User talk:Mdennis (WMF)

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Community discussion on harassment reporting[edit]

There are many current proposals as part of the 2015 Inspire Campaign related to harassment management. I’ve created a page, Grants:IdeaLab/Community discussion on harassment reporting meant to serve as a central space where the various stakeholders in these proposals and other community members can discuss which methods might serve our community best so that we can unify our ideas into collective action. I encourage you to join the conversation and contribute your ideas! OR drohowa (talk) 02:22, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, OR drohowa. :) I look forward to reading through it and hopefully participating! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 15:32, 24 April 2015 (UTC)


Hi Maggie, have a look at this. As he claimed he received a "copy of a letter sent by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to Wikimedia legal", hope you can look into it. as it is related to ticket:2015010210007101, you may merge it too. As I'm no more in OTRS; so some other like you or Natuur12 need to handle it. Have a nice day. Jee 06:10, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Hello, Jee. :) Always nice to see you. I am looking into it and have just written to legal. I can't process it as a volunteer once I'm involved as staff, but if I can get the materials to the right queue I imagine we can find somebody to evaluate it. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 11:48, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Hello Maggie, the Caltrans correspondence was sent to Jacob Rogers, he did write back stating that Wikimedia does not become involved with Wiki Commons issues. Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) is a California state agency and I could find not formal address or permanent individuals for Wiki Commons. I had the same problem when Congressman Juan Vargas' office was willing to confirm my identity but required a formal request coming directly from Wiki Commons. The Caltrans letter should be in San Francisco addressed to Mr. Jacob Rogers, legal counsel . I apologize for all this confusion Rnieders (talk) 14:05, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the additional information, Rnieders. It's still early in San Francisco, but I am happy to try to make sure the content winds up where it is most useful. :) I am sorry that you ran into this issue. I know it is sometimes difficult to figure out which address to write to. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:12, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Jee, Rnieders, I have forwarded the attachment to OTRS for processing. :) Jee, do you want to reach out more directly to Natuur12, or would you like me to ask somebody to look at it on the mailing list? --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 15:54, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Maggie. Natuur12 will handle it as he already processed some of Rnieders's files. Thanks for the quick response. Have a nice day. Hope evening there. :) Jee 02:20, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Maggie. Those remaining files seem restored by Natuur12. Have a nice Sunday! Jee 01:16, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Maggie for finding the Caltrans letter and forwarding it, Wikipedia is making a difference, again, thank you and all the best Rnieders (talk) 17:46, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

IHello Maggie, trying to avoid any problem I Commons help desk and asked about uploading a City of San Diego image. The reply was that California is a "unique" case and referred me to Template:PD-CAGov which states "This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the State of California that was in any way "involved in the governmental process" and "prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency" or officer. That work is available pursuant to court interpretation of the Sunshine Amendment of the Constitution of California, and/or the California Public Records Act (CPRA), which contained no relevant provision(s) for copyright." . I uploaded the image used by San Diego during the San Diego-Mexico airport negotiations in 1991 using the CA template and it was promptly selected for deletion. It is on Natuur12 talk page but attached is the reason by Ellin Beltz. The image was created for the City of San Diego and was used for the TwinPorts negotiations, it is not the personal property of a private individual. Ron Roberts was the main proponent, at the time he was a City Councilman and I do not understand Beltz's comment to me that "this is a case of project promotion gone wild" her entire reply was "I would again point out that Rnieders doesn't seem to understand the concept of copyright here; as "who distributed the... rendering" is not the same as "who created it". The PD-CAGov template would not be correct; these materials were made by private people not an employee of the state of California. A county supervisor is not actually an "employee" of the state, but an elected official. On the uploaded image he's listed as a City Councilman. Neither role is an "employee." I think this is a case of personal project promotion gone wild; Rneiders if you didn't create the actual images and/or if you don't have a COM:OTRS from whoever actually did, the image has no place on Commons. Fishing around various administrators isn't going to change the base message, please read and assimilate COM:L. Ellin Beltz (talk) 18:20, 9 August 2015 (UTC)" Jeevan Jose has asked another Administrator for clarification, I am on the road and will not be back in San Diego until the 15th but there are quite a few newspaper references to Ron Roberts and the City of San Diego TwinPorts project in 1991-3, I was directly involved in having this image delivered to President Salinas and initiating the Mexico-San Diego negotiations, I asked for help before doing anything, personal attacks are not necessary, thank you, Rnieders (talk) 16:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Rnieders, I'm sorry that you are encountering difficulties. I'm afraid, though, that there is really nothing I can do in this case. While I was able to pass along the correspondence referenced above for the volunteers to consider, I am not permitted in situations where I am or have acted as an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation to take part in assessing content for appropriateness on our sites, including copyright status. The WMF is an online service provider; it does not create or curate the content of Commons or the other sites we host. Instead, this work is done entirely by volunteers. I believe the best advice I can give you is to explain at the deletion nomination why you believe the tag applies so that the Commons community can consider the case. For what it's worth, I believe there are many, many people on Commons who are highly educated in copyright law, and I trust their collective judgment in such matters. Errors certainly can happy and undoubtedly will, but it generally will not be for lack of thoughtful evaluation. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:44, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for responding and I understand your position. RespectfullyRnieders (talk) 00:59, 11 August 2015 (UTC)

User talk:LilaTretikov (WMF)#2015 Strategy/Community consultation[edit]

Maggie, if you know for a fact that there is a contractual obligation on someone to produce this report by a specific date known to you, then please do share that information with the community. Otherwise, speculation about the status of a contract and/or contractor is out of place in the discussion, and runs the risk of confusing the reader, and wasting Lila's time, to no purpose. If you feel it is important that I demonstrate understanding of some point about this contract to your satisfaction, please open a discussion on my talk page, not Lila's, and please do not be surprised if I am reluctant to pursue it. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:13, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Rogol Domedonfors. :) I'm sorry if my comments have been unwelcome; it wasn't my intention. You had been speculating about the status of her role as potentially unpaid, and I was simply attempting to point out that her status may be different than that. My follow-up was nothing more than an effort to answer your concern about why I believed it added anything to the discussion, not an effort to elicit anything from you. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:42, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
I have not been "speculating about the status of her role" and I will thank you not to repeat that. We in the community have been given certain information about the arrangements for the delivery of that report, information that has changed from time to time. I have been attempting to demonstrate to your ED that, on the basis of the information we have been given, it is reasonable to assess the probability of its being delivered under those arrangements as being less than certain. The position remains, whatever the precise contractual details, that no current member of WMF staff is working on that report, that no current member of staff has a clear and firm date for its delivery, and that no current member of staff is accountable to the ED or to the community for that delivery. That deeply unsatisfactory situation was not made clear in public until your posting of 21:05 on the 16th, which revealed that the person in question was not, as I had been led to believe, a current consultant or staff member, but that her contract had expired without delivery. This is not speculation on my part, it is simply reporting the information I have been given, information which has been released only slowly and with considerable reluctance. From 19:52 on 22 June to 21:05 on the 16th August, the information available was that was a named member of staff currently responsible for delivery. It appears that this is not now true, and that is what I care about. You may well have better, or at least, different information about this situation which leads you to a different assessment of the probabilities, which is all well and good, but does not lead me to make any qualitative change in my estimate, namely, that it is less than certain, and hence is not relevant to the issue under discussion at Lila's talk page, which is, whether as ED she should tolerate the current situation, which I believe to be unacceptable, or alternatively take action to assign clear responsibility to a named member of staff to deliver that report by a specified date. It is clear that this latter is not the position the WMF is in at the moment, if the information we have been given is even approximately correct. I do not want information or speculation about staff or contractors -- I do not want further speculation or guesswork about dates -- I do not want vague assurances that the report will appear at some unspecified time in the future -- I do not want elaborate explanations of the difficulties of producing reports in an enterprise with 270 paid staff -- I do not want hands to be wrung or heads to roll -- what I want is the report. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:53, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
I meant no offense, to be sure. I took your identifying her as someone who would "continue to work unpaid on an important deliverable" as speculation about her role, but obviously you mean it differently than I understood it. My note was meant as nothing more than acknowledging that the work may not be unpaid. It may be a term of her contract. In any event, I hope you shall soon have the report soon. I am waiting to hear further from her about it. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 21:13, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for that. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:20, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

A new sheriff in town[edit]

Your new sheriff's badge

Congrats. --Pine 07:37, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Thank you, PIne. :) It's a bittersweet transition, because I'm really going to miss Philippe! He has promised me he won't just disappear. :/ --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:24, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Administrative subdivision[edit]

Hi Maggie, it seems that James now has his own administrative subdivision for Trust and Safety. With that done, does leave headroom in CA capacity to take on new responsibilities, like improving WMF communications and transparency with the community in broad terms (an ax that I am currently grinding)? Thanks, --Pine 08:36, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Pine. :) The answer is kind of yes and no - that is, we're working on communication and transparency, but not because of additional capacity. We still have the same workload in CA; we've just distributed management of tasks that our entire team share. This is not to say we don't have specialties. We do and always have. James and his task team (currently, Kalli) specialize in trust & safety, but everyone on CA still works on emergencies, still works on abuse investigations, and James and his team are still working on projects that are not trust & safety, narrowly defined. (Broadly defined, much of what we do has a t&s component.) In the long term, we've created a system that we hope may eventually allow for complete specialization. Right now, we are of necessity still very intertwined.
That said, one of CA's projects this quarter is to find a way to take our existing role of correspondence management (most directly comparative, Answers) and create, experimentally, a component of that on Meta for people who prefer to ask questions that way. (Experimentally because it might not be the final approach to this problem; it would be a trial to see how it works.) There are a lot of challenges to doing communication right. I imagine most people who have worked in any kind of corporate culture know the bane of meetings. Talking can get in the way of doing. We need to figure out how to be available to engage and open to engagement and yet still productive in other critical tasks. Hopefully, we'll get that right. :) I expect it will take some tweaking, but we'll be working on it, and more should be emerging on that within the next few weeks, although we are also going to be heavily focused as a team on the Harassment consultation 2015, which has been kind of a huge focus of ours since around June. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 11:54, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  • OK. That harassment issue is getting a lot of attention inside and outside of the community and I'm glad that it's getting some systematic attention from WMF. By the way, did you see Danielle Citron's presentation at WikiConference USA?
  • I'm sure that the communications muddle is going to take some work so sort out, and some sustained attention. As you know, WMF-community communications have been a mix of good and not-so-good for years. I might mention this issue to Boryana because this issue can be approached from an organizational culture angle and I think she might be able to help with that.
  • Yes, I'm very familiar with having lots of meetings that seem to consume lots of time while producing mediocre value. I think that every organization has this issue, at least from time to time, and of course departments vary in how they conduct their meetings. I'm wondering if Team Practices could help with enhancing the productivity of meetings in general. Thoughts? --Pine 20:24, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Re, Citron, oh, yes! I thought it was really very good, and I'm very proud to say that CA helped make that happen. :) In terms of meetings, I'm generalizing to communication in general - just as meetings within the organization need to be effective, we need to find efficient ways to communicate between the WMF and community so that time isn't wasted on either side. The shotgun approach we have right now creates a lot of waste, I know, as people reach out through multiple avenues to get the same information. This means ten different people may ask the same basic questions at ten different locations, and if they're lucky some of them might find a response. Waste for them; waste for the staff who stop working on other things to try to get them information that somebody else could or should be conveying. We need to find some way to make it front and center, so that the people who want information know where to go to get it, at a staffed location. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 20:33, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I like how you think. (: --Pine 23:35, 30 October 2015 (UTC)