Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/7

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Oppose, the WMF, when it wants to talk to the communities, should talk directly, not via third parties (and not via anonymous role accounts). We don't need a WMF mouthpiece. The issue with Fram was not that the WMF should have better communicated (though the poor communication exacerbated the matter), it's that you should never do something like that to start with. The idea isn't "Pull another Fram, but talk more next time", it is "Never pull another Fram". Seraphimblade (talk) 16:24, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Agreed. Having another layer of bureaucracy doesn't aid communication. If the WMF is bad at communicating, its members should get more training and practice, not pass the responsibility on to others. And first, of course, don't make serious mistakes (and second, don't then blame those mistakes on poor communication). EddieHugh (talk) 20:15, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Agree ... Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:20, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Hear hear. MER-C (talk) 15:21, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
This recommendation is absurd, and I agree with Eddie. Bear in mind part of the anger over the WMF's handling of Fram was that the Foundation role account was giving us the runaround, and there was a perception that nobody on the Foundation (or T&S specifically) had any real desire to put their name to the non-responsive replies. For all his failings with how he handled it (i.e. he was quite possibly even less responsive) Eissfeldt's involvement was an improvement, if marginal. If an ombudsman was just used for the whole thing, the situation would not have improved at all. Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 00:21, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Agree.--Vulphere 05:20, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
Adding new layers of bureaucracy is never a good idea. If the WMF was cut down in half tomorrow, nobody would notice a difference because there are too many employees doing completely unnecessary things. --voyager (talk) 06:44, 13 August 2019 (UTC)


The term "ombudsman" is being used in a non-standard way. The primary role of an ombud is typically ensuring fair treatment, not communication. Libcub (talk) 05:28, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Yep; liaison is the term. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:18, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
This in fact was quite disappointing. After the Fram incident on enWiki, the idea of an ombudsperson charged with hearing complaints and dealing with Foundation-Project disputes sounded like a good idea. Just having another layer of bureaucracy to engage in legalistic doublespeak isn't going to accomplish much. Wugapodes (talk) 23:35, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
In my experience on Wikipedia, almost every Foundation community liaison functioned as if it was his job to appear after the Foundation did something that the community saw as a wrong & placate their anger, instead taking action ahead of time by telling the Foundation not to do it because the community would see it as a wrong. (I admit there are one or two who don't do this, but they are exceptions, not even a small minority.) -- Llywrch (talk) 18:00, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
In general, I am fond of the idea of ombudspersons (I suggested it some time ago). I wonder about the text of the document: at the beginning it says "to facilitate the flow of information between projects", but later describes the concept of a ombudsperson more neatly.
Crucial would be the idea how to select and elect these people. I don't think that every "stakeholder" (wiki? affiliate?) should select one for a body of ombudspersons. The persons should also not have the task of being a "liaison".
The challenge is to make sure that the person will have the trust of several parties and not be put in a difficult position between them. The expectations must be clear. Ideally, in a case of an office action, the ombudsperson can be called by an accused to have a look into the file and talk to the office action team. I am afraid there will always be some people who will not only distrust the office action team but also the ombudsperson. Ziko (talk) 22:04, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Trust is important I agree. I nevertheless believe we do need more persons to act as pivot between the communities and the WMF.

If communities do not adress harrassement, who can we turn to? Safety and trust, but they remain very neutral in their communication with victims, and the procedure is long. Victims find it very long and are often emotionnally affected. I believe any wikimedian, having contributed a significant amount of voluntary work should be intituled to get free legal and psychological support in case of alleged harrassement. So we need more of this service integrated in the communities and representing both communities and WMF to identify and solve conflicts before people get harmed. I dont believe in one ombudsman (one person is not enough). We need a ombudscommission and an elected one as well, and we need people who are used to edit and know the wikimedia movement well. We also need people from outside, to give their advice on how decisions could be perceived on a legal and societal basis. Nattes à chat (talk) 12:47, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

"free legal and psychological support" is all well and good but the problem is that (at least on en.wp) users engaged in legal action against Wikipedia or its editors are generally blocked until that action is rescinded or concludes, meaning you have a Catch-22 as far as the victim is concerned - Either they keep editing and risk exacerbating the situation if legal action needs taken, or they end up blocked (or otherwise taking an uncharacteristic absence) and effectively Streisand the whole thing. Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 18:21, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Improving global and cross-community information-sharing[edit]

I think the core of this idea is very good and very important. Simply put, different sections of the community don't know enough about each other, how they can help each other, what their different needs are, what their different experiences are, and so on. This is a valuable idea that could have some real impacts on diversity because it would help to spread good and useful practices amongst the communities.

The concept of ombudspeople is quite different from the community liaisons/information-sharing concept. There's some discussion of it above, but the key point is that ombuds ensure policy is followed and that the rules are applied fairly and correctly; in some cases, they may have a role in advocating for a particular party. Ombuds are not communications people, though, and it seems that this recommendation is focused on communication. It might be worthwhile to have a *separate* recommendation specific to Ombudspeople, but it is a bit confusing to group these two concepts together. Risker (talk) 23:34, 22 August 2019 (UTC)

We used to have this : Wikimedia Embassy. Valuable idea, but not sure how efficient it can be on very large communities. Anthere (talk)