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Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-03-12 Telegram chat DE-WP

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The following discussion took place in the Telegram group "DE-WP", a German-language Wikipedia channel, initiated by a facilitator asking, what individual reasons people are having to abstain from participating in the Call for Feedback.

All participants gratefully agreed to copying and pasting it from there to Meta concerning copyright and privacy issues, one person asked to be anonymized. Thanks to all of you!


  • Michael Brandtner
  • Gereon K.
  • IvaBerlin
  • Sebastian Wallroth
  • Anonymous

Chat log[edit]

IvaBerlin: I read more often that neither the UCoC nor the board to be changed is much good. For that too many interfering decisions would fall without participation of the community.

For me personally applies : I only participate in such actions or bring me in, if I am not forced to do it in English. Of course it is the lingua franca. But. I notice that with the wikiwomen. If I know the women personally, then I also make an effort to get involved.

Michael Brandtner: For me, it's simply a question of time. Both with OpenStreetMap and here I rarely deal with the Foundation, because I prefer to use the little time I have to work on the content.

Gereon K.: I currently have several video conferences per day, so you have to set priorities. Maybe you can try other forms of communication. For example, asking specific questions. That is not so time-consuming.

Anonymous: Counter question: why should deWP care?

Sebastian Wallroth:

  1. The WMF Board is far away in terms of space and content. I feel more represented by the WMDE Presidium than by the WMF Board.
  2. The accompanying texts say that people from hitherto underrepresented world regions and population strata are wanted - and that is clearly not me.

Gereon K.: When there are reshuffles on the WMF board (I remember Doc James and the status of J. Wales) it is discussed on de.wp, so it seems to affect people. So I would expect then that when there is finally a say, the discussion would be sought.
And WMF hosts our projects, so we should be interested.

Anonymous: What say in what? The WMF should take care of the running of the software and hardware - nothing more. And even there, there are problems at every turn.

Sebastian Wallroth: It should. I have a fundamental problem with elections in the Movement (at all levels): I would have to spend a considerable amount of time and effort to get to know the candidates. What issues have they already dealt with? What issues are they interested in? What are their views on issues that interest me? How can I compare the views of the candidates? A technical solution would probably be a Wahl-o-mat (a German voting advice application). I can't do that on my own. And I can't afford to get a team together to set it up either.

Anonymous: Don't ask (WMF/WMDE) what the Wikipedians can do for you, ask what you can do for the Wikipedians. That's what it's all about. Sometimes - rather often - and I think I'm not the only one, I get the feeling that wmf/wmde see the wikipedian as a somehow necessary, but mostly unteachable evil.

Sebastian Wallroth: This is a gross oversimplification of a complex issue. "The Wikipedian" does not exist. And "WMF/WMDE" as a homogeneous unit does not exist either.