Universal Code of Conduct/Drafting committee

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The Universal Code of Conduct Drafting committee (UCoCDC or “the committee”) is a group of Wikimedians brought together with the purpose of finalizing the draft of the Universal Code of Conduct by August 30, 2020, for Board ratification as requested in the Board statement on community culture 2020. The committee will consist of volunteer movement members brought in through an open application process, and qualified Foundation staff based on specific skills (including legal experience, diversity & inclusion experience, and translatability expertise). Members will be selected by the Vice President of Community Resilience and Sustainability of the Wikimedia Foundation. Volunteer members for the committee will be respected community members with at least two of the following skills or traits:

  • experience in policy drafting
  • experience in cooperating online
  • empathy
  • experience in collaborating in an international team
  • participatory decision making

They will be selected as much as possible to also represent the diversity of our movement in respect to languages spoken, geography, gender, age, project size of their home wiki, and their roles within the Wikimedia movement. Building on the detailed recommendations made by the movement strategy working group on community health, the Committee will use the Contributor Covenant as baseline and incorporate feedback gathered as appropriate. Work will be conducted through a facilitated structure to avoid impasses and maintain focus. One or two people will be selected for their writing skills to do the actual drafting based on input from the group. A dedicated Foundation team, Community Development, will provide this structure, lead the facilitation, and provide additional resources as needed.

Call for Applications[edit]

Universal Code of Conduct/Drafting committee

Do you care for safety and friendliness in the Wikimedia movement? Are you interested in the guidelines and policies that guide it? Do you enjoy helping improvements in these areas? This is your chance to get involved!

We are looking for volunteers to join the Drafting Committee for the Universal Code of Conduct. If you are interested, please read the following important information for candidates:

  • Who will be on the committee? - five or six volunteers and four or five Foundation staff members and (depending on how many candidates apply)
  • When will the committee be active? - July 22 - September 30 2020
  • What will they do? Read background material and draft a Universal Code of Conduct that will provide a minimum baseline guiding the behaviour of every contributor to the Wikimedia movement. See more information here.
  • How will they work? They will meet online and work on shared documents, starting from the Contributor Covenant as a starting text. A facilitation team will help them to organize the work, and experts in different areas will be available to provide support.
  • How much time should I plan to spend per week? There will be online meetings (2-4 hours per week), as well as background reading in the early phases resulting in up to 8-10 hours each week.
  • What skills should I bring to the process? Ideally you would have experience in policy drafting, experience in cooperating online and in writing in English. We would also love our candidates to have empathy; for example, experience in mentoring, resolving difficult disputes, and communicating with compassion are valuable.
  • How will the committee members be selected? The Trust and Safety Team together with the Legal Team of the Wikimedia Foundation will vet all candidates. Then, the Vice president of Community Resilience and Sustainability, Maggie Dennis, will choose committee members based on the level of skills and experience of candidates in combination with diversity factors. Ideally we will be able to form a competent committee that reflects the diversity of the movement not only in the usual demographic areas like language, geographic location, gender, age, but also in wiki specific areas like the project size of their home wiki, roles in the Wikimedia movement, project type and more.

If you are interested in applying, please let us know before July 15 by signing up below or mail to Christel Steigenberger. Please include your username and link to your userpage of your home wiki and provide links demonstrating your experience. Let us know about the roles you hold or held in Wikimedia or similar organizations. Feel free to add any additional information that will help us make an informed choice.

Please forward this message to any volunteers you think might be interested, and encourage them to apply and help us spread the word. We also welcome your help translating this message here.

Applications for the drafting committee[edit]

Universal Code of Conduct/Drafting committee

Please sign up here. Applications can also be sent per mail here. Mailing there is also the way to provide additional information you do not want publicly onwiki (e.g. proof of work for other organizations that would compromise your anonymity on the Wikimedia projects).

  • I volunteered to serve on this committee--have been engaged in these discussions for quite some time on a global scale. RachelWex (talk) 02:09, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I am interested in working for the committee. --Csisc (talk) 18:15, 29 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I would like to apply to work with the drafting committee Nattes à chat (talk) 00:08, 30 June 2020 (UTC)
  • I would like to apply to participate in the drafting committee. Chico Venancio (talk) 13:57, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I'd like to help out with the committee. -- Llywrch (talk) 21:34, 1 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm interested in drafting; I have experience in the enwiki's projectspace and I hope that it will serve me well here. John M Wolfson (talk) 03:53, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm interested to work for the committee, more details about myself has been forwarded to Christel Steigenberger via email. Regards, ZI Jony (Talk) 07:16, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I am interested in working for the committee, I've explained details about my experience to Mervat. -- Ravan (talk) 11:38, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I will be pleased to work in this committee; I will forward the required details through email to the appropriate personnel.--Uzoma 17:44, 2 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I will be delighted to participate in the draft committee as:
    1. I am the oldest User at Hindi Wikipedia.
    2. I represent Indic community.
    3. I have been Bureaucrat & Admin for a pretty long period.
    4. I have a good understanding for *Code of Conduct* as I have been actively participating in framing of rules and policies for period Long.
    5. I have been actively participating in the Community discussions for long long period.
    6. Done enormous and quality contributions, featured articles, that still features on the Hindi Wiki main page, and also enormous number of pages.
--Ashish BhatnagarPlume pen w.giftalk 11:09, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I would like to apply, I've sent more details about myself to Christel Steigenberger via email. --Civvì (talk) 14:01, 3 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Interested, email sent. — Racconish💬 08:18, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I wrote the draft for the Living People policy and the RfC that lead to it's adoption on Wikidata. Since May 2017 I'm an admin on Wikidata I have had experience with a lot of on-Wiki moderation. Outside of Wikimedia I spent four years in the moderation team for the StevePavlina forum which was a self-improvement forum. In that time we had a lot of discussions about our forum rules in our moderation team. I was a member of Citizendium Editorial Council.
Offline I did community organizing as well by being one of the people who started the Quantified Self community in Germany. ChristianKl❫ 13:46, 5 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I will be pleased to work on the Commitee. masti <talk> 20:39, 7 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I'd be interested in being part of the drafting committee. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 04:34, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm interested to be part of in the drafting committee and I sent an email with my user's detail and volunteering work on the Wikimedia movement. --Camelia (talk) 07:38, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm interested to serve the drafting committee. Sami Mlouhi (talk) 14:02, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm interested in join this committee. My previous experience in addition to my permanent advocacy on have better online and offline spaces in my communities, includes the deployment of the first regional Code of Conduct in a chapter in Latin America in 2013, feedback and translation to Spanish of first WMF's Friendly Space Policy and their effective deployment in Mexico. In addition I have professional experience in advocacy and research in the intersection of Human Rights and technologies. Thanks, --ProtoplasmaKid (talk) 16:32, 15 July 2020 (UTC)
  1. I am interested in joining this committee. I have submitted additional information by email to summarise both some relevant on-wiki experience and some professional activity. Nosebagbear (talk) 20:03, 15 July 2020 (UTC)

Drafting committee members[edit]

We are happy to announce that the Universal Code of Conduct drafting committee has been assembled. We had 26 volunteers apply, either by publicly signing up on the Meta page, or by sending an email. Volunteers from 18 different countries applied, speaking 11 different languages.

We had Wikimedian applicants with different levels of experience on-wiki, from someone who started editing only last year to people who have been editing for more than 18 years and/or have more than 300,000 edits. Applicants held a variety of different roles within the movement, and also informed us about interesting and relevant experiences in their real-life careers. It was very hard to narrow down from this diverse and extremely qualified pool of applicants.

For the final selection, two aspects guided the decision making - we want a committee that at the one hand will represent important parts of the movement. Prolific editors as well as Wikimedians whose strength is more in organizing events, Wikimedians from different demographics, contributors from small and large wikis, and people holding different roles within the movement. We also wanted a group of people who will collaborate with one another effectively and create the best possible Universal Code of Conduct for the Wikimedia movement. Experience has taught us that committees that are too large find it difficult to work effectively, so we decided to cap the number of seats to 6 volunteer seats and 3 staff seats. Please note that more chances for engagement are coming up during the community draft review period starting from August 24.


Staff members[edit]

Advisory roles[edit]

The Universal Code of Conduct Drafting committee is being supported by Wikimedia Foundation staff in terms of logistics and coordination, but also from community members offering insights and draft feedback through Advisory roles. They provided insights about specific processes, such as running content drives, starting new editing communities, keeping real-life events safe, and serving on movement committees. Advisory roles were selected from interested parties who offered some of these relevant experiences during the application period for the Drafting Committee.

How do Advisory members take part in the process?[edit]

Advisory members will be supported by staff to provide focused insights, data, and experiences to the Drafting Committee through interviews, written briefs, and informational video call sessions. Their input will also inform Phase 2 of the UCoC project.

Advisory members[edit]

  • ANKAN, advisor providing insights from the perspective of a chapter in South Asia.
  • Bobbyshabangu, advisor providing insights into the situation of African minority language communities and from the perspective of an African chapter.
  • Joy sagar Murmu, advisor providing insights into the situation of a minority language community with a relatively new wiki.
  • Nattes à chat, advisor providing insights into the situation for female organizers and women editing the projects.
  • Protoplasmakid, advisor providing insights into Latin American communities and connections between behavioural issues and Human Rights issues. Protoplasmakid stepped up to the drafting committee on Aug 18.
  • RFarrand (WMF), advisor providing insights about behavioural issues at events and her experience with the application of relevant existing policies.

Meeting summaries[edit]

Session 1 - July 29[edit]

The drafting committee, Wikimedia Foundation staff, and facilitators from the Community Development team came together to create a safe space to build alignment, center priorities, and establish structure to refine a written document for the first draft of a Universal Code of Conduct for the Wikimedia movement.

Community Development facilitators helped prioritize topics in the meeting. A review of the readings and research made available to the Committee was discussed.

Committee agreements were made in order to ensure a welcoming environment of ideas, dialogue and behavioral minimums would carry into the next nine drafting weeks.

In this first drafting session, the committee participated in a conversation of priorities for the UCoC, their fears and concerns and organized the likes and dislikes of conduct policies outside the movement.

The committee agreed that each person will research other policies outside the movement and come back the following week to the second drafting session to discuss what other conduct policies can be useful to model or not model after.

Session 2 - August 5[edit]

The second week of the UCoC drafting process, the drafting committee, Wikimedia Foundation staff, and facilitators from the Community Development team gathered to discuss the Code of Conducts of outside organizations to guide the development of an appropriate draft format, language structure and priorities to include. The committee also discussed ideas and themes for the UCoC value statement/preamble/introduction and described examples of what could be considered good and bad behaviors.

The Contributor Covenant was introduced in a workspace document that will serve as an iterative drafting space for committee members to write and dialogue throughout the process.

Due to time constraints, the drafting committee agreed to have 3 committee members summarize each member's value statement draft into one refined value statement to be discussed in session 3. Preparation and a worksheet was presented post-session to start looking at positive and negative behaviors for the next session.

Session 3 - August 12[edit]

The UCoC committee held its third drafting session on Wednesday, August 12th, 2020. On behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation Legal team, General Counsel Amanda Keton, joined at the beginning of the sessions to share her gratitude, appreciation, and support to the drafting committee for their collaboration and hard work on the UCoC.

The drafting committee reviewed the first version of the value statement which was a summary of all of the committee members statements which encapsulated the themes, ideas and thoughts to be included. Discussion followed to further refine the statement to capture the intentions and recommendations from the board mandate as well as the movement strategy recommendations. Committee members spent the majority of the meeting discussing behaviors/ expectations to be included in the UCoC. Three committee members volunteered to write the first full draft to be reviewed and revised by the full committee in session 4.

Session 4 - August 19[edit]

The UCoC drafting committee met for its 4th session to discuss and edit the first full draft version. The committee reviewed this draft by assessing it against the main priorities and format discussed in previous sessions. Review was also done in an effort to align with the board and movement strategy directives.

The first draft was assembled by three writers from the committee who incorporated collective committee views and priorities, board mandates and movement strategy recommendations. The committee voted on 8 common themes and terms that are essential for the UCoC document.

The committee revised the document and elaborated on areas that well captured Wikimedia values and behaviors as well as areas that need further development and refinement. The UCoC committee accepted an offer for a two week extension to the initial drafting period. It was unanimously agreed upon that this additional time would give the committee the necessary time to further address the desires of a well thought out draft before the posting for community review.

In preparation for session 5, the committee has been asked to assess the first draft using a rubric developed based on previous conversations and expectations for the draft.

Session 5 - August 26[edit]

This 5th drafting session was designed to review the 2nd version of the UCoC draft through thoughtful discussion on sections of the preamble, rationale, expected behaviors, unacceptable behaviors, uncivil behaviors, content vandalism and abuse of the projects.

This 2nd draft version also had a “statement of commitment” which will be edited and reviewed in session 6 due to time constraints. The drafting committee agreed to have the writing group implement the ideas and thoughts around the drafting edits to be summarized in the 3rd draft version for the following week.

The drafting committee will have one last meeting before the draft will be submitted to the Wikimedia community as a review draft. The committee is aiming to have the community review draft ready for translations mid-week (September 3) to prepare for the community review period on Meta (September 7-October 6). During this period, the committee will analyze and discuss the community's comments and ideas to be implemented and reworked into the UCoC for submission to the Board of Trustees.

Session 6 - August 26[edit]

The UCoC drafting committee was able to accomplish the final rough draft for the Wikimedia community to review.

The drafting committee went through each section of the UCoC that had been written up and each member of the committee signed off on the finished sections to solidify the final draft. Facilitators helped take notes and edit for the committee in the doc for UCoC committee members could focus on dialogue and contribute to live edits if they wished to participate in the note taking process.

The committee focused on making sure language in English was easily understood and translatable to other languages while contemplating wording/language that could be considered negative or translated to other meanings in other languages that could be misleading. Draft members signed off on the corrections and changes to the final draft before community review and will be translated into 27 languages for the Wikimedia community.

Session 7 - September 9[edit]

This week was the UCoC committee’s first review session after the posting of the draft UCoC for review. The committee spent an hour discussing feedback so far, how the group would spend their time in upcoming meetings to best approach the feedback about the UCoC, and how they can review and implement requested revisions. They are very interested in understanding the needs of communities across languages, and we are committed to figuring out how to share out feedback on major issues iteratively as the process continues. Committee members gave opinions on how to best collate and summarize the review comments as they come in. Staff will provide a “digest” of active discussion topics and requests that are recurring across different language discussions, as well as a spreadsheet tracking all comments submitted. We will provide a document of the original draft language with highlighting indicating all areas in the text that have been specifically called out for attention.

Plans were made for the next week’s meeting, where the resources mentioned above will help the committee start agreeing upon specific edits to be made. A change log, similar to the one used by Movement strategy drafting processes, will be published when the committee has finished deliberations.

The topics of a spokesperson role was discussed, and will be continued on the Committee mailing list. Drafting members suggested that video chat meetings in specific languages could be a potential beneficial opportunity for the drafting committee to allow other non-English speakers from the Wikimedia community to get their comments recorded. Grammatical changes and content comprehension can be made easier if such conversations are held in other languages. While we have limited translator access, the Trust & Safety team is interested in hearing if there are other ideas to support multilingual outreach.

Session 8 - September 16[edit]

Short meeting, but a few updates. The Committee went over the first digest of summarized requested changes, and agreed on a division of labour to address potential changes for each section. The Committee also agreed to lengthen future meetings, so that more revisions could be approved in real-time, and discussions on difficult items can have more space. The committee is preparing a group statement outlining the revision work they are taking on based on the responses received so far. Look for this soon.

Session 9 - September 23[edit]

The focus of this meeting was identifying revisions that needed to be made. Based on community feedback, the committee went through sections in teams of two committee members to identify simple “copy-edit” changes that were straightforward, or more complex items that needed committee discussion.

Facilitators and staff members took notes of the discussion that took place within each section on what needed to be finalized to move forward. Plans were made to complete review of suggested changes in the next week, and start preparing a set of final edits. A letter to the community was also drafted by a committee member to announce that feedback and commentary from the community was well received and taken into consideration - this will be published Monday, Sept. 28, and detail the focus areas for revisions.