Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Charter

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UCoC monitoring[edit]

I believe this is the critical section, as it tells what the U4c will actually do. I also think it is a bit vague and it is understandable as time will learn of the best way of performing the monitoring. You already have in the following section indicating this charter will/can be amended. I therefor think it would be clarifying that you in the top of this section explicitly write this will be expanded/elaborated upon as experience grow from real cases making more clear descriptions possible. Otherwise I see this charter clear and good Anders Wennersten (talk) 06:31, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Anders Wennersten I want to make sure I understand your idea. You are suggesting more detail is neededed in the monitoring section, but that this detail could be placed in what I think of as the U4C procedures rather than the U4C charter (what's presented here). Is that correct? Barkeep49 (talk) 20:45, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, more details wanted in the Monitor section, but that this detailing could wait until the charter has been in use for a while Yger (talk) 23:30, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestions for the charter[edit]

Ping @U4CBC members: Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and hard work the U4CBC has put into this draft charter. I am currently in my third year as an English Wikipedia arbitrator and entering my sixth year as an English Wikipedia administrator and, drawing on that experience, would like to share a few thoughts and suggestions.

  • Thank you for explicitly laying out the community buy-in needed for amendments to the charter and to the enforcement guidelines. Keeping this will be crucial in my vote to ratify this charter.
  • Thank you also for explicitly noting that the enforcement guidelines contemplate the U4C taking action on projects with effective high-level decision making bodies only when there are severe systemic issues with UCoC enforcement on those projects. This provision will also be crucial when I consider my vote on ratifying this charter.
  • The charter should contemplate the establishment by the U4C of advisory groups. The English Wikipedia has an advisory group of functionaries (current/former arbitrators and current/former holders of CUOS permissions) and an NDA'd mailing list for this group where sensitive information can be discussed. This advisory group is very helpful for me as an arbitrator, and I think the U4C — as a new body — could find such a structure even more helpful.
    • Recommendation: The U4C charter should contemplate the establishment of an advisory body, composed of members of high-level decision making bodies and former U4C and U4CBC members, who will have an NDA'd mailing list where sensitive information can be discussed.
  • I am worried about the workload that the U4C will face. I think the only practical way for the U4C to manage its workload will be to delegate its functions in most ordinary cases, including most appeals by blocked users. English Wikipedia ArbCom's workload is already very heavy, and I worry that the U4C will take on a much higher case load than that.
    • I am glad that the charter explicitly contemplates the U4C delegating its final decisionmaking authority in appropriate cases.
    • Recommendation: I suggest making explicit that these delegations may be either to U4C members and non-members in the appropriate circumstances. Delegations to U4C members could be by designating panels, subcommittees, or hearing officers. Delegations to non-U4C members could mean appointing non-members onto U4C subcommittees, or to entire groups of editors (e.g. functionaries or Stewards).
    • Recommendation: I suggest adding a note that the charter contemplates making delegations on a categorical (not just case-by-case) basis. For example, the U4C could adopt a decision providing that all disputes arising from certain wikis should be heard by a specific subcommittee or panel.
  • Managing the administrative burden is one of the biggest problems I have experienced at ArbCom, and I have ideas for how the U4C could avoid as much of that burden. Although enwiki ArbCom has a panel of clerks, the clerks are not privy to the ArbCom's private docket, which in many months is even more work than the on-wiki docket.
    • This is important because managing administrative burden is important to ensuring the diversity of the committee. English Wikipedia arbitrators spend many hours a week on just their ArbCom roles, which limits the opportunity to serve on ArbCom to people who have many disposable hours each week and limits the diversity of background and viewpoint on the committee. I expect the U4C's caseload to be greater, and for this problem to be worse, unless the U4C is much more effective at managing and delegating its caseload.
    • I am glad that "Wikimedia Foundation may appoint up to two non-voting members and provide a facilitator to support the Committee". However, I think this provision may be insufficient for ensuring the right level of administrative support.
    • Recommendation: Mail for the U4C should first go through a screening and organization process before directly going into the inbox of the U4C members. I recommend delegating the task of sorting mail, assigning internal tracking numbers, linking related mail, holding cases until they are ripe for decision before they go into U4C members' inboxes, etc., to trusted non-members or administrative support staff.
    • Recommendation: The U4C should explicitly be allowed to appoint trusted users to provide secretarial and clerical support for the U4C, and grant access to such private information as is necessary for the function of their roles.
  • What will the relationship between the U4C and the proposed Global Council be?
  • I am concerned about the choice of regions for the election process. Do we have any data on the regional residence of our editing and administrative community? I firmly recommend loosening the regional restrictions.
    • Recommendation: State an explicit justification for the choice of the eight regions.
    • Recommendation: Instead of having both a minimum and maximum of two members from each region, I recommend a more flexible approach where the size of the U4C remains 16, but each region may elect up to, e.g., four members. Alternatively, keep one seat reserved for each region, and establish a pool of several additional "at-large" seats open to the worldwide editing community. Under that model, we could have a 15-member committee: one from each region, and seven at-large seats.
  • Minor recommendation: change the word "sanctions" to "remedies". Sanctions sound uniquely scary, and I have advocated for dramatically reducing the usage of that term on the English Wikipedia (see w:en:User:L235/sanctions verbiage).

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback. I am ready to brainstorm these ideas further and to answer any questions or share any insights that might be helpful. KevinL (aka L235 · t) 20:32, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your feedback Kevin. Lots of good things to think about and several recommendations I look forward to discsusing with my fellow committee members.
Re:Recommendation 1 (advisory body) there is nothing that would stop the U4C from doing so and agree with your idea that it's a good one. But does this need to be in the charter rather than a more flexible procedure? Enwiki ArbCom has it in procedures and that flexibility is useful when ArbCom wants to make adjustments. I'd like to give the U4C the flexibility to decide what meets their needs.
Re: Recommendation 4 (screening): I'm very opposed to enshining in the charter the idea that all emails and correspondence aren't available to all committee members. I do think, as a fresh committee, that the U4C can and should learn from other bdoies like enwiki ArbCom and look at having sustainable systems in place early on for managing their email workflow that goes beyond an email service. Some kind of formal CRM feels required/necessary.
Thanks again for your feedback, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:42, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barkeep49: Thank you for your consideration. Regarding Recommendation 4 (screening), I apologize for the unclarity. I agree that every U4C member should have access to all U4C correspondence at any point. My suggestion is in more detail below, and is relatively more detail-oriented, but experience tells me that these details are very important to the functioning of a committee like the U4C:

For the sake of their inboxes, there should be a conceptual separation between (1) material for the U4C's action and (2) correspondence with the U4C Here's one very bare-bones example I would adopt, with additional CRM or structure as appropriate:

  • Establish at least two email addresses, e.g., and All mail to both addresses is accessible by all U4C members, but in general, U4C members will only need to read Perhaps u4c@wikimedia could be a CRM or VRTS queue or something.
  • Discussion among U4C members happens at
  • Correspondence from the public (e.g. an appeal that must be heard off-wiki) goes to Upon receipt, mail will be assigned a tracking/case number. If it requires action, the U4C secretary or interested members can acquire information relevant to the appeal. For example, in the event of a block appeal, the user could be sent a standard questionnaire and the blocking administrator could be invited to provide their thoughts, both to u4c@wikimedia. Only once all relevant information is received will the appeal be considered ripe for decision.
  • Once a matter is ripe for decision by the U4C, the matter is forwarded to u4c-internal, with all of the relevant information attached to the one email.
Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 20:54, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • A few initial thoughs/questions:
    1. Regional Distribution: is this the proportion of distribution of contributors? If not suggest change to 1 per, and the other half be at-large area.
    2. Conflict of Intetest: While U4C may not require such resignations, local projects may - perhaps clarify that.
    3. Voting Process: Is this open or secret ballot? What are the voter suffrage requirements?
    • xaosflux Talk 23:48, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • It certainly doesn't align with population. More importantly, it makes little sense to distribute the members like this as it doesn't reflect the structure of our projects and is likely to leave some projects underrepresented. Specifically, large mono-regional projects, such as the German Wikipedia and the Japanese Wikipedia, will be underrepresented, but it is also likely to leave the English Wikipedia underrepresented.
      I suggest that instead half the delegates are assigned to a specific project based on the number of contributors on that project (limited, of course, to those projects that have signed onto the code through an enabling act or other provision), and the other half are at-large. BilledMammal (talk) 00:18, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      That might make conflict-of-interest problems worse. The U4C is supposed to investigate systemic failures to enforce the UCOC by local projects. What if most "assigned" members get assigned to a large wiki, and most unassigned members also come from that same wiki? That would give one wiki a lot of power over the U4C. They may not vote to investigate their own wiki even if they should. The current wording of the Charter has a similar problem, but at least it tries to minimize ethnic/racial bias. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 15:50, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestions from conversation hours[edit]

To ensure this doesn't get lost to etherpad, I'd like to memorialize two suggestions I made during the 12 September Conversation Hours. Both of these suggestions are intended to implement the Enforcement Guidelines' provision that the U4C "will be a co-equal body with other high-level decision making bodies (e.g. ArbComs and AffCom)".

First, for the U4C to find "systemic issues" is a much more grave decision than pretty much anything else it can do, because those "systemic issues" are the only time when it can overrule and take over an NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body — and the U4C is supposed to be co-equal to those bodies. Therefore, I would recommend increasing the vote threshold for such an action to two-thirds of the U4C. Suggested draft language: "The U4C may only find that systemic issues exist on projects with an NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body by a two-thirds vote of unrecused active U4C members." Alternatively, the existing sentence could be modified as follows: "Except in instances ofwhen it finds systemic issues by a two-thirds vote, the U4C will not have jurisdiction when a NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body exists, warranting effective self-governance."

Second, because high-level decision-making bodies are co-equal to the U4C, those bodies also have the responsibility for applying, interpreting, and enforcing the UCoC. Therefore, I recommend adding language to clarify that good faith disagreements about the interpretation or application of the UCoC between high-level decision-making bodies and the U4C do not constitute "systemic issues" allowing the U4C to impose its will on a local community. In other words, the U4C should find systemic issues only when it finds that the other high-level decision-making body is acting in bad faith. Suggested language: "The existence of good faith disagreements between the U4C and an NDA-signed high-level decision-making body about the application or interpretation of the UCoC does not mean that there has been a systemic issue or failure to enforce the UCoC."

Both suggestions, but especially the second, are informed by some concerns raised at the English Wikipedia village pump (referenced below) about the clarity of the term "systemic issues" and worry that the U4C might supplant local governance institutions on a wiki with effective self-governance and robust conduct policy enforcement.

Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 14:56, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recommend name change[edit]

U4C is not at all a helpful acronym or abbreviation because it doesn't tell the user anything, and the "4[Letter]" abbreviation, while common in spoken language, normally has the letters spelled out (ex. NAACP spoken N-double-A-C-P; NCAA; spoke N-C-double-A.) This is just not a common way to name a group of people and is likely to lead to confusion by people less experienced with our jargon, and in some cases people who are familiar with our jargon. UCCC or the like would work (you don't need both Cs of UCoC for the committee.) Just a thought.

I'm aware that for those who are within the bubble, this has become second-nature, but as someone who has been very active on Wikimedia, is on private mailing lists, is a functionary, etc. I didn't know what this was even though it had been mentioned on lists I am on. Part of that is obviously my fault, but it isn't very intuitive and ideally for something like this you want people to know it is a group of people and not a computer adapter (which is what it sounds like now.) TonyBallioni (talk) 23:53, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi TonyBallioni, Thank you for your comment about the acronym. This comment has been added to the digest of comments, which has been shared with the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee Building Committee. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:18, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Feedback on section 3.3 (Conflict of Interest)[edit]

§3.3, p3 currently reads "Individual voting members of the U4C do not have to resign from other positions (eg. local administrator (sysop), member of ArbCom, event safety coordinator) [...]" — although I agree that the vast majority of "other positions" do not pose a potential conflict on interest, I would have hoped that the apparent conflict of interest in members of the U4C also serving on local arbitration committees (committees which would potentially be investigated for, e.g., "Refusal of local self-governance structures and teams to enforce the UCoC", as per the defined scope of the U4C) would have been clear. Recusal is always an option of course, but this relies on a case-by-case determination (whether called for by an external party within the limits described, or internally decided) which serves to slow down what will likely already be a large caseload.

I therefore propose that membership of a local project's "NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body" (e.g. an Arbitration Committee) should constitute a conflict of interest and require the candidate in question to resign that role prior. — TheresNoTime (talk • they/them) 18:34, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Personally I can't imagine being on English ArbCom, or any of the other more active ArbComs, and the U4C but, the U4C is supposed to be a peer to high-level decision-making bodies and only in exceptional circumstances would its jurisdiction extend to them and create this conflict of interest. In such a situation, recusal would of course be expected. Addditionally, NDA-signed ArbComs are not the only high level decision making bodies. Stewards are also considered a high-level decision-making body under the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines (AffCom and the technical code of conduct are the other two I know are named at some point in the EG off the top of my head). I would have a hard time coming up with a reason that ArbComs but not these other groups would have a COI so for me it's either all high-level decision making bodies or none. Is there a different reason for you that ArbComs should be treated differently? Barkeep49 (talk) 02:44, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I too can't imagine someone being silly brave enough to both be on the English ArbCom and the U4C — the caseload both parties (do/will) face is staggering and deserves our admiration and thanks. While thinking about this, I did consider if stewards would be considered "high-level decision-making bod[ies]", but arrived at the conclusion that while an Arbitration Committee arbitrates and makes decisions internally based on evidence, stewards rather pointedly do not, and instead act on public consensus, with very little leeway for internal decision-making. That being said, I agree that either all high-level decision making bodies should constitute a conflict of interest, or none. — TheresNoTime (talk • they/them) 11:49, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I have two main thoughts here...
  1. The question of who can run is, in my view, a question of who we should allow the community to vote for. The majority of community processes are very relaxed about this, generally only creating criteria to prevent people who would be a waste of community time to run (blocked users, users with few/no edits, etc.). This should be as relaxed as possible.
  2. Secondly...the term "high-level decision-making body" is not intended to be used for this. It was created with a different scope and different purpose by a committee who did not know it might be used for this. There is no benefit, and imo significant harm, to prevent stewards from running for semantic reasons. Stewardship, like local adminship, is a role and not a position/seat: it's a new set of buttons where actions are made by individuals, not a formal committee with a case load. Users can go years without making any actual decisions on controversial cases, and there is rarely a problem with conflicts of interest. Fundamentally, the majority of people heavily involved in and experienced with global conduct moderation are stewards, and preventing those users from participating in the U4C would be to the detriment of its ability to handle global cases.
Also, in terms of recusals...I would hope anyone trusted enough to be elected to a body of this sort would know when to recuse, and if not, would have enough other people on the U4C to ensure they do. It works fine on the Ombuds Commission, at least in my experience. Best, Vermont (🐿️🏳️‍🌈) 13:18, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wholeheartedly agree with Vermont's thoughts here. KevinL (aka L235 · t) 00:54, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Much more translations needed[edit]

We now have approximately three weeks to review the draft charter. As you know, one of the primary approaches of the Wikimedia Movement is to reach more communities and thus provide a collaborative working environment by ensuring the participation of more people. On the other hand, for now, I see that the draft charter has been fully translated into only 9 languages other than English. This does not align with our Movement's goal of reaching wider communities. At this stage, I find it more appropriate to have the charter translated into more languages and then open for review. Thanks. --justinianus | talk 10:51, 2 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As an addition, I did not have any notification about this draft charter as a translator. That's why I have to say that more announcements need to be made as well as more translations. With my best, --justinianus | talk 10:55, 2 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi justinianus, Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. You're right, the movement's goal is reaching wider communities and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts as a translator help to make that happen. Let me share your comment with the team who supports the translation work on this project. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:24, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Summary of a discussion of the German-speaking community in the Kurier.[edit]

On August 28, 2023, following the publication of a post on the U4C draft presented by the U4CBC, a discussion on the drafts started on the talkpage of the Kurier (the Kurier is similar to the Signpost of the English Wikipedia and a central forum of the German-speaking community). Since then, 15 people participated in the discussion and posted 35 comments. For the full course of the discussion, see here:

This is a summary, provided in good faith to share the results. Disclaimer: the summary is not a representative collaborative text. It has been compiled by a member of the U4CBC. If you participated in the discussion, please feel free to edit, add to or clarify this post.

One persons very extensive contribution has not been included here, but will be translated in full instead.

On language and style[edit]

While the availability of a translation was positively remarked, many comments complained and mocked the language of the text as highly bureaucratic and unnecessary hard to follow. Translational problems were discussed too. Some comments stated that the language stopped them from reading the draft in full.

It was criticized that some of the drafts elements are way to detailed (i.e. imposing sections of pages to comment).

Legacy problems[edit]

The fact that the UCoC itself has never been subject to a vote has been brought up various times, stating that every following step has a clear legitimacy problem as consequence.

On diversity[edit]

Some comments discussed diversity matters. While the regional approach found approval, the lack of a female quota was criticized. It was suggested that there should be at best a 50% female quota with a conversational guideline to warrant them to be heard but at least a female quota of 20% should be implemented (representing the actual female participants in the movement). Another suggestion was to regionalize only half of the seats and to have an open pool of candidates with a female quota in the other half.

Best regards, Denis Barthel (talk) 07:54, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An extensive review from a member of the German-speaking community[edit]

As part of the discussion summarized above Sandra_FGM contributed a very extensive review in two parts, [1] and [2]. To share it with the whole U4CBC, I have translated it here roughly:

  • Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee/Charter#Purpose_and_Scope
    • Observing the state of UCoC enforcement across all Wikimedia online and offline spaces, as ratified by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2020.
      • Sounds like the 2020 state should be reviewed, even if there have been revisions in the meantime.
    • It may suggest suitable changes to UCoC and the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines for the Wikimedia Foundation and the community to consider as part of the annual review the U4C organizes, but may not change either document on its own.
      • Weird choice of words: Anyone may make suggestions. I guess what is meant is that they shall make proposals.
    • When requested, the U4C will assist the Wikimedia Foundation and other stakeholders in handling cases under their jurisdiction, as requested.
      • So the U4C will assist the WMF whenever they want. OK, but who are these other undefined "stakeholders"? One could define them. Everybody who donated a Euro is a stakeholder and if he gets into a private dispute, he could ask for help?
    • Handles complaints and appeals in the circumstances as outlined in the Enforcement Guidelines, including but not limited to:
      • The following points are thus duplicated in both documents. This bears the risk that if one is changed, the other is forgotten. Better would be simply a link to the corresponding section in the other document.
    • The U4C may delegate its final decision making authority except in instances of severe systemic issues.
      • Wait, they can just delegate their decision-making authority to anyone else? If the point is that the panel may be overworked, I would suggest a model where other people can handle requests and make decision "suggestions", but the final decision remains with the panel. (That is, they always have to nod off in the end and are responsible themselves).
    • Not been blocked in any Wikimedia project or have an event ban the past 1 year.
      • As for the wording: it says you are ineligible if you are blocked anywhere unless you have an event ban. What is probably meant is n'or, meaning "neither...nor".

The rule is supposed to prevent trolls and vandals from running for office, but it can be used for manipulation. If I don't like a candidate, I can simply block him on Testwiki as a "test" and he is out of the election. Just to remind you: There are some very dubious projects, sometimes you get blocked if you have "queer" in your username. A user named "Subbass" (in German a part of an organ) was blocked in the (sv?)Wikipedia, because this is something obscene in their language. (See Wikipedia:Administrators/Requests/Archive/2021/February#Banned_on_the_Swedish_Wikipedia)

      • A middle ground would be to force candidates to declare all blocks. Then voters can decide.
    • To ensure the U4C represents diversity of the movement, two representatives from each region will be elected. According to the Wikimedia Foundation's regional approach the regional distribution will be as follows:

There were certainly very long discussions about this. This method ensures that each region is represented, but most requests would probably come from the large projects, which would then be underrepresented. I don't think there is a perfect solution, but one could consider voting for only half of the candidates by region and the other half from a general pool of candidates.

    • Individual voting members of the U4C do not have to resign from other positions (eg. local administrator (sysop), member of ArbCom, event safety coordinator) but cannot be employed as staff or contractors by the Wikimedia Foundation nor participate on its Board of Trustees, nor on the boards or as staff and contractors of Foundation-affiliated organizations while participating on the U4C.
      • The whole thing under the heading of "conflict of interest". Why are people excluded from the Foundation and chapters because of conflict of interest, when the U4C is not supposed to control the Foundation but the compliance with the UCOC? Admins on the other hand who actually have a conflict of interest when their admin decisions are reviewed are not excluded. Examples: DerHexer and DCB are not allowed to run because employed by WMDE.
- --Sandra FGM (Discussion) 15:14, 4 Sep 2023 (CEST)
    • Annual elections, overseen and coordinated by the U4C itself,.... Further up, however, in the conditions for candidates Each candidate must: [...] Meet any other eligibility requirements determined during the election process.
      • So the people who are in the U4C can determine who can get in. Not a good idea.
    • After the inaugural election, the expiring seats (8 out of 16 per year) and appointed seats by vacancy will be subject to election for a two year term.
      • Reminds me very much of the de-ArbCom/CU/OS rules that have stood the test of time. Special cases are unresolved: what if for a region both people drop out (resign) and then both have to be reappointed? There is currently nothing in the rules about this.
      • What can also happen is that there are not enough (elected) candidates for a region. After this draft, the seats would then remain unfilled, although there would probably be further candidates from other regions. It would be better to fill up until the next election.
      • For the actual election, 60% pro is required, but only 50% for backfillers. Why is that? Effectively, this means that if you have a choice between a vacant seat and a candidate with 55%, then the seat should remain vacant because you want at least 60%. I would lower that to 50% in general.
      • Can a candidate actually belong to more than one region? For example, a German who lives in the USA and is also involved in de- and en-language versions. Can one then also run for several regions and be elected? I'm sure there are a few dozen more related questions for which I lack the imagination right now.
    • What is the best way to troll and vandalize? At its sole discretion, the U4C can also share the best practices of UCoC violations and related matters and offer quality assurance.
  • Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee/Charter#Internal_ProceduresUniversal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee/Charter#Internal_Procedures
    • The U4C Building Committee suggests that at least two subcommittees are created within the U4C at the time of formation. One subcommittee for the prevention, training and reports pertaining to the U4C work and the second subcommittee for the review and handling of cases.
      • When the German Bundesverfassungsgericht was founded, two senates were established: One for constitutional complaints (from citizens) and one for disputes between organs (when, for example, parliament and government or federal president disagree). De facto, one of the two senates was completely overworked, while the other had hardly anything to do.
--Sandra FGM (Discussion) 18:40, 4 Sep 2023 (CEST)

translation by Denis Barthel (talk) 08:14, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Zoom link for 7 September call[edit]

@Taylor 49, L235, Vinny kitenge, Diane bora, Mamman AA, Aliyu shaba, Olugold, Viva33, Onwuka Glory, Llatpic, Edward ambele, Shahadusadik, and Awinebotima: hi all, I've sent the Zoom link for tomorrow's call to your email. Please let me know if somehow you do not receive it. Looking forward to see you. Best, RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 13:00, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I received your email Aliyu shaba]]Talk 13:05, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Zoom link for 12 September call[edit]

@Tiputini, Paula (WDU), and L235: hi all, I've sent the Zoom link for tomorrow's call to your email. Please let me know if somehow you do not receive it. Looking forward to see you. Best, RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 06:09, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you, @RamzyM (WMF). See you tomorrow, Paula (WDU) (talk) 15:21, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Glossary" section needs to be moved onto the top[edit]

I think that the "Glossary" section should be placed at the beginning of the Charter, because important concepts in the Charter are defined here and it will be helpful for readers to know these concepts before reading the Charter. --justinianus | talk 10:45, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey again, justinianus! Thanks for this comment on the section organization of the Charter. You are right - these terms might be most helpful at the start of the document to help readers with collective understanding. Your comment will be shared with the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee Building Committee. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:27, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this really worth my time, or should I just disregard it?[edit]

How can I know that the U4C won't do as the LDWG, configured of 15 community members from different regions and backgrounds, recently did, namely realize that conduct-review in the movement "exists", and basically fold up their tent, hoping that "community members across the Wikimedia movement, will join us in developing behavioral-review initiatives -- small and large, in the different spaces and roles we occupy." Wbm1058 (talk) 11:31, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because the LDWG was never set up to be a permanent body? Because the U4C will have been approved by the community twice before it exists and then elects its members (rather than has appointments)? Because the needs of projects who lack the ability to enforce the UCoC is not some twelve month fix? There are probably others but those are what first came to mind. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:51, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Issues with Jurisdiction[edit]

To put it briefly, this section gives me concern. My first concern is that the term of "systemic issues". This term is also seen in other sections, notably in the "Relationship with other movement government structures" and "Purpose and Scope" section. From my limited reading, it seems like the U4C will happily delegate issues to the "local government" if there are no "systemic issue". The problem is that "systemic issue" is not well defined. Who defines what is "systemic issue" and what is not? If U4C could arbitrarily defines an issue as systemic without a clear guidelines, U4C would just be a power grab over the local wikis, as U4C could be used to wrestle control anytime from the local government. As an extreme example, "treason" or "disloyalty to the state" are being used by many countries to arrest political dissidents.

Also, the use of term such as "full range of measures, up to and including the closure of wikis." is threatening, it is showing that U4C is the one "ruling" the wikis, not the local government. Giving a nuclear option to annihilate the whole wiki because of issues that are unclear is a power grab move.

To put it briefly, the terms of "systemic issue" have to be made clear. A line has to be clearly defined, such as "75% of admin supported genocide" or "95% of the editors has expressed support for Hitler" instead of obscure things such as "deemed by <insert organization here>". I didn't have much energy to debate Wikipedia politics, but I have to say my piece. Have a great day. ✠ SunDawn ✠ (contact) 04:14, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@SunDawn there is a definition of system failure in the Enforcemnet Guidelines (which are "above" the Charter): "An issue for which there is a pattern of failing to follow the Universal Code of Conduct with participation of several people, particularly those with advanced rights." That's certainly not my ideal (though it's not the worst version of it I've seen either) but wanted to make sure you knew it existed. There is a suggestion above ot have the glossary be more prominent which this could help with. The definition of systemic failure could also be addressed in the first review of the UCoC and UCoC EG that is scheduled to happen following the establishment of the U4C. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:56, 15 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this really necessary?[edit]

  • "Monitoring reports of UCoC breaches." Go ahead. Good to have someone keeping an eye on those.
  • "At which point, the U4C may conduct additional investigations and take actions where appropriate." I oppose this kind of ability from a WMF committee. Let the wikis manage themselves with their own consensus.
  • "[The] Wikimedia Foundation may appoint up to two non-voting members and provide a facilitator to support the Committee." Why? If this does go ahead, let's at least keep it 100% community members, so it's community managing community.
  • "Provides a final interpretation of the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines and the UCoC if the need arises, in collaboration with community members enforcement structures;" This and many other aspects seem unnecessary. Let the community institutions do what they do, without interference.

I also agree with SunDawn above. On the whole, this is a lot better than it could have been, but, unless I'm missing something, I don't really see the need for this. It feels like – and this is an oft-repeated phrase on oppose !votes at the village pump – a solution in search of a problem. Just my two cents. Cheers, Edward-Woodrow (talk) 11:52, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Edward-Woodrow basically all of the things you object to come directly from the Universal Code of Conduct/Enforcement guidelines which was approved by 75% of over 3000 participants. Changing the enforcement guidelines goes beyond what the Building Committee can do. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:54, 15 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copy editing needed for clarity and consistency[edit]

Significant copy editing is needed before this document can be commented on. For example, there are broken grammatical constructions and lack of parallel structure following "The U4C supports the following functions", "The U4C has the following responsibilities", "Each member must", "After this qualification", "Preceding the annual review, the U4C will complete the following", and more. Clauses and phrases like "A knowledge from the actual state of research about our movement and Internet in general" do not have clear meaning, so it is not possible to provide feedback. The serial comma is used, or not used, inconsistently, leading to potential confusion. The following sentence is not grammatical: "Any party to the case may ask the U4C to reconsider or amend a ruling, which the U4C may accept or decline at its discretion."

The English Wikipedia has a Guild of Copy Editors, some of whom would be happy to help with draft documents like this before they are published. Providing drafts that use clear language will help the WMF get better feedback. Jonesey95 (talk) 16:32, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

After I wrote the above, I remembered that I had posted similar feedback in 2021, 2022, and early 2023. The latter detailed comments have not been followed up on, despite 20 edits since I tried to help. These documents appear to be mired in some sort of bureaucracy that prevents them from going through even the most basic of corrections. It seems to me that it will be difficult to enforce or carry out the processes in these documents, let alone translate them to other languages, when parts of them simply do not make sense as written. Jonesey95 (talk) 22:24, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some observations[edit]

  • "Purpose and Scope" -- language and verb form must be unified
  • "Regional Distribution" -- replace "Middle East" by a less eurocentric term
  • "Conflict of Interest" -- IMHO members of the U4C should NOT have high roles such as ArbCom member, Steward or member of the Board (but local sysop could be OK)
  • "Voting Process" -- it must say clearly whether open voting or secret voting applies
  • "Tools" -- clarify that the U4C will need:
    • privileged tools Special:ListGroupRights
      • investigation tools (deletedhistory, checkuser, oversighter)
      • responsive/repressive tools (protect, block, delete, massdelete)
    • other tools:
      • suitable communication tool, preferably only one (mailing list, private wiki)
    • also clarify that other users having privileged tools have a duty to help to put the verdict in place (if a person blocked by the U4C creates a new account, then ey can and should be reblocked by any local or global sysop with no further discussion once it's proven that it is the same person)

Taylor 49 (talk) 17:48, 17 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Summary of points made in discussion from English Wikipedia Village Pump[edit]

Editors at the English Wikipedia's Village Pump (discussion, permalink), one of the principal discussion forums on the English Wikipedia, recently discussed the draft Charter. My summary of the points made in the discussion follows; in writing this summary, I seek to be faithful to the intent of the participants without discussing whether I agree or disagree with the points made.

  • By far the most common feedback centered around the UCoC's lack of ratification by the global community and/or the individual projects. This is the largest sticking point for many participants.
  • A number of participants especially noted that the English Wikipedia community has not adopted or ratified the UCoC or an "enabling act" allowing the UCoC to take effect on the English Wikipedia.
  • Process-wise, some participants also objected to the separation of the Enforcement Guidelines and the Charter and the notion that "once discussion was "closed" on a piece it wasn't allowed to be revisited", both for the original UCoC and the U4C Charter.
  • Participants stated that the failure to ratify the UCoC is an ongoing mistake.
  • Two participants believe that "systemic issue" should be given a more specific and operationalized definition, out of worry that without a more specific definition, the U4C's jurisdiction over systemic issues would allow it to unjustifiably "assert control over the wikis".

Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 03:18, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many thanks for this very useful summary, Kevin :) Cheers, RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 12:10, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I unfortunately haven't had the time to provide thorough feedback, but here are some thoughts:

  • The section on "Transparency and Confidentiality" implies that the U4C would be handling breaches of confidentiality agreements internally, with no mention of the Ombuds Commission. Breaches of the confidentiality agreement, privacy policy, etc. are not in the scope of the UCOC and are handled by the Ombuds Commission. Of course, any enforcement body can investigate and remove members suspected of misconduct in the area of confidentiality, but an internal U4C investigation does not preclude Ombuds Commission investigation, which could have a different result. At the very least, the committee should be sending these cases to the OC, not the WMF, if they believe it warrants removal on ANPDP/N.
  • I am very happy with the focus given to monitoring, reports, evaluations, etc. This is something I pushed for on the Phase 2 and Revisions work, and I hope it can be implemented effectively.
  • Regarding diversity quotas...imo, these should not be applied to all seats. Maybe half regional seats, half at-large. I do not think that regional requirements are a way to accurately reflect the diversity of the movement. Voters would optimally prioritize a diversity of backgrounds, skills, and perspectives, including much more than region. If we are to mandate a single one of these categories rather than leaving it to voters, that should only be to a limited extent. In other words...region is part of it, but I don't think it's useful to segment all of the committee's seats on that category.
  • For elections...60% is a low bar, but given this is more arbcom-y than admin-y, I think it makes sense. Limited seats means strategic voting.
  • Regarding might be better to give U4C members a group somewhat like the current Ombuds one, providing all rights necessary to view relevant material (deleted, suppressed, checkuser logs, etc.) and possibly some other relevant rights (checkuser, ability to lock an account, etc). Other actions should probably be requested on a case-by-case basis from the processes who usually handle those actions, to not interfere with those processes.

Vermont (🐿️🏳️‍🌈) 20:30, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I strongly agree with Vermont's point about regional quotas, and would support a U4C with half of its seats reserved for regional balance and half open at-large. Regarding user rights, I agree that it may be worth it to be somewhat more specific about the user rights that the U4C may receive and delegate. I don't have suggestions for the specifics, though. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 18:13, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for your feedback[edit]

I appreciate everyone who participated in the community comment period for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) Charter. The comment period is now closed. Finalizing the U4C Charter is the next step in the UCoC process and we would not have gotten to this point in the process without such great community participation. Expect a summary of the comments and next steps on the U4CBC project page soon. Keegan (WMF) (talk) on behalf of the Drafting Committee 18:51, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]