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Only 7 people elected[edit]

Since I learned about the results, I've been giving a lot of thought about why only 7 people could get elected. Especially because the 7 of us elected only represent 4 out of 8 regions and only 4 projects. Questions I'm trying to think through (among others): Did we go about recruitment the wrong way? Are regions the wrong way to try and obtain diversity? Is 60% the wrong minimum to set? Are elections the wrong way to find certain kinds of qualified people? I have some thoughts about all of these but I am very curious what others in the community think. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:50, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The problem of not being able to recruit qualified folks to positions of higher access is not restricted to the U4C: we've seen it on multiple wikis requests for adminship/admin backlogs, and in other election processes. A lot of people are burning out at the same time, and others just aren't interested. I think COVID is at least partially to blame, but there are likely other reasons. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 01:05, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@AntiCompositeNumber thanks for these thoughts. It's an interesting perspective and one I've expressed about stewards, enwiki Arbcom/check user/oversight, and the proposed global council but hadn't given as much thought to since these results (but I should have). I certainly believe there are capable people in the movement from the 4 regions who didn't have anyone elected so it's not that they don't exist. But maybe this format didn't allow them to show their qualifications and readiness. I am guessing, however, that you're more likely to suggest hat maybe they're already committed to other things and had no extra capacity. And if that's true I don't know how to solve it. Have the Stewards take on some part of what the U4C is supposed to do and then just have the foundation do the rest? What do you (or others) see as the right next step if your premise is true? Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:31, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I had a few thoughts on this:
  1. I think the primary issue was that there were too many candidates (or voter fatigue). There were 37 candidates running for 16 seats all at once. There could have been people who intended to vote but did not due to the sheer volume of candidates to evaluate. There could also be lower quality votes because of this, where people might vote Neutral/Oppose for candidates they haven't had time to evaluate, or people will just not spend much time evaluating the candidates. A part of this problem will be resolved automatically now that this election is over. If we call a special election (as per the charter to fill quorum), I foresee getting fewer candidates, and then we could get better voter turnout. Because the length of the terms for CAL seats and regional seats are different, there will also never be an election in the upcoming years to fill the whole 16 seats again.
  2. On minimum support: I thought it made sense to require 60% support because of the trust needed to do the work for U4C. I would probably want to keep that for the normal annual elections, but for the special election (if we do decide to host one) we could lower it.
  3. On elections: I think it is an okay way of obtaining community support for the candidates. I'm not sure of any alternatives we could try to use. One idea I had was there could be a process/requirement to filter out candidates instead of allowing everyone to stand, if having too many candidates continues to be a problem.
  4. On recruitment: I became aware of this election through the community Discord. I habitually ignore banners, so finding candidates through venues like en:WP:AN on enwiki might be nice given the people who usually watchlist those pages on their own local projects.
  5. On regions: you pose a valid question. Putting people into different regions is nonetheless arbitrary, where the term length distinction also doesn't have much reasoning behind it. Diverse representation on the U4C is obviously necessary, so I'm trying to figure out what kinds of restructuring we could explore while keeping requirements on diversity. The hard part is drafting rules that would be both reasonable and fair.
0xDeadbeef (talk) 03:25, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
For the term length, both are 2 years but there needs to be someone serving 1-year-term at the first election. 1233 T / C 07:18, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I see, had forgot about this part. 0xDeadbeef (talk) 10:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I have a few thoughts, too. First off, I think 0xDeadbeef is right about voter fatigue, and it is only going to get worse this year. There's the Movement Charter vote starting in a few weeks, and then the Board elections a couple of months later. There isn't a window for a "special election" for U4C to start any time before October. Second, active recruitment and appointment of qualified candidates is the usual method for finding the best members for a very large number of committees (and subcommittees); however, this can be pretty ineffective in ensuring a mix of experienced and less-experienced individuals, and can really mess up concepts like diversity. Third, I suspect that many people chose the individual they thought was the "best" candidate in a region and, for regions that had several good candidates, this split the vote; this was especially true if people were voting "strategically" (i.e., opposing their less-favoured candidates in order to "boost" their most-favoured ones).

    Finally, I think any time that there is an attempt to fill this large a number of seats in a single election, we are going to see this situation repeat itself. We should not be trying to do this; there was not what I would consider an excess of candidates for the number of seats available (it works out to about 2.3 candidates per seat). It is unreasonable to expect community members to invest the significant number of hours required to review all of the candidacies, especially if the community members need to start by translating those candidacies to a language they understand (and hoping that the translations are at least semi-accurate).

    I cannot recall if the U4C charter allows for appointment of members; if it doesn't now, then it should be updated to do so. Several of the candidates from currently unrepresented regions are perfectly well qualified to serve on this committee; they just didn't have enough name recognition to make it through the voting. Risker (talk) 04:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

    Appointing members sounds like a good idea to me as well. Because elections can be quite overwhelming and take a lot of time. 0xDeadbeef (talk) 04:07, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Calling a run-off election and filling the vacancies until the new election is over is a good idea. Updates to the charter can be proposed in the meantime. -- Sleyece (talk) 04:41, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    A run-off election would only include candidates who didn't get a lot of support, and I'm not sure I'd want to see any of those get elected. And I did try to look at least some of the essays etc about each one. Doug Weller (talk) 07:11, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    "the U4C may leave the seat empty and temporarily fill it during the next election, or the U4C may call a special election." Currently the charter only allows for either calling a Special Election or holding an entirely new election and filling vacancies during the election process. -- Sleyece (talk) 04:40, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    The Charter allows members to be appointed if, and only if, vacancies result from "resignation or removal". It would be possible for the U4C to call a special election and fill the regional seats using a plurality, rather than majority, vote. Obviously, that method has its own problems, and the U4C will have to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 05:52, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    „only if“? The charter clearly mentions „no candidate was chosen for a regional seat in an election“ as another reason for temporarily appointing members. Johannnes89 (talk) 06:13, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    @Johannnes89: Please look at the context of the conversation before replying.
    I think User:Risker is suggesting that the U4C should appoint members without calling for a special election.
    The Charter clearly specified that, if "no candidate was chosen for a regional seat in an election", the U4C may "temporarily fill it during the next election". The implication is that there must be a next election, and appointments can be made only during that election, not before, not after. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 07:08, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I am confused on whether the U4C can vote right now. On the charter it says that "no decision or vote can be taken by the Committee unless the quorum of 50% (8 members) of the voting members (16 members) is attained" but that assumes that all 16 members are elected. What happens when less than 16 are? Leaderboard (talk) 04:50, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's in section 3.4 of the Charter, in case anyone's wondering. @Leaderboard: To answer your question, the Charter allows the U4C to call a "special election" if there's no quorum. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 06:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Adrianm1110: I know that they can call for a special election, but I'm wondering more on the lines of "can they vote on things with 7 members, if at least 4 support?". Leaderboard (talk) 06:08, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Leaderboard: You may have to ask the Building Committee since they drafted the Charter. Perhaps User:Denis Barthel and User:Barkeep49 can answer your question. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 07:31, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Leaderboard - 8 members was meant to be an absolute number, not relative to the elected number. The latter would be against the spirit of that rule, which was introduced to avoid a very small number of people making important decisions. Denis Barthel (talk) 08:47, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
In my opinion, many voters did not realize that the 16 seats can only be filled if they themselves give at least 16 candidates a pro vote. On average, voters cast 20 neutral votes, 7 pro and 7 con. If they had cast 16 pro votes and only 18 neutral or con votes, all 16 seats would have been filled. 4 of the elected candidates come from projects that have good ways to inform the community about the project via the Signpost and the Kurier. C.Suthorn (@Life_is@no-pony.farm - p7.ee/p) (talk) 05:28, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The U4C does not have a quorum, so the seven members can discuss this in any capacity that does not require a vote. Currently that's about it. -- Sleyece (talk) 05:30, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
my 2 cents: I was a bit surprised that no one got more than 68.8%. So, we should keep the election process, but lower eligibility to 50 % (as in de.wp arbcom elections) since the candidates at 50+ % in the results list seemed perfectly fine to me. We definitely will have to ask the community to change the quorum for decisions to a purely relative quorum of 50% (i.e. remove the 8 out of 16 part), and maybe even also add an inactivity rule as proposed in the questions to the candidates. I am curious about what the community thinks on the regional seat approach - removing it would motivate additional candidates from larger communities albeit at the cost of reducing regional diversity. --Ghilt (talk) 06:05, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It's not like we have any meaningful diversity right now. Leaderboard (talk) 06:08, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
we'd have a little more diversity with the 50 % cutoff. Ghilt (talk) 06:21, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Lowering the cutoff to 50% would require a quorum. -- Sleyece (talk) 06:50, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
yes, any changes in the charter need community confirmation. The imho most important change is to remove the '8 out of 16', because we cannot decide anything until then. Ghilt (talk) 07:06, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Personally I would suggest not to remove the "8 out of 16" as this might lead to small numbers of people in sessions making decisions later. That seems to me a pretty dangerous way to solve the current problem. I would rather think about lowering the cutoff to 51%. That would bring in more people, which still have a sufficient amount of trust in the community. Denis Barthel (talk) 09:00, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Even if we lower the cutoff to 50 % for elections (which i like), we still wouldn't have reached 16 elected people. If the community wants less than 16 in the U4C, whaddowedo? If the cutoff had been at 50 %, there would have been 3-4 more people elected = 7 + 3 or 4 = 10-11. 8 necessary votes out of 10 then means that there has to be a quorum of 80 % for decisions, which makes deciding much more difficult than the intended 50 %. Ghilt (talk) 11:28, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Please keep in mind that electing the U4C as a whole with up to 16 people, resulting in the troubles to find enough candidates and requesting voters to go through so many candidate material, is a one-time effort. I am pretty confident that future votes will be better, as only up to 8 seats are open then and former members might run again, seeking only confirmation from voters.
Furthermore, the U4C does not require 16 people to work. It was always intended to offer up to 16 seats, but will work perfectly fine with less than 16. Denis Barthel (talk) 12:38, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
How do you interpret the 8 necessary for a vote as written in the charter? And will any number less than 16 mean that we only need 50 % for a decision, or more than 50 %? Ghilt (talk) 13:04, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  1. 8 means that no decision can be made, if there are less than 8 persons participating in a decision. Even a fully seated U4C wouldn't be able to decide upon anything, if less than 8 people cast their vote (pretty similiar to the German ArbCom, where at least 5 (resp. 3) persons need to vote to decide upon a matter).
  2. No. If the U4C consists of 12 members, it still needs 8 to make a vote, that's at least what I recall. Maybe @Barkeep49 can add his thoughts on this?
Denis Barthel (talk) 13:44, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I am wondering if there are different uses of quorum. As I understand it in the ways I'm used to see it, quorum means the total number of people voting. But this understanding of "number needed for the majority" seems to be a commonly understood reading. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:28, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • If the community voted to add my example system here to the U4C Charter, then a unanimous vote would allow Ruby and I to agree to break the tie, and the U4C could do whatever it wanted to fill the other seats immediately. -- Sleyece (talk) 07:04, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    In this hypothetical... why would it be you and Ruby to break the tie? The community is not better served by filling a seat just to fill it, especially if the community does not support the person that's supposed to break said tie. Hey man im josh (talk) 11:00, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Well, my example system was placed as a hypothetical on April 5th without knowledge of this event. If the community voted on it Ruby D-Brown and I would have to break the tie because I did not know to account for other scenarios. Also, I defeated 6 other candidates if you're going by support, and I defeated two others by percentage. There are some in the community that support me. Ruby did better than I did. -- Sleyece (talk) 13:30, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I'm just going to be blunt: You have the highest opposes, the lowest support-oppose ratio, and the third lowest percentage. There is no chance in you having any role at all in U4C voting matters. ferret (talk) 13:55, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    My example system would fix the current predicament. I would be derelict in my duty as a candidate if I didn't mention it as an option. -- Sleyece (talk) 14:20, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Bluntly speaking, I don't think anyone understands what your suggestion even means. It is impossible to parse. Even you later admitted the thought process you had on 5 April was mistaken. Please do not bring it up again. Wilhelm Tell DCCXLVI (talk) 13:54, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    I was under medical restrictions not to talk publicly about my new medication at that time. My thought process was affected by my regulating emotions in a new way, per here. I could still read a document at that time. We need some solution. -- Sleyece (talk) 15:20, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Sleyece, you received the third lowest support rate and lowest net votes of any candidate. There is no system in which you'd be breaking any "tie". Vermont (🐿️🏳️‍🌈) 14:00, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Currently, there is no system in which there could even be a tie. -- Sleyece (talk) 15:14, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I've put most of my thoughts on the Evaluation page, but I genuinely believe a lot of it came down to "There's no clear 'Guides' people can read, most people didn't want to do homework". Had the already made guides been highlighted properly (and a general space given for "general discussion") and securepoll having some easy ways to "sort alphabetical" and "support/oppose all"... Most voters would be more encouraged to actually engage with the elections. With so many barriers to voting effectively, I suspect a lot of them deferred to "Only support people I know" which does not lead to good results. Soni (talk) 07:59, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I think the results reflect a lack of qualified candidates interested. The results lined up with the voter guides, and elected people with significant experience (usually some combination of arb, steward and/or functionary experience) which seems an appropriate barrier for the (in theory) highest conduct enforcement body in the movement. It's also worth noting that the job itself isn't exactly fun - the main job of this committee will be to handle the endless small-wiki admin abuse cases at Requests for comment and similar.
If I were to improve the process, I would do a few things: reduce the number of seats, 16 is very high for a high-level body that does boring work. Will always be hard to find that many qualified candidates. Make it 10-12 with a quorum of 50%. Reduce the number of rules in the vote. Ditch the homewiki rule, and consider replacing the regional rule with either reserved seats for underrepresented communities/regions (maybe 3-4/12) or simply allow the U4C to appoint 3-4 members for any number of reasons, to include representing underrepresented regions. This way voters don't need to worry about voting strategically - they know they can just vote for their preferred candidates, and then the U4C itself can work out the details after the election to ensure appropriate diversity. Add flexibility to the charter. Wikis don't usually have such rigid processes, and IMO the charter - especially the first iteration - should be more of a living document than a set of strict rules. I think the failure to elect enough members to fill the quorum reflects the rigidity of this approach, and leaves us all scratching our heads with what to do next. Though I have thoughts on that I will include in a following section. – Ajraddatz (talk) 13:33, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for these thoughtful ideas @Ajraddatz. I am speaking only for myself and have not talked to any other U4C member about this. Given that it's supposed to be a coordinating committee, I am wondering if a smaller body would be possible accompanied with the expectation that the U4C delegate a lot/most/nearly all of the non-systemic issues. That is it coordinates enforcement rather than doing it directly. This would leave systemic issues to be handled. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:33, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Really depends on the workload that the U4C will see, I think. I would imagine that admins would continue to handle UCOC violations on local projects, and the U4C would only see appeals from projects without mature governance processes for the most part. Those (and systemic abuse cases) tend to be very rare and can usually be dismissed, based on my experience at RFC on Meta - think on the order of ~10 cases per year in both categories, with all but 2-3 being dismissed right away. With that workload a body of 10-12 wouldn't need to delegate anything. But it isn't clear how that workload may change once the U4C is in place and able to work (i.e. with quorum). I would generally favour an interative and flexible approach that can be scaled up, as opposed to something very rigidly defined from the start without any way to adapt to the circumstances. – Ajraddatz (talk) 17:34, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Ajraddatz on the one hand yes, iterative would be great. On the other hand, this is (as you note) potentially the most powerful enforcement body in the movement and so people wanting protections/safe guards in place also feels important to me. Any thoughts on how to practically balance those things? Barkeep49 (talk) 17:44, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Rigidity does not equal protection. The stewards group, for example, came about from a much more iterative process and has nonetheless not (systemically at least) overstepped local processes or local consensus. I think the same degree of protection against abuse from the U4C could have been achieved with some general policy rules (that it doesn't take over from other high-level bodies outside of systemic failure, etc.) without the need for a giant numbered page. Ironically, the very rigid charter also leaves two things - the user rights accessible/usable by the U4C and the rights granted to their delegates (and the manner by which that happens) - wide open and without any protections in place. It's not the end of the world, there is the annual review process, but we just wasted three months on an election that didn't produce a usable committee and are now going to spend more months wasted on discussion and further elections when a more bottom-up process could have avoided all of this in the first place. Just my 2c. – Ajraddatz (talk) 18:01, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I think 60% is good and changes to it just to fill seats might result in unsuitable candidates being elected. The election process was lengthy, the candidate pages and overall layout was poor. It was hard to navigate through candidates and I had to open several tabs just to get the details on one candidate. Honestly, I don't think expecting 16 competent candidates to be elected from first election is realistically possible. Also, I would like to point out that UCoC itself only passed with ~60% support, so it is likely that there are many who opposed the candidates as opposition to U4C as a whole. Maybe if the U4C is able to establish itself and resolve issues they were created to resolve and as a result gain community trust, more community support and participation can be expected.--BRP ever 15:42, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    @BRPever the UcOC has never been voted on. The enforcement guidelines were rejected with ~57% approval and then amended and ratified with ~76% approval. The Charter was ratified with ~70% approval. I think opposition to the U4C and/or the UCoC could help explain why support maxed out at ~68% and partially explain the fact that more than 50% of voters voted neutral for every single candidate but do think it important to note that there was fairly robust support for both the enforcement guidelines and the charter. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:41, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    @Barkeep49 I might be recalling the First community ratification vote, but I think this is the major reason for lack of support. Many just don't want a body that dictates the civility of their wiki. I think the opinion in several cases only changed from, 'we don't want U4C' to 'U4C won't affect us'. BRP ever 05:30, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    The amended guidelines and the Charter were ratified with Super-majority Approval. -- Sleyece (talk) 12:43, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Prequalfication before appearing on the candidate list[edit]

I notice that the two voter guides given above under that heading, closely corresponds to the end result. In the first one all green + one yellow was elected, in the second none of the red or yellow was elected. So if the red ones in these two had been taken off, the list to look through would have been reasonable. And I believe this would have lead to more people to participate in the voting, and more people elected Yger (talk) 05:00, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The issue seems to be how they define the red list, as it is represents a much higher barrier. It also carries and considers only edits and contributions on-wiki where off-wiki activities (where the U4C are also supposed to work) are not decided at all. There are always reasons why people decide not to run for administrative posts. If communities are large enough and working, it is completely fine. However, for communities that are not working until recently (read: zhwiki), there are little to no incentive to run for these admin/functionary posts.
I think the issue seems to be the inability for the list to be flexible, but the current lower limit is technically also too low. I support the idea of increasing the lower limit, but not too much. Another solution is to limit the candidates to 24, though everyone can nominate themselves, only 24 people (who may be ranked through number of edits / roles that they hold, etc.) will appear in the final list. That may also be one possible solution. 1233 T / C 07:17, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

U4CBC yet not dissolved[edit]

Just as a reminder: the charter says "After the first session of the U4C, the U4CBC will be dissolved and the U4C will begin work as soon as possible." - That means, if the U4C would unanimously reject to meet and begin it's work, the U4CBC would be in charge again to modify the charter properly. It's up to the designated members of the U4C to make that decision first. Denis Barthel (talk) 09:24, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The U4C does not have a quorum, so this is moot. -- Sleyece (talk) 13:32, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Appointment seeking confirmation in a RfC[edit]

The problem at the moment is that the U4C is unable to make any decisions due to its small size. At the same time, the realignment of an election is only possible very late in the year. Proposals that require a change to the charter cannot be implemented in the short term either.

What is needed, therefore, is a solution that can be implemented quickly, does not require a full election in the narrower sense and is within the rules of the charter.

I would suggest creating an RfC in which the U4C proposes the appointment of those three additional persons with more than 50% approval for one year and has this appointment confirmed by the community in the RfC? In this way, the U4C could quickly become operational without violating the charter and its spirit. Denis Barthel (talk) 09:38, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'm not opposed to this in principle, another alternative would be just appointing an additional member to reach minimum quorum. Here would be the seats to fill for the three people with approval >50% but <60%:
  • RXerself for CAL seat for one year
  • ProtoplasmaKid for CAL seat for one year
  • NANöR only ran for Middle East and North Africa and did not choose CAL, and the MENA seat is already filled, so I'm unsure if they can fill any vacancy.
0xDeadbeef (talk) 10:18, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Appointing a very small number of candidates to reach the quorum is the best solution I've seen so far. I would be more in favor of appointing only one (RXerself), not because of any personal judgement against the candidates, but because that's the minimum needed to make a functioning U4C, and as Deadbeef points out it's not clear where we would put NANöR. Toadspike (talk) 11:55, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Having just 8 is very much sub-optimal - means the committee is just as dysfunctional if one of the members goes inactive for any reason. Leaderboard (talk) 11:58, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
My former suggestion actually was flawed, I am sorry for this. Appointments are only possible for persons who ran and received more than 60% approval and not for vacant seats. ("If there is an empty seat, whether because of resignations, removals, or no candidate was chosen for a regional seat in an election, the U4C may leave the seat empty and temporarily fill it during the next election, or the U4C may call a special election.An additional option in the case of resignation or removal is that the U4C may appoint a member who ran within the most recent election and received at least 60% support.")
There is only the option to call a special election for the vacant regional seats, which are North America (USA and Canada), Latin America and Caribbean, Central and East Europe (CEE), Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
If a RfC fits the definition of a "special election"(?), the U4C could suggest to include the most successful candidates of these regions there and ask for their confirmation. That's what is possible. Denis Barthel (talk) 13:04, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The U4C would need a quorum to decide what counts as a special election. -- Sleyece (talk) 13:36, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes. That is why the community discusses it here. And asking for the validity of a RfC is pretty much a standard question in their texts. Denis Barthel (talk) 13:46, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Denis Barthel: Your suggestion is good because it's simple and complies with the Charter. A special election is the best way forward, whether or not it takes the form of an RFC, unless the community wants to wait a whole year for the next election. We only need the existing U4C to give the go-ahead. Ghilt, Ibrahim.ID, 0xDeadbeef, Barkeep49, Superpes15, Civvi, and Luke081515: You're all on the U4C. Can you make Denis' idea happen? Adrianmn1110 (talk) 11:42, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The U4C is currently discussing possible options and next steps. 0xDeadbeef (talk) 12:15, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Noted below that I suggest an RfC to allow the U4C to appoint 3 members to a one-year term at their discretion, but fine to go with three-four runners up instead. I don't think we need to be worried about fiting in the wording of the U4C charter for this, consensus-based decision making is a general wiki principle and at worst, this seems like a good IAR situation. – Ajraddatz (talk) 13:45, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Not strictly opposed to using RfC to resolve a problem, however it should be as well advertised and attended as the RfC that recently created the rule requiring 60% support for members to override that consensus. — xaosflux Talk 12:10, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Denis, saying it in German to avoid misunderstanding: Ich befürchte, daß die gewählten Mitglieder in ihrem Amt durch die Misere bereits beschädigt wurden und weitere Versuche, durch Verbiegen der Satzung das Amt noch weiter beschädigen wird. Man wird um eine ordentliche Änderung der Satzung kaum herumkommen, samt langwierigem Ratifizierungsprozess. Nach meinem Verständnis der Charter kann das U4C gar keine Maßnahmen ergreifen, weil gar kein U4C zustandegekommen ist. Tatsächlich handelt es sich um einen technischen Fehler der Charter, weil nicht unterschieden wurde zwischen der Beschlußfähigkeit des U4C und dem Zustandekommen des U4C selbst, vulgo der Konstituierung des Gremiums. Bei der Konstituierung des Bundestags wäre das Problem nicht entstanden, weil da automatisch Kandidaten nachrücken, die bislang nicht zum Zuge gekommen sind. Das schließt die U4C-Wahlordnung aus. Hier können nur Kandidaten nachrücken, die selbst gewählt wurden, und das ist hier nicht der Fall. Please translate if useful. thanks. Matthiasb (talk) 12:41, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Matthiasb - diese Lesart ist nicht ganz korrekt. Per Charter konstituiert sich das U4C, sobald es das erste Mal tagt. Für diesen Moment ist kein Quorum vorgeschrieben. Ebenso kann das U4C Nachwahlen für die regionalen Sitze ausrichten. Die Quorumsregelung maximalistisch so zu lesen, dass sie alles Handeln der Gewählten verbietet, ist weder im Sinne des Textes noch der Autor*innen. Denis Barthel (talk) 07:26, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Suggestion what to do next[edit]

I strongly object to not respect the outcome of this election. I see the setup of the election as fair and reasonable, including the limit of 60%, also there have been enough voters to make it a viable election. And the solution to it being elected too few is clear and stated, start a new election. And because of vote fatigue, I suggest waiting a year until March 2025. And to get the body operative, I would suggest asking the community to accept it could work with a quorum of six until nest election. Yger (talk) 13:18, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

While I fully agree with you concerning respecting the outcome of the election - if you ask the community to accept working with a lesser quorum then before, you'd have to run a vote as it requires changing the charter (or break the rules). Wouldn't it be easier then to call a special election for the vacant regional seats as the charter says? North America (USA and Canada), Latin America and Caribbean, Central and East Europe (CEE), Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are still vacant, even one seated person would be sufficient then. Denis Barthel (talk) 13:30, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
As I noted above, we are really backed into a corner here with the very rigid and inflexible charter - this should be avoided in favour of a more living and iterative document in the future. I think the best path forward here is a community RfC allowing the U4C to appoint 3 members to a one-year term, at their own discretion, to fill this immediate need. From a wiki-legal standpoint that would still respect the principle of consensus-based decision making and would take much less time than a special election to fill possibly more seats than the actual election filled. – Ajraddatz (talk) 13:36, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
This is not in the Charter. The U4C would need a quorum to decide that a RfC fits the definition of a special election. The RfC would have to also amend the charter, or the 1 year term you propose would have to proceed a full election. So, by your proposal as the Charter is written, the RfC would result in the vacancies being filled one year from now. The appointments would serve 1 year preceding an election of all members. So, your system leaves the U4C without a quorum for nearly 1 year. -- Sleyece (talk) 13:43, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The U4C charter is a policy document, it should always be subject to revision or supplementation by community consensus. Section 4.3.2 even explicitly says that modification is possible with community consensus - it only lists an annual review, but there is nothing in the wording restricting it to just that. And regardless I think you could make an IAR argument here - the charter wasn't intended to prevent the committee from working, and given the circumstances another election does not seem to be the ideal solution. – Ajraddatz (talk) 13:50, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Respectfully, I have to say your suggestion would violate the spirit of the Charter. If the Charter could be amended by RFCs, nothing would stop any small group of people from bypassing the U4C annual review. They could just hold an RFC, intentionally tell as few others as possible about said RFC, and vote to adjust the Charter without engaging with most of the Wikimedia community. As Dennis said below, global RFCs usually don't have a lot of participators.
I favor Dennis's suggestion for the U4C to create an RFC that serves as a special election. That way, we wouldn't be touching the Charter. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 20:15, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Sleyece - As above: That is why the community discusses it here. And asking for the validity of a RfC is pretty much a standard question in their texts.
@Ajraddatz - having that said, I would prefer to have a question in the RfC that stays within the limits and rules of the charter. Global RfC's rarely have a strong participation and a low vote count would probably damage the institution of the U4C a lot. It already has a legacy problem with the UCoC that has never been voted for, so we shouldn't create a new one. Denis Barthel (talk) 13:52, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The U4C would need a quorum to decide that a RfC fits the definition of a special election. Until the U4C is seated formally, U4CBC and Electcom would also be able to make the same decision. If you want to specifically go by rules as written, no flexibility allowed, both those bodies should have leeway to decide what happens here. So an RFC based appointment approach could very well be completely alright.
Also, what Ajraddatz said about community consensus. As long as those rules are followed, there can easily be an additional clause made to allow this. Ultimately, it depends on the elected U4C members and how they would prefer to handle this Soni (talk) 13:53, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The charter explicitly says "When there is no quorum, the U4C will continue to work on matters where no vote is needed and call a special election if needed." (3.4) The U4C has the right to call for a special election, regardless of it's size. And as the "special election" is not defined specifically, the U4C is allowed to give it the appropriate form. Which should be discussed with the community. Q.E.D. Denis Barthel (talk) 13:57, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm fine with that too, I understand the impulse to follow the charter as closely as possible. Definitely no issues with your proposal. – Ajraddatz (talk) 14:04, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I agree, and I believe we all agree that the U4C could and should call a (special) election. But I am still all against the U4c with RfC decides on the composition of the. Only community in election can do that Yger (talk) 14:06, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for clarifying. Denis Barthel (talk) 14:42, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The U4C must be formally seated even without a quorum because the charter says they can do their work, but they can't vote on anything. Also, I did briefly mention above that the proposed RfC could be used to amend the Charter to fix this. -- Sleyece (talk) 14:03, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The u4c members could work on many things. They are all experienced and capable persons, so I assume they'll figure out ways.
  • They need to build some basic infrastruture (mailing list, special wiki, pages on meta to make a case,....)
  • Reports on UCOC violations
  • Recommendations on changing the charter.
  • Help implement the incident reporting tools (I think the enforcement guidelines mention them)
  • Help with training material
  • For cases it seems they cannot make decisions (like (un-)block a user), but they can hear cases, investigate, get a feeling for what is going on.
Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 14:19, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
👍Like Yger (talk) 14:25, 1 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

From The Signpost (trying to clean up an edit conflict now)[edit]

I am a reporter for The Signpost and am writing a brief story on this election. We'll publish late tomorrow or the next day (June 3 or 4). It would be a bummer to report "Since there is no quorum, U4C will not be able to function until (some distant time) when an election will be held to fill the vacant spots." But it looks like you are making good progress and expect to quickly fill the seats. Could 2-3 of the elected candidates write a sentence or 2 that I can quote saying what the expected solution is. I'll note that it is still a tentative solution. I'll probably only use one person's quote, picking the best written, clearest, or closest to consensus one. But I just want to confirm (what I see above), that you are very close to consensus. Any help appreciated. Smallbones (talk) 05:41, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I don't think we have an agreed upon solution that we would expect to use to quickly fill the seats. Any proposed solution is likely to be faced with opposition or would require another poll earliest in September. The few people discussing solutions here do not represent a consensus that can be used to implement a change to the charter, so there doesn't appear to be any progress. 0xDeadbeef (talk) 09:04, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agree. To do this in the most correct way, we need to hold another secure poll election. Even though I am skeptical that the community will fill the empty 9 seats. But additional remedies are also being discussed here, like asking the community to vote on rule changes. It is obvious that the current set of rules is partially dysfunctional. Ghilt (talk) 09:16, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Ok, I'm just the reporter - you folks actually make the news. Here is a draft of the relevant paragraphs (full draft at [1] );

"U4C election results in no quorum
"The Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) announced the results of the first U4C elections on May 31, with only seven of the sixteen seats filled. Thirty other candidates did not collect the required 60% support from the voters.
"Eight members of the committee are required to form a quorum to vote or to make any decision, though the committee may still operate as a discussion forum. The only exception is that they may set the scope and call a special election to seat additional members. 0xDeadbeef, one of the newly elected members, states that a new election could be held "earliest in September" and that so far "there doesn't appear to be any progress" in finding a way to secure a quorum. Another newly elected member, Ghilt adds that changes to the rules are contemplated: 'It is obvious that the current set of rules is partially dysfunctional.' "

I'm sorry to say it, but these factual paragraphs makes the newly elected members look totally ineffectual. There is IMHO a way to have a snap election that will get at least one additional member within a month, that would not violate any rules. My readers will be left wondering why the heck you don't get on with it. Smallbones (talk) 14:28, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Smallbones what is your understanding of a snap election? Ghilt (talk) 14:34, 2 June 2024 (UTC) PS: we are waiting for an answer from EC on when another secure poll election can be held technically as soon as possible.Reply
Results were announced by KTC, ElectCom member [2]
If you quote Deadbeef's "earliest in September" you should add some reasons: Too many other elections like board elections and Movement Charter Ratification. Elections are possible right now, but not reasonable.
Also, the u4c could do more then just serve as a discussion forum, see here. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 14:58, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Der-Wir-Ing: Thanks for the copy editing suggestions. Your suggestions on what the U4C could do if they don't have the ability to vote or make decisions (above) is very impressive - but ultimately a discussion forum can pretty much make the same suggestions unofficially, that the U4C could suggest in a slightly more official position. Do you have a better word than "discussion forum"? Smallbones (talk) 15:14, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
To be honest, the charter is somewhat vage. u4c can't make "decisions" but what exactly is a decision? The Charter mentions two sub-committees: Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee/Charter#3.5._Subcommittees:
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.
I feel like "decisions" or at least decisions that require a quorum, refers only to cases, but not to training and reports. But that's my interpretation.
So maybe you just want to explain that no case desisions can be made, but that maybe some other work is possible. With ongoing discussion. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 15:27, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I don't mind being quoted, but the reason for an election being earliest in September is due to the amount of elections we have going on, with Movement Charter/Ratification/Voting ending in July, and Wikimedia Foundation elections/2024 ending towards the end of September. The time window in between is quite narrow and will likely introduce additional voter fatigue. I'm not suggesting that it would be impossible to get an election in August just before the board elections, and I'm not making an official U4C statement until this has been discussed by the U4C. 0xDeadbeef (talk) 03:39, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Smallbones I am interested in finding the best path forward for the U4C while respecting the charter and enforcement guidelines since each were approved by a fairly large number of community members. I don't know what that path will be, but I am honored to be in the company of my new colleagues and am excited to work together on charting that path. Barkeep49 (talk) 17:10, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Ghilt: My working definition of "snap election" in this case: a secure poll that could be planned, completed, and scrutinized within 1 month. Perhaps an example of how I think this could be done is need. But please understand that I am not suggesting this particular plan - the plan is up to the committee.
  • Week 1 - U4C members decide on the plan and check with the election committee to see if it is technically feasible.
  • Week 2 - the plan is announced, e.g
    • A special election will be held the following week for the 4 unfilled community-at-large seats. The only candidates allowed will be the 4 unelected candidates in this last election who received 50% or above Support. All other rules will stay the same. (My reading of the current rules allows this) Publicizing the election will be a major task of course.
  • Week 3 - the election is held for 7 days.
  • Week 4 - the votes are scrutinized and the results are announced.

This is the type of thing that any "special election" needs to accomplish. It's not ideal, there are several arbitrary choices, but having an effective elected body is more important than having a "perfect election". Smallbones (talk) 15:46, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Currently there's an ongoing election for zhwiki and there's another SecurePoll election afterwards, so anything that involves SecurePoll, as far as I know, will just need another month or two just to correctly set up and scrutinize, unless there's a compromise. 1233 T / C 16:26, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Going backwards your plan:
  • One week for scruting and announcing: Took this time 3 weeks. Reasons was patially a back and forth between scrutineer, Foundation and ElectCom.
  • Election for 7 days, why not.
  • One week between announcing the plan and starting the election. But you have to inform the voters. That takes time to write the mass mails, write and prepare the banners etc. Not much time. You also have to ask those 4 candidates if they are willing to do that.
  • One week for deciding on a plan, a back and forth between 2 commitees where one would need like 3 weeks. That's ambitious. Committees are just very bad at making fast decisions. They have a strong tendency to make slow and good decisions or no decisions.
Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 16:35, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
A slow decision in this case IMHO will be a bad decision. If the earliest election date is really September, then I'd guess the expected date is December or January, and the results announcement is perhaps in February. Does anybody find that acceptable? If Secure poll can only do one election at a time, then there is nothing you can do about that except be ready when a one week window opens. And you can't control the scrutineers, but you can let them know that this will be a short election with fewer candidates and fewer voters. Letting the previous voters (who have enabled their emails) know about this election shouldn't be that difficult. A couple of banners also shouldn't be difficult. All in all, I think you are trying to make this too difficult. Electing 1-4 people who have already received a majority of support really shouldn't be too difficult. (This is the last of my responses - this hasn't turned out to be in the usual reporting style). Smallbones (talk) 17:09, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
So many things should not be difficult but are. Anyways, we could start perparing an election in September with the results to expect in October. That's quite possible. But uncertain. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 17:34, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Every solution that is proposed is going to have another user immediately come in and say they unilaterally speak for the community to declare that the option won't work. It's going to happen in some capacity for every proposal. I think the community should have an options election. The community should vote among all options presented on this page as to what will be added to the charter to fix the predicament at hand here. -- Sleyece (talk) 18:29, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
And as I have already said, I am against starting with these four names. An election is an election and should be run in full Yger (talk) 17:11, 2 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Different suggestion: Instead of voting on more members, vote to rescind the committee charter. It's pretty clear that there are big problems with it; that was obvious even as candidates were self-nominating. The charter mandates a Support/Neutral/Oppose voting system (i.e., ranked voting cannot be used) for candidates, which has been proving increasingly problematic for a long time. The requirement that all regions *must* be represented, without a positive method for ensuring that (a) suitable candidates are available and (b) there is a way to ensure that at least one candidate from each region succeeds, has proven pretty much fatal. I think the problem here is that a charter was written without the knowledge and experience of what the committee needs to function. I think there is a lot of aspirational thinking in that charter that is not based on reality, which is not the way to write a binding document. The problem is the charter, much more so than the candidates. As an aside, despite lots of advertising, this vote still only attracted 1300 of the ~70,000 eligible voters. That may raise the question of whether or not this committee is needed at all. Risker (talk) 02:42, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Strong Oppose: Going scorched earth on the charter at this point could be legally compromising for the foundation for a number of reasons. Firstly, who exactly would vote to throw out the baby with the bath water? It's not going to be a 7 member U4C. I think the mere suggestion that the charter is going to be scrapped on a arbitrary whim due to a minor inconvenience is proof positive that the U4C is necessary. I am against this suggestion as even a remotely viable option. -- Sleyece (talk) 04:02, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    Thanks for your feedback Risker, I'm still processing it all, but some questions/thoughts I am considering related to points you raise:
    • The current system allowed for fewer than the maximum number of seats to be filled which promptly happened. Is this a good thing or bad thing on the whole? Is there a better alternative to Support/Neutral/Oppose which could still allow this to happen which is easy for voters in a large field?
    • For me, representation for representation's sake isn't important. Instead I want committee that will make good decisions with-in its scope and research shows that you need a variety of experiences and perspectives to make that happens. And you also need a group that will be seen as legitimate by others. The regional representation is one way to do that. But it's not the only way. So what is the best way to achieve this goal? Is the problem regionalism or is the problem an election?
    • Just how perfect does a charter for a committee like the U4C need to be in order for the committee to start working? It's not a coincidence that the current ewniki ARBPOL reflects a complete rewrite after several years of that committee working, for instance. Can a more iterative method, that is still seen as strong enough to safeguard against a committee that a number of people fear, be found?
    In terms of your point about the number of people who voted, I have expressed concern with that total elsewhere. But for the same reasons that I wrote about the enwiki elite I think any vote like this is going to have an electorate that is only a small subset of our active editors, but the silence of those same editors in votes to approve the enforcement guidelines and charter could just as easily be taken as assent as dissent. I also don't recall seeing any sort of minimum number of editors proposed in any of the Movement Charter drafts that you've helped produce with the MCDC (and if I'm wrong pelase correct me as I would be happy to consider something) so it's not like what's there is out of line with what other groups have produced. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:27, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
    When it comes to voter participation, let's keep in mind that even the most succesful votes, the ones about the Board of Trustees, never got a turnout of more than about 10% of the electorate, in total max. 6000 voters. The reasons for this are complex, feel free to draw your own conclusions from here and here.
    Votes on non-BoT-matters have always been less successful, as they expect plenty of knowledge about the state of things, which plenty of people feel to be boring, while they actually intend to write articles about baroque violinists or mountains in South Ecuador.
    Thus the MCDC was elected with barely 1000 votes, the U4C Charter was confirmed with 1700 votes, the UCoC EG with 2300 resp. 3097. The latter numbers were the result of a huge promotional effort of the WMF in many languages, thus they peak out. This pretty complex vote had 1300 voters. This is not a sign of disinterest. It is the actual standard. Denis Barthel (talk) 21:06, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I agree with Ghit, Barkeep and Der-Wir-Ing

  • start the group
  • let them define och create necessary infrastructure (it will take at least six months) as written by Der-Wir-Ing
  • let the group disucuss and find out if a minor revison of the charter is necessary (like the wording of need of quorum)
  • let them plan a new (special) election at end of year/early 2025

Yger (talk) 05:03, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I don't think that a committee that can't decide anything is helpful. If there is a new election, the new members could possibly decide to do the things in a different way. I like the idea of only having a new election for the vacant regional seats only in these regions, if this is technical possible. Ailura (talk) 09:31, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
In my understanding a committe without reaching a quorum isn't a committee at all.
However, de:Benutzer:Ghilt has marked his homewiki user page as inactive recently. It would be useful if he declares wether he means a temporary absence only due to holidays or another shortime absence or whatever this shall mean. Thanks. Matthiasb (talk) 12:22, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The committee in it's current form may do any work that does not require a vote. -- Sleyece (talk) 12:38, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
There are multiple proposals on this page that would allow the committee to have the power to vote on issues immediately if put to a vote by the community. Each proposal has been immediately replied to by someone whining. -- Sleyece (talk) 14:55, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
As a candidate, albeit a failed one, I would have expected you to have read and understood the UCoC and of course to act in compliance with it. Perhaps you could explain how describing those who objected to your proposal as whining meets the expectations described under the section called "Mutual respect".
"Assume good faith, and engage in constructive edits; your contributions should improve the quality of the project or work. Provide and receive feedback kindly and in good faith. Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner." Doug Weller (talk) 16:15, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I am delivering constructive criticism. Everything since the results were delivered June 1 has been obstructive. I would like some work to get done. Maybe I'm not being sensitive as the charter dictates, but no one is being sensitive to me either. I've been treated consistently with immense and overwhelming scrutiny throughout the campaign that would be beyond the pale if I weren't running for office. I did not fail as a candidate. I'm equally successful as a candidate as 30 of 37 who ran, and I defeated several candidates outright on the margins in some categories. Calling me a failure is exceedingly rude and factually untrue. -- Sleyece (talk) 18:46, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think the concern is that some of your responses are still demonstrating a lack of understanding (as an unsuccessful candidate you have indeed "failed" the election, though I agree that verbage is not ideal - and WMF Legal has no role here so I'm not sure what that comment is about). Having said your bit, I'd recommend sitting back and letting others discuss - that's generally a good wikiprinciple and one which I'm also following here. – Ajraddatz (talk) 20:09, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
My definition of failed is simply “not succeeded”. And if I read the results correctly, and apologies if I failed to, Sleyece received the most opposes of all the candidates although he did better in some other categories. Doug Weller (talk) 20:31, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Support developing current process Risker's criticism is all commonsense and valid to ask but there are answers to their points.
I agree with all the failures that Risker names, including election systems giving results which are hard to interpret, low voter awareness and turnout, mismatch of community diversity expectations and the electable candidate pool, and the difficulty of top-down creation of a new community system which will bottom-up management. I am ready to dismiss all of these concerns, though, because criticism like this fails to include discussion of money.
We do not have financial transparency, but my best guess is that the WMF spends several million dollars annually on non-community responses to conduct problems which we could prevent through this Code of Conduct Committee. At the same time, the thousands of volunteers who developed the code of conduct, and who implement it, and who develop dozens of systems which integrate it have a budget of nearly $0. English Wikipedia's ArbCom has no money, Wikimedia Stewards have no budget, there is no investment in training for checkusers, admins, or anyone else who does moderation. Wikimedia LGBT+ deals with actual sexual cases and we have no access to counseling, expert guidance, or volunteer support. This committee work is complicated administration which could be facilitated in lots of ways with either grants or community staff support or help with publicity, journalism, outreach, or multilingual feedback recruitment, and that budget is not there. In general, the investment strategy we have is that the WMF can reactively deploy money to address challenges of their choosing, but community members cannot reasonably access similar funds to proactively build scalable solutions to implement democratically developed strategic plans. The path to success is easy to explain - WMF finds success in their programs because they pay staff to do them, and the community struggles because some people expect volunteer crowdsourcing to have similar achievements but without the hundred thousand dollars per development ticket.
Now is probably not the time to seek grants or paid staff support but I do think it is legitimate to dismiss naysayers who have paid-professional expectations when this program's design emphasizes that we are volunteers who want a process which is democratic, diverse, community-run, and developed with repeated changes. I really appreciate Risker's legitimate and needed criticism because 1) those really are the problems with this project and 2) those problems would be the most urgent to address in the context of a resourced project, but that is not the situation here. The governance model here is that paid staff of the Wikimedia Foundation presented the Code of Conduct and community volunteers who lack the resources to ensure success have to build the thing under pressure, and I am open to criticism in that context. Bluerasberry (talk) 14:59, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't think the intent is to offload WMF work onto the community - T&S will continue to handle the difficult and legally sensitive cases, both because they are best positioned to do so and also to minimize legal risk to the Foundation. There may be some small number of current T&S cases that could be offloaded to the U4C, but the vast majority of the T&S workload would remain with them. The U4C fits where current community conduct moderation is lacking - appeals of small wiki admin actions, systemic failures to enforce the UCOC, etc. You can see how well those cases are currently resolved at Requests for comment. All this to say, unlike with the Movement Charter I don't think money really comes into play here. This is more about empowering the community to deal with some cases that are sitting in limbo (and future cases like them). – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:15, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I agree the charter needs to evolve, but realistically this will happen by letting the committee work in a consultative fashion until the next election. We need to accept the result of the election, i.e. that currently there is no community support for the committee to have a quorum and make decisions. Nemo 07:05, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply


I've basically written this before, but since it's not yet clear what will happen next, I'll repeat it:

There were 16 seats to be allocated. However, these 16 seats can only be allocated if the voters also give on average of 16 pro votes. However, the voters only gave an average of 7 candidates a pro vote.

This allows two interpretations:

  1. Voters want the U4C to also consist of only 7 people
  2. Voters were not aware that their choice would lead to a U4C of 7 people

The consequence of 1) would be to reduce the size of the U4C in the guidelines. The consequence of 2) would be to declare the election invalid and repeat it and to better communicate to the voters what it means when they cast 7 or 16 or however many votes per person.

or else dissolve the community and elect a new one. C.Suthorn (@Life_is@no-pony.farm - p7.ee/p) (talk) 10:01, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I think you're missing a third option, that the community wants a U4C of 16 people (or maybe a more manageable number, like 12 ;-), but did not like most of the candidates this election. Past functionary/bureaucrat/arbitration experience seems to have been viewed as the minimum standard by enough voters to decide who is elected - I expect in future elections that more candidates with that type of experience will be encouraged to run, resulting in a more electable pool of candidates. – Ajraddatz (talk) 15:04, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yup, this. The voters want only qualified candidates on this committee that is expected to access sensitive information about them and be able to to make decisions about them; sufficient candidates meeting these expectation were not present. It's also possible that there is a lack of sufficient available candidates to meet these expectations due to them simply not wanting to volunteer for this work. — xaosflux Talk 15:34, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
+1 Yger (talk) 16:58, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
hmm, there might be a fourth possible reason: the community is still unhappy that there never was a vote on the UCoC itself and expressed this in the election. What supports this hypothesis is, that even the most experienced candidates only received an approval rating of 68.8 % (which is quite low for experienced candidates in a wikipedia election). The window of elected candidates was in a 8.8 % margin (min. 60% - max. 68.8%). But this is speculation, i must admit. Ghilt (talk) 20:17, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
+1 Denis Barthel (talk) 21:17, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think that this fourth option comes closest to the truth. The process to create the UCOC and this committee has been a debacle from the start, and I think at least a few people came here to vote No on all of the candidates as a way of throwing a spanner into the works, preventing the flawed UCOC from coming in to force. Those protest votes appear to have been effective, and if word spreads that the tactic worked, I expect to see more of the same in future polling. Jonesey95 (talk) 16:14, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
On average people gave 20 "neutral" votes. The average sum of pro and contra votes was 14. If the average sum of pro and contra was 16+ and the average neutral was 18 or less, than there would be a third interpretion. C.Suthorn (@Life_is@no-pony.farm - p7.ee/p) (talk) 06:26, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I don't understand what you are trying to prove. Neutral votes don't change the result of the election. The average voter giving 7 candidates a pro vote might expect other people from other regions or with other backgrounds to give 9 different candidates a pro vote, i don't think this is a statement about the size of the committee. The reasons for many contra votes can be the qualification of the candidates or the whole ucoc process. Ailura (talk) 07:40, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
We should be carefull with averaging:
  1. The threshold was 60 % not just 50 %
  2. Even if everyone just grants one support and else only neutrals, it is possible to get a full 16 member committee: No oposes would mean one single support is enough to get the 60%. (Yes, somewhat unlikely, but still.)
Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 09:50, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Do you exist?[edit]

As mentioned above, the U4C will according to the charter begin to exist and taking up all further duties from the U4C-BC, when they seat the very first time. Thus I'd like to ask:

  • Have the elected persons as a group met or decided to meet and thus will continue the work of preceeding bodies?
  • If not, has the group actually the intent to do so or do you refuse this for the sake of letting it fall back to the U4C-BC?
  • If you don't know yet, when is that decision supposed to be made?

Thank you, Denis Barthel (talk) 21:15, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hi @Denis Barthel:, the decision is not simple, therefore it requires an in-depth discussion. We will take the time it takes, trying to do it quickly, but at the moment haste is the only thing that can lead us to make a wrong decision.
As for me, I prefer to give my opinion clearly, since I have never expressed myself so far! Imho the fundamental thing is to respect the current charter, with which these elections were held, therefore a special/by-election will have to be held to try to elect at least one other candidate. To do this it is most likely best that the newly elected U4C does not take over the duties of the building committee for the time being, imho it is the task of the BC to ensure that the U4C can set up and work at its best.
If it were decided to change the charter, so that the U4C can function even with less than 8 members (after a community vote), imho the newly elected U4C would be dissolved, because it was elected with the old rules and a new one should be elected. Among other things, at the moment it's more transparent and fair towards the community to hold a special election in my opinion, because if the community decides not to elect other users, it will be necessary to take note of the fact that the community doesn't consider itself ready for this body, or simply doesn't considers the candidates trustworthy enough for the role. This is a hypothesis but must be totally accepted if it occurs!
I believe it's highly unfair towards the community and wrong to change the charter ad hoc, for the sole purpose of making this elected body operational with 7 members and other rules, while the quorum makes perfect sense. Also because, if we reduce it to 7, and 6 are elected in the next mandate, what we'll do? Will the quorum be reduced to 6? And so on forever? The important thing is to have a body voted and wanted by the community, and not to find a legal key to make it work compulsorily! Then, if the U4C is established under the charter, there will be an annual review of the charter, but this does not mean changing things to make it work necessarily :) Superpes15 (talk) 09:12, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
imho the newly elected U4C would be dissolved, because it was elected with the old rules and a new one should be elected.
I don't think this is a good idea. The ones who got elected, are very experienced persons. In a second tour, the community might be more generously supporting candidates because they know there are already experienced persons on the committee.
On the other hand, re-electing again the complete committee, would repeat a kinda annoying election: too many candidates to evaluate. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 13:30, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I understand the point, and this is annoying even for me who am directly involved, but here we need fairness and transparency! I consider this unfair for the community, from the outside it would bother me a lot to vote for some users to join a committee of at least 8 people, and since 7 are elected, they themselves try to change the rules of their committee so that they can run in 7. It seems very very unfair to me! Maybe someone voted with a view to supporting only 8 people for example, such a change must be supported by a new election.

So the only valid option for me, to prevent this committee from decaying, is to hold a special election to try to elect at least one new candidate and the current members can remain in office! The bad thing is that maybe an eighth member won't be elected, I know, it must be taken into account, the community decides, and we cannot look for ways to escape this :) Superpes15 (talk) 14:25, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I support your hard respect of the charter and not to do anything to undermine it. And a special election is a valid, and most formally correct option to go forward. But I also believe it is OK for the elected v committee to discuss other practical matter related to get the U4C operational, even if these need to be put on hold until the committee has a quorum of 8 Yger (talk) 14:39, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
This perspective makes sense to me; while I would prefer a more flexible development of the U4C, the charter has been ratified and I think it makes sense to work within that and hold a special election rather than making other immediate changes to the composition of the U4C. I don't object to the current members taking the time to set up processes / mailing lists / etc where those do not require quorum to implement. – Ajraddatz (talk) 14:43, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'd add that my goal is to have flexible procedures and reduce the burden of bureaucracy, in order to find a fair compromise. However, this is something we cannot deviate from and the current charter, with which these elections were held, must be respected. Btw we are already working on all the processes that do not require voting (we have already created a ML and a private wiki is being created)! We'll certainly continue to discuss this :) Superpes15 (talk) 15:38, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
You should come up with a better name. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 16:35, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I'm sorry to intrude. What is "ML" abbreviating? -- Sleyece (talk) 23:40, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
ML is mailing list. We already have a mailing list and instant messaging. And the wiki is already in the process of being created. Ghilt (talk) 08:35, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Thank you very much, @Superpes15, for your thoughtful and considerate answer, I appreciate your respect for the charter and the community decision a lot. Even more I respect you all thinking about this in depth, taking it's time. Personally I guess a special election for the regional seats is the best way to proceed, but that solution has it's specific challenges and I totally understand the U4C to think twice before meeting the first time and thus taking the burden to continue. Denis Barthel (talk) 22:36, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Denis Barthel (and U4CBC) It would be helpful in moving forward if we could have an "official interpretation" of the charter by the U4CBC on these points so that we can remove some doubts and uncertainties:
  1. is the number stated in section 3.4 (Quorum) an absolute number? I know that you already said that it is an absolute number and personally I agree with this interpretation but it is not clear to all if this is a personal opinion or a U4CBC statement.
  2. can the charter be amended only during the annual review, or is the procedure described in Section 4.3.2. applicable in other circumstances?
It is still not completely clear to me whether the best choice is to seat and call a special election or whether the U4CBC (who was created to set up the U4C and so far did not complete the task...) should organize the special election and then we seat when we hopefully have the necessary number of members. These are the two options I personally consider most effective at the moment, there is still a lot of discussion ongoing in the group of elected people. --Civvì (talk) 14:43, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Extended content
The U4CBC has no power now. It is a shell committee. Its job was never to elect a quorum. Its job is done. -- Sleyece (talk) 22:22, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Not quite. The U4CBC ist still active and functional, until it is dissolved by the first official U4C meeting. @Denis, this is my personal opinion. There are a few things that need to be considered: our current limited possibilities of doing our work as well as the conflict of interest in proposing rule changes as one of our first official outputs, given that the U4CBC is still active and functional, as long as we don't meet officially. Also, we are planning a call with WMF T&S. Probably it is better to discuss the issues with T&S and you, the U4CBC. But in any case, an official interpretation as Civvì has asked, would be helpful. Ghilt (talk) 08:40, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The U4C can be seated at this time. It's being held up by infighting. I said the U4CBC is a shell committee propped up by infighting. It's definitely not functional in the sense that it's decisions have community support or are allowed by the charter from this point. Why would there be a discussion between T&S, U4CBC and I? Where would such a conversation even take place? I'm not going into a private server to get double teamed; I'll tell you so the U4C can make informed decisions.-- Sleyece (talk) 15:56, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I haven't noticed any infighting. Ghilt (talk) 16:45, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Maybe I meant obstructionism. I'm not sure. -- Sleyece (talk) 16:49, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Last I checked you weren't a member of the U4C. Maybe you should stop speaking with authority about what the members of the U4C are or are not doing. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 20:16, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Excuse me? Have I ever communicated with you? I don't know you. Are you saying the U4C can seat themselves? I thought only staff could do it. You're randomly assuming my intentions. A commons admin that I've never spoken with telling me to shut up is wild. It's one piece of a systemic problem; seat the U4C. -- Sleyece (talk) 22:32, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
AW Sleyece "Why would there be a discussion between T&S, U4CBC and I?"
When Ghilt said "Probably it is better to discuss the issues with T&S and you, the U4CBC" he wasn't talking a meeting involving you (Sleyece). Hey said "you, the U4CBC" in response to Denis (a U4CBC member). Johannnes89 (talk) 12:00, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
And yes per charter the U4C is seated once they officially meet for the first time, similar to the first session of a parliament after an election. There is no staff involvement in U4C seating. Johannnes89 (talk) 12:02, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Which group is slow walking the first U4C meeting and why? I can't tell if Staff, U4CBC or the U4C is reluctant, but it seems the U4C can seat itself without the input of the other two groups. What's the hold up? Why is there this deference to a meeting between Staff and U4CBC before seating the U4C when neither of them makes the decision? The community has voted on the charter; they have voted a second time on the U4C. We're getting 0% of what was promised or voted for currently. If it's similar to calling for a new Parliament, then someone needs to issue a "royal decree" in The Signpost declaring the date of the U4C session. -- Sleyece (talk) 21:18, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I read the whole thing as a response to me except one sentence because that's how it was written. I can't comprehend a response to me being partially a response to someone else. -- Sleyece (talk) 21:08, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Before replying, I want to disclaim that I am not speaking on behalf of the U4C-BC, but solely as an individual which was a part of it. I would very much appreciate other voices from the U4C-BC to share their opinions too.
That being said:
@Sleyece - according to the charter (and as mentioned above), the U4C-BC is dissolved right when the U4C seats the very first time. It is up to the U4C to do so or not. As long as it does not, the U4C-BC still exists.
@Ghilt: I fully understand, that this is a tough moment. The restrictive character of the charter was supposed to ensure that it can not be interpreted against it's intentions, to grant the necessary trust by the community, diversity, representation and it's ability to work valid. Honestly we never considered a situation like this. I understand that now ideas come up to weaken the rules we set up, like lowering the quorum, lowering the required approval of candidates from 60 to 50%, dismissing regional seats, etc. While I understand the wish to do so, I feel that such decisions may result in troublesome situations in the long run. How can a U4C make a valid decision if just a handful of people show up? How can a U4C consisting mostly of "western people" decide on cases in other regions with different cultural and wiki-historical backgrounds? Questions like these need to be answered when considering to change the charter. Seeing this, I feel a meeting of the U4C-BC with the designated U4C would be useful indeed.
@BRPever: I brought up that idea of an RfC and I regret that. I had to learn meanwhile that the Enforcement Guidelines require a secure poll vote. And while I agree, that implementing an RfC-vote in the charter might be useful for the future, I am not sure that a critical and important situation like this can and should be solved by a RfC only, which is significantly less representative than a secure poll vote.
@Civvì: As stated above, I cannot speak for the U4C-BC as a whole.
  1. In my understanding, 8 is an absolute number to ensure that a sufficient amount of voices are present when making a decision. And linguistically it is clear: "8" is not a placeholder for a percentage or vague in any way. 8 is 8.
  2. I do not see, what would be wrong in amending and reworking the charter, as long as the process is ran according to the approved procedure. The charter's spirit in this is to warrant, that it is finally up to the community to make changes and not about the committee or anybody else. The annual review is supposed to run at least once a year to allow continous development, but it does not prescribe though when to run this process. So - go ahead!
Sorry for the lengthy comment, I hope it helps though. Denis Barthel (talk) 14:15, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
These comments makes sense to me. Looks like U4C has either of the two options, annual review in hopes that community comes up with right changes to make U4C functional, or a special election. BRP ever 14:27, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • I think the problem with charter is that it is unique compared to other global policies. There is little room for improvisation, and any required changes has a lengthy several step process of it's own. I think the currently elected member are trusted member of the community having acquired substantial community support. The charter, however, leaves them incapable of making decision. In this case, I suggest an RFC to find out how community wants this to move forward. This could help us lay out options and gather opinion on them. Like:
    1. Make it possible to change the charter from an RFC consensus. This would enable us to further improve the charter easily when needed.
    2. Start another election to elect more candidates. This would enable us to fill vacancies or at least make the body able to make decision.
    3. Select member from those who failed to acquire 60% support but received more than 50%. This would contradict the charter, but IAR for quick and easy way to make the body functional.
    4. Let the body create platforms, appeal processes, and materials this year. Then, wait till next year for next election to fill the seats.
IMO, through discussion there we can find a way forward and make it easier for U4C members to decide which way they should go.--BRP ever 15:48, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
As stated earlier I strongly oppose to use Rfc, to amend the charter. It is not within the authority of U4c to take such a Rfc. And actually RFc is an enwp tehnique, not an accepted procedure within the movement. In "my" community we have never used Rfc or anything similar. Yger (talk) 16:25, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Yger Requests for comment has been a venue to gather global opinion for a long time. There have been many significant decisions that are the result of this process. How else would you suggest we deal with the current existing problems? At current the U4C can't even make any decisions. Many community have different practices and if we just cite the differences we will never get anywhere with this. The second election has to be overseen by the U4C, and as it stands they are incapable of making decisions. BRP ever 16:46, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
A stated above U4C has the mandate to issue a special election. And this option is also what most above and the elected persons suggest. As I know no movement broad decision has been taken by a RfC Yger (talk) 17:09, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Yger, how do you make decisions in "your" community? Seemingly the sv-wp community. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 17:41, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Consensus, never for or against counting (except in discussion of deletion of aticles and appointment of sysop) Yger (talk) 18:13, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
So as long as there is a single person with a different opinion, you can't make progress? Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 19:50, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That system is clearly not going to work for the U4C. -- Sleyece (talk) 02:46, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I have not proposed "our" system to be used in other places. I just point out that Rfc is not a method accepted or used (or even understood) everywhere in the movementand can not be used to resolve the issue arounf U4C . Yger (talk) 04:39, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I know. Just curious what you guys do on the medium sized projects. I expected "normal" discussions. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 10:45, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
We discuss, and normally there are no more then 4-8 persons discussing, it is then easy to see what view is dominating. And we also have 8-10 oldies, respected by all, that can close/summarize a discussion, if and when it is going nowhere - a single person just repeating the same argument or so. I understand that is not a process that would work on bigger communities, but swwp is around 15 in size, there are many smaller ones that can work in this way Yger (talk) 12:53, 14 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

U4C Establishment announcement[edit]

For more information on this see Talk:Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee#U4C_Established Barkeep49 (talk) 16:24, 15 June 2024 (UTC)Reply