Universal Code of Conduct/2021 consultations/Enforcement/Indonesian community

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Universal Code of Conduct

Indonesian Wikipedia (Wikipedia bahasa Indonesia/idwiki) was established in November 2002, the second South-East Asian language to have its own Wikipedia project after Malay. As of March 2021, it has 563,905 articles, making it the 22nd largest Wikipedia project overall. It has 2,983 active editors and 38 sysops. It has four sister projects: Indonesian Wiktionary, Indonesian Wikisource, Indonesian Wikibooks, and Indonesian Wikiquote. In Indonesia, idwiki is considered as the “flagship” Indonesian project, with strong working relationships with other local Indonesian editions such as Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau, Balinese, and several others.

Indonesia has one of the largest Wikimedia communities in the ESEAP (East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific) region. The local affiliate is Wikimedia Indonesia (WMID), which was established in September 2008. WMID has played an instrumental role in the growth of Indonesian Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in the local languages of Indonesia by the way of local community empowerment, education projects, GLAM, Wikidata, and others. The Indonesian Wikipedia community particularly enjoys a strong relationship with WMID, with several community functionaries serving on professional or voluntary roles at WMID. Indonesian Wikimedians has a strong presence all over the country, with major Wikimedia regional hubs in Jakarta, Bandung (where most Sundanese editors are), Yogyakarta (Javanese), Denpasar (Balinese), and Padang (Minangkabau).

Current state of behavioral policy[edit]

idwiki has an Editing Safety policy which specifically addresses the issue of harassment, libel, doxing, legal and physical threats, and hounding on or out of the project. It was passed unanimously by the community on August 2020 as a response to the #BoycottWikipedia campaign in June 2020, which saw several “controversial” articles at idwiki related to the history of Indonesia became a major subject of attack at Indonesian Twitter and Instagram sphere and resulted in a public doxing campaign against editors of the pages and sysops of the project. It prompted a press release from WMID and general state of alarm among idwiki editors, since it was the first time idwiki was subject to the Indonesian public’s scrutiny and attack throughout its history.

The proposed companion to the policy was an enforcement proposal to create an Ombudsman authority at idwiki. Modeled after WMF’s Ombudsman Commission and enwiki’s Arbitration Committee, the proposal seeks to enforce the Editing Safety policy by empowering idwiki’s checkuser, oversight, and elected sysops to investigate its violation and issue binding rulings. The proposal has attracted lukewarm attention from the community and its discussion was suspended on January 2021 in order to give way for the UCoC consultation at idwiki; with expectation that once a global enforcement plan for UCoC is already in place, the proposal would be reopen for community deliberation with the UCoC principles as supplementary points of consideration.

Methods of facilitation[edit]

The consultation process was kicked off via a Request for Comment page at idwiki, which was spread via email and MassMessage to sysops and active editors. Throughout the process, all updates and new developments are announced at idwiki Facebook fan page and community groups as well as relevant WhatsApp and Telegram groups. A survey was sent using the same channels and was put as a notification on top of the RfC page. The facilitator also reached out to several users personally and participated in the monthly community meetings of Padang, Yogyakarta, Bandung, and Denpasar Wikimedians.

The response rate from the idwiki community was satisfactory. A total of 158 responses were recorded: 85 from the Google Form survey, 55 from offwiki outreaches (community meetings and individual conversations), and 18 from RfC and onwiki discussions. The facilitation was not extended to idwiki sister projects, as the policies there are pretty much non-existent and most of its contributors are active editors at idwiki too (with the exception of an Indonesian Wiktionary sysop who offered their thoughts from Wiktionary perspective), so it would stand to reason just to cover the facilitation to idwiki only.

It is important to note idwiki’s status as the flagship project of Indonesia’s Wikimedia projects; a significant minority of participants in the process are also active contributors in one or more projects in the local languages of Indonesia; and WMID regional hubs also serve as community centers for these local editions. It would be impossible to hold separate and simultaneous consultation by separating the local language contributors and the Indonesian contributors, therefore it is best to view them to speak and participate as members of the Indonesian community.


The idwiki community welcomes the ratification of UCoC and are willing to work to find a reasonable enforcement mechanism, with specific interest to ensure the local authorities’ ability to enforce it as much as possible. Most of the editors are satisfied with the current local Editing Safety policy and think that its enforcement, which is yet to be determined, should be aligned with the global UCoC enforcement plan.

Important points from the survey:

  • 79.9% are aware and/or familiar with forms of Wikimedia behavioral policy or at least understand it;
  • 28.5% indicated that they may or had been harassed on wiki;
  • 24.7% indicated they may or had experienced some kind of abuse of power from functionaries (sysops, bureaucrats, senior community members etc);
  • 51.7% had experienced a form of vandalism, either perpetrated by registered users or IP addresses;
  • 29.7 has indicated that at some point, they considered taking a break from editing or leaving the project altogether due to harassment, abuse of power, and/or vandalism that they received/experienced;
  • 47.1% are aware of the UCoC, but 66.3% was not sure/neutral on whether the current idwiki behavioral policies are aligned with UCoC.
  • 60.3% are in favour for idwiki to revise and/or complement the current set of behavioral policy with the terms of UCoC;
  • 73.4% are in favour of adopting the UCoC as a basic standard minimum to adopt a behavioral policy for the Indonesian community, as opposed to accepting it as what it is.

Enforcement body[edit]

From onwiki/offwiki discussions:

  • An Indonesian/Batak Toba editor (the latter is another language project that is still in the Incubator) said that an Arbitration Committee, composed of members from Wikimedia Indonesia and local project communities, must be responsible to enforce the UCoC on a neutral and independent fashion.
  • An Indonesian/Balinese editor stated that he generally favour a UCoC mechanism handled by Wikimedia Foundation and/or its affiliates, especially for cases related to offline activities, as he had previously experienced unpleasant experiences dealing with project sysops;
  • Another Indonesian/Balinese editor stated that it would be pretty hard to have enforcement bodies for UCoC at smaller projects, and proposes an enforcement mechanism where all Wikimedia projects in the languages of Indonesia would have their UCoC-related cases by a single body, possibly supported by WMID.

From the surveys:

  • The top three bodies that are favoured to enforce UCoC are, in a ranked choice: local sysops (selected by 48.8%); Wikimedia Foundation (46.3%); and a special body elected by local community members (45%).
  • The community is almost evenly divided on whether members of UCoC enforcement body should receive a form of financial compensation/remuneration for their service: 39.8% are open to it, 38.6% are in favor, and 21.7% are opposed;
  • 48.8% are neutral on whether the Wikimedia Foundation and its Affiliates are able to handle cases of UCoC violations, while 42.7% perceived it more positively;
  • 93.8% are in favour of a special mechanism to handle functionaries (sysops, bureaucrats, etc) that violated UCoC;
  • 98.8% are in favour of a standard of procedure to streamline the rights and obligations of those are involved throughout a UCoC violation case (complaining party, complainant, and its arbitrators);
  • 89.2% are in favor of establishing an appellate body that could hear appeals for a UCoC violation case from the local community on global level;
  • 58.5% are in favor and 29.3% are open for the said global body to take over the local community’s ability to enforce UCoC, in case, the community could not afford to maintain an enforcement system, has a bad reputation on matters of behavioral enforcement, and/or refuse to cooperate with the global UCoC enforcement ecosystem;
  • 79.5% are in favour and 20.5% are open to the periodic review of UCoC text;
  • The top three bodies that are favoured to periodically review the UCoC text are, in a ranked choice: the global community (selected by 70.7%), the local community (64.6%), and the Wikimedia Foundation (57.3%).

Enforcement pathway and escalation channels[edit]

From onwiki/offwiki discussions:

  • An Indonesian editor specifically said that all business of the UCoC enforcement body should be done within an internal wiki to ensure no leak of personal identity of the complainant, accused, and enforcers. He also specified that the accused must be notified of a UCoC violation report against them by another user, and the identity of the complainant must only be disclosed with explicit permission from them.
  • A Padang-based editor was concerned about the mechanism of enforcement: would violation of UCoC need to be reported first in order for it to be enforced, or would the enforcing authority be able to take actions proactively (i.e. a proprio motu investigation) without having to wait for the filing of a report.

From the surveys:

  • 60% indicated that they are aware of steps to report harassment, abuse of power, and/or vandalism on wiki, and 44.7% had done so before;
  • 56.4% are in favour of handling harassment, abuse of power, and/or vandalism on a case-per-case basis, and 28.2% support the idea of a transparent enforcement mechanism that could be seen and monitored by all contributors;
  • Ease of access (85.2%) and privacy (81.5%) are two primary ideals that should be featured in a reporting system.

Support for targets for harassment[edit]

Many editors are concerned about the support provided by WMF and/or its affiliates in case similar large-scale attack such as the June 2020 #BoikotWikipedia campaign, but none has reported a significant event in real life that could be connected to that event. They recognize that in the said event, WMID took the lead to handle it in cooperation with Indonesian Wikipedia projects (where most of the attacks are directed), with support from WMF T&S. In general, the editors want to know whether in case of legal troubles and/or serious harassment, they could be supported in any way (legal defense, provision of security) by WMF and its Indonesian affiliate. No good answer could be provided at this time, as the relationship and separation of power (particularly for T&S cases; and in the future, UCoC-related cases) between the Foundation, Affiliates, and local communities are still unclear.

Other relevant responses[edit]

From onwiki/offwiki discussions:

  • An Indonesian Wiktionary sysop is concerned that the Indonesian communities are not consulted in the 1st Phase, despite its size and the massive Wikimedia-related activities in this country recently.
  • An Indonesian sysop suggested that the UCoC must be campaigned and communicated to the local community (via banners or other form of campaign) and should be integrated with the Mentoring system.
  • An Indonesian/Nias editor asked to review the current encouragement at WMID-organized edit-a-thons not to use real name when contributing at Wikipedia; the facilitator clarified that it is a non-binding form of encouragement and there is no policy that ban the use of real name, only that the recent security events at Indonesian projects might contribute to the situation where WMID as local affiliate felt the need to encourage it.

From the survey comments box :

  • “Users must be encouraged not to use their real names while editing Wikipedia”
  • “Consensus must be the priority [on dispute resolution]”
  • “[There must be some form of] social sanction”
  • “The UCoC should grant editors some form of legal protection/immunity”

Community stories[edit]

  • At least two regional hubs reported a form of security case where editors that were responsible for coordinating offline edit-a-thon events had their mobile phone number shared in the promotional materials, and afterwards they received several non-wiki-related calls and texts on Whatsapp or Instagram that are “annoying” and “borderline harassing”. In both cases it happened, the editors blocked the numbers and reported it to the Education program manager at Wikimedia Indonesia (which sponsored the edit-a-thon); WMID response was to encourage editors that are active in edit-a-thon organizing not to share their phone number/use different number for contact purposes (Indonesians are not normally doing business via email, WhatsApp is the most preferred method of communication among everyday Indonesians).
  • A regional hub reported a case of abuse of seniority, where a senior editor at a Javanese Wikipedia constantly harassed and took advantage of writing competition organizers (who are considerably younger and less experienced in Wikimedia then the said editor) using arguments of inconsistency, amateurism, and being unfair. In this case, the situation was defused with intervention of WMID (as financial sponsor of the competition) and the said editor was eventually blocked indefinitely for an unrelated case of undisclosed paid editing at Indonesian Wikipedia.


Demographics: gender
Gender Editors identifying
Male 123
Female 35
Non-binary 1
Unknown/refuse to disclose 7
Demographics: age group
Age group Editors identifying
20-39 years old 61
40-59 years old 11
0-19 years old 11
Refused to disclose 2
Demographics: first wiki edit
First wiki edit Editors identifying
After 2015 50
2010-2015 23
Before 2015 12
Demographics: onwiki rights and status
Rights/status Editors identifying
Sysops 40
Bureaucrats 9
CheckUsers 1
Oversighter 1
Member of a Wikimedia affiliate 59
Experienced onwiki policymaker 15


With one of the biggest Wikimedia communities in the ESEAP region, Indonesian Wikimedians have historically been underrepresented, even mostly left out, in global conversations regarding the future and current trajectory of the Wikimedia movement. The presence of Wikimedia Indonesia as WMF’s local affiliate here is the main factor for the growth of Wikimedia projects in the local languages of Indonesia. Since they have not been involved with many global conversations, Indonesian Wikimedians still have a lot of trust to WMF and positively view policies coming from them; as long as it guarantees local control and authority to enforce it and the policy enforcement also considers the enormous cultural diversity.

A global UCoC enforcement plan must take into account communities like Indonesia, where a project in national language serves as a “flagship” project which mentors and cultivates project editions in local and traditional languages and enjoys strong and positive backing from its local affiliate. UCoC-related cases found in the Indonesian communities might also be very different culturally to the cases that are in mind of the UCoC policy drafters that are still dominated by the Global North; therefore, an effective and efficient form of enforcement must be given to the Indonesian Wikimedians.