Talk:Requests for comment/Vote of no confidence on Arnnon Geshuri

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The Guy Kawasaki account needs to be set up properly. At the moment there's a question-mark over ID. Tony (talk) 05:44, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

That's the problem with people in leadimg position, who don't even have a proper account. How can such people, who can't know anything about the wikiverse properly, be appointed as trustees? --Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 06:34, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
When they have skill sets that can't found from this who do know there way around wikis.Geni (talk) 16:02, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
This is commonly repeated, however the fact is that with 100,000 editors across the globe to canvass, every skillset or commercial or academic background you can imagine, could be represented by a suitably trustworthy wiki-literate person. -- (talk) 16:42, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
I think the main skill set was he's a buddy from another silicon valley, let's inbreed further. And bugger about illegal stuff, hey, we're, we don't care about rules. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:57, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

A thanks to those editors improving layout and housekeeping. Appreciated! -- (talk) 09:34, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

As a member of the public reading this page and trying to make sense of all the vitriol and conclusory accusations about crimes that haven't actually even been accused, I found the responses to Guy Kawasaki quite illuminating. Even a member of the wikipedia family is quickly attacked for having his own opinion contrary to the mob. I hate to say it, but does wikipedia actually not have a policy against pejorative attacks on other participants? Perhaps such a policy is needed, and perhaps the willingness to use pejorative attacks in a formal context should be a cause for a ban. After all, volunteers are supposed to be helping the group they're volunteering for, they're not directly benefiting; so it doesn't harm anybody to end their volunteer run. And clearly when you're injecting pejoratives into formal attempts to blackball people, you've overstepped the appropriate role of a volunteer. 00:06, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Page title[edit]

I'd say this page should be moved to Requests for comment/Vote of no confidence on Arnnon Geshuri. —MarcoAurelio 09:35, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. It should also be listed for translation, and listed on the main page under "goings-on." -Pete F (talk) 09:36, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
I'm a duffer when it comes to how translations work on-wiki, this would be useful. I see that two trustees have written on the vote page in the first 24 hours; that must make this an "official" vote I guess. Certainly a quicker response than for the open letter. Face-smile.svg -- (talk) 10:56, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Done. --Steinsplitter (talk) 15:08, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
I have moved the page per MarcoAurelio's suggestion, and done my best to tidy up the translation pages etc. Perhaps somebody could double-check my work, and make sure I have not created confusion for non-English speaking Wikimedians? The next thing IMO is to list this under "goings-on" and also under Requests for comment#2016 (and perhaps there are other places?), but I need to get back to work. I hope somebody else can take care of that soon. -Pete F (talk) 18:59, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Just a minor point: should have been "in", not "on". Tony (talk) 12:53, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

It's great seeing this page appear in German, Spanish etc. Neat seeing those without strong English skills having a better chance to contribute in a difficult community process. -- (talk) 16:35, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

What does the Board make?[edit]

And so, my fellow Wikipedians: ask not what WMF can do for you — ask what you can do for your WMF.? Really, what does the Board make to help Wikipedians around the world? --Informationswiedergutmachung (talk) 16:57, 21 January 2016 (UTC)

Voters banned on other projects[edit]

I am moving two comments from the voting section as they are off topic:

#:Aren´t you banned indefinitely from Wikipedia and Commons? Is this your new playground? --Hubertl (talk) 14:47, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
#::Also you, Thekohser, aren´t you indefinitely banned from Wikipedia? --Hubertl (talk) 14:55, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

@Hubertl: You can discuss the relevance further here if you wish, though if you have a problem with a specific user account taking part on Meta, that's a matter to raise directly with them or sysops here. Thanks -- (talk) 14:54, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

WMF: Good idea, executed badly[edit]

Given the HR crisis at the Foundation's C-level, WMF could use the expertise of an HR specialist. But why Arnnon, with all the baggage? And why another board member from a tech company? By self-selecting the persons for the appointed chairs, the board seems to have lost its way and became self-similar. It selected members "by its own image". Please aim for diversity. Try to find persons with educational or charity background. Not more technologists. --h-stt !? 15:15, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

Yes, please. First Light (talk) 05:38, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
The unproven accusations of criminal behavior also place wikipedia in a very poor light. I agree PR improvement is needed, but in my view as an avid user (who doesn't edit very much because most edits are reverted by editors who squat on pages) is that it is mostly the editors that are creating the PR problems from whole cloth. Perhaps the editorial volunteers have simply too high a profile, and are attempting to provide management that they are not qualified to provide? This whole "controversy" is invented, and the editors don't have a real problem on wikipedia that they're trying to solve. Instead, they're trying to do some other type of political thing here, while wearing their editor hats. Doesn't leave wikipedia looking very unbiased. 00:11, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Current conflict in the press[edit]

--Túrelio (talk) 21:39, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

French and German press:

--Andreas JN466 14:25, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

Statements by Arnnon and the board on the mailing list[edit]

Arnnon finally has broken his silence and posted something on the wikimedia-l mailing list. The board as well.

It seems, he doesn't see anything wrong in his deplorable behaviour. And the board still looks for some excuse not to admit failure. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 20:23, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

I have refrained from voting as I'm new to Wikimedia politics (though not new to Wikipedia; editor for 7+ years) and still trying to wrap my head around all this. But I have to say that Arnnon Geshuri's response on the mailing list strikes me as patronizing and empty political speak. I'm sure he's overwhelmed by the comments and media attention concerning his appointment, but it probably would have been better for him to say nothing at all than to post what he did. Funcrunch (talk) 00:21, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
To quote his own language: He should be fired within the hour. The board recently has ditched a member with good standing in the community for no reason at all, at least none given but We don't like him, and here someone, where a clear reason for ditching him asap is there, we just hear empty mumbojumbo, bullshit-bingo sentences, explanation evasion etc. just to keep a disgraced outsider on board. If there really was some problem within HR, the hiring of a ruthless firing squad like him will probably not lead to a better workplace environment and less volatility. If you want to instigate fear in the employees, he may be a good choice. --Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 09:39, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Arnnon Geshuri stepped down[edit]

As made public by Patricio and Alice on the mailing list, he just stepped down. I have accordingly closed the RfC, aded a paragraph, but how to get this properly translated? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:05, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Gut so. Und das ohne dieses Tränendrüsendrücken einer Reihe von Leuten. Diese kulturelle Kluft zwischen Europa und den USA ist kaum erträglich: Zuerst wird jemand mit allem was nur geht fertigemacht (nicht ganz zu unrecht, wenn man bedenkt, wie riskant solche Leute für Wikipedia sein können), weil er bewiesen hat, dass er absolut skrupellos darin ist, das umzusetzen, was sein Arbeitgeber will, auch wenn es illegal ist. Der Druck war auch hoch, weil nicht nur er, sondern das gesamte Board im Grunde genommen kommunikativ völlig versagt haben. Aber was folgt nach dem Rücktritt per Postillon? Tränen! Tränen darüber, welch netter Mensch er doch wäre und dass man ihm gar nicht genug Gutes wünschen kann, er hätte das alles ja nur gut mit uns gemeint. Ich komme aus dem Kopfschütteln wohl ohne Schleudertrauma nicht mehr raus.
BTW: If anybody have problems reading this, just learn german. As I learned english and spanish as a foreign language! --Hubertl (talk) 22:08, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for the close. --MZMcBride (talk) 22:20, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
And thank you BBC for waking up WMF. Nemo 07:58, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

The lesson here seems to be that the the current board of trustees will just ignore community views they don't like, unless they become a major embarrassment in the press. If "communication" is going to work in a less confrontational way, then either the board needs to make some massive changes to start behaving openly and transparently, or the community needs to push brutally hard to force the board to have a majority of elected seats. This vote of no confidence, and the wasteful drama it generated, could have been avoided with a couple of emails early on explaining that something was going to happen and admitting there was a problem. Silence or obfuscation using content-free spin is not "working with the communities", and a good proportion of the community want to see an end to childish political gaming which puts PR and pseudo-legal excuses over open ethical values. -- (talk) 10:07, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

  • When will the rest of the WMF Board likewise step down? New England Cop (talk) 04:34, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Should these pages be marked noindex to discourage search engine indexing?[edit]

Hi. Should these pages on Meta-Wiki related to Mr. Geshuri be marked noindex to discourage search engine indexing? I'm of two minds here, but I lean toward saying yes. Saying yes would require adding {{NOINDEX}} to the pages. --MZMcBride (talk) 22:36, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

No, it was a public vote and should be seen as a public record. In fact parts of it have been quoted by news sites, so it's a bit odd to discuss shutting the stable door. This is not a case of outing or makes any use of private material. -- (talk) 22:39, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't think so. wctaiwan (talk) 22:48, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Why shouldn't these proceedings be searchable? It's a matter of public record as Fæ pointed out. Funcrunch (talk) 22:59, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
This was a public petition which was reported in the media. What benefit would there be to tagging it NOINDEX? This was done in public and was the first time I know of that a community effort had such a profound effect on the WMF. Those who want to find it should be able to without knowing the arcane art of digging up a wiki-discussion. JbhTalk 01:51, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Jbhunley. The public has a legitimate interest in understanding what happens with the hundreds of millions of dollars it feeds into the Wikipedia brand. Mr. Geshuri chose to take on a position of great responsibility, and surely knew that his reputation could be impacted (positively or negatively) as a result of that choice. Senior leadership of the Wikimedia Foundation are, in my view, public figures; the way I see it is, C-level positions, the Executive Director, any Vice Presidents, and any Trustees. We all have a strong interest in understanding how people in those positions go about their jobs; their decisions and actions have a broad impact. (Furthermore, the only public comment we have from Mr. Geshuri on the matter is a rather strong endorsement of the process -- he has not, to my knowledge, expressed that he wants this stuff less visible.) -Pete F (talk) 02:39, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
RfC like this are arguably the main content of Meta-Wiki, if we noindex this then we might as well obfuscate the entire wiki. Nemo 06:53, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
In context of the intransparency surrounding the WMF this proposal strikes me as especially weird and counterproductive. --Julius1990 (talk) 14:47, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
The page history here indicates that there have been biographies of living persons concerns; for example, a vote was edited after it suggested that Mr. Geshuri is a criminal. The oppose section of this vote suggested that it was an example of inhumane, immoral pillorying (paraphrasing). Given these types of issues, it's reasonable to at least discuss the use of noindex here.
Nemo: We could explore switching Meta-Wiki to an opt-in, rather than an opt-out, system for indexing. --MZMcBride (talk) 09:22, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
If anyone wrote something libellous during the vote, it should have been redacted. If you believe there is anything on the page that remains libellous, then go ahead and redact it and if necessary have it revdel-ed. The argument that once there was something here, that someone might think was libellous but now it has gone, is not a reason forever to hide a public vote of the community from public view by making it "disappear" from searches. -- (talk) 09:51, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Special:Search would be unaffected, of course. I was trying to empathize with the person affected. There's clearly no consensus currently to mark these pages noindex, so they'll remain at their default state for now. I understand and appreciate the public figure and public interest arguments. But it would be foolish of us to not consider the default index state of this page and I'm glad we're having this discussion. Does Wikimedia want to "air its dirty laundry" in this way? How much do we care about Google search results? And in this specific case, is it too late to bother caring given the media attention (the horses have left the stable, &c.)? --MZMcBride (talk) 01:26, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
As sad as it is, we have come to a point where the only way to influence the WMF politics is to air the dirty laundry. Mails by members of the movement? No reaction. Vote of no confidence? No reaction as long as the Board could think it will be another storm noone out there will notice. BBC coverage of the event? Just a few hours later and finally the reaction is there. I have no confidence that the WMF, especially its Board, deserves at the moment the trust to act for the best of the movement and is capable of good governance. And the ever again repeating story that there comes something top-down without considering the existing communities, the movement as whole and its values and then the ignorance against the critic raised, won't ever change as long as the WMF thinks it can get away withit without anyone noticing (what means in ths context without those "useful idiots" out there, who think that Wikipedia will shut down when they don't transfer the money every december, noticing). That's why we can't sweep this issue under the carpet. And with a look on the newly appointed Board seat and the dubious statements about important decisions to be made (for which the right person got choosen, who definately will be less uncomfortable for the well-established sleaze in the WMF than it was Mr. Heilmann) the next scandals are already in the pipeline, and given that the Board and the WMF as whole don't give a shit about the concerns of the volunteers of the movement (an open letter with 950+ signatures about the Superprotect scandal not given even the acknowledgement that it existed by any significant member of the WMF Board or executive! the vote of no confidence here up to the BBC coverage ...), we just can hope that media will raise the pressure that is needed to get at least a basis of good governance at a very, very low level from the responsible actors in the WMF. To hide this RfC from Google would be the completly wrong signal, it would send the Board the message that this was just an accident and that in the future they can keep going on as nothing happend. So this is why this incident needs to stay on Google. As sad as it is, and I just can state again how deeply frustrated, disappointed and demotivated all this leaves me behind. --Julius1990 (talk) 02:39, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
I would be cautious about drawing the conclusion that publicly shouting at the WMF is the only way to get it to do things. I suspect that the eloquent and calm statements by people like Kat Walsh, Florence and Michael Snow had more impact than several dozen pile-on "supports" here. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 18:27, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't believe in Santa Clause anymore for a long time. There is nothing in the actions of the Board that gives me any confidence to think that the relation between BBC coverage and reaction of the Board was just by chance. On the contrary, a Board that doesn't even bother to acknowledge recieving emails on such issues and doesn't communicate that it at all thinks about the issue until a very late point (and just after public pressure) doesn't deserve any credit anymore. It has to earn it back. As today, I just see them not reacting on community feedback until it becomes a public issue or a big interior scandal. As I said in my earlier statement: This is a sad condition of the movement, but the Board has it in its own hands to change this again. --Julius1990 (talk) 19:23, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Post-resignation votes[edit]

I don't think Geshuri's resignation is actually reason to close the vote, because this isn't really about the man himself but about broader issues concerning the way trustees ought to be selected and what we should be wary about. My vote, which was reverted by User:Matiia, is as follows:

  1. I have no knowledge of Geshuri's character, nor can I predict the outcome of any related legal action. My concern is, in general, that we have a conflict of interest situation where anyone related to Google is concerned. Wikipedia is a close collaborator with Google, enhancing the value of its searches; but we are also a competitor. For example, in the current version of Firefox, choose Tools->Options->Search, where Wikipedia and Google are items that can be checked or unchecked under "one-click search engines". That is direct economic competition for Google's customer base, that puts us directly in the Google cross-hairs. We have seen another open source project infiltrated and subverted by Google, namely Firefox, which - without even being told to visit the site - applied a "PREF" cookie to users from Google that could track them for many sites [1], on behalf of the NSA [2]. So the presence of a Google employee or even ex-employee, particularly one capable of high-level, controversial dealings, should be of considerable alarm to us. To have half the board made up of them... well, it looks like the ship is already well and truly sunk. But for what it's worth, I vote no confidence. Wnt (talk) 23:42, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
As the closer I don't agree. This RfC had a clear and defined scope: A vote of no confidence on Arnnon Geshuri, or verbatim: In the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation, Arnnon Geshuri must be removed from his appointment as a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation Board.
This scope was reached once Arnnon did resign, so this RfC could and should be closed.
Of course there ist still not everything Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen, the problem with the high Google percentage, even higher Silico Valley one, read: far too less diversity and far too less emphasis on non-IT-tech, still exists. The problem with the extremely sub-prime communication of the board has as well not gone away.
But that should not be discussed here in this RfC, as it's off-topic. There are several other venues for such discussions:
Talk:Wikimedia Foundation transparency gap, Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Thinking about the WMF Board composition, and perhaps here on the talk page. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:55, 1 February 2016 (UTC)