Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Reports/June Community Conversations Monthly Report

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The format is a pilot - let's talk about what you like and what you don't like, and our June version can adapt.

Each of the tables below has the community feedback organized by Working Group theme. The content from the affiliates is presented to you in the raw form of the notes that have been submitted. The content from our language communities is presented in summary form with efforts not to use any analysis or interpretive lens.

We encourage you to write back to the communities- either in this document, or on your own. More context about the data, this report, and next steps are in the FAQ section. Enjoy!

FAQ[edit]

What is this? Why am I here?

This report is a pilot. It is our first experiment in what it looks like to take our diverse community and share it with the Working Groups in a way that is useful, somewhat structured, and unaltered. The intention is for summaries like this- or in a differently evolved format- to be put together at the end of every month and presented to Working Groups for their consideration when drafting recommendations.

What's with all these tables?

Each table in the document lists the feedback from affiliate groups and from within our project and language communities for the period of June, organized by Working Group. On the left most column, you can view the source of the information (affiliate/community), followed by information to contextualize the source and then the actual content.

What have you done with the raw data?

There has been no analysis or interpretation of the content other than correcting spelling errors- it is arriving to you in the original context in which it was delivered to the Core Team. More specifically, there are two types of feedback here.

  1. Feedback from affiliates: volunteer Strategy Liaisons from affiliates take their own summary notes of their conversations. These notes are sent to the Core Team, cleaned for spelling, and otherwise copied directly into this document underneath the thematic category identified by the Strategy Liaison.
  2. Feedback from language communities: our contracted Strategy Liaisons from language communities facilitate conversations across multiple channels and using interviews. They summarize the main points of these discussions and sent reports to the Core Team, which are copied directly into this document by theme. These reports are also being translated and shared with their communities of origin, so that there is transparency and accountability regarding their accuracy. More information about this, and links to these reports direct, is available in the last tab of this document.
Whose views are represented here?

Affiliates who have sent in notes:

  • Northern Philippines & Metropolitan Manila
  • Wikimedia Ghana User Group
  • Wikimedia France
  • Wikimedians of Cameroon User Group

+conversations in multiple language channels: Spanish, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi

But what about everyone else?

From the affiliates, these are the groups who have sent in notes from conversations they have held. For language communities, the notes here are from all Wikimedians who have chosen to participate. We are hopeful that the number will be even greater next month as this April summary report gains traction.

Overall, our reach is far from perfect- if you know groups of people who haven't had a chance to be involved yet, please reach out to us and help make the connection happen!

How do we respond to the communities?

Each thematic tab sheet contains a yellow highlighted column called "Working Group response." This column is for you, if you find it useful, as a way to ask follow up questions or to offer a response to the comments from the community.

If you prefer to reach out to the community with responses directly, please do so. It would be helpful for me to know when you do so by also writing in this column, so that I may know that an affiliate or community is not left with unanswered input. If you don't like this system at all- kindly let me know and we can adapt next month.

Why do some thematic groups have more feedback than others?

All Strategy Liaisons were encouraged to choose thematic areas that were of greatest interest or resonance with their community.

  • For our volunteer Strategy Liaisons from affiliates, some of them made the selections themselves and led discussions from there, others let their affiliate members vote or choose by consensus.
  • For our hired community Strategy Liaisons who lead discussions among our project-based language communities, there were broadly two approaches.
    1. Creating a calendar of conversation topics, with one topic as the focus of their work for a 1-2 week period. In these cases, community members always have the opportunity to comment on previous topics either on Meta-Wiki, established discussion pages, or by reaching out to the liaison directly to share their opinion.
    2. Creating active discussion groups and pages for all topics and to see where the community organically decides to spend its time and energy. This broadly self-selected approach is intended to continue for the duration of commuity conversations.
What if I don't know what to do with a piece of feedback or don't find it useful?

It would be great if the communities could hear from you about what type of feedback is most useful. One way to do that is to use the "Working Group response" column to ask for more context or background information. When you have received programmatic feedback that is important but not useful, it might be appreciated to write that group a small note thanking them for their efforts and ideas and either asking clearer strategy questions or indicating the best way to address that programmatic concern.

I (Kelsi) would also love to learn more about how to guide communities in giving the type of feedback that is most useful to you - please reach out! ;)

Overall, how are community conversations going?

Community conversations are going moderately well, though we need to continue to increase our reach and level of engagement.

Compared to the effort in 2017, we have more specific questions for the community to engage around, and our liaisons who were active in both processes feel that there is a modest but noticeable improvement in community enthusiasm and participation. The month of June, while designed to be time for soliciting feedback to the scoping documents, have in practice functioned as time to spread awareness of strategy discussions and helping community members to feel involved. We are also having our own learning curve - communities are asking for more concrete and granular discussion tools, which we are working to create, and community Strategy Liaisons are experimenting with the right balance between on-wiki and off-wiki engagement.

We are hopeful that with new tools and increased support, June will show a steady uptick on conversation feedback to share with working groups. We also encourage you to engage with communities directly on Meta-Wiki, on social media, and in any other channels where discussions are active. Community Strategy Liaisons will be posting summaries of their June reports, which were used to create this document, on wiki in their relevant languages.

I love this!

Thank you! Strategy Liaisons (and I) worked hard to get us here. It wasn't always easy, but it is definitely worth it.

I hate this!

This is a pilot- let's figure out together how to make something that is useful to you. I'd welcome a constructive email, chat, or 1:1 conversation. We are not at all tied to this format.

This was a lot to read, and I haven't even seen the feedback for my group yet. Can I take a break and watch a video?

Yes. Despite the poor image quality, this has long been one of my favorites.

Feedback by Working Group area[edit]

Advocacy[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
WMDE Group interview with 2-3 staff members Please see the interview transcript posted on meta: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Advocacy
Portuguese community-at-large Telegram channel with 4-5 users Prior to defending Wikimedia, users should actually know that Wikimedia exists. It remains important to hold talks or virtual presentations, videos that will inform people about what Wikimedia Movement is. That is not known by the majority of users, that won’t advocate to what they don’t know.
Hindi community-at-large Compliation of feedback from 11 total 1:1 interviews External frameworks we should support and/or change to further ground contribution and access in free speech and free knowledge (e.g. legal frameworks or government departments):

Legal framework

For advocacy, the first step should be increased in awareness about the Wikimedia with the government bodies. Agenda setting How we can make a strategy together with other open movement organizations so that the allied organizations can take the open movement forward and the restrictions on Wikimedia in countries such as Turkey, China should not be replicated in other countries that currently support the movement. For that, we need to form a partnership such as with Creative Commons and European Union, where there is freedom of panorama to push the policies legally in the favor of free knowledge and promote it.

Arabic community-at-large Compliation of feedback from various 1:1 interviews WMF should try to foster their relations with human rights defenders in every country, as well as with a group of lawyers in every country, so that they are ready to help in case of a problem for a user in that country.

This can be done with the support of the local affiliate. WMF must be aware that there exist people that encounter risks in their countries by being involved in the movement. WMF should provide basic legal counseling for members in their local affiliates. WMF should have a contract with local lawyers in each country to be available to defend/being consulted by users in case of need. WMF should strive to have more alliances and join powerful groups defending free knowledge.

Encourage local affiliates to collaborate with partners (example of Amnesty International with Wikimedia Algeria), on some specific days. However this should be clearly defined and scope clarified (even signature of contract) - overlaps with Partnerships. WMF and its affiliates should seek more partnerships such as Wikigap as it advocates Wikimedia and Women rights and gives good relations with states. Should WMF work on advocacy depending on the “weight” of the country in the Internet world?

Some countries are very powerful and influential in shaping online laws (EU, USA) while others barely have discussions on international level. Should the advocates target these countries when lobbying? And not consider the others at all? WMF should have more (and better) relations with Media worldwide so that its image is more communicated

Invite affiliates to appear more on media if they can. WMF should have regular interviews with media and do more outreach. WMF should hire “journalists” who can represent the encyclopedia and work professionally with Media instead of leaving this work to volunteers in their own countries. WMF’s mission is advocacy, it should own the process Volunteers can support, but the strategy and guidelines should be decided by WMF. WMF should create a department about advocacy/marketing. Only some countries are targeted by WMF advocacy campaigns (in Africa it is only Nigeria and Egypt)

What is the hinder preventing having this in all the countries (because it should be the case), is it resources? WMF should implement a strategy clustered by countries/regions (for example MENA countries have the same situation - same for sub-Saharan). In some countries, governments and states are not willing/interested in Wikimedia advocates. How can this be changed? Organizing conferences in a given country helps in advocating Wikimedia in that country and boost its community. Conferences should be encouraged as much as possible. There should be more events such as Wikigap but for other items (such as organizing events in universities where student volunteers make presentations for professors to make wikimiedia’s image better)

Survey: 5 participants - 4 options - Multiple votes
  1. Wikimedia Foundation should provide different toolkits and materials depending on what profiles are targeted by the advocacy (University professors Vs politicians Vs citizens etc.) (4 people - 80 %)
  2. Wikimedia Foundation should provide legal support and lawyers to defend advocates having trouble in their home countries. (3 people - 60 %)
  3. Wikimedia Foundation should consult the community before entering in partnerships/contact with political entities or organizations. (2 people - 40 %)
  4. Wikimedia Foundation should work on diversifying the profiles of its advocates, because currently most of the profiles are similar (advocating for free knowledge is an ideology itself). (1 person - 20 %)

Capacity Building[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
Arabic community-at-large Compliation of feedback from various 1:1 interviews There should be a harmonization and organization of the on-boarding process in local affiliates (WMF should make sure that the same process is followed in all the countries)

One “trusted” person in the affiliate should be responsible for this process. There should be a standard training for new users and explain to them that the reason to join the movement is Free knowledge and not free trips for instance. There should be more reporting and accountability in affiliates Sometimes there is competition about Wikimedians who do not help each other, they want to be the only ones who know (to attend conferences, be the only expert) - Overlaps with community health. WMF should bring experts to given countries/regions to train people about missing capacities (Wiki Data/ media Wiki) WMF should help/tain affiliates about conflict resolution and management skills First by providing training for the group boards in management skills such as conflict resolution and communication. Second by providing an escalation path that the groups can use in case of problems.

Hindi community-at-large Compliation of feedback from 11 total 1:1 interviews Processes or systems will support effective capacity building{{Recruiting}} {{Sustainability}} For basic retention, bringing editors in the movement and encourage existing editors is important to develop their capacity. The outreach we do is at a very basic level and the communities are not growing in proportion to their activities (edit-a-thons, training workshops) etc.

Numbers are not proper criteria for determining the community growth by outreach activities. For example, number of bytes added, number of people attended etc, such criterias don't efficiently analyze how much the community growth, the success outcome can be done on the basis of a whole project, how many people continuously edit on a daily basis instead of stats of a one-day workshop.

We should engage the editors continuously by involving them in projects and retaining them with follow ups. Consistent project effort instead of workshop effort is required to truly grow the communities.

{{Organizational Development}} We need to expand the communities - currently, the community health is toxic. To bring neutrality and decentralizing of existing power, new editors are needed in the movement to ensure the community health also remains positive and sustainability is maintained. Time, efforts and funds need to be invested often for capacity development.

Grants:Metrics should be calculated not in terms of numbers of participating editors and bytes added in edit-a-thons but how many editors were sustained after 6 months and this is how grants should be dispersed. The grant proposals showing the momentary growth during the event alone should be discouraged. Over a period, when they start encouraging this policy, over the next 3-4 years, we will see a change. Communications in capacity building system, and integrating with a movement-wide approach to communication:For communications, projects such as inspire campaigns have worked well.

{{Organizational development}} The inter-communication between different international communities is missing. The communities are disconnected with each other due to which they have gap in their knowledge about the projects going on and new tools developed and in use by different communities. Such gap can be dispersed by inter-collaboration projects between different communities. Also, a peer to peer buddy system can be established for all grantees, new and old, for them to guide each other from their previous learnings to the new grantees applying for similar grants. This is how that knowledge can be effectively shared with other communities with proactive communication. For example, Wikimedian-in-residence exchange network can help other new WIRs for their projects.

WMDE Group interview with 2-3 staff members Please see the interview transcript posted on meta: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Capacity_Building#Wikimedia_Deutschland_staff_perspective
WMAT (Wikimedia Austria) Content from discussions posted on meta: Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Capacity_Building The current structures and bodies put a heavy emphasis on the due diligence side that the WMF needs to justify how they spend funds in the first place. This necessity leads to a lot of paperwork and a funding model that values the justification of spending money more than the time of the volunteers and paid staff involved in writing this documentation in the first place. Effective capacity building surely should not work like that. The future relationship between the body that supplies resources (money, staff or otherwise) and the entities establishing themselves should take into account that we are all in this together. That we have the luxury of funding ambitious and unorthodox programs and ideas. And that we have the means to keep ourselves honest and learn from those mistakes in order to improve ourselves and the movement as a whole by sharing those experiences with each other.

How do we make capacity building inclusive and equitable?

Peer to Peer learning in marginalised groups, instead of people from the outside stepping in

Support efforts for self-empowerment, highlight people from marginalised groups with the skills and passion to help others

Be critical of oneself and open up and learn from other groups. Promote self-assessment, be honest instead of trying to present a perfect facade on an international level -> Create channels where affiliates can ask for help without making it public if they do not wish to.

Spanish speaking community-at-large 1:1 interviews
  1. Main problem in Africa: slow connections, controlled and censored by government.
  2. Only those who travelled know about Wikipedia. People “searches in the internet”. They are not able to identify in which website they are each moment. Virtually nobody does know that Wikipedia can be edited, even less feel like they are “good enough” to edit.
  3. Main source of information in Africa is WhatsApp. People pastes and shares whatever they need. Slow connection makes that possible.
  4. In Equatorial Guinea, internet is provided by three telecommunications companies, all property of the government or the family of the dictator. Wikipedia is not censored because is not a threat, but could. There are also Free Wi-fi Spots, controlled and censored.
  5. For the dictator, Obiang, as said in public speeches “Internet is a danger to national security”. In 2014 there was a student revolt crushed by government. The dictatorships learns from every revolt. When needed, they block Facebook and WhatsApp. But they don’t care about Wikipedia.
  6. Another issue is the weight of data. Connections are done by cellphone so the MB are scarce. WP could do things because is light, but still unused. Government-controlled access makes Wikipedia Zero impossible.
  7. In Africa, We can work with Embassies (already done in other countries)
  8. Wikipedia should create a culture so people knows what it is.
  9. Lack of support for VPN is a barrier to safe editing in African/Conflict context
  10. Also, potential editors might get disoriented because of the content We have. Wikipedia is only about history and politics, or can be used to share their culture?
  11. People in Africa economise their data access, so WP must be light.

Community Health[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
WMDE Group interview with 2-3 staff members Please see the interview transcript posted on meta: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Community_Health#Wikimedia_Deutschland_staff_perspective
Arabic community-at-large Broad community input There should be research and statistics investigating the reasons of low participation in certain communities. The reasons differ from one region to another (in terms of culture and specifics), so each region and area should have a specific targeted research and strategy.

WMF should not communicate in the same way (or give directions/strategies) with all the communities/affiliates. Each culture has its red lines and prohibitions. The approach to advocate some themes should take into consideration these limitations and should be more gentle to encourage the communities to integrate these concepts gradually.

Elements from local culture can be used for example to make the ideas closer to the community, instead of one “western” way of advocating and marketing ideas.

Pushing hard to integrate some ideas/themes results on making even experienced members of the community wanting to leave the movement, which is of course not the result that is sought.

Onboarding of new members should be done in a better way, by trying to involve them in the less controversial articles, so that they can learn “comfortably” and not be exposed to edit wars that will not make them appreciate continuing this adventure.

There should be more efforts to encourage physical meetings between members, as it helps to melt the ice, improves relations and enhances cooperation (either in the same country or internationally)

Organize more conferences, especially in areas lacking them now.

WMF should make it clear that the behaviour of some Wikimedians should not be interpreted as representative of the movement. How can this be done?

Arabic community-at-large 37 participants - 5 options - Multiple votes
  1. WMF should Oblige their affiliates worldwide to write regular reports about their status, either regarding the local democracy of the affiliate, or in terms of inclusiveness and acceptance of new members (31 people - 84 %).
  2. Oblige all the administrators in all languages to take an exam/education of communication and good behavior with the users (especially the new ones) before becoming administrators (17 people - 46 %).
  3. Provide support and advice regarding the “addiction” to the Wikimedia projects for some users, and the psychological consequences of it (9 people - 24 %) - Option added by a community member.
  4. WMF should provide legal support and lawyers for the users in need of it.

There should be a legal consequence of harassment in the Wikimedia projects (4 people - 11 %).

  1. Any one who participates in harassment of users should see their account closed immediately (2 people - 5 %).
Arabic community-at-large 1:1 individual interviews
  • Black listing users is not enough to stop harassment.
  • The account of harassers should have a general block, after issuing a warning in relation with this behaviour.
  • Trust and safety team is not known by the broad community
  • They should do more outreach in different languages and for different communities.
  • Many people receive threats but do not dare to talk about them (for different reasons, especially in authoritarian countries). How can WMF support them?
  • First by advertising more Trust and safety team.
  • But also by encouraging people to report to threats and harassment.
  • Also by asking the affiliates to have a regular check on their members.
  • WMF should have a regular check on affiliates, on their local democracy, feeling of their members, etc.
  • Community health is not only about the community, but also about the government and environment Wikimedians live in
  • Governments target people who write articles opposing them (neutrality and facts are seen as dangerous in these countries). These people need to be defended.
  • Example: A Wikimedian was killed in Syria by the government.
  • Should we wait until more people are killed?
  • WMF should act faster and more efficiently to protect Wikimedians.
  • WMF should support Wikimedians in danger, help them to seek asylum in other countries, offer legal counseling and support.
  • Is providing a lawyer in your home country by WMF enough as solution?
  • Local lawyers are not powerful in their countries, especially in authoritarian countries.
  • WMF should investigate other paths.
  • Partner with powerful instances helping Wikimedians such as foreign embassies.
  • Foster more contacts with human rights organizations, and democratic governments that can intervene in case of problem.
  • Social media and sites of affiliates should be managed by professional people.
  • They represent the community and they should reflect good values.
  • Neutrality of users/content.
  • Local affiliates should be encouraged to bring different users representing different points of view, not only the dominant ideologies.
  • WMF should control this aspect and ask affiliates to report on it.
Portuguese community-at-large One user on Telegram A user believe that community should improve itself somehow on enforcing users bans to make sure banned user won’t keep editing.

Another user agree with previous comments that it’s important that new users have a better understanding of Wikipedia before editing. Editing is too much easy and they start editing before having any basic knowledge about rules, which causes frustration, editing errors. (#Platform)

One female user on-wiki She believes that, in order to surpass technical and social challenges and improve the communities capacity to govern themselves, it is required technical training about administrative routine tasks and more explanation about what Wikipedia and WIkimedia are. (#Organizational development)

She defends a less rigorous evaluation when deciding on deleting or not articles under construction. Instead of repelling contributions of new users, they should be instructed on how to improve their edits. (#Inclusion)

Provide orientation to users so they can avoid being too judgmental with others’ edits and respect what others do. It has been common to observe offensive words to describe the work of good faith users with repetitive actions to discourage them. (#Burnout)

Hindi community-at-large Compliation of feedback from 11 total 1:1 interviews What are the social and technical challenges within the current administrative and decision-making systems that hinder the creation and maintenance of community health?Communication of communities- Most of the communities discuss and make decisions on unofficial social media channels instead of doing them on-wiki. Wikimedians generally should use such chat groups for doubts and . But instead, they discuss important things like grants, policy making and make conclusions based on such discussions. For bringing more inclusion and transparency, such social media channels need to be regulated.

Such channels are also source of conflict. Because they are not regulated, people feel free to speak in abusive language, not respecting boundaries within the friendly space policy. How can the ability of communities to govern themselves within the broad framework of the Foundation’s Terms of Use be improved while also respecting the dignity of everyone involved and their contributions towards our shared goals?Although such change cannot be implemented on global level in all communities, but we can start with pilots in some emerging communities - assisting them to build governing structures where they can manage policy making and conflict management within the group rather than depending on Foundation completely for solving every single thing.

A good structure needs to be designed for organization governance - this can be a training done by WMF, initially for a few focal communities or groups for a year and by mentoring them thoroughly, next year, there can be an analysis of how well that affiliate is running after receiving such training.

Community growth should be consistent for good health. The limited number of old editors can create a conflicting environment for both existing and new editors so the capacity growth of the community need to be continuous for neutrality.

How can structures create, support and reinforce universally acceptable behavior across our communities?Affcom committee approving user groups, one of their requirements can be that the user group should have by-laws and code of conduct document for their user group. To ensure this is followed up when the license of user group should be done after Affcom makes sure they are accountable to their code of conduct policies.

Every Wikipedia village pump and meta wiki should have a document of code of conduct, and on that page, people can comment on what is relevant to their communities.

German community-at-large On-wiki community The state of the health of the German language Wikipedia community was seen as bad by some and not so bad by others. The ones who regarded it as bad gave the following reasons and solutions:

Most administrators are not interested in the health of the community

Administrators should be schooled in social skills

Since the system we have now did not work to establish health in the community, WMF has to step in.

A reason for the bad mood is that the percentage of users who really create content is decreasing and the percentage of users who focus on technicalities is increasing. There are too many users who mainly discuss policy instead of writing articles.

A culture of zero tolerance was rejected. Anyone can make mistakes.

Community members find that the main problem of “current administrative and decision-making systems that hinder the creation and maintenance of community health” is the irregular behaviour of the WMF Trust & Safety team. This team poisons the atmosphere in the larger Wikimedia projects by making decisions without communication their reason, making their decisions unverifiable. Not allowing any objections to the ruling is something that cannot be in any civilized society and then when objections come decide on the objections themselves is a no-go. This has nothing to do with victim protection. A WMF Committee_of_Public_Safety is not acceptable.

One community member remarked that Trust & Safety had no other choice than acting the way they did. WMD does not often use their power for taking drastic measures. It was doubted though that Trust & Safety has the necessary background information for dealing with local cases. As with Superprotect WMF has shown again that they overreact due to their lack of knowledge of the background of local communities.

People who edit a lot might get the same health problems as people who work for companies. They should have a sense of their own health, about the amount of daily work, the balance of sitting and standing positions. The community should be taught salutogenesis.

Context from the German Strategy Liaison: For community members it looks like the actions of Trust & Safety regarding Fram has made the community less healthy. While they see that WMF sometimes has to step they complain about the transparency and communication of WMF actions.

WMUK AGM In-person meeting of 12-15 people, about 50/50 women/men. There is a group in the strategic direction on behavioural issues
  • Q1. Do people think that Wikipedia has the same kind of problems as people are seeing in other platforms
  • A common theme with other online platforms is the idea as discussion as war
  • Wikipedia has no forking, everyone has to discuss in the same place
  • Important for people to understand the difference between discussing a subject and a personal attack
  • Nobody wins a war
  • Wikipedia is not social media platform, other people disagree on this idea
  • Arguments often drift away from the encyclopedia and into personal attack
  • There is a rule that you are supposed to be here to write an encyclopedia
  • Q2. What can be done to improve this?
  • One idea is to include moderators on top of administrators
  • Discussion that talk pages could be changed, provide feedback on if this is a productive discussion
  • You are trying to do governance in a place where you cannot punish people
  • People get stuck in edge cases, focussing on clear cases first
  • Cheap flagging of things that are violations, like SlashDot
  • Very high profile punishment
  • Preventative stuff and enforcement
  • New people cannot feel the culture of the place
  • How to build positive culture, clearly state what we want to achieve, role models
  • The difference between offline and online, there's no shared connection, no shared physical space, we have shared connection of the work we do, highlight commonalities between people (e.g both contributed to x article)
  • Making the text box more like human interactions (Instagram has suggestions before people post things)
  • Suggestion of video chat
  • Suggestion for forking, from different angles and from different languages
  • High profile editors are often targeted for harassment, maybe some technology to flag this issue
  • Mentoring from experienced editors
  • Low levels of passive aggression are built into the system, the revert system can be seen as an aggressive act
  • Scoring only exists for positive actions, thank button
  • How do you give people collaborative skills, there is an assumption that people are good at it already
  • Articles can be collaborative, some not. Collaboration on a larger scale than individual articles.
  • Q3. Are our processes good enough?
  • No
  • White paper: appoint a regulator, make everyone online accountable. E.g massive fine. Definition is not good. Online Harms Whitepaper, consultation, setting up a regulator soon.
  • EU level, e commerce directive reform, Mozilla is working on it
  • Trust and safety team deals with explicit threats
  • Welsh Wikipedia, flags to suggest help e.g Samaritans
  • Mental health help for moderators
  • Helping people isn't built into the platform
  • Main stressor is harassment and breaking things with no repercussions and no protections
  • The focus is on resilience of the person being abused rather than reducing abuse
  • Murder (consistent harrassment for years) and litering (wrong usernames and copyright vios) are the only crimes that will get you banned
  • The thank feature is super helpful in giving you positive feedback
  • Feedback feature wasn't useful on English Wikipedia, German Wikipedia had a much better feature
  • People offering support
  • Deletions can be done without any comment
  • If we are building a cathedral what level of human sacrifice are we willing to accept? Are we the builders who didn't quit or get squished/fell off something high?
WMAT (Wikimedia Austria) Content from conclusions posted on meta: Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Community_Health We appreciate it that you tried to address critical issues. Consider also including thoughts about what runs well now and what can be built on. This could help strategically: when community is concerned, we can only work towards improvement and not reinvention. Besides it might be more inviting for community members to participate in this discussion if the descriptions of the status-quo don’t only include their perceived wrong-doings.

You focus on collaboration in a strict sense. Since a great deal of our communities’ achievements for free knowledge has to do with “unsocial”, secluded working environments, this aspect (and its enabling) could be labelled as equally important for a thriving community in our context.

While you have clear thoughts about certain main topics, it remains unclear what we should consider as a “healthy community” in general. Is it a community that grows? Is it a community that is stable in its composition or a community which is a able to “reproduce” itself permanently? Is it a community which is open to everyone or which is able to replace “bad” with “good” elements? Is it a community that wants to attract the most suitable members in terms of skills or the most diverse and as many as possible members? The perception that low participation in “community decision making processes … is due to poor culture that exists in our community” neglects that being an integral part of our communities doesn’t require to take part in these decision making processes. While no one with good faith should be excluded, using a higher amount of volunteer time for these activities is a goal which shouldn’t be pursued at the expense of the creation and sharing of free knowledge.

We agree with your thoughtful and detailed observation that the impact of existing guidelines is often hindered by slack enforcement and a lack of general awareness. To specify and amend these guidelines on a global level isn’t a good idea, however. As our experience with friendly space policies has shown, there are some major and contradictory differences about what is regarded as unacceptable behavior even between America and Europe, although they are culturally close world regions. Imposing detailed behavioral guidelines which are not suitable for the given cultural context could create new social barriers instead of removing them.

“The Wikimedia movement suffers from an over-reliance on insufficiently trained and resourced volunteer leadership:” Thank you for mentioning the important idea to offer more and better trainings and resources. Please make clear that you don’t wish to scrutinize the leadership by volunteers in our projects or bring forward some arguments why we should discuss paid staff for these roles.

The inclusion of “marginalised”, or perhaps better “missing voices” is an important issue, thank for considering this as crucial for a thriving community. The perspective of us in the center and the others at the margins carries the risk of drifting to a paternalistic, neocolonial attitude. So far you have mentioned examples in which we “act” and the marginalised groups “receive”. It could be beneficial to at least keep a blank space in mind, for input which derives from the voices unheard so far.

Similar to our feedback for diversity, we would also encourage to explicitly include staff in considerations around community health: Some staff are very exposed members of our community, they have to be present on the projects under their real names and do not have the liberty to take breaks when things get to heated. From an employer perspective, we have to make sure, that we can protect them from toxic behaviour and harassment on- and offline. Trust and Safety is an important step into the right direction, but probably needs more resources and quicker ways to act.

Spanish community-at-large Telegram Channel. 80 participants, one week
  1. When systemic bias is detected, a person who is not an expert in X shouldn’t decide on the relevance or admissibility of said subject
  2. Village Pump is an open and transparent space, recognized as the place where decisions are made
    • There is a hostile minority that dominates it
    • These users have a negative view of the WMF and the affiliates, if not directly hostile
    • The language of the WMF is alien to the feeling of these users, and surely of other profiles too
    • Need for a new decision-making space
    • In the present, the percentage of participation is very low
    • Hostility for those who make Advocacy or GLAM but do not have many on-wiki editions
  3. The blame of aggression depends only on who exercises aggressiveness. You can agree or disagree with anything, but not justify toxic and violent behaviors.
    • You can not make a blind eye to violence
    • Avoid harassment and punish him
    • Use of AI to detect words and prevent possible harassment
    • Create test-users to define actions aimed at improving targeted behavior
    • Diplomatic commission-mediators, such as matrimonial therapy
  4. In some discussions, some experiences are considered valid and others are systematically ignored
    • In some cases, one users shoots and others follow him
    • The use of valid arguments, based on references, statistics, should be encouraged
    • Discourage the attack on the other's arguments
  5. In the past, here have been mechanisms to prevent harassment that have disappeared
    • It was the Conflict Resolution Committee
  6. There must exist spaces to discuss. Removing them makes things worse (Portuguese case)
  7. Participation in Wikipedia is not anonymous. From what you upload to Commons to your participation in events, free community culture allows others to track what you do at any time
    • The geolocation of photos can show up to where you live
    • If you use a fantasy nickname, you can not attribute the authorship of anything
    • Still, if not sharing photo and real name on the projects, if somebody is looking for you, he will find you
  8. Wikipedia is not a safe place, although we promote it as if it was
    • It should be anonymous for all except WMF staff
  9. Edit-a-thons and Workshops are unattractive events because the user's experience can be traumatic
    • However, it would help all active users participate in one at least once. Seeing the faces to others helps reduce stress
  10. Attempts of mediation, tearooms and others have failed and have been abandoned
    • Since this is a voluntary project, mediation committees / libraries attend without due expediency.
    • The idea was interesting but the methods were bureaucratic and several points, such as private discussions, the time they took to solve disputes and friendships ended up discarding it
    • More open methods have worked in other wikis
    • There are no conflict resolution spaces, because it was dediced to close them (Portugal)
    • In Commons there is an aggressive, but functional conflict resolution space (Portugal)
  11. The need to reduce bureaucracy and punitive actions is identified
    • You have to give more tools to the common user. The decisions are taken by a few
    • A conflict resolution committee that is not only integrated by admins (even without them)
    • Request a minimum participation in voting for fundamental decisions
    • Expulsions have not served to diminish aggression
    • It is proposed to limit the messages per day in the village pump/discussions. When you reach the limit, you can rest until tomorrow
  12. Users are unaware of "their rights" in the face of possible assaults
    • The participation of the different users is not given in equal conditions
    • There are internal conditions that prevent changes
  13. The WMF is a dark organism for some users.
    • There have been people sanctioned by a WMF court that did’t gave the information when requested. Talk about Kangaroo Courts
    • Disparity of opinions about WMF roles, should only be limited to hosting for some, and it should have power over users who "dominate" the tavern for others
    • There is talk about "connecting users with the WMF"
    • There is talk of empowering: That everyone has the same prerogatives when it comes to a discussion or a decision. Do not take positions as "my opinion is more important because ...". Greater consensus on decisions
  14. There are problems of content diversity (bias against popular culture, small cultures) that affect Community Health. They invisibilize. There is also generational bias against pop-cult
    • It aggravates because those admins spend many hours in Wikipedia, they have incentives to lengthen discussions. People with less time available leave
    • This user profile also blocks the candidates of veteran users (linked to affiliates) that could give another profile to moderation
  15. There is also a culture of "I feel angry when I have a no response"
    • It affects the quality of debates in wikipedia. There is a case with lots of octets of discussion because somebody said “I don’t care” to other user.
    • This discursive framework benefits users descrived in point 15, since they "have time" to follow up the discussions
  16. Wikipedia is inhabited by people. Let's think about improving the environment, but a wikipedia without conflict is impossible
  17. Online violence is a latent, very alive phenomenon that does not imply something as simple as insulting
  18. There is a very serious problem when volunteers who are valid and valued by the community burn out
  19. There are no solutions. Protocols are needed and demanded.
  20. Uncomfortable question: what are we going to do with cases of harassment, be it sexually, psychologically or morally? What can we do with abuses of power and gender violence in the whole range of manifestations that may have? Could a #MeToo be on Wikimedia?
  21. When someone is attacked, that person suffers a trauma by humiliation. But when any person goes out to defend him and support him, that situation is no longer traumatic.
    • In cases of humiliation (undemanded penis pictures) it is better to deal with the subject in private. In public it can happen that the victim is blamed and she feels more humiliated
  22. Even among those who have the monopoly on participation, the usual village pump user, there is concern about the low participation in community governance issues

Context: 1to1 interviews.

  1. In Village pump, one user disagrees with the fact that a minority controls it. He agrees with the lack of participation (and so, of representativity) and that overextended discussions about details damage its utility

Diversity[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
Arabic community-at-large Compliation of feedback from various 1:1 interviews
  • Before implementing diversification strategy, there should be a clear scoping and definition of diversity.
  • Diversity is an ambiguous concept, and has different definitions in the world.
  • Who decides on what identities deserve a User Group and which ones are not?
  • Diversity does not mean that there should be Wikis in dialects, because an Encyclopedia is by definition elitist.
  • Who decides what is dialect and what is language? Maltese is a language and Tunisian is a dialect. There are political decisions, but what is our take in the movement?
  • What are the metrics quantifying that diversity strategy has succeeded? Having one article in a “minority language” is considered as a success, or 1000 articles? What is the limit to claim “success”?
  • There should be clear targets related to time, as well as milestones.
  • Diversity is a complex area and has a lot of overlapping. Support given for minorities goes to specific groups while they can go to all with a focus on that theme.
  • Instead of having specific LGBT group being financed separately, help can go to already existing User Groups, and encourage/empower them to work on that subject.
  • Support should be tied with result. There cannot be money spent for minorities without accountability just to claim that diversity is “covered”.
  • When talking about diversity, one should be realistic, Arabic content cannot be as big as English in this era.
  • Diversity enhances neutrality by making content exposed to all.
  • However, big languages will always be more neutral given their diversity, while small communities will be more biased.
  • Question: By advocating diversity, we advocate also that small wikipedias (mostly will not be neutral) will flourish, how to tackle that?
  • There should be processes to make sure that these wikis will be working well and neutral, and that they represent the wiki spirit.
Portuguese community-at-large Viewpoints of one female user on-wiki

As an answer to the question 1, that asks if local projects should build codes of conduct, she replied that yes, they should. For those that do not follow the code, it should be reported to an independent system that could decide about it with impartiality and also store this information as a background of users involved for any possible future need. Projects should improve according to accessibility guidelines (#Reach)

It was suggested that only editors with an expertise on specific topics, could provide their opinions when discussing about articles. That would avoid that the article decision is centered on the same group of users with less technical argumentation.

Any incentive should be given to non-priviledged users as regular editors can obtain support other ways. That would help bringing more diversity to the projects by making it easier for minority groups to participate. (#Inclusion)

Hindi community-at-large Compliation of feedback from 11 total 1:1 interviews Steps stakeholders should take to ensure language diversity across various platforms (languages, technology, interfaces and organisations for research, oral and visual technologies) to provide support to ensure the broadest possible representation of various languages as well as those with physical and cognitive challenges to participate in our movement:New readers program is very good - build readership, editor retention. You tell them to start with readership - how to use Wikipedia and all projects.

{{allyship}}

For art students, we can teach them to use images with copyrighted Google directories, teach them how to use free images in their work. There are a lot of data sciences - we can show how to use Wikidata, how its data can be used. Instead of one project, readership should be encouraged all projects. How internet add value to their work. In terms of content, one of the problems in Wikipedia is that other language editors translate from English to their local languages via machine translation. No neutral point of view, references are used. Without actual research, machine translation is being done.

WMDE Group interview with 2-3 staff members Please see the interview transcript posted on meta: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Diversity#Wikimedia_Deutschland_staff_perspective
WMAT (Wikimedia Austria) Posted on meta by WMAT: Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Diversity Disclaimer: we are aware that the following “mountainous regions” in Austria are still way more developed than other parts of the world. The detail of the scoping questions appears to be a bit too detailed for these early stages and are difficult to give feedback to without including a global context. Recommendations for this working group should - in our view - differentiate based on the regional or local context.

We welcome the emphasis in form of a scoping question concerning the diversity of languages on various platforms. It is an issue that the Austrian community has had to deal with since the beginnings of the German speaking language, often having to overcome ignorance and belittling comments when pointing out the pluricentric nature of the German language. It is our belief that establishing guidelines for platforms to acknowledge and nurture pluricentric languages will enrich those languages and the people who use those platforms. We also concur with the scoping questions in that raising awareness and use of our platforms in “low awareness regions” like the rural regions of Austria is only possible when acknowledging the demographic challenges (i.e. an aging society with a deteriorating infrastructure) we have to overcome in those regions. Anyone already on the Internet already knows about Wikipedia - the challenge will be how we also integrate those who have been left out in our information age.

It is not clear from the document, whether and how the work of this group is also directed at the organized part of our movement (WMF and affiliates), particularly Wikimedia as an employer. Diversity and inclusion need to be addressed in a more systematic fashion here as well: E.g. How can we make sure that females* and people of colour have equal access to leadership positions and how can we avoid a gender pay gap?

Wikimedia Austria believes that Diversity&Inclusion should be reflected in the structures and public appearance of movement entities and so they become the welcoming spaces that the Wikimedia projects often can’t be. Hence, we use inclusive language in all our official documents (e.g. bylaws), made sure the bylaws also represent and support the principles laid out in our friendly space policy and made efforts for better gender representation in our committees and expert groups. We hope that the strategy process will result in recommendations for affiliates which make less of an exception and more of a rule in the movement.

Spanish speaking community at large 1:1 interviews
  1. In Africa, locals don’t edit Wikipedia. Information about the Spanish speaking terrtiories (both with strange political backgound) is supperficial, writen from a European point of View and, somehow, pro-government (or at least, is so basic than cannot be considered “potencially dangerous” for the government).
  2. Sometimes, “Reliable sources” means “government sources”. (Cases of conflict in Africa).
  3. There is a demand for something like a “comitee to erradicate racism and colonialism”. A single window to “complain”.

Partnerships[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
WMDE Group interview with 2-3 staff members Please see the interview transcript posted on meta: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Partnerships#Wikimedia_Deutschland_staff_perspective
Arabic community-at-large Compliation of feedback from various 1:1 interviews
  • There should be legal support from WMF for volunteers when signing contracts with partners.
  • First by helping them have legal status in their countries.
  • Currently there is an enormous dependency from User Groups towards associations (which have legal status and act as fiscal sponsors).
  • If the association has a problem or barrier then the events organized by the UG will also face problems or be canceled.
  • Second by giving them guidance about their local laws (or hire lawyers to support them) so that they can sign the contracts comfortably.
  • Empower the volunteers and educate them about negotiation techniques (overlaps with capacity building).
  • WMF should be more flexible in letting volunteers sign partnerships on behalf of the WMF.
  • Or have/hire local representatives of WMF worldwide to take care of these partnerships.
  • User Groups in some countries should be allowed to call their affiliates in names which does not include the “Wikimedia” name to protect their members.
Portuguese community-at-large Telegram discussion of 4-5 people Establishing partnerships with feminist and minorities’ representant groups is essential to diminish content gaps. (#Bridging the gaps)

Partners should also worry about maintaining a neutral point of view on their participation. Wikimedia members have to select partners that agree with that and work with projects’ rules and criteria for enforcing that. (#Allyship)

Hindi community-at-large Compliation of feedback from 11 total 1:1 interviews How might we build Wikimedia into an effective convenor of impactful partnerships, coalitions, and collective action based on a shared vision of open knowledge and the “Big Open” Movement?The biggest issue is that we are exclusive to our own communities and not connected with other open organizations such as mozilla and creative commons chapters and their communities. Their goals are common but as a community we are completely disconnected from them. Maybe at hierarchy, Wikimedia Foundation maybe an official partner for CC but on ground level, as Wikimedians we are disconnected with other open organization communities.

How do we develop technical infrastructure, capacities and support do we need in order to be an effective partner to share ‘the sum of all knowledge” and fulfill the vision of knowledge as a service for our partners?Currently, just like we have formed the space Wikimedia, there can be some portal or platform where all the players of big open movement can plan together and do something.

The current platforms of communications are all with Wikimedians, but a common platform can be started to bring together all of them (open movement partners and their communities) and form collaborations and partnerships directly.

How can we empower people and organizations working on partnerships get the support they need to fulfill our potential to carry out diverse, sustainable, effective and impactful partnerships?Volunteers don't have any support from local partner and WMF, to endorse officially so they can partner with GLAM institutes and entities, for example, official email ID. WMF cannot build such resources for volunteers in each country. In every country has organization working in this area. For example, every country has some associations, such as Indian Library Association, Indian Council of Museum, etc. We can reach out to such organization, and say we are building resources and we need inputs from you and we are building these resources, then later partnerships can easily developed from there.

How might we build Wikimedia into an effective convenor of impactful partnerships, coalitions, and collective action based on a shared vision of open knowledge and the “Big Open” Movement?First of all, we have to analyze in different contexts, what are the possibilities. Which things are missing. Which thing we would need to do advocacy for. For example, for partnerships in India, advocacy should be done with different govt bodies before starting a partnership. For instance, national library of India which has two copies of each book that was ever printed in India so their archive is really big. But the bureaucracy is very high and the advocacy is needed to form a partnership. So, clearly and very openly, a demonstration should be done by Wikimedians and thematic organizations already doing partnerships about the importance and the need of partnerships.

How we can form national association with some international organizations of libraries such as ISLA, central international citation of libraries for Wikimedia partnerships?How do we develop technical infrastructure, capacities and support do we need in order to be an effective partner to share ‘the sum of all knowledge” and fulfill the vision of knowledge as a service for our partners?The basic infrastructure is missing, whether is it content partnership, there is no proper documentation for ways to integrate the data in Wikimedia projects.

To hire people for such projects is also difficult. There should be a simple process of how do a partnership and how we release the content and integrate with minimum expertise. There is no ease of access of tools for integration of data. The current hacks are the ones developed by volunteers and they have no proper debugging or documents that are volunteer led hack but haven’t been grown by the Foundation on movement level.

The manpower and funding is insufficient for emerging communities. There is no reliable organizational structure that can be used to manage such partnerships, manpower and the funding.

How can we empower people and organizations working on partnerships get the support they need to fulfill our potential to carry out diverse, sustainable, effective and impactful partnerships?There are no regional level affiliates at some geographical areas so most of this work is done by the volunteers without any financial or human resources support from Foundation. Before providing support, there should be a survey and research on the types of partnerships done in America, Asia and other regions.

Depending on the data analysis, there should be a structural support provided on the basis of need, requirement and the resources needed by those communities. For that, a plan can be created in collaboration with chapters, thematic organizations and movement partners in different regions.

How do we create an inclusive, movement-wide culture of sharing knowledge, skills, and practices on collaborations and partnerships - so that everyone in the movement can participate in and benefit from them?Before sharing, documentation of existing partnerships in different regions should be created. A catalogue of all partnerships and all the associated skills, resources and techniques, reports and learnings should be properly created.

With study, we can determine which affiliate is involved in which partnership and which regions never had any partnerships, so we can determine what kind of GLAM partnerships or collaborations should be started in that region. Storytelling of the previous successful collaborations can be a learning curve and an awareness channel for those regional affiliates.

German community-at-large One 1:1 interview A partnership is always a mutual affair.

In Germany, Austria and Switzerland we normally visit institutes and lobby for Free Knowledge. But when we visit the institutes we should listen to them as well. We’re not the only ones with knowledge and the truth. We should listen to them and understand them. We are living in our bubble and they are living in their bubble. Only when we listen to each other the bubbles can merge.

There are many who would like to share their knowledge and culture with us, many who are interested in us. This works well in Wikimedian in Residence projects. WiR projects are designed with certain duration, closeness and mutual collaboration. And in these projects listening to each other and understanding each other works well. At English speaking Wikimedia projects there are many WiR projects, way more than in the German speaking projects, so in the English speaking world an understanding of our projects can be developed better. There is limited expertise for this in Germany. We mainly have short-term collaborations. Germany has good initiatives, but these should be longer-termed.

Regarding collaborative relationships we should look at and cooperate with small potential partners. For a mutual understanding we need a regular exchange.

One affiliate with many and very good materials and sources is the Wiki Education Foundation.

We should neither think nor strive to become the essential centre of free knowledge. Not everyone has to gather around us. This would not be called partnership. Other entities should not define themselves as Wikimedia, they should rather be equal partners.

And we should not forget that Wikipedia is our core project.

Product & Technology[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
Arabic community-at-large Broad community input Wikimedia Foundation should already consider new policies and guidelines to be adopted and aligned with the new technologies.

The example of the monkey selfie copyright dispute is a good reference to areas that should be anticipated.

Wikimedia Foundation should use more technologies in explaining the rules, guidelines and policies, or WMF governance structure for the community members

Currently most of the rules and policies are very long texts in Meta (mostly in Enlgish) that the large majority of the community does not/not want to read.

Making these policies in a more interactive way, using new technologies will certainly make this information more spread, and seen and understood by far more people than today.

Arabic community-at-large 12 participants - 2 options - Multiple votes
  • Wikimedia Foundation should organize trainings for the Wikimedians to teach them new products and technologies, and even programming in the new languages. (11 people - 92 %).
  • Wikimedia Foundation should hire skilled developers and provide them competitive salaries to encourage them to work with WMF. (5 people - 42 %).
Arabic community-at-large 1:1 community interviews
  • WMF should improve the smartphone version for editors.
  • Many tools are very hard to use when users are on their phone
  • Many people (especially in developing countries) make most of their edits on phone and are limited.
  • More and more people in the future will use phones (or other devices) to edits.
  • This observation should be extended to all future technologies, not only phone.
  • In 2030, automatic translation can/will be so good that articles can be written only in one language and be translated automatically to all others
  • How can this be dealt with?
  • Are current editors doing double work by writing the same article in every language?
  • WMF should have a group specialized in following the trends and adapting the encyclopedia to them.
  • Audio and video are the future of the internet.
  • There should be more investigation in this area, especially the possibility of having articles in video format.
  • WMF should provide capacity building for volunteers who wish to learn video editing/graphics so that they can use that capacity for the benefit of the encyclopedia.
  • And in general support/provide capacity building for the new technologies (work with AI, big data, etc.).
  • There should be a department in WMF to educate and teach users about technical advancement and new technologies related to the encyclopedia (overlaps with Capacity building)
  • Target volunteers from different regions and languages to make sure that these solutions will be implemented everywhere.
  • Technology levels and adoption are different in the world
  • While the west are very advanced and have access to the most developed technologies, other countries still struggle with devices or connectivity.
  • WMF should take this into consideration and shape different strategies so that nobody is left behind.
  • Employing developers with high salaries
  • Should WMF compete with the big IT companies? Is it its mission?
  • It is better to hire developers sharing our values, not seeking the highest salary.
  • WMF should fund/grant skilled Wikimedians with good technical background to travel and educate other users in the other regions of the world.
  • Wikimedia should keep its initial aim (delivering free knowledge) and not divert to other purposes (such as selling products).
Portuguese community-at-large Telegram discussion of 4-5 people Improving basic technical skills is essential for the projects. It is harder to start working on the tech area, but, with a little help for beginners and support for them to keep working on their own afterwards, we may improve on that regard. (#Recruiting)

Projects shouldn’t need to much technical expertise from volunteers to work. Visual Editor is a good example that helped editors with less technical background, but working with templates for instance is still complicated to many. (#Platform)

Having a list of technical tasks organized by priority and community preference with tech community agreement may help as an invitation to more technical contributors. (#Software development)

People like to be with their peers and to have an environment where some can find tasks on which to work on, places to discuss and others like them to talk about things in common. (#Allyship)

Hindi community-at-large Compliation of feedback from 11 total 1:1 interviews How can we better attract, support and retain diverse technical contributors particularly: building and supporting local developer communities and prioritizing projects which will engage technical contributors?For engineering students to volunteer in media wiki, one of the approaches can be to have final year project research can be a Wikimedia bot or a tool. The educational institutions are welcoming to partner with Wikimedia for such collaborations because of its brand name. This can also be a good outreach for recruiting volunteer developers community at a right stage where the students can get a chance to join the movement early on.

Google developer students club can also be a good step to do similar outreach. Since Wikimedia Foundation is partner with Google on different projects, we can try to check them out and reach out to them via Google.

Current issuesFunds for technical work: For technical work, a team of developers is needed. If one person decides to work on development of a tool, then the possibility of the project incompletion gets reduced. For example, a developer working a tool may need assistance for database and individual volunteers get no assistance for hiring professionals for help in the creation of tools.

More funds should be made available to technical software volunteers.

A new structure should be developed in Grantmaking so that for a short term projects can be done by developer community. For instance, a volunteer who wants to create a tool by taking assistance of an additional commercial service.

Software License's Keys should be provided to technical volunteer contributors.

The current structure for technology are more Foundation centric. English Wikipedia gets more focus as it has major crowd but the development of tools and technology should be done keeping in mind the general movement and overall projects or something that can be applied in multiple languages. Currently, they are making very specific things (tools, better interface, etc.) focussed on English Wikipedia.

Each year, some effort is made with community wishlist but it is not an efficient method to judge the needs of the community since the decisions in that are based on the number of votes different proposals get. There is no particular strategy that advances any particular project other than Wikipedia, whose success rate is measured by number of readers and editors.

There is a need to have discussions with other stakeholders and analyze where is scope for more growth. For example, Wikisource has not very good infrastructure. Other platforms providing similar service have easy to edit, user friendly interface whereas in Wikisource, interface still needs a lot of work. There is difficulty in implementing visual editor in Wikisource with templates and there are problems with wikitext too.

There should be a proper strategy made in the investment of software development for different projects with equity, which is our movement direction in mind.

Spanish speaking community-at-large 1:1 interviews 1- Wikipedia should became a global internet provider (Satellite?). People in countries with censorship could connect the uncensored services of Wikipedia-net. Profits would fund WMF.

2- Complete redesign of OTRS system, with several problems like lack of activity, with queues of 300-days or more.

Resource Allocation[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
Arabic community-at-large Compliation of feedback from various 1:1 interviews WMF should ask for “guarantee” before sending grants.

Many users misuse grant money in their home countries. Some take grant money and disappear without any accountability mechanisms or tracing from WMF.

American law cannot be enforced over these people, and blacklisting will not get the money back.

WMF should allocate regional budgets for specific targeted areas and groups that it wants to empower.

Hindi community-at-large Compliation of feedback from 11 total 1:1 interviews How can resource allocation support structures that empower different actors within the free knowledge movement long-term? How is power connected to resource allocation and how can we utilize resource allocation to create change?In terms of money, a lot of resources are going to European communities with APG grants. For emerging communities, they are getting more rapid grants. When grant structure is observed from the bottom of the pyramid, the emerging communities are being left out.

Only 2-3% of the bigger grants such as project grant and conference grants are seen coming from emerging communities.

The smaller grants should be awarded more. There should be a strategy for investment in the emerging community for equity.

There should be some structure in grantmaking that helps potential proposers and the current grantees to scale up the successful project - it can be in the form of funds, staff assistance.

Currently, the grants reviewing and report evaluations is very slow. For example, there should be someone from staff who identifies the small projects, for instance, rapid grant projects that have good scope and can be scaled up, proactively contact the person and assist them in getting the bigger funded grants.

The APG structure currently focuses on Wikimedia affiliates. The bigger grats should also be given to some liberalization to other organizations who are also doing such work. There is a centralization of power going on right now and such grant dispersal system can help in decentralization which is essential to keep the movement healthy and balanced. The resource allocation can also be divided for different regions, or different projects, such as, Education, GLAM, Outreach. Some organizations can be identified and supported that can increase the scope of work in a particular region that can actively collaborate and work for Wikimedia movement in a particular field.

Who should be the recipients of resources? How do we determine the boundaries, who or what is included?Basic grassroot level workshops should be encouraged more and for the sake of diversity alone, resources should not be wasted. For instance, reserved positions in different conferences for females that are not allocated to males even when they are no female candidates.

What impact should the allocated resources create within our communities and the world. Who are we accountable to and how do we organize accountability?To ensure balance of development of movement, there needs to be more effort. For long term equity, there should be diversity in projects. For instance, same type of wiki loves projects and edit-a-thons create redundancy that in long term would reduce the growth in the movement. There should be experimentation done in new fields and projects in different parts of the world to ensure that the content and editors remain consistent instead of investment in the repetition of same projects.

Time delay in Getting Grants : There is no time discipline on grants review by WMF team to its approval/rejection and then subsequently to grants disbursement. At times, grants are provided when the event is already over.

Minimum Cap on Rapid Grant : Dollar may hold relatively a very high value in the Global South and the Rapid Grant may happen to be too high for several events. Low micro-grant alternative should be provided.

Community Review on Reports : Community endorses the plan and then the grant is approved but no place for community review on reports. Why WMF staff the only reviewer ? Community review should have a necessary space.

German community-at-large See "content" On-wiki community:
  • Since Wikimedia projects are exempt from the new EU copyright law a community member doubts that the lobbying of Wikimedia Germany was for the good of our projects. She speculated that it was rather done for the chapter’s own agenda.
  • Answers to the key question “The Strategic Direction prioritizes people and communities who have been left out. Who are they?” by members of Wikimedia Deutschland:
  • The question was not understood by some members. Background was missing for them.
  • People that can neither read nor write, students/pupils, people that do not speak the mother tongue of their country of residence.
  • Young people that are either studying or undergo training.
  • Promotion of small language versions. The countries of the Global South.
  • People with impaired reading and language comprehension. Foreigners (cultural barriers), uneducated people (environment as barrier), people living in the countryside (lack of infrastructure).
  • People who are severely handicapped, who have learning difficulties and people who are queer.
  • Women.
  • Institutes for scientific research such as Max Planck institutes, Fraunhofer institutes, Helmholtz institutes – and the people working for these institutes.
  • Students, government agencies (for example census bureaus), teachers, association members.
  • Context from the German Strategy Liaison: This refers to activities of Wikimedia Deutschland and other chapters against uploadfilters and the new copyright laws of the European Union. A statement of Wikimedia Deutschland can be read at https://blog.wikimedia.de/2019/04/08/appell-an-die-bundesregierung-keine-uploadfilter-stehen-sie-zum-koalitionsvertrag/ .
WMAT (Wikimedia Austria) Content from discussions on meta: Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Resource_Allocation CROSS POSTED TO REVENUE STREAMS

The movement has only learned in recent years to embrace the international aspects that help us all improve our work and our understanding of who we are as an international movement. This should also be reflected in the way we approach a long-term strategy for collecting and distributing money. Every affiliate is knowledgeable in their local context, but does not necessarily have the expertise to use this to their advantage. Other affiliates have built expertise in certain areas over the last 10+ years and are able to support and advise other affiliates in those areas. This is what we need to build on in order to advance our mission until 2030. Using the expertise we already have as building blocks for a long-term strategy will help us reach further than in any other case.

From our experience there is a need on the side of some donors to connect on an local / regional level: They rather donate to an Austrian organisation and want to learn more about what is done with the money in their specific country. Some of them might be interested to become members of their local affiliate or contribute in other ways. Hence, we believe that even if not every affiliate / local group raises funds, we need to work together more closely to work on our donor relations. Currently the WMF does not share any information about local affiliates, their work and events with donors, so we are missing out on important opportunities for sustainable donor relations.

Revenue streams: There are clear red lines in terms of revenue streams that would endanger the foundations of our projects: Advertisement on Wikipedia and other projects should be a non-starter (and it would be helpful if the revenue streams working group could set out some non-goals as soon as possible) and considering the setting up of a trust, this will alleviate any worries concerning funding the servers and operations. Paywalls are a similar non-starter for an open knowledge project and reducing openness in order to acquire grants or donations from certain organisations is similarly out of the question for us. In general, there should be a guide for what is acceptable as a grant and what isn’t, because even receiving an unconditional grant might create a bias towards the donor.

Resource allocation: Accountability within the movement has been an issue ever since certain affiliates started fundraising themselves. We have seen in past years that there is a very diverging view on what is money well spent and what is not. Spending money needs to follow a common understanding, signed by every affiliate, that should include values like financial prudence and acting in the common interest of the stakeholders involved in our projects. This common understanding can and should be expanded on on a regional and local level to accurately reflect views, laws and ethics that only exist in that region or country.

Furthermore, the working group should also take into account that internationally English is a barrier for many to access our resources right now. This puts an onus on native English speaking affiliates to explain and document their work much better than we would expect it from people who do not have this advantage. This would be an important step towards equity in terms of resource allocation.

Spanish speaking community-at-large Context: Telegram Channel. 80 participants, one week
  1. Half of the scholarships (Wikimanía) should be for women if we want to reduce the Gender Gap
    Possible nuance: Wikimanía yes, but in conferences more aimed at projects focus more on content than on the gender of participants
    Long-term strategy to reduce Gender Gap
    There are other gaps, not only the gender, in relation to the presence in events
    One criticism: who begins to edit does not know what a Wikimanía is. The presence in these events does not reduce the Gender Gap, it has to be another type of activities
    It would be better to request income and assets when determining who is given scholarships
    Wikimanía should not be a priority in resources. Or other events with diffuse and unclear objectives
  2. The priority should be to invest in technology
    The platform remained anchored in 2001
    Basic things like support for pdf or mp4 technology fail
    Languages ​​missing in the translator
    In short: everything that works
  3. Therefore, there must be a plan to renew the infrastructure
    Improved visual editor
    Being able to upload videos and photos easily
    Audio support
    Simultaneous edition
    Improvement of the image
    Improved PDF system
    More languages ​​in the translator
    Project integration
    Improved OCR on Wikisource
    Ease to create and edit maps
    The wikis should have all the functionalities of series, including templates that import from wikidata
    Tools for simultaneous video editing
    Improvement in layout
    User pages similar to those of APPs or Social networks
    Integrate the discussions in the text intuitively
    No need 3D or augmented reality: we need not be 2001
  4. Many applications are external and in English. The WMF assumes that "that already exists". But the users do not know
    Mobile APPs also have to be updated and made functional
  5. In addition to Technology and Product, it is also interesting to enhance the capabilities of the user cores
  6. People are willing to donate more than if we sell a product. The best way to continue doing this is to improve the product
  7. Satisfaction for being an "online counterpower" (A different model to Facebook)
    Beyond the encyclopedia, we do not exercise counter-power either
  8. The lines to be supported should be agreed periodically
  9. On conferences, look for "cheap" places in terms of ecological impact and cost for the WMF (donors)
    Granting of scholarships and assignment of speakers before the confirmation of an event venue based on the principle of diversity, having the principle of sustainability and ecology as a guideline, establishing the geographical places that meet the parameters to host the event prioritized by the lowest total energy expenditure
    This would probably give a small group of rotating locations that ensure more north / south equity. Once the site is decided, the means are put in place to "empower" accompanying and financing the entity that can take charge of the event.
    Problem: burn local groups and possible WMF parachutist "helping"
  10. Chapters that work well are those that have paid staff
    Online courses for affiliates to "learn" to do things like WMF wants
    "Discovering wiki governance is like looking for eastern eggs in a video game." "I discovered the Telegram channel through a message in the cafe." Improve communication about wiki topics to the community
    The interface of Meta is horrible. Young people of 20 years will not be able to endure it in 2030
    In Meta or Commons, or you know the exact name of something or you can not find it
    Maybe a wiki page should not be used to coordinate anything
  11. Investing in a product is investing in content. Let's simplify life to the editor
  12. Invest in UX (User Exeprience) to implement UI (User Interfaces)

Ideas:

  • Augmented reality in cell phone APP
  • Wizard type "word clip" with the face of Wikipe-tan
  • The same interface in all projects, regardless of language (people against)
  • Friendlier interface Difficulties in climbing in Commons
  • The interface should easily show the complementary external tools

Revenue Streams[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
WMDE Group interview with 2-3 staff members Please see the interview transcript posted on meta: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Revenue_Streams#Wikimedia_Deutschland_staff_perspectives
Arabic community-at-large Compliation of feedback from various 1:1 interviews
  • WMF should encourage local affiliates to build financial partnerships with local partners (universities - official governmental bodies) to fund them directly without having WMF involved in the process
  • WMF can guide affiliates on how to help each other.
  • Some countries can be used as references and share their knowledge.
  • This suggestion helps to solve problems of receiving grants from WMF (American/external funding not possible in many countries).
  • WMF should develop a code of conduct/guidelines explaining to its donors what will happen with their donation and that they cannot affect the neutrality of the encyclopedia.
  • It should be clarified for the community members that the revenues are an ethical question (donors' money), and that they should be very careful when using these funds and optimize their usage.
  • WMF should have blacklist about whom money is not accepted from (both globally and locally, for example authoritarian governments or controversial people).
  • WMF should be more public and transparent by explaining the usage of the donation money that it receives.
  • WMF should target partners who share the same views and values and seek funding from them (example of Mozilla).
  • WMF should also investigate the possibility of getting funds from Facebook, Google and other platforms that use Wikipedia content for their profit.
Portuguese community-at-large Telegram discussion of 4-5 people It was suggested a creation of a new streaming platform that would allow the discussion of articles with participation of editors, interview with specialists. That would be similar with existent platforms on which people that enjoy the content donate money while watching. (#Financing models)
German community-at-large See "content" Feedback from the on-wiki community:

Any increased revenue is not necessary. Wikimedia should start to concentrate on its key tasks and skills, meaning that money should be spent on hardware and software and most of all Wikipedia. The fundraising banners should disappear, a discrete year-round PayPal button is sufficient. The newspaper Guardian does in right in this regard. Spending money on social, copyright and education policy as well as cultural science is unnecessary and should be stopped.

Answers to the key question “What are the lines that we should not cross when thinking about revenue streams while working towards our goal?” by members of Wikimedia Deutschland:

Selling the work of volunteers to private companies

No influence by companies and politics.

Individual donations should not be higher than 24.9% of the donation volume, sum of all donations from private companies should not be higher than 49.9% of the total.

Please don’t sell us.

Donations from government organizations or companies should not be higher than 5% of the total, there should be no revenues from publications and no money from political parties.

Data are the capital in data mining. This capitalization of knowledge shows in the donation amount. Free knowledge has to be independent from capital. We have to endure this paradox and should never give it up.

No money from “Alternative for Germany” (a German political party) and companies that are harmful to the environment.

No commercial donations and no donations from political parties, just private donations.

Large donations must be published, just like they do it with party donations.

Advertisement, product placement (= commercial interests). And if companies and countries donate they might want to delete or change articles and content that they don’t like.

General context from the Strategy Liaison: After complaints about fundrasing banners WMDE was improving them with community consultation and a code of conduct regarding fundraising.

It looks like this did not go far enough for some community members.

WMAT (Wikimedia Austria) Content from discussions posted on meta: Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Revenue_Streams "CROSS POSTED TO RESOURCE ALLOCATION

The movement has only learned in recent years to embrace the international aspects that help us all improve our work and our understanding of who we are as an international movement. This should also be reflected in the way we approach a long-term strategy for collecting and distributing money. Every affiliate is knowledgeable in their local context, but does not necessarily have the expertise to use this to their advantage. Other affiliates have built expertise in certain areas over the last 10+ years and are able to support and advise other affiliates in those areas. This is what we need to build on in order to advance our mission until 2030. Using the expertise we already have as building blocks for a long-term strategy will help us reach further than in any other case.

From our experience there is a need on the side of some donors to connect on an local / regional level: They rather donate to an Austrian organisation and want to learn more about what is done with the money in their specific country. Some of them might be interested to become members of their local affiliate or contribute in other ways. Hence, we believe that even if not every affiliate / local group raises funds, we need to work together more closely to work on our donor relations. Currently the WMF does not share any information about local affiliates, their work and events with donors, so we are missing out on important opportunities for sustainable donor relations.

Revenue streams: There are clear red lines in terms of revenue streams that would endanger the foundations of our projects: Advertisement on Wikipedia and other projects should be a non-starter (and it would be helpful if the revenue streams working group could set out some non-goals as soon as possible) and considering the setting up of a trust, this will alleviate any worries concerning funding the servers and operations. Paywalls are a similar non-starter for an open knowledge project and reducing openness in order to acquire grants or donations from certain organisations is similarly out of the question for us. In general, there should be a guide for what is acceptable as a grant and what isn’t, because even receiving an unconditional grant might create a bias towards the donor.

Resource allocation: Accountability within the movement has been an issue ever since certain affiliates started fundraising themselves. We have seen in past years that there is a very diverging view on what is money well spent and what is not. Spending money needs to follow a common understanding, signed by every affiliate, that should include values like financial prudence and acting in the common interest of the stakeholders involved in our projects. This common understanding can and should be expanded on on a regional and local level to accurately reflect views, laws and ethics that only exist in that region or country.

Furthermore, the working group should also take into account that internationally English is a barrier for many to access our resources right now. This puts an onus on native English speaking affiliates to explain and document their work much better than we would expect it from people who do not have this advantage. This would be an important step towards equity in terms of resource allocation. "

Spanish community-at-large Context: Telegram Channel. 80 participants, one week
  1. Voices in favor of the use of cryptocurrencies to finance the projects
    • High opposition, seen as something speculative
    • The variability of the value makes it unstable as a support for the WMF
    • Supporters talk about tokenizing the time of usage of the articles
    • No paid editing but quick grants for affiliates based on % of visits per territory (these things are requested by affiliates with less infrastructure, and they have relatively populated territories)
    • The problem of the previous point is that it would discriminate the smallest affiliates, not neutral. It would make bigger the gap among cultural / idiomatic / internet implantation communities
    • There is talk of mining currencies. Opposition
    • Using a cryptocurrency to finance the projects but not paying the publishers is a topic that does not generate as much rejection, although measuring how it would be implemented, generates many doubts
  2. Voices in favor of paid editing and the economic return to publishers
    • Even greater opposition, as it perverts the wikipedia model.
    • Gateway to companies (If you want to avoid cases like North Face)
    • Pay-editing is inevitable, but it is requested to act to guarantee the future of the movement
    • To act and avoid ambiguities, the policies must the improved. What happens with "sponsored" edit-a-thon done by institutions? Are they paid editing or not?
    • Improve entrance doors and make clear the sanctions in the case of paid editing
    • In general, paid editing is seen as a great risk
    • Potentially very dangerous in articles of living people and companies
    • Support templates to detect paid-editing. The are talks about having paid patrolers, who act better than the current ones
    • We don’t want Wikipedia to become a platform for advertising
  3. There are income sources such as offering services to institutions, things that affiliates do currently
    • Payment by training, not by edition
    • Support is requested so that the affiliates can have the legal form that allows them to develop these activities
  4. The WMF is requested to support the affiliates so that they are eligible legal entities for donations with fiscal discounts
    • Model of solidarity, the "rich" collector brings to a solidarity fund for poor affiliates
  5. Licensing Merchandising
    • It does not generate rejection. With conditions Model similar to some museums
    • The idea of ​​a Wikipetan anime comes back
    • There is talk of licensing wikis to third parties (like wikia's)
    • The idea of ​​offline products in Stikc format comes back (problem: only useful in countries with fewer resources and worse internet access)
  6. With USD23 million unused, you may not need to increase donations
  7. People wonder about the profile of donors, transparency in WMF and ways to avoid underwater treatment with companies such as Google

Context: Personal reflection after one 1to1 interview.

  1. As said in product and technology, WMF should became a internet provider via satellite. A commercial one in the West, but also one able to avoid censorship in those countries with content control. Benefits in the West/North could be used to improve our projects.

Roles and Responsibilities[edit]

Source Context Content
Women editors perspectives from formal and informal consultations from women editors in various countries
  1. Some women feel that in general, the WMF’s Terms of Use is a detriment to women and other minorities. This includes the hands-off approach for policies on the various language Wikipedias. The terms of use should be changed so that WMF can be included in the dialogue regarding policies.
  2. Those affiliates that have a Board of Directors and the WMF’s Board of Trustees should be required to have a certain percentage of seats to be held by women or non-binary genders.
  3. Gendered terminology on many language Wikipedias is problematic. Many languages have feminine and masculine forms, so defaulting to the masculine form seems problematic to some people This is also true about categories. This problem exists because communities make policy decisions based on consensus so if the majority of people who give an opinion opt for using masculine language in a particular language Wikipedia, their opinion prevails. Some context: German Wikipedia has recently had a pol regarding “gender equity language” that was rejected by 70% of voters for formality reasons. Many women on German Wikipedia found this very upsetting. This issue is not isolated to German Wikipedia. A 2018 Wikimedia community survey showed that only 8% of editors are women and 1% are nonbinary - women will always then be over ruled and nothing will change if decisions continue to be “left up to the community” which is generally a safer space for men.
  4. We have not done as good a job as we could on building an inclusive, global sense of community among Wikimedians. Specifically, there is a disconnect between what people feel is “the wiki movement”/”the wiki community” and “editors”, with the latter feeling very separate from the former. This is true even for prolific and veteran editors. Furthermore, the movement strategy process has not done a good job in addressing the difference between these views and where people see themselves. Improving where and how we have dialogues as we move forward is necessary.
  5. A story shared by one female admin is illustrative of our significant problems with gender and community health. This issue points to the way that some men target some women to harass them and make them feel not welcome. It also is suggestive of how the longstanging community and WMF negligence around issues of harassment have resulted in broken trust. She feels that we have an ongoing cultural problem where women admins can feel that men admins have a “battlefield mentality” and have to be “bitches” in order to have access to admin tools. This same woman has gotten rape threats. She has started to move off talk pages and only has conversations that are strictly Wikipedia related off wiki. She gets caught in harsh edit summaries with inappropriate language targeted at her and nobody does anything because it’s not on a talk page. Nobody did anything about it.
  6. Sometimes, the visual representation of Wikimedia communities and events contributes to the sentiment that women have limited and tokenistic roles. An example is a photo of an editathon with a large group of men lined up and a few women as bookends. This does not convey a positive message regarding diversity. There’s not an easy solution, as you can’t require a certain % of volunteers to be women, but the way we take and frame photos may have an affect on how we function together.
WMDE Group interview with 2-3 staff members Please see the interview transcript posted on meta: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/2019_Community_Conversations/Roles_&_Responsibilities#Wikimedia_Deutschland_staff_perspective
Arabic community-at-large Compliation of feedback from various 1:1 interviews Affiliates
  • WMF should leave the chapters independent, while monitoring should be closer for User Groups and emerging communities.
  • Chapters have bank account and are more professional and have staff who have legal responsibilities.
  • Affiliates from emerging communities should provide more financial reports and fulfill democracy requirements in their local governance.
  • User Groups
  • Current status: There is no clarity about internal policies, no control, no bylaws, no escalation path for members.
  • User Groups are not legal entities in most countries, and are always looking for fiscal sponsors. They should be designed as associations in every country to avoid problems.
  • Associations provide more accountability and organization.
  • However. legal status for each country should be assessed separately.
  • In some countries it can be a problem to create an association about free knowledge, in others it is the opposite.
  • There should be a clear hierarchy in local groups, with clear escalation paths, and clear decision making and bylaws
  • Clarity and transparency are important. There should be more policies for enhancing transparency and clarity on different levels in the User Groups
  • There should be specific bylaws for affiliates depending on their age
  • New groups can have flexibility, to have time to learn.
  • While older groups can have more requirements and more reporting, etc.
  • User Groups should have at least one yearly physical meeting that will be supported by the WMF.
  • WMF should be decentralized
  • It is an international organisation not an American one.
  • We should have WMF offices in the different continents and parts of the world.
  • Each affiliate can then be attached to the closest local office.
  • Example of regional offices – North Africa / Gulf region.
  • Decentralization will not solve all problems
  • A number of affiliates have problems to receive grants from 95% of the world countries, not only fromUSA.
  • WMF should hire more contractors and representatives from different regions (at least 2 per continent) who live in these regions.
  • Ideally, these employees should be emerging from the community. Hiring people from outside of the movement can be very risky as they do not work for the movement’s ideals, but rather for money or other benefits.
  • Affcom and some WMF departments are overlapping. There should be a clear boundary and clarity for the scope of each.
  • Is affcom independent? Its status is unclear and it is not known if it is managed by WMF or board of trustees.
  • Affcom has more roles than it should be. There is a need for a new committee.
  • Affcom is working more on conflicts resolution than on the role it was designed to have.
  • It is the role of the legal team and trust and safety.
  • Conflict resolution should be a separate work, not related with Affcom.
  • WMF should provide more material about Wikimedia governance and different instances (Affcom, board of trustees etc.)
  • Information should be available in all languages and in simpler format (not in Meta, but rather videos)
  • Translation in Meta should be easier to perform (now requiring translation admin).
  • Content Administration
  • Admins should go on mandatory training before taking their duty.
  • There should be a balance (in terms of ideology) especially for administrators. They should not all have the same opinion or ideology.