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Requests for comment/Chapters. Proposal to give transparency and voice to the communities

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The following request for comments is closed. No comment for more than one year, broader proposal included elsewhere.

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This proposal is to give transparency in chapter’s activities and give voice to communities in Chapters approval and renewal.

Taking into account that:

  • The chapters are reaching increasingly useful tools to promote projects. The projects not promoted by any chapter or the territories without any chapter will be in a seriously disadvantaged position.
  • The relationship and communication between the chapters and communities seems to be quite often weak. See presentation at Wikimania related to conflicts between chapters and communities.
  • Some of the chapters' actions that affect the community at large, such as the election of board members designated by chapters, are completely opaque to the community.

In order to follow the Wikimedia Foundation values where it is stated that: “We must listen and take into account our communities in any decisions taken to achieve our mission.” And “We must communicate Wikimedia Foundation information in a transparent, thorough and timely manner, to our communities and more generally, to the public.”

We propose that:

  1. The chapters have to operate with the confidence of the communities of the projects they wish to promote. Give only the status of chapters for the communities that have earned their trust and ask the communities before approving any chapter.
  2. That the chapters have to report their activities regularly to the village pumps of the projects in the languages of the communities they serve.
  3. That only be kept private the discussions of chapters between them when containing personal data or negotiations with institutions external to Wikimedia movement, that all others can be read publicly. Specifically those addressed to elect members of the Board appointed by the Chapters.
  4. That chapters be obliged to yearly renew the confidence of each language community they are serving as a requirement to renew the chapters agreement.

For this proposed way to get transparency and give voice to the communities[edit]

  1. For the reasons given in the proposal--Gomà 11:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. because transparency must be a guide principle in a wiki-based community--Barcelona 12:35, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. because a recurrent lack of transparency ultimately leads to all kinds of injustice. --Toniher 12:51, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. The Chapters structure doesn't fit really in a wiki mind. Overlapping is an euphemism for "not willing to cooperate from the preliminar stage". But it's a wrong way, because it's going backwards for an organization aiming the open collaboration such WMF, to cooperate with no previous condition. Just like a wiki. When you want to set up a new wiki project, there are several ways such Requests for new languages. A decission is taken there after giving voice to the community and listening them. We could, and we also should, use the same method, engaging wiki mind into real life in the Chapters structure. --Joanot 16:59, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Against this way to get transparency and give voice to the communities[edit]

  1. This proposal is amazing, if you are not ok with the points proposed it is because your are "against transparency"?? For what I'm concern this is not a fair proposal, It's look more like a POINT than other thing.--Chandres 14:21, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. I ran into this while going over the recent changes, and while I can agree with the principle of the proposal, I find it hard to agree with having to obtain absolute community consensus to derive the legitimacy of chapters. It may be easy for monolingual chapters, but it becomes difficult for chapters like us, where under the proposed terms we'd have to consult with nine separate language communities (and growing) just to derive legitimacy, and even more so if those editors are not part of the organization. I do agree with the comment above though: the proposal should be more neutrally-worded. --Sky Harbor (talk) 14:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. This proposal is pure demagogy. I am not against transparency but against this proposal ! Of course a member of a given community should be -de facto- member of the Chapter of his her choice but it's another story Divol 14:32, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Chapters are geography based, not language. So why should UK chapter need to have an OK of Australia "language community". This proposal seems to me just another catalan vs spanish grudge. And the way this is presented ("if yu oppose, you're against transparency" strikes me as facetious) es:Magister Mathematicae 14:37, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Chapters are not related to any "language community", but to a territory AFAIK. And there are projects, promoted by chapters, which are not linguistic communities (Commons for example). Incidentally, the question should be reworded in a way which would be more clearly related to the proposals. Litlok 14:40, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  6. The wording of the proposal is so obviously biased that it does not seem reasonable to assume the good faith of the authors. This proposal is an attempt of disruption for the sake of a specific conflict. The proposal is not backed up by meaningful examples of conflicts between projects and chapters. It just proposes a layer of infeasible rules. Bokken 14:58, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
    Still strongly against the proposal, even after rewording. The notion of what a community is lacks proper definition. Chapters help not only local Wikipedias (there can be several of them, e.g. in Switzerland) but also other Foundation projects, such as Wikisource, Wikiversity, Commons, etc, which have separate communities. The proposal thus makes no sense. Bokken 09:30, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  7. What a biased proposal! It would be nice not to try to use chapters and wikipedia for your own political sake. How do you say "I'm evil, I'm against transparency" in Catalan language? Remi Mathis 16:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
    Not a very constructive final remark. es:Magister Mathematicae 16:52, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  8. I'm pro-catala without any doubt possible. But this proposal makes no sense with how the chapters and the projects are defined : no relation what so ever between them (language might be common to both, but there no relation 1-1 between them, it's N-N relation which makes no opportunity of doing such a thing). The basic problematic of the Catalan chapter (and other similar cases might occur) is not to be solved by such a method. Even if I concur on the problematic of transparency, I can't reasonably be agreeing with this proposal. Visca Catalunya Loreleil 17:46, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
    All cases occur: 1-1, 1-N, N-1 and N-M. You can see a discussion on those situations in the letter I sent to the board on 13 Jun 2010. But I don't see there any problem for this proposal. Just open a RFC, put a note in the village pump of the interested projects and hear the voice of the communities. You only can get advantages. You take a decision with more info, you make the communities feel they are taken into account for the important decisions and the groups promoting a Chapter start with good first step gaining the communities confidence. This has nothing in favour nor against the Catalan case. They just have to accomplish with the same requirement as anybody else.--Gomà 19:17, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  9. I think that transparency and relationships between communities and chapters is an issue to be adressed, although this is not the way nor the proper context to do so. In this sense I wellcome some recent steps from Amical in the way of transparency, making its web open access. More analysis is to be done and needed before making any proposal. Proposals must be coherent, factible and study-based, not only occasional ideas-based. I shall support a more general proposal and an agenda to adress the issue, but not an over-reaction from a single sector which probably aims to attract attention to another issues not addressed here. Nevertheless, I encourage your efforts and ideas for the transparency and good relationships between communities and chapters. So, go along and get a more mature proposal just talking with another sectors of the communities (both chapters and projects). --Gustavocarra 13:44, 5 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

what means Against transparency and voice to the communities ?[edit]

1/ "Against (transparency and voice to the communities)" or : 2/ "Against(transparency) and voice to the communities" ? --Epsilon0 15:44, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Both are biased. You can be in favor (as I am) if transparency and voice to the ocmmunities (insert parentheses as you wish), but the subtle implication here is that oppossing this particular proposal means opposing either. es:Magister Mathematicae 15:50, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. I can't vote still an credible alternative of the proposal is not given. Perhaps someone will do it below. --Epsilon0 16:17, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Reworded the statements and added a space for other proposals. --Gomà 16:32, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Not understanding what this proposal has to do with transparency[edit]

  1. Though supporting transparency (and the fight against global warming) I can't really understand the relationship between this proposal and chapter transparency. --Ecemaml 23:59, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. I agree. Wikisilki 18:46, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Other proposals to get transparency and give voice to the communities[edit]

Other comments[edit]

I agree with about 80% of this. However, the fatal flaw is failing to understand that chapters are geographically based whereas communities are language based. I can't see any way of taking this forward until those issues are addressed. 16:35, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I've read that (and post and advice to es-wiki). I desagree with opinions Against this way number 4, 6, and 7 : all of them talking about Biased proposal and writing about "catalan vs spanish" , "it does not seem reasonable to assume the good faith of the authors" and "It would be nice not to try to use chapters and wikipedia for your own political sake.". As supporter of WM-CAT I'm not against any association who wants to promote Wikimedia, less against spanish, as supporter of WM-CAT I'm not doing political at all (at least in this sense about "territorial facts"), and finally I act with good faith. I'm really tired about this pressumtions and this misinformation about the position of the WM-CAT proponents: This people work hard to improve the Wikimedia projects (they do it more hard a thousand times more than me): I'm sure that the RFC have being not redacted accurancy, but I think that the Proposal is less amagazing that what is expressed: the opinions Against 1, 2, 3 and 5 express the same than the others without hurting. Perhaps We are wrong about how must be a chapter but i can't see what is wrong about a request about more transparency and give voice to the communities: I belive we can talk about it, after all that's a Request for comment, no?.--Mafoso 17:48, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

So, in the end, it seems as if this RFC has nothing to do with transparency but with the promotion of WM-CAT. Why don't you handle it in a explicit way? --Ecemaml 17:52, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

No it isn't: the proposal doesn't talk about WM-CAT. It talks about transaprency and voice to the comunities. WM-CAT is mentioned for first time by me and it's mentioned because someone start talking about what "it seems to me", "it does not seem reasonable to assume the good faith of the authors": As you say: it seems that if persons that promotes wm-cat said something it's is said wrong, in the end it's just a little group of wikipedians.--Mafoso 21:18, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
It's you the one who talks about WM-CAT, not me. So please, tell me again... what does this proposal actually aim to? (please, don't say that it'll bring peace to the world) --Ecemaml 23:54, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

What's wrong, Mafoso? The whole-abstract-possible-problem-therefore-a-resolution-must-be-passed approach. Goes like this.

  • Global warming is bad.
  • Reducing CO_2 emissions is a good thing.
  • Not reducing CO2 emissions leads to all kind of injustices
  • Who would oppose reducing CO_2 emissions? It's a good thing! Are YOU against reducing CO2?
  • Therefore let's propose and discuss changes so we have checks and village pump reports on server CO_2 emissions.
  • Developers should get approval from unrelated checkuser communities regarding handling of CO_2 emissions in order to continue as developers...

Wait.. what's wrong here? Why are people opposing this? Reducing CO2 is a good thing!!! Why are people rejecting the proposal with good intentions?

So I ask: given that there have been several chapters for several years, is there any specific concrete problem/issue on any of these chapters that this proposal addresses, and if so, how would it have made things different? Or is this just a proposal to solve an hypotetical prlblem perceived by catalan community (and I clarify: I am not talking about Amical or WM:CAT just a fact statement that this proposal has been proposed and so far only supported by ca.wiki sysops, so perhaps there's an issue that wiki perceives that is being extrapolated to all communities) ? es:Magister Mathematicae 20:05, 30 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I see three levels of “problems”.
First there is the difficulty in creating new chapters. Many of them require years to gather people. I think it is because people are highly sceptical about the advantages of chapters. Blogs like this don’t help in creating new chapters in Spanish speaking countries. I am convinced that if Wikimedia Argentina where publishing periodically their achievements in Spanish Wikipedia village pump the process of creating those new chapters were much easier.
Then there are the more or less serious but true conflicts between Chapters, the communities and the movement. In WIkimania 2010 “Conflicts between chapters and communities” presentation several examples from Israel chapter where given. Historically there are many cases. You have the first attempt to create Wikimedia UK. The protest against Wikimedia Deutschland by sending hundredths of one euro donations from the community (cost per donation is bigger than one euro). Just when announcing this RFC I came across with this message at en-wp bistro... In this case you also should count the “sleeping” Chapters those that apparently don’t generate any conflict because they are doing nothing. I think that if community is properly informed of chapters activities many of this misunderstandings will disapear and if community feels that chapters are tools at their service because they have a voice in chapter's approval and renewal those conflicts will be erased.
And last but not least there is the case of multilingual countries already pointed by some comments against the proposal. Up to now all chapters are almost monolingual some are doing their best to cope with several official languages and WM-CH is true multilingual. But there are several countries like Belgium or Canada with more than one official language where we don’t have any chapter yet. And there is also the case of projects like Esperanto or Latin.
I think that multilingual chapters should be able to properly serve the projects they wish to serve or recognize they are only active in some projects and left room for others to do the job they are not able to do. Again I am sure that by following this proposal we where able to have more chapters serving better more projects in more countries.
All this happened in an environment where almost the only advantage of being a chapter was being able to use WM name to identify you. But now Chapters are getting increasingly more tools and the projects and territories without chapter will be in a seriously disadvantaged situation.
--Gomà 00:12, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Hi everyone, I am Claudi Balaguer/User Capsot and I want to make things clear about myself. First of all I define my affiliation in order to be honest with anyone here: I belong to Amical and I also belong to the Occitan Wikiccionari. I have made a campaign asking for support for a Catalan chapter in way too many Wikipedias (and received many support which I am really grateful for), because I think that the supposed geographical anchorage (there can always be a geographical ground even for Esperanto or Roms), which is actually a statal condition, is not fair. Our goal, or at least mine and I hope most of you, is to promote knowledge without boundaries and again we have the same borderlines that we have in real life... I am for diversity and freedom of association (as I think you are too) and I think that the more Chapters we will have, the more diversity and democracy we will get; then I understand too well that under the current rules, Catalan, Occitan, Breton, Basque, Esperanto and many other minorized or stateless languages (actually there could also be other possibilities of Chapters outside the linguistic ones...) will never get access to a Chapter and then won't be able to promote their projects (obviously smaller than those of the bigger languages...) on equal grounds. But actually this is not my biggest problem currently. This RFC has unfortunately been not thought enough of and has given rise to diverse, some grounded and some really unfair, comments. My "wanderings" in the diverse Wikipedias have taught me that many people do not know what is a Chapter, which I think is a real problem... many people do not care about it (well, that's their choice anyway...), some think these institutions don't care about them... I was in Gdansk no that long ago and witnessed Harel's speech about the problem between Chapter and Wikipedians (you should seriously read this instead of talking about CO2 even if the issue is not as bad as global warming... and you'll see that there ARE problems...) and I was amazed to see the members of the Board leave just when the speech began... Weren't they concerned? I also have serious doubts about the choices in the upper structures, are they really democratic? Do you know who were the candidates? How are they chosen? If you know then you are luckier than I am... Can't there be conflicts of interest when members of a same family occupy distinct positions in the structure?
In my case, don't worry, no problem... you can keep on pretending there is no problem, that everything goes perfectly and you can always blame the Catalan for whatever reason, saying they are frustrated because they haven't got a Chapter. They/we actually really have the right to be frustrated, they/we have sollicited the opinion of the Board and until now they/we only had an answer, from Jimmy Wales. Do you think it is normal that people supposed to work on the same project and somehow represent you can treat you this way, with some kind of scornful attitude? Even bureaucracy in France or in Spain (sorry I don't know about the other countries...) replies faster... I mean you can simply say: "We'll talk about it in a few days... weeks... months... centuries" or "No way, Catalan people have no state so they won't have a Chapter", well anything... just a few words...
You can also keep on thinking we are evil (even if you can't say it in Catalan...) no problem, we are used to this but I will keep on fighting for equal opportunity for every association be it Occitan, Catalan, Esperanto or every other type of association possible if they show good will.

I seriously hope that people who are concerned with this lack of transparency will help us improve this RFC with constructive criticism if they can... Have a good night or week, de còr e d'òc, Claudi/Capsot 00:46, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

The problem, Claudi, is that really nobody understand the purpose of this RFC. Can you give us an applied example? For instance, does it mean that your proposal on WM-CAT (which now seems to have become territorial and therefore overlaps with a chapter already supported by the ChapCom) must be "approved" by the "community" of the Spanish Wikipedia (something sensible since grosso modo the Spanish is the usual language of 50% of the Catalan population, 75% of the Valentian and 25% of the Balear one)? Also with the "communities" of the Spanish Wikisource, Spanish Wikinews, commons? None of the previous? All of them? To sum up, which is the purpose of your proposal, in plain words (beyond greater transparency and bla, bla)? And just a comment, victimism is not the way ("you can always blame the Catalan for whatever reason", "You can also keep on thinking we are evil"...) because the issue here is not being Catalan or Chinese, but speaking openly. If your real proposal has any merit it will be supported. Otherwise, it looks like yet another POINTy experiment. --Ecemaml 09:57, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
There are also the points 2, 3 and 4 in the proposal but the point 1 means exactly what you say. That previously of accepting Wikimedia CAT (for example) as a chapter to serve (for example to the projects in the official languages in the territory they propose: Spanish, Catalan and Occitan) the voice of the communities are to be heard. And only give them the status of chapter for those communities if they gain their confidence. This is a wiki. Please feel free to improve the wording if you see it is not clear enough. By the way, in Catalan culture the devils haven’t as negative connotation as they have in other cultures.--Gomà 11:04, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Hello, hola! I agree with you Ecemaml, the phrasing should be rethought, rewritten and then simplified and maybe divided in diverse proposals, so people can choose what they deem more appropriated. I was not really into the victimism thing; the fact is that because this discussion has been raised from Catalan wikipedians, or from Amical, this geographical (or linguistical, or cultural, or even national...) adscription is systematically being brought back here and again in many comments e.g. the ones that describe the RFC as "demagogy" or mocking us with "how do you say "I'm evil" in Catalan" (were we speaking Catalan here?) and so on... The problem here is not WM-CAT which comes out way too often in this discussion (I am not surprised since many of the answers come from Spanish Wikipedians, maybe members of Wikimedia Spain and some French Wikimedians more or less affiliated to a Chapter too..., things should be separated I guess if it's possible), though it is linked to it; it is actually the bigger picture that makes real trouble. Our diverse problems to obtain a chapter have made obvious that many things do not work as they should be. It also has unveiled many opaque procedures that very few people seem to be acquainted with. Our first priority here is to be able to understand how things work in order to proceed the right way and to know where to address our questions. How can a Chapter be really independent from the Wikipedias? Is it logical? Wikipedians are the working force and some oligarchy could take advantage of our work without even contributing? Aren't they enough politicians or people willing to make profit on some other people to let such a space this vulnerable? A clear example of one of the thing we ask would be to make public the deliberations of every election process, to know who the candidates were, on which grounds they are chosen with the comments and appreciations of each and every member of the entity responsible.
Concerning the question of Wikimedia CAT which should not be an issue here (though I admit it is related), we always gave our reasons a zillion times and I can give you my personal opinion about being a part of Wikimedia Spain or the overlapping issue. Even though I guess (and hope) that most of the members of Wikimedia Spain are tolerant, open-minded people and hold no grudge against Catalan (contrary to a huge number of the population of your country including some of my Valencian relatives), I think that minorized languages will never be treated the same way as dominant languages; a clear example of it would be that if you have a limited amount of money, you will always prefer to give the money to the project that will reach more people and thus Spanish will always be preferred. In the scheme of a "federal" structure Catalan would still be much luckier than Aragonese or Occitan which are hardly considered most of the times; and that can't satisfy me... Moreover I live in Northern Catalonia and then this is obviously not within Spain nowadays... And how will be adressed a possible Esperantist chapter? Would it be ignored forever? I was not very supportive of the territorial limitation, on the contrary! But well, it seemed that we could have a chance to fulfill the request of the supposed "geographical anchorage"... This is actually a technicality designed to enforce the policy of having exclusively statal chapters... In real life, different people with different languages, cultures and religions coexist in the same space; their real borderline is their degree of openness, tolerance and will to communicate with members from other communities, to deal with diversity in general; it happens likewise with associations, here in Northern Catalonia there is the Secours Populaire, the Restos du Coeur and pretty similar organizations which coexist and have similar objectives. Then overlapping is not the problem in itself, why can't there be overlapping chapter but yes overlapping people (people affiliated in many Chapters, I guess there are many of them...), does it make sense? On the other hand I do not see many Chapters being this sensitive to their "minorities". It has been said previously that Chapters do not represent "linguistic communities", which is totally false, they mainly (not everyone of them of course, but the great majority) represent the dominant language of the state in which they are based, for instance Wikimedia France serves nearly exclusively French (I really hope that I am wrong and that the contrary will be demonstrated, I will be really happy, I do not mean it is their fault either; it is not an easy situation...)... Anyway, these again are my personal position, and I am really sorry (I sincerely apologize) to be writing too much and not being more helpful in the rethinking of this RFC. Please if you are really interested in talking about our personal opinions, visions or Wikimedia CAT, I beg you to use other media, you can write me, I will try to answer even though I have too much work right now.... Thanks for your opinions and for being polite. Take care, Claudi/Capsot 12:13, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Why are we talking about "overlapping" when we really are to mean "cooperating"? When I read someone using this word I'm understanding this person doesn't want really the cooperation in any case. The structure of Chapters aren't actually standing over a ground based in a wiki mind, and this should be redefined. I give support to this RFC. --Joanot 16:57, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
As mentioned below, how can you claim cooperation when you promote a territorial chapter and you're unable to send a message to people that could be interested? --Ecemaml 17:09, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I'm sorry, but I don't see the point you're asking me for. We spread a lot of messages about it, and in less than twelve hours more than a hundred persons supported it. Anyway, I don't understand what you mean exactly. Please, could you make it more clear? --Joanot 17:25, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Ok, I'd read your intervention below. Although it's not talking about WM-CAT only, I admit this is a nearer case study. But the same case could be considered for other regional languages or stateless languages like esperanto. Honestly, Ecemaml, people from this support page, or from this recent survey, very few people is interested to WM-ES. And in the backwards case, it's the same, very few people supporting WM-ES is interested to WM-CAT. The real situation is there's two wikimedian communities wanting different things, both have succeeded important support and, so, both should be seriously considered. I want WM-CAT to cooperate and not to be a closed organization, please, don't doubt about it. In other case, it would be an anti-wiki nature. Cooperation from both projects is perfectly possible. Look to the wikimedia projects, ie, are wikipedia in Spanish and Wikipedia in Catalan cooperating each other? Sure! There's interwikis, translations, discussions, and etc. Are there cooperation between the wikipedias with the wikibooks? Sure! But it doesn't mean to be the same project, each different wikimedian community has his own rules and his own way to do things. Why should be this different in real life with Chapters? I think it's possible to deal in the same way, and what the wikimedian community are claiming and supporting stronger should be respected and take into consideration for a decission. --Joanot 17:48, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Did you say "cooperation"? --Ecemaml 23:39, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
It's not me, but yes, I mean cooperation. --Joanot 13:39, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Claudi, I think your line of argument is sound and sensible. But what you're proposing is different to what is being drafted above. You think, and you could be right, that stateless languages (and their communities) require a different chapter structure because of the reasons you've stated above. Why don't you propose that? It could be a sensible movement that could gather some degree of support (ideally high).

On the other hand, what surprises me most is your preemptive approach. You haven't undergone any discrimination in any chapter yet (not in WM-ES since it does not exist yet; in WM-FR you say that "I really hope that I am wrong and that the contrary will be demonstrated") but you know you will. The reason for WM-FR not supporting (in your oppinion) other languages is possibly that there are not many members speaking other languages. The same could happen in WM-ES, as you don't want to belong to it (even if you've been offered many times). So the argument is circular: WM-ES does not support Catalan-language free knowledge and therefore we don't want to join, but it does not support Catalan-language because you don't join. I respect your willingness not to join and your effort to create a purely "linguistic" chapter, but that's your will, not the consequence of any other situation or movement. Of course that what I don't really understand is why you've proposed an overlapping chapter (now that you're become a territorial proposal, at least since November 8th) without informing to the communities of such territories (I mean, as you've so keen to promote transparency, the Spanish-speaking wikipedians that live in the areas you're suggesting as your working area would be possibly interested in the proposal).

Anyway, believe it or not, it's been a pleasure to talk to you. You've provided sensible reasons, even if I don't share many of them. Best regards --Ecemaml 13:38, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I believe you, it's also a pleasure to talk to you. I do not think I have been talking about discrimination of a particular Chapter but some kind of disdain and/or opacity inside upper structures (mainly the Board of Trustees and Chapcom). Believe me we tried many ways, I went through the Wikipedias seeking support, but to no avail. It seems as though we have been talking to the Big Wall of China, why do you think we reduced our initial linguistic project to a more limited geographical scope? What I have been trying to tell in my example of the French Chapter for instance is that even though none may know the language and even if any member of minorized languages pay interest to the statal Chapter they are supposed to belong to, I haven't seen any efforts in trying to speak of these languages nor any translation in the official pages but maybe I'm wrong (I think that on the contrary the future Spanish Chapter has some translations from the quick look I have taken in many places...). I never said a Spanish Chapter would not support Catalan-language (and I sincerely hope it will... as all the other languages inside and outside its boundaries), what I was trying to say is that Catalan there will not be a top priority, Spanish will be (nolens volens, it's simply a question of logic, Spanish has more speakers...), and smaller languages like Aragonese, Asturian or Occitan will hardly be considered. I guess than when you say "you", you mean Amical and not myself. As stated previously, I'm really sorry but these questions do not belong here. If it's about my personal view or to say hello then go to my userpage, again I'll be pleased to talk to you even though my time is few and if it concerns Amical then try to speak with Gomà for instance or even if you prefer with me, though I'm just a peripheral member and haven't got as much experience about everything as Gomà has... Best regards, wishing you all the best, Claudi/Capsot 15:08, 1 December 2010 (UTC) 15:07, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
To show some example about that may be considered necessary to increase transparency:
At Wikimedia CAT/en/Survey have been different documents about talks with people Chapcom. The fact is that these documents have been uploaded just a few days ago
The fact is that the chapters comittee resolutions where not actualitzed for 6 des 2007 to 19 nov 2010 ([1])
The fact is that the election of board members designated by chapters are completely opaque to the community.
The fact is that [the relationship between chapters and communities] was presented in Wikimania 2010.
That's about this proposal. --Mafoso 15:40, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

So, in the end, everything is related to the failed attempt of WM-CAT to get chapter status... "Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point". See you --Ecemaml 17:09, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Well "It's you the one who talks about WM-CAT, not me" , I just want that someone else talk about if is necessary to Improve the transparency and improve relations between chapters and communities. Now the only thing I have clear is that I'm Quijote (ideally high) and you Sancho Panza (common sense). Please talk about the proposal : Is necessary more transparency? is possible to give voice to the communities?. Improve transparency works for the projects?, Asking comunities do it so?. --Mafoso 17:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Dear friend: you're carefully not mentioning WM-CAT, but that's obviously the matter behind this proposal. Wikisilki 18:50, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Man, I will finally think you have a problem with English and that maybe we should speak in Spanish to make everything clear. But I see that your command of English is quite good and that you seem intelligent and educated so I actually suspect that your main interest here is to keep on talking about WM-CAT making us lose our precious time (I'm glad you have so much spare time and I'm really sorry I can't work on the Wikiccionari or my linguistic papers right now...), while your unique interest seems to be "marejant la perdiu" as we would say it in Catalan. I have already said it before: it is through our diverse requests and actions to obtain a Chapter or to get support that we gradually understood that many things were going wrong; obviously if you don't walk this path you probably won't see, or even care, about them and I'm afraid very little people or associations have been/plunged this far in the intricacies and failures of the system and I'm really glad for them because it's a real disappointment and I feel deceived in what should be in my opinion a democratic system. I stop here because it doesn't make sense any longer to talk to you: you'll keep on speaking about WM-CAT and not about improving the system. So, have a good night. Claudi/Capsot 18:14, 1 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
As wikisourcist i don't really see the point of this proposal. For example, if we can have the access to upload some documents from the spanish national library, and there is a lot written in arabic, we must ask to the arabic wikisource community if we are doing nice for improve their catalogue? I thought all chapters works for all wikimedia in general, and assuming good faith we improve it with our languages limitations.
And, in response to Claudi about "I was trying to say is that Catalan there will not be a top priority", i remember perfectly like one year ago, when WM-CAT was supported by probably 120 persons and WM-ES only had 30, we tried to create convivence between them, we suggested (like linguistical sections) and we tried that they suggest any convivence in a common asociation, their response was "No, We just want our own association". Nowdays, if we were a common association and seeing the experience and the great job they are doing, i can assure you that there would be more activities in catalan than in spanish. Kazjako 10:15, 4 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I think the example is not applicable to the proposal: if a chapter ends an agreement to release the contents of an institution is common sense that it's must be load to the corresponding project; if the agreement does not include woh these contents are imported it is normal that the chapter needs the help of project's volunteer. In my opinion the proposal was not in this sense: the WMF grows, and as it grows also it's structure, which formed in mostly by volunteers. WMF (accurately) promotes the Wikimedia projects without interfering with their contents and their structures are separated from the Wikimedia community, but one thing is to have separate structures and one does not care for the communities to be strengthened. In this regard, I believe that we must increase transparency and how the structures of the WMF report of its activities and decisions. Regarding the link between the structures of the WMF and projects: the chapter (where they are present) are the structure closest to the communities, and as such (and in my opinion) its anchorage in the community must be more clear that the current. Each and every one of us, we were part or not of a chapter, share a common goal: to promote free knowledge (using wikimedia tools) and It's clear to me that this is only possible with the complicity of volunteers communities (the conclusion of my reasoning is not directly related to the proposal, therefore leave this to my talk page if anyone is interested in reading it) --Mafoso 10:44, 9 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Separated comments for each sub-proposal[edit]

The proposal is composed of 4 sub-proposals. Several people stated that they could agree with some parts. Having all of them together also makes difficult focusing the analysis. So I open separated sections for each one of them.

I try to summarize and comment the already given arguments. Please correct or improve them if I misunderstood someone.

Off topic comments like Wikimedia CAT please go to their page.

The chapters have to operate with the confidence of the communities of the projects they wish to promote. Give only the status of chapters for the communities that have earned their trust and ask the communities before approving any chapter.[edit]


The decision is taken with better info, the communities feel they are taken into account for the important decisions and the groups promoting a Chapter start with good first step gaining the communities confidence.

  • I think that's the key point. For me it's incredible that a comunity wants to get organized in order to promote WM projects ans people from outside deny it or the opposite case: a chapter in war with its community, imposing its views. The chapters are tools ro make a good offline work, so they should absolutely depend on the contributors. Thay can/must have not users members, specialized in other tasks than editing, but they cannot form a separated group. The nowaday rules don't help to the purpose of a chapter and in a wiki-base world they could be redone without so much passion, just as a logical effect of communities evolution. --Barcelona 07:31, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]


  • Some language communities are larger than those in the territory where the chapter operates. Why should have a voice people from Australia in chapters like UK?
    • Here the decisions are not taken by majority but by the weight of the arguments. If somebody from Australia has a strong argument related to WM UK and is wiling to give it we should be happy to hear it.
  • How to define communities? Chapters not only serve Wikipedia but also sister projects and non linguistic projects like commons.
    • It is not clear there is any problem. Just open a RFC, put a note in the village pump of the projects the chapter wish to serve and hear the voice of the communities.
  • It is hard to agree with having to obtain absolute community consensus to derive the legitimacy of chapters. It may be easy for monolingual chapters, but it becomes difficult for chapters, where under the proposed terms have to consult with nine separate language communities (and growing) just to derive legitimacy, and even more so if those editors are not part of the organization.
    • Not consulting those nine communities doesn’t mean they agree. And perhaps we are losing the opportunity to hear some interesting thoughts and facts that are better seen from their particular point of view. Furthermore it should be easy to do if the chapter is truly ready to properly serve all those communities otherwise perhaps it is better to start with a less ambitious scope with less communities and increase the activities progressively year after year or left part of the job to another chapter.


  1. --Mafoso 08:43, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Capsot 08:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC), Contributor of the Catalan Wikipedia, the Occitan Wikiccionari and member of Amical.[reply]
  3. --Joanot 09:28, 3 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]


That the chapters have to report their activities regularly to the village pumps of the projects in the languages of the communities they serve.[edit]


  1. --Mafoso 07:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Capsot 09:01, 2 December 2010 (UTC) Contributor of the Catalan Wikipedia, the Occitan Wikiccionari and member of Amical.[reply]
  3. --Joanot 09:29, 3 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]



Ideally high the Chapters acts into fisical boundaries and inside them they serve all comunities: the chapters must report their activities regularly to all the village pumps. That's looks not practical. I agree that the chapters must increase their communication with the communities: show the work that the chapters do for the project will improve it and the Chapter could benefit by recollecting the interest of new volunteers.

I think that it could be better first to increase how the chapters activities are shown in meta and look for the way to inform the communities: I suggest something like Commons: Create a/some page/s in every Wiki and show the meta posted information. Then I think that it is part of one chapter's responsibility to inform at the village pumps target of the activities proposed. --Mafoso 07:58, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Wait... is this suggesting that each individual chapter in an English-speaking area report regularly to every one of the nine English content projects' village pump equivalents? Doesn't that strike anyone as being ... not very helpful? Aren't there chapter reports on Meta for this type of thing? --Yair rand 21:07, 3 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

That only be kept private the discussions of chapters between them when containing personal data or negotiations with institutions external to Wikimedia movement, that all others can be read publicly. Specifically those addressed to elect members of the Board appointed by the Chapters.[edit]


  1. That's already exposed at WMF the transparency is a value --Mafoso 08:22, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Capsot 09:03, 2 December 2010 (UTC) Contributor of the Catalan Wikipedia, the Occitan Wikiccionari and member of Amical.[reply]
  3. --Joanot 09:29, 3 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]


That chapters be obliged to yearly renew the confidence of each language community they are serving as a requirement to renew the chapters agreement.[edit]

I have not identified specific comments related to this proposal but perhaps most of what has been said in proposal one can be applied.

If it's is focused at chapters:I think the contract between the foundation and the chapters are renewable annually if it is considered the first proposal seems logical that the renewal of confidence is of the same length.
If it's focused at communities then the community would be able to try the time limit --Mafoso 08:39, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]


  1. Time to renew confidence decided by communities--Mafoso 08:39, 2 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Capsot 09:04, 2 December 2010 (UTC) Contributor of the Catalan Wikipedia, the Occitan Wikiccionari and member of Amical.[reply]
  3. --Joanot 09:30, 3 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]