Wikimedia Café/minutes 2020 03

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Saturday 28 March 2020 at 9:30 AM Pacific time / 12:30 PM Eastern time / 4:30 PM UTC / 10 PM IST[edit]

  • Please note the one hour time difference if you are affected by a time change due to daylight savings time. The UTC remains constant.
  • Agenda
  1. Introductions, including
    1. usernames and/or offline names
    2. affiliations
    3. interests in attending the meeting
    4. and one thing for which you're grateful
  2. Review the meeting notes
    1. Anyone can edit
    2. copyright license is same as for Meta-wiki, and notes go to Meta after the meeting
    3. confirm the meeting notes for last meeting
  3. COVID-19 / Coronavirus
    1. What has changed for you personally on wiki because of the pandemic?
    2. What has changed in your wiki community?
    3. check out WikiProject remote event participation
  4. Discussion regarding WMF-community relations
    1. How does the state of WMF-community relations make you feel?
    2. What is working well?
    3. Wikimedia branding -
    4. Wikimedia Strategic Planning - Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20
  5. Additional topics may be added by the participants
  • Sign up

If you plan to attend then please sign here. The organizers can use this list to know who to contact individually if there are significant changes to the plan to the meeting, such as for the schedule.

  1. ↠Pine () 06:43, 9 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  2. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:59, 9 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  3. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 15:01, 11 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  4. Anasskoko (talk) 21:50, 11 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  5. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:21, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  6. Ainali (talk) 19:30, 15 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  7. Tgr (talk) 14:01, 21 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  8. Abhinav619 (talk) 15:42, 22 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  9. stephen (talk) 18:31, 24 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  10. Omotecho (talk) 08:39, 25 March 2020 (UTC) I'll try to come onboard at half past 1 am (JST).Reply[reply]
  11. Philoserf (talk) 16:45, 26 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  12. Sankoswal (talk) 06:04, 27 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  13. Interested, but can't attend this time. Will read through the discussion notes. --Netha Hussain (talk) 13:45, 27 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  14. will try to make it. notafish }<';> 14:17, 27 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  15. I will try to make it, but if I'm not there I'm interested in joining the next Wikimedia Cafe meeting. Clovermoss (talk) 05:33, 28 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  16. --Luky001 (talk) 15:50, 28 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  17. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 16:17, 28 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actual meeting notes[edit]

Saturday 28 March 2020
  1. Clovermoss - Hi, I'm Clovermoss. I edit the English Wikipedia mostly. I'm thankful for the amount of time I'm spending at home with family.
  2. Delphine - notafish as a volunteer and Delphine_WMF. Wikimedian for 15 years. A grants program offer for WMF and now in Talent and Culture onboarding WMF staff (all staff)
  3. Jan Ainali - contact person for Wikimedians for Sustainable Development (SDG 3 is Health and well-being which is of course related to COVID-19), active in Wikipedia Weekly Network, member of Wikimedia chapters for Sweden, Belgium, and Netherlands
  4. Nosebagbear, en-wiki admin - came to this event for the main topic, community relations, grateful that when they had a cold, it turned out to be just a cold and not COVID-19
  5. Ad Huikeshoven - former board member of Wikimedia Netherlands, contributes to Wiki Loves SDGs which is switching to online events, grateful to be healthy during this crisis and that people are being peaceful and slowing down in his community
  6. Pine - Wikimedia Cascadia, contributes to the English Wikipedia newspaper, The Signpost, works on the NavWiki project
  7. Viresh - with usename Innocentbunny, from India, from Hindi Wikimediand Usergroup, works largely on Hindi Wikipedia, one of the largest project on Indian language. Will share my experience from WIKISWASTHA, a health project from India.
  8. Gregory Varnum -Varnent on Wiki, Wikimedian for 14 years and mostly involved with affiliates, I have been with the WMF communications department for the past 5 years, also develop the WMF website, grateful to be in Michigan supporting family
  9. Mark Ayers User:Philoserf in Cascadia region, had wiki account since 2005 and just starting to check out community groups
  10. Lukas Mikulec (User:Luky001) - Slovakia - interested in relationship between WMF and the community, interested in the Wikimedia Foundation branding effort
  11. Abhinav (User:abhinav619) part of Hindi Usergroup, belong to India.
  12. Geert van Pamel (WMBE chairman + GLAM + Wikidata + Wiki Loves Heritage + structured data on Commons) switching chapter activities to Video conferencing meetings with Wikipedia since 2005, due to COVID-19 the group is switching to video conferencing which people are learning to use slowly
  13. Lane bluerasberry - WikiProject Medicine editing COVID-19, taking notes, anyone can edit
  14. Abhishek - right now I am in the United States but I live in India. Yesterday the Indian Embassy started a helpline number and I am volunteering with this. I am working with the SWATHA project which is an Indian language version of the WikiProject Medicine Translation Task Force.
  15. George - typical wiki volunteer! Many of the people here are associated with Wikimedia groups, while a college student, I create articles on various things like episodes of television shows and LGBT themed articles related porn and art, and also edited music articles and other articles
  16. Sanket Oswal - from India, going by SankOswal working with frontline medical officers in India to fight COVID-19, visiting a nearby hospital assisting doctors make case papers, also doing my bit editing Wikipedia
  17. Harshil - edit English and Gujarati Wikipedia but also small WikiProjects in regional languages of India, such as Wikisource

COVID-19 / Coronavirus What has changed for you personally on wiki because of the pandemic?

  1. What has changed in your wiki community?
    1. Nosebagbear - English Wikipedia has not been affected in its operations except that the great interest in COVID-19 articles. In OTRS the agents were expecting a bump in activities but actually there was less activity.
    2. Jan - in the Swedish Wikipedia the biggest thing that we noticed is the cancellation of all the in-person events and switching them to online events. As we usually have in Swedish Wikipedia we have discussions about how much detail we want to have. We are looking how in the English Wikipedia the COVID-19 story is divided into wiki articles by state for the US, but we are a small community and probably cannot go into this amount of detail. Right now we have the main article -> Europe -> Sweden as the only three articles.
    3. George - I am thinking about how many people are opposing the central banner which would be posted centrally in all wikis.
    5. the people who are opposing have various reasons for opposing. Some people hesitate to have any banner and some do not like the messaging or say it is political.
    6. (various people asked how to access the banner and discussions)
    7. Viresh - I would like to speak about the WikiSWASTHA project. This started as a project to raise healthcare awareness in local Indian communities. India has 22 nationally spoken languages and wiki communities for each language. Many of these languages do not have quality articles for diseases. Unlike English Wikipedia pages for various languages, which are well written, the Indian Wikipedias are not so developed. We were motivated because these articles affect public health. For COVID-19 we are coordinating with Wikipedians in 8 Indian language communities to write the COVID-19 content in an authentic way to avoid misinformation. We are coordinating our work through social media and we have Facebook and Twitter accounts. After the WMF page we are the most liked page.
      1. (questions - what is this project and where can I find it)
    8. SWASTHA = Being Healthy So Wiki+SWASTHA = Wiki for Being Healthy
    9. Pine - on the Wikimedia research mailing list the WMF will have at least one researcher examining COVID-19 editing in the various Wikimedia projects. Some of this analysis will be for interlanguage relationships.
    10. Nosebag - I have a question for the WMF staff. How much capacity of the WMF is gone, how many WMF staff people are still going into work for things like service support
    11. Delphine - I can give the official answer. we have a 20-hour thing which means that if anyone can put in 20 hours then we are grateful but as people's lives are disrupted we are not asking for more than 20 hours. We worked in every department to think what things we wanted to put on hold. These things are still happening but paused while we set priorities and focus on those things. Once we have been able to round out what people can do, and there are 450 of us and it is difficult to understand that, then we will have plans. The server farms which host our servers are keeping up primary services and also taking care of our employees and giving them the most safe way to continue their work. Like everyone else we have stopped non-essential work and made sure that the people who have to do things do it in the safest environment possible.
    12. Greg -
    13. in case folks have not yet seen this:
    14. letter to Foundation staff:
    15. George - Can any computer software engineer work at home and do the developer tools of WMF websites?
    16. Greg -
    17. all Foundation staff are working remote - including our hardware team
    18. 70% of our staff were already remote
    19. Delphine - yes things are being delayed and there are people on our teams who are in countries who are more affected. The delays may be unrelated to the WMF and just related to whatever infrastructure is in their country.
    20. Greg - the 30% who is not remote is in the San Francisco and Washington DC offices. the WMF has occassional "remote weeks" where everyone tries to work remotely. The only team which cannot do remote work is the hardware team because they physically have to be in person to support devices.
    21. Jan - not just any computer software engineer can do everything on WMF websites, is that right?
    22. Delphine - one of the things we are working on is "continuity", which means that if one person gets sick or is unable to do their project then control of it will pass to a next person.
    23. Greg - every software engineer can develop the MediaWiki / Wikimedia code, but only some have access to import this into the core code base. Even things which require root access can be done remotely by the dozen people who have that ability.
    24. Pine - in the WikiTech mailing list there was a discussion that deployments are going to be more risk averse because of the reliability situation. If anyone puts code on the deployment train then it should be list risky than normal because there is less capacity to fix it quickly.
    25. George - I do not have any local meetups at this moment where I am living. It seems that COVID-19 has affected schedules. Also I am wondering whether COVID-19 has affected the planned Wikimedia Strategy 2030 process.
    26. check out WikiProject remote event participation
  2. Discussion regarding WMF-community relations
    1. How does the state of WMF-community relations make you feel?
    2. What is working well?
    3. Wikimedia branding -
    4. Luky - how does anyone feel about a stop to the use of the word "Wikimedia" and switch to "Wikipedia"?
    5. Nosebag I was concerned by the use of the community survey metrics and the bizarre calculation which the WMF used to claim consensus. I think that a name change would hinder the progress of the Wikimedia Foundation.
    6. Pine - maybe 20 years ago if we wanted to have a central brand Wikipedia might have made a lot of sense because that is where the action was. Now we have Wikidata, which is turning out to be a big deal. I think that choosing Wikipedia as a central brand makes less sense now.
    7. George - the WMF response to community discussion of its marketing plan was intense. I do not think that Wikipedia should be the central part of the movement and making it so would damper the potential of the community to develop sister projects, like Wiktionary (though didn't mention it on the meeting), or new ideas like the NonFreeWiki and (separate) WikiJournal project. Many community members oppose the change of branding to Wikipedia. (BTW, There are many support votes for NonFreeWiki and WikiJournal, but the opposition side on NonFreeWiki has good points. Same for WikiJournal.)
    8. Nosebag - the amount of confusion between Wikipedia and the Wikimedia foundation is going to greatly increase if the WMF renames itself to Wikipedia. I am in OTRS and people write in by email in confusion all the time. People already are confused everywhere and the WMF has not ever helped with this.
    9. Pine - many people in the WMF have the idea that the WMF is supposed to lead the Wikipedia community of volunteers. Some people on the board of trustees know that this is not the case but this is a recurring issue over years.
    10. Greg - I have worked at the WMF for years and in all that time I have never heard anyone at the WMF say this. The narrative that you are sharing seems based on bad faith and without direct citations
    11. Pine - I appreciate the design and development processes where there are 300+ languages. Where we have more issues is with the governance stuff, such as the 2019 challenge with Fram gate. That was a real problem for the WMF to have that kind of intervention on English Wikipedia and I do not know how we bring relations back.
    12. Delphine - As a French person living in Germany we were surprised that the English Wikipedia ArbCom was above the Wikimedia Foundation
    13. Lane - You were asking for examples of how the WMF claims leadership over the Wikimedia community. This is one of those cases, the WMF wanted to block someone over the wishes of the Wikimedia community.
    14. Delphine - that is not what happened. There was no leader. The English Wikipedia community was doing things and not recognizing a leader. I do not know who the leader should be. It was a conflict that showed the rest of the world and other Wikimedia projects that showed that the English Wikipedia has authority above the board of the WIkimedia Foundation, a partly elected body. There are solutions that are present in the strategic recommendations. Not all are easy to implement or even clear, but at least it's trying to find a "general" solution.
    15. Nosebag - ArbCom summarized the viewpoints of hundreds of editors. Something that only influences certain areas, such as non-technical and non-legal aspects, then only the lowest group which could handle it should handle it. Conflicts should not escalate to the top without going through the lower level body.
    16. Delphine - I have been thinking about this quite a bit. There is a lack of recognizing that we are a global movement. This is in every part of the Wikimedia community. Thsi is something that we have not solved yet. The foundation was founded to support the community, which is the reality of the history we have. How do we become intentional about the things we do? Previously we addressed the things which came our way and now we want to be intentional, we want to learn to say no. I have been in every single position in the Wikimedia movement from being a chapter member, to a volunteer editor, to being among the first staff at the Wikimedia Foundation and still there today. The WMF have not been great at recognizing what the Wikimedia community has done. At the same time there is a lack of loyalty around how the WMF has been supporting the community. We should be able to say "this is what we are doing right". As a person who has been everywhere in the movement. I should feel good about working for the Foundation. I have not gone to the enemy. We should not go on tirades about who we are or who we think the other is. As someone who has been involved in organizational development as a volunteer in the movement, I have made mistakes, but I have owned them, and it was because of the information which we had at that time. I have never been and never will be a WikiPedian, I am a Wikimedian, so if we're called Wikipedia for example, it might be hard for me, but I don't feel ownership of anything. I just want us to go forward. I have a foot in each world and do not feel that I am an enemy for anyone just as I have been for everyone.
    17. Greg - one of the things which the movement has been talking about in our strategic planning. The basis of some movement wide decisions are that 2% of the community are in the public community forums but there is a need to talk with the other 98% which we traditionally do not hear from but who are involved in the day to day activities. The other thing is that I always want to encourage good faith. One of the reasons why people leave Wikimedia-l is because of bad faith. People like Delphine and me have been in the movement for a while and in every consultation there are critics and people always say that it is the worst consultation which happened. There are not evil empire people on the other side and no one is getting a bonus check if we veto community decisions.
    18. George - I want to contradict what Delphine said about the English Wikipedia being above the WMF. In the lightbreather case ArbCom dealt with this person but then...
    21. Greg -with global bans those are different because those are beyond English Wikipedia.
    22. Delphine - And to me the problem is not the WMF, it's the broader movement. If the same thing had happened in the French WIkipedia, I don't think that the WMF woudl have caved :) or the Swedish, or the Dutch. For those bans that George is mentioning, those were not contested by the Wikimedia community.
    23. Greg - for global bans we sometimes have laywers involved or government agencies.
    24. Delphine - I am unhappy with the board decision. I felt like the board disowned the decision that the WMF staff made. I was not happy about the board decision or how the Foundation reacted. I am not saying that I am happy with how the Foundation reacted but I feel like the board dismissed the Wikimedia movement, other people in other languages and projects. If this had come from any other community but that of the English Wikipedia,, they probably would have acted more like: "Thank you very much, move along". We are a global movement and there are other things and other projects that are important. For me this was more about the relationship with the English Wikipedia community and not the relationship with the Wikimedia community. If this happened on Commons there is no way that this would have gone up in arms.
    25. Pine - I do not think that Fram was a model citizen. There were also concerns about how the Englihs Wikipedia community or ArbCom managed the case.
    26. Delphine - You said that the WMF should not have leadership, so who should? As a non-English Wikipedian, I do not want the English Wikipedia community to be that leader. The board of the Wikimedia Foundation is the only community body which is representative of the community at a leadership level. For better, or for worse.
  3. Wikimedia projects in India
    1. Viresh - I have been listening to these discussions. As a member from a "medium-sized" wiki community, id like to speak from my perspective and what our communities here in India are concerned about.There is a lot of discussion among our community and the Foundations behavior in our activities. People often say that the WMF does not acknowledge our work or empower the people who do projects in our community, in the way that it should empower our projects, look into what we are doing, and acknowledge us. I of course would not agree to see English Wikipedia leading the movement, but the Wikimedia Foundation is more suitable, being a global body but is very criticized for not beinginclusive enough. In Hindi and Bengali we do not have many people represented in the Wikimedia Foundation. ##Do you know anyone at the WMF who represents India?
    2. Greg - we have staff in India
    3. Viresh - yes, but who represents the community in India?
    4. Delphine - Tanveer in the Strategy Core team is one person who does, and quite a few staff in India/from India.
    5. Viresh - what I hear in general is that the WMF does not give opportunities to people in India. There are people who do significant work in India who do not get recognition from the foundation at all.
    6. Greg - we are not there at all! we have a long way to go and I totally want to own that. I want to give you two examples of what we are doing. In the selection of our communications committee we only have 1 person from North America and we have 2 or 3 people from India. Our new head of talent and culture has already very aggressively encouraged our hiring managers to hire more people from India and is putting her money where her mouth is by hiring people who lived in multiple countries which are not Europe or North America. This is something we are talking about and we are not good enough.
    7. Delphine - the two Indians on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation were appointed, not elected, and that is the Wikimedia Foundation trying to correct the unbalance
    8. Viresh - there are two things - first the foundation in itself should be a more representative body, and the also, the global community should be well connected with the Indian community Many good contributors in Indian communities do not get to participate in international projects because of lack of recognition and language barriers also.
    9. Greg - I do not want to speak for the events team but a lot can be done.
    10. Nosebag - if smaller wikis has raised the point the WMF would not have conceded. On a different point, in terms of shifting to off wiki discussions, one forum which I found is that they had to see the points which others were raising on meta wiki. This includes the pros but also the cons. people can make flawed (or, even more likely, unclear) arguments/conclusions but meta respondents might never see these points (and potentially vice-versa) (?? these notes might be confused - hopefully I've clarified) It is challenging to see the context and the notes.
    11. Viresh - I just lost the connection and just joining again by phone. There are two things - the Foundation itself should be a more global body. The other is that the Foundation does not give a close look at what is done in India. The Foundation is not aware of the global community. The WMF is not aware of Indian projects, and because Indian people do not get invited to global events, they are not very connected to programs in other places.
    12. Greg - This issue has complexities which are well beyond the foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation is not the decision maker for things like scholarships for events. Certainly for funding for affiliates we are always looking into that.
    13. George - Hindi Wikipedia has 130,000 articles which seems small as compared to English Wikipedia. Was there a challenge with typing? ##Also, maybe people there were editing in English
    14. Viresh - Typing in Hindi was not available in all devices until about 5 years ago, so Hindi got off to a slower start. The Hindi Wiki community has grown a lot recently. About 40% of the people in India speak India of the 1.3 billion, so 400 million or so.
    15. Lane - final thoughts? check the notes, anyone can add agenda items for next time
    16. Viresh - thanks everyone, check out the SWASTHA project, stay safe and stay healthy
  4. Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20
    1. Clovermoss - Also potential confusion between volunteers and WMF staff If the brand name changed Wikimedia Strategic Planning - Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20
    2. Pine introduced the topic of strategy
    3. there was a meeting in NYC which was supposed to settled the strategy recommendations and it happened before the COVID-19
    4. the Wikimedia Summit has moved online due to COVID-19 and should be discussing this strategy
    5. Clovermoss noted that the Wikimania event is cancelled and that would be a strategy discussions
    6. Nosebag - ##
    7. over the past year there has been multiple major conflicts. One was the Fram case on English Wikipedia, another was the WMF's contested use of community survey metrics to as a claim for consensus for their chosen course of action, and various other conflicts with ENwiki and DEwiki where the WMF says that they note conflicts but their notes do not seem represented in their final choices.
    8. Clovermoss shared Anti-harassment Rfc from Arbcom
    9. Greg said that "I would suggest clarity in statement. the reaction to Fram outside of English Wikipedia was very different. let us not confuse the reaction of a few communities with that of 800+ communities. ;)"
    10. George - the WMF has goals which are different from those of the Wikimedia community. In the FramGate there was a department in the WMF, the "Community Engagement division, or I forget the name, which was dissolved or disestablished.
    13. Pine there was a department called "community engagement" which had various teams. So far as I know, the teams in that department did not go away, but instead just went to a different umbrella sector. For example, in grants, there were multiple layers of approvals, such as finance and community review. The WMF, so far as I understand, felt more efficient by removing organizational complexity.
    14. Delphine - I was in the community engagement department. In my opinion the thinking for this was to make sure that there was no separate "community"department, but instead to have community be a part of every department. The community engagement department was the recipient of many community matters. Now every department is better placed to work with the community because it is part of their mandate, and not some other department's mandate.
    15. Greg - one of the people who was a strong component of this was the interim executive of the community engagement department. This department was touching so many professional industries that for anyone to manage it the WMF would have needed to hire a unicorn, or someone with professional expertise in 5 different tasks - grants, finance, administration, and communication. the Community engagement department was becoming the biggest department and a growing challenge for professional development
    16. Ad - for community relations of the Wikimedia Foundation the WMF cancelled all in person events with no option for continuing them online. I feel that the Wiki community has been working online for 20 years and is adaptable and that many events could continue online. I also think that we need these options to meet with each other to come to decisions and talk things through.
    17. Pine: I have heard very little community pushback against the end of that division.