Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Reports/Summary of Movement Conversations 2020/Arabic

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The numbers[edit]

Overall around 200 Arabic-Speaking people have viewed the recommendations landing page or have been informed that recommendations exist by email or other means.

  • 215 people viewed the Meta Recommendations landing page.
  • 218 people viewed the Arabic Wikipedia landing page.

The number of actively engaged people in Arabic language was about 80-90 people (from which 40-50 online and 40 offline).

Social media and chat groups (~ 40-50 people)

Affiliates (Total ~40 people - both online and offline)

  • 3 in-person meetings (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia User Groups)
  • One Online meeting (Levant User Group)

General feelings[edit]

Most of the feedback from the Arabic was supportive of the recommendations and looked forward to the implementation phase to give more concrete feedback and suggestions.

Some users expressed concern about the process itself, and mentioned “decisions taken behind closed doors” from the board of trustees, who did not engage or interact directly with the writers of the recommendations during this second phase.

The videos made it easier to understand the recommendations for community members who endorsed most of the recommendations and looked forward for a change, as the Arabic speaking part of the movement does need a lot of support, in terms of staff, resources and many other issues.

Areas of support[edit]

  • The recommendation mentioning the need of hiring local employees is highly endorsed and much supported by all parts of the community engaged with the movement strategy.
  • Improving User Experience is strongly supported by online editors.
  • Equity in decision-making is strongly supported by both online and offline stakeholders, especially the Global Governance body and Regional Hubs (asking for one in the Arabic Region).
  • Invest in Skills Development and Manage Internal Knowledge are strongly supported by all parts of the community who engaged with the movement strategy.
  • Innovating in Free Knowledge is widely supported, and all members who gave their feedback mentioned by name their specific support for an Oral Wikipedia.

Areas of opposition or concern[edit]

  • VPN use is opposed by most online editors as it can be used for vandalism (the original reason for banning it).
  • Prioritize Topics for Impact is opposed by both Online and Offline communities.
    • Wikipedians should be free and should be allocated the same resources no matter what they decide to write about
    • The goal of our encyclopedia is to provide knowledge, not impact. The focus should be on poorer content and the one receiving less attention, not those that will potentially have a big impact if improved. This way, all articles about all topics (goal of our encyclopedia) will be improved, not only those having “impact”.

Suggestions for improvement[edit]

  • Code of Conduct
    • Each editing community should have their own codes and rules. (online editors)
    • Each community has its own culture. A Western code of conduct cannot be imposed on us. The CoC must respect local cultures and laws to be applicable everywhere. (affiliates)
  • Provide for Safety and Security
    • Need to mention that the Trust and Safety  Team needs to be more transparent.
    • We should add the aspect of protecting Wikimedians who are engaged with external partners. They should not be left alone by WMF. For example, a Wikipedian partnering with a Human Rights association in countries at risk is not protected[1]. Also,  There have been cases of partners abusing volunteers, with no support from Trust & Safety teams. Volunteers effort and production can be easily “stolen” by the partner and no attribution made if the Wikimedian is not well protected, for example with a clear contract that WMF helps writing, to ensure that the volunteer’s rights will not be violated.
  • Prioritize Topics for Impact
    • It should be mentioned that this recommendation should be decided for each community separately. Some communities have already a well developed Wikipedia and can afford to discuss it, while others just started and need to work on poor articles, not on the ones with impact.

Points to clarify[edit]

  • The concept of who are the “leaders” is unclear in Recommendation 6.
    • Does it mean offline leaders (such as affiliate leaders) or online leaders (Wikipedians with most edits? Admins?)
    • Leaders can be the whole community, and everyone can be a leader. The community should be working all together and develop skills for everyone to lead in their area. In this sense, leadership skills should be taught to all, unless the exact target is clearly mentioned.
  • It is very important to mention that any administrative work (and professional work) in general shall not be done by volunteers, who need their valuable time to be focused on editing. Thus the need to hire dedicated staff everywhere in the world.

References[edit]

  1. This feedback comes from volunteers who are members of "informal" user groups who do not have a legal status, and therefore no protection, so anything (regional structures, direct WMF endorsement, local recognition of a chapter, being hired by the foundation, etc.) is a potential solution. It can be relevant to add this aspect to the why section for the recommendations who can potentially save the problem (hiring, protection, etc.)