Some more points about implementation
@RMacKinnon (WMF), CAshraf (WMF), RGaines (WMF), and RJudhistari (WMF): thank you for hosting the Asia timezone conversation. A few more points that I would like to share regarding the implementation for the Human Rights Policy:
- As the Foundation is currently focusing its work in a more regional-focused lens, a region-sensitive implementation framework of the Human Rights Policy may be necessary. For example, in the ESEAP there were some groundwork discussion done before to identify the most urgent issues, public policy-wise; some of them are connected to what the implementation of this policy is trying to accomplish. While I recognize that most of the legwork for implementation will be guided by a Steering Committee, I think it would be worthwhile to explore a regional approach for structures that it oversees.
- I'm heartened to see the inclusion of Provide for Safety and Inclusion Movement Strategy recommendation as a reference point for this policy. (Full disclosure: I'm on the team tasked to implement MS, but for the purpose of these comments I'm speaking with my volunteer hat on.) I view that the implementation of this policy intersect with Movement Strategy's implementation, especially on developing local capacity for advocacy. In majority of cases of threats and violations of human rights of Wikimedians, our Affiliates and local communities (if they exist) has been the first "port of call" to report it. For many reasons, reporting human rights violations and/or grievances directly to the Foundation may not be the first option (lack of support to languages other than English, accessibility problems, historical distrust, etc), and the entangled web of our Movement bodies and actors may further complicate the question of who have jurisdiction to handle it. I am interested to know what your plans are regarding developing and empowering the existing fora (immediately, Affiliates and communities, but not limited to others) of our Movement to implement this policy, and what kind of resources that you are imagining would/should be available for them.
I second Ramzy's points, and want to summarize the questions I have after reading them, to make it clear what details could be added:
- How do you see regional support for human rights developing?
- What should the first point of contact for communities be in their own language?
- What existing community efforts do you see as advancing or contributing to this?
- How can we empower [other] existing community forums to implement this policy?
- Sj and RamzyM, thank you so much for your thoughtful questions about our Human Rights Policy. We recognize great diversity of contexts and challenges among the regions in which the Wikimedia projects, volunteer communities, and foundation employees operate, which produce different human rights risks and threats. We organized regionally-focused community conversations precisely so we could really understand the key issues and human rights challenges specific to each regional context. We're committed to taking this reality into consideration as we work to implement this human rights policy.
- Implementing the human rights policy is a movement-wide endeavor that will be ongoing for the foreseeable future. It’s important that this process be organic and informed by the volunteer community, staff, and contractors that know best the challenges they face, rather than a top-down approach driven by the Foundation. This work must include all departments of the Foundation and all segments of the movement. To this end, affiliates and volunteer communities are critical partners, as they are best suited to understand the contexts in which threats to human rights are occurring in their communities. We're committed to work to empower affiliates and volunteer communities through building local capacity on advocacy, digital security, and other important areas that can have a positive impact on the human rights of Wikimedians.
- We see regional support for human rights developing in such a way where there is regular dialogue and communication across the movement to identify emerging risks and threats, share ideas to address them, implement those ideas jointly, and learn and iterate together to continue improving our responses. At present, we’re planning to grow engagement by foundation staff with various fora across the movement in order to build the connections with and further empower the community. You’ll continue to see members of the Global Advocacy and Human Rights team participating in the Strategic Wikimedia Affiliate Network meetings to update and receive feedback from the community. This network is one existing forum that could help the Foundation advance this work. We also hope to present on this work and foster richer dialogue with a broader cross section of the community at Wikimania and the Wiki Summit. We’ll continue to identify additional fora to participate in, but we welcome any ideas you may have!
- If any Wikimedian would like to raise a concern about a risk or threat to human rights they are aware of, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org in any language and this issue will be shared with the appropriate team. If any Wikimedian is in a life-threatening situation, they can contact email@example.com. Wikimedians can contact these channels in any language, and we will draw upon staff with language expertise, and use our many tools and resources to understand and respond appropriately.
- Again, thank you for these great questions! We look forward to keeping in touch with you and others and maintaining open channels of open dialogue, feedback, and suggestions moving forward. RGaines (WMF) (talk) 19:34, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
- Thanks Ricky -- what does local capacity look like? In terms of advocacy, and in terms of capacity + experience fielding questions and concerns?
- I read Ramzy as suggesting that community members often reach out to local contacts first, and may not email tthr@wikimedia, even where language is not the primary barrier. I'd like to learn more about groups that have had success to date in these arenas, as models to advocate for in my own communities. –SJ talk 23:08, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
- @Sj thanks for this follow-up! Developing local capacity includes building the local skills, experience, and know-how to advocate for laws and regulations that uphold human rights online and to respond to emerging human rights risks and threats at the regional and community level. This would empower community members to be the first responders on these issues when appropriate. While the Foundation has grown its capacity to support the community on these issues, we still don’t have all the answers right now. It’s critical for us to collaborate with and learn from affiliates and volunteers to improve our understanding of what is needed and how to meet their specific needs. RGaines (WMF) (talk) 20:08, 27 May 2022 (UTC)
- @RGaines (WMF): thank you for this comprehensive answer, Ricky -- looking forward for next steps in implementation. RamzyM (talk) 09:07, 9 June 2022 (UTC)
How can my community prepare for war?
If local law enforcement starts shutting down media outlets, and tries to control Wikipedia articles in my local language, and reporters are being jailed or killed, what protocols should we put in place // how do general guidelines map onto what we write or post online?
How might we assess the changing landscape in our community to preemptively protect editors before they are targeted? What are effective ways for our global community come together to support those whose editing is under the most pressure? How should we think about these things when advocacy for suppressing or punishing illegal speech takes over on-wiki policy as well? [we have some weak historical examples of language-projects taken over by a faction, long after wars have passed. we are living through times when many language-communities will be divided by a strong variation on that theme.]
- These concerns are certainly on our minds given the armed conflict in Ukraine and the growing reach of authoritarianism worldwide. In these situations, a one-size fits all is likely not helpful to address the specific threats and nuances of each situation. This is why developing local capacity on digital security is so important. At the Foundation, we can help analyze risks, identify mitigations and solutions, and provide targeted support where needed. We can assist communities in carrying out due diligence and developing general checklists and plans like you mention, keeping these scenarios in mind. During one of the community conversations described on this page, a member of the Board really emphasized that the Board fully supports the Foundation in responding to community needs in these sorts of situations, even in non-conventional ways. These community conversations are just one way we can work to assess the changing landscapes of our communities and to come up with ideas as to how we can support communities under threat. We should, however, recognize the inherent challenge of posting protocols and measures to be implemented in these situations: by making them available online to anyone, we could inadvertently aid those looking to harm volunteers or our communities and undermine our own tools to support them.
- In these situations, strong community awareness about basic digital security practices, like enabling dual factor authentication on online accounts and being aware of how geolocation data can be exploited, are critical. By being proactive about digital security, community members can protect their privacy and physical security. The Human Rights Team works to provide such training to community members.
- We’d welcome thoughts from any members of the community who would like to share the concerns they have about conflict and censorship in their communities and how we can support them. RGaines (WMF) (talk) 20:09, 27 May 2022 (UTC)