Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard

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Board of Trustees Board noticeboard Archives
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 new messages at the bottom of the page and sign them.
  • For details of the Board's role and processes, see the Board Handbook.
  • Threads older than 90 days will be automatically archived by ArchiverBot.


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)

Now that superprotect is gone, we no longer have the hypothetical problem "OMG the board is giving micro-management orders to the ED". It's time for the WMF board to focus on how to avoid future errors like that. Nemo 18:48, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

I agree, this is a good time to address this important issue. Thank you Nemo bis for taking the time and effort to put this proposal together. -Pete F (talk) 18:48, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
While this tool was not so much of a problem in and of itself, it was the misuse of this tool that was of concern IMO. Hopefully the same issue will not simply arise via another technique. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:25, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
The section was mistakenly archived by a bot. Nemo 07:47, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Have the stewards been notified about this proposal? It seems to fit neatly within their existing role. John Vandenberg (talk) 00:54, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes, see MF-W's comment. Of course it's fine if the WMF board sends a final notice to Stewards' noticeboard before approving the resolution. Nemo 09:42, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

About this page[edit]

When I entered the WMF Board of Trustees in summer 2012 I wanted to create a place where the community can get in contact with the Board, where exchange and deliberation can happen and where Board and community have the opportunity to get a better mutual understanding. After some discussions in the Board SJ started this page in November 2012.

Looking back I think the page hasn’t fulfilled its purpose and it was created with too little thinking about expectations and realization. In general the page has become more a Q&A page, where the Qs are a mixed bag of curiosity, assumptions, and inquiry and where the As are behind schedule or missing at all.

Why is that? The Board does not have a general process how to deal with this page. So, if you get an answer depends on if your question has been noticed by a board member who feels able to answer. If your question addresses staff related issues, you probably won’t get an answer at all. That’s far away from what was intended and also far away from how we imagine a fruitful communication between community and board. We definitely need to think about how to fix it with the resources we have. Given the amount and the importance of issues on the Board’s task list, I can’t promise you a quick solution, but I wanted to let you know that the Board is aware of this flaw and wants to change it. Alice Wiegand (talk) 09:34, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

It would help us, the Community, to help you, the Board, if you were able to give us some ideas of the amount of additional effort that you might be willing to invest in the desired fruitful communication. So far it is clear that the interaction has not been as fruitful as we all wish but I claim that the principal reason is that the Board has not been willing or able to invest the time and energy required. This is a pity as I am sure there are members of the Community ready willing and able to assist if only they were able to engage the Board in a constructive way. As I have already pointed out, the persistent failure to engage is diminishing the Community's confidence in the Board, and this is something that needs to be improved sooner rather than later. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:27, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Rogol, I honestly disagree that "additional effort" is a realistic opportunity. My personal opinion is that if something does not work the way you expect, it doesn't help just to do more of it. You need to do it differently to make a shift. Alice Wiegand (talk) 18:45, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
It is for you and your fellow Board members to determine the amount of effort you wish to devote to engaging with the Community: the choice is yours. You seem to be telling us that however you wish to engage in the future, you will not be devoting any more effort than you do at present, and that is your decision to make. But that decision has consequences, and it is for you to accept responsibility for those consequences. The amount of effort devoted by the Board collectively and individually in this forum and elsewhere to engagement with the Community on strategic matters has been small: very small. Indeed, elsewhere on this page I described it as conveying an impression, whether intentional or not I cannot say, of an attitude to the Community akin to contempt. This is the message you are sending out, and the message you are willing to continue to send out for the indefinite future. That is your choice, and I think it is a damaging one: you are choosing to worsen an already poor relationship by your inaction and disengagement. It is clear that the Board needs help in the present situation. It has, for whatever reason, chosen to allow its Advisory Committee to lapse, and it is faced with a major crisis in the governance of the Foundation and in the management of its own membership, to the extent that it cannot always manage its own affairs correctly. This is a time to ask for help, not the time to alienate the Community by comments which suggest that the reason for the Board's lack of engagement is that the Community has somehow failed to ask you the right questions. There is no way in which a successful mode of exchange and deliberation can be developed if you are not prepared to invest time and effort in participating fully and frankly in it. It doesn't matter what the Community does, if the Board is not prepared to engage. I do not know how to help you if you are determined not to be helped. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:33, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Mostly, this page could be merged to the Wikimedia Forum, from which issues can be "escalated"/notified to wikimedia-l (which WMF board members really ought to follow; following would be easier if WikimediaAnnounce-l was properly managed). What's really needed is a place for the community to officially log concrete proposals, such as #Proposed resolution on user rights process, which of course are expected to be preceded by wide discussion in proper venues (such as the Wikimedia Forum itself). Of course the WMF has never cared about community proposals in the last decade; but who knows, things might change sometime if people are given a chance. Nemo 07:47, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

[edit]

It has been almost two years now since the Foundation published its paid editing requirement in the TOU, the Wikipedia project has still not complied with the requirement to publish their alternate policy. The Wikipedia guidance is becoming more onerous by the day. My experiment with paid editing has resulted in exactly the kind of problems I was concerned about and discussed in the Foundation's RfC.

The disdain for paid and COI editing at Wikipedia is resulting in profiling of new users, their submissions and direct admonishments (sockpuppet allegation etc) on a regular basis from WP:COIN. Even established, compliant editors, can run afoul of the project's guidance when the rules can be changed (by certain editors) upon a whim. In the broadest terms, let's face the fact that the Wikipedia project does not want subjects that utilize sales of any type.

The Foundation's goals were amiable, but the implementation missed the mark of informing the end-reader of possible slanted content. (Unless the end-reader is sophisticated enough to inspect the article's talk page, the edit summaries and the user page of each contributing editor.) Contention on the Wikipedia from veteran volunteers that feel that nobody should be paid to edit, either as a consultant or an employee assigned to the task, is high enough now that I believe that the project should be divided. One solution would be a sister project for article's where the subject has to earn money to sustain itself/themselves -- a business friendly project to remove this contention. (A serious integrated sister wiki, not a cartoon.)

  1. The Wikipedian's who are most opposed to paid editing (anything that could be interpreted as advertising) and delete any perceived signs of advocacy, tend to be in academia and prefer short, traditional paper-style encyclopedic articles. Conceptual, scientific, academic articles would remain with the Wikipedia.
  2. An integrated business friendly wiki, would house corporations and organizations, biographies of living persons, film and recording, authors and books etc. (I.e., a wiki about creators and their creations which by their very nature require exposure to thrive, it's just a fact of life.) The new wiki project could warn the user that the wiki might contain information about sales, services and some articles may have connected contributors.
  3. Much like the migration to the Commons, the Wikipedia could choose to keep the article and sustain soft or hard redirects to the new location of the article. For instance, the Wikipedia could determine whether it wants to maintain the entire Microsoft article, or summarize the article in a soft redirect and provide a "See main article" hat, linking to the full article.
  4. In the new business friendly project, interested parties would adopt existing or create new guidelines. For instance, accepting RS interviews as evidence of notability. Paid editors could disclose their status on the new project and not be discriminated against when volunteering contributions to the Wikipedia project.
  5. The internet has changed, spamming the Wikipedia is not a viable SEO tactic as most Wikipedians still tend to believe. The reason why notable businesses, organizations and creators want a Wikipedia article is to participate in RDF and WikiData resources. With the enormous effort of the Wikipedia project to keep these articles out, migrating them out, instead of pruning to prepare for deletion, would seem to be a more productive use of energy and resolution of contention.

Most people have to earn a living, let's acknowledge this, and the fact that the Wikipedia project does not want these articles. Separate the two ideologies into sister projects so they can coexist in peace. 009o9 (talk) 20:06, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Do I get this right: You're proposing a spam-wiki as an official project alongside? Ever heard of en:Wikia to set up your own project? I really don't think your strange idea will get any traction here. BTW: I don't think that anyone really has anything against paid editors from GLAM, as long as they provide useful and npov content. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 17:42, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@Sänger: You decide, is this spam?[1] The article (not mine but I grabbed a copy) was recently pruned and AfD'd. Several years ago, such an article would have been at least a stub. There is definitely a protracted effort at WP:AfC to keep articles out and paid editing accusations abound at WP:COIN, even school alumni are now required to declare COI.[2] (Which means you have to stop editing your article of interest.) As far as I can tell, Wikia is a cartoon, not a serious wiki with an RDF backend. Regards, 009o9 (talk) 20:04, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
"The Foundation's goals were amiable" not really, they just wanted some news headlines. Nemo 20:20, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
Why would this commercially oriented wiki be associated with the WMF? How is it educational? Anyone is free to create such a site. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:51, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Because useful stub articles like En:The Best American Science Writing are no longer wanted at the Wikipedia and will likely be nominated for deletion as advertising when discovered.009o9 (talk) 18:47, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Additional Yes anybody can create a Wiki, but cross integration into the WikiData project is not likely. Yes, another data source could offered and curated, but it would be a lot like reinventing the wheel. A lot of decent subjects and contributions are being purged and declined if they even have a hint of commercial subject matter. I'm suggesting a place to sustain articles, like "The Best American Science Writing" instead of summarily deleting them. All information is valuable. What if I want to know who is the most preeminent scientist behind a commercial venture? If I have a product or corporation name, I'd have the breadcrumbs to do the research and learn the scientific terms behind the venture. If the information I'm seeking is buried under a scientific name, chances of finding it are greatly reduced.
Using the term "educational" in terms of scholastic learning is rather narrow, learning is a life-long process. In fact, most learning/education comes from a real world initiative, not the lecture hall. Even shallow articles like "The Best American Science Writing" can be improved in the Wiki format, but it is less far likely when a COI editor is precluded from direct editing, in addition to declaring her interest and employer. 009o9 (talk) 19:47, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Wikimedia Armenia[edit]

The following discussion is closed.

Because there is no 2015 annual financial report, and the 2014 annual financial report is half done, has nothing about "One Armenian, one article" campaign, please cancel the Recognition of Wikimedia Armenia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Vadgt (talk)

Financial report for 2015 will be ready in July, WMF is informed about it. 2014 annual financial report is complete. As for the "One Armenian, one article" campaign, Wikimedia Armenia spent no money on it, it was done in the collaboration with the local TV station.--David Saroyan (talk) 16:13, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
Vadgt, these questions are not for the Board of Trustees to answer. The purpose of this page is "discussing issues related to Wikimedia Foundation governance and policies, and related Board work". The Wikimedia Foundation is monitoring chapter compliance through its staff, so I have moved your questions to Wikimedia Armenia talk page. David Saroyan, thanks for providing the answer to the questions above --NTymkiv (WMF) (talk) 16:56, 3 July 2016 (UTC)

wmf:Resolution:Gift Policy Amendments Increase Threshold[edit]

«In most cases, the Board will be given 7 business days to decline». What a funny wording:

  • "be given" for "will give itself",
  • "in most cases" but no mention of who decides which cases are like "most" and which will require more time.

Is 7 days really an appropriate time? Such grants can take months of discussions, hence

  • such a limit forces the board to a yes/no choice without possibility of amendments and
  • the ED/delegate has a remarkable discretionary power in deciding when to submit the grant for approval.

I note this minimal amendment was not joined by any change to increase transparency. Also, will the WMF website state who is delegated by the ED for such matters, if anyone? --Nemo 07:38, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

Strategy Alpha[edit]

It seems from discussions, or lack thereof, that this is not a particularly effective forum for discussion of long-term strategic isssues between the Board and the Community. Rather than wait for something to happen, I have started a proposal at Grants:IdeaLab/Strategy Alpha. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 11:51, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

I have also started a related discussion at Grants:IdeaLab/Community Broker for the Board of Trustees. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 09:54, 14 August 2016 (UTC)