Grants:IdeaLab/Human resources sharing in the open movement
What is the problem you're trying to solve?
There is evidence that harassment exists in the Wikimedia community. Various projects have been started to address the "gender gap", which is the Wikimedia community's trend to keep user base which is 90% male when actually gender diversity matching the general population is idea. One reason for the gender gap has been asserted to be harassment of female editors.
While Wikimedia projects are rightly criticized for failing to achieve gender diversity, it is less recognized in Wikimedia discussions that other online communities are similarly having gender diversity problems and that editors perceived as non-male in any online volunteer collaborative project also experience heightened risk of discrimination and harassment. To some extent, the problem goes beyond Wikimedia projects and is inherent in the act of groups meeting in virtual spaces.
The problem is that in many online communities, non-male participants face hardship which the male majority does not experience, and for that reason, persons targeted for discrimination are less likely to engage fully in projects and the entire community and project is harmed when such people choose to avoid joining as a result of the poor treatment they receive.
What is your solution?
There is overlap in mission scope and volunteer base in the Wikimedia community and other online community collaborative projects. Multiple projects are facing a "gender gap" and all the related problems around it, including harassment especially of women. There should be some attempt at inter-organizational collaboration among all organizations which are compatible with the Wikimedia community, and perhaps there could be a unified channel through which persons with harassment to report can request a response to their problem.
In this scheme, any participant in a participating online volunteer community could contact a central neutral organization and say that they have experienced harassment. The neutral organization would respond in some standard way without regard to the volunteer's affiliation to a given nonprofit. Previously, Wikimedia community resources have only been available to support the Wikimedia mission. The radical part of this proposal is that the Wikimedia community pool resources with other organization in recognition that the harassment issue is bigger than any one community, and that if we pool resources we can all benefit from the better infrastructure, and that change has to happen in all communities and not just in dispersed subsets which have limited communication with each other.
- Provide this service in coordination with other related services, perhaps under the direction of a community human resources staffperson
- Multiple nonprofit organizations supporting the open movement agree to collaborate in this
- Volunteers affiliated with any organization in this collaboration are invited to share in the social support provided through whatever collaboration platform comes of this