- 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". :)
Thanks for the idea of a CoC aka paper tiger as recommendation 1. The emptiness of the recommendation is amplified by the lack of a draft or outline CoC. Could you give us an outline of what you envision to be part of the CoC? How will you secure that everybody will live up to your CoC? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 09:19, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- I agree. The document is introduced with some general and common sense remarks, such as: "The health and safety of the community is a critical component to growth and expanding our diversity"; and "it must make clear who handles what type of behavioral issue". But I hardly see something substantial, or something that is essentially moving the discussion forward.
- It would have been great to read more about e.g. the actions that should be regulated via a Code of Conduct; who should be ultimately resposible for enforcing rules and take action; what action to take against purpetrators etc.
- Some issues:
- A wiki cannot be only and always welcoming. It is an important task to protect a wiki and filter new edits, because some people want to abuse the wiki for their own purpose (such as propaganda or advertising). On the other hand, there are good reasons to keep a wiki "open" in the social dimension. This is a challenging dilemma for every wiki. Alas, I don't see it reflected in the document.
- Some rules are established by the Foundation, some rules are established by the editing community per wiki. (I call them owner's wiki law and editors wiki law.) I suppose that also in future we will have this divison: general rules set out for the whole movement, and more specific rules per community within that global frame. The document seems to be one-sided in favor of the Foundation, but maybe this impresson stems only from the wording?
- "To maintain the ability to remain anonymous, technology would need to be adapted to allow acceptance of the Code prior to editing being allowed." I don't quite understand this. Can't you simply write below the editing window: By saving your edit you agree to our Code of Conduct? - or something like that? We already do that with regard to e.g. the license.
- "An ombudsman position would need to be created in order to act as a liaison between the communities and the WMF to deal with these types of issues." I am confused: which "issues" (anything mentioned before?), and how to "deal" with them? What exactly would the liason (ombudsperson seems to be the wrong term here, if I understand correctly) do?
- "The Wikipedia community has struggled with how to deal with overly-aggressive editors [...]". I agree, and I think for example that our bans often are too short. But I think that it is quite a bit polemical to talk about "a grade school playground “group detention” solution that sometimes punishes the victims equally with the aggressors". This sometimes happens, yes. But there are also situations in which there is no clear division of victims and aggressors, just editors who disagree. The measurement by itself is sound and should not be called a "grade school [...] detention".
Ziko (talk) 22:32, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
zero-tolerance for unacceptable behavior
Hi. Your working groups wants the Wikimedia Foundation to maintain zero-tolerance for unacceptable behavior. They imposed a one year ban on someone who showed unacceptable behavior. This has led to some dialogue (I wish there was dialogue). Please share your reflection on ways to maintain zero-tolerance, for example in the light of recent events. This relates as well to community health, which has a separate working group. This relates as well to roles and responsibilities (the English Wikipedia community, or at least a very vocal group of editors) defy interference by the Wikimedia Foundation. What have the talks of your working group with these two other working groups led to? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 09:26, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- There are several difficulties with that specific case. The WMF position was that they wouldn't say what the editor had done wrong, they didn't consider it the sort of unacceptable behaviour for which they normally give a project wide permanent ban, but they did consider that something happened that merited a 12 month ban on EN wiki and no restriction on that editor's continued activity on other WMF wikis. I hope I'm not the only one who considers it unacceptable behaviour to give someone a ban that will expire after a period of time without being clear to them what specific behaviour you expect them to stop if they return after that ban lapses. WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:21, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Once again, calls for undermining (or in this case, essentially destroying) local project autonomy, and a global solution to things which should be decided locally. Strong oppose. Seraphimblade (talk) 17:05, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- (+1) Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:54, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- Hear hear. MER-C (talk) 15:12, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- Surely this is not in line with the Board statement in the Fram Case ("we also recognize the critical importance of allowing communities to be self-governing"), so I wonder where such a proposal is now coming from? Is this proposal deliberately taking a stance against the Board position? --Magiers (talk) 08:07, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- (+1).--Vulphere 09:42, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:52, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 --voyager (talk) 06:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 Shoy (talk) 12:31, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1...billion. OK, just +1CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 13:06, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 - it doesn't consider why we have community autonomy Nosebagbear (talk)
- +1. Community self-governance is a central principle of Wikimedia. --Yair rand (talk) 22:43, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- It seems like ‘local autonomy’ became in some quarters a phrase akin to ‘states’ rights’. There was never a promise of total local autonomy: if some project is way out of line with our different guiding principles, they will get reprimanded no matter how much fuss the community will make about it. Otherwise, we would never be able to bring order to some extremely toxic communities. Surely we don’t want to stomp on the local autonomy of Islamic extremists, do we? stjn[ru] 15:46, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- "Local project autonomy" led to the:
- Nobody wants to give up, or to take away the autonomy of the projects. These initiatives give a chance to use the resources available to the WMF to introduce conscious and contientious solutions to the issues revealed by the research studies conducted throughout the years. It is our chance and decision to get the best benefit from these programs by giving constructive feedback and suggestions about how the WMF and the communities can work together. Cooperative work will benefit the community health, decrease the need for intervention, thus retain the autonomy of the projects. — Aron M (talk) 14:11, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
- One benefit, only possible with the resources of the WMF, is hinted somewhere in the drafts: training (I assume mediator training) for arbitrators and administrators, and possibly hiring professional mediators to resolve disputes. Mediation gives net positive results compared to standard sanctioning. In the mediation process both parties make and accept compromises in an iterative process, leading to results that are more agreeable and less like a punishment to both parties, giving less of a reason for editors to suddenly retire. — Aron M (talk) 14:51, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
- You have missed another example. Local project autonomy also led to your's getting blocked over en-wiki for sock-puppetry and then losing t/p access and email access in quick succession, before being banned from certain mailing lists .... Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 15:27, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
- @Winged Blades of Godric: Nope. Included that one too: "other issues major and minor". Who missed it then? Anyway, jokes aside. This is PA territory. The second in 2 days? Protocol is that I ask you to remove it. I'll remove my (this) comment for sure, as it's off-topic. — Aron M (talk) 19:37, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
- @Winged Blades of Godric: You mentioned "being banned from certain mailing lists". This is non-public information, would you elaborate how you know about it? I assume you won't, which is quite concerning. — Aron M (talk) 03:33, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- To address the allegations: there was no abusive usage of the alt account. All sockmasters would tell that too, so there's a simple solution to this mystery on my user page. — Aron M (talk) 03:56, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- I am not removing my comment. Bye and best wishes for convincing admins over here about my rurality. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 19:40, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
- I love that attitude. It was fun. Perhaps not beneficial to the encyclopedia, but who cares. Congratzzz. — Aron M (talk) 03:56, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- That you would even take an actual dissemination of your history as “PA territory” pretty much encapsulates the experience on meta. PA’s around seem to be, “things I don’t want known about me or things I don’t agree with.”Capeo (talk) 01:13, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- (Edit conflict.) Well, you seem to know meta well. What is your business with this, interesting as it is?
- The reason for me feeling offended is that he brought it up 3 times, in quick succession on 3 pages, where it's clearly off-topic and ad hominem. I wouldn't endorse that conduct. Anyway, if I would mind it, I would have just deleted his comments per "Highly uncivil or insulting comments may be removed". There's no need for that.
- Anyone, who does an "actual dissemination of my history", can see that I haven't used my alt account to act as different persons. Actually, I haven't used it since I use this account. I would prefer that those contradicting statements were gone, but I have no control over that. This pretty much encapsulates my experience. — Aron M (talk) 03:36, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- Citation needed for multiple cases being ignored, and archive.is is not considered "reliable" by en.Wikipedia. Find a real archive, if you must link to an archive. — Arthur Rubin T C (en: U, T) 03:04, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- This is meta, and also not an article. Help yourself: https://archive.org/web/ Also, take a look at your sig, and drop the source for the "not reliable" claim, please. Thanks — Aron M (talk) 03:46, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Have you noticed the irony of trying to promote diversity by imposing a universal, one-rule-for-everyone system? Further centralising of power through a take-it-or-leave-it, one-size-fits-all approach would not promote diversity. You would be driving away anyone whose personal or cultural beliefs did not match those of the WMF, which, as we have seen, has proved to be far from infallible in its judgement. EddieHugh (talk) 19:42, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- (+1) Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:54, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- Hear hear. MER-C (talk) 15:09, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- (+1) The irony is so strong...--Vulphere 09:40, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:53, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 --MGChecker (talk) 02:59, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 Benjamin (talk) 05:58, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 --voyager (talk) 06:31, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. The language in this proposal is Orwellian. Shoy (talk) 12:32, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. --Yair rand (talk) 22:43, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- You should explain with less euphemisms what personal or cultural beliefs are being ‘discriminated’ against in already existing Wikimedia code of conducts. Is it belief that you can be disrespectful to LGBT colleagues? Is it anything else? As to one-size-fits-all approaches, pretty much all Wikipedias derive their basic policies from English Wikipedia’s older versions of the same policies, so the reality is that you’ve already imposed one code of conduct on other projects and now are just essentially arguing against a (potentially) better version of it. stjn[ru] 15:46, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- A couple of years ago there was a user in german ArbCom who turned out to be a low-level functionary of the german far-right party AfD. His onwiki editing was not really problematic otherwise. There was a lot of drama about this, with many other Arbs resigning because they wouldn't work together with him. Are neo-nazis and followers of right-wing parties underpresented in dewiki? I think so and hope so. Was he discriminated against? Well, maybe. So the Code of Conduct you cite may well have been breached back then. At the same time, something like this might have been a non-issue on enwiki. Many communities have sensitivities of their own, based on their culture and history. --Tinz (talk) 16:35, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- It is so absurd to suggest that any code of conduct adopted by this measure would protect Neo-Nazis and far-righters as a marginalised group that I am, frankly, impressed that you decided to leave this comment. stjn[ru] 17:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- the page you cited doesn't differ between groups that rightfully and wrongfully underrepresented. I think it is naïve to assume that such a policy will magically only benefit the "good guys". --Tinz (talk) 18:00, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
stjn, I think your questions were directed at me, so I'll respond. Thank you for linking to the "code of conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces", which I was not aware of. I don't see any euphemisms in my post, so can't expand on that; it looks direct and blunt to me. If other Wikipedias feel that their policies have been imposed on them by the English one (I note that you use "derive", which implies that they were adapted and changed, not imposed), then they can, as far as I am aware, change them. And that's very different from the "recommendations" we're discussing, which would impose the same CoC on everyone, would be written by the WMF, and could not be altered by any group except the WMF (please correct me if these final clauses are wrong). EddieHugh (talk) 18:56, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- agree. dewiki, for example, hast "lost" the 5th pillar very early along the way, doesn't really have the notion of "Consensus" similar to enwiki and prefers to vote on most things instead, has much more restrictive checkuser rules, has an ArbCom which afaik has never decided to de-admin someone, but introduced an admin recall procedure instead. I am sure that many other communities have deviated from enwiki policies in the last 15 years, and this is a really interesting aspect of diversity in the Wikimedia universe that is under threat by the centralisation attempts of the WMF. --Tinz (talk) 19:55, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- I think that is the point, making Wikipedia more welcoming to people who are not white males.Slatersteven (talk) 12:56, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- I disagree - I think Wikipedia should be as welcoming to all people as they are now for white males. One of the principles of accepting that one is privileged, is the recognition that everyone else deserves that access and respect. LessHeard vanU (talk) 10:48, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
The way forward...
...is not this. The Wikimedia Foundation should not be mandating a code of conduct across all projects without consent of and deciding input by those projects. Yes, toxic behavior is a problem, and yes, the WMF should most definitely have some role in managing it, but this seems like a solution that will cause further and possible irreparable conflict between the Wikimedia Foundation and volunteer editors with little benefit. The ability of local projects to decide their own civility policies (provided they conform to the ToU) is something that cannot be stripped away without damaging every existing community. Granted that, per this page, what you want to do is make editors on all projects sign a civility/harassment/conduct agreement of some sort, I honestly don't see what the point is. All editors are already required to abide by the TOU simply by using Wikimedia sites, and that has a civility component which applies on all projects. Individual projects' civility policies expand on that and decide enforcement. If I'm reading the recommendations correctly, which I may not be since they're quite vague, this would amount to little de facto change and cause a substantially large amount of conflict amongst editors. Vermont (talk) 20:16, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- Agree, for once. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:53, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 on Vermont. --Sannita - not just another it.wiki sysop 17:32, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 also how is such a method supposed to aplly to unregistered editors/IPs. One major) attraction of the WP was/is the ability to be able to contribute quickly and spontaneously without much or any bureacratic hassle or requirements.--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:58, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 --voyager (talk) 06:31, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 -- Llywrch (talk) 16:28, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. --Yair rand (talk) 22:43, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 Eni vak (speak) 21:56, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- Funny irrelevant comment: As a former Clash of Clans maniac, i know that the players of that game were calling it COC (Clash Of Clans). I see that here the Code of conduct we also discuss here is also called COC by some, well.... happy clashing, guys! slefjblskjgb Eni vak (speak) 22:03, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I strongly support this recommendation. Libcub (talk) 05:13, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- @Libcub: May you please explain why? Thanks. George Ho (talk) 05:31, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. ‘Local autonomy’ will not protect the most vulnerable in many cases, and libertarian bro view on the world that this is not important has failed us already. stjn[ru] 15:46, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 strong support. "Local project autonomy" led to major issues that I wrote above.
- The major and also many minor free software communities have a Code of Conduct by now. Those communities went through a lot of debates and doubts before agreeing. We are at the beginning of this process, it's natural that there are many sceptical thoughts, but there's also good reason to be positive about it: those communities that went through the hurdle, benefited from the CoC.
- Currently our behavioural "rules" are scattered throughout the infinite number of policies and guidelines, many of which are seldom read. It's ambiguous, which rules apply when. A Code of Conduct collects the most important behavioural guidelines in a clear set of rules, that can be presented to all editors. This focused set of rules will be easier to properly apply. As the community accepts and adapts the CoC, it becomes the norm, and misconduct becomes less accepted, thus less effective. This results in a community, where unwanted behaviour loses its motivation, thus less sanctions are necessary, and the community becomes stronger in self-governing. This is the desired result, and greatly depends on editors' (our) adaptation of the CoC. — Aron M (talk) 17:34, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
The lack of self-criticism
You can see the issues with this half-baked proposal simply from the sections talking about risks and possible negative results from implementing these ideas. If someone asks you what your weaknesses are and you first say "I have no weaknesses" and follow it up with "Well, maybe one of my weaknesses is that I'm too awesome," there's a serious lack of self-reflection in play. It doesn't seem as if the group even considered issues of local autonomy, varying cultural norms, or the possibility that managing a useful encyclopedia requires different rules for interactions than a kindergarten class. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 15:21, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- That was a particularly damning "paragraph" - which at best meant they'd missed a whole bunch of major issues and at worst meant they considered anyone who might disagree would only do so because they were a toxic editor seeking to protect themselves Nosebagbear (talk) 12:21, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- Agree with both of you. Eni vak (speak) 22:05, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Harassment survey 2015
was gold standard rubbish. Any semi-respectable company would have fired it's crop of statisticians/survey-designers post that mess but this is We-Make-Failures, after all. I reject any report, derived thereof. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 18:20, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Who gets to decide what behaviour is acceptable and what is unacceptable? What criteria will be used? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:33, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- VERY IMPORTANT question. Blueboar (talk) 12:46, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Model Code of Conduct rather than Universal Code of Conduct
A Code of Conduct will only be effective if it has "buy in" from the community that it governs. Also, behavioral expectation are different on different communities. The same situation occurs in the United States where each state adopts its own laws. Because states want to develop best practices and be consistent when practical, a system of "Model Laws" have developed. A set of legal scholars draft Model Laws and then recommend them to all of the state legislatures for adoption. The Wikimedia movement could do the same thing with a Code of Conduct. A process could draft a Model Code of Conduct that would be sent to all of the projects to consider, amend and adopt. This has the advantage of allowing local adaptations to reflect unique community expectations as well as to engage a much wider section of each community than participates in this strategic consultation. Many members of the community have already said that they would view a "top down" imposition of a universal code of conduct to be an unwarranted intrusion on the internal management of their communities. A Model Code avoid this problem. Hlevy2 (talk) 13:57, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- ‘Model laws’ you are probably talking about are adopted on extremely partisan basis with no regard for what’s really best for the people living in those states, is this really a thing the Wikimedia movement is supposed to model? stjn[ru] 15:46, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- It is proposed that "Stakeholders will have the ability to add platform specific rules, but not to remove any provision of the universal organizational policy.", so adapting the CoC is possible by adding "platform specific rules". If you have seen a few Code of Conducts, those are usually quite general, and I expect the CoC will be similarly focused and concise, so there is not much to be taken away. Individual projects will have the opportunity to add specific rules, that should avoid the problem, unless "no intrusion" is a more important concept, than community health and the principles of the wikimedia movement. — Aron M (talk) 17:55, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Q4a and Q4b Risk Assessment
The people who structured this strategy consultation wisely included Questions 4a and 4b to consider the downsides of each recommendation. The Working Group has not given this point the thought that it deserves. To me, the major risk is that people will use a Code of Conduct or "civility" in general to game the system. Suppose that two users are in a content dispute or are competing in the WikiCup or some other competition. User A is the aggressor, and frustrates User B to the point that User B expresses displeasure in the form of a swear word. It could be that User A's language was far more hurtful than a swear word. Now if User A goes running to the "civility police" to file a complaint against User B ("weaponizing the Code of Conduct") it is important that the decisionmaker look at the full context and not just at who used the swear word first.
The issue of "harassment" is more difficult to apply than the black and white test of whether a swear word was used. There are a few wikipoliticians who have misused their identity as a member of a "disadvantaged group" to attack other users who are working to enforce the rules in good faith without regard to identity group status. These wikipoliticians view any criticism of their on-wiki work as identity group based harassment, and "weaponized their identity status" to bully the other users.
When third party bystandards see such misconduct, they become demoralized and community health rapidly declines. So the risk is that the Code of Conduct will be drafted imperfectly or enforced unfairly or that toxic users will hide behind their identity group status.
There is also a danger that people will deliberately mis-identify their identity group status to receive favorable treatment by the WMF and the community. Finally, there is a danger that the community will accidentally back away from its important commitment to treat everyone with respect and equality without regard to identity group status.
The Working Group should modify its answers to Question 4a and 4b to acknowledge these risks and explain how to mitigate them. Thank you. Hlevy2 (talk) 14:16, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Commenting on a recommendation that there should exist a code of conduct is pretty vacuous without an actual code to consider. Anyone supporting is just imaging it would what they want it to say. And of course criticism is criticism of what it might say. The Foundation is always free to draft a code of conduct to propose to the community. But any code of conduct won't actually work unless the community broadly supports with the actual text. Anyone who thinks that the Foundation can impose an effective code of conduct by some force of authority clearly has little grasp of the how things work out there.
The recommendation says quote: the policy must be drafted by experts and vetted by the legal department... To leave dealing with behavioral issues to policy designed by non-experts (untrained volunteers/staff) runs the risk of jeopardizing...
The community are the experts. Banning the experts from the process, and assigning the task in people who are entirely ignorant of the issues we deal with, is not going to work. In fact it will fail catastrophically. You're basically proposing to put Jared Kushner in charge of bringing peace to the Middle East, when he knows nothing about the conflict in the Middle East. You're literally proposing to bring peace to (articles on) the Middle East by putting in charge people who literally know nothing about conflict in (articles on) the Middle East. The community will certainly welcome any outside-experts who might be able to bring ideas or insights. However it is absurd and ignorant to suggest that a solution is going to be designed by people who have no experience in how editing conflicts arise, no experience in how to handle or resolve them, to suggest that the "solution" will then be imposed and enforced by other people who also have no experience in how these conflicts arise nor in how to resolve them. Alsee (talk) 15:04, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 on the whole comment --Sannita - not just another it.wiki sysop 17:33, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- It's almost as if these recommendations were drafted by people without the slightest idea about how the projects work. *sigh* --Millbart (talk) 18:54, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. We have already seen many times how competent WMF staff (specially the ones in charge) is when it has to deal with community issues. Having such people in charge of designing such a policy is a recipe for disaster. Thanks, but no.--- Darwin Ahoy! 20:39, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 Eni vak (speak) 22:10, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 We've seen real issues with the WMF coming up with solutions because they don't have any actual experience in the Community. Complete outsiders would get to be even worse. Individuals have suggested (or actually used) "other internet community experts" and felt their advice is clearly germane to Wikipedia. Except...we aren't like anyone else. At all. Our goal, set-up, formal complexity and methods of engagement are all radically different to anywhere else. In lieu of requiring every single WMF staff member to make 3000 edits a year, drawing the expertise from the Community is the only route. Once the WMF are all experienced, then both can speak and actually understand the other side. I'd be interested if the WMF wanted to set their own "helpful to understand" criterion for community members to try out. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:44, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Feels like Childhood
This feels like my childhood in East Germany. You had to follow, or you will be kiked out of the community. Terrible idea. Inhuman. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 17:09, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- Marcus Cyron, may I suggest that you edit the word "kiked" above. That has unfortunate connotations, which you probably didn't intend. — Arthur Rubin T C (en: U, T) 03:07, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- I am sure he meant "kicked out". Cullen328 (talk) 19:39, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- Indeed, and further to Cullen328 above, how would such a comment be regarded by the WMF if presented by someone with an axe to grind with Marcus Cyron as the basis of an anti-Semitism accusation - both the mispelling and the last term used? LessHeard vanU (talk) 10:45, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
I have a hard time taking this recommendation seriously given its extreme magnitude because there wasn't enough proofreading to catch the fact that Q4A refers to Q6 but the links appear to be part of Q5 - and from my look at the edit history have always been part of Q5. However, I will set that aside for a moment. I would like to echo the concerns expressed by CoffeCrumbs. Further, having done a fair amount of diversity work, the idea of having a common set of expectations and guidelines while doing diversity work is great. It's important and essential in my experience to doing that work successfully. But we're not a part of Wikimedia to do diversity work. We're a part of Wikimedia to "empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally." A diverse user base is essential because it helps us achieve that mission better. That's where our focus should be. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:28, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Where is the Code of Conduct?
I couldn't find the actual text of the code of conduct. How are we supposed to discuss the pros and cons when we don't even know what we're talking about? Or did I miss something? Where can I find it? --MatthiasGutfeldt (talk) 10:56, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- I think this is only stating that in principle there should be one. There are a few code of conduct proposals being drafted in different spaces:
- Hope the links are useful. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:55, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- @Evolution and evolvability: Thanks for sharing these links! — Aron M (talk) 01:38, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- This is the pre-preparation step, it seems to me. The draft could have been more explicit, that the CoC is 'todo'.
- Here's a widely used CoC as an example: https://www.contributor-covenant.org/version/1/4/code-of-conduct — Aron M (talk) 01:38, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- I fail to see why any of these are necessary. What's a hypothetical example of behavior that would be allowed under current (say) en.WP policy but prevented by one of these codes?--Chowbok (talk) 08:21, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- In general I agree with you Chowbok. I would note that "Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting" is such a broad, and unclear, statement that anything could be put under it, and it was specifically rebuked in some of the early conversations the en-wiki community had about upping Civility. One of the earlier CoCs listed is against one to one interaction after a request to cease. One interpretation of that (and purely based off the public Fram case info an interpretation used for one of his earlier warnings) is that energetic pursuit of fixing an editor's errors could be viewed as such. I don't disagree that having one editor can feel intrusive as a new editor, but prohibiting it is far more ridiculous - it's sacrificing the encyclopedia just to prevent the appearance of potential harassment, rather than actually stopping any negative behaviour. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:19, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I have written a commons essay about inclusion, not sure its worth a ponder. Mental health inclusionism, neurodiversity in editors, is also important to me, but a separate issue I briefly discussed today. Thanks for your sincere efforts, I in principle support, but this is a little worrisome you need to bridge the gap with the community, IMHO. Thanks --E.3 (talk) 17:36, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- I hope that the drafting process for a CoC will be able to remain civil. Perhaps representatives will need to be some sort of council of elected
- representatives for each of the main projects
- representatives for smaller wikis
- representatives for people who are not on any wiki but could be
- I'm strongly in favour of a 3-part structure of 1) positive behaviours to strive for, 1) red-line behaviours that are unacceptable, and 3) a clear process for handling issues (in public or private as appropriate). T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 01:06, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Nope - and here's why
This working paper doesn't even stop to consider why a unified code of conduct won't (or even might not) work.
No consideration that communities are different to each other. No consideration that stricter behavioural rules might handicap non-harassing competence. It doesn't think how to handle the loss of editors who don't like the new rules, made by non-community members.
Dialogue about improving both required behaviour and required behavioural processes are key. Which does make me wonder why this consultation has not been specifically promulgated (rather than a "go read all the vast working group documents) to the appropriate place on every single Wikipedia. This is a behavioural paper...so, for en-wiki, add it to Village Pump Proposals, ARBCOM Noticeboard & Civility policy.
It states that there was no guarantee for community autonomy - that argument holds up less well in an instance when the Community formed the WMF, and the WMF has the ability to change its TOS as it wishes. Nosebagbear (talk)
More tolerance and zero tolerance
You can have a policy of "zero-tolerance for unacceptable behavior" as one part of this document recommends, you can also be concerned that "Even those operating in good faith may alienate others by strict adherence to rules and policies" as the preceding section urges. But you can't have both, or if you try you create a self contradictory byzantine mess where in each dispute one person can argue they are enforcing zero tolerance and the other will say "I don't dispute that you are operating in goodfaith, but you are alienating me by strict adherence to rules and policies". Choose one, or better still acknowledge that these are competing aims and communities have to balance and struggle to balance them. One sign that a community is getting it right is when a community get critics from both sides, those who think there should be zero tolerance of infractions and those who think there should be more tolerance. Though it is difficult to know what to politely say to someone who says both at the same time. You could try, as perhaps the drafters intended, to go for more tolerance of certain types of behaviour combined with less tolerance, even zero tolerance of other behaviours, such as perhaps incivility. But be aware that on Wikipedia one person's efficient deletion tagging is another person's incivility, and that's before our coterie of trolls sees the opportunity this gives to tie the whole community in knots with trolling. WereSpielChequers (talk) 12:40, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Split Discussion - Code of Conduct
There is also a universal code of conduct (with some even more scary suggestions, like sanctioning of whole Communities) discussion at the "Community Health" working group: Rules and regulations, decision making processes and leadership
Not sure why they didn't merge their proposals
Nosebagbear (talk) 14:05, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- Probably because this stage of the process is the first at which the two groups have seen each other's draft recommendations. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 20:29, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- Wow, whole Communities? I missed it, can you cite? — Aron M (talk) 03:58, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- @Aron Manning: - point 4) "The CoC will also contain a process for dealing with violations, including imposing sanctions, and make clear who is responsible for upholding the CoC and has the authority to take action. Sanctions can apply to individuals causing justified concerns, as well as to communities that consistently fail to act against such individuals." Nosebagbear (talk) 07:58, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- Thanks. Oh yes... remember now. I have an idea what they mean, but it's a pretty unfortunate wording. — Aron M (talk) 08:36, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Re: "To maintain the ability to remain anonymous, technology would need to be adapted to allow acceptance of the Code prior to editing being allowed." I'm assuming rather than anonymity which is best achieved by using a username that you don't link with your real identity, this is talking about IP editors, and the intent is to make IP editors click some disclaimer each time they save an edit. In theory one extra click is not going to dissuade many vandals or spammers, but it is likely to lose us a proportion of our goodfaith IP editors. Especially the sort of pedants/natural wikipedians who will actually click on a code and read it, or read enough to decide that this is too much work to justify fixing a typo or making some other minor improvement of the sort that we associate with the typical wikipedian's first edit. I'd like to suggest that we at least run a trial and get some stats not to show the effect on total IP editing, as this is likely to be minor, but on goodfaith IP editing and subsequent account creation. A possible compromise would be to only require IPs to click on the code when they edit talkpages. Talkpage edits are much more likely to include civility violations, and by the time a newbie is editing talkpages it is probably more than time to create an account. WereSpielChequers (talk) 14:23, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
First, no one is agitating for less civility in any of the projects. One can oppose this recommendation not only while expressing no opinion about civility, one can oppose it while supporting more civility between volunteers. The brusque & superficial comment under point Q. 4b completely misses this.
Second, as pointed out above, requiring everyone to sign an agreement to some yet-undefined "Code of Conduct" is unworkable. Further, it will discourage readers from making casual edits -- say fixing a typo or correcting a misspelled word -- because it forces them to jump thru another hoop. Present practice is to have language on the edit page alerting each participant the contractual terms that they are agreeing to by submitting an edit. If a Code of Conduct is to be created, having a sentence on the edit page explaining that "By submitting this edit you agree to our Code of Conduct" with a link to that document would be satisfactory. On the other hand, providing only this much information may result with people agreeing to terms they are not aware of, especially if some onerous language is added without the wider community being informed of the change.
Last, at best this is a solution in search of a problem; at worst, it is an attempt to force one group's ethics & expectations on the wider community. If one wants more civility in the different projects, maybe one should engage others with more civility. -- Llywrch
) 16:50, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- I'm trying to tell whether it would be more offputting to the many IP editors who are only mildly interesting and want to fix a single small problem, or to the few very active IP editors who'd have to see it, literally, thousands of times. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:15, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- Nosebagbear: It would be easy to implement it to not see it repeatedly in a non-invasive way. For example, with a session cookie, which already exists. This could be used to avoid seeing the message on every edit, and it would be limited to once per session (or per a certain amount of time). --MarioGom (talk) 17:23, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- That might help the latter group but not with the former issue. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:29, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- Doesn't the former group already have to fill a captcha? That's even more offputting, than clicking a button. — Aron M (talk) 03:53, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Philosophy not code
When I started editing WP (some 13 years ago) we had a very simple (one sentence) philosophical statement to follow... it stated: “Don’t be a d!ck”. It worked well as a universal “Code of conduct”. Perhaps we should bring it back. Blueboar (talk) 18:33, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- And if one cannot even stand the profanity, I recall one code of conduct I saw (though I cannot for the life of me recall where) that simply consisted of "Neither needlessly offend, nor be too quick to take offense." I think that's just good advice in general. Seraphimblade (talk) 03:17, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- That's a good one, almost poetic. — Aron M (talk) 03:49, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- Neither needlessly offend, nor be too quick to take offense. Something like this should be plastered all over in sign up forms. --MarioGom (talk) 10:33, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- An excellent line - works for both wikipedia and life. I might crib it for my userpage, I hope the working group do, too. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:08, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
There’s nothing to incorporate into a COC in that link. It’s all platitudes and nothing that could be enforceable in any sense. Not to mention it still misses the point that WP is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not an advocacy outlet, because the entire thing falls apart at that point. WP is naturally going to exhibit the current biases in scholarship. It has to, otherwise whatever is being talked about isn’t an encyclopedia and tosses the whole idea of veritably out the window. The idea is entirely backwards. If the WMF cares so much about diversifying knowledge then it should be spending its money on recording the oral histories of indigenous peoples and digitizing rare documents to aid researchers. NOT to aid editors to OR their faces off while dancing around inexplicable potential COC violations. Capeo (talk) 01:51, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- I don't see why oral history recorded (and published) by reputable researchers in the appropriate field shouldn't be considered a reliable source. I don't see what else that particular inclusiveness clause might mean which is compatible with a semblance of being encyclopedic. — Arthur Rubin T C (en: U, T) 03:17, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- IF it is recorded and published, fine... then we can say there is a reliable source, and include it. But IF not... then no. Blueboar (talk) 13:49, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
There should be no safe space for vandals. — Arthur Rubin T C (en: U, T) 03:14, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
These recommendations are quite perplexing. So there will be a code of conduct everbody has to sign.
- Where is the CoC? Is there a draft?
- Who writes the CoC? Who finally decides that this is the CoC everbody has to adhere? Will the communities asked to do some sort of ratification on it or will it be the usual top down approach?
- What means zero tolerance? Infine global ban in case of violation?
- Who decides if a behaviour contradicts the CoC?
- Will somone accused of violation of the CoC be informed about what he is accused of?
- Who decides about sanctions?
- Will there be any possibility of appeal against sanctions?
- All these Pages are written in English. As a non native speaker I feel discriminated since I'm in an obvious disadvantage in arguing due to constraitnst in mastering English language. This is far from language diveristy it actively tries to exclude people without sufficient English skills from participation.
- Will the CoC be translated in all languages of all projects or will I be forced to sign a CoC in a language I am not proficient in?
- How does the signing work? Do I have to sent a signed peace of paper to the WMF or is there a check box I have to click before my edit is stored?
- Currently it is possible to edit without having an acoount? Will that change?
- Has there been any assessment if the proposed measures wil have impact on Anonymity?
-- Heinrich Reuhl (talk) 10:15, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- All these Pages are written in English. As a non native speaker I feel discriminated since I'm in an obvious disadvantage in arguing due to constraitnst in mastering English language. This is far from language diveristy it actively tries to exclude people without sufficient English skills from participation. Summaries for these recommendations are being translated to many languages, see an example here: Special:PrefixIndex/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Working_Groups/Diversity/Recommendations.
- Will the CoC be translated in all languages of all projects or will I be forced to sign a CoC in a language I am not proficient in? Of course, meta contains translations of the most important documents. I also assume that if a CoC was in place, it would need to be translated to each and every language required for a Wikimedia project.
- How does the signing work? Do I have to sent a signed peace of paper to the WMF or is there a check box I have to click before my edit is stored? It seems the proposal does not address this in detail, but I think it is safe to assume that it would be some kind of form or checkbox, as other online projects do. Note that details about this are being discussed in various threads above.
- About the other questions, I have no idea. The Working Group will need to provide some answers, but note that all these points are also being discussed in other threads here. --MarioGom (talk) 10:31, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- Well, I followed your link to the German version of the summary. On the very top of the document it says "These are draft recommendations by the Diversity Working Group in a nutshell. You can find the full, original, basic version here. However, only this short version is translated." Yes, this advice is given in English. It is no fluke, either. This line is exactly the same for every translated summary. Whoever decided that English would be appropriate for a text that explicitly addresses a non English speaking audience may take a moment to reconsider the implications.
- The link "Vorschläge" takes me to Recommendation -- again the original English page. All of this sends a message. ---<(kmk)>- (talk) 19:31, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
- The CoC itself is NOT drafted yet (the draft should have made this clear!).
- This is the pre-preparation phase to create a CoC, so to speak. I assume it will be similar to the CoCs commonly used in the free-knowledge / free-software movement. Those are quite general, and concise. An example: https://www.contributor-covenant.org/version/1/4/code-of-conduct
- Most of the open communities adapted some kind of CoC in recent years. Who has experience with working in such an environment, can tell there's nothing to fear of such policy. It benefited the projects that applied it.
- "What means zero tolerance?" For me it means that every unwanted behaviour is called out. It's not necessary to sanction every incident, just being aware of it, and clarifying that it's not accepted, has a positive effect.
- "Infine global ban"? As incidents happen every day, wikipedia would quickly become a ghost town with such harsh sanctions. I find infinite sanctions only acceptable for 100% disruptive accounts, most of which is automated processes.
- For editors, who made positive contributions, I expect minimal sanctions (1 day/3 day/1 week/1 month/1 year), in line of blocking policies: to prevent immediate damage/disruption, but not punish the user in the long run.
- "Who decides if a behaviour contradicts the CoC?" That's a significant question, as the current community-level processes and it's participants failed to prevent and stop behavioural issues.
- "Will there be any possibility of appeal against sanctions?" The communities almost unanimously ask for that. I think possibility of appeals is a must for community acceptance.
- IP editing will still be possible, see the current proposal regarding: IP Editing: Privacy Enhancement and Abuse Mitigation
- — Aron M (talk) 18:02, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- Thanks for the answers. Is any of you a menber of the working group?
- Concerning translations. Yes there seems to be some translations on going. Now we community has been given 5 weeks for providing input. Looking at the progress of tranlations they will not be finished at that time. Ok tranlations take time. But then yo have to first translate, then publish it and set a limit for discussion. The recommedations on language diversity have not been translated to any language so far. Could somebody of the persons responsible for this process comment why wikimedians without english language skills are excluded from sicussions on these topics. Or are they supposed to rely on google translate?
- To give an example how other organisations handel this. The European Parliament currently has 24 official languages and every document concerning me as a German will be translated in German. All parliamentary discussions have simultaneous translations.
- Well, professional translations have a price. But considering the budget of WMF that's not a lack of money but seems to be a lack of willingness or maybe even worse diverity is just a buzzword for collectiong money. Complaints about missing translations have been made for years improvements have been promised for years. That leaves not a feeling of your participation is welcome but a feeling of humiliation. --Heinrich Reuhl (talk) 07:40, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
- Providing translations into multiple languages -- especially when diversity is a goal -- should have been part of the process. The money for this should have been budgeted long before now, & not withheld because Foundation employees felt it was more important to spend available funds on attending conferences & seminars on diversity. -- Llywrch (talk) 08:17, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
I will not sign on to live by a Code of Conduct I haven't seen, which is to be drafted by a group that I have good reason not to trust in a process that seems poorly run. The general shift in values away from my personal core values freedom of expression, free discussion, and the pursuit of truth scares me. This process is making me feel unsafe because it looks as if there will be enforced erosion of my ability to pursue those core values on Wikimedia projects. This greatly troubles me, to the extent that I am looking for other online platforms for my efforts in the coming years. Quora, Encyclopedia of Life, StackExchange are good possibilities. I hope there will be someone to carry on with my Wiktionary projects after I've left, if it comes to that. I certainly won't be embarking on any new initiatives until I see where this is going.
I am also quite pessimistic about my ability to influence this process by wading into specific proposals, especially at the level of vagueness they currently exhibit. Accordingly, I am just a data point, possibly reflecting the views of whatever other active contributors have values similar to mine. But I strongly doubt that I am the only one who feels this way and so I advance my personal reaction as relevant to WMF policy.
Has any high-quality statistically valid survey been conducted of the likely effect of various possible rules (parts of the CoC) on those who already do contribute and maintain valuable content to WP and the other projects as well as on those others who might be induced to contribute by a rigorous CoC that was also rigorously enforced? The hypothesis that there are vast untapped resources is more like an article of faith than a reasonable expectation given the lack of evidence and the absence of any serious effort to challenge it as a hypothesis. DCDuring (talk) 14:38, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Proposed wording for World Wide Wiki Code of Conduct
"Be Kind" LessHeard vanU (talk) 10:24, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
CoC versus ToU
What would a CoC achieve that a ToU can't?
(please ping me in replies) Pelagic (talk) 07:01, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
- @Pelagic:, not to defend this silly proposal, but I suspect that where a ToU applies to the website(s), a CoC would also apply to the various Wikimedia organizations. In other words, not only to de.wikipedia, but to WMF Italia. That's why I would propose a CoC over a ToU. I can't speak for the people who formulated this proposal; hopefully they thought carefully about all its implications. -- Llywrch (talk) 20:19, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
- Thanks, Llywrch! Your explanation makes a lot of sense. I hadn't considered the larger scope beyond the websites (such as the national chapters). Presumably the Code would cover in-person interactions and off-wiki communications (as on-wiki already falls under ToU). Would it also apply to WMF employees and board members? (Don't laugh, where I work we have an industry model code of conduct adopted by the executive, and employees must comply.)
- I wonder how it would work across the wide legal and cultural variety of places where the Movement (I mean that broadly to include WMF, affiliated organisations, communities of contributors) operates! With the websites you could partly rely on the argument that the servers are in USA and subject only to US law. I agree with you that there are significant implications.
- —Pelagic (talk) 00:47, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
The idea that Arbcom is insufficiently trained but that the trust and safety team is wrong. With their inability to understand the consequences of actions like the way they did the Fram ban the trust and safety team demonstrated that they are insufficiently trained at understanding the EnWiki community. I personally don't have a problem with Fram being banned but they action the trust and safety team likely predictably turned him into a martyr.
On of the huge problems that were shown in that action was that the trust and safety team doesn't believe in the process of due process. This is shown by building structures where they want to punish without telling the punished person the exact allegations and providing no possibility for appeal. There are good reasons why Western institutions developed the norms of due process and there's currently a political current that wants to destroy those in the hope of making interactions better for marginalized people. Those values seem to be pushed by WMF leadership but most participants of the Wikipedia's do value living in a community with due process. ChristianKl ❪✉❫ 08:10, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
- That Fram became a martyr is a good indication that the T&S overlooked the importance of due process. Sadly, due process and a fair trial is often not granted even in the community processes of enwiki, where the "revolt" was the most vocal. Quite ironic. — Aron M (talk) 08:48, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
Above, I wrote (paraphrased): What's a hypothetical example of behavior that would be allowed under current (say) en.WP policy but prevented by one of these codes of conduct? I only got one reply, and that was from somebody who was generally sympathetic to my opinion on the matter. I think it's a reasonable question, and I'd like to see a reply. How can anyone support a "Code of Conduct" if nobody can even demonstrate the point of it?--Chowbok (talk) 08:17, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
- There are many cases of incivility, bullying. Each are different, and the evaluation of the incidents depends on who looks at it, and how much they know the context (the devil is in the details). These incidents are actually not allowed by current rules either, but the rules are scattered throughout many policies and guidelines, and it depends on the situation, which policies are applied, with what weight. There is significant leeway in the rules, and there's always something to criticize on each sides of a dispute, thus the outcome mostly depends on how well each side can "lawyer", and how much support it receives from supporters.
- A Code of Conduct improves this by 1) being a focused, concise summary of basic rules, 2) raising awareness of civility values. — Aron M (talk) 09:04, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- On that logic, if it's the only issue, why not just ask each community to put together a single page summary of the key policy of that community. Anyone could do that without the WMF. The fact that they jumped to wanting a unified COC suggests nothing other than a power grab and reduction in community autonomy. That would have been poor 6 months ago, let alone before bridge burning. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:30, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- The English Wikipedia already has one. I suspect other projects could do something similar. Seraphimblade (talk) 18:35, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- Isn't "the outcome mostly depends on how well each side can 'lawyer', and how much support it receives from supporters" another way of saying that both sides of a dispute are allowed to present their case, and the community decides the outcome? You're saying this is a bad thing?--Chowbok (talk) 01:32, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
From Catalan Salon
We foucused ourselves in Introducing people-centered principles within the Wikimedia movement.
We believe it is right to think about the user while improving the platform, but we miss recommendations aimed at improving participation, inclusion and diversity of participants in the governance structures of the movement.
We have doubts about communities understanding the need to improve inclusion, as they are comfortable in the current situation and are in the phase of expanding content.
It is found that WMF and some affiliates are seen as agents outside the community. No one feels the WMF as own, and the changes from top to bottom have no acceptance. The way in which brand-name change to Wikipedia is being done does not help to create trust. We doubt Ombudsman can be effective if they come 'on behalf of the WMF'.
The change in culture may not be accepted by communities, conservative by nature, and where people are comfortable with the current system, even if those changes leave some people outside. The non-existence of channels to improve inclusion makes that users concerned about the lack of diversity on the platforms to have no way of articulating possible improvements.
Inclusion must be done for something. We must also think if we open ourselves, for whom we do. Repeating 'diversity' as an empty word will not make them even more inclusive.
We are people in permanent learning with an objective, the sum of all free knowledge. Until we get it, we will not stop. To sum people to the movement, we need to have this philosophy.
Existing code of conduct for technical spaces
I'm surprised to see no reference here to the existing code of conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces. Has there been any analysis of how effective that has been since its introduction? Are there relevant lessons from its implementation? Would it be considered as a model for the proposed movement-wide CoC, or would that be something entirely different? the wub "?!" 22:53, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
The new draft of this recommendation is out: Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Community Health/1 (Talk). --MarioGom (talk) 17:20, 22 September 2019 (UTC)