Talk:Ombuds commission/Archives/2012

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More info requested

It came up that I wanted information about whether an ombudsman was in good standing for what he was doing. I made a proposal on my talk page here for the kind of information I would like to see on this page. The summary is that I am requesting that this page give the user name, match it with dates of appointment, any dates of re-appointment, and a link to the user's profile in that user's primary language. It would be nice if the dates of appointment linked to a public statement or discussion of the user's appointment. Can this be done? The templates used on this page are a little scary and anyway I do not know where to find this info, so I just made a sample proposal on my page. Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:53, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

You can do it yourself, you shouldn't be scared by templates. If you don't know how to edit that template, just add another section with the additional and someone will fix it. There isn't usually any real discussion as far as I can remember, but foundation-l is where it's announced. Nemo 20:43, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Term expired

Hello, as far as I understand it, the terms for all the commission's member have expired over a month ago, and one of the member of the commission has since been elected steward and as such had the ombudsman permissions removed, yet no updates have been posted to this page. I would say that at this time, the page (and the commission, unless there's been an announcement already that I missed) need urgent updating. Snowolf How can I help? 06:59, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

I just informed Philippe of this discussion. I thought he's the one handling those things usually. Trijnsteltalk 11:32, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Cleaning up old language

I don't think the commission currently reports to the ED or the Board. Does it work directly with the GC, or does it work through Philippe and that department? I would remove language such as "the commission should report to the Executive Director or to the Board" and limit the suggested scope of who the group works with to those they are in contact with every year. SJ talk  00:10, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

This is all highly academic given the commission notoriously doesn't investigate the cases brought before them as the backlog shows, so who it reports to or who it works with is really a hypothetical matter. Snowolf How can I help? 16:08, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Apparent failure of commission to respond

See Rich Farmbrough 15:18 16 December 2012 (GMT).

Hmm? The ombudsmen do not monitor this page. Snowolf How can I help? 16:06, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Do they monitor the mailing list in a manner that will see them get to the complaint before one or both of the parties has voluntarily retired for other reasons ?
Obviously at the rate people are leaving the project with the discontent over abuse, a significant portion of the cases are going to be 'solved' this way, hence a need for open reporting of statistics, or secrecy, depending on which side you're on. Counting people who have given up over the abuse and left as 'solved' cases is logical and obvious, the case has been settled.

I mean, someone mentions it takes more than a year, that is a long time on wikipedia, and by most any reasonable persons measure, it's a matter of ignoring some portion, I'm not saying ALL of course, I can't prove it's all, who can really with no stats, but SOME take more than a year. Considering the speed at which abuse can be handed out, considering how much further damage can be done in the period of a year, wouldn't it be better just not to pretend ? There are plenty of websites on the Internet that are simply open and honest and state there is no appeal to whatever the admins dish out, so why the need to present such a poor showing ? I'd say it's much better off being honest and making do without. People like honesty. Penyulap (talk) 11:05, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Reform proposals

I have started Ombudsman commission/reform proposals to collect and discuss proposals to improve and reform the Ombudsman commission given the inactivity situation has been going on for quite some time. All input is welcome, particularly from members of the commission. Snowolf How can I help? 08:49, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Inconsistent with other wikipedia policy

On the OC page

The ombudsman commission investigates complaints about violations of the privacy policy (in particular concerning the use of CheckUser tools) on any Wikimedia project for the board of trustees. To file a complaint, please contact an Ombudsman privately.

The above suggests it's just about the privacy policy, which is pretty much a popular claim, however the local english wikipedia page states [1]

Complaints of abuse of CheckUser or privacy policy breaches may also be brought to the Ombudsman commission

Might be an idea to point out on the OC page that there is no functioning mechanism here to investigate abuse, as the prevailing consensus is that the OC only addresses privacy policy alone, and if there is a general complain of abuse of the CU tool, and you're blocked on the local wiki to prevent you making any complaint, then the editor's fucked, contrary to indications on the CU page which point to the OC.

As it's been recently demonstrated the OC is not working in a meaningful way, and even if it did, it still wouldn't according to the consensus that it doesn't handle abuse complaints.

It is interesting to note that the most likely response to my comment would probably be something along the lines of 'we're all volunteers' while ironically the WMF is trying to project a corporate model of governance. Thought I'd share my pataphorical amusement at that.

In a nutshell, the page might better outline the claims being presented by the WMF about the OC. Penyulap (talk) 04:25, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Call for applications for 2013 Ombudsman commission

A call for applications for the 2013 Ombudsman commission was posted on the Wikimedia-l maillist recently. Applications are open until January 10, 2013. Cheers. 06:35, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

For easier access for those who don't frequent Wikimedia-L, I am posting the announcement of the 2013 OC here.
Extended content

Hello, everyone.

I'm writing with information about the Ombudsman Commission (OC), the small group of volunteers who investigate complaints about violations of the privacy policy, and in particular concerning the use of CheckUser tools, on any Wikimedia project for the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees has delegated some of the decisions about the OC (including composition and size) to the Wikimedia Foundation staff.

The application period for new commissioners for 2013 has recently closed. We are extremely grateful to the many dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers who offered to assist with this work. Before announcing the composition of the 2013 commission, however, I would like to let you all know about a trial change in the OC. Although the OC is kept intentionally small due to the high level of trust required of its members, this year we are expanding the commission (on a trial basis) from five members to seven. This expansion has two primary purposes. First, the commission bears a heavy responsibility of ensuring that users are granted the privacy that is their due under the Wikimedia Foundation's privacy policy. We hope that an expansion of the commission will help them remain swiftly responsive to issues sent to them even when some of the commissioners have pressing matters beyond their volunteer work. Second, commissioners have traditionally been asked to surrender their checkuser functions on their home wikis during their term on the commission, a request that helps to reduce the potential for conflict of interest between the roles but which may also place an undue burden on smaller projects that have fewer checkusers to assist. With a larger commission, we expect that commissioners will be able to continue in this also critical function, only recusing if issues are raised relating to their direct colleagues.

It's important that we carefully balance the need to keep this group small against the requirements that they remain flexible and available. At the end of the year, we will explore the impact of this expansion to ensure that the benefit is sufficient to the functioning of the OC to warrant the growth.

In addition, the Wikimedia Foundation is committing to more closely work with the Commission this year, in an attempt to learn how we can more fully support their work. We will also be working with them to generate more regular reporting to the community in the form of at least an annual report on case load (of course, non-specific due to privacy considerations).

With that in mind, we are pleased to announce the composition of the 2013 OC.

Returning to the commission are three members who have served since 2011:

  • User:FloNight, who primarily edits Wikipedia en (where she is an administrator and a former member of the Arbitration Committee) but who has also contributed to Commons.She is newly editing Wikivoyage and involved with US GLAM. She is also one of the initial members of the Funds Dissemination Committee.
  • User:Sir48, who primarily edits Wikipedia da (where he has been a CheckUser), but is also active on Commons and Meta (particularly in translations) along with a number of other language Wikipedias. He took part in vandalfighting initiatives a few years back.
  • User:Thogo, who primarily Wikipedia de (where he is currently an administrator and is a former arbitrator). but who has also contributed substantially to Wiktionary de and Meta. He is formerly a steward as well as having served as an administrator on several other projects.

We appreciate their willingness to remain, to bring their familiarity with processes and experiences to the new arrivals.

Joining them are

  • User:Deskana, who primarily edits Wikipedia en. There, he is an administrator, CheckUser and bureaucrat. He is also a former arbitrator.
  • User:Erzbischof, who primarily edits Wikipedia de, where he is currently an administrator and formerly an arbitrator.
  • User:Huji, who primarily edits Wikipedia fa, where he is an administrator, CheckUser and bureaucrat. He has also contributed substantially to Simple Wikipedia, Wikipedia en and Meta and is a Wikimedia developer.
  • User:Levg, who primarily edits Wikipedia ru, where he is an administrator, oversighter and bureaucrat and where he has twice served as an arbitrator.

Please join me in thanking the following volunteers, who have given substantially of their time to serve on the commission the past years, and who are not returning:

  • User:Mwpnl
  • User:Dweller

I'd also like to say a hearty thank you to those returning and those coming aboard for a first time, as well as to all those who applied. Again, it was an extremely knowledgeable group of volunteers, and while we believe that this mix of users may best serve the need for this year, I hope that those who applied will consider applying again for future commissions.

Thanks. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:24, 2 February 2013 (UTC)