Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 2/Advocacy/2

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it.
Most likely, new comments will not be taken into account by the new three Working Group members in their work of developing the final Recommendations. You are free however to continue discussing in the spirit of "discussing about Wikipedia is a work in progress". :)

Changes since first draft[edit]

Advocacy should be done with the same values that the existing communities have[edit]

When the Wikimedia community does advocacy, it should be done according to the values of the individual Wikimedia projects. Given that most of the contributors of Wikipedia are from Western countries, advocacy that's representative of the existing community will be advocacy based on Western discourse. Setting different advocacy goals is a recipe for internal conflict when the Wikimedia advocacy team advocates for positions that aren't held by the major Wikimedia projects. Advocacy for Wikimedia should be done by individuals who try to represent the views of the existing community and not by individuals who attempt to push ideas that are different out of a desire to bring in non-Western values. ChristianKl❫ 11:19, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

ChristianKl What are "Western values" anyway? I hear from politicians in different countries, but I don't think there is a consistent and widely shared view of what "Western values" are. --MarioGom (talk) 17:12, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
@MarioGom: There are Western values like privacy and there's rough consensus in the Western world that Facebook violating it is bad. You don't have similar opinions in China about Tencent.
In this case we don't care about all Western values. Advocacy should only be based on those values that are held by the core Wikimedia community as shown by it's own discourse and founding values.
Free knowledge is one of those core founding values. When other parties want to publish information in a nonfree way, the people doing advocacy shouldn't try to lobby WikiCommons into supporting nonfree licenses but try to lobby those other parties to embrace free licenses. ChristianKl❫ 08:01, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
ChristianKl: Ok. Thanks for the answer. Indeed, privacy is already part of Wikimedia values to some extent, and free knowledge is obviously THE core value. I agree on avoiding non-free licensing, which was dropped from the last recommendation iteration. --MarioGom (talk) 12:44, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
My main focus here isn't on particular values. The values of the Wikimedia community where most participants are from Western nations is dominated by the Western discourse. If you encourage Wikimedia advocacy that advocates based on different values, you are setting yourself up for situation where the values of the Wikimedia community differ from those which are advocated.
I don't see a problem in general for advocating for different values but when it comes to advocacy that happens under the Wikimedia brand that should be representative of the opinions of our movement or you are going to get into conflicts. Could you make the case of what kind of advocacy you think this paragraph intends to be about, if you think it has a different meaning? ChristianKl❫ 16:30, 4 October 2019 (UTC)


This consists of a bunch of meaningless buzzwords, and more or less means nothing at all. It should be written in simple, easily comprehended language, not stuff like: Creating a better case for access to knowledge as adding value and not extracting it from the wealth of communities is necessary in providing diverse advocacy. Some communities, for various historical and political reasons are suspicious and hesitant to share their knowledge. If we truly aim at providing access to the sum of human knowledge, in our advocacy efforts we cannot ignore the existence of closed knowledge protocols and the need to enter a compassionate and respectful dialog with these positions. Reconciling a closed knowledge protocol with our mission seems counterintuitive, but to serve a struggling community we must understand the struggle and respect the paths of self-preservation that the community chose. Contradictions can be reconciled when we recognise the right to self-determination of all communities and propose together new, fair methods of diffusing the tensions. If communities whose knowledge has been exploited (and locked in or abused by western practices) are to participate in free knowledge, they need to know we have their backs. In practice it means supporting their advocacy for their rights of access and cultivation of culture. That in turn helps in formulating narratives that center diversity as a practice in advocacy and not just as an aspiration. What in the hell does that actually mean? Seraphimblade (talk) 00:05, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Even if does mean something to someone, somewhere, what is it proposing? Almost none of this working group's "recommendations" contains a concrete rather than abstract/conceptual proposal. Please close the sociology textbook and make some concrete proposals that people can discuss; alternatively, dissolve the group. EddieHugh (talk) 18:56, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
But you know, EddieHugh, this is about a global, long-term strategy. Concrete proposals are between tactics and operation and are heavily dependent on contexts (geographic, demographic, etc.). SGrabarczuk (WMF) (talk) 13:41, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
A strategy needs to be clear about what is wanted and at least outline how that is (likely) to be achieved. Here are some examples of why I don't see this one meeting either of these criteria:
  • "create supportive, positive and flexible spaces, models and tools"... a space in this context is a metaphor; if the "recommendation" doesn't offer an explication, then, at the very least, it needs to provide an example of a possible manifestation of the concept behind this metaphor.
  • "fine-tune the community information flow to be more receptive to pertinent issues that our communities face"... this sounds like it's not a metaphor, but what is this "information flow"? What's the difference between "the community" and "our communities" in this sentence?
  • The second bullet point in 'How' contains two examples ("lifting an internet shutdown in a country"; "more information accessible in a local dialect"), but they are what, not how (how remains unexplained: "the sum of various interventions" doesn't help).
Overall, what this and lot of other strategy "recommendations" here are crying out for is at least one concrete example of where current practices are detrimental and how proposed changes would be beneficial. Most of the actual examples given have received such a negative response that the pertinent proposals have no chance of being implemented, so I understand the reluctance to give examples, but, if no example can be given, then surely there's no justification for creating these "recommendations". EddieHugh (talk) 17:04, 10 October 2019 (UTC)