Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Roles & Responsibilities/2&3

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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". :)

@The Land: Q9: The movement consists in the first place of online communities connected to Wikimedia projects. They are foremost the first to be involved in deciding about the future of the movement. The online communities are even't mentioned in deciding about this change. That is odd. I belief it is a prerequisite to have a movement charter or other such documents be ratified on each project by the online community through the decision making process of that online community. Please remember that none of the organizations/entities do represent the online communities. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 11:37, 16 September 2019 (UTC)

Decisions on (fate of) existing projects and approving project creations[edit]

Somehow, this recommendation seemingly mentions neither whether the Language Committee and the Board of Trustees will still exist nor what to do with project proposals. If either one or both can still exist, will the LangCom and the Trustees still decide whether to approve or reject closure proposals of the existing projects and whether to approve proposed language projects? Normally, most closure proposals have been rejected since the closing projects policy was made, but most of language project proposals have been either stalled or not yet put forward. If LangCom and/or the Board were to dissolve, then which groups would take over such decisions? Furthermore, how would the decision on Bulgarian Wikinews be made differently? --George Ho (talk) 04:16, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Hi George - thanks for your comments! On the broad scale, we expect the WMF Board to continue to exist, though many of its 'movement governance' functions would move to a new 'global council'. We have not specifically addressed question of who should decide on opening or closing projects and I am not sure LangCom have been consulted or had any input into the process so far, so I would not want to say anything too specific. There are a number of ways it could work. The principle we've put in this recommendation suggests an approach of 'what is the smallest group of people that would need to be involved in such a discussion, and how do we bring them together to make it?' rather than 'what committee should review proposals'. I appreciate this is not a very specific answer but I hope it helps explain our thinking. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 16:28, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
Re-reading (or briefly re-skimming) the recommendation, including two parts of Q4 and Q13, maybe decentralization seems idealistic, but I'm worried that, if the organization(s) were to be decentralized, one group or council (large or small) might influence another or other groups into making decisions, making efforts to make other groups autonomous either in vain or having similar opinions as that group/council. Maybe that reasoning to oppose the recommendation is weak. Maybe I should be all for decentralization, but the idea looks to me very general as-is. Is my notifying the LangCom about this recommendation okay? George Ho (talk) 21:38, 24 September 2019 (UTC)

Impact on projects' contents[edit]

I'm worried that decentralization of roles, i.e. an attempt to promote autonomy of groups, would result in content, especially from Wikipedia, being compromised. Possible factors would be influences by and interference from groups of repressive countries, like Turkey, China, and Saudi Arabia. Turkey has blocked Wikipedia from online access for two years, citing allegations against the country for sponsoring terrorism. (Not sure whether that's the main reason. Wikipedia also contains history of Turkey's atrocities toward Armenians during WWI.) Currently, China has blocked all Wikipedia language editions. Also, Croatian and Azerbaijan Wikipedia have ongoing content, conduct, and community issues, though an RFC on was closed as desysopping just one admin and rejecting proposal to desysop all admins. Do you think decentralization would give the (intimidating) censors and biased promoters greater autonomy than it should? --George Ho (talk) 17:50, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Thanks George Ho, this is a valid concern, that we also considered in our work. Hence, our current model also accomodates for some aspects to be handled in a central place. The legal "home" of the servers is one of these aspects, in order to protect the content. --CDG (WMAT staff) (talk) 21:17, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Hey there, Claudia. What "current model" did you mean? Did you mean the current encyclopedia model, which WG wants replaced just because it's not inclusive enough or something? If not, what else did you mean? Did "the legal 'home' of the servers" mean the United States? George Ho (talk) 22:01, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Our working group suggested a possible governance model based on the ideas manifested in our recommendations, this is what I was referring to. This model is imo closer to the way communities organize on the projects than what we have right now. Ideally, the question of the "home of the servers" would be assessed by legal experts in the implementation phase to come up with the best possible solution. I personally believe the US probably is one of if not the best location. --CDG (WMAT staff) (talk) 08:21, 12 October 2019 (UTC)