Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard

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Welcome to the Board of Trustees' noticeboard. This is a message board for discussing issues related to Wikimedia Foundation governance and policies, and related Board work. Please post messages at the bottom of the page and sign them.
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WMF Global Ban Policy[edit]

Was WMF Global Ban Policy approved by the WMF Board of Trustees? Usually creating policy that affects all projects requires a board decision. John Vandenberg (talk) 03:44, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

It was not. For the most part, staff policies have stopped requiring a board decision. Since the LCA department was set up, this includes policies related to implementing or enforcing other policies; and basic modifications or revisions to existing cross-project policies. SJ talk  05:53, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
This policy, as implemented, being a radical departure from prior practice and policy, is causing some serious reactions, damaging trust in the WMF. I do not suggest any immediate response, but there are definitely board issues here, dealing with the respective roles of the WMF and the community. Thanks, SJ, for informing us that there was no Board approval. Thus appeal to the Board may be possible.
Please do not place this matter before the Board until and unless there is a developed RfC on the involved issues. --Abd (talk) 15:33, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but it is a bit of a joke that a few vocal community members instrumentalize the long overdue ban of an absolutely toxic contributor to cook up another story about "the loss of trust in WMF". I for one say thanks for finally stepping up to the plate and dealing with this "vested contributor" situation. --Dschwen (talk) 16:07, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for openly expressing your views about Russavia, Dschwen. As you are one of the tiny handful of active Commons bureaucrats that have a duty to show community leadership on Commons, is there a reason that you were unable to take justifiable action against Russavia on his main project with the evidence you had for this "absolutely toxic contributor", and instead have abdicated responsibility to WMF legal? -- (talk) 17:22, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I am taking the liberty of expressing my personal opinion on this wiki, where I am not a crat. I do not have to wear this hat every second of every day. I will not be bullied into being quiet, I will, however, choose not to interact with you during my hatless time :-) (for the benefit of both our blood pressures!). Over and out. --Dschwen (talk) 17:57, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
I do apologise if my question appears to be bullying to your eyes. It was intended to be a straightforward question to one of our leaders with the highest trusted rights on Commons. I had hoped for a straightforward answer on the presumption that leadership comes with responsibility for the project. Thanks -- (talk) 18:49, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It is always good to name the user directly without using planters comments sentimentality and resentment. Here was locked globally by a "completely logical reason", however, never explained not even who has been blocked. This behavior is typical of totalitarian regimes. Remembering that "toxic contributor" is a phrase Jimbo to commons community. "I should be clear - the problem is not the abuse of me, but the toxic and juvenile ... problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:04, 14 October 2014 (UTC)" --The Photographer (talk) 17:52, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
SJ, can you please create a "staff policy" template (and category) as you did on some time ago? This is not the first time WMF staff creates confusion about the scope of some documents. --Nemo 18:48, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
Good idea, done. SJ talk  08:43, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Commons - User:Russavia[edit]

Hi all, I have a question. From my recent edits, you will notice I changed the User:Russavia/Flickr-letter/nl-informal. I noticed Russavia has been blocked globally and I was wondering if the text of the Flickr letters should be adapted accordingly. Something like: I was an editor on Wikipedia and an admin on Wikimedia Commons. Thank you for your time. Lotje (talk) 14:47, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

It seems irrelevant now as these will not be used again, apart from the fact that if you appear to represent Russavia in any way, you risk being officially but secretly investigated by WMF employees. For that reason I would not touch these with a barge-pole. -- (talk) 15:25, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
That's fine by me, only wanted to be helpful. Lotje (talk) 15:32, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Lotje, Fae is right that they simply won't be used again. SJ talk  08:43, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Resolution on superprotect[edit]

Hello, Letter to Wikimedia Foundation: Superprotect and Media Viewer is reaching 1000 signatories and the board has never said anything on the matter (only the chair did). I give you one week to put the topic on the agenda for March meeting; after that, I'll propose a resolution myself and will ask all board members to put it up for voting.

As you are starting Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Thinking about the WMF Board composition, I find it very worrying that thousands of active contributors will only react thinking "ah, yes, WMF, the entity which superblocks us; ah, yes, the board, the thing which never does anything". If the board wants someone to care about it, it needs to get something done. --Nemo 07:29, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi Nemo, are you most concerned about how the board talks about the letter, or about how the underlying issues are addressed? The Board reviewed these issues - technical engagement with the community, respect and appreciation, releasing products once they are ready and not before, and include community feedback continuously in the release process, including the definition of blockers that preclude deployment - at the February Board meeting, with Damon. Most of the underlying issues have already been brought up; and I have great confidence that Damon will handle them attentively and with grace.
We did not review details of the media viewer rollout in particular (we used the Visual Editor rollout as a richer case study). However to my knowledge, all of the features and bugs identified after the fact as blockers have since been addressed - if not perfectly, then well enough for the bug filers. Do you know otherwise? This sort of technical consultation needs to be implemented continuously, and I understand it will happen soon across the board. If you find yourself leaving a 'here we go again' comment for any reason, you might compile links to those on a Technical Rollout Feedback page on mw: so they can be resolved promptly.
Communicating with those who care about the topic is important, and has been done spottily. It would be good to compile a summary of where things stand now, with input from the communities that cared deeply about it, those who triaged the public requests, and Damon. I'm not sure that an official response to the letter will help. Feel free to move this section to the talk page there; and other suggestions are welcome. SJ talk  08:43, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
The simple fact is that more than 1000 stakeholders (including some who signed the letter on; about 900 at the time of formal delivery) made a request -- and got no official response -- not even a "we hear you, but we know better than you" response. No board member, no executive, ever publicly or privately even acknowledged receiving the letter (which I delivered on September 9). I do not know what aspect in particular Nemo bis thinks needs discussing, but the idea that the Board has not produced any public response at all is simply baffling. The process stuff you say you discussed at a meeting is nice, but does not address the simple requests of the letter. Perhaps WMF leadership thinks the underlying issues will take care of themselves; if so, I think history will prove you wrong. -Pete F (talk) 02:37, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Nemo, it sounds like a threat. Pete, I wouldn't assume that the board is conducting itself in relation to this matter with anything less than good faith. Please also note that 1000 people signing something is not the same as community opinion as a whole. A complex set of issues are involved, and it's hard to see how signatories are acting as one voice in relation to all of them; a single petition statement can also inadvertently be associated with confirmation bias and peer effects. The board has access to expertise in the relevant areas, and has to weigh up competing requirements. Tony (talk) 03:26, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Threat? Not to my eyes. I think you would have to assume bad faith to read it that way. As far as the WMF board, I not only assume good faith, I am absolutely convinced that the board members I know act with good faith. Merely having good faith, however, is an egregiously low criterion for the actions of an entity charged with supporting and maximizing Wikimedia's potential. -Pete F (talk) 22:09, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
I support you (Nemo) and Pete fully. Unfortunately, reality shows that the Board is in full control and support of everything WMF does and did, but they always carefully try to hide their real power and decisions; likewise Jimbo hides behind the Board, although he is - in my eyes - in full control of nearly anything the Board does, thus also anything WMF does. The ridiculously pseudo-elections for some of the board members are only the sweet pill for the communities and the tool for Jimbo to pretend he is not the de-facto CEO of the whole Wikiverse. To accomplish what most users expect to be a collaborative and community-driven project we would need far more democratic entities and rules. Therefore, more contributors and readers would firstly need to understand the current structures. --Trofobi (talk) 19:05, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

Proposed resolution on user rights process[edit]

As announced earlier, I prepared a very simple text the board can certainly agree with: User:Nemo bis/User rights process. Please schedule for the earlier opportunity (a quick online meeting is probably sufficient). I recommend to vote on it before the WMF board elections end, to ensure higher participation. --Nemo 20:48, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi Nemo, I will bring this to the attention of the board. But this is in no way the "easy" topic you are suggesting it is. I will get back to you Jan-Bart (talk) 10:30, 15 May 2015 (UTC)