Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Charter/Voter information

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Universal Code of Conduct

A vote to ratify the charter for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) was open from 19 January until 2 February 2024 23:59:59 (UTC) via Secure Poll. All eligible voters within the Wikimedia community had an opportunity to support or oppose the adoption of the U4C Charter, and share why. Ratification of the charter is necessary to establish rules and procedure for this new Committee. More information on the U4C’s purpose and scope can be found here. Find more details on voting instructions and voter eligibility below.

Please review Voting FAQs for information on casting a vote.

Voting process

If you are eligible to vote:

  1. Review the Charter for the U4C.
  2. Decide whether to support or oppose the adoption of the Charter. If opposing, write down recommended changes to the Charter to include with your vote.
  3. Learn how to record your vote with SecurePoll.
  4. Go to the SecurePoll Voting page and follow the instructions.
  5. Remind other community members to vote!

What is being voted on?

One of the key recommendations of the strategic goals for 2030 was the collaborative creation of a UCoC and guidelines for enforcement to provide a global baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire movement without tolerance for harassment.

The Enforcement Guidelines (EG) for the UCoC were ratified by Wikimedians in January 2023, and approved by the Board of Trustees in March of 2023. The EG calls for the creation of a committee to coordinate the application of the UCoC across Wikimedia projects. In order to function well and work with existing community groups and processes, a Charter for this new committee is required. The Charter was written by the volunteer U4C Building Committee.

What is in the U4C Charter?

From the summary of the Charter:

The Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) draft charter outlines the policies, procedures and processes that will guide the U4C’s work.

The initial sections of the draft outline the organization of the Committee, including the purpose and scope of the Committee’s work, its responsibilities and eligibility and election processes for Committee members.

Following sections cover the internal expectations around conduct, recusal and the transparency and confidentiality of the Committee’s work. The remaining sections cover the processes to monitor, review and support the UCoC and Enforcement Guidelines. They also cover providing tools and training for the community to use with the UCoC and Enforcement Guidelines as well as how the U4C will engage and interact with the Wikimedia Foundation and other movement government structures.

The Charter was reviewed by the Wikimedia communities in September of 2023, and revisions were made based on community concerns.

Why should you vote?

It is important that the U4C works well with existing community governance structures and reflects community values. A strong charter will help the Committee monitor how the UCoC is being used in our communities, and give it the tools it needs to solve problems with enforcement when they occur.

How to vote

A mockup of the SecurePoll ballot. Note especially that votewiki may suggest you are not logged in. Your vote will still count.

Please read this section before you go to SecurePoll to learn helpful information to make your voting experience go smoothly.

The ballot will give the voting question, and offer two options: "No" and "Yes"

  • A “Comment” box will provide a place for you to leave comments on any concerns you have with the proposed guidelines.
  • SecurePoll will then notify you that your vote has been recorded.
  • You can re-vote in the election. It overwrites your previous vote. You can do this as many times as you like.

How will the voting outcome be determined?

A threshold of above 50% support of participating users will be needed to move on to the election of the new Committee. Currently, the movement does not have a single practice around pass/fail voting processes to follow (some processes use something closer to a supermajority (⅔), while others use a simple majority (50% +1), while others avoid a numerical vote count altogether). For this process, to keep it in line with most referendums in real world jurisdictions, a simple majority vote was chosen.

Voters will be asked which elements need to be changed and why. If the vote produces a majority "no" vote, the UCoC project team will anonymize and publish the reasons given by "no" voters. Members of the U4C Building Committee will look at improvements to the Charter based on concerns raised in the voting process. Similar to this process, the revisions will be published for review, and a second vote will be held.

Will people outside the Wikimedia Foundation be involved in scrutinizing the vote to verify authenticity?

The outcome of the vote will be scrutinized for irregularities by non-staff Wikimedians with experience in movement voting and verification processes. Vote scrutineers are:

Voting eligibility

Voting eligibility is set by the Wikimedia Board of Trustees. All registered Wikimedia contributors who meet minimum activity requirements, affiliate and Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors (employed prior to 28 November 2023), and current and former Wikimedia Foundation trustees, will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed Charter in SecurePoll.

Editors

You may vote from any single registered account you own on a Wikimedia wiki. You may only vote once, regardless of how many accounts you own. To qualify, this one account must:

  • not be blocked in more than one project;
  • and not be a bot;
  • and have made at least 300 edits before 16 December 2023 across Wikimedia wikis;
  • and have made at least 20 edits between 16 June 2023 and 16 December 2023.

The AccountEligibility tool can be used to quickly verify basic editor voting eligibility.

Developers

Developers qualify to vote if they:

  • are Wikimedia server administrators with shell access
  • or have made at least one merged commit to any Wikimedia repos on Gerrit, between 16 June 2023 and 16 December 2023

Additional criteria:

  • or have made at least one merged commit to any repo in nonwmf-extensions or nonwmf-skins, between 16 June 2023 and 16 December 2023
  • or have made at least one merged commit to any Wikimedia tool repo (for example magnustools) between 16 June 2023 and 16 December 2023.
  • or have made at least 300 edits before 16 December 2023 and have made at least 20 edits between 16 June 2023 and 16 December 2023 on translatewiki.net.
  • or maintainers/contributors of any tools, bots, user scripts, gadgets, and Lua modules on Wikimedia wikis.
  • or have substantially engaged in the design and/or review processes of technical development related to Wikimedia.

Note: If you meet the main criteria, you will be able to vote immediately. Due to the technical limitations of SecurePoll, people who meet the additional criteria may not be able to directly vote, unless they meet any of the other criteria. If you think you meet the additional criteria, please email ucocproject@wikimedia.org with the reasoning at least four days before the last date for voting.

Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors

Current Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors qualify to vote if they have been employed by the Wikimedia Foundation as of 28 November 2023.

Wikimedia movement affiliates’ staff and contractors

Current Wikimedia Chapter, thematic organization or user group staff and contractors qualify to vote if they have been employed by their organization as of 28 November 2023.

Wikimedia Foundation board members

Current and former members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees are qualified to vote.

Voting FAQ

  1. How can I verify my eligibility? Editors can utilize the AccountEligibility tool to verify eligibility in the current election. The global account information page is available to learn more about your edit count and contribution history.
  2. How are eligibility requirements set? These are the same requirements used for the Board of Trustees elections.
  3. Eligible voter is unable to vote You may receive a message: "Sorry, you are not in the predetermined list of users authorized to vote in this election." Make sure you are logged in. Make sure you are voting from Meta-wiki, you can use this link to go to the voting start page. If you are a developer, Wikimedia Foundation staff member or Advisory Board member, we may not have been able to match you to a specific username. You should contact ucocproject@wikimedia.org to be added to the list. If you are still unable to vote and believe you should be able to please leave a message on the election talk page or contact ucocproject@wikimedia.org. A response should be sent within 72 hours.
  4. I cannot log into VoteWiki. You do not need to log into VoteWiki to vote. If you see the ballot, then SecurePoll has successfully identified you. For security reasons, only a limited number of accounts are registered on VoteWiki.
  5. Is anyone able to see how I voted? No, the election is secure. The election uses SecurePoll software. Votes are secret. No one from the Board or anyone on the Wikimedia Foundation staff has access to them. A member of the Trust & Safety team at the Wikimedia Foundation holds the encryption key for the election. Once the key is activated, the election is halted.
  6. What data is collected about voters? Some personally identifiable data on voters is viewable by a select few persons who audit and tally the election. See the ratification scrutineers as announced above. This includes the IP address and user agent. This data is automatically deleted 90 days after the election.
  7. How will this data be used? Metrics about this election will be summarized on the election pages results on Meta and the post-analysis report of the election. No personally identifiable information will be published. This personally identifiable information may be used to determine the number of independent voters and the global spread of voters.
  8. When I vote, I see no acknowledgement that the vote was received, and an automated message appears saying that I need to be logged in to vote. What is happening? You do not need to log into votewiki to vote. This error is likely a caching issue. We apologise for this hassle: please try to vote again at SecurePoll landing page. This should prompt you with a message saying "The vote will be conducted on a central wiki. Please click the button below to be transferred." Clicking on the button will send you to the voting server and should allow you to vote. Also note that you are free to assign or change your voting preferences as many times as you like. Only one vote per user will be stored, and the system will simply replace your old vote(s) with the new one, and discard any previous vote(s). When your voting process is complete, a receipt is displayed on your screen, which you may retain as evidence that you have voted.
  9. How is the voting system safeguarded from users entering multiple votes? Only one vote per user is stored on the system. You are free to assign or change your voting preferences as many times as you like. The system will simply replace your old vote(s) with the new one, and discard any previous vote(s).
  10. Are staff forced or encouraged to vote in a specific way? No, the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation and those of the affiliates are not encouraged to vote in a specific way. We are encouraging everyone to vote independently. For the Charter to be effective, we need honest input to help us detect if there are areas of needed improvement.
  11. Is the Trust and Safety team biased with relation to the outcome of the vote? The Trust and Safety unit has three arms: Policy, Disinformation, and Operations. The team facilitating the UCoC is the Policy team. The Policy team is not involved in investigations of user conduct. While it is not believed the Operations team is or would be biased, this separation of functions was intentional precisely to avoid inadvertent bias. The Policy team is not assessed by whether or not this collaboratively created document reaches approval on its first run or further development is needed. The team is however assessed on whether it works well with the community. This means developing a collaborative approach to enforcing the UCoC that will function for the community. Our goal is to meet that responsibility as well as possible.
  12. Other questions not mentioned here For technical or vote system errors, please email ucocproject@wikimedia.org. Please specify the username you are trying to vote with and the project where you are trying to vote. A member of the project team will respond to your email as soon as possible.