Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2019/Programme/Submissions/A Universal Code of Conduct - with input from the CEE communities

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Title of the submission

A Universal Code of Conduct - with input from the CEE communities

Type of submission (lecture, panel, workshop, lightning talk, roundtable, poster)
  • Workshop
Author(s) of the submission

Christel Steigenberger


CSteigenberger (WMF)


Wikimedia Foundation

  • Community Engagement, Safety
Abstract (up to 100 words)

The Foundation is developing a Universal Code of Conduct for Wikimedians to foster ethical behavior, goodwill, and a good working atmosphere for all volunteers. All Wikimedia projects are driven by underlying principles of collaboration, compassion and diversity. But currently, every project and community has its own set of policies and guidelines. While it is important to have different content policies depending on the specific requirements of projects, it is essential to think of universal behavioral guidelines that would create an environment of mutual trust and respect within the community.

This session is a platform for the CEE community members to come together and brainstorm on what the universal behavioral guidelines for the community should look like. It is an opportunity for all of us to collectively think and design the roadmap for stronger health and wellbeing of our own community.

How will this session be beneficial for the communities in the region of Central and Eastern Europe?

It will ensure their voice is heard in an important international process

Special requirements
Slides or further information

Interested attendees[edit]

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  • A broader picture:
    • Over 50% of Wikipedias and around 20% of other wiki projects have no conduct policies/ guidelines
  • Polices are extremely important
  • One type of person is afraid of polices, others have good experience with policies and know that with good polices will be protected (they might have knowledge we are missing)
  • 40% people think that we need improvement of polices
  • She is afraid of hearing that people don't need it
  • As per the Community Insights report (2018), 40% of over 250 people surveyed reported that existing conduct policies needed "Quite a bit" or "A lot" of improvement
  • About 22% of Wikimedians reported avoiding Wikimedia projects for one to three days because they felt unsafe
  • Establishing Norms: a universal code of conduct
  • We are not sure how to do it yet
  • How to do it?
  • We want to do it in Wiki way, amazing ideas together
  • Question: The way how someone will do that or how he/she thinks his/her voice will be listened?
  • Greek Wikipedia copied some of the English polices.
  • Is there a list with bad things that happened? It shouldn't be bad to have that because we will get people attention better. - Estonian Wikipedia
    • Answer: You can see it every day, conflicts of interests, no one tried to make such list. It will be never-ending list.
  • Ukrainian Wikipedia - policies about specific cases.
  • Talking about behavioral policies not content.
  • You can forget about some problems if they didn't happen recently
  • How will be the one who acts and how people will report to them? Publicly, mailing, varies. On Wikimedia they talked about group people working on behavioral issues. Some people thinks that Stewards need to work on that problem.
  • Researches showed that if there are rules, people can behavior nicely. It helps if it's visible.
  • What have we done so far?
  • Collected ideas and studied practices
  • Sometimes polices are not visible enough
  • Assembled community policies
  • Gathered all conduct policies and behavioral guidelines from existing projects/communities.
  • Started to identify which policies have been working really well and which ones have had problems.
  • They are trying to reach the leaders now and their ideas
  • Wikipedia conduct polices distribution
  • Wikipedia:
    • Around 15% of unique, similar policies like on, or mix, and more than 50% without polices
  • Other major projects:
    • Wikisource, news and quote have separate ...
    • We really need to take a different approach to this problem
  • How to work together?
    • We need to share ideas on Meta, consultation page. We will try to reach as many projects. We need to talk about that if anyone is really into this. Let them know.
  • Challenges we are already aware of:
    • Policies:
      • different laws and implications
      • Different cultural backgrounds
    • Process
      • Review of UCoC: Reviewing body, timeframe, etc.
      • Language: All-positive, or listing dos and don'ts
      • We should define key terms so they could be easily understood.
      • We still have communities that in their countries can't mention LGBT+ projects,
      • How often should we revisit our code of conduct? Who should the reviewing boy be?
      • Friendly and inclusive (don't discriminate, assume good faith)