Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Provide for Safety and Inclusion

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Provide for Safety and Inclusion
Wikimedia 2018-20 Recommendation 03 final.svg

What

We will establish Movement-wide standards for an inclusive, welcoming, safe, and harassment-free environment. This will enable us to better attract and retain new and diverse volunteers and grow as a movement.

A brief video recording about this recommendation

We will ensure that current and future on- and offline contributors have the proper conditions and resources enabling them to participate without having their personal and communal security compromised. We will provide the framework (infrastructure and policies) as well as standards and procedures for the protection of all participants based upon a contextual evaluation adapted to different environments.

Changes and Actions

  • Create a Code of Conduct, in collaboration with communities, to provide a universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire movement without tolerance for harassment. This will be done through an inclusive process with respect to context, existing local policies, as well as enforcement and conflict resolution structures.
  • Create pathways for users to privately report incidents, either technical or human, including harassment, to have them addressed effectively and with appropriate urgency regardless of language or location.
  • Establish a baseline of community responsibilities for safeguarding and maintaining a healthy working atmosphere for both online and offline Wikimedia involvement, along with procedures for reporting and follow-up.
  • Research and develop an adaptable safety assessment and execution plan, as well as rapid response and support infrastructure. This would ensure that on- and offline contributors have available resources ready and accessible to mitigate the harm caused by their Wikimedia activities, including:
    • psychological support (e.g., therapists, counselors, mediators),
    • technical support (e.g., anonymization mechanisms),
    • legal assistance (e.g., list of partner lawyers, facilitation of legal representation at a local level),
    • a fast-track escalation path in life-threatening situations,
    • procedures for reacting to large scale challenges, such as socio-political unrest and environmental threats,
    • training and opportunities to raise awareness and build response capacity for community safety and conflict management.
  • Develop local capacity for advocacy for legal and regulatory frameworks our communities need to make our projects thrive.
  • Establish built-in platform mechanisms aimed at the safety of contributors in their contexts (e.g., anonymization mechanisms). To be assessed for opportunities and risks for particular projects or contexts including the risk of harassment and vandalism.

Rationale

Wikipedia is a story of success, and its long-term contributors are volunteers who have created the most valuable resource for learning we have ever encountered. However, our communities are not yet representative of the diversity of the world. They neither reflect the diversity of people working with knowledge, nor the diversity of knowledge to be shared. We also lack diversity amongst positions of responsibility. Among the common causes for the gender gap and other gaps in diversity in content and contributors is the lack of a safe and inclusive environment. This lack in the current culture of many Wikimedia projects limits the work and participation of existing communities and is a barrier for new people to join, including women, LGBTQ+, indigenous communities, and other underrepresented groups.

Furthermore, there is currently no systematic approach to support contributors who are at risk due to their participation in Movement activities (e.g., security threats in countries where freedom of speech is controlled), and neither is there the essential local capacity to protect contributors’ anonymity (e.g. incident reporting). The needs and threat levels will differ depending on roles and responsibilities. Ensuring anonymity, privacy, and access to necessary security measures to address practices such as doxing and trolling is critical to strengthening and expanding our communities and to the sustainability of our Movement. We will not tolerate any toxic behavior among the participants of our Movement.