User:Rschen7754/WMF2015

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Other guides: User:MF-Warburg/Board election 2015, User:Theo10011/VoterGuide2015

useful links: Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2015/Candidates


Who am I and what am I looking for?[edit]

I have been a Wikimedian for over 10 years. I am currently an administrator on the English Wikipedia and Wikidata; I have also served as one on the English Wikivoyage and Meta. From March 2014 to March 2015, I was also a steward, but decided not to continue at the end of my term due to increased commitments outside Wikimedia, as well as significant fundamental disagreements with other stewards. I have written election guides for the English Wikipedia ArbCom elections for 8 years (see the guides linked off the 2014 one). This is my second WMF election guide; the first was here.

I'll be upfront on this - I have zero experience with involvement with chapters, thematic organizations, outreach, GLAM, or any of that stuff. My expertise is in content creation and in administrator and functionary roles (CU/OS/steward). So, then why do I bother with writing a guide like this?

Because I believe that the best board members and FDC members are good editors and members of the Wikimedia community, first and foremost. I believe that it is so easy to get caught up in all of the "other stuff" that it becomes the main show, rather than the sideshow vehicle that it is to get people to contribute. And with the experience that I have, I think that I can give a well-informed opinion as to how these editors function in their communities. With that being said, I encourage you to do your own research, as my opinions are of course just that.

My standards:

  • What is their editing record? Userrights? Blocks? Positions in discussions?
  • Why are they running?
  • Chapter/outreach experience?
  • Questions:
    • 2 (WMF role in disputes) - well, I wrote that one
    • 3 (Use of Superprotect and respect for community consensus) - a significant misstep for last year's board and for WMF in my opinion
    • 5 (Board composition) - not sure I fully back this, but the answers could be interesting
    • 8 (Child protection) - though WMF has started getting better at this, still important
    • 9 (Flow) - should provide interesting answers
    • 10 (ToU) - ditto
    • 11 (OC) - ditto answers not that interesting after all
    • 17 (Retaining current volunteers versus recruiting new ones) - a bit provocative, but ok

I usually review all answers to the chosen questions in my guides for all candidates, even those not doing so well. However, late on Friday night (less than 24 hours before the start of voting) I made the decision to not review the answers to the questions for candidates who were obviously unsuitable due to a low edit count and a poor statement, for the sake of time. It's not a choice I liked making as I like to give all candidates their due, but it was either that or finish the guide late. I may make a second cut halfway through reviewing the questions as well.

WMF Board[edit]

21 candidates for 3 seats!? ... yikes.

Houcemeddine Turki (Csisc)
  • The statement seems to show confusion about what the Board does.
    • "If elected, I will try to ameliorate Wikimedia Projects:" !
    • "Promoting the inactive and Endangered Wiki Projects by monitoring their administrators" - a steward role, but barely.
    • "Promoting the TranslateWiki System and letting it more performant" [sic] - that's a technical thing.
    • "Promoting the Wikipedia policies through the creation of brief, precise, simplified and more intelligible tutorials." anyone can do that without being on Board
    • "Promoting the inactive projects in Wikis through monitoring" -> SWMT
    • etc, etc.
  • No chapter or outreach involvement.
  • 2,322 edits, way too low. Not an admin.
  • Oppose Oppose per my statement above; as I don't expect the answers to the questions to be any better, I will not be reviewing them.
Sailesh Patnaik (Saileshpat)
  • And we see some similar confusion in the statement too.
    • "I will try to promote Wikimedia Projects/Ideology by" ... "Collaboration of interwiki projects among various language Wikipedias." 1) What happened to projects that aren't Wikipedia? 2) Isn't that what Wikidata is doing?
    • "Making inactive Wikipedia's live by taking lead and monitoring the volunteers." I don't understand how being on the Board would solve this.
  • Involved in QRpedia, whatever that is. Claims to be active in "outreach", whatever that is.
  • 2,859 edits, way too low. Not an admin.
  • Oppose Oppose per my statement above; as I don't expect the answers to the questions to be any better, I will not be reviewing them.
Dariusz Jemielniak (pundit)
  • Running on a "reshaping" platform to shift the vision of WMF, and experience and diversity.
  • Served on the FDC; also mentions some professional experience with grants and advisory boards.
  • Admin/crat/CU on Polish Wikipedia; steward. Since I was a steward at the same time as him, I can add a few comments about that: I always found his comments insightful on the mailing list, but onwiki his activity was very light, getting several opposes for that at the steward confirmations.
  • Question 2 (disputes) - (relegating WMF part to the WMF questions) - I'm not sure that it is a good fit for stewards to be empowered to handle such disputes. But I also don't really agree with leaving WMF staff out of it. I'm not sure what that means here.
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - good answer
  • Question 5 (composition) - reasonable
  • Question 8 (child protection) - okay
  • Question 9 (Flow) - okay
  • Question 10 (ToU) - supports WMF action
  • Question 17 (Editors) - okay
  • Support Support a bit weakly - the lack of activity concerns me, but I think Board would be an okay match, and having (granted, only some) steward experience is a plus.
Mohamed Ouda (Mohamed Ouda)
  • A bit vague on the goals, but somewhat on the right track. "by experimenting with far reaching changes to software, permissions and community processes" sounds a bit worrisome though.
  • Wikimedia Egypt usergroup
  • Admin/crat on Arabic Wikipedia, and global renamer.
  • Question 2 (disputes) - no answer
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - no answer
  • Question 5 (composition) - no answer, will stop checking for answers
  • Oppose Oppose a bit low on experience, but combined with not answering the questions, leads to an oppose.
Josh Lim (Sky Harbor)
  • Running on diversity platform, and needing to change direction of WMF
  • Board of Wikimedia Philippines, member of Affiliations Committee
  • Admin on English Wikipedia, Tagalog Wikipedia (also crat) / Wiktionary
  • Question 2 (disputes) - interesting idea, but I've not heard of problems from three of those four Wikipedias. Though "I think at this point, we seriously need to have a discussion on what our values as a movement really are and in the process renegotiate the social contract that binds us together." is probably something that should be considered.
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - answer strikes me as a tad political, but I agree with large parts of it
  • Question 5 (composition) - "remember, affiliates are part of the community too" - not exactly, those seats usually go to people more involved with chapter stuff than the day-to-day editing work onwiki.
  • Question 8 (child protection) "At this point I believe we should empower stewards to directly handle child protection cases across all projects" NO NO NO (speaking as a former steward). This is a job for WMF, not for volunteers.
  • Question 9 (Flow) - okay
  • Question 10 (ToU) - "I think the Foundation should help local communities in deterring long-term abuse and vandalism before it happens, rather than merely countering individual instances." This seems too idealistic to be practical.
  • Question 17 (Editors) - fairly good
  • Oppose Oppose Good global exposure, but the answers to some of the questions are concerning.
David Conway (Smerus)
  • Running on a mostly outside experience platform, and content-based.
  • Mostly a content editor on English Wikipedia.
  • Question 2 (disputes) - well, the problem is that on some wikis, the ArbCom has been a source of dispute and abolished by the community.
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - doesn't seem to understand the gravity of the issue
  • Question 5 (composition) - "I will tell you when I get there!" ...
  • Question 8 (child protection) - "Not sure I entirely understand where this query is coming from." ! and it gets worse from there.
  • Question 9 (Flow) - not sure. Given the low quality of answers I will go ahead and oppose; while we need more content editors on Board, they should also be familiar with what is going on in greater Wikimedia.
  • Oppose Oppose per above.
Francis Kaswahili Kaguna (Francis Kaswahili)
  • He ran in 2013, and my opinion was not positive.
  • "I am optimistic that the link between the world and Africa need a someone and that someone is Francis Kaswahili Kaguna" ... okay then
  • "I will encourage all users of the Wikimedia community to organize Concerts so people can meet together to discuss how to have a sustainable Wikimedia community." !
  • Main involvement in Wikimedia is the failed Wikimania 2014 in Arusha, Tanzania bid. Talk:Wikimania_2014_bids/Arusha#Is_this_for_real.3F sums up the issues pretty well.
  • 4,840 edits (too low), most of edits are on Meta (!) which is not a content wiki. Many of the remaining edits are on wikimania201*.wikimedia.org wikis. Besides being disqualified during the last elections for a lengthy block on Commons [1] related to uploading copyvios.
  • Oppose Oppose per my statement above; as I don't expect the answers to the questions to be any better, I will not be reviewing them.
Cristian Consonni (CristianCantoro)
  • Running on a platform of collaboration
  • Board of Wikimedia Italia, FDC
  • 7,267 edits (a bit low), not an admin anywhere
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "I think that this problem should be addressed first and foremost at a community level"... perhaps, but there is a reason why these disputes haven't been solved
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - okay
  • Question 5 (composition) - "I think introducing quotas should be discussed." Yikes. The best candidates should be elected, regardless of [insert factor here].
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - okay
  • Question 10 (ToU) - no response
  • Question 17 (Editors) - very short
  • Neutral Neutral - A lack of editing experience, and lukewarm answers to the questions. With 21 candidates, I have to be fairly selective.
Peter Gallert (Pgallert)
  • Running to work on the gap between WMF and the community
  • Mostly academic connections to Wikipedia outreach
  • 14,551 edits, mostly on enwiki, not an admin, but did run in w:WP:ACE2012
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "The Foundation is not supposed to assume the Governor role but it could certainly aide and support any promising process in this regard." - good
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - okay
  • Question 5 (composition) - was okay, until "If it is really the case that the editing community does not feature specialists in accounting or law I would open up the Board elections to non-editors rather than having almost half of the Board appointed." ...!
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - somewhat reasonable
  • Question 10 (ToU) - "From gut feeling I would say criminal action yes, civil action no." which would exclude paid editing
  • Question 17 (Editors) - good
  • Neutral Neutral A bit concerned about not being an administrator anywhere, combined with some lacking answers in the questions.
María Sefidari (Raystorm)
  • Incumbent (July 2013-present)
  • Wikimedia Espana, Affiliations Committee, Individual Engagement Grants
  • Wants to increase community participation
  • 22,972 edits, admin on Spanish Wikipedia
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "I think taskforces created to deal with specific issues would be better." I have thought about this, but not as a long-term solution - a lot of overhead, and not enough screening of volunteers.
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - "Board members represent the WMF when they join the Board, this should not be a surprising statement." It is.
  • Question 5 (composition) - fairly open-minded, good
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - okay
  • Question 10 (ToU) - "I think there are cases where it is justifiable that the WMF takes an active role defending the projects and their users." The rest of the answer is not that enthusiastic, but okay.
  • Question 17 (Editors) - no answer
  • Neutral Neutral leaning support - viewpoints mostly reasonable, however, the answer to the superprotect question leaves me with some doubts.
Phoebe Ayers (phoebe)
  • Incumbent (July 2010-2012 in the Chapter slot, July 2013-present)
  • Mostly involved in outreach to academia
  • 27,047 edits; mostly enwiki but some on Wikidata. Only admin on outreach.
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "The WMF Board’s role should not be to get involved directly in such disputes. But we can approve such a group, and help mandate it to act, and approve global policies in its aid." - good
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - "To be clear, this specific case is not a Board matter" yikes.
  • Question 5 (composition) - good to add community-elected seats
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - okay
  • Question 10 (ToU) - "I think we must evolve more towards a culture that is simply not tolerant of uncivil and trolling behavior, *whether or not* they contribute in other ways." Yes.
  • Question 17 (Editors) - a bit harsh IMHO
  • Support Support weakly - I suspect that many will oppose based on the superprotect issue, and I respect their opinion; however, I feel that there are still some good ideas she has that could be valuable moving forward.
Denny Vrandečić (Denny)
  • Running on a technical background
  • Worked on Semantic MediaWiki and as the head of the Wikidata team, now works with Freebase
  • 24,000+ edits
  • Was an admin on Wikidata (elected by community), but was desysopped for inactivity.
  • Is a crat on Croatian Wikipedia. My overall impression is that he is not very involved in the current controversies, having been mostly focusing on Wikidata. Indeed, last 1000 edits go back into... 2004! (hm, maybe that is concerning)
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "I am wary of yet another global WMF body. But it seems that something akin to a Global Arbitration Committee is required." - okay, I guess
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - "Implementing superprotect in order to forcibly prevent a community from acting on their consensus was a mistake. Still not having rules on how Superprotect can be used is another mistake. We can and should remedy the latter." and further comments, besides their work on Wikidata, are a good sign.
  • Question 5 (composition) - okay, I guess
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - okay
  • Question 10 (ToU) - "Harassment, death threats, stalking -- these are serious allegations. The Wikimedia Foundation should, in my opinion, treat these no other than lawsuits against our contributors, and should offer support to the victims." Yes. But "Also it should be clear that these cases are rare" unfortunately, they are not rare.
  • Question 17 (Editors) - "There are much more disruptive changes being rolled out - the finalization of SUL, the move of language links to Wikidata - but which were welcome by the established editors." - a point that is often missed
  • Support Support From what I know, and the answers to the questions, I feel comfortable supporting.
Ali Haidar Khan (Tonmoy) (Ali Haidar Khan)
  • Running on developing countries platform
  • Wikimedia Bangladesh board, FDC Advisory group, FDC itself
  • 4,136 edits (low)
  • On home wiki Bangalese Wikipedia, only 2,395 edits
  • Only an admin/crat on bd.wikimedia.org (usually by virtue of being a Board member)
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "we should create a Global Wikimedia Forum where there will be representatives from all Wiki-communities, user groups, chapters, thematic organizations, WMF staff and WMF Board" - why the chapters etc?
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - a less elaborate answer compared to some of the others
  • Question 5 (composition) - okay answer
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - fairly good
  • Question 10 (ToU) - okay
  • Question 17 (Editors) - okay
  • Neutral Neutral concerns about lack of editing experience, and about average answers to questions
Nisar Ahmed Syed (అహ్మద్ నిసార్)
  • Running to support Indic languages
  • Urdu Wikipedia user group
  • Admin on Telugu and Urdu Wikipedias, 21,000+ edits globally
  • Question 2 (disputes) - a less elaborate answer compared to some of the others
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - huh?
  • Question 5 (composition) - nonsensical
  • Question 8 (child protection) - "I suggest to discuss these issues with the social psychologists and the legal experts. The laws vary from country to country. The native communities should be enlightened about the law by the local chapters and WMF." nope
  • Question 9 (Flow) - nonsensical, will stop reading answers
  • Oppose Oppose per above.
James Heilman (Doc James)
  • Running on community - WMF platform
  • Wikimedia Med Foundation, Wikivoyage involvement
  • Admin on enwiki and enwikivoyage, 136000 edits
  • Question 2 (disputes) - not sure about this answer
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - yes
  • Question 5 (composition) - supportive of more community seats
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - good answer
  • Question 10 (ToU) - good answer
  • Question 17 (Editors) - "We have no idea how to effectively attract new long term editors." probably true
  • Neutral Neutral I'm not sure about this one. On one hand, when I was more active on enwikivoyage, he was a good admin to work with; I also think his views are reasonable. On the other, in 2013 there were concerns raised on enwiki, some of them were invalid, but some were valid. [2] Now, that was two years ago, but I can't really tell if much has changed or not, so will have to go with neutral.
Tim Davenport (Carrite)
  • Running on content / issues with WMF platform
  • Wikipediocracy involvement
  • Almost 58,000 edits, most of them on enwiki. Not an admin anywhere, but ran a while back for temporary purposes (which failed) w:Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/Carrite
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "I suggest that WMF has the right to put abusive microencyclopedias into a sort of receivership" hmm.
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - okay
  • Question 5 (composition) - all community seats... not 100% sure about this
  • Question 8 (child protection) - good answer, however, I am unhappy at a candidate asking other candidates questions
  • Question 9 (Flow) - stop Flow completely (!)
  • Question 10 (ToU) - ban anonymous editing (might be controversial)
  • Question 17 (Editors) - a bit combative, but some valid points
  • Oppose Oppose Personally, I find myself in agreement with many of Carrite's points. However, I disagree with the way he is going about presenting them; I fear that he would be a divisive member of the Board if elected.
Samuel Klein (Sj)
  • Incumbent (August 2009-present)
  • Served as a steward, still is an admin on sw.wikipedia, Meta, and enwiki, 43000+ edits, other edits across many wikis
  • Question 2 (disputes) - good, except for the part where it gets combined with the OC... not so good
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - "I advised strongly against it, noting that it was unnecessary and out of touch with our wiki norms. But not everyone agreed, and this was an implementation detail, not up for line-item approval." - yes, but not so great at the end. "This led to the public letter from the Board, supported by a majority of trustees." dodging the issue of whether he supported it or not.
  • Question 5 (composition) - answer to the question was okay
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - good answer
  • Question 10 (ToU) - good answer
  • Question 17 (Editors) - okay
  • Support Support a bit weakly - Sj is still somewhat in touch with the community, which is more than can be said about others. Not that much of a fan of the lengthy tenure, though.
Syed Muzammiluddin (Hindustanilanguage)
  • A bit vague on goals
  • Blogging and Indian outreach
  • 47,600+ edits
  • Admin on ur.wikipedia, many edits on commons, hi.wikipedia, enwiki, meta
  • Question 2 (disputes) - vague answers
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - no answer
  • Question 5 (composition) - "I think reduction in numbers is not a good option." uh?
  • Question 8 (child protection) - "I don't think this is a serious issue, yet we need to ensure that we have adequate safeguards against even such a remote possibility." As most of the answers have been nonsensical or nonexistent, I will stop reading the answers.
  • Oppose Oppose per above.
Edward Saperia (EdSaperia)
  • Community tools, extended outreach
  • Wikimania London involvement
  • 1,815 edits and half of them are on wikimania2014 (also only adminship); of the rest, half of those are on Meta
  • Question 2 (disputes) - no answer
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - no answer
  • Question 5 (composition) - no answer, will stop looking
  • Oppose Oppose due to the almost complete lack of editing experience and not answering the questions.
Mike Nicolaije (Taketa)
  • Appreciation of volunteers
  • WM Netherlands, WM Belgium, some outreach
  • Wikimedia steward, admin/crat/former arbcom on nlwiki, admin on wikidata, lots of edits on enwiki, commons, others
  • Question 2 (disputes) - see above comments on ad-hoc committees
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - okay
  • Question 5 (composition) - okay
  • Question 8 (child protection) - okay, I guess
  • Question 9 (Flow) - community first, okay
  • Question 10 (ToU) - okay
  • Question 17 (Editors) - no response
  • Neutral Neutral It's not that I don't like Taketa; I encouraged him to run for stewardship a few months ago. I guess I'm a bit concerned about their having too many responsibilities onwiki, and so soon. But their answers were okay, if a little short, so if elected they would probably do okay.
Pete Forsyth (Peteforsyth)
  • Mostly running on reasons related to the Superprotect fiasco
  • Admin on enwiki and meta, lots of edits on commons, enwikisource
  • Question 2 (disputes) - "These are primarily concerns for the editor community to deal with; the Board of Trustees should concern itself with fostering an environment which, over time, helps subsets of volunteers (language communities, administrators, etc.) gain insight into what is happening elsewhere (both problematic activities, and the impacts of various efforts to resolve problems)." I guess... "This is the kind of thing that will help Wikimedia truly evolve into something that could be called a community" is better.
  • Question 3 (superprotect) - I suppose with the action of writing the letter there's not much need to elaborate
  • Question 5 (composition) - noncommittal answer
  • Question 8 (child protection) - handled by WMF
  • Question 9 (Flow) - "Improving a community's ability to communicate can have great benefits; but disrupting a community's ability to communicate can be catastrophic." - good
  • Question 10 (ToU) - okay answer
  • Question 17 (Editors) - okay
  • Neutral Neutral leaning support. I like their stance on Superprotect. However, I feel that this is the extent of their candidacy and wonder how they would handle other matters.

FDC[edit]

FDC Ombudsperson[edit]