Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Partnerships/Recommendations/Q1 R5
Priority for Knowledge Equity
The Working Group recommends a high priority in the initial phase:
The Wikimedia Partnership Model should define priority areas for partnerships, based on a strategic vision of key work that is needed to be done, in order to attain the Strategic Vision and build a sustainable free knowledge ecosystem.
Partnerships that strengthen knowledge equity should be a priority in the initial phase.
There are several concerns: 1) If the movement selects its next round of partners based on "knowledge equity", then it may be perceived as adopting a non-neutral point of view. A balanced set active partnerships (for example working with established GLAMS like the British Museum) as well as novel partners like indigenous peoples might be a more acceptable approach. 2) The WMF will always be resource constrained, and must remain tactical. The priority for selecting partnerships should be based on the capacity of our partners and their ability to deliver reliable content in the most efficient manner. The partnership process should develop a scorecard of criteria for accepting new partners, and the criteria should be much more sophisticated than "does the partner strengthen knowledge equity?" 3) New partnerships should be reviewed by an objective group representative of the entire community rather than just WMF staff or people who have a close interest in the subject matter of the proposed partnership.
Burried in the answer to Question 2-2 is:
We provisionally define following layers / levels of this stack
- Advocacy partnerships that support basic values and principles of the free knowledge ecosystem and ensure the well-being of this ecosystem in the broader geopolitical reality
- Partnerships that support use of free knowledge, possibly with a focus on teaching and learning with Wikimedia content - so that the free knowledge ecosystem remains healthy and alive
- Content partnerships that fuel the ecosystem itself; data partnerships are an important sub-category of this layer
- Access partnerships ensure that equity is ensured at the most basic level
I question whether there is a broad consensus as to the priority order of this list. More discussion is required and "the initial phase" needs to be defined. If it were up to me, I would put Content partnerships in the first phase and defer access partnerships for a few years. Access issues evolve over time, so a desirable solution today, may be obsolete as the internet evolves between the present and 2030. In contrast, content added today will probably remain valuable in 2030. Thanks, Hlevy2 (talk) 18:25, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
- There is a serious concern that "content partnerships" and "data partnerships" provide non-promotional NPOV content and data. The Working Group should developed detailed criteria for partners to avoid such problems. For example, suppose the Tobacco Institute sought to share data on the sale of tobacco products in each nation without also sharing the data about the links of smoking and health? Would that be an appropriate partner? Suppose a large pharma company wants to partner with WMF to assure more detailed (and favorable) coverage of their various drug products? To use an example from the past, supposed the Tourism Promotion group for Gibraltar wants to enhance its Wikipedia coverage and to use QR codes to link to those articles as well as DYK nominations to increase the readership of those articles?
- There should also be a standard of conduct for partners. Perhaps it could contain: 1) No paid editing of WP main space articles by partner employees, 2) No artificial pressure to promote articles via DYK, GA or FA, 3) No "contests" to create competition between editors to create articles, or to send them through DYK, GA or FA, 4) Labeling an employee as a "Wikipedian in Residence" should not be an automatic, blanket exemption from following all other rules, including the rules against undisclosed paid editing or pushing POV content. This is not an exhaustive list, but if the Working Group could flesh out a full draft, it would help the community understand what is envisioned for "content partnerships" and "data partnerships." Hlevy2 (talk) 14:58, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
- Hi @Hlevy2:. A lot of points made, and I'll try to address some.
- "1) If the movement selects its next round of partners based on "knowledge equity", then it may be perceived as adopting a non-neutral point of view. A balanced set active partnerships (for example working with established GLAMS like the British Museum) as well as novel partners like indigenous peoples might be a more acceptable approach."
- So I think your suggestion for balance is ultimately what would come out of this. I don't think anyone is suggesting that we don't work with the British Museum for example (though in my experience they are not the most open partner). At the moment we generally do try and work with both, but the latter ("novel partners" as you say) are more challenging, but ultimately, this is where we can really address some of our projects' or movement's gaps in knowledge.
- Tying this to your point about the Tobacco Institute somewhat, I don't think NPOV can easily be applied to partner selection (because it implies that we can pick and choose partners which is not always the case), but it can certainly be applied to the execution of any single partnership in terms of what content you work to make available and where it is placed. I had a very interesting discussion with someone the other day who has been approached by a known eugenics society and is considering if it could work, and if so, how?
- Like the point you've implicitly made, we often can't choose where the world's knowledge is held or who by, a fine example being that the Ku Klux Klan will hold much of the history of African Americans, and as you mentioned before, the British Museum, established in 1753 for a growing empire, still holds much of the history of colonised peoples. Which brings us back to the Tobacco Institute which again, will hold valuable information despite its work concealing the health-costs of smoking.
- These can all be managed, which ties into Wikimedians in Residence. I hope as a movement we've generally moved on from "paid editing" which I disagree with in terms of principle and also its effectiveness. But WiRs should (and generally are) no longer be about promoting the institutions themselves. Changes in Program Design have changed this a lot over the past years and show that we can avoid PR pitfalls. This could be worth a read and I'll try to find a link to the full report document.
- One final note I will add is that these recommendations are often made without Wikipedia being the end-goal, and thinking more broadly about the projects over the next decade, which could include *new* projects with different opportunities and constraints.
- I will come back to this, as there are other points to cover, but I hope this has clarified at least some of my, or hte working group's thinking on this. Thanks. Battleofalma (talk) 11:40, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
- Two points which I don't think that have been addressed are: 1) prioritizing content partnerships in the early years over advocacy partnership that should be saved for the later years when partnership relationships have become more experienced and 2) developing a standard of conduct for partnerships and WiR. If the movement will be more open to partnerships, we need to know that adequate protections will be in place (assuming a more decentralized structure.) Many thanks, Hlevy2 (talk) 12:56, 1 September 2019 (UTC)