Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Chief Executive Officer/Maryana’s Listening Tour/Overview

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Thank you for taking part in the listening tour by sharing your views on the questions below. All messages passed on to Maryana by Foundation staff (and translated where needed). As Maryana does not officially start till January 2022, she is being supported by the movement communications team so she can hear from the maximum number of people.

07 October 2021 Update: Thanks everyone so far for your thoughts on these questions as part of the listening tour. I have passed on all of these comments to Maryana. She is taking in all the different perspectives and information she can during this tour, and will be compiling and sharing her initial reflections with the entire movement during her first months as CEO. Maryana did want to thank you for the themes you’ve brought here — ideas like the Foundation learning more effectively from the movement about how to engage and empower, the Foundation’s mandate and purpose as a piece of a larger movement, the Foundation’s involvement in supporting participation in historically underrepresented regions. Keep the conversation going and Maryana will be seeing some of you live on her tour over the next months. — MPaul (WMF) (talk) 17:41, 7 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

16 November 2021 Update: Thanks everyone for contributing across so many events and here your thoughts as part of the listening tour. I am continuing to pass on all of these comments to Maryana. MPaul (WMF) (talk) 21:01, 16 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

December 2021 update: Since commencing the Listening Tour in September 2020, Maryana has had close to 300 individual and small group conversations with volunteers, affiliate leaders and staff, and former and current staff of the Wikimedia Foundation. She has also attended 17 community-organized events bringing together close to 800 community members from around the world. Maryana plans on sharing reflections from the Listening Tour after formally assuming her role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. Reflections to be shared in late January 2022. And even though the Listening Tour has wrapped up for 2021, conversations will continue in 2022 and people are warmly invited to continue to share their views with Maryana. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 21:17, 5 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

14 January 2022 update: Maryana officially assumed her role as the new CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation on 4 January, and has now shared her reflections from this Listening Tour, including her incoming priorities, in multiple languages. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 20:31, 14 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vision, mission, impact, strategy, and relationship[edit]

What do you think: about the vision, mission, impact, strategy and how we relate to the rest of the world? What do you think about our current and future ways of working and achieving our aspirations?

  • What makes us special is the wikis, shared spaces that allow people around the world to collaborate on content and policy, without requiring people to gather for meetings in one place in a short amount of time. The mission makes it pretty clear that the purpose of the Foundation is foremost to support the wikis. The vision and strategy are flawed in this way - the vision does not mention the word 'wiki', and the strategy mentions it twice. The result is a disconnect between the Foundation and the volunteers that the Foundation exists to support. I'd hope that as we move forward, focus (and the bulk of financial expenditure) returns to supporting the community-run non-realtime collaborative collection of knowledge, and the Foundation becomes more aware of the negative impacts its other efforts can have on the wikis. TomDotGov (talk) 06:10, 29 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Участников русской Википедии разочаровала политика Фонда: спросить наше мнение и потом его проигнорировать. The users of the Russian Wikipedia were disappointed by the Fund's policy: to ask our opinion and then ignore it. Please, see: Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Discussions/Russian community#Как вы относитесь к созданию Универсального кодекса поведения? [1]. Как разочаровывают и многие последние инициативы Фонда. Они не просто ненужные, а, скорее, вредные. (talk) 10:27, 29 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • «Когда WMF использует свои средства для активных действий против своего сообщества волонтёров (ACTRIAL, MEDIAVIEWER, FRAMBAN и, в последнее время, UCOC), — это не вызывает ничего, кроме отвращения. Проекты, над созданием которых мы трудились, тратили своё время, сейчас активно используются для того, что нам вовсе не нужно. Дело не только в том, что WMF тратит свои деньги на легкомысленные или бесполезные проекты (хотя и это было бы проблемой), но и в том, что WMF использует то, что мы построили, чтобы активно бить нас по лицу и действовать против нас.
Если бы WMF безо всякой причины использовал свои средства для поездок на Барбадос — ну... мы, вероятно, были бы раздражены этим. Но использовать наши средства, чтобы активно топтать наше волонтерское сообщество и игнорировать то, что оно говорит?
Это вызывает не просто отвращение. Гнев. И всё то, что вы тут видите.
Regards, Todd Allen On Sat, Sep 25, 2021 at 2:51 PM» перевёл Lesless Лес (Lesson) 11:13, 29 сентября 2021 (UTC)
  • I think it is important to think not to ambitious and so I dont support the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation completely and so as I support decentrality I think one central organization in the Ecosystem of free knowledge, that should be the Wikimedia Foundation is not good. Then there is too much influence concentrated. I think not the sum of all Knowledge should be free after there are private informations regarding persons and to protect these information is from my point of view very important. Knowledge that is not person related or in German personenbezogen should be free if there are some principles respected. So it is important that the creator of the contenct that should be free gets a good compensation or as a volunteer enough respect and support for the engagement. At the moment there is not the economical basic to spread the idea of free knowledge after there are many people who work in poor conditions and for companies knowledge is an important value. It could be possible that the companies exist furhter and their non person-related knowledge is free but then the question is if the people who produce the content get enough respect and engagement. At Open Source and Free Software Projects there are examples of ones with an envolvement of companies and there I dont see in all cases enough respect and support for the work of the volunteers. --Hogü-456 (talk) 15:48, 9 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I can't recite our vision statement off the top of my head. That's probably bad. I had to look it up: "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment". It's a weird statement. What's "imagine" doing in there? Our vision is to imagine something? We should be building things, not imagining them. Why do we need to say that we're committed to it? I don't think that that's a particularly good idea to share all human knowledge. We shouldn't want to tell everyone how to make biological weapons. Vexations (talk) 14:57, 3 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • @Vexations: The idea was that if you imagined something it would make it easier to come true, which seems obvious on its face for many. 2601:647:4D00:2C40:0:0:0:75DA 06:22, 13 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      A vision statement shouldn't require an explanation. If there something you want, say it plainly and clearly.Don't say: "I imagine a world in which in can have cake for breakfast and if I imagine it hard enough then perhaps that would make it easier to come true". Say "I want cake for breakfast". Then go bake the cake. Vexations (talk) 11:49, 13 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Add your thoughts here. Remember to sign your comment by typing ~~~~ at the end of your comment.

Data, research, and evidence[edit]

What does data, research and evidence also tell us about our vision, mission, impact, strategy and how we relate to the rest of the world? How is this the same or different from what you think?

  • At the german speaking WikiCON there was a plenary discussion about news and the value of Free Knowledge. At this discussion people from the public television stations in Germany and a politician and also a German Wikimedian discussed. It was moderated from a Wikipedian. For me it became clear after that discussion that there are contracts with the content creators and so if knowledge should be free a solution is needed that the creators are compensated well. It is important to find a concensus what a well compensation for creating content is. In the declaration of human rights in Article 27 it is mentioned in the second part that "2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author." . After I think respecting human rights is an important value this is important to pay attention to it.--Hogü-456 (talk) 16:33, 9 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Add your thoughts here.


What motivates you at a personal level to contribute to your projects and take part in your communities?

  • There seems to be enough cases to show that communities are not always immune to bias, and other less than commendable behaviors and actions, but they pretend and aspire, and rightly so, to be above all that. The evidence shows that is not always the case. One example is the banning for life (just short of the death penalty) of users like me, no matter how positive their contributions might be, solely because they would not take abuses of power, nonsense and conniving among administrators, stewards, and other fancy titles that some individuals seek for themselves. Apparently, this goes on almost unnoticed, without any kind of oversight, sometimes until it is too late. One result and/or consequence: I am excluded from participating even in discussions at this level under my username, for which I apologize.
Virgilio A. P. Machado 20:28, 28 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Add your thoughts here.
  • First of all I will like to commend the CEO for taking this step. It's great start and it will prove greater impact.

I will like to start with what really motivates me to contribute to this movement. Thus, this is because of the prime idea that's is meant to share and educate the world for free.

People of this world really needs this greater humanitarian work. More especially we people of Africa. This because African countries are under develop, high rate of illiteracy, poverty and inaccessibility of knowledge, skills and education.

With this community, this really helps alot and is like looking at it down. Is meant for Africa. Because Africa needs this movement more than any other individual, country or continent as a whole.

The world now is a global village where people have access to the internet everywhere. Thus this really helps in educating Africans alot. This is part of the major things that motivated me doing this work.

Also I will like to emphasize and seek the CEO during her administration to consider Africa and helps them alot. This I'm giving as first hand information from someone from Africa that Africa really needs Wikipedia, Wikimedia Community now more than ever.

Thanks for this opportunity and best regards. Musa Vacho77 (talk) 15:42, 6 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki for human rights, peace and broadly shared economic development[edit]


1. What is your understanding of the Wiki Human Rights work led since 2016 in part by Luisina Ferrante, Education and Human Rights manager for Wikimedia Argentina?

Video based on v:Managing conflict on Wikipedia and internationally prepared for WikiConference North America 2021.
She helped organize Edit-a-thons in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and elsewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean, encouraging people to share their photos on Wikimedia Commons, build connections via Wikidata, and improve the Wikipedia documentation of the events they portray. Work of this nature in Chile made a major contribution to the current process of rewriting the Chilean constitution, as described by Patricia Díaz-Rubio, Executive Director of Wikipedia Chile, in a video that Patricia, Luisina and I prepared for WikiConference North America 2021.

2. What's your understanding of current events in Tunisia and opportunities for a similar Wiki Human Rights campaign there? You may know that on 25 July 2021, Tunisian President w:Kais Saied suspended parliament and dismissed the prime minister[1][2] and has been accused of trying to institute one-man-rule.[3] It may not be feasible to start a Wiki Human Rights campaign in the Arabic Wikipedia at this point. However, if what Luisina and Patricia have described is real and can be replicated, it could have a major impact on the future of democracy in Tunisia and the Arab World more generally.

3. What might the Wikimedia Foundation like to do to help leverage Luisina's experience into engaging supporters of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the US in uploading photos and videos to Wikipedia Commons while training them to document connections via Wikidata and improving the documentation of events on Wikipedia?[4] I have some connections with the Black community and with 90.1 FM,, Kansas City Community Radio, a member of the Pacifica network. I plan to do things in that direction, but I'm not sure what yet.

Comments? Thanks, Spencer Graves, aka WikiConference:User:LauraEckenberg and DavidMCEddy (talk) 15:17, 8 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. Yee, Vivian (2021-07-26). "Tunisia's Democracy Verges on Dissolution as President Moves to Take Control". The New York Times (in en-US). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-07-26. 
  2. "Tunisian president sacks PM, suspends parliament after violent protests". France 24. 2021-07-25. Retrieved 2021-07-26. 
  3. "Tunisian president moves to cement one-man rule". CNN. Reuters. 23 September 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2021. 
  4. Wikimedia Commons does not currently accept MP4 and MOV formats. It should be almost trivial to write code to convert such video files into WebM format. This would allow the Wikimedia system to collect videos without worrying about possible patent violations from using proprietary formats and without forcing users to figure out how to convert videos from proprietary formats that are not accepted on Wikimedia Commons.

Developer understaffing[edit]

There seems to be an internal disconnection between WMF budget decisions, and WMF internal needs. For example, the Community Wishlist team at WMF is highly praised by the community, but also severely understaffed, see Talk:Community Wishlist Survey. I have observed under-staffing concerns from both employees and external developers in other areas too, like MediaWiki extensions, or security. This is in contrast with WMF expanding budget, and even initiatives that were rushed like the Knowledge Equity Fund, where the WMF has acknowledged that they had millions of surplus budget that had to be allocated to something. A lot of us in the community often complain about the disconnect between the WMF and the community, but a more essential step would be WMF management listening to their own staff, and their current budget and staff limitations. It's bizarre that we see an incredible expansion of revenue and budget every year, while still suffering from severe under-staffing in core teams. MarioGom (talk) 09:51, 28 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you think about our current and future ways of working and achieving our aspirations?[edit]

The software is outdated. Wikipedia is clumsy and looks like it's been designed by a committee of accountants. We're overwhelmed by people who want to promote themselves, their businesses or their causes. Undisclosed paid editing is endemic. People who try to do something about that are not supported. People don't have the time or energy to learn everything you need to know to contribute. Change is inhibited by a fossilized consensus that wants to "keep everything the same". It's no wonder we're having trouble recruiting new editors. Vexations (talk) 15:10, 3 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The software works well. Wikipedia interface is nice when reading, especially on the mobile, credits to those who have designed it. The different version have different challenges. From mine I do not recognize any endemic paid editing, and the people who act on these have good support. To support with minor updates it is easy, while I agree that to do major editing requires a lot of knowledge, but it also vary depending on version, enwp has the most complex environment. I agree that the tendency to "keep everything the same" is a problem, that the oldies dominate over newbees, but this also look different on different versions. We do have "trouble recruiting new editors" but this issue is more complex that you write. The "low hanging fruits" are not there any longer as those articles are already written, and we need to understand and act appropriate on this issue.Yger (talk) 08:23, 13 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes to this page[edit]

Hi all, just a note that you’ll notice changes to this page as we move the logistical information about the Listening Tour to a subpage and put Maryana’s reflections from her Listening Tour on this page. We will be uploading all translations here today so that they are ready for community members to read in their language when she shares her letter widely with the movement tomorrow. --ELappen (WMF) (talk) 18:57, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you want to see the updates, you can find them on the old name of this page, Wikimedia Foundation Chief Executive Officer/Maryana’s Listening Tour. Chris Koerner (Wikimedia Foundation) [he/him] (talk) 22:04, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]