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Latest comment: 5 years ago by SMcCandlish in topic SMcCandlish


Ambassadors vs. volunteer product managers[edit]

I was asked in a private IRC channel how the ambassadors were related to "Volunteer product managers". This was my answer (copied here for transparency):

I've come to think that volunteer product managers are a completely different thing from ambassadors, because VPMs are going to focus on features or specific technical projects (aiming to solve the "we don't have enough PMs" problem), while ambassadors are about scaling up our communications efforts (aiming at solving the "how do we talk to all those people" problem). I think they're complementary and in the short term I was planning to focus on the ambassadors, because there's an existing community that probably just needs a tiny bit of formalizing, but I can work on both if I'm told to do so.

guillom 13:22, 2 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

I would still very strongly prefer that we at least mention the Volunteer Product Manager program on this page. It's an adjacent role, if not on exactly the same track. -- RobLa-WMF (talk) 02:10, 8 January 2013 (UTC)Reply
It's already there, in Tech/Ambassadors#Get more involved; I added it right after I agreed with you during our meeting last week. guillom 06:49, 8 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

General comments[edit]

  • Begins well from the first line. :-)
  • The "announcing technical changes to your home wikis" part doesn't elaborate; I guess it's left to each person to identify the best tools for this; is it clear that it's not only about spamming village pumps?
  • "Looking for more information" is nice, but the items here should not be aimed at supplementing the glossary. For most users, following the blog(s) (including the reports) is the best way to stay informed and relay the information to other users who don't speak English or are less technical: there's less traffic than in the mailing lists, it doesn't require knowledge of how mailing lists work, they're already polished for a not-too-specific audience.

--Nemo 18:29, 6 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

I'm sorry for the super-late response! And thanks for the comments :)
Absolutely, the announcing part is up to each community to decide. Some wikis already have channels in place for this (like the Signpost and de:WP:NEU), and others do it more in an ad hoc manner. We're definitely not talking about spamming village pumps :)
I think the problem with the blog's content (and particularly the monthly engineering reports) is that they bring a lot of information (it's easy to get lost) only once a month (which is sometimes too late). Maybe a solution is related to weekly summaries (see # Noteworthy changes below). guillom 17:36, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply


That user page in progress is somehow connected, in particular the point about «We need a constellation of community test / feedback groups», although part of that would fall in the volunteer product management sphere, or maybe in the community quality assurance experiments which Chris and others are working on. (Now that I think of it, this may be getting confusing.) --Nemo 08:51, 4 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Who is connected to wikitech-ambassadors?[edit]

It would be useful to have a rough idea of the projects being reached when someone sends an email to wikitech-ambassadors. Does it make sense to have a page with people listing themselves and specifying the the projects they relate to? Do we have a better solution?--Qgil (talk) 23:30, 19 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

I agree it would be useful, and I've thought of such a page. The problems I see is that a wiki page can easily become outdated. I don't think we can rely on people listing themselves to keep the page up-to-date, because I expect people to only subscribe to the list. I don't want to bear the responsibility of maintaining such a list either, because I feel it would quickly become a time sink. A better solution imho would be to use a "Tech ambassador" group, because I expect ambassadors to visit the dev wiki regularly, and updating one's user page seems more natural than a list elsewhere. guillom 17:17, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
Ok, ok, another reason to push these groups.  :) --Qgil (talk) 01:00, 27 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

Noteworthy changes[edit]

I'd like to start a discussion about how we can consolidate efforts when it comes to identifying and surfacing noteworthy technical activity. By "technical activity", I mean anything from commits to bugs, site configuration changes, important discussions (between developers, but also between developers and users) and feature deployments.

Many people have been trying to keep track of such noteworthy changes over the years, usually independently: tech writers from the Signpost, de:WP:NEU and their counterparts, staff and volunteers assembling deployment notes, release summaries and release notes, volunteers summarizing discussions, etc.

But with the overall increase in technical activity, it's become more and more difficult for everyone to keep track of everything. By combining forces, we should be able to cover more ground as a team, while all working less :)

Some open-source projects manage to assemble and publish weekly activity digests, like KDE. I don't think we need to aim for such detailed reports, but the weekly timeframe seems like a good compromise.

My questions are those:

  • Is there interest in consolidating efforts in this regard? My feeling is that everybody would win from not duplicating work.
  • What would be the best way to do this? I think we could set up a lightweight system, possibly with tags in gerrit or bugzilla, complemented with links on a wiki page like some of us already do. I like the tagging idea, because it's something developers themselves could help with (and I expect most of the tech activity to happen there) and it's already being developed. The wikitech-ambassadors mailing list would be a natural venue for coordination among us.
  • Where would we work? I think collaboration would work best with a central weekly page on mediawiki.org that could be adapted/trimmed/linked to from local versions for community newspapers, depending on how much customization is desired.

I'm looking forward to comments, questions and ideas about how to make this work :) guillom 17:17, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

As maintainer of de:WP:NEU since years I am happy to write down some of my thoughts and what I do on a daily base:
Select from these hundred and more changes per day the relevant changes! No Wikipedian is interested in fixed Selenium tests and similar.
Document in 3 sections:
  • Current changes to the WMF cluster: Enabling/Disabling features, extensions etc
  • Software changes for the next release 1.21wmf12 (UI related changes, API and JavaScript)
  • Software changes for over the next release 1.21wmf13 (UI related changes, API and JavaScript)
I would be happy to work together with you and other on a better system. One point that should not be underestimated: Most of the changes need to be translated to be useful for the community. Raymond (talk) 17:51, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
Great! This is very useful. I agree on the translation part. Depending on how long the weekly reports are (they should be short), I was thinking of translating them using the Translate extension, to avoid duplicating the translation process on wikis with the same language. But this is still an early idea. guillom 18:01, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
I think weekly reports are not enough. Changes should be communicated on a same day base. Using the Translate extension is a very good idea. Raymond (talk) 18:07, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
My feeling is that weekly reports would be considered awesome by all the wikis except for de.wikipedia, because your hard work has got them used to very high standards :) I think daily updates may be too much to ask most ambassadors, but I certainly don't want to lower your standards. We can probably figure out a system that works for everyone. guillom 18:17, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
Sure :-)
Another point, independently from the frequency: A challenge for most changes is it to describe the change in understandable words for "normal" Wikipedians. Tech foo bar should be avoided (with exception of some sections like changes to the API). What does the change, why is it important for the project, etc. From my point of view this is the hardest task. And I know that I have to improve my skills on this point. Raymond (talk) 19:22, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
And another point: It would be great to have experts for special products like MobileFrontend, Wikidata, VisualEditor, Apps, etc. on board. I am coming to my limits already to follow these too :-( Raymond (talk) 19:48, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
I have a related thought. My team (Engineering Community Team) must build and sustain the pipelines of outreach and training for coders, sysadmins, QA, writers, designers, and product managers. Communications is part of that outreach; people have to know what's happening so they can contribute, and because changes affect them. And towards that end, ECT must scale itself; there is so much communicating, bug triage, community liaising, persuasion, publicity, and other encouragement that needs doing that ECT plus the existing volunteer base can't handle it, and so we need to recruit and train others.
ECT does need more engineering communication (reaching more Wikimedia contributors) than is happening now, and there's actually quite a lot of structure and documentation and process now, enough that we should now concentrate on volunteer input and throughput. We have the engineering project documentation HOWTO, we have the glossary on meta, we have the tech ambassadors page and community, we have the Wikimedia Blog section on meta, and we have the templating on mediawiki.org. The problem blocking this goal is not a lack of appropriate process, it's a lack of people. So the engineering communication-related work that needs doing is persuading, recruiting and training others to use these tools to be tech journalists. (All tech ambassadors and tech community liaisons need to be able to do tech journalism, to summarize and translate tech activities into plain explanations of effects.) Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 04:59, 2 April 2013 (UTC)Reply
Regarding weekly reports, perhaps the responses to the Wikidata weekly summaries will be instructive. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 04:59, 2 April 2013 (UTC)Reply

I find that a lot of subcommunities - stewards, wikisourcerors, wikinewsies, people who love multimedia - keep track of their most important bugs or collections-of-features. Their technical members are both hypersensitive to which features they are waiting for, and monitoring changes to them (or would like to). so they would make interested readers and could help curate the stream of updates. You might reach out to some of those communities that regularly ask about "their" core bugs, those that have their own "collector" bugs/features, and those groups that do active external development (the community of Extension writers; the mediawiki-users list; the bot community; major script communities; translate community; TS / labs community). I suspect each would have an idea of how part of such a summary could help them. SJ talk  20:47, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

What Raymond wrote is right on the spot : "A challenge for most changes is it to describe the change in understandable words for "normal" Wikipedians." If it is not done with that goal in mind, we will waste our time, since we want to reach a lot of people. Cantons-de-l'Est (talk) 21:36, 26 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
Absolutely, yes, I agree with SJ and I agree with Raymond and Cantons-de-l'Est regarding the importance of diverse outreach and of translation into layperson-friendly prose. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 04:59, 2 April 2013 (UTC)Reply

SJ kind of heads in this direction (and if I weren't so tired, I'd attempt to better articulate the point myself), but bluntly there's an audience question, I think. Who's the intended audience of these proposed weekly reports? Wikimedia wiki editors? MediaWiki site administrators? Technical users? Casual readers?

Without a clear audience, it's almost impossible to put together a useful report of "noteworthy" changes, as that concept has no meaning in a vacuum. Some changes are hugely important to Wikimedia wikis and hugely unimportant to every non-Wikimedia MediaWiki wiki, and vice versa. Even within Wikimedia wikis, as SJ notes, certain changes will be hugely important to only certain communities. For example, if there were breaking changes to the ProofreadPage extension, it would be clear that every Wikisource would need to be informed in a dispatch (whether that's a weekly translated report, a global message delivery, etc.). But for every non-Wikisource, these theoretical breaking changes to the ProofreadPage extension would mean absolutely nothing.

Much like MediaWiki itself, I feel like the tech ambassadors attempt to serve many masters, but ultimately serve none of them well (at the moment). --MZMcBride (talk) 03:28, 27 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

Currently, the primary audience is Wikimedia editors. I understand that it consists of distinct subcommunities, and that there also are other audiences it doesn't include. Ideally, I could imagine a system where a wiki page is used to log all "noteworthy" items, and each of which can be assigned tags (like "Wikisource", "Wikimedia", "Crosswiki", "Multimedia", etc.) used to selectively display those items on the page (and perhaps even generate tag-specific RSS feeds). Unfortunately, no engineering resources are available for this, so I'm afraid we'll have to use a suboptimal system for now, probably consisting of a basic log on a wiki page. I realize it wouldn't address the needs of everyone, so I'm open to other solutions. guillom 15:30, 6 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

As a follow-up to this discussion, I've started Tech/News and Talk:Tech/News. Comments, questions and edits are encouraged. guillom 16:46, 16 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

As a follow-up to the previous discussion, the first weekly tech summary was assembled and just published. Comments and feedback are greatly appreciated. We need more hands to keep this going, so please consider joining us, even if it's just to add a link or translate a paragraph from time to time :)

Localization of Upload Wizard on Commons[edit]


On Tech/News/2013/21 it is quoted that 'The UploadWizard on Commons now shows links to the old upload form in 55 languages' I would like to know where to apply to get the translation of the lb-version (translated up to 95%) online.

Best regards and hoping to get any feedback on this issue. --Robby (talk) 17:08, 6 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Please add it to Template:Lang-Upload, and I'll commit a Gerrit change as soon as possible :) odder (talk) 19:12, 6 June 2013 (UTC)Reply
Done --Robby (talk) 22:43, 7 June 2013 (UTC)Reply

Notice and category[edit]

What about creating a babel template {{User tech ambassador}}, optionally with an embedded category? --Ricordisamoa 20:22, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

TAThis Tech Ambassador monitors changes that may affect Wikimedia Meta-Wiki.
Initial fast version, may be a logo needed (for now I used the logo of translators, may be I should use the MediaWiki logo with some addition like "?" to mean help.
User category created too (this Tech/Ambassadors page is now also categorized as the main page of the category in which people will insert the babel template). verdy_p (talk) 20:58, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Note that the template accepts interwiki parameters for the project and language of the wiki on whcih the user acts as an ambassador. It changes the text displayed, and the project logo on the right accordingly (but for now it does not separate users here into multiple categories per project/language. verdy_p (talk) 21:50, 10 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for doing this. I had created similar user boxes before seeing this separate discussion, so I was bold and made them consistent. I think the functionality to specify the wiki on which the person is an ambassador is great, so thank you for doing this! guillom 14:53, 11 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
You'll notice that the right logo follows the logo of the associated project wiki (and below it, the small language code of that project, if it is localized in mutliple editions),
In fact I wated to generalize it for various user boxes associated to a specifc wiki, instead of inventng new logos with superpositions: left side for the role, right side for the project wiki.
But before doing that, I could need a couple of templates: one that gives the icon (and possible text below for the language code), another for the name and link of that project. This could be also a single template with a swtich returning info about a couple of interwiki codes. It would be internationalizable as well, possibly with genitive forms for the project name when used in sentences describing the user's role/group. verdy_p (talk) 19:21, 12 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
verdy_p: I noticed :) It looks great; Thanks! Could I ask you to copy it to the French Wikipedia? I'm not too familiar with the userboxes templates there. I've already added them to the English Wikipedia (w:Template:User wikipedia/Tech ambassador, w:Template:User wikipedia/Tech news). guillom 15:37, 18 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
OK I'll do it; but not immediately; there may be specific integration things to check before as FR.WP also has lots of templates and related conventions. verdy_p (talk) 15:40, 18 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Whenever you can :) Thank you! guillom 16:43, 19 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Other ways to help[edit]

I currently do many of the things on this page. Are there any other ways to help? PiRSquared17 (talk) 00:04, 22 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for everything you're doing, PiRSquared17. We could really use some help on Tech/News: going through the sources of information, selecting noteworthy changes, adding items to the next issue, simplifying items, preparing for translation, and even publishing the newsletter via MassMessage, if you're interested. You can read a recap for more info, although there'll be much you're already familiar with, especially given your experience as a translation admin.
At the moment, it's mostly odder and me doing it, and we'd love to welcome a third pillar to the team; more occasional help is also very welcome. We usually coordinate a lot on IRC (to make sure we're in sync, and avoid duplicate work & edit conflicts). If you'd like to join, I'd be happy to discuss it further with you on IRC in #wikimedia, for example. Let me know :) and thanks again for everything you're already doing! Your help and commitment are much appreciated. guillom 13:37, 24 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

Can not log in[edit]

This conversation took place in [1] under title ”Can’t log in”. Sorry about the lenght but it explains my situation. Now I try to find next place were I may get some help. I am using temporary this address [2] . I just learned (again) that I have already an account here so I can sign. At the same time I found this message about Superprotect. So am I on this ”black list” although I have more than 300.000 reliable edits? --Artomo (talk) 12:14, 23 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

"Is it possible that I am a some kind of victim in this AbuseFilter system. I am the only administrator in Ido Wiktionary ([3]), so it is necessary that I can log in the system. Now I keep receiving message about error when I try to log in at home (in my job place there is no problem to log in !). Just for testing the system I created at home a new account, and there are no problems acting as a normal user. It seems that the problem is connected to my original user name and my IP at home. This problem emerged when we got in the Ido Wiktionary the message about this AbuseFilter in the 14th of November. So – help is needed, thanks. Sorry – no signing but you can find me.

It is highly unlikely that the Global Abuse Filter would prevent you logging in and there are no hits for your account in the log. There is no global IP block affecting the IP address you used to post here. As the issue only affects one account from your home it cannot be caused by a local IP block. Have you changed your password recently and not updated the saved password in your browser at home? If you can be more specific about the error message received we can look at it further. QuiteUnusual (talk) 13:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for answering! I do not know any other place to solve my problem. You can feel free to transfer this case in a correct arena. – In addition to the situation described above, I am an administrator in the Ido Wikipedia ([4]). The conditions are completely exact and there is no problem at all. The only difference between these cases is that the connection to the Wiktionary does not work but to the Wikipedia it does. I am completely puzzled but it seems that the problem is not in my end of the wire. Sorry – still going on without signing.

Would you mind giving the exact error message you are receiving? Is it the "wrong password" message? Did you change your password recently? If so, have you tried resetting it? Also, make sure your browser is allowing cookies from wiktionary.org and wikimedia.org. PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:15, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

Here is one message about error. First I get a notice that my password is uncorrect, then I get this after quite a long waiting:
If you report this error to the Wikimedia System Administrators, please include the details below.

Request: POST http://io.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Specala:Enirar&action=submitlogin&type=login&returnto=Wikivortaro:Frontispico, from via cp1068 cp1068 ([]:3128), Varnish XID 3032683507

Forwarded for:,,,

Error: 503, Service Unavailable at Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:31:28 GMT

Hello again! Now the problem has gone worse. I lost my possibility to log in the Ido Wiktionary even at my job place when I am using my original user name. But on the contrary my alter ego which I created is still valid there. What is happening? – Artomo
The error message suggests it is a problem within the Wikimedia environment but it is beyond my expertise. I think this would benefit from a sysadmin looking at it. Do you have IRC access? If so, you could try asking at #wikimedia-techconnect. QuiteUnusual (talk) 15:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, but I am absolutely not capable to solve this by myself. Someone else has to help me. -- 12:15, 22 November 2014 (UTC)" (End of quote)Reply

Your feedback is welcome![edit]

Hey everyone, TL;DR, see Community Relations/Community collaboration in product development/Tech ambassadors and translators to provide feedback on the role of tech ambassadors and tech translators until August 22nd, or in person at Wikimania. All details on page. Any help spreading the word is certainly appreciated :) Ciao, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 14:08, 10 August 2017 (UTC)Reply

"What tech ambassadors do" is missing an obvious item: write documentation[edit]

Too much of that "what we do" list seems couched in "discussion"-oriented stuff. The main way that technically oriented editors help other editors understand the software (whether it be MW itself, or local templates and processes on a particular wiki) is writing and improving documentation. Doing that well saves countless hours of repeat discussion.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:34, 19 September 2017 (UTC)Reply

(fixed typo) Thanks for your feedback, will be taken into consideration. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:16, 20 September 2017 (UTC)Reply


Collapsed due to concerns about having the discussion in a public forum.

SMcCandlish on their meta account User:SMcCandlish, claims to be a WMF Tech Ambassador. In light of their publication today of an openly transphobic essay in Signpost, I request that any formal relationship with the WMF is terminated due to being in breach of the website Terms of Use, as well as a person with published views antithetical to the mw:Code of Conduct.

@Elitre (WMF) and Qgil-WMF: for comment.

-- (talk) 16:07, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

It wasn't transphobic in the faintest. You utterly missed the point. It's about Wikipedia editors engaging in language-change activism trying to push non-mainstream stylistic strangeness, including a) fake pronouns like zie and hirm, b) unusual trademark stylizations, and b) excessive honorifics.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  17:30, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
This is not a debate. Thanks -- (talk) 17:39, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Yes, it's a discussion. That's why they're called discussion pages. The essay wasn't intended for The Signpost, but someone who edits it wanted to include it. I had my misgivings, predicting that various of the too-easily-offended would willfully misinterpret it, which is exactly what's happened. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the off-site usages or the values (or value) of those who engage in them somewhere else. It's about and only about encyclopedic usage. If you want to go change en:WP:MOS to say "It's okay to exactly mimic the appearance of logos, to write of Jesus and Mohammad with "Our Lord" and "Peace Be Upon Him" before and after (respectively) their names, to inject made-up pronoun shenanigans like ze and xir into our articles", well, good luck with that. Never going to happen.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  17:42, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Please cite the relevant part of the Terms of Use. --Yair rand (talk) 17:48, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
The ToU are clear. The essay, soon to be deleted from Wikipedia, is a transphobic polemic, which the author has chosen to defend. It now seems unlikely that there will be an apology from the authors. This thread is a request for the WMF to respond in line with policy. With the explicitly clear evidence, there is no need for me to play WikiLawyer for this to happen. -- (talk) 17:53, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Except it's not; you're insistently misinterpreting it on purpose, and continuing to do so long after your misinterpretation has been made clear. So stop forum-shopping, please. Even I want the Signpost copy removed, because it's probably not really editorially appropriate in the en.WP newsletter. But the userspace one will likely be retained, because the actual point of it is quite clear, and relevant.

Look, anything can be "offensive" if a) you're desperately looking to be offended, and b) if you have trouble telling the difference between "entity A writes like X, off-site" and "Wikipedia is required to use exactly X because A says so". It's the exact same thing over and over again with adherents to various religions, with trademark holders, and with people convinced that English is broken and must fixed right-now-or-else. Being a trademark holder, or a follower of a religion that makes lots of use of honorifics, or being an ally of the nonbinary and transgendered (or NB or TG oneself) doesn't confer magical immunity to criticism for advancing non-encyclopedic writing in the encyclopedia (and it's mostly self-styled "allies" doing this, too often making one-size-fits-all assumptions and demands about people who are actually quite diverse in their preferences). That's all the essay is about.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:48, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

PS: Chasing me from project to project to make as much trouble as possible is veering right into HARASS territory. This had better not continue.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  18:56, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
With regard to a claim of "hounding": This is the correct place to raise SMcCandlish's status as a recognized WMF Tech Ambassador, not the English Wikipedia. Nobody that writes a deliberately offensive parody of gender neutral pronouns can be expected to be someone suitable to apply or advise on mw:Code of Conduct. If necessary, this discussion with WMF employees can continue on mediawiki where the code is published.
With respect to a claim of "outing": User:SMcCandlish has published their full name on mediawiki, and all local project searches transclude their full name as a photographer, under the same globally used account name. -- (talk) 19:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
Addendum: SMcCandlish includes their full legal name on their English Wikipedia user page. This makes any claim of "outing" irrelevant. -- (talk) 10:33, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
It's irrelevant that if you try hard to dig up my name on this site you can do so eventually, such as by disclosure on images on Commons (a different site). I.e., I'm easy to doxx. The point is, your obvious purpose in doing this is to tie my full name to your accusations in hopes that people find it via Google and agree with you. I.e., you are engaged in outing, for the kinds of purposes we wrote en:WP:OUTING to put a stop to. This is the second time I've called you out for en:WP:GAMING / en:WP:WIKILAWYER stuff on this (the other being essentially a bogus legal threat at en:WP:MFD). You need to dial it back and be civil.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  21:33, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
The essay is pure transphobic dog whistle garbage. And this was no brainfart, they've doubled down on it, much like racists who don't like being called racists. Headbomb (talk) 20:20, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
You're just being rude now. The both of you can fantasize all you want in your reality tunnel about what a bad person I am, but it won't make it any more true. If you can't tell the difference between "WP should follow the reliable sources in reporting that the subject uses the neo-pronoun zie", and "WP must write zie when referring to this subject", and can't tell that the essay is about the latter, then the problem is clearly not on my end. And if you "triple down" on that reading comprehension problem and insist that I'm being "deliberately offensive" in writing something to draw these distinctions, and "dogwhistling" when I defend myself against your nonsense accusations (they're a pure mind-reading fantasy of your own wholesale invention), then then problem is really, really obviously on your end.

The only ones here being deliberately offensive are you two. I have a thick skin, but I hope someone keeps an eye out for a pattern of politicized witch-hunt behavior (I know I've seen it from Fæ before, though it's been a while, but I also don't go looking for it). Neither en.wp nor Meta are a place for you to advance an agenda that everyone who doesn't conform to your exact views on how to address language-change advocacy is some kind of 'phobe to demonize. I'm the furthest thing from transphobic (nor am I right-wing, or Christian, or 0 on the Kinsey scale, or a masculist, etc., though last I looked those people can be Wikipedians, too, and may maintain their views and see them en:WP:DUE-ly represented – views my essay does not express at all, since I don't agree with them). I'm simply a classic-liberal, agnostic, and singular they fan, who also happens to be "mangling the English language"-averse, when it comes to material written in Wikipedia's own voice. WP follows the lead of English-writing norms, it is not on the bleeding edge of "post-English".

Nothing in this thread has a thing to do with tech ambassador work. It's pure character assassination for not conforming enough to your personal preferences and sensitivity levels.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  21:33, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply

Nobody is claiming to read your mind or called you a transphobe. What you have done is misuse Wikipedia to co-author a demonstrably transphobic polemic essay, claiming it to be a joke, and continued to defend your actions after being challenged by multiple people, including several self identified transgender and genderqueer Wikipedia contributors for whom your actions are personally degrading and offensive. There is nothing to debate because the evidence is so clear cut. The best conclusion one might reach is that your actions are from ignorance, but that is not a defense against the harm you are causing.
This extreme poor judgement makes you unsuitable to be trusted to represent the WMF or the Wikimedia communities as a "WMF Technical Ambassador" or in any other official or pseudo-official capacity. Either the WMF can ask you to cease claiming this role, or you own the consequences of your actions and choose to remove it from your profile and stop claiming a "WMF" status of any kind in the future. This may change if you become a paid employee or contractor for the WMF, but until you turn around your demonstrably poor judgement on LGBT+ issues, that seems unlikely. -- (talk) 21:50, 28 February 2019 (UTC)Reply
You have in fact called me transphobic, repeatedly and on this very page, starting with your second sentence here. You've also transgressed en.WP's rules about canvassing, assumption of good faith, casting aspersions, making legal threats, etc. It's precisely the sort of thing you were indefinitely banned for in 2012; review in particular: en:WP:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fæ#Fæ has used ad hominem attacks to try to discredit others. At least one editor has already suggested you be taken to en:WP:ANI. I have no interest in such drama, and am forgiving of people who lose their cool over something they feel strongly about – up to a point. However, if someone does go the ANI or en:WP:RFARB route, then a reinstatement of at least your 2012–2017 topic ban from "sexuality, broadly construed" is highly likely, especially given that canvassing was also involved in that case.

Your fantasy that there's been a ToU violation is just, well, a fantasy. Your attempt to get me role-banned on Meta is just vengeful character-assassination combined with highly politicized, busybody battlegrounding – exactly what's gotten you in long-term trouble with the project before.

I decline to respond to this circular, en:WP:TALKFORKed, off-topic mess on this page any further. I'll just note that the original userspace essay is clearly going to be kept, and the Signpost copy likely deleted. There's about a 3:1 keep ratio for the first, and over a decade and a half of precedent that user-space essays are retained despite socio-political disagreements about their merits, as long as they relate to Wikipedia editing. Meanwhile, there's about a 3:1 delete or blank ratio for the second, because of what role The Signpost plays, and a general community interest in editorial control over it as a "public face" of the project, at least in theory.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  11:49, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Nobody has called you a transphobe, nobody has called you transphobic. This is you deflecting your problems on the complainants as a way to counter-claim you are the "victim" after the fact. Publishing transphobic material is at best a stupid act that harms others, it was entirely your choice with Barbara Page to write this material and publish it, nobody else forced you or harassed you into doing it. -- (talk) 13:28, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Again, I decline to argue circularly with you about this. Your aspersion-casting and canvassing have been taken to venues at which their examination is actually on-topic.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:00, 2 March 2019 (UTC); old venue details removed: 08:19, 5 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
As you travel through life you will encounter attempts at humor that you find to be offensive. See [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc6QxD2_yQw ], which documents and complains about some very offensive material that is for some reason widely accepted as being OK. Go ahead and flame the "comic", boycott its sponsors/advertisers, etc., but do not attempt to censor. Besides being morally repugnant (who are you to tell me what I am allowed to see?) you are extremely likely to end up experiencing the Streisand effect up close and personal.
I have further advice for the censors. Don't read things that you find to be offensive. Unless you are tied to a chair with your head in a clamp, your eyes taped open, a self-refreshing Wikipedia feed on a monitor, and the Wikipedia Song blaring into your ears, nobody is forcing you to read and respond to The Signpost. Simply stop clicking on the links marked "editorial" or "humor". The fact that you have a choice about what you read means that if you encounter something that you are offended by you only have yourself to blame.
If you are tied to a chair, etc., let me address your captors: First, keep up the good work. Second, please take away its keyboard. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:53, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • These messages about "censoring" are very misguided, and instead they boil down to "we should not have standards at all". And moreover, "Wikipedia is not censored" doesn’t even describe relationship between editors. For example, if I will call any editor a very strong and offensive word, I will be censored and banned, and rightly so. If I do it on a different page with vague references, it will still be understood as such and likely censored, and rightly so.
Gotta love how free speech seemingly only is important because "I want to hurt minorities and say slurs". So much for "I didn’t want to offend" by doubling down on every possible point of offence... --Sleeps-Darkly (talk) 19:45, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

For the casual reader, and the benefit of WMF staff, I would like to address the potential misrepresentation that the essay written by SMcCandlish is perhaps "possibly" offensive, or that this might be a two-party argument. Going through the deletion discussion here, each of the sample of following opinions are expressed by different established Wikipedians, not myself:

  1. oddly genderqueer-phobic/transphobic
  2. bad taste, to say the least
  3. That NO transgender or genderqueer editor found the essay funny is telling
  4. mean spirited and has no place on a public-facing Wikipedia page
  5. offensive and disrespectful
  6. in this queer editor's opinion, in incredibly poor taste, if not a violation of the TOU
  7. The very definition of punching down
  8. another example of how Wikipedia is not a safe place for members of those groups to participate
  9. error in editorial judgement
  10. it's offensive
  11. dehumanizing impact
  12. Imagine being a new nonbinary editor and clicking that
  13. Transphobic rants have no place on Wikipedia
  14. fuckup
  15. disgusting and stupid
  16. one of the most shocking bits of incivility I have ever seen on Wikipedia
  17. there are ways of expressing this opinion without being extremely transphobic
  18. There's no reason to be transphobic, especially in Wikipedia's newspaper
  19. when humour targets discriminated groups it is not humour anymore
  20. There's having a laugh and then there's being transphobic
  21. I for one regret not speaking up
  22. I feel sick from reading this now
  23. Such bigotry is extremely disappointing

There's more, and the number of !votes continues to grow, but I think this sample of critical observations makes the point that this is not a two-party dispute, SMcCandlish has caused widespread offense, and many people have described the text as "transphobic" or similar. SMcCandlish continues to defend their action in using Wikipedia to publish this text. -- (talk) 22:39, 1 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

  • I'm not sure what SMcCandlish does in the field of tech ambassadorship (I also see he's rather inactive in Phabricator) but his recent actions highlight a scarce ability to handle sensitive topics, so I encourage him to step down. Nemo 09:19, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
    Given that you've taken a side in the content dispute, this is disingenuous.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:00, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
  • While fully agreeing the offensive essay warranted immediate deletion/ blanking (and thank you Fæ for leading the efforts to achieve that) the fact there's a long list of offended people proves nothing. Certain gender related topics these days are such a minefield that if you write about them on a platform with a wide audience, it's probably impossible not to offend large numbers of people. SMcCandlish's essay was aimed at language change activists not at LGBT+ people. It was indeed a misjudgement not to see it would be offensive, but not to the extent there's any need to attack his role as a tech ambassador. You might have a case if he had a paid role as a diversity officer or something like that. SMcCandlish seems to be a non-bigoted editor and is an advocate of the singular they. I.e. in most respects an ally. Trying to get him stripped of his ambassador role seems to be bordering on a witch hunt. I encourage SMcCandlish not to feel under obligation to step down. FeydHuxtable (talk) 09:24, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
    I fully agree there should be no witch hunt. I apologise if the evidence or length of this thread makes it appear like a witch hunt.
    The Signpost text has for the moment been suppressed from view, which is good news for everyone, especially as the author agrees with that step.
    However, it does remain a fact that SMcCandlish has continued to defend their action in publishing the essay, has not offered to change anything about it, and appears unable or unwilling to accept that it should not be published on Wikipedia, or other Wikimedia projects. A "WMF Tech Ambassador" is required to be able to understand, comply with, and enforce the Code of Conduct. This states as the opening line that:
    • In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming community, we are committed to making participation in Wikimedia technical projects a respectful and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sex, sexual orientation, disability, neuroatypicality, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, political affiliation, or religion.
    The essay that SMcCandlish continues to defend, by any reasonable objective measure, fails to provide an environment that can be described as a "respectful and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of ... gender identity". The fact that it was published in the Signpost, has the author's name clearly against it, and is claimed to be read by thousands of Wikimedians, is an action that should in all fairness require a review by the WMF as to whether the author should be trusted to be seen by other contributors as trusted by the WMF and is committed to the Code of Conduct as is expected for the WMF Tech Ambassador voluntary, unpaid, role.
    Again I regret having to reply with details, as I have no wish whatsoever to encourage or give any impression that there is a witch hunt with SMcCandlish as a victim of harassment, but this is a simple issue of good governance for the WMF, not intended as an attack on the person, not intended in any way whatsoever as harassment.
    Thanks -- (talk) 10:54, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply
Fallacy of selective quotation, since of course Fæ's quote list only represents cherry-picked and out-of-context bits of what was said by those who agree with Fæ. Much of this invective was actually directed at the editor-in-chief of Signpost for running it as a Signpost article, not at me for the content. I'll repeat that the Signpost copy will likely remain blanked (not deleted) as inappropriate for WP's "house organ" newspaper (and this is a result I agree with), while the userspace copy will be retained, because it violates a grand total of zero policies or guidelines. The numbers are already there, and they are not shifting; the policy arguments are already there and no one's adding new ones, and those in favor of actual deletion have been refuted. I decline to respond to Fæ's re-re-re-iteration of the same accusations and mischaracterizations; this is not the place for it, and this has all already en:WP:TALKFORKed beyond all reason.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  12:00, 2 March 2019 (UTC)Reply

Now that the above little pitchforks-and-torches episode is over (notably with a consensus against censure [6], as I predicted), I'm going to announce what I'd already decided a week or so before this bit of politicized psychodrama erupted: I'm resigning as a WMF Tech Ambassador.

If you see my user page here, it consists of a statement of why I was interested in this to begin with – the WMF focus and approach problems I hoped to see addressed and help address. Instead, they've seemed to worsen. I also don't feel right devoting my limited volunteer time to what WMF wants the TAs to do, and ultimately I feel more attuned to the en.Wikipedia community and its concerns than to WMF and what it wants to impress upon the editorial communities at the various wikis. So, it's a sort of conflict of interest, or has become one. I've posted a fuller resignation rationale at my user page, under the original WMF TA statement I put up in 2018.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  22:32, 23 April 2019 (UTC)Reply