Grants talk:IdeaLab/Harassment must be treated by experts, not by anyone

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Grants to improve your project[edit]

Greetings! The Project Grants program is currently accepting proposals for funding. The deadline for draft submissions is tommorrow. If you have ideas for software, offline outreach, research, online community organizing, or other projects that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers, start your proposal today! Please encourage others who have great ideas to apply as well. Support is available if you want help turning your idea into a grant request.

The next open call for Project Grants will be in October 2016. You can also consider applying for a Rapid Grant, if your project does not require a large amount of funding, as applications can be submitted anytime. Feel free to ping me if you need help getting your proposal started. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) 22:49, 1 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

comments from Thepwnco[edit]

@Luca Polpettini: Hi there and thanks for proposing this. I'd love to learn more about your idea regarding how trained and experienced facilitators could be brought into Wikimedia projects to help prevent and combat harassment. Could you provide more information about the budget, how you intend to recruit facilitators, and what skills and knowledge related to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects would be vital for facilitators engaging in this type of work? Also could you clarify whether you see any role for facilitators in addressing harassment outside of dispute resolution and conflict de-escalation (for example, banning or blocking users, providing counselling and referral services, etc.)? Thanks and looking forward to learning more. -Thepwnco (talk) 18:50, 14 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Hi @Thepwnco: there is an international association of facilitators, the IAF World, they can provide advice, counsulting and contacts. Facilitators are experts in community and conflict management. They don't lead the community, just help communication. It's what it takes to Wikipedia ;-)..
They can enforce and give effect to Wikiquette and Wikilove.
I don't think entrust facilitators the community management of Wikipedia. Just entrust them a supervision, so they can intervene when they think fit or on user request. In fact, a complete delegation would be counterproductive, would shift the conflict from one place to another, and it would make the community less able to govern themselves. The role of facilitators instead is to strengthen the ability of the self-government community, giving skills needed.
On the other hand, i think training is not the right way, because the facilitation is not a theory, but above all a practice.
Wikimedia can begin with an experimentation in a Wikipedia language. It's difficult to determine a budget, it's better to ask IAF World.
Sorry for my bad english, i'm using Google Translator..--Luca Polpettini (talk) 12:10, 16 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Comments from NickK[edit]

@Luca Polpettini: Ciao Luca, grazie per la vostra idea! Unfortuantely I don't speak any Italian beyond the few words I learnt at Wikimania, thus sorry that you will need to translate it :(

It would be very interesting to involve facilitators for conflict resolution Wikimedia, but I would like to know more on how feasible is this:

  • How many projects do you want to cover with this grant? It will be rather difficult to cover even 20 biggest projects, perhaps it might be a good idea to start with a pilot project on one wiki? For instance, as you are active in Italian projects, would you be interested in working with a facilitator on Italian projects first before switching to other languages?
  • How often, in your opinion, a facilitator should be present online? Of course, ideally the facilitator must be online 24/7, as Wikipedians manage to have conflicts even in late night, but what activity do you realistically expect from the facilitator?
  • Regarding facilitator intervention, what mechanism do you expect? If it is done by user request, should this page be on-wiki? If it is done by facilitator's initiative, how many talk pages do you realistically expect the facilitator to monitor? I think that you might start with identifying a dozen of pages generating most conflicts (such as village pump or pages where users report abuse) and look at the effect, but you might be able to come up with a better approach.

I am curious to see the effect of such project, so maybe it is worth experimenting on one wiki and implementing it in different languages if it is successful.

Thanks in advance for your answers and do not hesitate to contact me if something is not clear — NickK (talk) 15:01, 19 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks @NickK:! I agree with you, we have to start with a pilot project on one wiki language, italian would be great.
I think facilitators would be present online as little as possible, because they have the role to support the self government of the community, not to replace it! So they will monitor directly only the Community pages. Users have to resolves themselves conflicts, and just ultimately resort to the facilitators. Or facilitators just ultimately can intervene on conflicts.
Then I imagine Community pages link to a page where users can request facilitators intervention, with a text explaining this is a very last resource for users in conflict.
So the budget for the pilot project is not high ;-) --Luca Polpettini (talk) 15:59, 19 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks @Luca Polpettini: for your answer. I am not against experimenting on multiple languages, but I think that it would be easier for you to manage the project on one language first, and it will be easier for you to see the impact of this project on the community given that both you and facilitator(s) will speak the same language. Could you please provide the estimate for this project in case it covers Italian only? Thank you — NickK (talk) 16:35, 19 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I think 6.000 euros for a pilot project in three months would be enough.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 20:53, 23 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Project Grants Round 2[edit]

Thanks for reviews @Thepwnco: and @NickK:, i will apply to the Round 2 of Project Grants. My proposal wasn't yet ready to start.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 21:03, 23 August 2016 (UTC)

I'm planning to apply to Round 2, I think the project is almost ready. I integrated the project with the reviews and found a partnership. --Luca Polpettini (talk) 15:16, 21 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Not eligible for Project Grants review in round 1 2016[edit]

IEG review.png

This Project Grants proposal is not eligible for review during the current round because the application is incomplete.

We encourage you to further develop your project idea and submit a fully completed proposal in a future round. You can view the schedule of future rounds at the Project Grants Start space.

Questions? Contact us.

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 18:20, 23 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

October 11 Proposal Deadline: Reminder to change status to 'proposed'[edit]

The deadline for Project Grant submissions this round is October 11th, 2016. To submit your proposal, you must (1) complete the proposal entirely, filling in all empty fields, and (2) change the status from "draft" to "proposed." As soon as you’re ready, you should begin to invite any communities affected by your project to provide feedback on your proposal talkpage. If you have any questions about finishing up or would like to brainstorm with us about your proposal, there are still two proposal help sessions before the deadlne in Google Hangouts:

Warm regards,
Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 03:16, 6 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Eligibility confirmed, round 2 2016[edit]

IEG review.png

This Project Grants proposal is under review!

We've confirmed your proposal is eligible for round 2 2016 review. Please feel free to ask questions and make changes to this proposal as discussions continue during this community comments period.

The committee's formal review for round 2 2016 begins on 2 November 2016, and grants will be announced in December. See the schedule for more details.

Questions? Contact us.

Alex Wang (WMF) (talk) 17:16, 14 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Interest in working together[edit]

Hello Luca Polpettini,

I think you have a great idea there and I am very interested in the outcome. Have you seen our proposal for a grant on mental health issues? I do think we should get in contact and work together on these issues. Hoping to hear from you --Kritzolina (talk) 05:29, 15 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks @Kritzolina:, I'm very interested in collaborations, can you link your proposal?--Luca Polpettini (talk) 13:49, 17 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Ciao Luca, my proposal is here. Saluti --Kritzolina (talk) 15:26, 17 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with you, I think Wikimedia have to overcome a too naive approach to community management: mental healt issues are important factors so far forgotten.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 07:32, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Question by Joalpe[edit]

Hello. Thank you for your proposal. Any project on harassment is dealing with an important matter within our community. I have a couple of questions:

  1. A major problem in our community is to be able to identify harassment. We are still building a culture in which harassment is perceived as a problem. How would this affect your project?
Facilitators are experts in conflicts, they can certainly lead the community to be able to indentify harassement.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 12:23, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  1. Could you describe in theory a situation in which this facilitator would act? How would she be called for action, or diagnose harassment? How would she act? What "power" would she be granted?
Facilitators act in community pages, where users talk about harassement. At the beginning they take part in every talk in those community pages. This is not a problem, in Wikipedia in italian those pages are rarely used. They lead users to conflict resolution. I think those are required powers: they can revert and edit discussions by users (they are the experts!), users can't revert and edit discussions by facilitators (they aren't the experts!), facilitators can't ban users.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 12:23, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  1. Wouldn't it be a problem that this facilitator might be potentially from outside the community?
Facilitators should be preferably from outside the community, this is a basis for facilitation.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 12:23, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  1. How would we measure success in countering harassment?
It will decrease the number of blocks, which are used today to govern the community since there are no experts in conflict management. Better press for Wikimedia project.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 12:23, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks again! --Joalpe (talk) 01:43, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]


In the current form the proposal is incomplete: some section are not filled in. It may not be eligible. Ruslik (talk) 12:40, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

@Ruslik0: wich sections are not filled in? Every section it seems to me complete..--Luca Polpettini (talk) 18:35, 26 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Aggregated feedback from the committee for Harassment must be treated by experts, not by anyone[edit]

Scoring rubric Score
(A) Impact potential
  • Does it have the potential to increase gender diversity in Wikimedia projects, either in terms of content, contributors, or both?
  • Does it have the potential for online impact?
  • Can it be sustained, scaled, or adapted elsewhere after the grant ends?
(B) Community engagement
  • Does it have a specific target community and plan to engage it often?
  • Does it have community support?
(C) Ability to execute
  • Can the scope be accomplished in the proposed timeframe?
  • Is the budget realistic/efficient ?
  • Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?
(D) Measures of success
  • Are there both quantitative and qualitative measures of success?
  • Are they realistic?
  • Can they be measured?
Additional comments from the Committee:
  • I don’t see a fit with the Wikimedia strategic priorities, but there is potential impact online in prevention of harassment online (mediator or mediation in some editor problems).
  • I know harassment is a problem but am unsure how facilitators that are not part of the community can resolve such problems.
  • I see no that sustainability will be achieved: "wmf support" is not a decision, this should be a community decision
  • The involvement of experts to deal with harassment is not necessarily in accordance with our priorities, since we have had a focus on building a culture against harassment with training and capacity development. The involvement of people who are external to our community might create a terrible sense of surveillance, whereas learning processes are eventually more consistent when they are endogenous.
  • The applicant does not write "how many X" will measure: the measure of success is too vague to be determined if the project is successful. In the application the applicant doesn't write about risks (ie: the community don't like the idea...)
  • The user clearly wants to solve a gradually growing issue but am not sure how his submission will address the issue.
  • No particular measures, no particular methods proposed
  • The applicant’s record within her/his community may jeopardize learning potentials, since there will not be general acceptance of even a pilot for this project.
  • Budget is too high, without explanation. The user has 4 years in Wikimedia projects, 6 months in Wikimedia Italy and it haven't a good community relationship (blocked in two Italian projects). I don't see sufficient skills to make the project succeed.
  • The project may be perceived as a "search for justice" from the blocked user
  • Concerned by responses by applicant on talk page, which seemed defensive rather than engaging in a constructive process.
  • There is no support and notifications.
  • It looks like the project was not run by the community
  • The grantee is indefinitely blocked in two his main projects
  • Very weak community engagement and support for a project with this potential impact.
  • I see the project with many problems: budget not explained, not measurable metrics, lack of support in italian community and the user has a negative past (blocked).
  • I have put a very low number for community engagement and ability to execute because the grantee is under evaluation by the community for a block and by Wikimedia IT too.
  • I do not think that the project is eligible - its author is blocked on his home projects and does not appear to have a good community standing as required by our guidelines.
  • Am unsure what the outcomes will be should this project be implemented
  • I don't think that we should fund project about harassment proposed by indefinitely blocked user
  • I don't believe in the idea to use facilitators to solve conflicts and harassment issues in community pages.
  • Project is not sufficiently grounded on an assessment of a strategy to keep our community strong and flourishing. Harassment is definitely a serious issue.
IEG IdeaLab review.png

This project has not been selected for a Project Grant at this time.

We love that you took the chance to creatively improve the Wikimedia movement. The committee has reviewed this proposal and not recommended it for funding. This was a very competitive round with many good ideas, not all of which could be funded in spite of many merits. We appreciate your participation, and we hope you'll continue to stay engaged in the Wikimedia context.

Next steps: Applicants whose proposals are declined are welcome to consider resubmitting your application again in the future. You are welcome to request a consultation with staff to review any concerns with your proposal that contributed to a decline decision, and help you determine whether resubmission makes sense for your proposal.

Over the last year, the Wikimedia Foundation has been undergoing a community consultation process to launch a new grants strategy. Our proposed programs are posted on Meta here: Grants Strategy Relaunch 2020-2021. If you have suggestions about how we can improve our programs in the future, you can find information about how to give feedback here: Get involved. We are also currently seeking candidates to serve on regional grants committees and we'd appreciate it if you could help us spread the word to strong candidates--you can find out more here. We will launch our new programs in July 2021. If you are interested in submitting future proposals for funding, stay tuned to learn more about our future programs.

I am grateful for feedback, I wish to apply again for next Round. But I have a question for the committee, will you evaluate the content, or who made it? If you'll evaluate the content I'll apply again, if you'll evaluate who did it I won't apply again, because some admins, as M7, Sannita, Vituzzu, Nemo, told me they will not unban me, with no reasons and no answears.
If you evaluate the content someone else will present the proposal at the italian community. There are no other options.--Luca Polpettini (talk) 13:06, 1 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

@Luca Polpettini: Project grant committee evaluation includes both evaluation of the idea of the proposal and of applicant's capacity to implement it. As you can notice, your proposal has a rather average note on impact potential (Does it have the potential for online impact?), but it has a low score on ability to execute (Do the participants have the necessary skills/experience?). I think that it would be better for the project if other members of Italian community would work with you on this project. Having at least one experienced user in good standing who can serve as a community organiser on Italian Wikipedia and some support from Italian community would significantly increase your chances — NickK (talk) 16:29, 5 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Lack of changes to proposal since previous round[edit]

Hello Luca Polpettini,

Thank you for this submission. I've read your earlier comments asking whether a resubmission of this proposal would be evaluated based on its content or based on who made it. We review both the application and the applicant for every submission we receive. Any bans are always a concern, since we want our grantees to be in good standing with their communities. That said, we know there are instances in which it makes sense to make exceptions, and we are always willing to consider edge cases.

In this case, however, I am not marking your proposal as eligible because of the content of your proposal, which does not demonstrate significant revisions in response to the feedback you have received from the committee since you were declined. When we post a decision to decline funding, we invite applicants to re-apply after they "make updates based on the feedback provided... before resubmitting it for review in a new round." I would like you to seriously review the committee feedback and make substantive revisions to this proposal before resubmitting it again. You should know that you will need to address your history with the community as part of our review process, since we will be reluctant to fund someone to address harassment--a subject that requires special skills of community engagement--if that person does not have a positive history of community engagement themselves. To be clear, I know very little about your individual history, and I'm just offering this feedback to provide insight into our standard review process. As NickK indicated, one way you can overcome your history is to bring on others who have a positive history of community engagement. But you need to do more than just add names. You need to flesh out your proposal with a much more specific and fully considered plan of action and demonstrate that the project team has the special skills required to execute that plan around a topic that can easily become heated.

If you would like further feedback about this, don't hesitate to reach out.

Kind regards,

--Marti (WMF) (talk) 03:31, 3 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Please note that I'm reverting your proposal status back to draft. As above, you are welcome to resubmit in a future round. Given that you have applied several rounds, I would recommend that you contact me directly at mjohnson (_AT_) wikimedia  · org well in advance of the next submission deadline if you decide to reapply and I will be happy to give you input about what would likely be needed for a proposal on this subject to be competitive.
Kind regards,
--Marti (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 3 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]