Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Direction/Endorsement/Concerns

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This page has been set up to collect concerns regarding the endorsement of the Strategic Direction. The content of this page is displayed at the bottom of the main page.

Declining request for endorsement[edit]

  1. I have been thinking about the request for endorsement of this draft for some time.
    I am troubled by the first words of the lead sentence, which currently read "Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge..." I think that for Wikimedia to be "the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge" (emphasis added) would be both unhealthy and unwise. Diversity fosters opportunities and resilience. Also, both WMF and the Wikimedia community have histories of organizational problems, shortcomings, and all-too-human frailties which lead me to question the wisdom of entrusting WMF and the Wikimedia community to be "the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge." To me the draft has a tone of boldlness to the point of selfishness and vanity. I think that a measure of humility in regards to ourselves, and a measure of respect and generosity toward others' infrastructure, would be beneficial.
    I also would suggest that, while "infrastructure" may be a good word to describe a high-profile function of WMF and contributors of many kinds, "infrastructure" probably is not the first word that crosses into the minds of content creators and content consumers when thinking about the nature of Wikimedia. I think that "Infrastructure" may be a word that is better suited for a place that, while high-profile, is elsewhere in the document.
    I am troubled by the process of the request for endorsement, which in my opinion should instead be a request for comment requiring a community consensus or at least a simple majority in favor.
    I would need to spend multiple hours to review the draft in detail, but the above problems are sufficient for me to decline to endorse both the document and the ratification process in their current form.
    --Pine 06:41, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
    And how do we encourage people to withdraw their endorsements on the finalized direction, Pine? --George Ho (talk) 08:05, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
    George Ho,
    I'm not planning to campaign against the document, so I'm not going to reach out to people to encourage them to withdraw their endorsements.
    I think that the strategy process started with good intentions, I understand the desire to articulate a strategy, and I'm glad that WMF made some meaningful efforts to have a bottom-up process. However, as I wrote above, I personally disagree with the document in its current form, and with the choice to request endorsements instead of submitting the document to an RfC or some kind of democratic process.
    My dissatisfaction is unlikely to make any difference to those people who are responsible for the draft and for the ratification process (who, I would point out, are WMF appointees rather than community-elected representatives) and who have made clear that they are firm in their support of the current draft regardless of what anyone else thinks, so the situation is what it is. Unless someone wants to actively campaign against the document or the process, I think that those of us who are dissatisfied with the situation should register our dissatisfaction but continue to put one foot in front of the other, moving forward as we think best in consultation with others.
    From my perspective it is disappointing that the good intentions of the process became weighed down with the problems that I mentioned. My guess is that if I walk through the document in detail that I will find elements that I like, but at this point no positive aspects could persuade me to endorse the document or ratification process as a whole.
    --Pine 07:28, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
    Me too. I fully agree with what you said. I will not endorse the statement, as I explained on a multiple previous occasions.--Ymblanter (talk) 09:31, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
    I share Pine's concerns. The future information landscape needs more diversity than that implied here, especially given Wikimedia projects' proven susceptibility to various forms of manipulation. I also share his concerns about the endorsement process: anyone developing a strategy on behalf of the movement should have confidence enough in their work to believe that the result will be accepted by community consensus in a free democratic process. If instead you only ask for Yes votes, this is liable to create the impression that, rather than speaking for the movement, you have your own agenda and are afraid the movement might disagree with it. --Andreas JN466 16:47, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
  2. I join concerns raised here, so most likely I will individually vote against the endorsement. As Pine, I praise the effort of the foundation to create emulation around strategy discussion within the movement. Also, for what I was able to participate in the process, that was interesting, informative, sometimes frustrating, more often joyful. Now for the global result endorsement, while as some stated in more details above, this is more a party politics stuff. So I would advice to make your decision to (not) respond with political considerations in mind. As far as I'm concerned, I will encourage any user group in which I am active to endorse the proposal, for pure promotional purposes, especially under-represented user groups. --Psychoslave (talk) 10:57, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
    Comment Comment I've read the proposal and found no great reason to disagree. The problem is that I don't see great reasons to agree either. In my humble opinion, we are trying to collect all knowledge and make it available to all the people. My greatest problem by far when editing is the lack of a definition of all the knowledge. Language communities can be very parochial: a local singer is more easily relevant than one from the other side of the river, not to say from another continent. And what is considered a proof of relevance in one place can be inexistent in another place (then, many things/people from there are irrelevant by default). Having seen that happen, I expected some general proposal of definitions and rules, and also of enforcement of such rules. None of that seems evident in the text. So I'm not willing to endorse it. B25es (talk) 17:18, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
  3. I can’t say that I can endorse it because it seems to be the epitome of a non-Neutral Point-Of-View, particularly the bit where they say that an overrepresentation of male 🚹 contributors distort the knowledgebase or makes it less reliable for females, I don’t think 🤔 that knowledge has a gender gender, nor can 🥫 I find any real concrete strategies to add female 🚺 representation so the plans seem more like empty buzzwords than anything else, which brings to the more important question, how would it benefit the community? Although on paper 📰 the Wikimedia “communities” are based on the best arguments winning 🥇 and that the argument and not the person making the argument is important in reality most of the time “consensus” is used outside of Wikimedia Commons (where copyright © laws do prevails over the “vote”-based system) it is essentially a vote-based system but that’s probably an issue in the community and not the Foundation, what is an issue with the Foundation is that they see knowledge as being “gendered”, well as someone from Viet-Nam I also write ✍🏻 about Japanese subjects like w:nl:Japanse mon (munteenheid) or Korean subjects like w:nl:Koreaanse mun, does that mean that my knowledge on the subject is inherently less valuable than someone of their ethnicities, how about Okinawan subjects like w:nl:Riukiuaanse mon? Because that is essentially the door 🚪 the Wikimedia Foundation would be opening by saying that “female knowledge” is different from “male knowledge”, because I know that these strategic directions don’t really affect any real Wikimedia projects in any tangible way I won’t oppose it, and honestly as long as the Foundation won’t perma-ban people by bot because they accidentally used a link 🔗 that’s considered “spam” I don’t really take much issue with strategic directions and honestly just hope that they’ll invest more in things like Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons, and upgrade the Mediawiki software. I personally don't see 🙈 the merits in differentiating between male and female contributors. 🚻 = Equal.
    How about investing some of those millions in making mobile editing more convenient? As someone who exclusively owns a wireless telephone 📞 to edit and upload with a mobile version of the Wikimedia Commons UploadWizard would be swell, or the ability to select “edit the whole page” from clicking on the pencil “✏” on top, the Wikimedia Foundation needs to respect mobile-users, and recognise that cell.-phones aren’t just tools for viewing. When signed out talk pages aren’t visible at the bottom of a page, when signed in it is still hardly accessible, editing Wikimedia Commons files with the mobile browser is next to impossible (half the data won't show up, so you're forced to use the desktop-browser to edit categories, Etc.) and I can name a hundred 💯 complaints more, but from what I’ve learned on the IRC actually naming any issues with mobile-editing will get you banned. Guess that us mobile-users will forever be underrepresented second-class citizens.
    Sent from my Microsoft Lumia 950 XL with Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile 📱. --Donald Trung (Talk 🤳🏻) (My global lock 😒🌏🔒) (My global unlock 😄🌏🔓) 10:15, 31 October 2017 (UTC)