Wikimedia Foundation elections/2017/Board of Trustees/Questions/Submitted/1

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Info The election ended 11 June 2017. No more votes will be accepted.
The results were announced on 19 June 2017. Please consider submitting any feedback regarding the 2017 election on the election's post mortem page.


Submit a question[edit]

From 7 April to 20 April 2017, members of the Wikimedia movement may submit questions via this page to candidates for the Board of Trustees. You can ask your question in any language; the Elections Committee will make an effort to translate.

Hindi Community Questions[edit]

Hindi is 4th largest language community.

1. What do you think about its present condition?

2. Do you agree that it deserves this condition?

3. Why nothing has been done till date to address this issue?

4. What will you do for Hindi Wikipedia.

5. How will you ensure that Hindi Wikipedia remains on radar, even in your absence. How do you plan to institutionalise it.

6. What is your Opinion About Hindi Wikiversity?-Jayprakash12345 (talk) 05:22, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

User:Jayprakash12345 I have collaborated on some work on Hindi Wikipedia per my edits here.
I continue to support the develop of offline content. Our English medical offline app for example has seen more downloads from India than any other country. We have a version in Odia and would love to see one developed in Hindi.
I also support improving offline abilities of our main Wikipedia apps. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:34, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Hi Jayprakash12345, I've answered some of it here. I think that the present condition of Hindi Wikipedia is a good start for becoming great in the future, but the current state of affairs is very far from its true potential. As a Board member I've supported making it a priority to change the way things are and I believe that even the current annual plan should start changes for the better. We have recently hade you a priority, which I wholeheartedly supported and will support. The previous poor addressing of the problem is something I am not the best person to comment, as it is my first term on the Board. However, I believe that there are several issues at play at the same time: suboptimal support for the local affiliates and some governance tensions that hindered quicker development. Still not very strong representation of the Hnndi community in leadership of the movement (the FDC, the Affcom, the Board). Strong cultural bias of Anglophones (visible e.g. on the example of Ganges river article, where Ganga remains just a redirect - I've described this case and other forms of cultural unequality in my book and as a Board member I strongly support more cultural diversity and focus on non-English communities). Pundit (talk) 12:55, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Please, note that the questions asked on this page have been later combined and collated by the Election Committee, and they are available with the answers from the candidates:

Submitted questions[edit]

What makes you a great member of the Wikimedia board: experience, knowledge and/or spirit?[edit]

What is your opinion about what we can call our constitution of five rules, all other let's call them amendments. Are changes necessary and if so will you do your best to make the changes possible and how? Do you believe more direct communication between the board and the "normal" users can be encouraged and soon made effective? — The preceding unsigned comment was added by KlaasZ4usV (talk) 07:45, 7 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimedia environmental impact[edit]

(English) As a likely future member of the Board of Trustees, what is your opinion regarding the environmental impact of Wikimedia Foundation's projects ? Do you have any plan to reduce it in the coming years ? If so, how ?
(French) En tant que probable futur membre du Conseil d'administration, quelle est votre opinion concernant l'impact environnemental des différents projets de la Fondation Wikimedia ? Avez-vous l'intention de réduire cet impact dans les années à venir ? Si oui, comment ? --Arthur Crbz (talk) 08:04, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The board, the diversity and you[edit]

In the last couple of years, everytime when electing or appointing board members was on the movement's agenda, the question of diversity in the board was addressed. Stimulating diversity, though, is neither as self-explanatory nor as unilinear as one might think in the first place. A hypothetical candidate who is a female from South East Asia could be yet another IT specialist in her 40s. This is why I'd like you to specify two reasons, why you, if elected, would make the board more diverse than it is right now, and to name two different aspects of your personality which do not differ from, let's say, most of the current board members. Thanks! → «« Man77 »» [de] 11:10, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Community influence[edit]

Do you agree that community influence in the Board should be expanded? If so, what measures do you intend to suggest in order to reach this? If not, why not?--Mautpreller (talk) 14:58, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I strongly soppurt this question. The answer will make one of my mayor themes of voting for or against a candidate. Marcus Cyron (talk) 13:07, 9 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I support this question. --JosFritz (talk) 10:39, 10 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I do as well. The community is the core of the Wikiverse, the WMF is just a service organisation of the community. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 20:52, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
+1 BethNaught (talk) 21:24, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
+1. --DaB. (talk) 19:23, 13 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Soni (talk) 05:02, 17 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

WMF role in disputes[edit]

In recent years, there have been several instances (1, 2, 3) where intractable disputes over content and/or user conduct have consumed a wiki community to the point where it can no longer work towards the goals of Wikimedia. Currently it is difficult to solve such problems since there is no body tasked with resolving these disputes. What are your thoughts on these issues, and do you believe that WMF staff or the WMF Board should play a role in this? --Rschen7754 17:55, 9 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

+1 BethNaught (talk) 21:27, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm... Must revote this if repeating the question from the 2015 election is okay. --George Ho (talk) 17:17, 22 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Public policy and political association[edit]

Do you support the WMF Policy and Political Association Guideline, including its restrictions in the area of political advocacy and requirements for community consultations prior to certain types of actions? --Yair rand (talk) 18:08, 9 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Summary of question[edit]

Does anyone in the Borad of Borat's 2006 Trustees within the Board of Trustees speak Spanish? Cars4me (talk) 09:59, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Anyone? Cars4me (talk) 15:32, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Removal of members[edit]

Under what circumstances, in your understanding, would it be appropriate to remove another board member? If a community member is removed, would you support calling a by-election? BethNaught (talk) 15:55, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I support this question.--Mautpreller (talk) 19:23, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Chris Troutman (talk) 14:38, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support as well. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:38, 15 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Soni (talk) 05:02, 17 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
+1 Marcus Cyron (talk) 12:02, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
+1 The lack of communication with the last board removal was a horrible, heart breaking experience. I want to have faith that this experience will not be a recurring event, and talking about what will happen if it happens again seems like a natural progression. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:45, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Trust of Wikimedia[edit]

The way that the public precieves us is a large roadblock that we face on the road to providing free knowledge for everyone. As a trustee, how would you contribute to our mission of making non-contributors trust our content and our mission more? Jith12 (talk) 20:18, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]


How will you prevent vandalism more effectively, seeing as vandals can currently get away with it until another user notices, which may take days? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by StraightOuttaBoston (talk) 13:21, 11 April 2017

  • I support this question. It is very crucial for a trustee to safeguard the goals of this project and protect its integrity

--Shashank16392 (talk) 14:42, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Sister projects and project proposals[edit]

How will you handle Wikipedia's sister projects, like Wikimedia Commons, Wikinews, and Wikiversity? Also, there have been growing supports on proposed projects, like Wikijournal, Wikigames (2), NonFreeWiki, and Wikidirectory. Will there be board meetings about the new projects? If not, how else do you handle the proposals? --George Ho (talk) 22:53, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Commitment with Gender Gap reduction on Wikimedia movement[edit]

Majority of the Wikimedia affiliates boards and leaderships are driven by males. On last Wikimedia Conference 2017 in Berlin the Board Chairs meeeting was 100% male event. What are you're proposals of effective actions to reduce this situation at your future Board Member role? --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 16:17, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with Marcus Cyron. Thémistocle (talk) 19:33, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Of course effective actions can be taken not only in this election but in all the Wikimedia movement to be aware of this shaming situation. --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 00:53, 1 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • +1 excellent question. We are told the editing community of women is at least around 10%, there is "1 librarian 1 edit", and even a "Keilana effect" that proves out the metrics, certainly women should have a place at the table. But how many women do we see at Wikimania, or in the other rooms where policy is made. (Seriously, go look at any photo of Jimbo's speech on any year and tell me where are all the women.) What are the barriers? Anonymity? Funding? Access to policy making initiatives that would remove barriers to access to policy making initiatives? (irony alert) And who represents these women? The local chapter? As I understand it, affiliates get two freebies to these events; if only 10% of their membership is female, what are their criteria for selection, and what are the chances of any women being selected. —Neotarf (talk) 23:26, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

What's your consequence from the anti-community stuff in late 2015, early 2016?[edit]

In late 2015 one community elected member, Doc James was booted by the board without any proper explanation (up to now). Instead of a new election, the board choose without any community consulting someone else to replace him (sorry, Raystorm, it's absolutely not against you as a person, just against the anti-democratic behaviour of the board). Will you carry out such anti-community actions as well? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 20:51, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

That's a loaded question - rephrasing the last sentence would probably help get some proper answers. Braveheart (talk) 23:01, 17 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Do you agree that Wikimedia projects should primarily pursue educational objectives, rather than financial and technological ones? If so, what should be done to strengthen the weight of educational objectives? Specifically: There are four seats "appointed by the rest of the Board for specific expertise". How do you think they should be selected? Specifically, do you agree that members of educational institutions (universities, libraries, etc.) should be selected? --Mautpreller (talk) 09:49, 13 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Passions in Wikipedia[edit]

What are you passionate about in life and in Wikipedia? In other words, what do you think we can and should achieve via Wikipedia? — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bio-CLC (talk) 15:54, 13. Apr. 2017 (UTC)

que mejorarian si llegaran a ganar[edit]

los campos de la fisica

Two questions on strategy[edit]

I understand an important role of the BT is to deal with strategic thinking of the movement. With this in mind:

  1. What has been your involvement in the ongoing Wikimedia-movement strategic discussion? Could you please link to your contributions in this broad discussion?
  2. Are you familiar with the ongoing global campaign Whose Knowledge?? Could you please specify if you have had any contribution to this campaign? What do you think of the premise of this campaign that Wikimedia projects have a "systemic bias" against marginalized forms of knowledge?

Thanks and good luck all! --Joalpe (talk) 23:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Gender Gap[edit]

This question is similar to another one asked earlier, but I would like to broaden the terms. How do you intend to increase the coverage of females in Wikimedia projects (specifically the number of articles on female figures on Wikipedia) and increase the number of female contributors to the Wikimedia movement? Good luck, Jith12 (talk) 01:11, 16 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

  • The staff gender gap as well. Are you in favor of publishing information about the percentage of female employees, including wage equality information. Also the percentage of women interviewed for positions...I have heard that some time ago the foundation interviewed 200-odd candidates for positions and exactly zero were women. —Neotarf (talk) 23:26, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • I oppose this question. Most volunteers are males. Why should Wikimedia give the few women that are volunteers unfair advantages that males don't have? ーTesser4Dtalk16:31, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Constraints on affiliates[edit]

Wikimedia movement affiliates are very important to achieve the goal. But in case, especially the chapters, are facing issues with their local laws and governmental policies. Because these constraints the chapter are unable to completely fulfill their objectives. So what steps would like to take to resolve this issue? --Regards, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga (talkmail) 15:32, 16 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Following ethics is good for the person who interacts with Wikimedia. Right?[edit]


When will Meta be cleaned of duplicate pages from WMF wiki ?[edit]

They are not even maintained, former staff is still marked a active. CreativeC38 (talk) 08:45, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Call for candidates criteria for great WMF Board members[edit]

Dear Candidates, thank you for your submissions and personal presentations!

Unfortunately, the presentation layout does not match directly the traits expected from a great WMF Board Member, outlined in the call for candidates. As many of us are not aware of all your major achievements, could you respond point-by-point to these expectations, including (but limited to) 5 very important bullet points regarding your past activities and experience?

Thank you, and Good Luck! aegis maelstrom δ 13:22, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Priorities: community vs Foundation vs mission[edit]

Sometimes - and hopefully very rarely - Trustees will need to make decisions where what is best for the community, what is best for the Foundation, or what is best for the mission may be in conflict. As a Trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation you will have certain legal obligations towards the Foundation - if you don't know them yet, it would be good for you to read up on them before you get elected.

I would prefer the answer not spend any time on explaining that all three are important, and that it is hard to imagine such a situation. If you don't have enough imagination to come up with such a situation, that would be very interesting information about you and your capability for imagination. Also, please do not explain possible conflicts away.

The question is: how will you deal with such conflicts and your legal obligations towards the Foundation? How will you prioritize your obligations to the Foundation as a Trustee, your obligations to the community as your electorate, and your obligations to the mission, if they come into conflict? --denny (talk) 17:28, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Size of the Foundation vs Benefit for the mission[edit]

Since your main task is to oversee the Foundation, how do you plan to assess whether the size of the Foundation and its spending is aligned with the benefits it brings to the mission and the community? How do you know whether the Foundation needs 30 more people, or should reduce its head count? Based on what criteria will you decide that the Executive Director did a good job? What are your expectations for a well-performing Foundation, and how do you know whether they have been achieved in an efficient way? --denny (talk) 17:28, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Branding issues[edit]

The Wikimedia movement has been plagued for years with branding issues. Most of our movement members, and sometimes even staff and Trustees, never mind the public, are confused by the plethora of names and whether they are part of the Wikimedia movement or not: Wikimedia, Wikipedia, MediaWiki, Wikiversity, Wikinews, Wikileaks, Wikispecies, Wikitravel, Wikivoyage, Wikihow, Translatewiki, Wikia, WikiMed Foundation, WIkibase, Wikidata, Wikitongues - who knows, without looking up, which one of these are projects of the movement and which are not? Do you think that is an issue? Do you think it should be solved? Do you think the Foundation should solve it? Do you have preferences on how to solve it? --denny (talk) 17:28, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Spot on, denny. Kudos and Support Support Alleycat80 (talk) 18:37, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
This is a major problem for small, casual, Wikipedia community meetups which invite the public. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:47, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Never thought about the branding until now. I'll support this. --George Ho (talk) 16:28, 22 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Building trust[edit]


Thanks for being a candidate in this process. When you get to my question, you've gone through two dozen already, I'm sympathetic to your situation. I hope you bear with me.

Over the past years, tensions have increase time and again, between WMF board and affiliates, between WMF board and community, between some chapters and their respective communities, between WMF staff members and the board, between WMF staff members and the community, and probably a few more interactions. In my view, most of those issues lead back to lack of trust, poor and untimely communication and a lack of effective consultation infrastructure.

Could you comment on whether you'd agree with that assessment, and what you see as the core cause (and solution)? I'm hoping for a little more than superficial statements, and explicitely invite you to demonstrate your deeper insight in the workings of our movement, and how that can be improved. Effeietsanders (talk) 17:35, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]


The best question - IMHO - we got last time around was from the Signpost [1].

It is simple: sort the following 10 priorities by most to least important.

  1. Increasing editor retention
  2. Increasing reader and editor participation in the global south
  3. Reducing the gender gap in the editing communities
  4. Providing more engineering resources to improve editors' experience
  5. Investing more in collecting data relevant to our mission
  6. Investing more in mobile
  7. Providing more engineering resources to improve readers' experience
  8. Advocating for freedom of information on the internet
  9. Funding more offline meetups (e.g. conferences, editathons)
  10. Implementing VisualEditor

What will you do in order to see your prioritization implemented? --denny (talk) 21:22, 18 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

What Denny suggests is nice. Alternatively, I would be happy to hear of a top 3. Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:47, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Uncontrolled spending increases[edit]

In my essay at User:Guy Macon/Wikipedia has Cancer I make several proposals.

Whether of not you agree with the essay as a whole, would you be willing to propose and/or support the following?

  • Make spending largely transparent, publish a detailed account of what money is being spent on and answer any reasonable questions asking for more details. There is no need for you to remind us that some things cannot be published because of legal or privacy issues. I am asking whether we should be as open and transparent as possible, not asking the board to do something stupid or illegal.
  • Limit spending increases to no more than inflation plus some percentage (adjusted for any increases in page views). Are you willing to support any limit at all on spending growth, and if so roughly how much? 10%? 20%? 30%?
  • Build up our endowment and structure the endowment so that the WMF cannot legally dip into the principal when times get bad. There is no need to answer with something to the effect that either you or the WMF have good intentions. I am specifically asking whether you support making the endowment principle legally untouchable, allowing the WMF to only spend the endowment interest.

If we do these things now, in a few short years we could be in a position to do everything we are doing now, while living off of the endowment interest, and would have no need for further fundraising. Or we could keep fundraising, using the donations to do many new and useful things, knowing that whatever we do there is a guaranteed income stream from the endowment that will be large enough to keep the servers running indefinitely. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:00, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Balancing moral and legal duties: How?[edit]

As a board member, you will face situations whereby the responsibilities you carry as a trustee require you to take courses of action that are in the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation but not of those of the wider Wikimedia movement. This might include the responsibilities of being an employer, or the being the ultimate legal guardians of the Wikimedia Foundation. How will you handle occasions where the requirement to fulfil your responsibilities as a trustee runs counter to your own personal moral dilemmas?

Seddon (talk) 03:20, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Role as an employer[edit]

Through 2015 and 2016, the relationship between staff and board was the worse it had ever been. These difficulties came about due to the conflicting roles the board of trustees faced as the ultimate employer at the Wikimedia Foundation. What are the challenges that are faced when handling such a situation involving the poor performance of a direct report to the board? How would you handle such a situation as an employer?

Seddon (talk) 03:29, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Why should we* trust you?

  • (readers, donors, staff members, editors, affiliate members, supporters)

Seddon (talk) 03:37, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Movement Structure - The Future[edit]

In your own opinion what form should the organisational structure of the Wikimedia entities take? How would you establish what the rights, roles, and responsibilities of the various entities would be?

Seddon (talk) 03:42, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

  • Perhaps some comment here about community governance: local wiki governance does not have a mandate for administrative tasks like planning or organization of priorities, but is only authorized to resolve "disputes" by finding someone to accuse of misconduct. All of this is without any regard for standards of proof or due process. See Kevin's remarks at the diversity conference [2]. Should local governance have a different or more administrative type of mandate. Also a huge number of people (see "Keilana effect") like librarians or other professionals are making a huge dent in article quality by making edits at events; where is their representation on these local "courts" or within the movement. —Neotarf (talk) 23:26, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Beyond Wikipedia[edit]

What is your commitment towards our mission beyond Wikipedia. How will you support Commons, Wikidata, wikivoyage etc. Do we need to shutter or 'fork off' some sister projects, to create more focus. Or do you see space to strengthen sister projects within the purview of the mission and even to significantly invest in them, to 'sell them to the public'. Should we actively look for new opportunities, new projects, in this area ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 08:46, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I'd also include public policy, activism here but since there already is a question on that particular topic, probably better to keep it focused on 'content/projects' —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 08:48, 19 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Volunteer and professional Wikipedians[edit]

Wikipedia relies primarily on volunteer labor, and many are attracted to Wikipedia in part due to its countercultural nature of subverting traditional gatekeepers to knowledge. Recently there has been increasing participation by professionals through formal programs in GLAM institutions, universities, and government agencies, who are bound by workplace standards of decorum. How can volunteers and professionals with different standards of conduct be made to coexist on Wikipedia with the minimal disruption to our existing contributor base? Antony-22 (talk) 01:05, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Do we need to adopt new processes to deal with harassment, either community-based or directly through the Foundation? Antony-22 (talk) 01:06, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Strongly support this question. Chico Venancio (talk) 15:01, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Also the role of machine learning like DETOX project, the role of admins--do they just need bigglier hammers and more authority, exempting admins from standards ("false positives"), targeting the users rather than the harassment, the role of community in setting standards and expectations. —Neotarf (talk) 23:55, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Support for rural users[edit]

In addition to our efforts to expand support in developing countries, what can we do to support readers and contributors in rural areas in developed countries, who also often have limited access to education and economic opportunity? Antony-22 (talk) 01:07, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Transparency vs Privacy[edit]

We all know both transparency and privacy are important. Again, please avoid spending time on explaining that they are both important. My question is: how do you weigh them against each other? For example, the English Wikipedia has very strong rules against outing and disclosing information about contributors. But this effectively runs counter to our ability to detect paid editing and other biased editing practices. What is more important to you, and where do you draw the balance? Feel free to disclose your contributions to policies or actions one way or the other.

Related: as as Board member your job is to oversee the Foundation. Doing that you will have some privileged access to private information about the Foundation's employees. In your opinion, in what cases is it OK to value transparency over the privacy of the employees, i.e. to disclose information about employees that have been private before? --denny (talk) 15:42, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

What is Wikimedia Foundation's biggest challenge, and what would you do to overcome it (with endless resources)?[edit]

A bit hypothetical, but bear with me please. WMF plays an important part of the Wikimedia Movement, and has many shortcomings demonstrated over the last few years. In many ways, if WMF improves it would have a ripple effect on volunteers, affiliates and other stakeholders. In your view, what is the biggest challenge faced by WMF today, and what would you do to improve it if you had no limitation of resources and influence? Alleycat80 (talk) 18:42, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

  • +1 An important question, but there might be more than one "insurmountable" problem. Also important to identify such a problem, even if there is no apparent answer. This is the advantage of an open source movement, you can crowd-source the answers. —Neotarf (talk) 23:42, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimedia as a global movement[edit]

Wikimedia form a global ecosystem of volunteers, readers, projects, local organizations, regional co-operations, committees, partners etc., with WMF and San Francisco office placed in the middle of this network. What would you like to change in this landscape in the next 3 years? aegis maelstrom δ 20:02, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

  • Also perhaps some reflection on recent changes in the implementation of U.S. immigration policy, and how to adapt the movement for international participation. —Neotarf (talk) 23:45, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Real transparency of the Board[edit]

Question mainly to current and former members of the Board who candidate now (Dariusz, Maria and James):

In your statements you claim that you advocate and strongly support more transparency of the Board's work. You also claim that your actions indeed increased the transparency - but - exactly how? I know - there was 2016 resolution, there were some discussions with WMF Communications team - but in terms of real effects of this - what really has changed in comparison with the beginning of your first term? To be honest I can't see the big improvement of transparency of the Board. The Board communicates officially issuing minutes and resolutions since 2004. Some members of the Board sometimes sends/answers E-mail, speak during the conferences, etc.. but it was always like that. So, what else? What do you do in terms of real communications with community which is different then 2 or 3 years ago? Try to persuade me (and others) - that indeed any substantial improvement regarding Board transparency has been achieved and how... Polimerek (talk) 20:11, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Strong support Strong support BethNaught (talk) 07:21, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Other gaps[edit]

Wikimedia discussions, including candidates' presentations, often mention two gaps: 1) underrepresentation of non-males (a gender gap), 2) underrepresentation of particular traditions, perspectives, languages etc. from less developed regions of the world (which are sometimes called Global South, Emerging Communities or differently). Do you recognize any other gap(s) which should be addressed by WMF? How? aegis maelstrom δ 20:41, 20 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Access to community news and an informed voter base[edit]

I am concerned that the Wikimedia community does not have access to enough information to be well organized or make informed decisions.

In the 2015 board election, English readers were fortunate that The Signpost published election updates including call for candidates, candidate interviews, and discussions of the voting system. However, everyone who has worked on this community newsletter has said that although the journalism is fun there are administrative parts of running a newspaper which are tedious and beyond the capacity of what a group of volunteers can do indefinitely. As of April 21, The Signpost community newsletter has not been published in 2 months due to volunteer fatigue. I feel like for this election, lots of people want newsletter information about the election but because of the burdens of publishing, it will not happen for this election cycle.

I feel that many of the Wikimedia community's most active participants in community politics used The Signpost as a basis for being informed about major Wikimedia community issues. I regret that my access to this kind of information is so fragile and fleeting. Some data indicated that The Signpost consistently had several thousand readers, which is approximately the same number of people who will vote in this election. I am not suggesting that all voters need The Signpost, but I do think voters need access to multiple perspectives in community-based journalism which is independent of the Wikimedia Foundation and The Signpost fulfilled some of that need. The winners of this election will oversee a budget of about USD 100 million a year, and yet I doubt whether it is possible for the voting base to access the kind of journalism which helps people discuss the issues which ought to be the basis of casting a vote. How satisfied are you with the amount of access that the voting community has to the information they need to make an informed decision to vote in this election, considering the seriousness of the consequences? Can you make any commitment to do anything to improve community access to information? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:39, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Support Support the broad question about improving community access to information. The narrow question on the Signpost, OTOH, should probably go to a grant request process. Smallbones (talk) 14:58, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • As a former Signpost feature writer, I would have to ask if it is "volunteer fatigue" or toxic internal culture? A *lot* of good people have left, and many have not benefited by their relationship with the Signpost, to put it mildly. Perhaps it is better to ask which functions can be spun off--community calendar to the mailing lists, etc. Or if someone wants to be on a mailing list for, say, picture of the week, maybe that could be automated. Paying someone to write it is not compatible with "independent" coverage, although many would say the Signpost has never really been independent. —Neotarf (talk) 23:26, 21 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Neotarf well put... --WPPilot (talk) 19:05, 23 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

WMF involvement in countering abuse[edit]

Dear candidate. Our current Terms of Use prohibits some activities that disrupt our projects, or are unlawful. Actually if an user egregiously violates those ToU, the response from the office seems to be a global ban. However that does not prevent the banned user to come back over and over (abusing multiple accounts, etc.) and continue with the abusive activities, with the communities and the affected users having to deal with the problem again. Certain problematic long-term abusers and vandals had already caused that some good editors leave the projects as they could not stand anymore (e.g. continuous harassment towards them, death threats, stalking, vandalism, etc.). As such, would you support a greater involvement of the Foundation at all levels, including pursuing civil or criminal actions towards specially problematic long-term abusers, where previous measures have demonstrated to be inefficient? Thanks. —MarcoAurelio 10:52, 22 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]


(English) Should the WMF ignore decisions of the wiki communities and act against them? (For example by using Superprotect) Should WMF give an answer to a letter, that almost 1000 users signed? Should WMF globally block ("lock") users whithout providing any reasons?
As you can see WMF has failed in many ways. Simple question: Will you do things the right and democratic way? And will you fix the errors that previous Boards of Trustees made? ーTesser4D 【talk16:57, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
(German) Sollte die WMF Entscheidungen von Wiki-Communitys ignorieren und dagegen antreten? (z. B. durch den Gebrauch von Superprotect) Sollte WMF eine Antwort auf einen Brief, den fast 1000 Benutzer unterschrieben haben? Sollte MWF Benutzer global sperren ohne irgendwelche Gründe anzugeben?
Wie man sehen kann, hat WMF in vielen Wegen versagt. Einfache Frage: Wirst du Dinge richtig und demokratisch tun? Und wirst du die Fehler, die vorherige Boards of Trustees gemacht haben, ausbessern? ーTesser4D 【talk16:57, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I pushed for removal of superprotect when last on the board. Yes IMO a formal statement from the WMF should occur along with assurances that such steps will not occur again. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:14, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Dear Tesser4D, I believe I helped quite a bit in removing the SuperProtect. Regarding a formal reply, about 3 months ago I asked Katherine about it. She agreed that a reply had been due when the petition was created, but believed that the issue is already long past. I argued that a reply could have a positive effect nevertheless. I would certainly support a solution in which any massive petition deserves a timely answer, although I have to admit that currently the communication is usually quite prompt anyway. Pundit (talk) 13:01, 10 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
(Just to note I responded on Tesser4D's talk page. Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 13:03, 10 May 2017 (UTC) )[reply]
The statement need not come from the ED, the statement can simply come from the board. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:42, 10 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I definitely would support such a statement. In fact, I believe it could be a statement meant to reset and start a new chaper of relations with the community. Pundit (talk) 14:45, 10 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Answers to questions?[edit]

Hi, these are all nice questions, but I'd like to see the answers to the questions, so I can decide how to vote. Are there any? If so where are they? I got here from Wikimedia Foundation Board Elections 2017 and I'm very confused now :-D --Kaicarver (talk) 08:37, 11 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

AH, found them: Directory of answers
Yes the Qs were combined together and we answered ten of them. If you have further questions of me other others fell free to post them here. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:58, 11 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
While I am available for questions, I am not sure if all candidates have the same luxury... Pundit (talk) 07:29, 12 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I've added this section at the top for clarity. Pundit (talk) 07:36, 12 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]