 16:19, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
People that have taken a seat in the Language Committee should really come with a response, they have been installed to do this task. We have invested so much time in the project yet, it's morally not justified to just not answer at all. The quality of the articles is good and the motivation of the contributors is there. But for how long can all four of us stay motivated, when we're not taken seriously. In the last 5 months in the incubator many hundreds of news articles have been written, a very great bunch of maintenance was effectuated and the Dutch WikiNews has proven to be active. We are very much more active than 75-90% of all WikiNews editions. Even on the English version of WikiNews, there is stated "Start a new edition", and that is what we've done. Whether one dismantles all of the WikiNews editions, or one takes it seriously that WikiNews is a full member of the Wikimedia family. And if so, Dutch WikiNews is there to be one of those members again. The activity is there, and for enough time yet to prove itself. Please take a decision and don't wait any longer. Ymnes (talk) 17:47, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
I fully concur with the two speakers above. Please finally do something with the request to relaunch Wikinews-nl, which was submitted almost two months ago now. I know some users from Wikipedia-nl are protracting things, but actually their main point is that is doubtful whether the community on Wikipedia-nl will accept Wikinews as a full-worthy sister project. That's a completely different issue which has nothing to do with the decision to be made here on Meta. So that can be fully ignored, let it just be discussed further on Wikipedia-nl. De Wikischim (talk) 21:47, 6 June 2017 (UTC)
In fact there isn't even discussion there. There was only a short thread in the village pump about a month ago. Nothing vivid at all. Ymnes (talk) 05:38, 7 June 2017 (UTC)
We can just announce it in the village pump of Wikipedia-nl ("De kroeg") when Wikinews will have actually been relaunched, after which other Wikipedia-nl contributors can decide how they want to deal with relevant interwiki links to be made and such. I for my part am not against a poll about that or something on WP. But before all, the relaunchment of Wikinews itself is a definite priority now. So once again, can the Language Committee have a look at it shortly? Thanks. De Wikischim (talk) 07:30, 7 June 2017 (UTC)

Tasks[edit]

So far, no response from the entire langcom. Herewith the question if the langcom does not formulate a decision or answer, it may be appropriate for the Board of Trustees to take over the task from LangCom. In addition to wikinews, there are two other projects in the queue. --Livenws (talk) 16:59, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with this. If the LangCom is appararently not capable enough of handling this subject well (which, as such, I can still imagine since it not really simple stuff), then the task must be taken over by another instance (The Board of Trustees, I suppose). Anyway, a decision about this must be made. De Wikischim (talk) 17:41, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, time is needed to take a decision, but they could give some feedback in the meantime. Now, we do not hear anything. A request open for 2 months, without any answer is incomprehensible. --Livenws (talk) 19:37, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

Decision?[edit]

I do not currently see any efforts of the LangCom on the request page. There is also no answer after a Meta-wiki administrator contacted LangCom. Does the LangCom still exist? It seems that the commission is no longer active. According to the procedure of the LangCom, the Board of Trustees must be contacted regarding a possible veto against a project. Has the board been informed about this? --Livenws (talk) 11:14, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
This way, no new projects can be opened anymore, which impedes the expansion of Wikimedia and global knowledge. That is a serious problem that needs to be solved --Livenws (talk) 11:19, 10 June 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. Anyway, @LangCom: you can still persuade us of the contrary by making a reasonable decision (both for Wikinews-nl and for other Incubator projects which are still in the queue to be launched). One more time I'll give a summary report; at the time Wikinews-nl was closed (2009), an average of perhaps one new article was written in a whole month. At the moment, about seven new pages on average are written daily. Is it still really that difficult to decide? De Wikischim (talk) 12:00, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

@Baba Tabita: @Amire80:, Can you take a decision please along with the other members? And if LangCom does not want to answer, The Board of Trustees must make the decision. --Livenws (talk) 13:24, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

This is not an issue of LangCom not wanting to answer but we're not taking kindly to pressuring. Different cultures have different approaches to time, so please respect that things take longer than you may wish. I'm actually traveling without internet access this following week (also, I don't own a smartphone), so please don't expect any further action from me before June 20. Best regards, --Baba Tabita (talk) 06:38, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Then you must leave the final decision to another member of the committee. Sorry but this is really unfair, after all that has preceded you cannot keep us waiting for at least another ten days just because you're travelling and have no internet access. --De Wikischim (talk) 11:18, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Glad to hear a comment after a while. Have a nice trip. But there are enough other members who can continue the work inside the LangCom. Give us a time path so we can be more steady. Thanks, --Livenws (talk) 11:22, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Good to read that you understand cultural differences. We all have our differences of culture. De Wikischim and Livenws really have a point here. In the past, people have acquired for a seat in the Language Committee in order to serve the Wikimedia Foundation with their advices. I very much feel as well, that when members do not have a chance to do the job that is so much needed from him/her, the other members should convene and make the decision. Let's view it from our side: what sense does it have, when we are producing news for many months more than 4 months when the project is not launched? All these news items are old after a week. When having a view what is really going on, the Language Committee asks us to do work in vain, month after month... There is a WikiNews project concerned. That makes so much more of a difference than any other project of the Wikimedia Foundation. I very much feel that the Language Committee must be able to decide faster. Unregarded circumstances. Ymnes (talk) 11:43, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
There are also a lot of proposals for closing or deleting Wikimedia projects that need to be addressed. Some are opened for years already. If LangCom does not want to get involved in those, I think we, the community, should get back the power to deal with this kind of requests. —MarcoAurelio 12:07, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Agree with your view, community-based seems to me the best solution. --Livenws (talk) 13:05, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with this too. It is simply fully unacceptable that projects are sometimes waiting for years here to be closed or, which is even far worse, to be (re)openend. De Wikischim (talk) 13:10, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
I personally don't trust neither the vote of the mass, nor referenda. I believe members of the LangCom should have time for their job. If they don't have time, one should look for someone else that will take over their seat.Ymnes (talk) 13:35, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Even a better solution would be to formulate measurable requirements. E.g. when requirement 1, 2, and 3 are met => than a project is launched.
I fact we do not even know when we have met necessary requirements.
Next to that, some people don't like certain projects like WikiNews, WikiQuote, Wikiversity, etc. Other people don't like the contributors involved. Personal tastes shouldn't be important whether a project should be launched or closed. So if one can formulate very clear measurable requirements, we don't even need a LangCom. An administrator, steward or bureaucrat can tick the list and give a GO.
In other words, just skipp a level of bureaucracy, don't exchange it for the mass with their prejudices. Ymnes (talk) 13:35, 11 June 2017 (UTC)
Good proposal. I agree --Livenws (talk) 13:49, 11 June 2017 (UTC)

RfC Announce: Wikimedia referrer policy[edit]

In February of 2016 the Wikimedia foundation started sending information to all of the websites we link to that allow the owner of the website (or someone who hacks the website, or law enforcement with a search warrant / subpoena) to figure out what Wikipedia page the user was reading when they clicked on the external link.

The WMF is not bound by Wikipedia RfCs, but we can use an advisory-only RfC to decide what information, if any, we want to send to websites we link to and then put in a request to the WMF. I have posted such an advisory-only RfC, which may be found here:

en:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#RfC: Wikimedia referrer policy

Please comment so that we can determine the consensus of the Wikipedia community on this matter. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:59, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Relisted Relisted The discussion was moved to w:en:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/RfC: Wikimedia referrer policy. Then I have relisted the discussion, i.e. gave the discussion additional 30 days. Therefore, more participants would be welcome to comment at the newer page there during the extended time. --George Ho (talk) 01:53, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Results of the RfC discussion at Eng. Wikipedia regarding "Outing" policy and WMF essay[edit]

The RFC discussion regarding w:en:WP:OUTING and WMF essay about paid editing and outing (see more at the ArbCom noticeboard archives) is now archived. Milieus #3 and #4 received substantial support; so did concrete proposal #1. Recapping the results already done at WP:administrators' noticeboard:

Milieu 3:

"The balancing COI and privacy/outing means that the only option is that people investigating COI must submit information in private to the relevant people. Currently this is the arbitration committee and/or the WMF, but other bodies could be considered if there is consensus for this."

Closing rationale: "There is consensus for the proposal with the obvious caveat, that this approach needs a lot more details and clarification.Many have clarified that other bodies shall only refer to editors who have been vetted by the community to handle sensitive and personally identifying information.There has been concerns about the use of the word only as it seems to nullify on-wiki processes based on CU and behaviorial evidence."

Milieu 4:

"We need to balance privacy provided to those editing in good faith against the requirements of addressing undisclosed paid promotional editing. To do so can be achieved with a private investigation with some release of results publicly to help with the detection of further related accounts. These details may include the name of the Wikipedia editing company with which the account is associated (such as for example the connections drawn here)"

Closing rationale: "There is consensus for the above proposal, with a condition that the proposal must be clarified to remove vaugeness, and that any information released must be limited to "employer, client, and affiliation".

More specifically, the information that is to be clarified is:

  1. Who is doing the investigating? (this looks like it's covered by Milieu 3)
  2. What information is to be released? The proposer has stated in the discussion below (and other editors agreed) that the information that is released is to be limited to "employer, client, and affiliation". This renders the argument of wp:outing invalid, which really was the only argument brought up on the oppose side."

--George Ho (talk) 00:06, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Official statement of Wikimedia Switzerland issued (June 2017)[edit]

The official statement is posted at Wikimedia CH/Official statement of Wikimedia CH (conflict in French speaking area), written in German, French, English, and Italian. --George Ho (talk) 19:22, 27 June 2017 (UTC)

Wikimedia Cloud[edit]

On June 9, 2017 the WMF filed for the service mark "WIKIMEDIA CLOUD" at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Wikimedia Cloud is "Providing online publications in the nature of articles and reference guides on the use of and contribution to software development" and "Providing virtual computer systems and virtual computer environments through cloud computing; computer services, namely, acting as an application services provider for Internet users featuring remote hosting of operating systems and computer applications; computer services, namely, providing a virtual computing environment accessible via the Internet for registered users to access databases and software development tools; providing a virtual computing environment accessible via the Internet for registered users to create and develop computer software."

Please tell me that the WMF isn't starting a project that appears to compete with Google Cloud[2] or Amazon Cloud[3] without telling anyone[4][5][6][7][8]... --Guy Macon (talk) 03:54, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

I am not aware of any such plans. Please, remember that patents are very often applied for preemptively, and especially in the US with a a very generous margin. Entering any form of competition with Google or Amazon clouds would be a major strategic shift, that should be widely discussed and I would personally oppose it as folly. I don't see, however, why couldn't we at some point want to be able to use some cutting edge technologies to support our mission, but without making swings at the moon. Pundit (talk) 04:28, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Wikimedia Cloud is what was formerly known as Labs... Raystorm (talk) 17:40, 11 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanx for the explanation Raystorm. Wikimedia offering cloud services sounded weird, but it makes perfect sense now that you mention wiki Labs. Alsee (talk) 22:10, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Accessibility for blind people[edit]

FYI: No board action required at this time (but advice would be most welcome).

en:User:Guy Macon/Proposals/CAPTCHA

--Guy Macon (talk) 02:15, 8 August 2017 (UTC)