Universal Code of Conduct/Revised enforcement guidelines/Voter information

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Universal Code of Conduct

A vote to ratify the Revised Enforcement Guidelines for the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) was held from 17 January 2023 until 31 January 2023 23:59:59 (UTC) via SecurePoll. All eligible voters within the Wikimedia Community had an opportunity to support or oppose the adoption of the Enforcement Guidelines, and share why. Ratification of the enforcement guidelines is necessary to establish enforcement pathways and processes for the UCoC. Find more details on voting instructions, including voter eligibility, below.

Also see Voting FAQs for information on casting a vote.


Call for Voter outreach volunteers

Do you want to help improve voter numbers in your community? You do not need to have experience in elections or polling. Volunteers can help inform their communities about the ratification vote. Volunteers from all Wikimedia Projects are welcome! Help ensure that your community's voice and interests are included in the ratification vote (17 - 31 January 2023) by getting your community involved! You can do this by signing up on Meta-wiki to receive updates, using the talk page for questions about translation, or you can contact us at ucocproject@wikimedia.org


Voting process

If you are eligible to vote:

  1. Review the revised enforcement guidelines for the Universal Code of Conduct policy.
  2. Decide whether to support or oppose the adoption of the Enforcement Guidelines. If opposing the guidelines, write down recommended changes to Guidelines 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?

In mid-January, the Enforcement Guidelines (EGs) for the Universal Code of Conduct will undergo a second community-wide ratification vote. This follows the March 2022 vote, which provided a majority support result, but highlighted important community concerns that the Board’s Community Affairs Committee (CAC) requested revising. The Revisions Committee reviewed the community input and made changes. Areas of concern, such as balancing privacy and transparency, as well as training and affirmation requirements, have been updated.

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees supports a community vote on the UCoC enforcement guidelines proposal following the Board’s own ratification of the UCoC. Trustees also recognize the support of such a vote expressed by the joint letter of Arbitration Committees and a survey of volunteer functionaries, affiliate members, and the drafting committee.

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

Universal Code of Conduct Enforcement Guidelines

These guidelines are for the enforcement of the Universal Code of Conduct. The core of the UCoC was previously ratified by the Board of Trustees after consultation with the community, without an explicit poll among the community. It includes preventative, detective, and investigative actions, and other actions taken to address violations of the Universal Code of Conduct. Enforcement would primarily be handled by, but not limited to, designated functionaries across all online and offline Wikimedia projects, events, and related spaces hosted on third-party platforms. It would be done in an organized, timely fashion and consistently across the entire Wikimedia movement.

The revised UCoC Enforcement Guidelines consists of two parts:

  • Preventive work
    • Promoting UCoC awareness, recommending UCoC training, among others.
  • Responsive work
    • Detailing a process for filing, processing reported violations, providing resources for reported violations, designating enforcement actions for violations, etc.

Why should you vote?

Ratification of the enforcement guidelines is necessary to finalize enforcement pathways, processes and actions for the UCoC. The vote on the Enforcement Guidelines is designed to evaluate the community’s support for the UCoC and gather feedback if voters have reservations about the present proposals. Either way, it is important to make your voice heard through your vote and if voting "no", it is important to articulate which part(s) of the guidelines you have concerns about, and why.

Most importantly, voting will:

  • Ensure that your Wikimedia project’s views are represented in the global vote.

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. Please choose "no" or "yes". Votes with neither "no" nor "yes" selected will not be included in the final count.
  • 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 Board of Trustees ratification. 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.

Votes will be scrutinized by an independent group of volunteers, and the results will be published. As with the first vote, voters will be able to both vote and share concerns they have about the guidelines. The Board of Trustees will look at levels of support and concerns raised as they look at how the Enforcement Guidelines should be ratified or developed further.

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 volunteer Wikimedians with experience in movement voting and verification processes. Vote scrutineers are:

Voting eligibility

General rule

You must not be blocked in more than one project to qualify to vote.

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 3 January 2023 across Wikimedia wikis;
  • and have made at least 20 edits between 3 July 2022 and 3 January 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 3 July 2022 and 3 January 2023.

Additional criteria

  • or have made at least one merged commit to any repo in nonwmf-extensions or nonwmf-skins between 3 July 2022 and 3 January 2023.
  • or have made at least one merged commit to any Wikimedia tool repo (for example magnustools) between 3 July 2022 and 3 January 2023;
  • or have made at least 300 edits before 3 January 2023, and have made at least 20 edits between 3 July 2022 and 3 January 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 i.e. on or before 27 January 2023. If you meet the criteria, we will add you to a manual list, to be able to vote.

Wikimedia Foundation staff and contractors

Current Wikimedia Foundation staff members and contractors qualify to vote if they have been employed by the Foundation as of 3 January 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 3 January 2023.

Members of formal bodies as defined in the bylaws of the current Wikimedia Chapters, thematic organizations or user groups qualify to vote if they have been serving in those functions as of 3 January 2023.

Wikimedia Foundation board members and advisory board members

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

Wikimedia Movement Committee members

Current members of the Wikimedia Movement Committees qualify to vote if they have been serving in those functions as of 3 January 2023.

Wikimedia Movement community organizers

Community organizers in good standing, who do not qualify to vote under other categories, qualify to vote if they meet one of the following:

  • have applied for, received and reported on at least one Wikimedia Foundation grant since 1 September 2021.
  • were an organizer of at least one funded hackathon, competition or other Wikimedia event with on-wiki documentation and at least 10 attendees/visitors/participants between 3 January 2022 and 3 January 2023.

Additional 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 i.e. on or before 27 January 2023. If you meet the criteria, we will manually add you to the list of voters.

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?
    The Wikimedia Foundation Board set the eligibility requirements prior to the start of the election. 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."
    Solutions

    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, Wikimedia Movement committee member, an eligible grantee, or Advisory Board member, you may not have a specific username and will need to be manually added to the voter list. You should contact ucocproject@wikimedia.org to be added to the list. A response should be sent within 72 hours to add you 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 the Elections Committee at 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 who I voted for?
    No, the election is secure. The election uses SecurePoll software. Votes are secret. No one from the Elections Committee, 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. Please try to vote again at m:Special:SecurePoll/vote/394.

    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 Code of Conduct enforcement guidelines 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.