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Movement Charter Drafting Committee perspectives


Announcement - Final Charter text to be released June 10, 2024


In response to some requests, the MCDC has decided to release the final version of the Wikimedia Movement Charter as early as possible. The trade-off is that the text will only be available in English on June 10, as it is being translated, which is expected to be completed by June 18, 2024.

The text will be translated into the following languages: Arabic, Czech, Farsi, French, German, Hausa, Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese. Community members are invited to translate into languages not listed above.

The supplementary documents will be updated by June 18, 2024, but they will not receive translation support because they are not part of the ratification vote. Community members are invited to translate the supplementary documents if they choose.

On behalf of the MCDC, Risker (talk) 01:11, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, this gives us more time to look at it (it wasn't really justified to ask a tangentially-related technical-focused affiliate audience to spend much time on the drafts, considering the Charter's non-technical focus). GreenReaper (talk) 06:52, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Where can we please find the text of the earlier draft of the Charter and all comments to it? So that it is possible to analyse the differences, and to see whether comments to the earlier draft have been processed or not into the final proposal for the Charter text? Thanks! Kevin Bouwens (talk) 14:17, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The final version of the Wikimedia Movement Charter


Thank you for thorough work in producing this excellent text for the proposed charter. I find it stronger and more solid than I had hoped for and look forward to a successful ratification and implementation Yger (talk) 16:18, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

  • Agreed this is an improvement. I am sad to see a carve out for affiliate seats on the Global Council. Members of affiliates are already members of the community; 8 seats reserved for double representation of people involved in certain activities does not sound ideal to me. – Ajraddatz (talk) 14:46, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    @Ajraddatz Absolutely. Quite frankly, only that reason alone is enough to wish this text gets rejected in the coming vote. Another one is the Charter making the Wikimedia community policies subject to it, but not those of Affiliates and the WMF, which is quite unacceptable. And undefined, vague terms such as "community leadership". And the WMF getting a special place out and at the same level as the Global Council. And... - Darwin Ahoy! 10:59, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
CLARIFICATION: This is the final version of a draft for a Wikimedia Movement Charter, by the Movement Charter Drafting Committee.
--Kevin Bouwens (talk) 09:47, 16 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

No accountability to community


I wrote before on the charter being the doorway to abuse here.

Section "Governance"

Although it has been revised, the 10 June 2024 version still does not have explicit and assertive mandate of Wikimedia Movement Bodies to the community. The wording delegates that via

Guided by Movement Values, Principles of Decision-Making ...

but at the end of the passage it still has

The decision-maker in a Wikimedia Movement Organization is an organization’s board or a similar body and is accountable to the group that such board or similar body represents—for example, its membership body.

Notice that although there is no mention of the word "only" in the second quote but there is no "also". This separation of where the mandate of accountability to community with accountability "to the group" and the addition of "its membership body" (regardless of "for example") is dangerous. It can very well be interpreted that since the accountability to the community is elsewhere, and accountability to the closed membership body—which as I mentioned in my previous post that it can be cliques or behind money barrier—is here in the same passage, the movement body then is only accountable to the membership body. Abusers use semantics.

"Care Responsibility" and "Principles of Decision-Making"

It remains to be seen how these two would be, supposed to be released in 18 June 2024.

Update: No substantial update on Care Responsibility: Special:Diff/27037980. The same contradicting clauses still stand in Principles of Decision Making: Special:Diff/26971985.

"Wikimedia Movement Principles and Values" section "Accountability"

I don't know whether I missed this one on my last post. This one says:

The Wikimedia Movement holds itself accountable through community leadership as represented within Wikimedia projects and Wikimedia Movement Bodies.

It is unclear what "community leadership" here means, is it "leadership by community" (the community leads) or "leadership in community" (the leaders in the community). If it is the second, if you are a plain old contributor with no advanced rights, it doesn't seem you will get to talk.

“Wikimedia Movement” is defined in the Movement Charter/Glossary due to be updated on 18 June 2024. Update: No substantial update: Special:Diff/27037980.

RXerself (talk) 11:39, 12 June 2024 (UTC). Updated RXerself (talk) 14:54, 20 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

To me that just represents the truth - the community cannot hold a third-party to account, only its own membership. The most that can be done for many is for the WMF to limit or revoke their affiliation and maybe claw back grant money if provided for by a contract. GreenReaper (talk) 14:00, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't think this is true. The community has the ability to choose how it spends its time, and not supplying that time to the movement is a way to hold bodies accountable. It might make sense to make that explicit. TomDotGov (talk) 18:54, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
What would be a "Wikipedia project" leadership? The librarians/administrators? They do not have that role, AFAIK. - Darwin Ahoy! 11:09, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's the thing. I don't get it either. RXerself (talk) 00:58, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
What has been written down on the third citation does not fit in any legal principle I know. 'Accountability' is a concept ruled by different law(s) worldwide. It partly depends on the legal format you choose for foundation of the organisation, and the jurisdiction of it's headquarters, what rules are reigning. The official Wikimedia Chapters that do exist now, can be hold accountable by the Foundation, because their members did choose to sign a civil law contract with the Foundation in which that has been arranged. As a general principle, the leadership can be hold accountable by a group defined by law or by the foundation charter and bylaws, in general one can not be hold oneself accountable through leadership. A question for clarification: have there been discussions, and is there a kind of consensus, that organisational bodies within the Movement can be hold responsible and accountable by 'the communities'? And how do the individual contributors relate to the communities? Will the communities become legal entities? FYI @RXerself, @GreenReaper, @TomDotGov, @DarwIn, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 12:34, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Currently standing consensus perhaps is the Accountability section in the Guiding Principles of WMF adopted by Trustees in 2013. This is technically required to be also adhered by affiliates through their requirements: chapters, thematic orgs., user groups. The community sense I meant is that individual contributors. The way I see the charter for now is that there are ways for a movement body to dismiss questions from individual contributors for no reason just by quoting the charter. RXerself (talk) 22:17, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Right, thanks for clarification, @RXerself and thanks for pointing out, you have my support. And what I see is that the phrase "Rights - Wikimedia project communities have editorial control of the content in their individual Wikimedia projects. The framework of global policies, including the Terms of Use for the Wikimedia project websites, establishes this editorial control." could create legal liability for the communities as a whole, and for their single members for the work of others (according to contintal law principles). Kind regards, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 09:38, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
The fact that we don't have a surplus of data on questions like this, and clear and vibrant continual exchange to help clarify this by the drafters is what I find somewhat problematic, along with other things. Sm8900 (talk) 15:03, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
100% agree on this with @Sm8900. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 08:15, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
This is not a legal change in any way from the status quo. It's not at all about the librarians/administrators, but about the autonomy of the projects and their editors. Note that this language was developed specifically with legal input from the Wikimedia Foundation itself, and the staff responsible for community safety, just to ensure this. Pharos (talk) 17:39, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Changes in status quo ?
Analysed in a legal way, the final draft for a Movement Charter in parts confirms the status quo, but at certain points it would or could change the status quo when this exact text would come into legal effect. As recently stated by a member of the Drafting Committee (see this video in Dutch, from 06:05) and following an analyses by a volunteering editor educated and experienced in (continental) legal matters. Please @Pharos or others, can you explain more elaborate what brings you to the conclusion that this draft for a Movement Charter would not bring changes in the status quo when approved? First of all the status quo will change because there will be a new entity with directional powers, the Global Council. Second, the status quo will change because the communities will have editorial control and they will have a role in leadership, with the flipside of legal and/or governing liability and/or accountability for the communities as a whole. The status quo now is, that the Foundation as the owner of all rights and responsibilites holds the individual editor responsible for her/his own actions, contributions and edits, not the communities as a whole. So only the single user can at the moment be hold liable by others and only for his/her own edits, changes and other actions. The WMF excludes itself from liability for the content on its projects, as do the Chapters. Please read the now valid Terms of Use, an update from 2011, composed after more than 120 days of extensive movement discussions (see: Geoff Brigham, Terms of use, 31 December 2011):"editorial control is in the hands of you and your fellow users who create and manage the content." and: "Please be aware that you are legally responsible for all of your contributions, edits, and reuse of Wikimedia content under the laws of the United States of America and other applicable laws (which may include laws where you or the subject of your contributions are located).". Third, with this exact text of the Charter, once in effect, communities will have the obligation to make their governing tasks transparent, which means that in the future one can use the Charter as a base to claim the right to have a "look over the shoulder", like movement members and third parties.
The status quo in a legal sense is, that the Foundation is the one and only legal entity with the (civil law) powers to decide about rights, obligations and responsibilities. Without (explicit or implicit) permission of the WMF, a project and their editors, policing and judging officers, can legally not decide on anything - they do not have any legal autonomy. The WMF has used its autonomy to give the community the right to contribute to and help govern WMF Projects and Project Websites. And the community also is given the right to undertake the critical function of creating and enforcing policies for the specific Project editions, all after extensive consultation of communitymembers. To do this, the WMF did use civil law instruments, like their General Terms of Use. These rights, roles, tasks and responsibilities have to be understood as subordinate to the autonomous rights and responsibilities of the WMF. Thus must decentralised rulings fit within the official Guidelines and Policies of the WMF: "You, the user, are welcome to join as a contributor, editor, or author, but you should follow the policies that govern each of the independent Project editions, including the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC), which apply to all Project editions." (WMF Terms of Use).
So, communities can in practice do as they like, and people working in governing, policing and judging roles can have the feeling they are autonomous, but when what they do is not in line with the WMF Guidelines and Policies, and would or could bring damage to the WMF public mission, the WMF theoretically has the right and the power to execute an 'Office Action' or undertake something else, like withdrawing (special) userrights etc., to protect their Projects and the good standing of the Foundation. The Foundation will ofcourse not do that out of the blue and certainly will strive for other ways to find a solution. But this is the legal situation. Thanks for your attention, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 10:11, 6 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Kevin Bouwens, yes agreed. that is why the WMF should be retained in that role by itself, in my opinion. Sm8900 (talk) 13:07, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Slowly my thoughts are evolving, @Sm8900, but the direction is not yet clear :). Now mainly thinking about how all this work and all knowledge gathered by the MCDC could be used in an effective way. Keep up! Kevin Bouwens (talk) 13:47, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
To clarify, the intended meaning is certainly "leadership by community", this clause is not at all about librarians/administrators. Pharos (talk) 18:59, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Request reactions to Charter for Signpost newsletter


Request feedback by 25 June

Hello! I am an editor for The Signpost, which is English Wikipedia's community newsletter. I am writing to encourage wiki community members to publish their reactions to the Movement Charter anywhere, then inform us so that we can include and link to them in the next issue.

One example of comments is Cascadia Wikimedians/Joe Mabel's comments on the proposed Global Charter. This is great! But also, even if you have brief comments, post them here or to any talk page and we will try to include them.

We can accept -

  • Comments from Wikimedia community organizations
  • Comments from wiki community individuals
  • Talk page discussions with various people discussing an aspect of the Charter
  • Actual recommendations advising people to vote in a certain way

We are hoping to get a range of perspectives. From the perspective of The Signpost, our goal is to get people to read enough to make a decision then to encourage them to vote. Thanks.

If anyone wants to talk to the news editors, message en:Wikipedia_talk:Wikipedia_Signpost/Newsroom. Thanks.

Bluerasberry (talk) 15:30, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Bluerasberry thanks for your highly useful message on this. i look forward to further discussions, in connection with your message here. thanks! Sm8900 (talk) 18:13, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Here's my reaction so far :

So, when and how will the election be conducted? Rtnf (talk) 13:54, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Bluerasberry: Just in case you haven't seen it, Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Board liaisons reflections on final Movement charter draft/Brief might be of interest. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:25, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

This could use some work


I feel like there are a few things that should be stated explicitly, but aren't. For example, how will we elect the twelve community representatives for the Global Council at-large? Will the movement as a whole vote on all twelve? Where will we have the vote? Can affiliate members vote in both elections, or just the affiliate election? (should probably be the latter) And that is just the election process. I have some other concerns too, like how people active on several projects will be counted for the ten project requirement for community amendments, and how we will enforce the statement that the Global Council should not be dominated by one type of user. Overall, some of these things, especially the election process, should be figured out before we ratify the charter. I would appreciate an explanation for how this would work. QuicoleJR (talk) 16:12, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@QuicoleJR: hi, thanks for your question. Alongside the final charter text, MCDC also posted the supplementary documents to provide further context on the Charter provisions. Some of the questions that you are asking are addressed there. Cheers, RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 14:39, 19 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@RamzyM (WMF): Correct me if I'm wrong here, but it would appear that the specifics of the elections will be decided after ratification. I'm not sure what to think of that. QuicoleJR (talk) 14:53, 19 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Think of what? Lejonta Jones (talk) 04:09, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
We don't, and can't, know how the elections will be run until after we approve them. QuicoleJR (talk) 13:34, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Grumpy comments


All contributors and other volunteers must follow Wikimedia Movement policies applicable to them while contributing and undertaking volunteer activities.

“policies applicable to them” is as open a loophole for the W?F to ban a few people they happen to not like for whatever reason as I've yet seen. How about

All contributors and other volunteers must follow the policies of the Wikimedia community (e.g. English Wikisource, French Wiktionary) they are contributing to.

I, for one, will be voting against this W?F nonsense. 🌺 Cremastra (talk) 16:41, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Why is requiring someone contributing to the English Wikipedia follow English Wikipedia policies nonsense? Thryduulf (talk: meta · en.wp · wikidata) 19:41, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's not what I'm proposing. "policies applicable to them" is too vague, and gives room for the WMF to make up some arbitrary global rules for everyone. The charter should make it clear that volunteers have to follow local policies: if you're editing French Wiktionary, you follow French Wiktionary's policies. 🌺 Cremastra (talk) 20:46, 16 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
There are also global policies, i.e. friendly space policy, etc. that apply globally, or terms of services sections on paid editing. 1233 T / C 19:58, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I imagine the first of those would come under what they had in mind for "arbitrary global rules", at least inasmuch as it's open to WMF staff interpretation. GreenReaper (talk) 14:16, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The Charter does not speak about a transition of 'lawmaking' powers from the WMF, the only legal entity with 'powers' to set rules for users of the infrastructure of Wikimediaprojects, to the "Wikimedia Movement". (This 'lawmaking' is framed within civil law). This means that there legally is no possibility for the 'Wikimedia Movement', to enforce any policy or rule on contributors and other volunteers. Only the WMF can, and users having rights handed out to them by the WMF. It would be great when the Drafting Committee, or one of the advisors, shortly explains the principal way of thinking on this issue and on their attitude to the now existing rules like General Terms of Use and Code of Conduct. Thank you very much. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 07:07, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Special note on affiliate voting eligibility and participation


(Cross-posted from Talk:Movement Charter/Ratification/Voting)

Affiliates are reminded that they are to submit the information about their designated voter by end of day 24 June 2024. If there are not enough affiliates who have identified their designated voters, it will not be possible to meet the quorum required for the affiliate vote to ratify the Charter.

The Charter Election Commission, in its meeting of 17 June 2024, has decided to modify the eligibility requirement for affiliates. Affiliates who are not listed as "compliant" on the Wikimedia Affiliate Data Portal may instead provide the Charter Election Commission with a link to a published online version of their current annual report.

For the Charter Election Commission, Risker (talk) 18:28, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Risker: Movement_Charter/Ratification/Voting/Eligibility_criteria#Affiliates_vote shows different date: affiliates are urged to provide this information as soon as possible, at the latest by 24 June 2024. Gdarin | talk 18:57, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
You are correct, Gdarin. I have made the correction of my typographic error above and on the original post. Risker (talk) 19:02, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hello, @Risker. Our affiliate submitted our designated voter, following procedure, a couple of days ago, and I don't think we got any confirmation. Is the Charter Election Commission keeping track of affiliates that have submitted the information and are good to vote somewhere public? Thanks! Joalpe (talk) 00:34, 18 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hello @User:Joalpe. The response from your affiliate has been received, and a response has been sent, according to the confidential tracking document. If you have some concerns about this, please contact the Charter Election Commission at cec@wikimedia.org. Hope this is helpful. Risker (talk) 04:07, 18 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, @Risker. It is indeed all set for our designated voter! Joalpe (talk) 16:10, 18 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

one answer


hey guys, i wrote a little poem collaboratively to add a little literary comment to this endeavor. i had some help from a cyber-friend whom I'm sure many of you know somewhat. enjoy!

In a quiet room, by candle's gleam,
An elder sits, lost in a dream.
At a small academy, wise and old,
A new idea begins to unfold.

With careful strokes of ink and quill,
They write a vision, calm and still.
A plan, a hope, a guiding light,
To lead their world through darkest night.

The scrolls are sealed, with wax and crest,
And messages are sent on this bold quest.
Across the lands, they travel far,
Guided by the northern star.

To distant provinces each flies,
To eager hearts and curious eyes.
The elders read with furrowed brow,
This novel thought, this daring vow.

In candlelit rooms, they gather round,
Discuss the ideas newly found.
"What does this mean? Could this be right?
Shall we embrace this vision bright?"

Debates ensue, with voices strong,
They ponder deep, they question long.
For in this plan, they see the spark,
But also shadows, deep and dark.

They gather trusted friends once more,
To sift through thoughts, to deeply explore.
"Will this idea stand the test?
Shall it be known, shall it be blessed?"

In village squares and fields of green,
The people meet, their minds keen.
They voice their hopes, their fears, their dreams,
In every heart, the future gleams.

The scrolls are read, the words discussed,
With every voice, a growing trust.
The elder's plan, now widely known,
Begins to take a life its own.

In letters sent both near and far,
Responses come, like guiding stars.
The elder reads with bated breath,
Each word a bridge, a narrow breadth.

"Dear friend," they write, "your vision bold,
Has stirred our hearts, has made us bold.
But questions rise, and doubts remain,
We seek more light, to ease the strain."

The process turns, in cycles grand,
Of written words from hand to hand.
Each elder adds their voice, their thought,
In unity, the plan is wrought.

The elder at the academy,
Reads every scroll with clarity.
They see the doubts, the hopes, the fears,
And write anew with patient ears.

"Together, we shall find the way,
Through night to dawn, to brightest day.
For in our minds, a world will grow,
Of shared ideas, in ebb and flow."

And so the vision, once a spark,
Now lights the way through shadows dark.
A single thought, from one small room,
Becomes a beacon in the gloom.

For in the hearts of all who seek,
A future bright begins to speak.
And through the scrolls, the words, the ink,
The world is changed by thoughts that link.

Sm8900 (talk) 21:17, 17 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, Sm8900 - that's sort of how things feel from this side of the computer screen. Risker (talk) 12:52, 18 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Wow, thank you so much... this is truly what I needed right now! Jenny WMCH (talk) 14:00, 24 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
no problem! very glad if you found this helpful. Sm8900 (talk) 19:52, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Jeeb1207, @Risker, i appreciate your kind messages above. i wanted to give you the courtesy to let you know that my position on this issue has changed. you can see the specifics in my recent comments, further down this page. Sm8900 (talk) 17:06, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

free license


I'm afraid I might be a bit too late to voice this, but here it is: in the charter, there is a reference to "under a free license or in the public domain", which made me follow the 'free license' link in order to figure out what is the charter's definition of it. I expected to be led towards the glossary (like what happens to "free knowledge"). Unfortunately, the text "free license" points not to the charter's glossary, but to a different body of work: the English Wikipedia's page for "free content". Unfortunately this makes the charter not self-contained: what happens once the page gets edited (it happened three times just past May)? Is the new version and the definition wherein binding?

The existing problem is even recognized by the translations - I only checked the Portuguese translation and in there they simply removed the link - after all who can guarantee that the Portuguese and English pages are in agreement? On the other hand, the link removal makes it worse, in a way: without a definition, the reader is left to interpretation on what might a "free license" be.

The solution to this, of course, would be to work on a definition to be added to the glossary. Mind Booster Noori (talk) 19:41, 19 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I second @Mind Booster Noori suggestion. - Darwin Ahoy! 18:52, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
+1 Yger (talk) 19:14, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks all, for flagging this. MCDC agrees the link to enwp is not the best choice: it was added only a few days before things went to the translators, that's why it must have slipped past our final review. I have removed it from the Charter text, and -as best as I could- from all translations as well. (Adding it to the glossary could be an option for future revisions, of course - this was simpler and easier, because of the time that is left before the vote starts). Ciell (talk) 07:08, 24 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Inconsistency about maximum number of GCB members


Hi, according to the Movement Charter itself,

The Global Council selects twenty-percent (20%) of its members to serve on the Global Council Board.

Howevere, in one of the supplements (GC Ways oof Working) we read

The GC Board is composed of at least 5 and at most 15 members.

In another supplement (GC Rules of Procedures) we read:

The Wikimedia Movement Charter designates that the Global Council will select ⅕ (20%) of its members, up to a maximum of 15 members, to sit on the Global Council Board (GC Board).

While obviously, the intention seems to for for a maximum number of 15 members, the Movement Charter itself leaves space up to 20 people (20% out of a maximum number of 100 GC members). However, there will be no vote about the supplments, as far as I understand. Therefore, I suggest to clarify the section in the final version of the Movement Charter as well. Thanks, —DerHexer (Talk) 11:41, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hi @DerHexer,
thank you so much for your thorough read-through! The Charter core text you quote is the GC Board composition for the first (initial) GC, the 25 members for the first 18-36 months. The supplementary documents are 1): Ways of Working, a 'sunset document' (looses it's value after the initial GC ends their first term after 3 years), and 2) RoP is a list of recommendations for the Rules of Procedure we think the GC need to consider writing in this first term, to replace the GC Ways of Working.
The Charter core text is about the initial GC with 25 members: in the RoP recommendations we propose the GC Board to have a maximum of 15 members in case the GC would indeed in the future build up to the maximum number of 100 members. We think an even larger board would become to big to do it's work effectively, but in the end it will be up to the first GC to make the decision if they want to have this limit. Therefore the RoP recommendation document proposes "the Global Council will select ⅕ (20%) of its members, up to a maximum of 15 members, to sit on the Global Council Board (GC Board).".
I hope this makes sense! Ciell (talk) 07:26, 24 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Who will announce the results of the ratification?


According to Movement Charter/Supplementary_Document/Ratification Methodology there is a Charter Electoral Commission (CEC) which is responsible for the ratification. It was selected by the MCDC and holds members of the MCDC (current composition of the CEC). However, why don't they have the task to announce the result? As of now, I read

One member of the MCDC will be selected by a majority vote within the MCDC, prior to the commencement of the election, to be responsible for unlocking the voting results when the election is closed.

Is that a copy & paste mistake from an earlier MCDC election? Why would the MCDC announce the result when we have a dedicated CEC (and I know about the duties of the MCDC even after the ratification)? Thanks for clarifications! —DerHexer (Talk) 11:46, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The MCDC will not announce the result; the Charter Electoral Commission will do so. SecurePoll results are released by the "insertion" of a decryption key. We chose to have an MCDC member who is not a CEC liaison to hold the code for those decryption keys. The decryption key is applied after the scrutineers have done all their work and have advised the CEC that the SecurePolls are ready for unlocking. In the last multiple SecurePoll votes, that decryption key has been held by a WMF staff member; we thought it better to have someone who is not from the WMF being the one holding the decryption key. In the distant past, the decryption key was held by an independent third party, but there were sometimes challenges in contacting that party when it was time to unlock the results. We thought this was the best solution - someone who could be counted on to be available but was not involved in the vote administration. Risker (talk) 15:31, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Risker: Thanks, for that reason it might make sense to correct “One member of the MCDC will […] be responsible for unlocking the voting results when the election is closed.” if it's not a MCDC but CEC member. Best, —DerHexer (Talk) 10:24, 23 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hi @DerHexer, the current sentence is correct. The key is held by a MCDC member (not being one of the two CEC liaisons, and not a WMF staff). The process is (and @Risker, please correct me if I'm wrong):
voting -> the scrutineers check all the accounts and votes for abuse or technical errors, and verify that the tally has been counted correctly -> the scrutineers inform the MCDC member when they are done, so this member can unlock the results for the CEC -> CEC to finalize and publish the results. Ciell (talk) 11:08, 23 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Okay. (Still confusing though why the CEC cannot announce the results of their election by itself.) Best, —DerHexer (Talk) 11:12, 23 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
They will announce, but the key to unlock after the scrutineers are done is not with WMF, nor with CEC.
Unlocking and announcing are 2 different steps in the process. Ciell (talk) 11:26, 23 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Supporting @DerHexer in bringing up this issue for discussion / debate. Generally speaking, the Drafting Committee being involved in any way of the ratification process does not meet the standards of legal principles like due diligence and the fiduciary duty of care, especially where has been decided to lay that 'power' in the hands of an independent (?) Charter Electoral Committee. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 08:03, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Can you provide examples for Tier X Groups, please?


Hi, I like your proposal for different “tiers” (levels of maturity) of affiliates as per this supplement. For one of the user group I'm holding extra duties (the WMSUG), I would classify them in tier 1 (we are beginners, no doubt!). However, it feels difficult for me to find good examples for tier 2 and 3 (well, tier 3 likely would be my employer WMDE ;D). Maybe it can help other affiliates, too, if you could give some examples of current affiliates, please. I'm pretty sure that “my” WMSUG would be open for being named as an example. :) Best, —DerHexer (Talk) 11:50, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@DerHexer: thanks for asking, it's a good question. So, the main change in this proposal is rooted in taking away the condition for affiliates to be 'legally registered entities'. Certain Wikimedia User Groups have grown and become full grown and stable organizations, but can never apply for Charter status because of national laws not allowing them to comply with this requirement. On the other hand, there are Chapters that after years still don't have any real capacity, and struggle to even do the most basic things that can be expected of a Wikimedia Chapter (and that's okay - every country and every organization encounters their own challenges, I don't mean to shame anyone). By taking away the legal registration requirement, and instead looking at the 'level of maturity' of an affiliate, we hope the affiliate landscape become more equitable but also more understandable for in- and outsiders, and more flexible because the status is more dependent on what they can do for the movement and their communities, instead of depending on a degree of recognition from the national government.
To answer your more specific questions: yes, WMSUG would be tier 1; WMDE would be tier 3. I'll leave it to your own imagination to think about examples for tier 2 affiliates though. Ciell (talk) 10:20, 23 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Well, I was actually asking because I don't have that imagination for tier 2, but nevermind. ;) —DerHexer (Talk) 10:54, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Foundation Board liaisons reflections on final Movement charter draft

Originally published on a separate page for translations

This message, "Wikimedia Foundation Board liaisons reflections on final Movement charter draft", was sent by Nataliia Tymkiv on 21 June 2024.

Wikimedia Foundation Board liaisons reflections on final Movement charter draft


Dear all,

We are grateful to the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC) members, who have dedicated their time and energy to putting forward this final draft of the Movement Charter. They have demonstrated tremendous resilience and perseverance in grappling with ways to increase our collective sense of belonging as a movement, and outlining roles and responsibilities intended to help us all make better decisions in steering the Wikimedia movement into the future.

For some, this final draft Charter represents an extension of the Movement Strategy process that began in earnest in 2020. There are many reflections on this history, some nostalgic and others less so. The 2030 strategic direction has guided and continues to guide the Wikimedia Foundation’s strategy. As the Foundation’s annual plan this year observed, there is much to celebrate in the collective advancement of the original ten movement strategy recommendations, including shared progress in creating more equitable and decentralised decision-making structures.

At the same time, we should all recognise that the world around us has shifted significantly since the movement strategy process began, that our limited resources require much more pragmatic trade-offs and choices, and that the Board has a duty to consider the risk, value, cost and benefit of any significant commitments being made to advance the mission.

As requested by the MCDC, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has, over the last few months, shared with the committee its direct feedback on the previous Movement Charter drafts, including its perspectives on the Global Council and its feedback on a previous draft that we posted publicly. Liaisons have also engaged in regular and ongoing meetings with the MCDC members, including inviting the MCDC members to all Board meetings and Strategic retreats since June 2022.

Our general observation, which is elaborated in the body of this letter, is that the final draft of the Movement Charter still does not address the significant concerns previously raised by the Board. Thus, as liaisons, our recommendations to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees are:

  • not to ratify the final draft of the Movement Charter as proposed; and
  • support the Foundation in developing concrete, time-bound next steps on a more practical scale, allowing us all to evaluate progress, and see what to change or build on.

We believe that approving this version of the Charter, despite the tremendous amount of work and resources already put into it, would not be the right call. Instead, we think it is better to continue pursuing the same goals the draft Charter also sought to pursue in a different way, by identifying key areas where the final draft Charter provides us with guidance on concrete steps that can be taken towards increasing volunteer and movement oversight of certain core areas of responsibility. We believe this will allow the Foundation, and all of us, to live into the recommendation of Movement Strategy to evaluate, iterate, and adapt as we go, rather than too quickly to agree to new structures that may not yet be fit for purpose.

As liaisons, we first shared this recommendation and our reflections with the MCDC on June 18 and then with the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board on June 20 (including a short draft brief). The Board is reviewing the final draft of the Movement Charter now and plans to vote during a special meeting between June 25 and July 9, during the voting period for all affiliates and individuals.

Context for sharing these reflections: why now?


As liaisons, we believe that the final draft does not address the concerns previously stated by the Board of Trustees in its feedback on previous drafts of the Charter. Specifically, the final draft still falls short of providing a clear enough explanation of how it will advance Wikimedia's public interest mission and effectively address the shortcomings of Wikimedia's current structures to enable more effective and equitable decisions.

These points are not new and were shared in previous Board feedback to the MCDC, including the January 22 letter (shared publicly in February) in response to the first public draft and the May letter in response to the second public draft. In response to both affiliates and individual contributors who have asked the Foundation to speak more clearly about its views, and do it sooner, we felt it was important to reiterate these points in the interest of transparency and learning.

Process accountability


We, as liaisons, have heard concerns and frustrations about the Movement Charter process. It faced significant challenges and constraints from the impact of the pandemic limiting travel and in-person meetings; resignations of several members of the MCDC; and other issues that extended the timeline to 2.5 years. It was a shared hope by all to have this process successfully wrapped up sooner.

For some of this, the Board certainly must take some responsibility. This is the purpose of the Board’s oversight, as well as its governance responsibilities. An important lesson learnt through this experience is that large-scale processes should have more explicit and clear expectations up front so that as a stakeholder the Foundation can engage directly and openly earlier about its own positions, views and boundaries. It is not easy to find this balance, but this is essential to moving forward differently. These and other lessons should be documented, and built upon in any future processes aimed at hard-to-reverse movement-wide commitments (for example, the Playbook that was developed after the Wikimedia's Movement Strategy process).

Reflections on the final draft


The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has a legal and fiduciary duty to consider any significant commitment or decision in light of the expected risk, value, cost, and benefit to Wikimedia's public interest mission. The value of new structures proposed in the final draft of the Movement Charter has to be weighed against their risk, their cost, and the resource demands of this movement at a time when we have all seen that the growth rate of revenue is not increasing at the same rate as in the past, while demands to invest more in the Wikimedia platforms, projects, and communities are increasing.

As liaisons, we believe the risks and costs associated with the currently proposed form of the Global Council outweigh its potential value.

Firstly and most importantly, the proposed Global Council's purpose is not clearly connected to advancing Wikimedia's public interest mission. It lacks a compelling explanation of how it will ensure more equitable decision-making and support the mission of sharing free knowledge. It also does not guide us on how to address many of the most pressing issues facing community governance on Wikimedia projects. We recognise that for some, the status quo also does not provide that clarity, but we do not believe that the final draft Charter moves us closer.

Secondly, we note that the proposed structure and makeup of the Global Council have changed significantly with each iteration of the published drafts (from a small body to a large assembly to a flexible-sized body in the most recent text). This may have been done in response to feedback from multiple stakeholders, but it raises an ongoing concern we have expressed in all of our feedback that this proposed structure is not based on the form following function principle -- we do not see a deliberate or intentional design that seeks to meet the purpose of such a critical and important new body.

Finally, as liaisons we believe that important elements within the final draft Charter, including, most critically, the Values and Principles, require more consensus of communities before attempting to incorporate them into a larger document that enshrines binding commitments on us all. Ensuring values are understood, shared, and – importantly – prioritised similarly across the movement is essential to relying on them to help craft an effective and accepted decision-making framework.

Wikimedia Foundation’s commitment: what to do irrespective of the outcome of the ratification vote


As liaisons, the proposal that we are making to the Board is that, instead of ratifying the Movement Charter in its current form, it is better to follow the Movement Strategy Recommendation to experiment more quickly with key areas of responsibility before establishing a more permanent body with a wider scope. That is why, irrespective of the outcome of the final draft Charter vote, the Foundation has already begun to work on shifting core areas of decision-making to increased volunteer oversight, including fund dissemination, and volunteers offering more immediate input on Foundation decisions, such as advising on product & technology.

More specifically, we propose that by January 2025, fund dissemination, which is one functional area of the proposed Global Council, be handled by a global decision-making body to determine the Wikimedia Foundation's regional allocation of grants budgets for the rest of fiscal year 2024–2025 and to plan grantmaking estimates for the next two years. A global, but narrower scope, will help to experiment with more accountability for the results.

This process, which we shall ask to be co-created with affiliates and individual community members, would build on the experience of the Regional Funds Committees, and the past Funds Dissemination Committee, in line with the Movement Strategy 2030 Initiative #27 and the work currently taking place with Affiliate EDs and Regional Funds Committees to determine the Wikimedia Foundation's regional allocation of grants budgets for FY 2024–2025. It is important to document and publish the lessons learned from each step of the process and use these to inform future decision-making and the possible creation of permanent committees and/or movement bodies.

Additionally, as liaisons we also propose moving forward with the establishment of a Product & Technology Advisory Council, following a proposal from the Foundation that was shared with the MCDC. This is in line with Movement Strategy 2030 Initiative #31 to advance shared decision-making and co-creative spaces in technology spaces that are fundamental to support the mission.

Next steps


As all affiliates and individuals prepare to vote on the final Charter draft, we as liaisons hope that voters will also take the time to provide written comments alongside their “yes”, “no”, and “--” vote so that everyone will learn as much as possible about how we all can move forward with decision-making structures that are more effective, with an equity lens, for our complex global community to advance Wikimedia’s mission in the world.

As previously noted, the Board is reviewing the final draft of the Movement charter now and plans to vote during a special meeting between June 25 and July 9, during the voting period for all affiliates and individuals. This will allow the Board to consider all public comments available before the start of the voting while casting its vote alongside affiliates and individual contributors.

At the MCDC’s request, the results of the Board’s vote will be shared only after the vote of individuals and affiliates has concluded, so as not to influence their voting, but likely before the outcomes of those votes are published, and not before July 10.

As we all await the outcome of the final draft Charter vote, it will be important to be ready to take concrete steps that will help move us forward as a movement. Wikimania will be an opportunity to begin constructive and productive conversations on these and other immediate next steps, informed by the comments left by individuals and affiliates during the vote. Working together on practical, time-bound steps will shape a better and more equitable framework for making decisions. With a shared commitment, this moment of change can foster a greater sense of belonging, one that can sometimes feel elusive in this widely diverse global movement.

Best regards

Nat and Lorenzo

Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees liaisons to the Movement Charter Drafting Committee NTymkiv (WMF) (talk) 23:04, 20 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

It is disrespectful to volunteer time to ask volunteers to vote on a document that the board plans to reject. I'd hope that this is enough to call off the voting process. (I'm assuming that the board is unified enough that it's unlikely to ignore the liaisons.)
I'd also hope that this will open the Movement Charter to on-wiki development, for once. TomDotGov (talk) 20:22, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree I agree with @TomDotGov. Sm8900 (talk) 21:29, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
diagree I want my opinion to be noted. Yger (talk) 07:31, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I hope the board will vote against this. Sm8900 (talk) 03:14, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

question; do we really need voting for movement charter??


i hope it is okay for me to ask this question. isn't it kind of superfluous to vote on the movement charter, at this point? we all know what it says. if it was rejected after all this work, then that would seem somewhat undemocratic, and if the whole thing was imposed on the community in one go, then that also seems somewhat undemocratic, in my opinion. is it possible to simply implement this new set of rules and guidelines in multiple stages? does that sound possible? thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 19:42, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

It's an understandable question, Sm8900. My personal position is that the vote also gives everyone the opportunity to add comments: for example, if there is something specific in the charter that they do/do not support; what changes to the charter would make it more/less acceptable; and, if the voter has a split opinion on the charter, what's particularly good and what's particularly troublesome. We do not know how the affiliates or individual voters will vote; in fact, we hardly have any idea what individual voters have to say about the charter at all. It will give a better idea of what the MCDC has got right in the current document, and what needs work. While I share the feeling that it is unlikely that the current document will obtain the support of the WMF Board of Trustees, I feel it would be an even bigger waste of the last 2.5 years to just leave it with the current status of nobody knowing what individual Wikimedians think, or what was developed as part of the process that is worth developing further, or whether there is an opportunity to make (possibly significant) modifications to the proposed charter that would adequately respond to the concerns raised by the WMF BoT liaisons as well as those that are raised by the affiliates and individual voters. I think without proceeding to the vote, we have no idea whether we as a movement have come close or are completely missing the mark with the proposed charter. I speak here as an individual, although certainly my opinion has been informed by my MCDC membership. Risker (talk) 21:00, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Risker, ok, that makes sense. i do appreciate your helpful reply. that does help to address my question on this. thanks! Sm8900 (talk) 21:26, 21 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't think it's fair to the community to call an RfC a vote. It makes a lot of sense to run a global RfC to help determine the future of the movement charter and movement strategy process, if any, but it's unfair to pretend that process is a vote. It's probably also counterproductive, as a faux-vote doesn't allow for the sort of open dialogue that is important for developing good policy, where people can come to consensus. I don't know if it's possible to develop an acceptable movement charter on-wiki, but it's pretty clear that the current off-wiki process is failing to do so. TomDotGov (talk) 04:33, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
As written on other places. RfC is not a technique accepted movement wide, it is basically an enwp method. And I do hope and support the voting to go ahead. I want my voice to be known and want to hear other. It can only be done by voting. Yger (talk) 07:24, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The concept of a request for comment predates Wikipedia by decades; it is not at all an invention of the English Wikipedia. The Internet is literally built on them. Seraphimblade (talk) 16:01, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Seraphimblade, the concepts of a charter, a movement, a committee and a development team also predates Wikipedia by millenia. however, regardless, the dfinition that matters here is the context for that concept here within the wikimedia community itself. Sm8900 (talk) 16:04, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Deutschland’s Appeal to the WMF Board of Trustees


The Wikimedia Movement Charter has been published and it is time for stakeholders to decide about ratification. Wikimedia Deutschland’s Supervisory Board on June 22nd decided to ratify the Charter.

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees liaisons to the MCDC have already announced that they will recommend to their Board not to vote in favor of the Charter. If the Board follows that advice, the Wikimedia Movement Charter will fail to be ratified, based on the ratification process designed by the MCDC.

We, the WMDE Board, ask the WMF BoT to not stand in the way of assuring the future of our movement and urge them to ratify the Movement Charter.

Here is why:

1/ The Wikimedia Movement Needs a Voice

The world is changing and so is the Wikimedia Movement. If our internal ways of working and our culture reflect and perpetuate the inequities of the world, we will not be successful in our mission.

With the strategic direction, movement stakeholders including the WMF had resolved to grow globally, and to take responsibility to be the infrastructure of free knowledge. The Wikimedia Movement Charter before us now is the culmination of seven years of participatory strategic work by hundreds of engaged movement stakeholders, in dozens of meetings and workshops, spending thousands of hours in time and millions in donor funds.

To implement the Wikimedia Movement Strategy Recommendations it is crucial that our movement has equitable governance so it can adapt to our changing world, taking into account the voices and realise the wisdom of all our stakeholders.

The WMF currently has the decision making power on resources, technology, strategy and policy. Previous attempts at allowing “input” from communities, such as the Funds Dissemination Committee, have not led to a more equitable governance of the movement.

It is time for the Wikimedia movement to evolve. The current structure concentrates all power in the hands of the 12 members of the BoT who are formally accountable to nobody (other than US non-profit laws). Since its inception 21 years ago the vast majority of BoT seats has always been in the hands of people from North America and Europe and attempts to change that have failed. The addition of a representative body to balance power better is rational, reasonable and also the standard in international civil society confederations considering the power and influence of the Wikimedia projects. Therefore the Global Council has become an even more appropriate reform step to reach Wikimedia Movement's purpose in the world, including the WMF’s public interest mission.

2/ The Charter is a Good First Step

In its final version the Charter outlines a Global Council enabled to grow, adapt and build its capacity over time and as needed. It will assure equitable decisions on strategy, affiliation and resource allocation. The Charter thus lays out a reasonable path to arrive at equity and quality in decision making. Of course, a lot of work still remains to be done.

The Charter is clearly a product of compromise. It omits (or moves to supplementary documents) many of the more concrete elements from earlier versions, based on the feedback of the WMF. Many affiliates see this critically, yet they view the charter as a reasonable next step towards equity. It is good enough for now, safe enough to try.

The ratification of the Charter is needed to assure the Wikimedia projects’ future. The charter shines a light into the future, imagining an equitable movement that is also strong, resilient, diverse, united in solidarity, and that makes good decisions together. Should that light be turned off, should it fail to be ratified, we will fail in our mission to provide free knowledge for the world.

People join movements to empower each other, to change the world, and in the process make decisions about their path together. This is a crucial time in our movement’s history, at which we can jointly decide to transform and be true to our mission.

We urge the WMF BoT to not stand in the way of assuring the future of our movement and to ratify the Wikimedia Movement Charter.

Alice Wiegand (talk) 07:42, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Österreich seconds WMDE's statement and we would like to add some thoughts from our perspective:
Wikimedia Österreich ratified the Charter, as we want to signal our support for the original ideas and recommendations that provided the basis for this document. In our view the Charter can only be a starting point to bring about the much needed and movement-wide agreed change towards more subsidiarity and equity in decision-making.
We also want to express our concern regarding the opaque leadership approach of the Wikimedia Foundation, taking on and fast tracking some of the strategy implementation (e.g. the Universal Code of Conduct or Wikimedia Enterprise) while other arguably more central processes such as the Movement Charter did not get the attention they deserved. The timing of the WMF Board’s various feedbacks did not support but rather undermine any chance of success for this process. However, the lack of a coherent plan B or alternative route to achieve equity in decision-making is even more bewildering. Instead of offering an appealing vision for the future or at least a path forward, the suggestion is to revert back to broken systems of the past – a version of the FDC to decide on funds and a clone of AffCom for tech decisions. By doing this, more than just the work on the Movement Charter has been wasted. All the work regarding problematic governance structures and possible better alternatives for the status quo seem to be ignored.
It is common knowledge in change management that change happens at the speed of trust – this refusal of the Wikimedia Foundation to abide by the strategic recommendations is in our view a veritable governance crisis and will make future progress and change incredibly difficult, as trust is increasingly eroding. The current governance structure does not have any tools to deal with this crisis and ad hoc self-organisation across communities and affiliates without suitable structures in place is ranging from hard to impossible. So the current system of power and privilege remains intact. It’s a dangerous gamble with our collective future as a movement, where much trust is needed to face the massive external challenges as a strong network of reliable partners.
We urge the Wikimedia Foundation to take this crisis seriously. We expect the Wikimedia Foundation to prioritise the re-establishment of trust and confidence among movement stakeholders by designing a negotiation process at eye-level to deal with the open questions from the Movement Charter Process. WIkimedia Österreich is ready to whole-heartedly support such an endeavor, as we did with the Movement Strategy Process in the past. CDG (WMAT staff) (talk) 13:28, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Dear Ms Wiegand, @Lyzzy, with much respect for the work of Wikimedia Germany and having taken notice of the opinions and reasoning stated above, I'd politely like to bring to your attention, that looking to the Charter through legal spectacles, the text in this exact form could bring a new liability that would make it not good enough and safe enough to try for the volunteers. That is because under 'Rights' has been stated: "Wikimedia project communities have editorial control of the content in their individual Wikimedia projects. The framework of global policies, including the Terms of Use for the Wikimedia project websites, establishes this editorial control."
Under Dutch law this possibly could create a legal entity (the project community) that might be sueable, establishing a so called joint and several liability (in Dutch:hoofdelijke aansprakelijkheid) for their leaders or the people governing (possibly the Bureaucrats). Having editorial control furthermore could bring a legal liability for single members of a project community for the work of others.
The status quo is, that the Foundation holds the individual editor responsible for her/his own actions, contributions and edits, so a single user can be hold liable by others only for his/her own edits and changes. See the WMF Terms of Use: "editorial control is in the hands of you and your fellow users who create and manage the content." and: "Please be aware that you are legally responsible for all of your contributions, edits, and reuse of Wikimedia content under the laws of the United States of America and other applicable laws (which may include laws where you or the subject of your contributions are located)." The communities do not bear editorial responsibility, as is written in the Charter, with the possible legal flipside of a shared liability.
Now that in The Dutch language edition a longterm member of the policing team recently did lay down his moderatorfunction, "due to recent hostilities and harassment, (...) coupled with the community's apparent loss of its self-regulating capabilities", there's a serious chance that in this Wikipedia edition it could come to the publishing of misinformation over a longer period of time. Under the text of the Charter, one of the members of the projectcommunity could be hold liable, no matter whether he or she did publish or edit the content. The Charter should not open the door to this kind of scenarios.
Furthermore, serious doubts did arise, whether the Charter offers volunteers a better protection than the WMF Universal Code of Conduct and the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines already do.
Mind that the requirements for transparency and accountability do apply for several "Wikimedia Movement Organisations", like "Wikimedia Chapters", "Wikimedia Thematic Organizations", "Wikimedia User Groups" and "Wikimedia Hubs" but they do not seem to apply for the Project Communities. One of the effects is, that within the critical and broad field of policing, accusation, prosecution, figting misinformation, judging, execution and so on, by community moderators, bureaucrats, stewards, arbcomms etc. there are no universal guiding principles and rules, and there is no duty to explain decisionmaking by providing publicly accessible reports. It seems that all people working in this field can not be hold accountable in any way when using the Charter as the Wikimedia Movement Constitution. When this analyses is correct, this would be a major flaw.
UPDATE: Mind that a provision is missing that gives volunteers the right to be represented in strategy development, resource allocation, decision making etc., and that European Chapters recently did establish a new official Wikimedia Movement organisation where volunteers have been explicitly excluded from membership (see statutes [Europe], article 5).
Last but not least, in discussing the structure of a new Global Council with other communitymembers, the insight came up that a so called 'two-tier Board system' (Dual Board) could be a sound structure for a new legal entity where volunteers and Wikimedia Movement Organisations from all over the world do have a voice in strategy development and governing decisions. This system however is not available in all jurisdictions, it is possible for legal entities established for instance in Germany and the Netherlands, but not in the US.
For this reasons the polite proposal is, to organise with your powerful, well equiped and relatively rich Chapter an overall expert audit of the Charter and whether the goals and purposes set (in the Movement Strategy 2030), can be reached with this text. All against the background of existing WMF Guidelines, Policies and Bylaws and within the context of the now existing civil law structure of the global Wikimedia organisation. It would be great when the outcomes of such an audit could be shared with the Drafting Committee, their advisors, other Chapters, affiliates, stakeholders and volunteers in the Wikimedia Movement.
Thanks for your attention and your engagement, kind regards, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 10:11, 6 July 2024 (UTC) Kevin Bouwens (talk) (with support of some others) 15:06, 6 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the note Kevin, we will now wait for the result and the analysis of the comments made by the voters. Kind regards, --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 15:09, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes! Unfortunately only a handful of contributors did vote, I just read. Still some work to do ;). Kind regards, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 15:51, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

CEE Hub voting recommendation for the Movement Charter ratification


The ratification of the Movement Charter is a key step towards implementing the recommendations and goals that we all together in Wikimedia have been working on since 2017.

The Wikimedia CEE Hub and its Steering Committee, with its 10 members from 9 different countries of the CEE region (Central and Eastern Europe), recommends ratifying the final version of the Movement Charter. This follows discussions and consultations with the CEE communities over the last few months, including presenting the opinions and views of those communities who could not attend the Wikimedia Summit.

We acknowledge that the Charter is lacking in certain aspects (as detailed below), but the direction of the Charter provides opportunities and possibilities for communities and affiliates that can serve as the foundation for the further development of Wikimedia towards a more equitable and fair community.

The CEE Hub has provided an analysis of the Movement Charter that serves as the basis of this recommendation, and includes the following arguments for ratification:

  • Volunteers and communities are given the right to demand a “Care Responsibility” from their local affiliate, their regional network and the global movement bodies.
  • Communities are held to certain standards of equal access and openness, which, while a non-issue in most communities, will also make it easier to hold projects accountable that do not follow this principle.
  • Movement Bodies (including affiliates and hubs) have stated rights and responsibilities that can be argued at an independent body, including disputes with the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • The right to fundraise is stated and provides the basis for a future dialogue on what the financial sustainability of Wikimedia should look like.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation is treated as a supportive part of the Wikimedia Movement and not as the superior decision-making organisation.
  • The new core of the global governance structure, the Global Council, has the necessary tools to bring meaningful change to the way we work together.

While these arguments merit ratification of the Movement Charter, the following aspects will require the attention of the first Global Council:

  • Relationships between key Wikimedia stakeholders, like the one between the Wikimedia Foundation and the Global Council, will have to be defined in more detail.
  • The budgetary planning process of all movement funds will have to become a truly participatory process under the guidance of the Global Council and include a long-term strategic plan.
  • The transition to or establishment of new decision-making structures should not result in parallel processes and putting more burden on volunteers and communities.
  • Decision-making processes should be located as close to those affected by those decisions, instead of continuing centralised decision-making that does not solve the causes of our current structural and organisational issues in Wikimedia.

Concrete steps that need to be taken (for affiliates):

You need to register the person voting in the Movement Charter ratification process by 24 June 2024. You can do so by emailing cec@wikimedia.org the name, Wikimedia user name & email address of the voter. You will have two weeks to vote. For the ratification to work at least 50% of affiliates need to participate in the vote.

Please note that the Charter Election Commission, in its meeting of 17 June 2024, has decided to modify the eligibility requirement for affiliates. Affiliates who are not listed as "compliant" on the Wikimedia Affiliate Data Portal may instead send their report to the Charter Election Commission at cec@wikimedia.org.

In case you have more questions about the charter or the process of ratification, you can contact the people at the CEE Hub.

--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 12:55, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Some remarks about the Movement Charter


After reading the Charter and the different analysis and conclusions, here some points that, I believe, could be taken into account :

- The Charter should mention that the main way to contribute to the Wikimedia Movement is online (even if certain activities are made IRL). The purpose of the Movement is sharing free knowledge, but it's mainly sharing free knowledge online, and this shapes globally that special way the people of this Movement participate in projects and decision-making and how they interact.

- The Charter should be more precise about gender integration in the online sharing of free knowledge. Gender equality is Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations. "Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and therefore also half of its potential. But gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress." The Wikimedia contributing community has not reached since now (nearly 1/4 of a Century), a satisfying level of gender integration and so, the Global Council should precise which engagement it will take concerning it (Goal 4 is Quality Education and we achieve it).

Meetings of the Global Council : The Global Council should be an online Council. Up to 100 participants is not a problem as long as people communicate via online shared documents and/or video calls. IRL meeting : only once a year, the Global Council should meet IRL at the Wikimania (make from the Wikimania the beating heart of the Movement. Costs for meetings will be part of the Wikimania budget).

Affiliates : Precise by which mechanism the Affiliates will not be "judge and jury" by allocating funds for themselves or for other entities which may compete and reduce their own part of funds. Also precise how the Global Council can freely make strategic decisions and draw new priorities if these potentially affect the means or the existence of Affiliates.

Active members of the Community : Define the "community" of volunteers as the group of active members. Rights to vote are mainly linked to the degree of participation (volume of edits, frequency, recent activity). So, yes, "all contributors and other volunteers have the right to take breaks in or cease participation as and when they deem appropriate", but they must know that they loose their rights to be part of the "voting" community.

Representation of the Users (Readers): The Wikimedia projects are mainly online projects to share free knowledge for the public. Like in any organization, Users should be represented somewhere. Precise how (Committee of Users).

Representation of the Friends of Wikipedia : Many people love Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. They are modest donors but they are a lot. They have no time or no skills to edit, or they stopped editing but are still positive about Wikipedia, and they would be glad not only to give a little money but also to support the projects and to knwow more about them. Let's give them a place, they are our ambassadors and we can learn a lot from them, they are friendly and can advocate for us in the society. Friends of Wikipedia should be represented somewhere. Precise how (Collective "Friends of Wikipedia"). Waltercolor (talk) 14:31, 22 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Agree with all these points. Would like to point out that according to the Wikimedia Foundation General Terms of Use, 'users' are not only the readers. Users are people consuming content (readers) as well as people active in contributing, editing, adding, coding, patrolling, maintaining etc. I do strongly support a more understandable use of terms by the Foundation. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 09:41, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree with these comments on gender, and I'm surprised there aren't more about gender generally. The charter as written doesn't (yet) say anything! I admire the work done so far and know it's hard, but what you have now is a blank canvas. Make it shorter and more specific/prescriptive. Fortunaa (talk) 01:05, 11 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Technology Advancement


Not sure how this fits under technology "opening or closing of Wikimedia language projects"? Also should include new projects in this work somehow. Opening/closing new languages and adding new sister projects is less technical then social. Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:06, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

my prior reply above was deleted


my prior reply above was deleted. do wmf staff have the right now to delete our comments here? just wanted to ask. Sm8900 (talk) 19:53, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

You can find out by looking in the history. Please keep future posts on-topic; this page is about discussing the movement charter, we don't need further posting of AI poetry or complaints about deleted messages. – Ajraddatz (talk) 20:00, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
ok fair enough, thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 20:32, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply


I understand that it is probably not as long as the US Constitution, but the latter makes better reading. I got about halfway through and found it to be repetitive. Maybe it's necessary because everybody wants the same kind of affirmation for wherever they envision themselves. 

I like that we are attempting to address the soul and mechanics of the organization. But who is going to read it?

I have No specific suggestions, so maybe I should shut up and return to my non-editing lifestyle.

Elf (talk) 20:22, 25 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I have to agree, and I'm a person who likes reading corporate policies for leisure!
For a document that's supposed to lay out "the values, principles, and policy basis for Wikimedia Movement structures", it heavily focuses on the latter at (in my opinion) the expense of the first two. The actual Principles and Values sections are just vague enough that without concrete action contained within them (namely "How do we act on our three key principles and values?"), it's essentially talk, if not jargon, without the bite. Would have loved to see more emphasis on the spirit of WM projects. MooseMike (talk) 07:30, 28 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree with the above, but I don't feel I have much to add to what has already been expressed here. I will try to give this some thought. for one thing, i did feel like this document was so concerned with achieving the sound of a lofty "charter," that it did very little to actually lay out any actual concepts. i think that is partly what the other commenters in this section are alluding to as well. Sm8900 (talk) 12:55, 28 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

日本語話者からfrom Japanese Speaker


section 1, topic: from japanese speaker



素朴な疑問 私が日本語版の運動憲章を読んだ限り、以下のような構成になっているようです。 1. ウィキメディアプロジェクトに関わる人たち、各人の心構えや運動の価値 2. 様々な立場からの協力の仕方。様々な立場の定義(個人→ユーザーグループや国別協会など→ WMF→グローバル評議会)と並んでいます。

1と2は別の水準にあるように思えます。 価値観は変えないけれど、システムを変えるときなどはどうするのでしょうか。 私は「1.ウィキメディアプロジェクトに関わる人たち、各人の心構えや運動の価値」だけにまとめたほうが良いのではないかと考えています。 Kizhiya (talk) 07:21, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

前回のコメントを書いてから、Wikimedians of Japan User Groupのメンバーの1人に、シンプルイングリッシュは英語ネイティブの人には逆に難しいという情報を聞きました。
例えば概要をつける、それから図解をつけるなどすると、かなり読みやすくなるでしょう。図解に関しては、高度な能力をもったデザイナーやイラストレーターが必要となると思います。 Kizhiya (talk) 12:13, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
To offer a translation of this comment and the postscript into English:

Mesocarp (talk) 13:08, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

To give my two cents, I think the Charter, as written, contains a lot of terminology that is rather vague and "NGO-speak-y," if that makes sense, and is probably hard to convey in any other language. Even in English, there are a lot of important places where I find it challenging to extract solid information from the Charter, especially concerning the Global Council. Even though I've been reading about the idea of the Council for months now, here and there, I still don't have a clear idea of what powers exactly the Council will have, or even the precise reason why we need one. The idea of having a more established, formalized channel for communication and decision-making between users/affiliates and the WMF seems like it might be good in theory, but the devil is always in the details with things like this, and I feel anxious about solidly affirming the need for such a Council without a clear picture of how the Council will actually relate to the WMF or what concrete powers they'll hold. The Charter has sections dedicated to these points, but the actual text has very little solid content as far as I can discern.
The first part of the Charter does have some very nice, inspiring statements. Rather similarly to Kizhiya, I feel like it clashes kind of strangely with the second, more ostensibly structural part. Unfortunately, the second part also seems like the more substantial, arguably more significant part, and I worry a little bit that someone who really wants the Council to go through might have been tempted to bury the lead somewhat there. Mesocarp (talk) 13:25, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree agreed fully. Sm8900 (talk) 13:30, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
We don't need a Global Council and in general I don't think we should have one. Sm8900 (talk) 13:31, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
In this section someone complained about the English text being to complex.
You answer with words like "NGO-speak-y" (not even in the dictionary) "convey" "the devil is in the details" (fixed phrase, difficult to understand, even if you know every word), "affirming", "discern", "ostensibly"....
I tried to answer with short sentences and easy words. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 14:15, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
agree with this statement: The first part of the Charter does have some very nice, inspiring statements. Rather similarly to Kizhiya, I feel like it clashes kind of strangely with the second, more ostensibly structural part. Unfortunately, the second part also seems like the more substantial, arguably more significant part, and I worry a little bit that someone who really wants the Council to go through might have been tempted to bury the lead somewhat there Sm8900 (talk) 15:22, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

You answer with words like "NGO-speak-y" (not even in the dictionary) "convey" "the devil is in the details" (fixed phrase, difficult to understand, even if you know every word), "affirming", "discern", "ostensibly"....

I tried to answer with short sentences and easy words.

I think it's good to at least allow fluent English speakers to write in a way they find natural here, because that will allow for the most depth and nuance in the discussion, and offer translations of the comments into other languages where feasible. At the same time, I'm happy to explain anything I said in a different way if any of it is confusing—feel free to ask. Like Kizhiya mentioned, it can be hard for native English speakers to write Simple English effectively. :P Mesocarp (talk) 04:40, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

section 2, topic: from japanese speaker


翻訳に関することなので、このトピックに記します。 以前(UCOC批准投票など)からでもありますが、正文は英語版というのが気にかかります。相違や齟齬がないように気を付けて翻訳してくださっ2いるのは理解しますが、もしも(違いが)あったときの保険を掛けているように受け取ってしまいます。私は英語が読めないので、日本語での私の理解が間違っていないことを保証できません。よって、批准投票も致しかねます。--温厚知新 (talk) 14:11, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

例えば、私が上に書いた意見(図表や概略をつけ加える)についてどう思いますか? もし意見があれば、お書きいただければ幸いです。 Kizhiya (talk) 14:52, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I also would like to have a version in Simple English. I know that translations are difficult.
Yes, I also think in our global movement only the persons who already speak English on a high level participate. And too many people think the translations are enough.
And yes, a picture would be good. Only text is difficult to understand. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 15:11, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for your reply. It is unfortunate that only people with a high level of English can participate in the discussion. On the other hand, we who are not good at English would like to think about and propose ways to make things easier to understand, rather than just complaining.
We need to explore ways to deepen our mutual understanding. Of course, translation helps us a lot.
理解しやすくするためには、例えば絵文字でも何でも利用することを考えてみるのはいかがでしょう👍 Kizhiya (talk) 16:26, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Kizhiya, こんにちは。あなたの考えがここに述べられているのを見てとても嬉しく思います。1 つ質問させてください。「ムーブメント ストラテジー フォーラム」と呼ばれるフォーラムに行ったことがありますか? その主な役割の 1 つは、必要な言語に即座に翻訳することです!
もう行ったことがありますか? まだ行っていない場合は、以下のリンクからフォーラムにアクセスしてください。ありがとうございます! ありがとう!!
https://forum.movement-strategy.org/invites/8d96unZSsa Sm8900 (talk) 17:15, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
理想的なことを言うと、正文と翻訳文に相違・齟齬がないことなのですが、かなり難しいと思います。なので、違いがあったとしても、翻訳文にも一定の重みづけが欲しいと思っています。もし違う部分が後になって見つかった場合、英語正文に投票したことになるのは、日本語文で判断した私の票を歪めることにるのではないかと不安に思っています。--温厚知新 (talk) 17:36, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
それを踏まえて、「Movement Strategy Forum」というウェブサイトにアカウントを作成してください。これは、Wikimedia およびすべての言語のウィキペディアの公式リソースです。この重要な問題について、あなたの意見をぜひお聞かせください。 Sm8900 (talk) 17:56, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
screeenshot of forum thread for japanese language.日本語フォーラムスレッドのスクリーンショット
Sm8900 (talk) 18:04, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
上のスクリーンショットをクリックして拡大し、私が言及している内容を確認してください。これは、Movement Strategy Forums の Web サイトからのものです。ありがとうございます。 Sm8900 (talk) 18:05, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sm8900 さん、
私はそのフォーラムを知っています。残念ながら、今、私は忙しいので、参加できません。ありがとう。 Kizhiya (talk) 09:04, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
とにかく大丈夫です。これが唯一のスレッドであり、あなたの返信が唯一です。わかりました。あなたは忙しすぎます。これを明確にできてよかったと思います...?わかりました、ありがとう。真剣に、ここであなたの返信に感謝します。ありがとう。 Sm8900 (talk) 09:10, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
hey guys, i just offered a link to the Movement Strategy Forums, which is absolutely THE solution to the problem of discussions between different languages. so far, there is not a large amount of interest in using it. i am just trying to keep you up to date, regarding the topics and replies, in this section. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 09:18, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hi @Sm8900, @Der-Wir-Ing, @温厚知新I really appreciate your sincere replies. @Kizhiya used to be active at the Forum to connect Japanese users to the movement. Since she established a user group to be the first affiliate in Japan, she's been so busy. She's managed to get a grant to send the first 2 participants to the Wikimania in August. I hope you'll have opportunities to talk with them at the venue. YShibata (talk) 10:03, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@YShibatai appreciate your reply, seriously. but i can't go to wikimania. so thats' why i was hoping we could discuss this in a venue where people from different languages can get instant translation back and forth into each other's languages. if you know of some venue that can do that other than the movement strategy forums, let me know and i'll go there. in all candor, it sounds like that function and capability is not of any particular importance to those commenting here, including yourself, with all respect. Sm8900 (talk) 11:41, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
translation of last comment above, from english into Japanese:
上記のコメントの英語から日本語への翻訳: 誠にありがとうございます。でも、「ウィキマニア」というイベントには行けません。だから、異なる言語を話す人々がお互いの言語に瞬時に翻訳できる場所でこの件について議論できればと思っています。もし、ムーブメント ストラテジー フォーラム以外でそれができる場所をご存知でしたら、私に知らせてください。そこに行きます。率直に言って、その機能と能力は、ここでコメントしている人たち、あなた自身も含めて、特に重要ではないようです。--Sm8900 (talk) 15:42, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Dear @Kizhiya and @Der-Wir-Ing, this is not only about understanding the English language well or not. It also is about differences in social, legal and political cultures and about the ability and experience to cope with it. The people drafting, and the large group of advisors surrounding them, come from different countries and cultures. That means that a word like 'soon' in one culture has the meaning: within the coming month and in another culture: within the next year. People come from different jurisdictions, that means for one 'law' means written laws and courtrulings, for another only written law. The people drafting come from different political systems, so 'leadership' for one means a strong man deciding everything alone for all, for another: a group of freely choosen people is deciding for the common good. The people drafting do not seem to be experienced in setting up legally orientated texts with global validity. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 11:25, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree Sm8900 (talk) 11:51, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Kevin Bouwens,@Sm8900
これは運動憲章には課題があることを意味しているでしょう。 Kizhiya (talk) 12:47, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
大陸をまたぐプロジェクトとして、これに取り組むことを喜んでお手伝いします。そのために運動戦略フォーラムを使用していただけますか? 準備ができたらいつでもそのリソースを使用して先に進む準備ができています。一言おっしゃっていただければ、開始できます。基本的なプロセスを開始できるように、最初の手順をご案内できます。お知らせください。ありがとうございます! Sm8900 (talk) 13:16, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Not a bad idea to create a document, approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, that explains in understandable wordings, how the governing structures, the obligations and responsibilities are being woven at the moment. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 14:09, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
To me this is a sound proposal by @Kizhiya, translated by a machine: "We need to compromise somewhere. I think it would be better to write only our attitude and values ​​in the charter and write about the system in another medium." Maybe in the charter also the rights, obligations and responsibilities? And I do notice that different groups have different interests, like for instance users and Wikimedia Chapters. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 13:49, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
こんにちは。わかりました。私はすでにそのような文書の 1 つに取り組み始めています。このページ にアクセスして、ご意見をお聞かせください。トーク ページでお気軽にコメントしてください。ご希望の言語でコメントできます。 Sm8900 (talk) 13:54, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Kevin Bouwens, @Sm8900 Here is a (human, by me) translation of Kizhiya's comment above, just to provide that. (@Kizhiyaさん、もし訂正や質問がありましたら、遠慮なく言ってください。)

Mesocarp (talk) 09:31, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hmmm, sorry it broke the indentation there with the cquote—I wasn't expecting that. Mesocarp (talk) 09:35, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
screeenshot of forum thread for japanese language.日本語フォーラムスレッドのスクリーンショット
Nice of you, @Mesocarp, brings in the essential nuance. I agree that it would be impossible for a global body to understand and know about all different cultures, attitudes etc. A compromis could be that there is a requirement for people serving in such bodies, that they have been teached about, and are experienced in, being open to and aware of the fact that the own world of how you're being raised, educated, your field of work, the way you relax, etc. is only one small part of the way things can be seen. And/or building an extra governing layer, covering some six to eight (?) large cultures worldwide. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 10:08, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Or we could use the Movement Strategy forums and simply provide one possible solution. That's what I've been trying to say. Thanks for the translation by the way. Sm8900 (talk) 10:50, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
For sure the knowledge collected on separate Movement Strategy forums should be integrated, in so far they do reflect the opinion and experiences of large groups within the movement. That unfortunately is not so clear to me. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 11:22, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Kevin Bouwens ok, fair enough. have you visited the Movement Strategy forums? Sm8900 (talk) 15:45, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I will, because I'm very interested in your thoughts and proposed solutions! @Sm8900 Kevin Bouwens (talk) 08:16, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Why I voted "No"


section break 1, topic "why i voted 'no'"


I cannot support a charter that provides for representation of/selected by affiliates (as opposed to community-elected members who happen to also be involved with affiliates) on the Global Council, for substantially the reasons I stated at m:Talk:Movement Charter/Archive 5#Mdaniels5757's thoughts. Ultimately, I am concerned that affiliates, as a group (1) are distinct from the community at-large, and therefore (2) have different interests than the community at large. This causes the potential for a fox-guarding-the-henhouse situation; affiliates should not have a vote in movement-wide funding distribution matters. Although I think the small changes to voting thresholds were a step in the right direction, we are still a far way away from a Charter that I can support: one that centers the entire Wikimedia Community. —‍Mdaniels5757 (talk • contribs) 23:50, 26 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

i voted "no," to support this view as well. i don't favor any election system for a higher level, where a small group of obscure group leaders can create the composition entirely of a major policy-making body. also, i truly am not sure a Global Council would be needed at all. we do have a board, and that seems like more than enough.
in short i don't see the charter as serving the community, and since even the board seems to have rejected, so then why do we need a charter? and also i don't see this discussion process as being well-handled. so if the charter cannot induce and motivate a quality discussion process, even in regards to itself, then how would it do so for any other concerns or topics? Sm8900 (talk) 07:50, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
"the board seems to have rejected" Nope, the board liaisons only recommended that the board reject the Charter, but the entire board has not yet made the formal decision. Thanks. SCP-2000 08:12, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
then that is even more significant. if the board liaisons have sufficient role to be given this much attention when recommending "no," then clearly their opinion is of real importance as well. and furthermore, I don't know what exact role the board has, or that its liaisons have, or that wmf has, or that the global council would have. so therefore, based on the rejection by the liaisons of the board itself, then that seems like enough basis to vote "no."
I do appreciate your helpful reply. since a helpful reply is the precise thing that i have been seeking, and a lot of us here have been seeking, all along on a variety of questions, issues, and topics here.
and also, if the "board liaisons," whatever that role means, have recommended that the board should vote "no," then why shouldn't I vote "no" as well? and also, i had no idea at all that this came from the board liaisons, and not from the board. if the board's concerns have still not been addressed, or even heard, then why would we vote "yes" on this? --Sm8900 (talk) 08:56, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
by the way, imho, this whole process is giving off a vibe of a small clique being elevated somehow, and then running home to proudly tell their friends and relatives. pericles it ain't. in other words this should have the air of a dedicated group of hard workers who would fit smoothly into this role. not a group of young ambitious online persons who feel this would help them to add some impressive content to their personal CVs, and online activities. Sm8900 (talk) 09:02, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
the link below provides highly valuable data on some of the multiple concerns raised by the board's review process:
link: Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Board liaisons reflections on final Movement charter draft/Brief
--Sm8900 (talk) 11:30, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
important points from above:
  • The Global Council is the most anticipated aspect of the Movement Charter recommendation. Overall,the proposed Global Council's purpose is not clearly connected to advancing Wikimedia's public interest mission. It lacks a compelling explanation of how it will ensure more equitable decision-making and support the mission of sharing free knowledge. It also does not guide us as the Movement on how to address many of the most pressing issues facing community governance on Wikimedia projects.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation is willing to delegate some powers to the Global Council. At the moment, we have not read similar statements from other parts of the movement - and without that, the Global Council cannot really act as a body that goes beyond the Wikimedia Foundation.
    • Would volunteers accept a decision made by the Global Council, even if they don’t like it, just because they had a chance to vote in their elections?
Sm8900 (talk) 11:32, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
why do we need a Global Council? Who is asking for this to be established? that's my own concern and my own questions on this. Sm8900 (talk) 11:43, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
ok here is another comment, from someone connected to two members of the board, from the page Wikimedia Foundation Board liaisons reflections on final Movement charter draft:
We believe that approving this version of the Charter, despite the tremendous amount of work and resources already put into it, would not be the right call. Instead, we think it is better to continue pursuing the same goals the draft Charter also sought to pursue in a different way, by identifying key areas where the final draft Charter provides us with guidance on concrete steps that can be taken towards increasing volunteer and movement oversight of certain core areas of responsibility. Sm8900 (talk) 15:46, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
addl excerpt: For an all-encompassing document the support required to ratify the threshold -- 55% plus a minimum of 2% of eligible voters participating in vote -- is quite low. Sm8900 (talk) 15:48, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Not just "someone connected to the board" that is from two of the Board members.
It's unclear what is low (the 55% or the 2%), but I percieve them as adequate: If you compare with similar elections and votes like Board elections, the UCOC ratifications, Steward elections etc. then 2% of Voters is reasonable. In absolut numbers it's 2300 participants. Right now it's already over 900 voters, so it will probably be way more then that.
For the 55% threshold: That would mean with a support rate of 54% it would not be ratified. Even with a majority of voters supporting it. I personally would prefer 50%. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 16:04, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I would personally prefer a 75% threshhold. Sm8900 (talk) 16:41, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

section break 2, topic "why i voted 'no'"

Note that the community has one-and-a-half times (150%) the representation of affiliates on the Global Council, and that the community would have nearly one-and-a-half times (144%) as much representation on the Global Council as it currently does on the Wikimedia Foundation Board. Pharos (talk) 04:53, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Pharos, thanks, as thats very helpful info. can you please provide some basics on what the global council's powers would be? it just doesn't seem clear. i know there is existing text in the charter, but i would be grateful just for some basic definitions here, if possible. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 10:54, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sm8900 Basically, as best as I can parse it:
  1. Strategic planning: long-term plans for some combination of (a) the "Movement" (b) Wikimedia Movement Bodies (including affiliates and the WMF) (c) the individual Wikimedia projects, or groups of them. Per the charter, all of the affiliates have to support what the council comes up with and incorporate it into their own activities.
  2. Support of Wikimedia Movement Organizations (which I refer to as "affiliates", although the term also includes other non-WMF bodies): this means (1) having standards for affiliates, (2) recognizing and unrecognizing affiliates, (3) ensuring affiliates meet their standards, (4) breaking up fights among affiliates, and (5) simplifying access to resources for affiliates.
  3. Resource Distribution: (1) making standards for who should get/be prioritized for money, (2) allocating money, (3) determining "movement-wide goals and metrics" (regarding fundraising or content? I hope regarding fundraising...), and (4) reviewing programs' outcomes (presumably the ones they've funded?).
  4. Technology Advancement: (1) advising the WMF on tech improvements and planning (2) advising the WMF on opening/closing language-specific projects, and (3) providing technology advice and coordination, especially with the other groups also doing planning for tech improvements.
(See also the critiques that it tries to do too many different things at once, at the same time, with the same people, found at Talk:Movement Charter/Archive 5 among other places :) ) —‍Mdaniels5757 (talk • contribs) 00:57, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Mdaniels5757 thanks. do you think we can agree that this whole concept of a formalistic legalistic document, rather complex and arcane, with a convoluted legal system created ex nihilo by a specialized committee of a totally unclear and possibly arbitrary basis, and a strict and convoluted process for making any changes, is pretty much unsuitable for this whole process and document? Sm8900 (talk) 02:58, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Pharos Yes, I'm aware of that; the breakdown is 12 community, 8 affiliates, 1 WMF, and 4 council-appointed. But even so:
  • You still need 13 votes for a majority, so people directly accountable to the community alone cannot pass anything.
  • Even if we assume all 4 council-appointed people are people who the community would have elected if they had the chance, and they behave exactly as a community-elected member would (so the breakdown worked out to be 16-8-1), the community still needs to basically be a unified bloc to do anything (especially given that some will step down/be unable to fully serve). If 75% of community elected members want something done, they still come up short, even under this scenario. This, to me, is unacceptable.
  • The WMF Board wants the total number of seats on the council to be lower (they say 10-15 people). If that is followed, the breakdowns become: 7 community, 5 affiliate, 1 WMF, and 2 council-appointed for a 15-person council; 5 community, ~3 affiliates, 1 WMF, and ~3 council-appointed for an 11-person board. Such small numbers of community-elected seats make proportional representation (which I think is quite important for fairness) very difficult for smaller projects.
  • I believe that, in order to ensure fairness and representation for all, the elected seats should be allocated to wikis or (for small wikis) groups of wikis proportionally (Talk:Movement Charter/Archive 5#Mdaniels5757's thoughts). Every seat that is allocated to affiliates is a seat that cannot be filled proportionally. This means less representation for smaller projects.
  • Relatedly, why are there the council-appointed seats? We shouldn't need them if we do a proportional approach, at least if diversity is the primary motivating factor. If expertise is a concern, (1) is there any particular expertise that likely will be useful but not present from community-elected members, (2) do there need to be 4 such experts, and (3) do those experts need to be voting members of the whole council as opposed to members of a subcommittee (who can appoint non-council members), or non-voting advisors?
  • Finally, something I just noticed re-reading this: now there's a global council board of 5 people? I think the WMF board is right, this is much too small. I also question what they are actually supposed to be doing that is not better delegated to (1) council as a whole, (2) (possibly ad hoc) subcommittees, or (3) individual council members:
    • "[M]aking sure the processes within the Global Council are running according to plans and timelines; [and] coordinating with others where and when necessary": what processes and coordination needs will the Global Council have? Is this, like, making sure grant proposal reviewers review grant proposals assigned to them before the next council meeting? Or responding to emails from prospective affiliates? Or something else entirely? Why does this need to be concentrated in one board instead of spreading this work around to willing volunteers? Relatedly: the board structure would seem to prevent an "I'll do X this month if you'll do X next month" system given the small size of the board; is this justified (especially given the likelihood of burnout if the workload is too high)? And if one council member wants to coordinate with an affiliate on behalf of the council but doesn't want to pester the grant reviewing members or whatever, do they need a board seat or not?
    • "[E]nsuring that the Global Council is operating and functioning according to its purpose": why is this limited to a board? Shouldn't the entire council be concerned with this? What functions would board members perform in this area that council members could not?
—‍Mdaniels5757 (talk • contribs) 00:27, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Mdaniels5757 i agree with all of your points above. and basically in my opinion, burnout is pretty much inevitable and is built into this system. especially since supposedly this global counci and movement charter will be created pretty much ex nihilo, and will be considered mostly non-changeable once it is supposedly "ratified," so that pretty much the entire burden of defining this global council's role and carrying its mission, will rest upon just a few individuals at the core of this council.
and additionally, in my opinion, the role of the board is totally unclear and doesn't seem to bear any relation to the whole system as originally conceived. imho it sounds like there were problems emerging with how the global council might work, so the global council board is meant to mitigate the perceived problems, before there is any general community consensus to weigh in on the actual practical workings and practical effects of this whole new system. --Sm8900 (talk) 03:17, 3 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
My vote will be no, because I find the vote it self very problematic. While I like the attention that this "vote" provides, and that the charter provides a central place to work on overarching issues. BUT I find the "vote" problematic because it does not provide an introspective in what we are voting out. Just asking if we support it, does not say anything about if we (can) support its implications. Sure I support a process and guidline for an improved collaboration and work, but as long as I dont know what options we are "voting" on, meaning limiting or shuting out, not to say discriminate, by supporting this, this option will not garner my support. At the moment it is more like a inquiry not a vote.
Maybe a charter that has to be re-confirmed yearly or any other year, and is voted on by voting on each section/para with different versions next to each other (pre-determined by a working group processes) to vote on.
Last but not least: installing a higher body isnt necessary and very difficult to implement in a way that doesnt at some point ursup the grass-root character of our movement.Nsae Comp (talk) 13:26, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

further comments


i posted on this at en:Wikipedia:Village_pump_(idea_lab). --Sm8900 (talk) 23:30, 28 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

note 12


Under Global Council: Functions: Support of Wikimedia Movement Organizations, please move note 12 from before the semicolon to after the semicolon. Folly Mox (talk) 11:03, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Done * Pppery * it has begun 16:35, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Ucoc? Principle of care?


Why no links to those things? Are those set of rules/codes to adhere to, or just some basic knowledge? Benderbr (talk) 13:35, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

"Ucoc" refers to foundation:Policy:Wikimedia Foundation Universal Code of Conduct. I haven't located the string "principle of care" anywhere on that page or its subpages, so that might be presumed knowledge (which I'm also not entirely clear on). Folly Mox (talk) 16:14, 28 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I meant this section "Rights
Volunteers have the right to be protected from harassment (for example Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC), Principle of Care) on Wikimedia Movement websites, as well as at online and in-person events hosted by any Wikimedia Movement Body." Benderbr (talk) 01:11, 29 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes please give a link to the 'Principle of Care' policy. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 13:31, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Proposed charter violates German rulings on human rights


Please hop onto WikiProject Voting Systems to learn why this charter has some very big problems. (And in general, this is a good reason why community input is a good idea—WikiProjects like this have a lot of information to offer, and WikiProject Voting Systems has proposed all of the voting systems used by Wikipedia so far).

Let's take one example: the current draft proposal for the Wikimedia Movement Charter is so poorly-written it's accidentally in violation of human rights law according to Germany's Federal Constitutional Court. The proposal is littered with clauses requiring a turnout quorum:

with a minimum of 2% of eligible voters participating in the vote

The issue with this is it makes some voters' ballots less than worthless. Specifically, if you turn out to oppose a proposal that otherwise would have fallen below 2% of the vote, this can cause the proposition to pass.

This isn't a hypothetical. In 2016, a Dutch referendum with an anemic 32% turnout was declared binding after passing the theoretical threshold at 30%. In other words, if the pro-referendum side had done a better job, and managed to convince 3% of Dutch voters to move from opposed to neutral, leading them to stay home. Then, the proposal would have fallen just below the 30% turnout threshold, and the referendum would have failed.

As a ruling by Germany's Federal Constitutional Court put it:

An electoral system that allows for an increase in votes to lead to a loss of seats, or for a party to achieve more seats overall if it receives fewer votes, leads to arbitrary results. It makes a mockery of the ideal of democratic competition for support from the electorate. [... it violates] the principle of equality of the vote, [...] because it enables such negative vote weights.

Obviously, when Wikipedia does it, that's not as serious as when a country does it. That said, if the Germans are complaining about your human rights violations, you may need to take a step back and reflect on what procedures led you to this point, and whether they might be flawed. Given this is the first thing I picked up on an initial reading, I'm sure there's more issues.

Strong oppose Closed Limelike Curves (talk) 18:49, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'm not German, nor even European, and even I find the implication that Germans in 2024 would be any less likely to raise concerns about human rights violations than anyone else to be pretty offensive. Risker (talk) 18:57, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, it's a joke (reference to the Fawlty towers episode). Closed Limelike Curves (talk) 19:18, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Okay. Lots of things that made it to television back in the 1970s would be considered wildly inappropriate today. I remember the blonde jokes, the gay jokes, the jokes advocating domestic abuse, the sexist and racist jokes. This reference belongs in the past, and I'd appreciate it if you removed it. Risker (talk) 19:30, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The German government paid John Cleese to do a remake in 2006. Closed Limelike Curves (talk) 21:05, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's not what the link says at all. It says that Cleese made a song in 2006 in relation to the World Cup, using the line "Don't mention the war". Nothing about the German government paying anyone to remake that episode, and there's no indication on that page that the episode was remade. The episode itself has been edited to remove some of the more offensive or inappropriate lines for when it is played during "family viewing time" in the UK. Risker (talk) 21:59, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree with @Closed Limelike Curves. thanks for your highly important point on this. Sm8900 (talk) 19:24, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
user closed basically proposes instead of the current miniumum participation rule (2% of eligible voters) a minimum support rule. Compare for example with the CU policy that demands in CU-elections a support of at least 25 votes, not a participation of 25 users. (CheckUser_policy#Appointing_local_CheckUsers). I agree with that. Minimum support would have been better, but I don't percieve the participation quota as big problem. But everyone has to make their own opinion about that. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 21:53, 27 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
A minimum support of 1% of eligible voters, as 1% is the minimum amount needed to win a vote with the participation of 2% of eligible voters. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 20:02, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sir Kenneth Kho yup. and may I ask, who voted for that rule? or even expressed approval? or even discussed it publicly in any way? anyone? Sm8900 (talk) 21:16, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I believe the discussion and vote is private, and the full MCDC could have to vote again to amend this clause. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 21:28, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

The principles and values section is inspiring


As a lowly volunteer plebe, I don't know much about the politics of the sections on rights, responsibilities, and governance that people are discussing. However, I thought the first section on principles and values was well stated and reflected my understanding of the public ethos of Wikimedia sites. I found it to be inspiring. Biogeographist (talk) 18:16, 28 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Yes, I agree with this. I think if that was all we were voting on it would easily pass, although I'm not sure how much concrete effect it would have beyond an affirmation of our shared ideals. That might still be nice, though— the first section of the U.N. Charter has become something of a political touchstone around the world for its high ideals, of course. Mesocarp (talk) 12:08, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
For your interest, @Biogeographist, @Mesocarp, in the above comment "https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Movement_Charter#No_accountability_to_community" a link has been shared to the Wikimedia Foundation Guiding Principles. They have a broader scope and go deeper than the ones described in the Charter. No reasons have been given by the MCDC for not following all of these Principles. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 13:44, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Biogeographist the problem is that the whole charter is written in corporatese, and doesn't refer to any of the many existing venues and established deliberative procedures. Sm8900 (talk) 17:01, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I stopped reading the rest of it, but I didn't have any problem in understanding the first section on principles and values. I'm not saying that it couldn't be improved, but as someone who came to it with no prior knowledge of the Wikimedia Movement, I found it inspiring. Biogeographist (talk) 20:09, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
The 'Wikimedia Foundation Guiding Principles' is a document from over 10 years ago, that is unfortunately no longer in effect. Wikimedia Foundation board members were specifically opposed to including many of these values in the charter. Pharos (talk) 17:33, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks @Pharos, that is something everyone should know. It looks like we urgently need an article at Wikipedia about the Movement Charter, with history, context etc. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 06:17, 6 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Kevin Bouwens, thats a very good point. Sm8900 (talk) 21:17, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Half measures and next steps


I don't get some of the comments about the lack of accountability for the Global Council. It would just be another body of the WMF, subject to the board (which could abolish it any time, as it did with the FDC).

I do agree that the decisions would suffer from a lack of accountability, because there are just so many circular dependencies in the charter. Some of these dependencies are explicit, for example the sanctions for movement organizations include "Withdrawal of right to use trademarks (in accordance with the trademark holder)". (Already with Legal+BoT+AffCom it's a mess, but it can always get worse.) Other dependencies are less obvious.

If we really wanted a body independent from the WMF to be in charge of some things currently done by the WMF, I think we really need a separate non-profit, with clearly and legally defined boundaries. We've now had some experience with Tides Foundation (a good idea with not so great implementation) and the Wikimedia LLC. In the past I've proposed a Wikimedia Trust to be in charge of all Wikimedia trademarks, which would then be licensed to the WMF: such an arrangement could start with minimal organizational changes and then grow gradually.

To implement specific parts of the proposed charter, you may need much less than a "demerger" of the WMF. Accreditation could be delegated to a separate org, on a geographical basis (like the hubs) or on a tier basis; this org could have a very long-term exclusive sub-licenseable license to the trademarks (or only some of them). To decide on fundraising, you'd need to split the "commercial" management of the Wikipedia trademark out of the WMF and then outsource it back to the WMF. The new orgs could have different legal structures, possibly even membership-based. They could have long-term legal agreements with the WMF on how to handle disputes, so that the WMF board wouldn't need to be the court of last resort for everything.

Alternatively, if we really wanted to implement the current proposal, I suspect a major rewrite of the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws would be needed, including possibly a move to another jurisdiction where the desired structure is supported. (A small executive council sounds like a supervisory board above of the board of trustees, famously supported in a Dutch Stichting. A 100-member council sounds more like some assembly of delegates/members.) I would love a sort of new constitutional process for the WMF but I don't see much appetite for it.

So in short, the time for half measures is over. The drafting committee did the best they could with the hand they were dealt. This exercise has been very useful, including the current discussion and vote, whatever the outcome is. The WMF board now needs to be bold and decide the next steps. Nemo 20:07, 28 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I agree with you on this: I do agree that the decisions would suffer from a lack of accountability, because there are just so many circular dependencies in the charter. Some of these dependencies are explicit, for example the sanctions for movement organizations include "Withdrawal of right to use trademarks (in accordance with the trademark holder)". (Already with Legal+BoT+AffCom it's a mess, but it can always get worse.) Other dependencies are less obvious. Sm8900 (talk) 22:20, 28 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The assumption of @Nemo bis, that the new Global Council would be part of the WMF makes totally sense, but does not follow from the Movement Charter. As I did understand, a group of stakeholders aim to establish a new governing body apart from the WMF, in which they have more to say. I'm not sure whether main voices behind this transformation, the rumour goes that to be the German Chapter, are aware they aim for a legal structure that is usual in Europe, especially Germany, but not in the US. Giving Wikimedia community- or Wikimedia Chapter representatives the right of co-determination within the structure of the US based Wikimedia Foundation, or another US based Foundation, means giving them a seat on a so called one-tier board, which would provide them with directional power. The idea of looking for another jurisdiction that offers the possibility for a legal entity with a so called two-tier board structure (Dual Board), to my opinion is tantalising but would mean a huge transformation. Nevertheless, maybe a small team of (intelligent) (open minded) (creative) (high-brow) (....) legal and governing specialists from different continents and cultures, guided by the WMF Board of Trustees, could give that a thought. The two-tier board system originates from Germany, where also the largest Wikimedia Chapter happens to be based, with around 100.000 members. Is that maybe a coincidence that could offer a chance? Kevin Bouwens (talk) 16:02, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
The draft has been written by various people with different ideas. Whoever proposed to transfer certain powers from the WMF board to the Global Council probably understood that this requires the incorporation of a separate entity co-equal to the WMF, but evidently there was no agreement to state this clearly so they just kicked the can down the road. The WMF board has already said no, so it's not going to happen. If we really wanted to explore such an option, the WMF board would need to endorse exploring it, WMF legal would need to conduct a review of the legal options available, etc. Nemo 19:06, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sure, @Nemo bis, the writers of the draft in the spotlights, all volunteers, will have different ideas. However did someone with a lot of experience explain, that in the background much support has been given by the German Chapter. So I think that might be a reason why volunteers plea for more influence by the Chapters. Yes, ofcourse the WMF Board has to agree on this, but the drafters and their advisors do not seem te be fully aware of the legal and corporate structure, it's possibilities and boundaries. It's a US civil law structure, based on general agreements between the WMF and all users of the infrastructures the WMF provides. The Chapters and usergroups have separate individual civil law contracts with WMF. Establishing a new entity in Germany (working name WMF Europe) with governing and directional powers based on a two-tier system, ofcourse also has to be backed by the WMF. Now that WMF legal probably does not have in-house expertise on contintal law, the idea is to let a small high-brow group of specialists, among them specialists in German corporate law and EU law, make an inventarisation of pros and contras, "guided by the WMF Board of Trustees". There could be benefits too in the field of EU regulations and having more geografical and cultural closeness to EU governing bodies (recently for the coming five years a German has been chosen as President of the EU Commission). FYI: @Der-Wir-Ing, @Johannnes89. Keep up, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 08:37, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
What do I have to do with that? I didn't draft the Charter. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 09:40, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Der-Wir-Ing FYI = For Your Interest - Thought you might be interested, or you could give a sound opinion, on the idea of establishing a legal entity with a two-tier structure in Germany. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 06:11, 6 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Why would we need a new entity in Germany, now that we have Wikimedia Europe to navigate EU law and advocacy? EliCarrera (talk) 11:45, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
This foundation is new to me, @EliCarrera, where does it have to be classified in terms of the Charter? A Hub? Do volunteers have a voice in decisionmaking? You're right, the tasks of this foundation do not have to be integrated in a new entity with a two-tier board structure. | UPDATE: from the statutes can be learned that volunteers are explicitly excluded from membership of Wikimedia Europe. So volunteers, working in good faith, with a whish for multilevel protection and having a voice in strategy development and decisionmaking, might need another type of organisation. --Kevin Bouwens (talk) 17:07, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Kevin Bouwens: WMEU is affiliated with the WMF, possibly as a regional hub (someone else can answer that better). Volunteers that are part of the affiliates that form WMEU, have a voice in strategy and decision-making through their affiliate. It's a standard system of representation. Unfortunately, in the charter discussions, "volunteers" is sometimes limited to mean only "individuals that haven't organised in any way and represent only themselves". Is that part of the explanation why discussing representation in top-level organs, such as a global council, is proving difficult? EliCarrera (talk) 10:32, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes @EliCarrera, it certainly could make discussing representation in top-level organs difficult, when the Chapters in general support this 'standard system of representation'. Three short remarks, hope you have time or are willing to review or discuss them in the Chapter Ecosystem.
1. Volunteers must become member of a Chapter, but most volunteers in the Dutch language edition see the Chapter and the WMF as a kind of elite group 'high above' that one better should oppose, including the rules given. I guess maybe 40 volunteers are a member of Wikimedia Nederland, meetings are being attended by around 60 people, staff and board included.
2. When volunteers only have a voice through representation by Chapters they're a member of, only the interests mentioned in the statutes or bylaws of the Chapter can and will be represented. These will often not be in line with the interests of the individual volunteer. For instance it is not a statutory goal of Wikimedia Nederland, to give volunteers a voice in strategy development, resource allocation and decision making; to practically support individual volunteers or volunteers on a Wikimedia Project as a group or to protect them in any way on the digital working floor. Wikimedia Nederland did not adopt the UCoC and Enforcement Guidelines as they are, nor do they promote them on the working floors where it is a heavy weight interest for volunteering contributors and moderators to know these rules, to know they're binding and to understand them.
3. The specific interests of volunteers, as persons that bear responsibility for the content, individually or as a group, can per definition not be represented by the Chapters. The Chapters do explicitly exclude legal liability for the content, for policing and judging on Wikimedia Projects. So who will represent the heavy weight interest volunteers have who do contribute to Wikimedia Projects, to work in a fair policing, prosecuting, judging and executing system; to know there is a sound system in place where desinformative work by other volunteers will be flagged, and getting protection by the Chapter or WMF for possible legal claims against content they did edit in good faith, or others did edit?
Do you think volunteers should be organised in Usergroups? Kevin Bouwens (talk) 12:51, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree Sm8900 (talk) 13:05, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Dear @Kevin Bouwens I guess we have had different experiences.
1. WMEU members can be all types of affiliates, not just chapters. If you prefer to voice your opinions as an individual, maybe Wikimedia Europe and Friends is an option.
2. I don't know how all chapters operate, but in the one I'm with (Wikimedia Norge) bylaws, strategy and annual plans are decided upon by the General Assembly, where all members (volunteers) have an equal say. They decide how their and this movement's interests are best promoted, which is what we bring to the table in WMEU (and elsewhere).
3. Let's distinguish between representation in a) WMEU, b) movement decision-making bodies, c) on self-governing (to some extent) project language versions, and d) in legal claims against individuals. If what we're discussing is a) and b), I disagree that affiliates in general can't represent volunteers.
Usergroups: Well, that's one of the affiliate types that volunteers can start or join, if they wish to organise. EliCarrera (talk) 15:40, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks a@EliCarrera for diving into this a bit deeper. It helps efficiently to identify questions and work on them.
1. Yes, the statutes mention that members must be recognised as Affiliates within the Wikimedia Movement. Point is that volunteering editors/contributors should be separately recognised as stakeholders for there specific roles and tasks on the working floors, apart from the general purpose of WMF and Chapters, for the given reason of colliding interests. In the Movement Strategy the two are described as different groups: Affiliates and Communities (see f.i. the Movement Strategy Recommendations "Evaluate, Iterate, Adapt")).
2. At Wikimedia Nederland members also have a say, like in Norway, but this is 'per definition' limited to the statutory purposes of a Chapter. Therefor I think some of the main interests of volunteers who work in good faith on content, policing, judging, fighting vandalism, misinformation etc., can not be voiced through a Chapter because these tasks are not been covered by the statutes and bylaws of WMF & Chapters. The WMF Terms put it this way:
"We host an incredible quantity of educational and informational content, all of which is contributed and made possible by users like yourself. Generally we do not contribute, monitor, or delete content (with rare exceptions, such as under policies like these Terms of Use, for legal compliance, or when faced with urgent threats of serious harm). This means that editorial control is in the hands of you and your fellow users who create and manage the content.
The community – the network of users who are constantly building and using the Projects and/or their websites (hereby referred to as "Project Websites") – is the principal means through which the goals of the mission are achieved. The community contributes to and helps govern our Projects and Project Websites."
This makes clear how the WMF (legally) distinguishes between a 'we' and a 'you' (where the WMF 'you' from my point of view is part of a 'we'). I think that everything that fits in the field of the WMF 'you' can per definition not be advocated by and through WMF and the Chapters. In these fields both WMF and Chapters do explicitly exclude responsibility and liability. It is in all areas that have to do with responsibilities and tasks in the WMF 'you' area, that volunteers can not articulate their interests through the Chapters. This is somewhat abstract thinking, I hope the idea is set out somewhat understandably.
3. What I'm trying to raise awareness for, is that having a voice in strategy development, decision making and resources allocation within the fields described in the WMF Terms as belonging to 'you' (the contributors) including the heavy obligations of policing and fighting desinformation, can principally and structurally not be advocated through the WMF and the Chapters. I think only pure usergroups could. WMF and the Chapters can only advocate the areas covered by the statutory purposes and goals. As for Wikimedia Europe: I've quicqly scanned through the headings of the 30 newest articles on the website and did not find a plea in the name of contributors, for specific community-member interests. And Wikimedia Europe is asking the European Council and Parliament to respect fundamental rights for 'Wikipedia' and its journalists, that the WMF or WE do not offer contributors (see this article). When you however think it is principally possible for WE to advocate these specific rights, it truelly would be great when this could change. In the field c you distinguish, many volunteers do not primarly have the common goals and purposes in mind, advocated by WMF and the Chapters. In the field d I see it of utter importance that a policy will be developed that ensures legal aid and support without charge, to good faith editors (e.g. people that follow the WMF rules).
4. Now that the Charter makes not only the individual volunteer responsible and liable for their own edits, contributions, actions and deeds (like the WMF Terms do), but makes the communities as a whole responsible for the content as a whole, which brings huge legal risks for the single volunteer in good faith, a discours should be initiated to find a way for advocating and protecting the specific interests of volunteers not covered by the statutory purposes of the Chapters. It might be a wise possibility, to form a new legal entity to serve as a rooforganisation for these interests. But this should be given some elaborate thoughts .... Kind regards, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 14:22, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

issue of Global Council


Do we need a Global Council? At this point none of the grassroots discussion has occurred that we should have seen if this concept had any actual foundation with what ordinary editors want. i would like to suggest that as one small source of bemusement on this topic. Sm8900 (talk) 13:36, 30 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The (rather vague) impression I've gotten at this point, both from the text of the proposed Charter and in other random discussions about this elsewhere, is that there are people involved in drafting the Charter that want to give users and affiliates from underserved parts of the world more of a seat at the table in some sense where the WMF is concerned, and they came up with the idea of the Global Council as a way to facilitate that. I'm purposefully phrasing that in a kind of nonspecific way, because I still have yet to come across much specific discussion of how this would actually work, and I'm not entirely sure that narrative is accurate either.
But in any case, I think like, in a very abstract sense, of course that's a great goal and I imagine few Wikimedians would oppose it on principle. However, for any kind of council to really do that in any kind of concrete, meaningful way, a way that would truly allow the WMF to better fulfill its mission of spreading free knowledge worldwide and so on, I think it would need a very carefully-designed structure and setting. I don't feel all that confident that the Global Council, as currently proposed, would end up having that in the end, and what little structure is proposed for it here gives me doubts. Like, would it really be "global" with only 25–100 members? How is that possible? There's something like 200 countries in the world, and many have a population in the millions. Surely it would have to be larger, right?
I'm not sure it's the right approach to ask people to approve such a Council now and then work out the details later. The details seriously matter. It sounds like it's been a long, frustrating, difficult process to even get here, but I think that's inevitable with how ambitious this idea is, and trying to get this particular charter voted in now just to have some kind of concrete progress seems to me like it would invite unintended consequences, even if in might feel nice in the moment. There are few organizations in the world of any kind that truly deserve to be called "global," I think, and those that do exist are often beset by infighting and have trouble agreeing on much—clearly it's a very difficult undertaking to form an effective organization like that, and it's something that really needs to be approached with diligent care.
Even on this page, you can see some of the difficulties. For example, the Charter, as currently written, is in a rather jargony form of English that can be challenging to translate effectively into other languages. Consequently, some people that either don't speak English or aren't very comfortable in English have found the Charter hard to make sense of, even in translation. Those sound like people who might feel a bit underserved by the rather English-centric WMF, maybe—so there probably should have been more people like that involved in drafting the Charter, right? Centering English like this might not be the best move if the goal is really to be more "global". But, then, there are over 7000 known languages spoken in the world today—so who gets a seat at the table? How can we possibly make that fair?
If I was going to approve the formation of a Global Council, I would want to be confident that its design really addressed these kinds of issues. I don't think that, just on principle, an organization like that would invitably help the WMF to be more attentive to overlooked parts of the world, even if it's supposed to—it could just as well end up distracting from that, depending on its composition and role. I think it would only make sense to approve at this kind of vague, high level if it was really obvious that it would inevitably help no matter what its composition and role ended up being, but it's just not that kind of thing. Mesocarp (talk) 10:40, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Mesocarp Agree . thanks for these insights. this is exactly why I would rather not ratify this. Sm8900 (talk) 10:57, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Mesocarp, if the global council was really meant as an active dynamic pipeline for new ideas and empowerment, then there would have been active efforts already, to move ahead with those ideas, in my opinon.
also, my real concern on this is that if this is voted into being, then those serving as the global council can decide they need to be a major governmental body, even if the community never intended for that to happen.
if this had simply been implelemented little by little without a vote, then their role could have evolved naturally. so therefore I feel that firstly this process of voting for approval for this is superfluous. and also it might give the illusion of awarding the global council some major legislative powers.
one problem in my opinion is that the mcdc think there is an obvious justification for the Global Council as a counterweight for the wmf . so there has been little communication about how it would actually work. so because of that, I feel we really need to put the brakes on this idea. Sm8900 (talk) 11:04, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Here is a video call from the page shown below. for me, this video raises a lot of questions, and doesn't provide the answers we need. and even if it did provide the answers, then it should have been displayed to the community much more prominently.
  • Video, 26 minutes
  • Recording of the MCDC open community call on April 4, 2024
feel free to comment. --Sm8900 (talk) 11:30, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
look at this!! screenshot from video above. the Global Council would only meet once a year!!! so then, how much would it actually do??!!!
Global council meeting structure details
Global council meeting structure details
Sm8900 (talk) 11:44, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree that the lack of concrete details on a good few things (especially the elections) is quite concerning. The idea is good, but it needs some more work in this regard before I would be comfortable ratifying it. QuicoleJR (talk) 14:05, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@QuicoleJR Agree ; thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 14:10, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

section break, issue of global council

Well, at least once—in practice they could meet more often, but it's hard to predict how that would end up working. (Thanks for the videos, by the way, those are interesting.) I imagine there could also be lots of informal discussion between members of the Council outside of those meetings. How this would all work out ultimately would have a large bearing on what it would actually be like to be the Council and how it would make decisions and so on, so this is just one more place where I feel like it's rather unwise to leave so much unspecified at this stage.
I think, as others have pointed out here, at least at this stage it doesn't seem clear to me how much actual say the Council would have over WMF decisions—I'm getting the impression at least that it would function in an essentially advisory role, more than a really "legislative" one, although of course that too seems rather murky right now. In any case, though, I think in terms of them being a valuable counterweight to the larger WMF, it's not really clear to me that that would happen either; unless it's really hammered out how much power they would have within the WMF, the larger organization could easily ignore their decisions and they might not end up having much practical effect at all. If we're going to endorse the formation of a council like that, it would be kind of sad if it then fizzled out for lack of impact.
I think, in theory, the idea of a body like this which is more directly accountable to the larger community than the WMF is seems to me like it could be positive, although I don't think it would necessarily be. I don't have particularly strong complaints at this time about how the WMF has proceeded, generally speaking, but anything could happen in the future, and if nothing else it might be good to have power at the WMF be a little less centralized. Also, of course it's true that the WMF is headquartered in the U.S. and is rather English-centric and so on, so it could be good to have a body of people from around the world to help keep its focus from getting too narrow. It's just, in order to really achieve this in the way it's spelled out in the Charter, I think its structure, role, responsibilities, and powers would need to be very carefully designed, far beyond what the Charter currently specifies, which I guess I've said repeatedly by now.
Naturally the Council could prove to have a malign degree of influence over the various Wikimedia projects somehow. That said, I'm honestly more worried about it either becoming an energy-draining distraction or just not accomplishing what it's supposed to accomplish and fading away. The goals for the Council are really ambitious and lofty and hard to achieve. The people on the drafting committee seem to mean very well by their efforts, it's just that even the best of intentions don't always lead to the results you would want in the end. Mesocarp (talk) 12:37, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
yup. Agree . at this point the movement charter just seems sort of like fan fiction to me; earnest, well-meaning, propelled by one enhtusiast's vision of what might be kind of new and interesting, but not actually much related to practical reality, even within its own universe, or to any of the real-world problems we are trying to face. Sm8900 (talk) 13:00, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
you said: Well, at least once—in practice they could meet more often, but it's hard to predict how that would end up working. ... I imagine there could also be lots of informal discussion between members of the Council outside of those meetings.
ok, but that's one problem, that no one really knows, at this point. to draw another anaology, at this point this seems more like a bunch of hobbyists who set up a model railroad in their basement, and meet at the local IHOP to have their own private obscure discussions, rather than any sort of actual effort to actually relate to the larger community.
as the videos make clear, the proto-global council members themselves do not really know what to expect. they meet for videos, and try to make clear sounding points, which can keep the process in conformity with what the rest of us might expect in the abstract. there's little collaboration or creative ideas going on here, in my opinion. Sm8900 (talk) 13:13, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@NPhan (WMF), we could use a little clarification here. can you please shed any light on any of this? thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 15:09, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
or @KVaidla (WMF). thanks! Sm8900 (talk) 15:11, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
here is a screenshot of the 26-minute video above. this illustrates the problem, the proposed goals for the "global council" might or might not be ok. but why are we being asked to ratify them as one of the top governing bodies? who would advocate for this? what are we being asked to agree to? what would be the agenda and the policies of this new body which will have immediate authority, with very little discussion previously for the community as a whole? and also, this will be the council for the whole movement? the whole thing? ALL of the foriegn wikipedias?? that's a whole lot of stuff!!
screenshot of Charter April call screenshot, major changes overview slide
Sm8900 (talk) 16:25, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Mesocarp you asked this question: it doesn't seem clear to me how much actual say the Council would have over WMF decisions—I'm getting the impression at least that it would function in an essentially advisory role, more than a really "legislative" one.
i have to disagree with your assessment on this. it is true that none of this seemed clear to me either at all on this, before this item. please view the screenshot. they will not be an advisory role at all. this seems to indicate full governance powers, according to this excerpt. Sm8900 (talk) 16:30, 1 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
No replies? ok,l I am just noting that for the record. Sm8900 (talk) 13:03, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
here is a noteworthy screenshot from the 48-minute call, showing the Global Council Board. so would this be the actual effective group in the council? just 5 to 15 people? and also... again, the Global Council only meets once per year???!!! what the heck?
screeenshot of april video call, showing global council board structure
screeenshot of april video call, showing global council board structure
--Sm8900 (talk) 13:29, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
gosh, do you suppose we can get the Global Council Board to issue some generic statements for the annual Global Council meeting, welcoming them, and thanking them for their service? and do you suppose we could get the Global Council Board members to make some friendly and chatty messages to some of the delegates, to make them feel like the annual meeting once every twelve months really really does have an impact?
and also could the Board members deign to send a comment or two every three or four months, letting us know they really really value community input? 'cause that would be so nice of them!! all kidding aside, what are we really creating with this "Global Council Board"? another board that is even less accountable than the wmf board? I'm sorry, but i do see some legitimate concerns here. Sm8900 (talk) 14:45, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hey, sorry, this just took me a while to get to—please don't think anything of the delay. The reason I said "essentially advisory" is because of points like this above from Nemo in "Half measures and next steps": I don't get some of the comments about the lack of accountability for the Global Council. It would just be another body of the WMF, subject to the board (which could abolish it any time, as it did with the FDC). At the moment, the Charter doesn't really specify how the Board would take or implement the suggestions or rulings of the Council; unless some solid (legal?) agreements are made to the contrary, it seems to me that the Board would de facto be free to ignore whatever the Council decided on if they wanted. Like, that may not be anyone's intention right now, but if there comes to be a serious disagreement between the Council and the larger WMF, it seems to me that the larger organization would hold all the practical power, whatever people might be saying at this stage.
This is part of why it seems so important to me to actually lay out now what powers the Council would have in procedural terms and how its decisions might be enforced. Otherwise, it seems to me that they would end up being essentially advisory, even if at this stage they're meant in the abstract to be something more than that. For a body like this to actually serve its purpose, it's important to consider what will happen in cases of serious conflict between it and other stakeholders in the organization, not only the ideal picture of how they might operate. Mesocarp (talk) 10:04, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
As a side note, when I say "the Board" there, I mean the WMF Board, not the proposed GC Board referred to in that slide. Mesocarp (talk) 10:28, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks @Mesocarp for amplyfying my thoughts in such well chosen wordings :). Maybe it's interesting for you to read the above comment of @Nemo bis: Half measures and next steps and my reaction. What the MCDC seems aiming for, what you also mention, is an organnisation with a so called two-tier board structure (see (Dual Board at en:wikipedia), a legal concept that does exist in continental Europe but does not exist in the US. Typically one of the cultural differences we did discuss earlier, differences are there but no one seems to be aware, causing mountains of misunderstanding. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 16:27, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree Sm8900 (talk) 13:38, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sorry for a late response to the earlier ping by Sm8900 - while the ping was noted in a timely manner, it was a bit difficult to parse what the question is actually about. I am providing a contextual response to the thread and then you can ask further clarification / specification questions, if needed.
Mandate of the Global Council - based on the current text of the Movement Charter it will vary according to the function. While in resource distribution matters it is on the level of accountable, i.e. decision-maker, on the field of product & technology it is described on the level of consulted, i.e. advisory. (Referring to the levels of en:Responsibility_assignment_matrix here)
Meetings of the Global Council - this is the level of detail not really to be defined by the Movement Charter itself, rather described in the Rules of Procedure of the Global Council, which ought to be determined by the Council itself. In the Supplementary Documentation there is a suggestion for Rules of Procedure of the Global Council made by the MCDC, on which we can build on.
I am available for any further specifications / clarifications. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:04, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

the slides above have never been shown to the community


I was just informed on a Telegram discussion group that the material in the screenshots above do NOT appear anywhere, EXCEPT the video calls where I obtained these screenshots. so that seems highly significant to me. by the way, these statements were made by someone who is an advocate in FAVOR of the proposed Movement Charter. Sm8900 (talk) 17:04, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Fyi, slides from one of the April consultations, for easier reading (but please be mindful this was on a previous version of the Charter, not the one that is up for ratification now, so details may have changed.) Ciell (talk) 07:29, 6 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
there is NO reference in the Movement Charter to the Global Council Board, ANYWHERE, as far as I can tell. --Sm8900 (talk) 19:15, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
never mind, I was incorrect. sorry, i was looking at section headings. my mistake. --Sm8900 (talk) 19:19, 2 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think it's worth remembering, that arguably means they're of little practical consequence at this stage. What we're actually voting on is what's in the Charter; where the content of those slides goes outside what's in the Charter, it's still an open question whether or not the community would approve. Mesocarp (talk) 10:31, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
In my opinion that's just wishful thinking. These are of major importance. We should not be having this vote to ratify in the first place. A single vote to ratify is not helpful when it will be used to impose a whole new bureaucracy and to claim we all agreed to it. Sm8900 (talk) 10:52, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
In many countries I know of, the history of discussions on a proposed law do matter much. In common law systems the discussions and opinions of the Judges do. They're used when later on, when the law did came into force, questions arise around the interpretation. So when people are willing to vote on the Charter, it's good they can find information about background, goals, discussions etc too, to get the whole picture. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 16:35, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
In wikis, the history of discussions is public, and in the context of the current vaguenesss (see below about the vague free and open only for production instead of explicit FOSS, as just one vagueness issue), the history of the discussion can be critical for interpretation, as you (Kevin Bouwens) say. Boud (talk) 11:01, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Additional materials to support understanding of the Movement Charter content


Following the requests of the community members from previous conversations, the supporting staff of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee has pulled together a high level summary of the Movement Charter itself, as well as an analysis of the Movement Charter content to highlight new proposals, changes to current situation, and matters that remain the same in Charter content areas.

There has been an unfortunate slight delay in getting these materials online, yet with the process support staff we hope these materials can inform the rest of the ratification vote and also function as a good basis for future discussions and next steps.

As the content analysis is of qualitative nature, there can be differences of interpretation, which would be good to discuss on the talk page, so we can collectively amend the overview, if needed. Thank you for your very kind attention! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 10:54, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for offering this information @KVaidla (WMF). Can you please also offer a complete set of the now applicable Guidelines and Policies approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. In case the Drafting Committee is not endorsing all 'rules' that are now 'in force', please mention the specific rule. Only so each person interested and/or involved can make an independent analyses of what we now have in the field of values, norms, rights, duties, protection and responsibilities, and what we will have, or have not when the Charter eventually comes into power. Background of this request: to me it seems that volunteers will be legally in a more unprotected situation under the rules of the Charter than they are now. Thanks for your engagement! Kevin Bouwens (talk) 17:04, 4 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree Sm8900 (talk) 13:39, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for this clarification, Kevin Bouwens. We have previously done a mapping of Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees decisions that have had a global scope or impact based on different categories, which can be found in this public spreadsheet. Essentially, the current Movement Charter text generally maintains autonomy of the content decisions to the communities, continues to see collaborative efforts on user safety bewteen project communities and Wikimedia Foundation, maintains the key platform and brand decisions with the Wikimedia Foundation with parties consulted in the processes, and moves key ecosystem, resourcing and global strategy decisions to the Global Council.
Especially, when stating community rights, the current Charter text says: "Wikimedia project communities have editorial control of the content in their individual Wikimedia projects. The framework of global policies, including the Terms of Use for the Wikimedia project websites, establishes this editorial control." (see the Movement Charter content page)
At the same time, the Strategic Planning and Technology Advancement functions of the Global Council (see Global Council functions section)might have a direct impact on particular policies, which is somewhat difficult to determine based on the rather high level of the current text.
I am available for further specifications on that matter. Thank you for your very kind attention! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 11:36, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks @KVaidla (WMF), will study it. One very short formulated legally unnuanced remark to the phrase: "Wikimedia project communities have editorial control of the content in their individual Wikimedia projects. The framework of global policies, including the Terms of Use for the Wikimedia project websites, establishes this editorial control." This might give project communities a right, but formulated this way it quite possibly will also bring heavy weight obligations for the communities as a whole, and for their individual members for content edited by others, including legal liability. The Chapter does not bring any protection for communities and their members, like legal aid or an insurance against litigation. See my comment on "Wikimedia Deutschland’s Appeal to the WMF Board of Trustees and in Dutch here. The analyses comes from a person educated and experienced in continental civil law. There's much more to say, but please bring the keywords to the attention of people who have been educated on a university level in legal and did work at least some years recently in the field. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 06:55, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

FOSS is missing not written clearly in the proposed Movement Charter


The charter uses the jargon "technology" to talk about software, e.g. in the section that most closely talks about software: Technology Advancement. A fundamental flaw is that the requirement to require Wikimedia Movement software to be FOSS (free and open-source software) is missing unclear (edit). A secondary flaw is that the words "software" and "computer servers" should be used explicitly (optionally along with "and/or other technology").

FOSS is fundamental to the Wikimedia Movement and to the maintenance of our independence from authoritarian organisations opposed to free knowledge. The use of non-FOSS is discriminatory, subjecting participants to privacy violation and extra computer security risks; it opposes the health of our community as a dynamical system (loosely called "ecosystem"). The failure to unambiguously (edit) emphasize FOSS subjects participants to increased likelihood of Embrace, extend, and extinguish and vendor lock-in tactics by GAFAM/BATX whose aim is maximising advertising revenue while pretending to be "open".

The free knowledge community fundamentally requires that "we control the software, the software must not control us". This requires explicit statements about FOSS being a requirement in software choices. There should be no freedom to shift to non-freedom. Temporary compromises due to ignorance about practical choices - "the tyranny of convenience" - should be tolerated, but treated explicitly as temporary, unsustainable, risky exceptions only.

The parts of the Charter implicitly mentioning software ("technology") should be rewritten to very explicitly give overriding priority to FOSS. Boud (talk) 04:42, 5 July 2024 (UTC) (clarifications; see more below Boud (talk) 19:44, 5 July 2024 (UTC))Reply

Agreed. The text fails to be inspirational also because it uses roundabout expressions like "Free and open licensing" and de-emphasizes "Free knowledge". Usually free software would be implicit in free knowledge, but by adding expressions often linked to openwashing and SaaSS, as well as mentioning open(source) only for software produced by Wikimedia, the text may appear to weaken the right to fork.
Something more concise like Sj's draft doesn't produce such an aftertaste because of the emphasis on the traditional goal of free knowledge. Nemo 07:26, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I missed the Free and open licensing paragraph, but you're right that it's too vague, given the openwashing. The other problem you correctly point to is that the paragraph Free and open licensing limits what loosely sounds like FOSS to production. That would literally allow unchecked increase in dependence on non-free (proprietary) software, with vendor lock-in and EEE. Currently, it looks like lots of vendor lock-in is handcuffing many Wikimedia communities - e.g. with audiovideo chats handcuffing Wikimedia participants to Zoom secretly-managed (i.e. unsecure) software and servers instead of having the freedom of BigBlueButton or Jitsi. Boud (talk) 10:55, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Your section heading is wrong, "Free and open licensing" is the very first listed of the three fundamental principles. You seem to be ascribing quite unrelated things to our text, the purpose of the language is exactly to highlight FOSS, and that is where we got pushback from the Wikimedia Foundation board members, because they believed this should not be a fundamental value. Pharos (talk) 17:27, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'd say to them not only is it important for content, but also for software use within the Movement, not least because it furthers the goal of equity. If you don't control it, you don't know who it's reporting to - perhaps the same authoritarian government that doesn't approve of participation? (Popular services have similar issues, but might be harder to crack.) GreenReaper (talk) 19:28, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Pharos: Thanks - I've modified the section title. I hadn't read the full text thoroughly enough. As for the WMF board members objecting to the vague, but prominent (you're correct here) placement of what can arguably be interpreted as FOSS for, at least, things that are "produced", that is appalling. Several WMF leaders get their fat salaries (those who receive salaries) thanks to FOSS and a huge community of volunteers, most of whom cooperate with the expectation that our time investment will, in the long term, benefit all of humanity, and not just maximise advertising revenue and increase the Gini index. Boud (talk) 19:44, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree , Sj's draft addresses many things much better. Sm8900 (talk) 13:41, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sj's draft looks OK to me as a rough draft - though it would probably be better to get into the <translation>...</translation> format earlier rather than later. Otherwise we're back to exacerbating the problem of English speakers dominating the creation of the document.
It looks to me like there's one huge difference between that and the currently proposed charter: Sj's draft makes the Global Council very powerful as an advisory body, but with legally non-binding advisory power only, while the proposed charter gives the Global Council legally binding power over the WMF. It's not clear to me which is better in that sense: I can see arguments both ways. Boud (talk) 21:12, 5 July 2024 (UTC) (correction: see below Boud (talk) 12:03, 7 July 2024 (UTC))Reply
I read @Sj's attempt as a summary, not a completely different set of powers or something. It just isn't intuitively obvious to me whether the current Charter draft is giving GC advisory powers or binding ones Soni (talk) 18:48, 6 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Soni and Boud: yes I was trying to summarize and clarify things that are a bit ambiguous in the current charter draft [CCD], not to change the set of powers. I emphasized the full extent of advisory roles which are left only implied in the CCD. And avoided overstating the role of a council-mediated movement strategy, since having a legally binding strategy would be new for the movement, and new in this draft vs all previous draft, and would need more elaboration than has been provided to be able to work at all. I agree that there are a couple of sentences in the CCD that seem to imply the council could unilaterally, via a regularly updated movement strategy, determine what the WMF and any affiliates could or could not do. I don't think that was the intent, but it may be a sticking point in the current draft for anxious analysts. –SJ talk  19:08, 6 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Soni, Boud, and Sj: Yes, I can confirm that Sj's understanding of GC powers is just the same as we had in writing the current charter draft. The advisory power is meant to be a moral one, not a legally binding requirement; basically if the WMF or another entity wants go in a different direction from a council-mediated movement strategy, they would be expected to give a pretty good explanation to the communities for their departure from consensus strategy.--Pharos (talk) 00:29, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Soni, Sj, and Pharos: I guess that the non-binding aspect is actually present in the text of the current charter: in Movement Charter#Wikimedia Foundation: WMF should align its work ... WMF is expected to contribute ... is also expected to work towards ... such as those established by the Global Council in consultation with ... Guided by Movement Values and Principles of Decision-Making, WMF can decide its composition and governance in accordance with this Charter, ... WMF works closely with the Global Council (bold added). Thanks for the clarifications. Boud (talk) 12:00, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Pharos, I want to thank you for engaging here, and for your helpful and informative replies, especially specifically above. and I want to say I truly appreciate the hard work and effort by you and everyone on the mcdc. I may disagree with some specific methods, but I still have a real gratitude and respect to all of you, for your hard work, and also your genuine desire and commitment to make Wikipedia better as a whole.
if the charter is not binding on wmf, then I suppose that does strengthen one area which is a main concern of mine, namely the emphasis on dialogue, rather than on new processes that are obligatory. so even though some might feel that a process that is simply advisory might be somewhat less desirable, for me it simply signifies that we are preserving one central part of our community, namely willingness to engage, and a reliance that people on all sides will respect an open discussion process. thanks!! Sm8900 (talk) 13:35, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree I reiterate that the free knowledge community fundamentally requires that "we control the software, the software must not control us". It is my position that free knowledge is not ideal enough without free software. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 21:43, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Global Council representation


Will the Global Council use the trustee model of representation, or will it use the delegate model of representation? Will its members be subject to recall? Gluonz (talk) 18:20, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

The trustee model. There is no specific recall mechanism delineated, though it's not precluded. The primary mechanism of representation is through regular elections, and terms are recommended to be 3 years, as discussed in the Supplementary documents. Pharos (talk) 18:53, 5 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

This version or another, we need a Movement Charter!


Wikimedians are everywhere calling for decentralization and community empowerment, even if we don't all see the same route to get there yet. With important decisions facing us all (e.g. how we react to political, technological and financial pressures), we need the wisdom of everyone to get to the right answers, and that's ultimately what a Movement Charter is for. Whether the current text passes or not, a further round of revision is certainly warranted, and I'll do whatever I can to incorporate comments from this round and to launch a new on-wiki process for the next one.

I'll share here the quote I gave recently to the English Wikipedia Signpost:

Each of the three voting stakeholder groups (Wikimedia Foundation, affiliates, and communities) has their own valuable perspective on advancing our shared vision of free knowledge, and naturally believes theirs is the wisest course and pace of change, and it has been the drafters' rocky path to reconcile all these.

Here is a referendum not just on this specific text, but on whether we are willing to evolve our institutions in response to a rapidly changing and challenging world – in addition to saying "yes" or "no", we urge you to take advantage of the write-in comment to express what you like and dislike, and if you support the principle but not the final product, tell us to "try again", as this unique opportunity for change will fade away without your continued voice.

Pharos (talk) 04:32, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Kudos @Pharos for your engagement and power. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 19:12, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I disagree that a charter is the way to do this. Rather than try to get everything into one central document that addresses all issues and then never changes (or, at the very least, is very difficult to change), let's iterate solutions aimed at addressing real problems. We don't need to spend time worrying about a list of values or a description of movement bodies - we need some better way to allow affiliates and hubs to control their funding, a better way to involve the community in technology decision-making processes, and some kind of coherent strategy as a movement moving forward (trying to figure out to what extent we want to grow vs build up what we have, and how that relates to fundraising decisions). You recognize the need to evolve our institutions, yet the product here is one that will largely lock us in without addressing the core problems that our movement faces, instead relying on the hope that the new institution established through the charter, the council, will solve these problems for us. – Ajraddatz (talk) 21:00, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
The locked-in situation is the one we are in right now, and have been for some time. When there isn't any sort of constitutional document, it's impossible to amend the governance in any direction, and decision-making always defaults to the entity with the most power and resources.
The only real way around this is occasional extraordinary expenditures of volunteer effort like the COLOR letter, which I was a part of (but do not wish to repeat, it took way too much out of my life at the height of covid!). We need more regular, democratized channels for community input than we have currently, and the Global Council is one way toward this, but there are others potential ways too, such as reforms to the Wikimedia Foundation Bylaws. Pharos (talk) 02:37, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Why would the presence of a constitutional document impact our ability to change governance structures? The WMF and board as it currently exists did not come about a result of a movement charter, so why would we need one to bring about a different form of governance? (and mandatory comment that this seems to be very American thinking, many whole countries exist with an informal or only partially codified constitution)
The way around it would be coming up with a coherent vision of what governance should look like absent from or in addition to the board, and work to make that a reality. As I doubt any large portion of the movement would immediately agree on what that looks like, the option turns to resolving the smaller scale problems we have now and then re-evaluating governance structures as we go - again, through an iterative process. And it still isn't clear to me what core problems the charter (or rather the "new" parts of the charter, which have only very recently been explicitly identified) are attempting to resolve. This is backwards problem solving - the solution should be coming after the problem, and these giant constitutional documents should be created because they are needed and useful, not out of a vague sense that they will help to change movement governance in a way that could not be otherwise accomplished, while punting any actual solutions down the line. – Ajraddatz (talk) 04:49, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
The core problem it fixes is, that it gives the global community a voice that it currently doesn't have. Right now the WMF can pick and choose who they listen to, divide us, make us angry at volunteer committees that aren't funded properly by the WMF, and they can roll right over us on any issue that has to do with funding or fundraising. With a movement charter and a global council those representative and decision-making processes would become more distributed, transparent and fair. This might not necessarily feel like a big issue for a North American, but are definitely felt more in other parts of the world that have to deal with an American organisation and its toxic work culture on a daily basis. Philip Kopetzky (talk) 17:11, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree with all of that - but a movement charter seems to not be the best way of doing that. A movement charter necessarily gets bogged down in all sorts of details that nobody cares about in the end - the only substantive addition in this version is the global council and we don't reach that until 3/4ths down the page. Why not instead focus our time and energy on a solution to the problem? If the problem is that the WMF controls everything, let's make a global council that acts as a legislature to the WMF's executive. Let's focus our efforts on creating (and iterating) that council - start with the basics, like the council approves the WMF budget each year. Then expand from there - maybe we add on a global council board to take a more leadership role, maybe the GCB eventually overtakes the WMF board as the movement executive and instead turns its focus strictly to the management of the WMF as it probably should, maybe the WMF eventually becomes one of a number of Wikimedia-related non-profits that are all on a more equal footing. To do that though we would need to a) identify a problem and focus our efforts on finding a solution to that problem, b) not worry about all the noise around the charter (values, movement entities etc), c) create a system flexible enough that it can grow into its role, as opposed to trying to get it all right (and yet somehow leave the specifics very lacking) at once for a grand vote. This approach just ain't it, in my opinion. – Ajraddatz (talk) 22:57, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Ajraddatz Agree 100%. Sm8900 (talk) 23:53, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Philip Kopetzky, in my opinion, if that were accurate, the movement council drafting committee would already have made their voices felt, in numerous public forums, calling for greater public deliberation and group discussion. in my opinion they haven't done so.
I agree fully that we need the community engagement that you describe. i do not agree that this proposed movement charter is the way to do so.
for me, this simply an arcane new set of rules which will add a new bureacracy which is even more aracane, and a new "global council board" which was presented in the charter as mere facilitators, but which in reality imho will be a small group holding most of the actual roles, and most of the real involvement in any of these new and semi-understood governmental bodies. Sm8900 (talk) 17:16, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think how that role is filled out will be up to the first (interim) Global Council to work and iterate on, obviously with feedback from those affected by and involved in their processes. The charter can't be an operational manual due to its nature. The global council is supposed to become the core of decision-making in Wikimedia and replace parts of the WMF, not add new bureaucracy on top.
In an ideal scenario the Global Council only handles the most far-reaching issues with a global impact/mandate. Everything else would be devolved to the layers below, be it regional, local or in an online project. It is not supposed to act as a global group deciding local or regional issues as some WMF committees do right now, rather the contrary. Only topics that regional hubs like the CEE Hub would not be able or willing to handle would land in front of the Global Council. And in exact opposition to the current processes around the WMF, there would be a chain of information and accountability from the bottom to the top and vice versa. Philip Kopetzky (talk) 17:22, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hear hear, @Ajraddatz, that articulates my opinions and stances very well. May I add that it would be wise to make an inventarisation of all Guidelines, Policies and (civil law) provisions that are currently in power; draw a set of purposes and goals and than having the Charter reviewed by experts in various fields, to check whether the text covers all issues. All elements missing could indeed also be integrated in existing WMF Bylaws, Guidelines and Policies, the WMF could get a kind of supervisory board (two-tier Board system) where at least the volunteers from different cultures should have a direct voice (not via Chapters) and tech development experts. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 07:27, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agreed, @Ajraddatz, i agree with your approach here indeed. Sm8900 (talk) 13:10, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Ajraddatz, in my opinion, some flaws which falls in line with your comments are that the Movement Charter Drafting Committee should have
  • promoted actual usage of existing forums , plus new ones like the MS forums, in an active way during the drafting, to discuss many of the larger problems and issues, and to highlight their focus on increased input.
  • the committee should have sought out active community input, whenever major changes were made to the draft, and also when new questions needed to be addressed like the new GC board.
  • the charter should be fully open to community consensus and editing, at every stage, and should rely on ongoing consensus for approval, not a single vote to ratify which will then mean it is very hard to amend after that. Sm8900 (talk) 13:16, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
On the second point I'm not sure why you're assuming that there was a full draft before April 2024 and therefore a reason to request major active community input. That's one of the issues, that it took until 2024 to get to a full draft. Philip Kopetzky (talk) 17:13, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Free knowledge


The current text for explaining "free knowledge" requires modification. Similar to Free Software, the "free" refers to freedom not cost. This is reflected in wikipedia page too. In this regard, I propose replacement of "free of charge and openly licensed knowledge" with "freely and openly licensed knowledge". I made this change but it got reverted. Ahangarha (talk) 23:52, 7 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

What is your goal


This is a banner -> "k i s s"

What do you wanna achieve with the change? Why so complicated? Alien4 (talk) 15:34, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Discussion on the Movement Charter from the Indian representatives' meeting


Hi, here is the summary of the discussion on the Movement Charter from the Indian representatives' meeting. The link to the meeting is here. Regards Nitesh (CIS-A2K) (talk) 17:19, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Nitesh (CIS-A2K), thanks for this helpful link. I note from your post: . Nearly two third of the attending members had supportive opinions towards the charter. any chance of asking them to come here, to this page, to review some of the points here on both sides of this issue? I would greatly appreciate it. Sm8900 (talk) 17:24, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Ratification is only the beginning, community consensus is the wiki way


We are nearing the final day of voting. I believe that the Charter is likely to pass, and it represents a progress in making the Movement more "inclusive and participatory" under the Movement_Strategy/Principles, but this is far from the end.

Still, this is not The wiki way which reads "make bad edits easy to correct, rather than hard to make" or en:WP:BOLD which reads "BOLD, revert, discuss". We saw how community consensus that created policies of the English Wikipedia and others surpassed the quality of this very Charter beyond a reasonable doubt.

Only 1746 members took part in the UCoC ratification vote, and only 1300 members took part in the UCoC inaugural election, significantly fewer will participate in policy edits and discussions so deliberation and decorum may be maintained. Uninvolved closer will seek advice and consent of the General Counsel where the WMF Board is exposed to legal liability.

We must be able to trust community consensus to make excellent judgments, as a testament of the ideals and success of the project itself. Fear not, former and current WMF Board and Global Council members will still be able to use their invaluable experience and wisdom to help form community consensus, and it will enjoy more legitimacy this way and won't suffer en:Democratic deficit. Let's discuss! Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 21:39, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Last-minute rubber-stampy vibes can and should be avoided... even with volunteers like us... who do actually care and can contribute constructively when given a chance!


Rule #1 of consensus- and community building, is: make sure everybody's voice is reflected, heard - and included.

While I want to applaud the effort it took to get here - and to something that the most diverse and inclusive technical collaboration project that humanity has conceived of - can reach some consensus on - essentially by drafting a charter that is generic enough to avoid many of the criticisms shared here (by leaving things open ended enough so as to be determined by the people that they would apply to.) - I do want to note the following:

Instead of a deadline for a vote, there should've been at least one internal deadline to make sure that everyone KNOWS that this process is still ongoing and that a vote will be upcoming. Nobody from the charter committee, nor any ambassadors, met with- nor prompted our chapter leaders to mention it to our chapter (to my knowledge, or according to our minutes), and hence, many of us have have been out of the loop, as, presumably, many of our members are about the current state. (Perhaps exacerbated by anecdotal remarks made about it by "top WMF brass", I got the impression that the process was dead, and as such, I have not even bothered to look it up... and voila, out of the blue: we must vote. With one week notice, to catch up on ... 5? years of discussion?)

Can this charter mitigate the precipitation of such circumstances in future? I believe it can.

It essentially aims to officialise more decisionmaking as well as instructions "from the bottom up" aka "subsidiarity", but via representatives.

TLDR; The movement charter focus is on facilitating strategic direction, standards and dispute resolution, not on overriding local policies.

ELI5: It establishes a "Global Council" that will consist of 25 people with 5 board members, up to 100 people and 20 board members by 2030, essentially an independent body that will work alongside the WMF, and tell us what to do and how to do it, based on processes that our representatives managed to build consensus on within the council.

So the only times it will tell us to do something we didn't tell it to tell us, is if the latency loop gets too big? In seriousness, you have to ask yourself: Are you heard now? Yes or no?

Do you think that representatives who can keep us on track, and accountable, and who are tasked with listening to us and codifing the issues that you feel strongly about (and possibly raised here) - would be able to change that? Should your representatives have more power than they have now? Or do you perhaps need to be one of those representatives - to make sure we improve?

In my few hours in the last week, of catching up, it appears to me that this is what the vote is about. If you're okay with that, be sure to ratify it. And then make sure that people with a proven track record to engage constructively with those issues, get on the council. Dagelf (talk) 23:21, 8 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

you said:
  • It establishes a "Global Council" that will consist of 25 people with 5 board members, up to 100 people and 20 board members by 2030, essentially an independent body that will work alongside the WMF, and tell us what to do and how to do it, based on processes that our representatives managed to build consensus on within the council. imho.... its first focus will be carving out a role for itself to highlight and emphasize its own importance, and it will claim this is all just to serve "the people." please note, this is just my own opinion, as I will be the first to admit.
  • , I got the impression that the process was dead, and as such, I have not even bothered to look it up... and voila, out of the blue: we must vote. With one week notice, to catch up on ... 5? years of discussion?) imho.... its discussions will likely continue to occur in various out-of-the-way venues where high-level decisions can be made, with lesser visibility to the public. and also... since the charter focuses mainly on various abstract concepts, and not on tangible grassroots processes, and since the charter focuses mainly on creating the powers of the global council itself, then that is likely where the global council's focus will mainly be. again, this is just my own opinion, as I will be the first to admit.
  • It establishes a "Global Council" that will consist of 25 people with 5 board members, up to 100 people and 20 board members by 2030, essentially an independent body that will work alongside the WMF, and tell us what to do and how to do it, based on processes that our representatives managed to build consensus on within the council. I have news for you. as far as i can tell, the global council would meet only once a year. all power actually resides with the board which does all the actual work. the Global Council itself will meet only once a year, except for whichever small cliques may form and may meet more often than that.
For the sake of the process, I hope that maybe I am incorrect. I will be glad to keep an open mind, if possible. Sm8900 (talk) 00:03, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Fair comment. The only reporting requirement built in, is "annual". The flip side to that is, a year is short in Wikimedia-time.
I'm in two minds:
1) Currently we've had no input into who gets to decide over us, this will give us more input.
2) If we're unhappy with how things are run, we will need to get "55%". So we might need more information on where that came from. That might drown out minority concerns, working against the intent and wording of the charter,it might entrench initial voices, or it might actually select for solid common ground.

An open question I'm trying to understand right now is: What are the pros and cons of this charter being vague/general? Are there areas that shouldn't be vague/abiguous?

This being my first impression and chance to really consider what this has become - and not having a good frame of reference for something like this, I can imagine this to be a tricky balance. Where is the conversation about this? Should "assume good faith" apply to the rules of a new vehicle of power, like this - or is this the time to assume the opposite? Ie. We've all seen how politics work - say and do the right things until you have power, and then sneak in your ulterior motives, hidden behind a cloak of apparent transparency, incompetence and/or plausible deniability - systems theory dictates that where there is money on the table, things like this tend to select for master manipulators, overt or not. If we can conceive of all the ways in which a vehicle like this can be subverted, either by malintent, or by being taken by a counter productive ideology, could better measures be drafted? I'm sure this conversation has been had, many times, the conversation about "what should this be vague about and what not", but has it been documented?

My personal experience is that relationships end because of a fear you had right when it started. It might be because we hyperstitiously will our fears into being, either by thinking we've got it covered so we drop our guard, or because we don't adequately examine our concerns up front. Not sure if it translates to committees. Intuitively the only change I would make is a lower threshold for being able to remedy things. 55% does not select for including a minority voice. On the other hand, a balance need to be struck and a vehicle like this needs to be stable and dare I say, bulletproof. (These are my opinions, not those of my chapter.)
All things considered, the current wording does a great job of answering these questions, and I am not sure if contradictions or ambiguity can be avoided. Can it still be improved? Yes.
The biggest contradiction, for me, is the sentence at the beginning "actively avoids all biases". Avoids it where and how? Avoiding bias IS a bias. Knowledge about biases is valuable knowledge, and not documenting those is a knowledge gap. Also, "all" biases? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases - eg. "strives to avoid bias in decisionmaking" would seem to be much more reasonable.
It will be a major triumph if this goes through. It puts more responsibility on our community, and its members, who have already self selected to a large extent. Dagelf (talk) 08:05, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
You can either approach this with fear or hope, and I choose hope ;-) Philip Kopetzky (talk) 08:32, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
You rightly mentioned "55% does not select for including a minority voice", I believe there should be a page where recurring minority voices can be documented, and a standard procedure in place to affirmatively advocate the changes to the rest of the Movement. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 12:41, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Quorums for current SecurePoll votes


I can't seem to find where we have posted this (although I'm sure we did, somewhere), but the quorums for the ongoing votes are as follows:

  • 84 affiliate votes (50% of 167 eligible affiliates)
  • 2346 individual votes (2% of 117,275 eligible accounts).

As of this writing, neither group has reached quorum, but there is still 22.75 hours left to vote. Risker (talk) 01:17, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

In WBUG's case we've left discussion open until six hours before the end to provide the maximum time for people to express their opinion while also allowing time to write up and submit the vote. Even having had half an hour of a meeting largely on it and posting on mailing list, Mastodon and Telegram, it can be hard to get opinions, because it's a lot to consider at once (one of my personal concerns with it). GreenReaper (talk) 17:33, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

UPDATE: Quorum has now been reached in both the affiliate and the individual votes. Risker (talk) 18:40, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

CIS-A2K's thoughts on the movement charter


The Wikimedia Movement Charter ("Charter") is a beacon, guiding our endeavour to democratise access to knowledge. This Charter delineates the shared values, principles, and policy framework for all associated with the Wikimedia Movement. It is a democratic, inclusive document that encompasses every participant, entity, project, and space within the movement.

The Charter's commitment to engage with multiple languages is a pivotal stride toward realising its vision of bringing free knowledge to the world. In a multilingual country like India, this commitment holds immense significance. With hundreds of languages and dialects spoken across the country, the potential to generate and share knowledge is vast, and yet, it remains largely untapped.

The Charter supports the creation of content in a multitude of languages, thereby promoting diversity and inclusion. The richness of India's linguistic diversity can thus contribute significantly to the Wikimedia Movement. Moreover, the Charter backs the development of tools and technologies for content translation and localization, which will ensure that language barriers do not inhibit access to knowledge.

However, the question that arises here is: Is this enough? Yes, the Charter engages with multiple languages, but does it delve deep enough into the challenges of doing so, especially in a linguistically diverse context like India? Addressing this issue requires more than just commitment; it necessitates a robust, implementable strategy that includes translation technologies, linguistic research, and community engagement. This could include fostering partnerships with local communities and institutions for language research and content creation, investing in the development of advanced translation and localization tools, and implementing language-focused outreach programs.

While the Charter takes significant steps towards a more equitable knowledge society, there are areas that warrant further attention. A glaring omission is the lack of critical engagement with emerging technologies, specifically Artificial Intelligence (AI). As AI continues to shape our digital landscape, it is imperative for the Wikimedia Movement to critically engage with it, considering both its potential benefits and pitfalls.

The use of AI can revolutionise content creation, translation, and dissemination, but it also brings forth concerns about data privacy, algorithmic biases, and the digital divide. The Charter, in its current form, does not sufficiently address these issues. To make a better Charter, we must incorporate a comprehensive strategy for engaging with AI, one that ensures its use aligns with the Movement's commitment to free, fair, and inclusive knowledge.

The Charter could also enhance its provisions for capacity building, particularly for under-resourced regions or communities. This includes training, funding, and infrastructure support, which are often crucial for democratizing access to knowledge.

While South Asian voices are present in the Wikimedia Movement, their representation is not commensurate with the region's size and diversity. This underrepresentation could lead to the concerns of South Asian wikimedia communities not being adequately heard on global platforms. To address this, the Charter could lay out specific mechanisms for ensuring fair and proportional representation. This might include reserved seats for underrepresented regions on decision-making bodies, or setting up regional councils that can effectively channel the concerns of local communities to the global platform. Furthermore, there's a need to provide support for local communities. Who will be this support provider and how do we facilitate this process in a truly democratic way?

So, do we need a Movement Charter?

Yes, we do. The Charter serves as a guiding document that unifies the Movement's diverse entities under a shared vision. However, its true potential lies in its ability to evolve. To make a better Charter, we must continuously scrutinise its contents, encourage open discussions, and readily adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. The Movement Charter is a significant milestone in our pursuit of free knowledge. However, it is not the destination. The journey requires us to constantly reflect, adapt, and innovate. In essence, making the Charter better involves an ongoing process of reflection, engagement, and adaptation. It requires openness to feedback, willingness to confront challenging questions, and a commitment to evolve in response to the changing needs of the Wikimedia Movement. By doing so, the Charter can truly embody its vision of bringing free knowledge to the entire world.

- On behalf of CIS-A2K, Pavan (CIS-A2K) (talk) 13:46, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

I absolutely agree with you on language. English Wikipedia is great, but the glaring problem of the project is the rest of the languages. AI could help solve this, but we need to heavily invest to create a truly multilingual worldwide Movement. We are too heavily focused on governance, but we haven't tackled the most pressing problem.
I agree with you on reserved seats. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 14:19, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sir Kenneth Kho I absolutely agree with you on this: we need to heavily invest to create a truly multilingual worldwide Movement. would you be open to please try the Movement Strategy Forums, as one useful and relevant resoruce? they offer instant translation, which in my opinion can hugely help us to approach this important goal. Sm8900 (talk) 16:47, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I believe it is a step forward, but the goal of the forum is to "improve community collaboration on a multilingual platform" (community discussions), and I believe the Google Translate used is sufficient there. However, this is far from addressing the goal of "bringing free knowledge to the world" (writing encyclopedia) pushed by CIS-A2K. Automated tools can help, but quality encyclopedia needs volunteers. English Wikipedia has disproportionately more volunteers, an equitable solution would be to use donors' money to increase manpower for underserved languages. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 18:12, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sir Kenneth Kho: As pointed out above, FOSS is our first fundamental principle. Please take that seriously. Using Google Translate should be avoided, as it defeats the whole point of developing an open knowledge community. Google Translate is an anti-community service: it is not run with FOSS on servers that are managed transparently by an open community. It does not allow people to fork and run the software and use the source data on their own servers using free licences. There already exists https://libretranslate.org as one example of a front-end to the MIT/Expat-licensed Argos backend: Free and Open Source Machine Translation API, entirely self-hosted. Unlike other APIs, it doesn't rely on proprietary providers such as Google or Azure to perform translations. Instead, its translation engine is powered by the open source Argos Translate library. There are quite likely other FOSS translators available, and forks or branches of Argos/libretranslate are quite likely to develop, especially if Wikimedia community members take our first principle seriously rather than yielding to the #TyrannyOfConvenience . Boud (talk) 17:59, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
I do not endorse Google Translate at all, and although I am not too familiar with FOSS subject matter, I probably agree with you. I was specifically advocating for WMF to hire writers for underserved languages, whom the community may direct. I criticized automated tools as unfit for writing encyclopedia, and only fit for forum discussion which was created recently by WMF. The name of the Forum is Movement Strategy Forums, WMF chose the use of Google Translate there, and I didn't discuss the merits of Google Translate vs automated translation alternatives. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 21:31, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the clarification :). I do recommend that you read up at least the basics of FOSS - no need to become an expert, but at least having an initial impression of where a key part of the underlying power of the Wikimedia community comes from would be useful: software + servers + people are part of a strongly interacting dynamical system. This is not the first time that WMF makes a bad choice or recommendation - after all, that's one of the reasons for creating the Movement Charter and Global Council. Boud (talk) 12:22, 13 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Movement Charter must be easy to amend until 2030


This is in line with Movement Strategy to evaluate, iterate, and adapt as we go. On-wiki development might be needed, where anyone can edit a draft until ratified annually. Currently, none of us are confident this is the final version.

I did some digging, this suggestion was broadly supported by community consensus during Talk:Movement_Charter/Archive_1, it's not too late to continue. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 13:49, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Agree Sm8900 (talk) 16:48, 9 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for your participation in the Movement Charter ratification vote!


You can find this message translated into additional languages on Meta-wiki. Please help translate to your language

Hello everyone,

Thank you to 2451 individuals and the 129 affiliates for participating in the Wikimedia Movement Charter ratification vote. Thank you to those who shared additional feedback together with the vote!

We will now proceed with scrutinizing the votes. The results will be published as soon as possible, not later than the end of July 2024. We will then follow up with an overview of the next steps, depending on the result of the vote.

On behalf of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee and the Charter Electoral Commission, Iwuala Lucy (talk) 06:00, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Is it correct that from the "hundreds of thousands of people around the world" (see Wikimedia Foundation Website) only this small amount did vote? Thanks. Kevin Bouwens (talk) 14:58, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
This has always been the case, which is why I believe the wiki way is more practical than referendums, similar to how English Wikipedia's policies developed. Sir Kenneth Kho (talk) 21:37, 10 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Results of Board vote and resolution by Board; next steps


The Board has announced the results of its vote on the proposed Movement Charter. The vote was almost unanimous, to decline the proposed Movement Charter,

I hope these links are helpful. I would suggest that anyone can discuss these items, at the respective talk pages, or here at this talk page. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:20, 11 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

this page url, from the Russia wikipedia, was posted on a group thread on Telegram, as being relevant to this topic.
--Sm8900 (talk) 17:39, 11 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks Sm8900 for pointing out. --Kevin Bouwens (talk) 12:05, 14 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Wikimedia Movement Charter ratification voting results


For optional translations of the message by the CEC see the page "results of the ratification vote". The message is translated on a volunteer basis, so your preferred language may not be available (yet).

Hello everyone,

After carefully tallying both individual and affiliate votes, the Charter Electoral Commission is pleased to announce the final results of the Wikimedia Movement Charter voting.  

As communicated by the Charter Electoral Commission, we reached the quorum for both Affiliate and individual votes by the time the vote closed on July 9, 23:59 UTC. We thank all 2,451 individuals and 129 Affiliate representatives who voted in the ratification process. Your votes and comments are invaluable for the future steps in Movement Strategy.

The final results of the Wikimedia Movement Charter ratification voting held between 25 June and 9 July 2024 are as follows: 

Individual vote:

Out of 2,451 individuals who voted as of July 9 23:59 (UTC), 2,446 have been accepted as valid votes. Among these, 1,710 voted “yes”; 623 voted “no”; and 113 selected “–” (neutral). Because the neutral votes don’t count towards the total number of votes cast, 73.30% voted to approve the Charter (1710/2333), while 26.70% voted to reject the Charter (623/2333).

Affiliates vote:

Out of 129 Affiliates designated voters who voted as of July 9 23:59 (UTC), 129 votes are confirmed as valid votes. Among these, 93 voted “yes”; 18 voted “no”; and 18 selected “–” (neutral). Because the neutral votes don’t count towards the total number of votes cast, 83.78% voted to approve the Charter (93/111), while 16.22% voted to reject the Charter (18/111).

Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation:

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees voted not to ratify the proposed Charter during their special Board meeting on July 8, 2024. The Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Natalia Tymkiv, shared the result of the vote, the resolution, meeting minutes and proposed next steps.  

With this, the Wikimedia Movement Charter in its current revision is not ratified.

We thank you for your participation in this important moment in our movement’s governance.

The Charter Electoral Commission,

Abhinav619, Borschts, Iwuala Lucy, Tochiprecious, Der-Wir-Ing
Borschts Talk 14:55, 18 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

What a sad and coward outcome. Siebrand (talk) 15:22, 18 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Siebrand: Briefly and clearly, can you say why you feel this way? Make it obvious. Bluerasberry (talk) 15:52, 18 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • What about the comments? An essential part of the voting process was the free text comment field where voters could post comments, and I thought that comments would become public. Any schedule for that or update on the publishing process? Bluerasberry (talk) 15:52, 18 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
    @Bluerasberry As I understand, the WMF and CEC are working to make the dump of the vote available asap: a comprehensive summary of the feedback comments will be available before Wikimania. Ciell (talk) 16:37, 18 July 2024 (UTC)Reply
What exactly is being meant with 'individuals'? Are these the people contributing as volunteers to the Wikimedia projects? When yes, I think it might be fair to use another label for this group, because of their special role in the movement. It would also be good to disclose a (realistic) number of now active contributors, so one gets a feeling for the percentage of people who did vote. Thanks for giving this a thought, Kevin Bouwens (talk) 18:19, 20 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

Thank you from the Movement Charter Drafting Committee


The Movement Charter Drafting Committee has received the results of the Movement Charter ratification process. We thank all who participated in the process of developing the Charter, and in voting on its ratification.

We thank the members of the broad and global Wikimedia community who participated in discussion and voting. Similarly, we thank the affiliates who participated in multiple rounds of review and commentary, as well as in the ratification vote. And last but not least, the liaisons of the Board of Trustees who have been continuously involved with the MCDC and charter drafting process.

Our thanks also goes to the members of the Charter Electoral Commission and the scrutineers, who ensured that the vote was conducted in a fair and inclusive manner:

The development of the Movement Charter received significant assistance from external facilitators, interpreters, and from support staff throughout the process. Several of those support staff have moved on to other roles within the Wikimedia community. We note in particular the following, who worked with the MCDC as we finalized the draft and completed the ratification process:

The Movement Charter Drafting Committee will be reviewing the extensive number of comments received from both affiliates and individual voters in the next few weeks. These comments will be published, with a summary, prior to Wikimania Katowice in early August 2024. Following this review, the MCDC will publish an additional communication suggesting next steps.

On behalf of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee,
Risker (talk) 17:26, 18 July 2024 (UTC)Reply

A Big Hand for all people involved in drafting!


I hope I speak for many, the ones with doubts, with reasons to vote no, yes or neutral, that all people involved in the drafting process deserve a big hand for their work, especially the people who were acting basically on a volunteering base. --Kevin Bouwens (talk) 18:11, 20 July 2024 (UTC)Reply