Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations

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Evaluations and concerns[edit]

Just in this particular category, there are twelve different proposals. I'm rather concerned that's too many to get meaningful feedback on. Of course, I say that, but I did read them all.

The good[edit]

Some of these proposals are what I would expect to see out of a process like this, to gather data and support content generation. Examples: Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Working_Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/3, Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/6 Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/10, Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/5. By all means, let's do things like that.

The bad[edit]

Some of the proposals are quite unclear. For example, Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/2 contains stuff like The classic notion of an encyclopaedia and ‘universal knowledge’ needs to be discarded. Having top priority content about any group of people, nation,... is in this direction. The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic. What is a “universal knowledge”? Who gets to decide what is “universal”? We need to focus on moving from a single center to multiple ones. I have not the first clue what that actually means. Similarly, Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/12 mentions software changes, but doesn't say what those would actually be or do.

The ugly[edit]

And it's ugly indeed. Many of these proposals seek to undermine the very foundations of how our projects work. Changes of that scope should be massively publicized and heavily discussed, but I have seen no effort aside from a mailing list posting to make people aware of them. That, to be quite frank, seems like they're trying to be slipped through with a Hitchhiker's Guide style "But the plans were on display...". The proposals essentially propose to entirely destroy the autonomy of local communities, both in user conduct matters (cf. Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/1 essentially proposes to eliminate individual project user behavior policies and enforcement), and in content (Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/9 proposes not only to have the Foundation set content policy, which would totally impinge on project editorial independence [something we have been repeatedly assured will never happen], but even proposes to force projects to accept content under nonfree licenses, striking at the very heart of Wikimedia's free-content mission.) I am astonished, and frankly very disappointed, to see such things even proposed at all, let alone seriously. We do not do things by top-down dictation of policy and nonfree content; we are a free content, volunteer-run group of projects. And that works fine. We've made available huge educational works, free for the general public not only to view, but even to copy, reuse, and reimagine. And while it may not have been the intent of the authors, proposing such massive, fundamental changes, and only announcing them on the mailing list, seems to indicate that they know these proposals are never going to fly, and hoping they float past under the radar. Changes that huge should be announced to the entire Wikimedia community, and be the subject of robust discussion.

The long and the short[edit]

These proposals must be announced far more widely, such as on watchlist notices and the like, on every project. These are not minor tweaks; these propose to fundamentally overhaul the way Wikimedia projects function. Just a brief announcement on the mailing list (which gave no clue as to the massive impact of these suggestions) is neither sufficient nor acceptable. Seraphimblade (talk) 17:54, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Echo SBlade, in near-entirety.
Disagree that Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/6 is good. It's ugly in the sense that it coaxes editors to disclose private aspects in prominent forms and we are no Facebook. Doxing et al are commonplace and promoting something like about-me section over FB even w/o asking for real-name and all that, can genuinely turn into a nightmare for well-meaning newbies.
Also body-quotas are a horrible concept esp. when floated down to the tier of admins/crat/arb-com and I guess they are not aware about how admins/crats are elected in major communities. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 20:01, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
(I apparently screwed up pasting, as I actually meant to put Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/10 as an example of a "Good". I can see your concerns about the user page proposal, but as long as it's optional I'm not terribly concerned.) Seraphimblade (talk) 21:08, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
I just made a comment at recommendation 1 given my strong feelings after reading it. I wish I had read this first because then I could have realized that there was an equally troubling Recommendation 9. I would suggest that this working group failed to grapple in any meaningful way with what Questions 4A and 4B ask. There are significant downsides for at least some of these recommendations that seem to be waved away. I would hope that more serious thought and attention could be given to assessing those downside risks before any sort of further movement towards implementation. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:38, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

a general reminder[edit]

After browsing through the suggesred recommendations, some of the commentary as well commentary/articles on them on Wikipedia project pages, I feel that it is time for a reminder and/or some recommendation for the people working on those recommendations.

  • a) Keep in mind the diversity of projects hosted/facilitated by the WMF. While all those projects have free access to knowledge or content in common, they all have their own established goals, traditions and requirements. These need to be taken into account for these recommendations and the recommendations should not be in conflict with them, in particular not as far central goals and requirements are concerned.
  • b) Do not hijack projects for other agendas, no matter how good, positive or desirable they might be in general. Doing so is highly likely to cause severe friction within the communities of the projects and between communities and the WMF and ultimately severly harm or impair those projects.
  • c) Keep in mind in that diversity in this context is "only" a tool or a secondary goal, that needs to serve the primary project goals. That means more diversity is desired as it is likely to lead to healthier communities and better/improved content, hence it benefits the primary project goals. But you should not modify a project's primary goals to achieve more diversity, if you want to pursue that you should set up a new separate project (havings its own primary goals). For instance the Wikipedia has as its primary goal to create a free encyclopedia, i. e. it is an encyclopedic project, which imho is non-negotiable. Therefore things like "The classic notion of an encyclopaedia and ‘universal knowledge’ needs to be discarded" or "The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic" are pretty much non-starters.

--Kmhkmh (talk) 23:55, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

+1Ziko (talk) 22:15, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Strategy[edit]

While I'm sure most of the finer points have already been commented on by numerous concerned users, I think it'd be worthwhile to touch on a few more things.

  • This isn't a debate with the sensible liberals on one side and the crazy anti-SJWs on the other. There's an important distinction between being against taking any steps to deliberately increase diversity and pointing out that the proposed steps would be ineffectual or seem like the wrong approach. (I feel it would be best to get this out of the way first, because without this caveat being accepted there's not really much of a point in requesting feedback.)
  • The projects' diversity is currently severely inhibited by systemic biases (at least, this is my take based on the evidence that similar demographic biases exist in similar occupations and fields), and the diversity efforts of the last 10 years have had little discernible effect. Even most of the increased geographic diversity can be attributed almost entirely to better internet access in India. While an improvement in strategy would obviously be beneficial, it's obviously not going to be as simple as changing the terms of use or pressuring projects to change or throw out their policies. Policies and guidelines generally exist for good reasons, and pages like w:en:Wikipedia:Perennial proposals generally exist for good reasons. Necessitating certain exceptions to notability policies as a strategy (rather than, say, proposing a new Wikipedia notability guideline and then improving it until it receives community acceptance) shows a certain disregard for the communities.
  • Licensing relaxations are literally listed as a perennial proposal on the linked page. It's probably best not to go down that rabbit hole, especially seeing as most people aren't familiar with copyright law in the first place (in contrast to Commons regulars, who usually are).
  • To my knowledge, the overwhelming majority of editors who stay for more than a month (at least on the English Wikipedia and on Wikidata) start editing of their own volition and aren't asked to contribute by someone already in the community, so if demographic change is desired then the pipeline of new editors would be a good place to start (even the people who choose to create an account are almost certainly demographically skewed). While being able to see that a demographic group is represented on the projects would probably be a good thing, this wouldn't be relevant to a new user who's never even visited a user page or a discussion page; with respect to editor recruitment it would probably be better to actively reach out to prospective editors through e.g. college classes or targeted advertising, or to further improve the website interfaces so that there's a more streamlined process for beginning to contribute and finding help.
  • While it is certainly the case that many cultures are not well documented by third parties, I would be skeptical of attempts to change notability and sourcing policies to allow for such cultures to be better documented in Wikipedia. While in part this would be because of resistance to change, there are good reasons to keep the same standards for primary and secondary sources across the board. It's certainly a possibility that more primary sources could become accepted, but it probably wouldn't be the result of publishing that directly to Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons.
  • The difficulty in reading the text of the recommendations, and possibly the difficulty in finding the nutshell pages, is evidently quite detrimental to the working groups' case. (There are also a number of places where the formatting is obviously idiosyncratic, which signals an unfamiliarity with the software.) Perhaps for future working groups, other community members who don't represent affiliates could be invited to criticize proposal texts before they become public, to improve the quality and specificity of the community feedback, and to avoid the impression (which is clearly shared by some of those who have already commented) that the working groups are incapable or out of touch.

I hope this feedback is useful. I'm not citing any sources here, but I've tried to put some coherent thoughts together in a reasonable time, so apologies if I don't have certain facts right or if I'm incorrectly assuming certain things. Jc86035 (talk) 17:48, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Diversity in mental health[edit]

As an editor barriers to entry for me included

  1. Critical warning templates and untemplated warnings on commons and enwiki. I dont think we should even use the word "warning" unless its clear vandalism.
  2. en:Articles for deletion process particularly the name of it
  3. Opposition to proposals in regards to this basically en:WP:SNOW opposed by enwiki.


I would prefer this than diversity quotas.
I think behavioural psychologists are the best to design warning templates and monitor community conflict, which may be barriers to entry for those with mental health problems.
In regard to lower income countries, whilst declaring no expertise other than travel, I think smartphone editing needs to be one of the highest priorities for diversity from those without access to computers. Images could be sent by WhatsApp with auto replies for copyright before being published on the commons (post auto reverse image search). Also, submission to en:AfC by WhatsApp could be technically possible, with WhatsApp replies from other editors in regard to sources etc. I in principle support the expansion of reliable sources eg. oral history for protected articles. That needs a lot of very careful thought though and significant consultation with these marginalised communities.

E.3's thought bubble ideas for inclusion

E.3's thought bubble ideas for inclusion

  1. An incremental yet important change, reform WP:AfD. top to bottom. Then WP:AfC won't have such a backlog, I suspect. I propose naming it WP:Proposed article retraction with a friendly, welcoming template for new editors. retract,draftify, keep, merge in discussions. Articles are not for deletion when nominated, complete historical misnomer from WP:Votes for deletion. The WP:AfD is emotional, argumentative and WP:BEFORE isn't being used appropriately. For new editors, it wont be as disheartening when an article is proposed for retraction rather than nominated for deletion. That wont destroy the project at all, just take a bit of adjusting from long time editors and a lot of technical backend work.
  2. Improve commons upload, especially from smartphones. When uploading, clear technical auto checks (as currently from Flickr), an auto tineye and google reverse image search, then auto suggest OTRS if its is elsewhere on the net. Request the location, and auto link to FOP for the country if it may be an issue. Less prominence to possible copyright violation warning templates, escalating with repeat violations.
  3. Banning untemplated warnings on enwiki, less prominence to critical templates (we dont need red exclamation marks for good faith edits and uploads), of course retaining escalating templates for repeated violations.
  4. reform linguistics of non-vandal warnings (caution, etc). Perennial proposals, but a lot of make work.
  5. Test user experience in marginalised groups with smartphones. The WMF has the resources to test this and provide data.
  6. WP:RS can give specific examples of many news sources across the world considered to be reliable, in each country.
  7. In terms of oral histories and preservation of language, I in principle support the pie in the sky ideas floating about, but am far from an anthropologist and have limited understanding of the issues. However this needs significant input from these fragmented cultures, and some kind of edit-protection, for example the en:History wars in Australia are toxic.
    I don't have the political nous to push these, other to comment when I perceive issues in WP:AfD, and if this is not an appropriate place to comment, please refactor with my permission. Thats what I mean by c:User:E.3/Networks of complicated rules.

--E.3 (talk) 18:10, 14 August 2019 (UTC)