User talk:Phoebe

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I do answer emails, more or less promptly; or you can leave me a message.

Talk archives
  • 2006-2012 -- in which I do various meta-projects, write the LSS, help run a bunch of Wikimanias, and spend two years on the Board

Usurp request at the Dutch Wikipedia[edit]

Dear Phoebe, just in case you've missed it, I've responded to your request at the Dutch Wikipedia. Please let me know if you have any questions. Kind regards, Mathonius (talk) 18:13, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Thanks! Yes, I do wish to usurp phoebe@nl.wikipedia. -- phoebe | talk 21:10, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
    • Hello Phoebe, I've renamed the local account, so you should now be able to usurp the name at the Dutch Wikipedia. Mathonius (talk) 19:15, 18 March 2013 (UTC)


I am finally cleaning up my SUL accounts. :) -- phoebe | talk 21:10, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

You're welcome![edit]

Yeah I noticed that too when I clicked on the link, I didn't even realise we had a page about the Advisory Board on Meta! It seems like those meeting pages are the only ones on Meta, so I agree with the soft redirect. Where do you think we should move the meeting pages? Keep them here or maybe import them to Foundation wiki? Thehelpfulone 21:00, 23 April 2013 (UTC)

Improving quality[edit]

Thank you for that frank and intelligent answer. I too think the wording of that particular strategic goal was problematical for the reasons you gave, but the goal in general is of course intrinsic to our purpose here.

I think that the quality of our content depends to some extent on improving the basics like the visual editor. (Busy potential expert contributors just bounce off the site when they're confronted with wikicode.) So, building tools for new and experienced editors is essential to improving quality. And support for on-the-ground groups to do outreach is, possibly, important, depending on the nature of the outreach. (I am of the view that chapters are all but useless in the first world, and that the apparent need for them is a manifestation of the poor user interface and TLDR/labyrinthine and sometimes (in the case of Commons) impenetrable and incomplete instructions.) Yes, liaison is poor between the volunteer community and the Foundation. Witness this lalala I can't hear you you morons response to the community's very valid complaint about the Echo/Notifications implementation, and the current brouhaha over sudden desysopping of most volunteers at the Foundation website.

I see the Foundation backing off from community management roles, such as the North American education initiative, and that pleases me. But I do believe there is a role for the Foundation in the many "meta" functions (such as research and analytics, and many others) that are not being completely or well taken up by volunteers.

I was disappointed to discover no one was tasked with at least analysing the different efforts within the movement for the improvement of content quality, such as the GA and FA processes at en.WP, and at Wiki Project Med, or conducting research into the accuracy, completeness and readability of our content across categories. That kind of thing would be a far better use of donations than Wiki Loves Monuments-type initiatives.

Finally, the main function of board members in most US charities is fundraising. In our charity, that is pretty much taken care of by the staff. I would like this board to take on the task, personally through their own contacts, or publicly through the media, of persuading experts in every field to take responsibility for the Wikipedia articles in their field. Best of luck with this election. You have my vote. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 18:25, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, that's very kind. Interesting point about quality analysis. I've been involved in the larger research community too, and quality analysis seems like a good area for the WMF staff and outside academic researchers to work together.
And yes, the Board is expected to do a large amount of outreach. I think we all do it in our own ways. I certainly saw the board seat as a good way to do outreach to the library community (as it raised my own visibility to get speaking invitations etc.). The next time we write a board seat description I'd certainly support emphasizing outreach -- thanks for bringing this up. -- phoebe | talk 19:38, 12 May 2013 (UTC)


But the question is, is it an effective meant state?

Also, you will appreciate this: today I received a copy of 'Thomas Davies... a keepsake.". SJ talk  19:49, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

 :) it took me some googling, and then a few minutes to think "now where have I heard that name, and why do I want to call him Bernie"? But that is of course how he's referred to in library lore around here :) -- phoebe | talk 00:38, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
p.s. my favorite picture on that timeline is [1] - spectacular. -- phoebe | talk 00:38, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Candidate statement[edit]

Hi Phoebe - Please note that I have trimmed your candidate statement to 1200 characters, as specified by the published rules of the election. You may wish to confirm that it still appropriately conveys the points you wish to convey, or rewrite it if not. I left the trimmed part in the raw wikicode, so you should be able to see it in the edit mode. For the election committee, Philippe (WMF) (talk) 01:44, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Pardon? It was under 1200 -- not counting spaces, which is how we've counted it in the past. Can you clarify? -- phoebe | talk 02:58, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

The Signpost[edit]

Dear Phoebe,

I've emailed you on a Signpost matter.

Kind regards, Tony (talk) 01:59, 18 May 2013 (UTC)


Thanks Phoebe! Very glad to see you run too. :) Raystorm (talk) 09:38, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Olé! Congrats! :-D Raystorm (talk) 10:31, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

Important announcement: Election delayed by one week[edit]

The Election Committee regrets to advise that it is necessary to delay the start of voting in the WMF Elections 2013 for one week. This delay is being implemented for three reasons:

  • We have been unable to verify that the list of eligible voters is complete and that all voters meet the published criteria
  • We have been unable to verify that the SecurePoll setups for the election are properly functioning
  • The voter interfaces have not been translated and are not currently available in any language other than English, thus disadvantaging Wikimedians who do not read English.

The following changes are now made to the Election timeline:

  • 8-22 June 2013: elections
  • 23-25 June 2013: vote-checking
  • 25-28 June: publication of results.

For the Election Committee, Risker (talk) 20:53, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Wikimania - Advocacy Block[edit]

Hi, I am Dimi and presenting the [EU Policy] project in Hong Kong. You wrote a note that it would be nice to have advocacy block to talk about the issues. As the legal stream of the conference is rather scattered (Mathias Schindler's presentation on PD for government works (WMDE) isn't even part of that stream) and there is no unconference day on Monday, it might be possible to organise something during the two preconference days. If you're up for it I'd be willing to co-organise a meet-up on the topic of advocacy. Dimi z (talk)

Hi Dimi! I think it would be a good idea. I wish there was a track to organize unconference meetings throughout the conference... the preconference days are busy. I'm not sure I can help organize a meeting, but it seems like it would fit naturally with the chapter meetings. best, -- phoebe | talk 12:55, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Questions regarding elections[edit]


I have some questions regarding your candidate submission.

  1. Chapter financing. For the last years I hear from different chapters about the problems of financing their activities using WMF money. What do you thing about it? Did WMF done everything possible to solve this problem? What WMF should do in the future in the area of financing projects run by Chapters? What is the role of Chapters within Wikimedia movment? Do you think they still should be prefered upon other organisations like Amical (Catalunyan support group)?
  2. Sucess of projects. What do you think, about the succesfull projects? How doest it come that some projects seems not to be so much sucessful as Wikipedia? Was the help to the lest sucessfull projects sufficient? Should WMF close non succesfull projects? How should WMF handle with non sucessfull projects and which are they?

Regard and sorry for working. Hopefully you will got it,

--Juandev (talk) 09:43, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Hi Juan... there are many big questions here... I will have to think some about the answers. -- phoebe | talk 22:56, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
Congratulations! It will be good to see you back on the Board. SJ talk  00:50, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
you too, Mr. Klein, you too :) -- phoebe | talk 12:54, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Congratulations. We all win[edit]

Congratulations on the election, Phoebe. This is not just a win for you or me, it's a win for the entire Wikimedia movement. Having your help on the board will benefit everybody across the entire project.

Thanks very much for taking the time to answer my question. Of course I was hoping for some good anwsers, but I had no idea somebody could provide an answer that exceeded my expectations. You set the bar very high. There were some strong candidates and a lot of difficult questions—and you outshined everybody. Well done. I am so very pleased that we'll be having your support and I thank you kindly for offering to serve on the board. You efforts will be a great help to this project that serves all of humanity. This is a very joyous day for all of us. Thank you very much and congratulations. 00:53, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Aw, thank you! I think everyone had good answers; it was a good field of candidates. best, -- phoebe | talk 12:53, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Congratulations on your win in WMF board Election. Best wishes --Arjunaraoc (talk) 07:03, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
   Auguri e in bocca al lupo, Phoebe!  Klaas|Z4␟V
  08:06, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! -- phoebe | talk 23:52, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Internal/Private wiki discussion[edit]

Hi Phoebe, following on from the question about the private wikis during the board elections, please could you add your thoughts on moving things forward at Talk:Wikimedia_wikis#Are we re-purposing Internal?. Thanks! :-) Thehelpfulone 00:05, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Internet Archive fire[edit]

Hi Phoebe, No doubt you've heard already, but a fire hit the IA scanning center in SF. No injuries, and damage was limited to equipment and materials in the process of scanning, but there will likely still have been a few irreplaceable items lost. :-(

They're estimating they need to raise about $600 K to get scanning back up and running. I'm wondering if there's anything WMF can do to help them out, perhaps with a loan in kind. It seems to me like their mission is pretty closely aligned with WMF's, they have certainly been very useful and helpful to WP editors.

Do you think this is worth pursuing with WMF, or has it no hope of progressing? LeadSongDog (talk) 13:46, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Hey LeadSongDog -- sorry I didn't reply. Yes, this was a real shame. I brought it up with Sue and we are certainly willing to help out. AFAIK we are still in discussion about what they might need -- I think a lot of the damage was covered by insurance. -- phoebe | talk 18:00, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
It seems they are still fundraising to cover it as of today. Glad to hear of the positive response though. On a (very slightly) related line, is there any chance that a WM site might host a proxy, portal, or local web-instance to access their bookreader? I know that many firewalls blanket-block all access to * for reasons that relate to the video or software, but, well, "books is books". I'm increasingly concerned about how many cited sources are unnecessarily obscure, and from the wp:V point of view, this could only help. LeadSongDog (talk) 20:45, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

Resolution:Media about living people[edit]

Thanks. JKadavoor Jee 06:24, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

Welcome. Maria led the development of this resolution. FYI to all, the discussion is here. -- phoebe | talk 18:04, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Why Did You Support Granting Private Information of Editors to Anonymous Administrators?[edit]

Dear Ms. Ayers,

I am dismayed that you and the rest of the board of trustees approved an "Access to No-Public Information" policy that allows totally anonymous administrators on the English and all the other Wikipedias to see the IPs and other potentially personally-identifying information (browser version, settings) of volunteer editors. Even though not usually immediately identifying in itself, this information can obviously be used as a stepladder to identifying through tools like Geolocate and TraceIP, as well as supporting indicators in websearching other clues from the editor's edit history.

Would you please inform me the factors that led to your support of the non-identification revision to the policy? Why would you have done this?

For your reference ( "[t]his policy has been replaced by a new Access to non public information policy, which was approved by the Board of Trustees on 25 April 2014."

I don't deny that Wikipedia's administrative participants in some cases do constructive work, in policing clear vandalism for example, or reporting to the WMF the rare cases of threats of violence. But access to personally-identifying information is not needed for that. If there are cases where volunteer administrative participants do somehow need that information, it should be entrusted to identified individuals, not anonymous usernames like "Wizardman" and "Beeblebrox" and "Dord" and so forth. Authorizing checkuser and the other tools to anonymous participants is going to attract, and has attracted, exactly the wrong kind of individuals. It's emboldening, frankly, creepers and cyberbullies. And those who participate in Wikipedia as if it were an online computer roleplaying game, without regard to the fact that those they choose to sniff and snoop (and pursue) are actually people as opposed to a computer game's NPCs (non-player characters).

Have you ever been snooped and sniffed, cyberbullied, websearched, by some creep online? I have, and it's not nice. I think if you'd been treated that way, and really understood the reality of the cyberbully culture, that you'd stand up now and reverse your support of the WMF's granting of these invasive privacy-violating tools to wholly anonymous and thus unaccountable administrative participants. Is that what it's going to take for you to change your mind? Somebody has to do it to you?

Please respond as to why you supported granting access to IP-invasive and potentially personally-identifying tools like checkuser to anonymous administrative participants.

Colton Cosmic (talk) 16:11, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

WMF board resolution on user rights process[edit]

Please urgently get this topic/resolution scheduled for a meeting, discussed and voted; and express your opinions on the noticeboard. Thanks for your work, Nemo 20:57, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Check your email [Election][edit]

Signpost inquiry[edit]

Hi, I've emailed you (through the pre-existing address I had—Meta has throttled me temporarily!). Tony (talk) 16:38, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

hey user:Tony1, I'm not seeing anything from you -- try phoebe.ayers @ gmail. Thanks! -- phoebe | talk 17:43, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees Elections 2015[edit]

Dear candidate. My general opinion about administration of Wikimedia is negative. Many texts and images had been removed with pretext of protection of rights of the owners of the copyright owners. The special permissions by the copyright owners were just ignored, and removed together with the files. In particular, this refers to images of the Soviet dissidents and their texts.

Below I suggest only few examples in order to let you know what is happening:Софья_Васильевна_Каллистратова&oldid=93595Леонард_Борисович_Терновский&type=revision&diff=1312548&oldid=585736

I investigated the case and I revealed that many removals were performed by bureaucrat Lozman, who has absolutely no experience with obtaining permission from the copyright owners and does not even remember, who made him bureaucrat. However, this is only example.

Sorry for being late, but I just received the invitation to vote. You still have two days to change my opinion about at least one of the candidates suggested. One example of complain by the author is available at site TORI,,_permission I mention it because it has English version, although many Russian authors were offended in the similar way.

Now I formulate the question:

Do you think it is still possible to handle the cases mentioned?

Do you think that you can find time to deal with the cases mentioned?

Sincerely, Domitori (talk) 08:10, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Meta Collaboration of the Month for June 2015: Events![edit]

Events (discuss) has been selected as the first-ever Meta Collaboration of the Month for June 2015! Join the fun there and in the discussions.--Pharos (talk) 18:59, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Did you ever attend Wikimania with your money? Talk to us![edit]

TL;DR: Fill a short Wikimania survey, it takes 5 min.

Hi, I'm writing you because you are listed in Wikimania/Frequent attendees. As you probably know by now, Wikimania 2016 Esino Lario wants to achieve a Wikimania format which allows people to "get things done" and leave the conference fully satisfied with the result of their investment of time and other resources (see pillars 2 and 4: ). For this purpose, we consider all audiences (see ).

Participants other than scholarship recipients and reimbursed representatives are one group we heard very little from, but we think they are important because: 1) they have financial resources and help make the Wikimania budget sustainable; 2) they have motivation to share and ideas on what makes Wikimania valuable.

We set up a form mainly to collect names of some such people and talk with them later: if you provide your contact, we may write you on this topic. We may release aggregate data from the resposes; data will be handled by us and the Wikimania 2016 fiscal sponsor "Ecomuseo delle Grigne" (under EU law). Please fill the whole form, it's short!

Feel free to forward this invite to anyone.

Federico Leva and Martin Rulsch
Wikimania 2016 team, scholarships subteam
08:30, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Please sign new Wikimedia confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information by 31 December[edit]

This is a message from the Wikimedia Foundation. Translations are available.

Wmf logo vert pms.svg

As you may know, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees approved a new "Access to nonpublic information policy" on 25 April 2014 after a community consultation. The former policy has remained in place until the new policy could be implemented. That implementation work is now being done, and we are beginning the transition to the new policy.

An important part of that transition is helping volunteers like you sign the required confidentiality agreement. All Wikimedia volunteers with access to nonpublic information are required to sign this new agreement, and we have prepared some documentation to help you do so.

The Wikimedia Foundation is requiring that OTRS volunteers sign the new confidentiality agreement by 31 December 2015 to retain their access. You are receiving this email because you have been identified as an OTRS volunteer and are required to sign the confidentiality agreement under the new policy. If you do not sign the new confidentiality agreement by 31 December 2015, you will lose your OTRS access. OTRS volunteers have a specific agreement available, if you have recently signed the general confidentiality agreement for another role (such as CheckUser or Oversight), you do not need to sign the general agreement again, but you will still need to sign the OTRS agreement.

Signing the confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information is conducted and tracked using Legalpad on Phabricator. We have prepared a guide on Meta-Wiki to help you create your Phabricator account and sign the new agreement: Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information/How to sign

If you have any questions or experience any problems while signing the new agreement, please visit this talk page or email me ( Again, please sign this confidentiality agreement by 31 December 2015 to retain your OTRS access. If you do not wish to retain this access, please let me know and we will forward your request to the appropriate individuals.

Thank you,
Gregory Varnum (User:GVarnum-WMF), Wikimedia Foundation

Posted by the MediaWiki message delivery 21:20, 28 September 2015 (UTC) • TranslateGet help