Wikimedia European Affiliates Cooperation/European Regional Event June 2021/Summary
The purpose of this meeting was to present ideas on concrete, practical projects that can be done soon, and that do not hinge on the more lengthy processes and movement governance conversations. Updates from the past events in November and February and new Ideas were presented and the latter further discussed in breakout sessions. People who were interested in developing these ideas further signed up for follow-up work meetings. The following updates and project ideas were discussed:
- Moved on to taxonomies: A core to structure content
- Draft Meta page written (The Capacity Exchange
- Support for starting & experimenting from the audience
Grand Tour of Europe
- Named after ancient nobilities who traveled around Europe before becoming King or Queen
- Aiming for volunteers & staff, 3 weeks length
- Receiving funds from WMF, still needing support and partners to send and receive participants
- Concrete planning starting this fall
- Hopefully can be upscaled in the long term for other parts of the world while being sustainable
- Feedback from the audience: always preferable to meet in-person
- Single participants like the idea and are willing to join the effort
- Traveling group proposed
- Buliding Affiliate structure where there is none could be helpful
- 3 weeks is quite a commitment for volunteers, but this is already thought of
Underrepresented & Indigenous Language Support Structure
- for both affiliates and volunteers
- Meta page is set up Talk:Wikimedia_Language_Diversity#Wikimedia_Language_Diversity_Hub
- Presentation during Arctic Knot Conference
- Proposal for Workshop at Wikimania on a Wikimedia Language Diversity Hub
- Working with UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032
- From the audience: Help underdeveloped Wikimedia communities around the world, especially on small islands and countries
- Idea: Get funding for travel and support in community building
- Need to consider these areas logistically and with contacts to universities in Europe
- WikiFranca is one example in French language which helps building infrastructure through shared language
Update on Movement Strategy Grants
For each initiative ...
- First, there is funding from the WMF for good plans
- research & prototyping
- public review
- (connectivity, multilingualism, travel ...)
- THEN, implementation of the good plans
- Governance has top priority
- The prioritized initiatives have priority
- For the rest of initiatives, let's have a community check first?
- Focus vs spread
- Question about wider community and specific plans, no answer possible yet, awareness of complexity.
- There will be a paid staff supporting grantees, focussing on underrepresented and not well organized groups.
- Keypoint is to define the difference between MS grant and grant. Not crystal clear. (Regular activities vs MS activities).
- Parallel development in Community Ressources Team laying down general grants structure in near future.
New ideas and projects
Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU
Working on huge list of files for 8 years now, but also strategically. Should the group be more formalized and offer more tools to the communities in the future?
Is it possibly to use the group for EU-adjacent countries in CEE? Already done as capacities allow (Norway, Switzerland etc.).
Notes from breakout session
Number of participants: 25
- Quick update on the structure and work
- 2013 there was not a lot of support about engaging in policy making throuhout WM Affiliates/Chapters, 4 gathered in London and wrote a statement of intent for public domain and orphan works.
- Currently two FTE
- Original mandate a bit broader right now:
- Looking at any new files in Europe and checking if it brings more or less knowledge to Wikimedia Projects (like
- EU online terrorist content law,copyright directive, open data directive). If it has direct effect, it gets an "A" mark, meaning to fully engage. We try to talk to all parties and comittees. "B" has indirect consequences, like a museum being able to show more content or other educational content. "C" is monitored more passivele but we do not seek to influence (like EU privacy file).
- Handling contacts in Brussels, networking , are willing to share them. Also legal support and keeping up with policy development.
- BIg Fat Brussels meeting once a year to discuss policy priorties. this year July 1st online. , everybody invited.
- This past year we were engaged in transpositon phase of a EU directive for the first time. Partnered with grantmaker and Communia, and gave out mini-grants.
- Public Domain Safeguard, Upload filter as key priorities last year. Giving out between 2 and 4k € grants to engage in policy making on national level.
- Engaged in 28 countries, mostly with WP and WM communities when available, if not, library orgs etc.
- E-evidence-regulation dealing with one criminal case in one country, getting digital files from another country. Access data category (ID logs, who opened which server with which IP) to do juridiscal oversight from online services. Those files are highly sensitive (like what computer you use, what WP article did you resd). We argued and this category seems not to come, but there needs a judge to approve.
- Liability of platforms that host user generated content, what sort of rules. There's a lot of topics around, also with the Foundation, because: when does it become liable and can be sued?
- Digital services act, they communicated that there is a community already handling critical cases and we have proposals to change this proposal. Digital markets act is not potential for us, but so-called gatekeepers, who are other providers like messengers, sending emails and other services, and they should have different obligations. We're interested in it because users from internet.
- Artificial Intelligence Act. Deals with "high risk users", too. We want to keep an eye on it because we also have projects with artificial learning and AI, and problems can come up in the future. Puts us in positions, as our projects are open and we have a lot of Data, so we train those AIs who use our data. (B-priority)
- Discussion of disinformation with some chapter. In 2018, the EU commission created a so called "high level comitte on disinformation" (instead of fake news) FKGEU was part of it, and the outcome is a good definition. 2nd comitte on big plattforms signing up on something to not be forced to KYC (abbout twitter, fb and so on).
- push for media literacy.
- Data Governance Act. EU wants data shared between different parties, a "EU AIRBUS for data" like the US has. It might force Wikipedia to register.
- Ties with strategic direction
What does this document mean for developing activities? -> Draft of 6 directions.
- Voice of good tech (??)
- Functional priority: benefits communities
- How communities advocate for themselves (FKAGEU supports) copyright etc.
- Sustainabilty, diversify sources
- Horizontal, communities in the center, monitoring of topics of vulnerable communities
- Work, learn and adapt
- Great opportunity for education in Madeira this summer, a local association organizes a literacy / disinformation Wikimedia-related event (already funded by US embassy). Can there be some support through participation?
- A similar effort is also made in Russia.
- Is there possibilty to protect editors? WMF has a budget. Please get in touch with concrete cases, both WMF and FKAGEU.
- Thank you for great job.
- A living network with people to contact in any case.
- Q: Semi-formal group or formal structure in the future?
From Gender (content) Gaps to SoGi (participation) Gaps in Europe
- Europe has experience but most of the work came from english Wikipedia, being american. We want to come up with more european / diverse people.
- Queering Wikipedia: trans-local experience, how to scale up to continental scale.
- Volunteer burn out -> less diversity
- Wikimedian Equity Fund some kind of an attempt do decenter ressources and support
- WikiGap is a great project with partners, could this be used for other language communities?
- Join QW22 and LGBT+ if you can, and tell us why if you can not :)
Notes from breakout session
- Attendees: 7
- Spreadsheet for discussion at (please ping Christoph Jackel for resource)
- Quite a lot of Wikimedians in Europe identify as LGTBQI+ and are supportive of Wikimedia projects, but aren't very active in organising, compared to North America
- Queering Wikimedia Conference has its issues in terms of who is organising the conference and the different cultural backgrounds of the participants, including relying solely on English
- Would benefit from more outreach to communities that aren't participating in the organisation of the conference in order to make it more inclusive, especially in countries where identfying publicly as LGTBQI+ would have severe consequences
- Have civil organisations been involved in Wikimedia work?
- Which place do women have in this conversation? In terms of the conference, the proportion in the organisation is not close to 50:50
- Queer can also be defined for people who experience discrimination or don't feel like they fit in to society, so this can also apply to any part of the gender gap project
- WMNL has focused a lot on the gender gap in general and not so much the queering part of that, which is also a result of a lack of resources
- There also seems to be a certain fatigue in general, and the organisation of a conference requires a lot of time that especially experienced Wikimedians might not have, especially during a pandemic
- These settings also require a lot of new faces that aren't as forthcoming as they should be
- There are quite a lot of Wikimedians around Europe that would be interested in doing things in the LGBTQI+ area, but compared to North America there is a lack of institutional support in the respective civil societies
- Concept for the 2022 conference is unclear and needs to be defined, but should be more diverse and inclusive for the European context
- The WMF Equity fund could be one avenue of including partner organisations in European LGBTQI+ topics
- Wikimedians in Residence could also be an option in this fund
- Volunteer time a valuable commodity that doesn't always replenish, which is why the conference organisation has changed since the initial inception
- Same sex couples can't share parental care in some countries in SEE, and because of fake news the climate is also more hostile than even a few years ago
- So being an affiliate and organising a conference or workshop with the local LGTBQI+ community is difficult in order to keep the identities of the pariticipants and avoiding the attention of the media
- Workshops could be modeled after the WikiGap events (https://www.government.se/government-policy/wikigap/) to give it a protective and supportive environment of an international host
- What are the policies of the WMF when it comes to supporting chapters - funding political advocacy is not allowed, but social justice and supporting minorities is possible with WMF funding
- CEE Research can also help in this (Grants:Project/Rapid/Wikimedia_Poland/CEE_Needs_Research)
- Affiliates can support the conference by showcasing their LGBTQI+ projects