Private Incident Reporting System/Updates

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Private Incident Reporting System - An Easier and Safer Reporting System for All


November 8, 2022[edit]

Our main goal for the past couple of months was to understand the problem space and understand what people are struggling with, what they need, and their expectations around this project. We did this by:

  • Reviewing and synthesizing harassment research, surveys and other relevant documentation (going back to 2013)
  • Having user interviews with volunteers who have experienced or witnessed harassment on Wikipedia
  • Having discussions with Staff members, UCoC drafting committee and wiki functionaries.

Our purpose was to identify priorities, scope and a possible product direction.

Findings and next steps[edit]

Focus on Safety[edit]

The recommendation from the Movement Strategy discussions is to provide for safety and inclusion within the communities. As our ultimate goal is for people to feel safe when participating in Wikimedia projects, we will use this as the guiding principle for what to focus on in the minimum viable product (MVP).

Project Approach: start small[edit]

There are a lot of things to take in consideration when thinking about this project.

  • Many types of Users: reporter, responder, observer, accused, monitor
  • Many Use cases: doxing, abuse of power, content violations, security breaches, legal issues etc.
  • A lot of Complexities: admins as harassers, off wiki harassment, government interference etc.

This project will grow and become more complex over time. So we need to start really small, with a very limited scope before we dive into anything more complex.

Focus on two types of users[edit]

We have identified a few different types of users:

  • Reporters: Users who have experienced harassment, and are filing a report.
  • Responders: Users who receive the report, and want to help.
  • Accused: The users who are named in the report.
  • Monitor: People who are interested in tracking the progress of reports, to understand the problem better or to ensure that people are treated properly.

Since we want to start small, we will focus on reporters and responders first.

MVP Approach (Short-term)[edit]

The way we would like to approach this is to build something small that will help us figure out whether the basic experience actually works.

Principles of the MVP:

  • We will design for and test and release on a few pilot wikis
  • Since our goal is to address safety we are going to focus only on 3.1 (Harassment) in the UCoC.
  • We will explore a basic experience for two user groups only:
    • Reporters will understand how to file a report, and feel comfortable enough to complete the report process.
    • Responders will receive clear reports, giving them the information that they need in order to understand the problem.
  • MVP will connect to current systems as they are (we are not changing any existing processes)

This experiment should also help us explore and answer some important questions and learn things as we go:

  • Entry points (where reporting starts) – what are they, should we have one or more?
  • Users – do people easily discover the entry point? What do they think will happen when they engage it?
  • Scale – can we do this at scale? Will we overwhelm the responders? etc.
  • Data – can we build something that will help us collect the data we need in order to make decisions? What can we measure to know we’re moving in the right direction?
What we are not doing (yet)[edit]

The idea is to start with a really small scope, try a few things and learn as we go. Therefore we need to be very clear about what we are not going to do yet:

  • We are not solving for bad admins and/or other complex use cases
  • We are not fixing existing flawed processes
  • Not everything in the UCoC is about safety but we are focusing only on safety
  • Agnostic reporting – we cannot do this without validating a basic reporting experience works with a specific type of incident
What happens after the MVP (long-term)[edit]

We have some ideas about v2 and v3 but we want to experiment with an MVP first and see how people feel about it. What we learn now will be useful to make decisions about future versions.

Some v2 and v3 ideas include:

  • Private reporting (creating a private space for reporters and responders to interact)
  • Escalation (having the ability to route cases to a different entity for further support)

In order to explore these two ideas we need to ensure the basic/core experience actually works. If it does we will build on top of it.

Discussions points[edit]

  • What do you think about this approach?
  • What scares/concerns you about this project?

Looking forward to your feedback on the talk page!

September 30, 2022[edit]

We have been collecting feedback, reading through existing documentation and conducting interviews in order to better understand the problem space and identify critical questions we need to answer. We are currently synthesising the information we have collected in an effort to start defining a more clear scope for the project. It is a lot of information to go through so this might take a while, there's so many things we need to learn!