Universal Code of Conduct/2021 consultations/Enforcement/Nepali community
|Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) Facilitation Summary - Nepali Wikipedia Community
The Nepali Wikipedia is the Nepali-language edition of the free online encyclopedia. The project was started on 2002 June 3 as the first Wikipedia language project of Nepal. As of March 13, 2021, the project has 31,779 articles with 52,074 registered users. The Wikipedia project is the 107th largest Wikipedia project in terms of articles with 35 active editors per month, 5 administrators, and 1 bureaucrat. The Nepali Wikipedia project has two sister projects Nepali Wikibooks and Nepali Wiktionary, which are not very active.
Status/Summary of behavioral policies
Nepali Wikipedia community doesn’t have any behavioral policies so far and the community solely depends on पञ्च स्तम्भ (Five Pillars), to handle behavioral issues. There are no official policies on how editors can successfully collaborate with one another and what sort of behavior is acceptable or unacceptable on the project.
It is to be noted that there have hardly been reported cases of discrimination, abuse, harassment, or any other conduct-related issues on the project. The survey response showed that 7 participants (26.9%) experienced unacceptable behavior in Nepali Wikipedia community and among them, only 5 participants reported their concern with community leaders. The local sysops and bureaucrats are responsible to manage and conclude the community discussions, whether it is about policymaking or general discussion of the community.
The on-wiki consultation about the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) was started on Nepali Wikipedia on 18 January 2021 and ran until 4 March 2021. To engage all groups of members (active and inactive) of the community, we used the following mediums:
- MassMessage tool: The way to directly notify the most active and inactive members of the community.
- Onwiki Sitenotice: To aware all the members of the community, we have displayed the site notice for the entire time period of the consultation.
- Telegram Group: The most active social media channel nowadays used by Nepali community members is Telegram chat group, we have posted the notification message right there to engage editors.
- Facebook page: We used the official Nepali Wikipedia Facebook page and conveyed the UCoC related message to participate by the mass group.
- Personal Meeting: We have reached to members, especially female contributors of the community one by one via google meet and directly telephonic conversation.
The on-wiki engagement received from the community was satisfactory as 14 out of the 35 active editors participated in the discussion. The community members who participated in the discussion were male. Despite trying various communication mediums to encourage female editors, we failed to record their thoughts on this important discussion.
To facilitate a more private feedback-sharing process, we launched a survey with all the key questions on UCoC enforcement. The survey ran from 14 February 2021 to 4 March 2021. For better participation, we notified the community members via Mass message notification about the survey to their respective talk pages and displayed the same as Sitenotice on Nepali Wikipedia. 27 community members responded to the survey which is a little over 84% of the active community members. The Nepali community doesn’t have any active female contributors but we managed to get 2 responses from currently inactive female contributors.
Nepali Wikipedia community contributors appreciated the foundation’s effort to reach out to the community in their own language. They felt happy to have been included in a project of such high importance as the UCoC. Globally, the community unanimously shared the need and urgency of the Universal Code of Conduct in the Nepali community. On specific enforcement questions, we did not receive concrete ideas - neither on the preferred enforcement mechanism nor on the enforcement body. However, throughout the discussion, the community advocated for the implementation of the UCoC to help it tackle behavior-related issues and so that one can freely contribute to the Wikimedia projects.
We tried our best to engage more users from the community to express their voice on Village pump discussion but lastly, we ended with 14 participants. Among 14 users who participated in the UCoC discussion, only one has opposed UCoC to be implemented in the community.
Through surveys, we have got few solid responses and some amazing facts that the Nepali Community and UCoC team are not aware of before regarding the community members. The survey shows some increment in the number of participants and we are quite satisfied with the participation.
Important note from the Surveys
- Total number of participants: 27
- Male : 25 (92.6%)
- Female : 2 (7.4%)
- 13 participants reported that they have over 5 years of experience in the movement and 7 participants showed that they are in the movement for between 1-5 years.
- 63% of participants indicated that they have never participated in the local community policy-making process.
- 90% of editors expressed that they need a behavioral policy in the local Wikipedia community.
- 26.9% (7 participants) users indicated that they have been personally attacked on Wikipedia, which is really a new fact for Nepali community and as well as UCoC team because the community haven’t got any feedback regarding such issues on the Wikipedia platform.
- 22.2% of users indicated that at some point in time they have considered taking a break from editing or leaving the project altogether due to harassment and abuse of power
- 37% of participants are not aware of UCoC while 63% were aware of Universal Code of Conduct.
- 57.7% are in favor of adopting the UCoC as a guiding principle to establish a unique local policy and 38% of users are in favor of accepting the policy as it is.
Enforcement body mechanism
- Nepali Wikipedia contributors think that the Wikimedia Foundation (with 40.7% favor response) should play a key role in enforcing the UCoC in Wikimedia projects. With 33% response, local community sysops stand at second place and a newly created local body stands at third place with 15% response.
- 44% of users were neutral, 41% users were in favour and 14% said ‘No’ on whether members of the UCoC enforcement body should receive a form of financial compensation/remuneration for their service.
- 45% of users are in favor that Wikimedia Foundation and its Affiliates are able to handle the cases of UCoC violations while 41% users went neutral and 14% users think that they can’t handle the cases of violation.
- 70% are in favor of a standard procedure to protect the rights and obligations of complaining parties, complainants, and enforcers in an UCoC violation case.
- 65.4% of users were recorded that there should be an appeal review mechanism handled by a global body in cases of an UCoC violation that could not be resolved by the community.
- 55.6% of participants cast their response for the need of the global body to enforce UCoC in Wikimedia projects where there is no local capacity of enforcement.
- 84.6% are in favor of a periodic review of UCoC text.
- 57.7% of users were expressed that UCoC mechanisms should be available publicly, which includes reporting, arbitration, sanction enforcement, etc.
Enforcement pathways and escalation channels
- 51.9% of users indicated that they are aware of the steps to report harassment, abuse of power, and/or vandalism on Wikipedia.
- Among (51.9%) them, 63% of users didn’t report the unacceptable behavior while 37% did report to the community leaders.
Support for the targets of harassment
Towards the end of the consultation, we also asked the community if they think there should be a better peer support system for community members who have faced abuse and harassment in the movement. Two major ideas that came out in these regards were -
By blacklisting the person in Wikimedia Projects who committed abuse or harassment.— Nepali Wikipedian, UCoC Survey 2021
The effects of harassment can be devastating and can affect contributors' mental health. Those who have endured similar experiences in the past or are trained to identify the impacts of harassment can play the important role in providing support to people who are suffering abuse or harassment. Most people don't like counseling. A specially designed peer support program may be required. Trained peer support workers may be needed.— Nepali Wikipedian, UCoC Survey 2021
A lot of good and very long-time contributors are prevented/ discouraged by the community from contributing to Wikimedia projects as well as conducting outreach for community growth. Such contributors in my community should be identified. They should be asked who and what is discouraging them. What can control the bad elements in my community that are preventing the pioneers, long-term contributors? Who is killing newbies? Who is discouraging new people to enter the community for contribution? The global community should seriously identify the element. Then only our community can increase.— Former sysop of Nepali Wikipedia, UCoC Survey 2021
Any issues can be discussed in the community and with their active participation, the process of making them accountable in the decision-making process can be adopted in the global implementation. This makes it easier to implement any decision or policy by realizing that you have a stake in it.— Experienced user of Nepali Wikipedia, UCoC Survey 2021
Interesting stories/ideas/observations (anonymized)
The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) seems to be necessary as a regular process and far-reaching organizational practice of the practical wiki movement. But in saying this, I would like to express the view that in a wiki community with different communities and multilingual values like Nepal, it is not relevant to say that the institution is the legal owner in one world one policy and policy implementation and practical decision making.
Although the organization has multi-community representation and ideological freedom, it is less likely that the representative will be differentiated from the universal code of conduct on the basis of ethics, advocating and implementing fundamental policies and values.
However, the future policy benefits of our wiki projects, which are in the process of development, cannot be overlooked, so this issue needs to be taken up for further discussion only after further discussion and, if necessary, other verbal and written queries.— Former sysop of Nepali Wikipedia, UCoC Survey 2021
The Nepali Wikipedia community has been enthusiastically involved in this important policy discussion. Even though the community is small in terms of the number of articles and active users, the active participation of the community shows its strength. The editors of the Nepali Wikipedia community accepted the importance of the Universal Code of Conduct, but they have not been able to come up with a concrete alternative of the enforcement pathways. The community also thinks that it would be appropriate to make this policy official by discussing it in accordance with local values and the needs of the local community.
The consultation found that the community members strongly preferred the Wikimedia Foundation over a global committee of volunteers. They thought the Foundation should play a key role to enforce the UCoC in Wikimedia projects. They are also open to bringing local cases and disputes to a global community level.
The diverse Nepali Wikipedia community has not yet faced the problem of unethical behavior within the community might have reduced the chances of behavioral policy but there is a fair consensus of the need and adaptation of Universal Code of Conduct in order to handle the future problems and challenges.