One of the key recommendations of the strategic goals for 2030 was the collaborative creation of a Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) to provide a global baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire movement without tolerance for harassment. The global Wikimedia community must work well together in producing knowledge resources for the benefit of the world. Forging welcoming, inclusive, harassment-free spaces, in which people can contribute productively and debate constructively is critical for the movement’s success.
The Board continues to stand by its May 2020 statement on “Healthy Community Culture, Inclusivity, and Safe Spaces” that, “harassment, toxic behavior, and incivility in the Wikimedia movement are contrary to our shared values and detrimental to our vision & mission" and therefore to our joint strategic goals for 2030.
The ratification of the collaboratively created UCoC last year was a notable milestone, and hopefully the discussion on the ratification process for the collaboratively created enforcement guidelines proposal today will lead to another one.
The enforcement guidelines proposal is a major achievement of thoughtful co-creation for the global communities that took part in the months of consultations, the volunteers leading the drafting committee itself, and the Wikimedia Foundation. The Board is very grateful to the volunteers and staff members who collaboratively drafted first the UCoC itself that the trustees ratified last year, and now the enforcement guideline proposal.
While the UCoC is already in effect, the completion and ratification of the enforcement guidelines proposal will allow everyone to begin a period of assessing how they function, in action. We should collectively discover where both the original document and the pathways to enforce it work well and where they need to be improved. Once the guidelines are adopted, communities and the Foundation will begin to collect information on how they are working for the subsequent review of both after a year.
The Board strongly supports the proposal made by the joint letter of Arbitration Committees for community voting on the enforcement guidelines proposal prior to the Board’s own ratification of the final guidelines. Trustees also recognize the support of such a vote expressed by surveyed volunteer functionaries, affiliate members, and the drafting committee.
Based on their input, and aligned with processes used for the Wikimedia Foundation Board Elections, all registered Wikimedia contributors who meet minimum activity requirements, affiliate and Foundation staff and contractors (employed prior to 1/17/22), and current and former Foundation trustees, will have the opportunity to vote on the enforcement guidelines proposal in SecurePoll.
A threshold of above 50% support of participating users will be needed to move on to Board of Trustees ratification. If the majority of voters oppose the adoption of the guidelines as written, they will be asked which elements need to be changed and why. This would allow for another round of edits to address community concerns prior to another vote, if needed. Both the UCoC and the enforcement guidelines (after ratified), will also be open for review and voter-endorsed amendments annually.
The Board asks every member of the Wikimedia communities to continue creating a safe and welcoming culture that stops hostile and toxic behavior, supports people targeted by such behavior, and assists good-faith people.
The Board believes these enforcement guidelines, once finalized, will be an important step in encouraging productive work on the Wikimedia projects. The Board hopes that you will step in to review and provide your feedback and thoughts in the vote, so that the ratification process can start with a strong preliminary approach.
On behalf of the Board,