विश्वव्यापी आचार संहिता/२०२१ परामर्श/प्रवर्तन/हाउसा, इग्बो र ट्वी समुदाय
As of March 2021, Igbo language Wikipedia has thirty eight (38) active users and two (2) administrators. Since its creation, more than 2,000 articles have been created on this wikipedia, and with more than 68,000 edits. The Igbo language Wikipedia records an average of 1 million pageviews every month.
Hausa language Wikipedia has fifty six (56) active users and four (4) administrators. Since its creation, more than 8,000 articles have been created on this wikipedia, and with more than 79,000 edits. The Hausa language Wikipedia records an average of 2 million pageviews every month.
Twi language Wikipedia has twenty one (21) active users and one (1) administrator. Since its creation, more than 700 articles have been created on this wikipedia, and with more than 21,000 edits. The Twi language Wikipedia records an average of 137,000 pageviews every month.
==Behavioural Policies of the Igbo, Hausa and Twi Wikipedias== Similar to the Yoruba language Wikipedia, another major West African language Wikipedia, the Igbo, Hausa and Twi language Wikipedias don’t exactly have independent major policies that guide behaviours or contributions on the projects. While there are some policy pages found on some of the projects, these pages are often exact replicas of old English language Wikipedia policies. Many of the current practices on these language Wikipedias are also adopted from the English language Wikipedia as well.
The community consultations officially kicked off on the 18th of January and ended on 3rd March 2021, spanning a period of more than seven (7) weeks. During this period, we reached out to the community through the various platforms that are dedicated for regular community communications. These include:
- Village Pump: A discussion thread was started on the Village Pump portals of the 3 Wikipedias on the 18th January 2021. Generally, no major discussions happen on the village pumps of these Wikipedias, so these messages served more as announcements.
- Social media channels: For Igbo and Hausa Wikipedia communities, almost all of the consultation announcements were passed directly through the community social media channels. For the Twi Wikipedia community, announcements were passed through the community leaders, who then relayed them as necessary to their members. This was chosen by the leaders as the most preferred method of communication to the community. Community surveys were also shared mainly through these social media channels for all three communities.
- Online meetups: Three calls were organized for all three communities during the consultations, as a means to allow community members to express themselves and explain their points on how they believe that the Universal Code of Conduct Policy should be enforced. These meetings also served as a means to properly present the UCoC to these communities and educate the members who might have never heard of the policy.
- One-on-One Discussions: Leaders of these three communities were also contacted to give their personal opinions on this subject of enforcement. As mentioned earlier, the leaders of the Twi community also served as the main link of connection to their community.
Overall, 46 people responded to our calls and contributed through various platforms during the course of this consultation. 22 people from the Igbo community, 13 from Hausa, and 11 from the Twi community. Of the 46 participants, 18 responses were obtained from the surveys, while there were 24 female participants overall. Women were particularly well represented in the Igbo and Twi community, while there was no female participant represented in the Hausa consultation.
Generally, there were significant supports for the Universal Code of Conduct and its enforcement across all the three language communities. There was no concern raised during the community discussion, while there was one objection in the Hausa language survey.
From the survey, the following statistics were gathered:
- 55.56% of participants either do not know or are not sure of the appropriate methods to report inappropriate behaviours on their local Wikipedias.
- 40% of respondents claim to have been harassed by fellow users on the Hausa language Wikipedia, while 10% of respondents claim to have had the same experience on the Igbo language Wikipedia
- 40% of the Hausa language respondents also claim to have been harassed by users with extended rights, while another 40% from the same community claim to have been harassed offline due to their Wikimedia activities.
- Only 20% of the respondents from the Hausa language Wikipedia have actually reported their incidents on-wiki, while none of the respondents from the Igbo language community have actually ever made a report on-wiki.
- 20% of respondents from both Hausa and Igbo language communities have thought about leaving the project due to harassment or threats.
===Feedback on enforcement body=== In the various community discussions with the Twi community, there were suggestions for a team to be set up to investigate cases of harassment. This team should also be tasked on the best measures to deal with individual cases of harassment. Initially, this team was suggested to consist of experienced volunteers which should be selected and coordinated by the Wikimedia Foundation. However, the community is not averse to also having administrators and staff members on the team. In fact, one participant commented that existing dedicated functionaries can be invited to take part in the team. This direction of thoughts was corroborated in the survey, where 100% of respondents think that the UCoC enforcement body should consist of one or more combinations of experienced users, administrators and Wikimedia Foundation staff.
According to the results from the Igbo language community survey, 60% of respondents think that the UCoC enforcement body should consist of one or more combinations of experienced users, administrators and the Wikimedia Foundation. 30% believe that this policy should be solely enforced by the Wikimedia Foundation’s trust and safety team, while only 10% feel that it should be enforced by administrators through the noticeboard.
The Hausa community suggested modelling the structure in a similar fashion to the English language Wikipedia’s arbitration community, especially with the way in which cases are handled publicly, and with the involvement of the entire community who can make comments about the subjects or leave their thoughts about the situation. In the survey, 60% of respondents think that the UCoC should be enforced by administrators through the noticeboard, 20% think that the Wikimedia Foundation’s trust and safety team should enforce it, while another 20% think that the UCoC enforcement committee should have one or more combination of experienced users, administrators and the Wikimedia Foundation staff.
According to the survey, 44.44% of the overall respondents think that volunteers who participate in the UCoC enforcement body should get some form of remuneration for their work, 11% disagree, while the remaining 44.44% remain neutral about the subject.
===Feedback about enforcement pathway and escalation channels=== During community discussions with the Igbo language community, there was a clear consensus for prioritising privacy and anonymity, both for incidents' reporting and investigations. It was suggested that an inbox feature should be added to Wikipedia user interface, through which victims can file complaints with the UCOC team. Another suggestion was to have a portal where a form can be filled to report incidents. In the survey, 90% of the responses agree that there should be a private reporting system for incidents, and that privacy should be prioritised over transparent proceedings. Privacy and anonymity are also common themes in the additional comments provided on the survey.
The Twi language community also strongly feels that privacy should be respected, and that private reporting systems should be set up to make this happen. However, the community also feel that transparent methods should co-exist with these private systems, for the sake of the victims who don’t mind reporting their experience publicly. In other words, victims of harassment should be allowed to choose the method through which they want their cases to be treated. This stance was also supported in the survey where 100% of respondents agree that there should be a private reporting system in place, and that privacy should be prioritised over the need for transparent proceedings. Along with privacy, easy accessibility to reporting systems is another point mentioned in the survey comments.
The Twi language community also highlighted that accusations against functionary groups should be properly investigated like other types of reports. However, it was also noted that it’s more important to have some capacity training to train functionary groups on how to properly do their jobs and relate with the community appropriately. A participant claimed to have personally experienced situations where administrators have been unfair or behaved inappropriately, and this can’t continue.
By contrast, the Hausa language community holds divided opinion over how incidents of harassment should be reported and enforced. One side of the argument prefers a transparent enforcement process, rather than a private one. It was commented in the community discussions that incidents of harassment should be filed at the village pump. When confronted with concerns about the safety of victims, it was suggested that victims who want privacy can just report privately to an administrator. According to this argument, since the community is still very small, there is no need for a local UCoC enforcement committee. Furthermore, it was suggested that when an administrator is the cause of harassment, then the issue should be directed to the stewards’ noticeboard on MetaWiki.
The other side of the argument prefered a more private reporting system. It was specifically suggested that a report button should be inserted in the sidebar of wikipedia, so that users can easily and quickly find the path to report harassment incidents. In response to the opposing argument, it was noted that reporting incidents to administrators can be quite tricky because harassment can also come from experienced users and administrators, and new users are often the victims. In such a situation, it may be difficult for fellow administrators to turn on one of theirs. Hence, it may be better to have a separate UCOC community that users can report incidents to, which would be independent of the administrators.
This split of opinions in the Hausa community is corroborated by the survey results, where only 40% of respondents think that there’s a need for a private reporting system, or that privacy should be prioritized over transparency in incidents’ reporting and harassment investigations. Transparency is also a common theme in the survey comments.
The Igbo language community was split in equal half in the survey on the question about who should handle appeals of unresolved cases. However, 80% of the survey respondents from the Hausa community think that the Wikimedia Foundation’s trust and safety team should deal with escalation of case investigations, while the other 20% feel a higher-level global committee should be set up for this purpose. 60% of respondents from the Twi community think that escalations should be handled by the Wikimedia Foundation’s trust and safety team, while the other 40% think that this should be handled by a higher-level global committee.
===Outlier responses=== During community discussions with the Igbo language community, it was suggested that Wikimedia Foundation may need to carry out regular webinars and workshops to train volunteers on the best ways to interact with one another. Since many incidents of harassment were not intended to be harassment, it was suggested that such webinars may actually help to reduce incidents of harassment overall.
It was also highlighted that these events may also help potential victims to be aware of the things that may happen to them from being a Wikimedia volunteer, and then teach them on the proper ways to handle such incidents, based on previous learnings. Moreover, just the fact of being aware of the potential problematic behaviours to expect would significantly help in minimizing the impact of harassment on the victims, since they won’t be caught unawares.
On the subject of incidents that happen beyond Wikimedia projects but are directly related to the movement, the Hausa language community commented that the Wikimedia Foundation should come in such circumstance and try to help with the resources at its disposal, including the rendering of legal help when necessary.
On the other hand, the Twi community do not think that the community or the Wikimedia Foundation should be obliged to deal with issues beyond the movement. It was instead suggested that victims of such types of harassment should deal with them using the available measures provided in the environment where it is happening, including the use of law enforcement agencies when necessary. However, it was also noted that if the person perpetrating the act is identified, the person should be properly sanctioned within the Wikimedia movement as well.
A participant from the Twi community commented that in cases where a UCoC enforcement team member is involved in a case of harassment, then the investigation should be delegated to an external body rather than the team.
===Feedback on supporting targets of harassment=== The Igbo language community seems to have a strong stance against setting up support groups or networks for victims of harassment. According to the points made during community discussions, such groups might end up becoming a central point of stigmatization and abuse as well. Moreover, when these groups are discovered or outed by the public, they may end up being scorned by the general community as “the place where harassed people go”. Victims may end up not willing to participate in such networks at the end of the day due to the stigma attached, while existing members may suffer significant mental stress as well.
Another point which was used against establishing a support network was that such a network may turn out to be a “cult” through which their members can plan targeted attacks towards other Wikimedians that they have problems with. In essence, this support network may become another origin of harassment within the Wikimedia community. In short, a support group or network was noted as being vulnerable to abuse in so many different ways, so it was collectively deemed unnecessary.
In place of a peer support network, it was suggested that a special department within the UCoC enforcement team can be created to support victims. Such a department should be staffed with mental health professionals that victims can comfortably bear their minds to, and also get some motivation on dealing with/responding to unpleasant situations.
==Interesting stories/ideas/observations== During community discussions with the Igbo community, we touched on the existence of some issues of harassment that don't seem to be within the scope of Universal Code of Conduct, but should be paid attention to. According to several community members, the manner with which articles of newbies are deleted on English Wikipedia without assuming good faith or even undertaking proper consideration, is a form of harassment which does affect mental health of volunteers and their dedication to the project. It was also mentioned that some users have taken advantage of content policies to harass and hound newbies. One username was particularly mentioned by many participants as being very notorious and hostile to newbies.
Here is a quote from a Hausa language survey respondent: “From my experience as a community organizer, I'm exposed in the sense that people will meet me on the street and start asking, you are the one who writes so and so on Wikipedia! I would replied yes, but in some cases I would said no. So coming from a region [Northern Nigeria] where basic human rights is not respected because some people are seeing themselves as inherintedly [sic] important than others, and they are free to treat them differently without thinking they are doing anything wrong, although I try to address issues like that in every of our events. This seems hard for somebody like myself to continue to write on things related to human rights violation, religious intolerance, tribalism, and other negative vices that the community keeps with it or to even write about terrorism and corruption where the perpetrators are known and are not arrested or charge by their actions, so this makes anyone vulnerable to them whenever you go against them.”
==Conclusion== During the consultation, there were no major oppositions to the universal code of conduct or its enforcement from the three communities covered in this consultation. For the majority, this policy would have a positive impact on the local community. However, there’s also a significant minority (specifically in the Hausa language community) who think that the policy is currently unnecessary for the local community.
Based on community discussions and survey results, the Igbo and Twi communities prefer a structure whereby the Universal Code of Conduct is enforced by a team that consist of one or more combinations of experienced volunteers, administrators and the Wikimedia Foundation. The Hausa community on the other hand, prefer for harassment incidents to be reported and investigated at the community village pump or the administrators’ noticeboard. However, there’s a wide consensus across the communities on letting the Wikimedia Foundation’s Trust and Safety team handle case escalations.
Furthermore, there is strong support in the Igbo and Twi communities for ensuring the anonymity of victims, as well as the confidential investigation processes. However, the Hausa community is split between a strong stance on a transparent process with a public investigation process, and a more private reporting and investigation process.