Talk:Requests for comment/Should the Foundation call itself Wikipedia

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Has this been shared?[edit]

Hi has this been shared elsewhere than on meta? On the different linguistic version of wikipedias? Nattes à chat (talk) 11:48, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

On the Mailing list Wikimedia-l, on the enWP, in der deWP and probably elsewhere. Feel free to spread the news. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:04, 20 January 2020 (UTC)


If you are so serious about the brand, what is going on with Wikipedia:In The News? Wikimedia and the culture of open source and free information certainly isn't anything to do with it. They didn't report the six millionth article or the recent birthday. They don't link to the Signpost. They report government leadership issues and major incidents of death as their number one and two issues for a long time, totally outnumbering all other forms of story there. ~^\\\.rT'{~ g 17:38, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

A running RfC can't be closed at the whim of a single editor[edit]

I just reverted the not legitimate suspension notes by User:EllenCT, who despite starting this is no longer the ownerof the RfC. Any kind of such sever change has to be doen consensual. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 08:59, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

Here is the notice I had added: EllenCT (talk) 09:03, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

And there still is no connection between this RfC and anything legal. It's about a content dispute, legal has no say in this. I can't se any concrete reason for suspension anywhere. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 09:05, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

The legal department is expected to figure out whether certain name changes would put chapters or affiliates at risk from potential litigants. Several of them asked for that, but I didn't know it was still going on until listening to Zach's podcast. [copied this reply from my talk page] EllenCT (talk) 09:06, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
And what has this to do with this RfC? Nothing! It's a content RfC on a similar subject, and perhaps it will be obsolete once legal decides, that the premature decisions by the branding team were wrong, but so what? If they decide otherwise, it's still clear, that the community rejects branding the WMF as Wikipedia. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 09:10, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Will allowing the RFC to run longer make that any more or less clear? EllenCT (talk) 17:26, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
This RfC is still very active so there is no reason to shut down discussion. The participation shows that the community is grateful to EllenCT for kickstarting the process, but that doesn't mean EllenCT was appointed as manager of the RfC or that EllenCT should feel any responsibility on how it's proceeding. Nemo 09:20, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Yes, of course I'm thankful for EllenCT for starting this, as it has shown beyond any doubt, that the use of Wikipedia for Wikimedia is rejected by the community. I just fail to see any reason for any closure yet. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 09:33, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Do you really not understand the reason of wanting to wait until the Legal department's work is done, or do you just disagree with it. What are the advantages of not waiting? EllenCT (talk) 17:26, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
It seems like even as the legal department's review is ongoing, the foundation is working with Snøhetta to expend resources on a website named, and not Hopefully, the RfC will ensure these resources are put into a direction that is community-acceptable, rather than being wasted on a name that might be rejected by legal, and will be rejected by the community. TomDotGov (talk) 18:25, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Please see en:Talk:Snøhetta (company) EllenCT (talk) 20:38, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused... what is that supposed to tell me? TomDotGov (talk) 22:05, 29 February 2020 (UTC) seems like a good place to chronicle the events so far and collaborate with Foundation and consulting staff in a low-pressure environment. I predict that site will be notable by the April Foundation-sponsored RFC, whether legal is finished with their review or not. EllenCT (talk) 23:45, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
I don't get it either. If you want to create an article on enwiki, then do so (though IMO it's not notable enough). It's not a matter that should be discussed here on meta. tufor (talk) 00:05, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
I am happy prepping a draft for the inevitable slurry of press release onslaught which is sure to occur. EllenCT (talk) 00:20, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
What are the advantages of waiting for something completely disconnected from the community will? What has legal to say about the community will? Why should we wait for something, and stop a running RfC? I fail to see any reason to do so. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:15, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
I, for one, prefer to wait to make sure that none of the proposals will put chapters or affiliates at risk, or violate trademark law, and as a member of the community, I am sure you do not wish to erase my will. The delay is not likely to affect the clear 1-to-10 consensus which has been nearly constant from the start. EllenCT (talk) 23:52, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
You started a new poll, how is that "I prefer to wait"? What is the point of the poll and why are there only three options? Not that there should be more, the new poll should be closed as this is getting ridiculous now. -kyykaarme (talk) 13:36, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
It's only 14 days to see if anyone comes up with anything. We're already on phase two. EllenCT (talk) 00:20, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

So now a community decisions needs to be reviewed by a legal team and unilaterally closed because the result is clearly contudent against the will of the WMF? The replacement for a 14-day survey cannot be more awful, antidemocratic trick. Will any staff member have the minimal ethics, shame or account for responsibilities? After spending almost a million dollars, now is it time to review conequences on the branding process? Xavi Dengra (MESSAGES) 20:21, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

March 2020 is the transition from phase one to phase two.
There will be a Foundation referendum to the full community in April, after the various possibilities are discussed, nominated, and vetted by the Foundation communications and legal staff, and likely boardmembers. I was joking about wanting Wiki Foundation if they don't, but I'd certainly support giving that to Ward Cunningham, and if he wants me to be his CTO, he knows how to reach me. EllenCT (talk) 20:36, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
I wouldn't bet that there will be any serious referendum: the only recent experience is the 2014 ToU sham and I don't see any evidence of the WMF having improved its consensus-building skills in the last 6 years. I'll be very happy if the facts prove me wrong, but until then this RfC is likely to be the only expression of the Wikimedia movement's and Wikimedia projects' community's will on the subject. Nemo 18:06, 15 March 2020 (UTC)

Report about this RfC by the Brand Project team[edit]

Hi, the 2030 Movement Brand Project team has published a report about this RfC. We are aware that the RfC is still open but we wanted to summarize its outcomes now in order to better inform the Brand Project. We plan to update the report with any new relevant information coming through the RfC. Qgil-WMF (talk) 16:40, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

What exactly is changing.png
There's a certain almost gaslighting feel to this report, and to some of the newer entries in the FAQ. When it says, "The Wikimedia Foundation responded to the central question in the comments section, noting that a proposal had not yet been made for a naming convention.", it sort of neglects the previous messaging. The slide to the right, from November 2019, shows a pretty clear change in the "movement name", which I think concerns people more than a naming convention would.
It might have not been a complete proposal, but I think it's a bit much to say that the idea of changing the name of the movement to Wikipedia wasn't proposed.
I'd suggest deleting the relevant paragraph from the report, as it really doesn't add much. TomDotGov (talk) 18:13, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
@TomDotGov: The first question is whether this paragraph is relevant in the Central question section: "The Wikimedia Foundation responded to the central question in the comments section, noting that a proposal had not yet been made for a naming convention. It instead asked volunteers to refer to the project timeline and provide feedback when a proposal was made."
When the RfC was launched by a volunteer, its wording (page title, video footnote, background and central question) caused the impression to many people that a specific naming convention had been decided. However, no naming convention had been proposed or decided back then (and neither today; proposals should come this month). The project team tried to clarify this point during the RfC and recognized that they should have done more over the last months to avoid misunderstandings. We believe this point is relevant in a summary of the RfC.
If we agree that this short paragraph is relevant enough to appear in the report, then we can discuss its content. How could this paragraph be improved to capture Requests_for_comment/Should_the_Foundation_call_itself_Wikipedia#Updates_from_the_Foundation?
And if there are other ways to improve the report itself, anyone please feel free to suggest changes or edit Communications/Wikimedia brands/2030 movement brand project/RfC Should the Foundation call itself Wikipedia. The same invitation is extended for any other project page. Qgil-WMF (talk) 13:50, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
Wenn Wikipedia gar keine zentrale Rolle spielen soll bei der Namensgebung, warum wurde dann insbesondere das hier angeführte Bild, dass genau das aussagt, von den (WMF)lern so vehement vereidigt und dieses, in dem Falle, dass da tatsächlich noch nichts entschieden gewesen sein soll, grob irreführende Bild und der erste Satz in den damaligen FAQ, der genau das gleiche sagte, nach der Entfernung wieder eingefügt?
Dieses Bild, und die Festlegung auf ausschließlich Wikipedia als den Namen für die Foundation wurde z.B. hier wieder in die FAQ eingefügt. Jetzt wird so getan, als wäre da nichts festgelegt, damals wurde jeglicher diesbezüglicher Dissens aggressiv unterdrückt. Was stimmt denn nun?
Ist das hier angegebene Bild grob irreführend, oder stimmt es? Wenn es falsch ist, warum wurde es dann so vehement verteidigt, als ob es wahr wäre? Dieses Bild ist die Kernaussage von Dir, Elena, Zachary, Chris und noch ein paar (WMF)er haben die ganze Zeit so getan, als hätte das Bild irgendwas mit der Realität zu tun. Jetzt sagst Du, das wäre Unsinn, was denn nun? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:31, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
I've made a pair of edits to the RfC report. The first is to indicate that the RfC is not about a naming convention, but a name change. The second edit backs this up using information that was current as of the time of the RfC's creation. I think it's pretty clear, from statements back then like "We do not know what the Wikimedia Foundation’s new name would be, only that it would utilize Wikipedia not Wikimedia.", that this is about a name change and not a 'naming convention'. TomDotGov (talk) 16:01, 3 April 2020 (UTC)
@TomDotGov: Thanks. I think these edits add clarity. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 01:33, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

Listing examples of abuses of the Wikipedia brand[edit]

Should we start making a list of the main places where WMF currently calls itself Wikipedia, i.e. "Wikipedia" is substituted to "Wikimedia Foundation" to cover things which are not Wikipedia? Some have existed for a long while despite frequent objections. The closure of the RfC may want to clarify whether we think the consensus has addressed these.

Nemo 21:19, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

I'd say is an example of a misuse, especially given that we are now being told that "How or how much Wikipedia will factor into any proposals for that system is to be determined (this has been true since the beginning of the project, although perhaps not communicated clearly enough)." [1], and this project has nothing to do with the brand for what we now call Wikipedia.
I do wonder if this should take place on the Brand Network page, rather than here. TomDotGov (talk) 22:17, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
Maybe, but WMF folks have never been interested in discussing their abuse of the Wikipedia brand so the discussion over there would merely be theoretical.
To avoid wasting time, we could just focus on the abuses of the brand which related directly to the ongoing RfC question and comments. It's just an idea; some have called for the "oppose" camp here to be more constructive, and making actionable proposals for fixes the WMF could make in various places might be one way. Nemo 12:26, 13 April 2020 (UTC)


The discussion started on 18 January 2020. Now it is 16 April 2020, and there are 39 supports and 396 opposes... --NGC 54 (talk | contribs) 14:35, 16 April 2020 (UTC)

WMF-designed survey set for June 16[edit]

Please see my comment at CentralNotice survey should be delayed a week to allow for proper review.--Pharos (talk) 02:04, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

What about notifying everyone who participated in this RfC that his or her voice needs to be raised again? → «« Man77 »» [de] 12:15, 17 June 2020 (UTC)
You as opposing person should not know this! -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 15:36, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

So, all the talk about the RfC being premature was nonsense, and this RfC can happily continue. I suggest we archive some of the secondary proposals and prepare the page so the header (background and question) can be translated. Then in July we can have a another CentralNotice to allow users to answer the actual question, which is not in the survey but is correctly asked here. Nemo 04:43, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

comments from recent livestream[edit]

For those who missed it, in the recent livestream, the branding team commented on this RFC at about the 52 minute mark Personally I struggle to interpret the statement in good faith as it seems so divorced from reality, but nonetheless here it is to judge for yourself. Bawolff (talk) 05:31, 18 June 2020 (UTC)

Board Update on Branding[edit]

The Board Update on Branding has been published. TomDotGov (talk) 01:46, 22 June 2020 (UTC)

Closing or not[edit]

User:Billinghurst closed the RfC with a very faulty line (comment expressed; in the end this is a Board decision with input from the community), in the end the community decides, not the board or any other central entity. User:Chaddy reverted this ill-founded closure. I'd like to discuss this here, if there could be any closure, it should state, that the renaming of the WMF to anything containing Wikipedia is completely off the table. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:12, 31 October 2020 (UTC)

@Sänger ♫: and also Chaddy since this probably concerns you too. The closing statement has been updated; since a meta sysop or even a panel of stewards does not have the tools to actually implement the result I think this is about as much as could be expected. Best regards,
𝒬𝔔 22:14, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
It's still a wrong closure, as the community has to have the last say in any valid decision. The board is just en elected body of the community to do what the community wants. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 22:29, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
@Sänger ♫: I understand your frustration, and I agree with that sentiment, however the place to raise your concerns with the wording is on Billinghurst's talk page. If you don't get a satisfactory answer there then you can ask for the input of others on meta:RFH.
𝒬𝔔 22:33, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
@Sänger: The RFC proposal was a question about the use of the word, and that had been addressed. After that it covered a range of conversation that were outside the original question. The proposal was not a requirement for the board to consult with the community, nor a direction for how that consultation would occur. The Board is the legal authority to make the decision, I was trying to capture that from the discussion, happy to remove it if it is poorly expressed.  — billinghurst sDrewth 22:52, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
The community has the last say in anything in the Wikiverse, the board is just an elected body of the community, that hast to doe what the community wants. The board has no rights of its own, it only exists because of the community. The community has made it absolutely clear, that the use of Wikipedia for anything else but the Wikipedia is completely off the table, the board has absolutely no right to act against its higher ups, the community. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 23:50, 31 October 2020 (UTC)
@Sänger: As I understand it, the Board is the legal authority of the Wikimedia Foundation. [2] Not all the trustees are elected, only three from ten. Raystorm, Pundit and Doc James were elected in 2017, hence why my comment. Not here to pick a fight.  — billinghurst sDrewth 07:32, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
@Sänger: Though the wording of Billinghurst’s close is a bit odd, the message is accurate, and your perception of the scope is not. The Wikimedia Foundation’s board has rights of it’s own, is not subservient to community consensus, and is not a purely elected body. If it wanted to, it would be completely within it’s rights to rename Wikimedia to whatever it wants to, or take any other action as the legally recognized board authority of the Wikimedia Foundation. In the end, the community does not make this decision, the board does. I will also note that my recognition of the legal authority of the board, as opposed to continually repeating that the community is the highest authority (which it simply isn’t), should not be construed as support for the board’s actions. I believe you fundamentally misunderstand the scope, accountability, and authority of the Board. Regarding the closure, in my view the only way this RfC could have been closed would be to note that community consensus is incredibly strongly against the Wikimedia Foundation changing it’s name to Wikipedia. That is basically what Billinghurst’s close comment is. This RfC does not have the ability to prevent any Board action, only to establish consensus against one. Regards, Vermont (talk) 14:08, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Legally? Probably yes. Legitimately? A sound NO. Yes, through some misconstruction in its setup the service organisation by and from the community called WMF has officially the last word, but that's just for the sake of the paper, in reality everything the WMF is, was and will ever be derives from the community. If it stops being a service organisation of the very community that founded it for the menial tasks it was no longer doing professional enough, it ceases it reason to exist at all. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:56, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Sänger is completely right. The community is the sovereign in the Wikiverse. The Foundation is just a service provider to support the community. What Vermont writes is just the description of the status quo. And this status quo shows that the Foundation usurped the Wikiverse. Chaddy (talk) 16:32, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

Billinghurst and DannyS712: I am not sure if you are aware that you stir up a hornets' nest in this case. I am not that upset anymore as earlier this day and so I try to explain it to you unhurriedly and with good intentions: With the renaming process the Foundation disgruntled the community to the maximum. By closing this Rfc and topic-banning me you threw even more oil in the fire. That is not wise. All what this here is about is that the community whishes to decide on it's own. To express our protest we started this Rfc (and some other things like the open letter). I understand that there are rules for Rfcs. And I know you just want to follow the rules strictly. And that is ok in normal cases. But this Rfc is not a normal Rfc. It is part of the community protest. The protest that seeks to give the community more power. Thus to close this Rfc from the top is really not a wise idea. I am sure that was not your intention but now it looks like you want to suppress our protest. So I ask you to reopen the Rfc and to redo my topic-ban unbureaucraticly. This specific Rfc should not be closed by an admin but by the community itself. Sometimes it is better to let an outlet open when there are many, many angered people. So please be a bit more sensitive in this case. The renaming process already caused to much damage.
And sorry for my rough tone, Billinghurst and DannyS712. Chaddy (talk) 17:53, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

User:Chaddy An RFC has a scope and a principal question for comment. With all the comment and a vote and a very closed question, that has to be the response from the RFC. It is unfair to those who have voted on the question to then have to wait, nor for people to then start to fork/morph this RFC into something else. You can use the closed RFC for a subsequent follow-up conversation, even take some of the forked conversation over and link to it. If you want to have a protest start an RFC that is a protest, not hijack someone else's.

Plus I am in no way trying to stop you, there were requests for close on the page, and to SN. If you didn't think that it should have been closed, you could have added that comment prior to a close. To note that the feedback from the close was fed back to the conversation on the brand Special:Diff/20603817 and you can utilise that RFC result to whatever means you so choose within the realms of reason and civility.  — billinghurst sDrewth 10:02, 3 November 2020 (UTC)

While the partial block from the page was somewhat questionable per w:WP:INVOLVED, I think the close itself is appropriate as leaving it open for longer will not change the consensus. I also do not understand Chaddy's line of reasoning as his undo summaries for trying to reopen the RfC would seem to imply keeping it closed. Naleksuh (talk) 02:06, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

I'm basically fine with this being closed. The point of this RfC is as part of a dispute resolution process, to settle the issue of if the community finds it acceptable for the foundation to call itself 'Wikipedia', which the foundation had been gaslighting the community about for quite some time. Having some clarity here helps the branding process to reach it's conclusion. I do think that the wording of the close seems a bit indirect. Something like "A significant majority of contributes find it is not acceptable for the Foundation to call itself Wikipedia." might better state what this RfC has determined. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 15:37, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

Agree, also might want to consider a separate close of the middle section on alternatives with the finding that there was no consensus for any of the other proposals (excepting the status quo that is).
𝒬𝔔 16:28, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

Billinghurst, as a closer myself (from EnWiki), I find it pretty appalling that people editwarred the close. That's not how it works. I also appreciate that you improved the text. I also of course agree that the Foundation has legal control over trademarks and legal-naming etc. This was not an RFC to take concrete action, it was an RFC to assess the formal consensus of the community on the issue. Any concrete action by the Foundation or by the community will be resolved outside this RFC. I also liked the note you fed back to the conversation on the brand Special:Diff/20603817. The last three or four sentences might well have been included as a supplementary paragraph in the close. That said, I agree with earlier comment that the wording of the close is odd. In particular, you appear to have neglected or declined to assess the consensus of the community. I presume you would agree that consensus isn't a matter of doing a headcount and announcing the majority. One of my most memorable closes was a 10-vs-20 headcount, where I issued a strongly worded consensus in favor of the minority. (There was not one peep of dissent to my close.) I don't recall ever making a close without using the word "consensus" in some form, except when procedurally closing an RFC as invalid for some reason.

  • I think "comments expressed" should become a statement of consensus.
  • "this community of contributors" is at best redundant, and at worst it sounds like an expression of disdain or desire to discredit the result. The RFC was widely advertised and ~586 participants makes it one of the largest consensuses in our history. This is how the community establishes consensus, and this RFC goes well above and beyond accepted norms.
  • "significant majority" also comes across as a slanted characterization, given the 92% result and nearly 500 vote margin. If I were to characterize the majority I would have used "overwhelming majority" or "almost unanimous".

I understand you were attempting to address some of the surrounding issues, but the wording doesn't really do so. Instead the odd wording sounds like a closer who just didn't like the consensus. Your other comments don't seem to support that interpretation, but appearances matter. Appearances can support or undermine trust in the process.

I would also say clear simple wording is important to ensure everyone has a shared understanding. The Board member in charge of resolving this situation appears to have an inaccurate understanding of what the community consensus is - she argued that it is impossible to take a Wikipedia-rebranding off the table because some usergroups use Wikipedia in their name. Of course, the consensus is only about the Foundation name. That sort of miscommunication/misunderstanding is seriously undermining efforts at collaborative resolution. A clear simple statement of the consensus would help improve communication, and help prevent miscommunication from generating needless hostilities. Alsee (talk) 16:48, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

@Alsee: Thanks for your comment. The RFC closing comment was expressed around the posed Question so I closed around the question. There were no subsequently formed questions, nor proposals. As I had expressed my opinion, I kept it simple. Re terminology, I don't use terms like overwhelm as it has multiple meanings, and please don't try and qualify unanimous, that is as bad as qualifying uniqueness.  — billinghurst sDrewth 21:27, 9 December 2020 (UTC)
billinghurst thanks I take your point on the 'majority' bit, I struck part of my comment. (I had added that part as a relatively insignificant afterthought to my main concerns.) Could I get a response to my remaining comment? The lack of evaluation of consensus, the "comments expressed", "this community of contributors" all make this close very odd. Alsee (talk) 01:50, 10 December 2020 (UTC)