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Wikipedia:Community response to the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of Fram

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User:Fram banned for 1 year by WMF office

Fram (talk · contribs · logs · block log)

Please note admin User:Fram has been banned for 1 year as per Office action policy by User:WMFOffice. - Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 17:56, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

What the hell? There had better be a damn good explanation; Fram is arguably the best admin in Wikipedia's history, and while I can imagine problems so bad they warrant an emergency WP:OFFICE ban without discussion, I find it hard to imagine problems that are simultaneously so bad they warrant an emergency ban without discussion but simultaneously so unproblematic that the ban will auto-expire in a year. ‑ Iridescent 18:01, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
And also only applicable to enwiki, meaning Fram can communicate on other wikis. I note that the WMF only recently gave themselves the power to do partial bans/temporary bans.. Galobtter (pingó mió) 18:09, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Galobtter - Any clue about whether Fram's ban is the first exercise in implementing these or have other editors been subject to these P-bans, earlier? WBGconverse 18:43, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Winged Blades of Godric, first on enwiki at least per User:WMFOffice contributions, I checked de wiki and found some more de:Special:Contributions/WMFOffice; the timing of those dewiki bans suggests the policy was put into place to ban those two people. Galobtter (pingó mió) 18:47, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
@Winged Blades of Godric: It is not. The first WMF partial bans were done in German Wikipedia. The earliest that I know of is Judith Wahr in February. Policy regarding partial bans were added around the same time (about two hours prior to the bans' implementation). -★- PlyrStar93 Message me. 18:50, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't want to import drama from other projects into here but is there any more public info (i.e. discussed on de.wikipedia in a public location and still available) on what went on there? As mentioned, the timing of the policy change suggests it was likely at least partly done to allow a block of that specific user. Given the way the WMF stepped in, I expected something similar to here, may be an experienced editor who was blocked. But they only seem to have around 900 edits. True the ban there was indef though unlike this one and it doesn't seem the editor is particularly interested in editing elsewhere however as others said, it was technically also only a partial ban since it didn't affect other projects suggesting whatever it is wasn't severe enough to prevent editing any WMF projects. Nil Einne (talk) 06:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
I suspect this isn't going anywhere further but for the benefit of others I had a quick look at machine translations of one of the discussions linked and think that possibly the account linked above was just one of the accounts the editor used which may explain the low edit count. Nil Einne (talk) 10:19, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
See #FYI: Similar incident in de.wp some months ago. Which reminded me of something I'd read about but completely forgot when replying. It sounds like the editor concerned was already either blocked or banned by the community so it probably wasn't quite like here where plenty feel any ban of the editor concerned is unjusitified. Of course concerns over WMF's over reach or getting unnecessarily involved in project governance as well as other issues like the WMF ban unlike the community block or ban being unappealable still arose. Nil Einne (talk) 22:02, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm with you on this. Fram and I have butted heads a time or two (I think?) but I just am trying to wrap my mind around a decision like this with no real explanation. I understand the nature of WMFOffice blocks but I would think that anything egregious enough for an emergency decision like this would have had some indication prior to it happening, like a community discussion about bad behavior or abuse of tools which would reveal PII (os, cu), but Fram was neither of those. I can't seem to think of a single thing that would warrant such unilateral action that could also result in only a one year ban (as opposed to indefinite, if that makes sense) and so narrowly focused on one local project. Praxidicae (talk) 18:06, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Going to echo this as well. This is a very cryptic block, which seems very hard to tie to any public behaviour. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:01, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, saying "email us" is not sufficient explanation for banning a well-known veteran editor and admin like this.-- Pawnkingthree (talk) 18:10, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Per Iri. It's also so unproblematic that he's not banned on any other WMF projects?! Banning from only seems like something ArbCom gets to do, not WMF. And I see he's already been desysopped by WMF, instead of locally, too. If there are privacy issues involved, I certainly don't need to know what's going on, but I do want ArbCom informed of what is going on and get their public assurance that they agree with the action, and this isn't bullshit. They even preemptively removed talk page access. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:11, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
User:Whatamidoing (WMF), I know you're heartily sick of my pinging you, but if ever there was a situation that needed an explanation from Commmunity Relations, this is it. ‑ Iridescent 18:13, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
This is T&S business and I am not sure if Community Relations knows better. — regards, Revi 18:14, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Which goes back to my original point: if it's egregious enough (T&S) to warrant a unilateral decision like that, why only a year? Praxidicae (talk) 18:15, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If it's a T&S issue, then why is he still trusted on every other project, and why is it simultaneously so urgent it needs to be done instantly without discussion, but so unproblematic it expires after a year? "We're the WMF, we can do what we like" may be technically true, but the WMF only exists on the back of our work; absent some kind of explanation this looks like a clear-cut case of overreach. As Floq says, if there's an issue here that can't be discussed publicly then fine, but given the history of questionable decisions by the WMF I'm not buying it unless and until I see a statement from Arbcom that they're aware of the circumstances and concur with the actions taken. ‑ Iridescent 18:20, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
I've asked ArbCom to comment at WT:AC/N. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:26, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • WTF? Echo everything that Iri says. WBGconverse 18:25, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • As above. I am not Fram's biggest fan (the feeling is more than mutual, don't worry) but when I saw this in my watchlist it was an actual spoken 'WTF' moment. We need a good explanation, quickly. GiantSnowman 18:50, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Office has full-protected Fram's TP in the midst of this discussion; it is hard to believe they do not know it's going on, but certainly easier to believe that they feel they can ignore it. 2A02:C7F:BE76:B700:C9AE:AA89:159B:8D17 (talk) 18:52, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Like everyone else, I simply fail to understand why the Foundation would ban a good-standing admin for no apparent reason. funplussmart (talk) 18:52, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • T&S: training and simulation? Very confused. Talk English please. DrKay (talk) 18:53, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • A big ‘ole whiskey tango from me too. –xenotalk 19:03, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I've put a note on meta:User talk:JEissfeldt (WMF), I believe that is the place for a wiki-talkpage-request. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:05, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (moved from an) Holy shit, what? That’s insane. It appears that their admin rights have also been removed... can only wmf restore the rights, or will fram have to go through an rfa?💵Money💵emoji💵💸 19:06, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Neither; this is a WP:OFFICE action so we can't overturn it. Per my comments above, I can't even imagine the circumstances in which this is legitimate, since if it were genuinely something so problematic he needed to be banned instantly without discussion, it would be something warranting a global rather than a local ban, and permanent rather than time-limited. ‑ Iridescent 19:09, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "HELLO? IS THIS THING WORKING???" Explanation required. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:13, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I sent a note to the WMF email address listed on User:Fram and asked for an explanation. I would suggest that perhaps other people might want to do the same. I imagine that T&S has valid reasons, but I believe that some sort of summary explanation to the community, at a minimum, is called for in this case. UninvitedCompany 19:15, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Uh, yeah. Explanation required, please WMF. The fact he's only been banned from and not globally locked suggests it's regarding something that's happened regarding this wiki. So, we're waiting. Black Kite (talk) 19:22, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    In the absence of any explanation, the cynic in me guesses that at some point in the next 12 months the WMF are going to reattempt to introduce the forced integration of either Wikidata, VisualEditor or Superprotect, and are trying to pre-emptively nobble the most vocal critic of forced changes to the interface. ‑ Iridescent 19:25, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Don’t forget Media Viewer —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 23:56, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Iridescent: The cynic in you has some evidence in its favor ... . * Pppery * it has begun... 19:41, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    This is worth quoting in full: This priority will focus on deeper evolutions to the core product — integrating content from Commons, Wikidata, Wikisource and other projects into Wikipedia. This will be accompanied by rich authoring tools and content creation mechanisms for editors that build upon new capabilities in AI-based content generation, structured data, and rich media to augment the article format with new, dynamic knowledge experiences. New form factors will come to life here as the outcomes of earlier experimentation. We will showcase these developments in a launch for Wikipedia’s 20th birthday in 2021. Nice of them to ask if we wanted this, isn't it? ‑ Iridescent 19:46, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Actually, if the WMF office knew anything, they knew this would blow up. So waiting is inappropriate really, they should have already been in a position to respond immediately to this. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:26, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Bureaucrat note: (and response to User:Money emoji) While it is useful to have a notice here about this action, there isn't really anything for 'crats to do right now. The WMF Office action indicates a 1 year prohibition on administrator access at this time that we would not override. Per the administrator policy, former administrators may re-request adminship subsequent to voluntary removal. As Fram's sysop access removal is not recorded as "voluntary", the way I see it is that a new RfA, after the prohibition period, would be the path to regaining admin access (outside of another WMF Office action). — xaosflux Talk 19:29, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • At ths point I don't even care about the reasoning but there is no way that the WMF can claim this is preventative. If it's so bad that WMF had to act in what appears to be a local matter, why is there no concern about this a year from now? Why, if whatever happened is so bad, is there no concern about ill intent on the hundreds of other projects Fram could edit? I'm not suggesting Fram be indeffed but I think some transparency from WMF is needed here, the optics are very bad and no matter which way I connect the dots on this, it seems extremely punitive. Praxidicae (talk) 19:30, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Well, the term "Poisoning the Well" comes to mind. Fram comes back, has to go through an RFA if they want the tools back (where they did a hell of a lot of good on preventing shitty code and tools from being unleashed here). There is a substantial population here that will vote against them simply because of this action, being right or not. spryde | talk 22:31, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Yes, WMF has poisoned the well and provided precisely zero justification for doing so. Heinous. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:33, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Praxidicae: this has the comment I most agree with on the subject. It never was preventative, and I think that being the case is what caused much of the stir. –MJLTalk 13:19, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Yeah,a big whiskey tango foxtrot from me as well. What the hell are they playing at? Reyk YO! 19:41, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Could this have been self-requested? I can't imagine T&S saying yes, but you never know. In any case, piling on here. An explanation is required. Without one, people will assume the worst, either about Fram, or the WMF. I'm ashamed to admit my mind already went to same place as Iridescent's. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 19:48, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Speculation can take us anywhere of course. Keep in mind there could be additional T&S terms that we are unaware of (such as a speculative "may not hold admin or above access on any project for a year") - functionally, enwiki is the only project where advanced access provisioned, so may have been the only one where rights modifications was warranted. — xaosflux Talk 19:51, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Add me to the list of those who said "WTF" out loud after seeing this. The scope of the ban is baffling, too; if Fram has violated the terms of use, why only a year, and why only the English Wikipedia? If they haven't, then why a ban at all? Also, the WMF is doubtless aware that Fram was an admin with a long an prolific history of productive editing. Any office action against them was always going to be controversial; so why wait to post a statement at all? I see that the bans were also to a single wikimedia project; but I haven't enough German to find any subsequent discussion. Vanamonde (Talk) 19:52, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • WTF???? I wasn't aware of any misconduct from Fram that warranted this. I'm eager to know what prompted this ban.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 20:01, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Early betting at Wikipediocracy is that this is preliminary to some sort of centralized imposition of either Superprotect or Flow or Visual Editor, Fram being one of the most outspoken critics of WMF technological incompetence and bureaucratic overreach -- not that there is much room for debate about that at this point. I share the views expressed above: we need answers. Carrite (talk) 20:04, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Which is clearly way outside any "office actions". That's called "repression" where I come from, should it be in any sense true. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:11, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Every block needs to be given a reasonable explanation. Without an explanation, we cannot know if a block is valid or not. This entire situation is suspect until an explanation is given. ―Susmuffin Talk 20:07, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Since it doesnt appear anyone has asked the question: Has anyone asked Fram? I am sure at least one of the admins and/or arbcom has had off-wiki correspondence with them at some point. While obviously asking the subject of a ban for their version of events has its own drawbacks, in absence of any other information.... Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:08, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, no reply. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:10, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    I've already asked on Commons (where he's not banned) if he wants to make any public statement, and offered to cut-and-paste it across if he does. Technically that would be proxying for a banned editor, but I very much doubt the WMF wants the shit mountain banning Fram and me in the same week would cause. ‑ Iridescent 20:11, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'll do it, then no harm no foul if TRM gets permanently banned. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:13, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well I pinged him before you posted this and offered same. I have no fucks to give and lets see if he likes me more ;) In more seriousness, I am concerned that the WMF has enacted a wiki-specific limited-time ban, which indicates two things: Firstly its a local en-wp issue, possibly linked to a specific ENWP individual editor, and secondly that its punishment not a genuine concern for safety. If it was, you would just ban someone permanently, and from all wikimedia projects. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:14, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    To expand a little on the above: I want the WMF to ban editors permanently if there is a *safety* issue. I dont want them interfering in local wikis because someone got their feelings hurt. If they want to do that, they can do the rest of the work policing the userbase too. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:18, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) So what, are they repressing people with no explanation now? What did they violate? SemiHypercube 20:12, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    SemiHypercube, disappearing people without explanation is accepted practice at Wikipedia in extreme circumstances; there are sometimes good reasons we want someone gone and don't want to discuss it publicly for their own privacy's sake. What's unique here is that the WMF are saying that Fram is untrustworthy here, but trustworthy on every other WMF project, and will become trustworthy here in exactly 365 days' time, both of which are confusing to say the least. ‑ Iridescent 20:16, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Not to mention that "disappearing" someone like Fram is going to cause a shitstorm, unlike the Great Purge, where you just purged those causing the shitstorm too. I'm afraid to say, and Arbcom may now ban me forever, but this looks like incompetence of the highest order by WMF. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:30, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • People I trust say this is warranted, but I do object that this was communicated to stewards and not the local ArbCom. Most users don’t even know what a steward is, and the local arb with the least support here has more voters for them than even the most popular steward. Stewards do great work and I trust them and have a good working relationship with them, but local only blocks should be disclosed to the local ArbCom, not a global user group that is mostly behind the scenes on This action was guaranteed to get local pushback, and having users who were trusted locally be able to explain it. I’m someone who has a good relationship with the WMF and stewards, and as I said, from what I’ve been told by sensible people this was justified, but if I was trying to think of a better way to make the WMF intentionally look bad on their biggest project, I couldn’t. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:14, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    I can not recall a single instance an explanation was given in the case of WMF ban (and being active on Commons, I have seen them a lot). I do not expect this situation to be different.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:18, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Stewards are informed the reason for every WMF ban, including this one. They can’t say what it is, but considering that this was such an extraordinary event, letting the local group that would be most comparable know the reason would have been the very least that could have been done. Then an arb could say “We’ve seen why and it’s warranted.” TonyBallioni (talk) 20:21, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    TonyBallioni, given that it only affects en-wiki it must relate to en-wiki. I no longer have Magic Oversight Goggles, but can see nothing remotely problematic in Fram's contributions or deleted contributions in the past month; is there anything in the contributions of Fram (or User:EngFram, who the WMF have also ejected) that raises the slightest concern? (You obviously don't need to specify.) ‑ Iridescent 20:25, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Iridescent, I don’t see any recent suppressed contributions that raise red flags. I don’t know any more than anyone else other than “Yes, this was intentional, and yes, it looks valid” from people who are generally sensible. Of the WMF departments, T&S is usually one of the most sensible. My objection here is that I know they’re pretty sensible because I’ve worked with them in the past on other things and trust them. Most users don’t know that T&S is any different than [insert pet bad idea from the WMF here] and so communicating with the local ArbCom so at least some name recognition here could say they know why. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:40, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Pretty sure WMF has never made a unilateral decision on a local matter that resulted in a long term editor and sysop being removed for local issues either. So...Praxidicae (talk) 20:21, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
TonyBallioni, now that at least Fram's side is out, do you still trust those people? spryde | talk 13:42, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This might sound a bit like conspiracy theory nonsense but has anyone checked to see if WMFOffice is compromised? Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 20:22, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Ivanvector, I was thinking something similar but that seems unlikely, as stewards have indicated that the ban was justified, and the wmfoffice account doesn't seem compromised, based on its edits. 💵Money💵emoji💵💸 20:39, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I've emailed them - I suggest everyone do the same to push some weight on that route. There are actions that could warrant this - but they'd have to be confident it was Fram not a compromised account. That normally requires a bit of time consideration. Which let's us ask...why such a dramatic sudden action . ARBCOM can handle off-wiki information, so that's even fewer possible actions that could lead to this. We should also ask ARBCOM to discuss it at their monthly chat - I suspect several requests from us would have more impact. Nosebagbear (talk) 20:29, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes yes, I emailed them hours ago. Nothing at all, of course. I do wonder how much thought went into this on behalf of WMF. Perhaps the UK government have paid them to create some kind distraction from Brexit? It's probably the only rational explanation. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:33, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
It does not matter at this point what the action was as WMF acted only in a local capacity and not the global capacity that they should act under. There is no action as far as I'm concerned that would warrant WMF Office involvement in just a local project, this is black and white in my opinion and if Fram's behavior (or non-behavior, considering we don't know what has happened) was a problem only for the English Wikipedia, it should have been dealt with by measures that are in place on the English Wikipedia and not by a WMF employee/global group acting as a rogue arbcom. Praxidicae (talk) 20:31, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
From WP:OFFICE, the WMF have the right to ban from a single project on the grounds of Repeated misconduct within a single Foundation-supported project, with considerable impact either on that project overall or on individual contributors who are active in that project., but that seems unlikely here, and if there were some kind of misconduct going on, if it were at the level the WMF needed to intervene I'd expect the ban to be permanent. ‑ Iridescent 20:37, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Ditto, see my comments above. If T&S have to be involved, why are they doing time-limited bans? Thats how ENWP deals with serial problem users. If its a T&S issue they should either not be involved in day-to-day misbehaviour or should be enacting permanent bans. Time-limited either indicates its punishment or that its not an issue that rises to T&S level. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:44, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • So, are we technically prevented from unblocking? Tiderolls 20:36, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Not in a software sense, but the WMF will insta-desysop anyone who overturns them. ‑ Iridescent 20:38, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Then they need to get their collective asses in gear before someone does something regrettable. Tiderolls 20:43, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Not really. I agree that the shroud of darkness around this matter is regrettable (they haven't even gone to the extent of telling us "we can't tell you anything" yet...), but as long as we sit on the WMF's servers then we as a community are ultimately powerless to do anything about this. We can ask the question, but if we don't like the answer then our only options are to (a) keep quiet and toe the line, or (b) fork the whole encyclopedia under CC licence on to a new set of servers... (and if Wikivoyage vs Wikitravel is anything to go by, such an exercise would probably not end up a success).  — Amakuru (talk) 20:49, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Everything you post is true, Amakuru, and I'm still open to the fact that WMF's silence to Fram's advantage. My point is just because the WMF can take an action, doesn't necessarily mean the should take that action. Tiderolls 21:03, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Was that fork borne of a constitutional crisis? –xenotalk 20:53, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Actually, Wikivoyage was a fork of Wikitravel, not the other way around. (See Wikitravel#Community fork in 2012). * Pppery * it has begun... 20:58, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Amakuru: - there is one other step we've seen before. In the wake of the Superprotect saga, and the failure of the Community board members to act, all three were replaced. But before we get that far, and waiting on T&S' "we can't tell you anything for your own good" - perhaps we reach out both to community liasions and to our board members? Nosebagbear (talk) 20:57, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Indeed, if a sufficient number of admins agree this should be reversed, WMF will be committing suicide to act against them. This will go to the press (I can guarantee that given questions I've received offwiki) and WMF will look stoopids. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:55, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) @Xeno: The details are here... "excessive monetisation of the site (a plan to put links to a booking engine on every page was one example) and the poor and worsening technical support offered by the site's owners" is given as the main reason. So maybe a sort of ongoing low-level constitutional crisis? The trouble is, it hasn't really worked. Last time I checked Wikitravel always appears way further up the Google hits than WV, and has more daily edits.  — Amakuru (talk) 20:59, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    User:Amakuru actually Wikivoyage is now significantly more popular than Wikitravel and has received way more edits for a long time :-) Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I don't think forking has ever really worked in the long run. See, for example, Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español. It would probably work even less here given that the English Wikipedia is the world's 5th-(?)largest website and that any fork would likely fizzle. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 21:36, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Do you think enwp would fare any better if the unpaid administration went on a general strike? –xenotalk 22:04, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    I think it would earn immeasurable respect for unblocking Fram and dealing with the consequences. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:06, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Does anyone know of any T&S team members who would be responsive to the community? Surely one of them has to be a reasonable human being that we can actually communicate with? I find it hard to believe that "Trust" & Safety has no problem (further) decimating community relations without any attempt at damage control. Then again, WMF never fails to disappoint in these situations. ~Swarm~ {sting} 20:51, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    The whole lot of them are listed here (you need to scroll down to reach T&S); pick one you think looks trustworthy. ‑ Iridescent 20:55, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    40% of the T&S team don't trust us to let us know what they look like. Enough said. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:57, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Not entirely fair—40% of them just haven't copied their photo across from Meta yet (e.g. here's what Sydney Poore looks like). ‑ Iridescent 21:00, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Not that it is important for this matter now, but Karen Brown is the same person as Fluffernutter--Ymblanter (talk) 21:24, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
    Also, Sydney Poore is FloNight and her picture is on her user page. (talk) 07:06, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • WP:AGF says we should assume good faith on the part of editors. Absent of any further information from the WMF (or indication that there are privacy issues involved), my default assumption is that he did nothing wrong. Unless the WMF issues a real explanation, there's no proof that this isn't just the WMF trying to suppress criticism of its various failed experiments. Also, on any other wiki, site administration acting this tyranically would be a forkable offense. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 00:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (self-removed) Legoktm (talk) 02:10, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Noting that you are *employed* by WMF. WBGconverse 02:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'm a software engineer with a part-time contract with the WMF (technically not an employee), though I've been a Wikipedian for much longer, and it's in that role that I'm writing here. Legoktm (talk) 02:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Based on my interactions and what I've observed on-wiki, it's easy for me see multiple people sending complaints to the WMF - just because those people aren't speaking up here, doesn't mean they don't exist. (my third attempt at leaving a comment here.) Legoktm (talk) 03:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Overly harsh and punitive blocks are rarely never a good idea. Even when the reasons for blocking are clear. I'm sure Fram must feel he has been treated very unjustly. Martinevans123 (talk) 19:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • +1 to the "WTF?" camp - I cannot wrap my head around how or even why a veteran admin such as Fram was blocked by the WMFOffice.... I also find it slightly bizarre that the block only goes on for a year and not indef ? (Not that I want it indef but I just find it odd and somewhat pointless). –Davey2010Talk 19:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Just recently we ran into Guido den Broeder on Commons who immediately started to accuse me of having been canvassed by Fram. (which I wasn't) I suspect Lyrda is a sock of Guido (Guido refuses to even deny it) and Lyrda's talk page contains the note "I have revoked your talk page access after phony claims of rape". Did they proceed to do something to get Fram banned? I can't say for sure. All I'm saying is, I don't like the smell of any of this. - Alexis Jazz 19:10, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Guido is already confirmed as a sockpuppeteer, many times in fact, so that's no news. Also confirmed as lying about their socking. Blocked, unblocked and quickly reblocked. And if I was wrong about Lyrda, they would have no reason not to deny it. - Alexis Jazz 22:42, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't understand this by the way. If Fram has done something terrible and unforgivable, they should be blocked indef. If they didn't, WMF should let the community handle it. What possible purpose does a 1-year ban serve here? - Alexis Jazz 22:42, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • WOAH WHAT?!?! That ban took place while I was on a wikibreak. I never see anything controversial that involves Fram at all. Looking at the statements, I don't see what rules Fram has violated or caused controversy on. INeedSupport :3 21:33, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This is a cancer, not an injury. I hope the community looks at this issue in the context of epidemic crackdowns on freedom of speech throughout our world by millions of bureaucratic fiefdoms, big and little. You see, unless we all start paying attention to all of the widespread crackdowns on freedom of speech, thought, and press (Assange, perhaps); wherever they might be, the foundation of our freedoms will be washed away 1 little stone at a time. To quote Dylan, "something is happening here but you don't know what it is, Do you, Mr. Jones."
I will tell you exactly what is going on, imo. We, the people, are being systematically brainwashed into giving up ( not having them taken away ) all of our precious freedoms of thought, speech, press and association, and its not just some kind of happenstance. It is an orchestrated self perpetuating cultural shift away from aspirational and community empowered governing bodies toward protective, moralizing and pushy governing bodies.
Voltaire said "the comfort of the rich depends upon an abundance of the poor". I'd say, the power of the top 1/1000 of 1 % depends upon a shallow, self centred and limited focus by us, the masses of people. Its a huge error in judgment and perspective to look at this Fram event as an isolated event; its just part of an injected cancer that's spreading into and around every single aspect and segment of humanity. Its actually trite to call it "evil"; I'd call it an aggressive and global and terminal attack upon every speck of potential goodness that rests within our collective human spirit.
You must force yourselves to open your eyes to see this incident as just 1 little cancer cell amongst millions; you must recognise and attack the totality of the cancer and must create and/or join a global force to do that. The current banning/& lack of transparency is like a mosquito bite; its the cancer that needs your attention. If you look at it that way, the way to deal with the mosquito will be obvious. Nocturnalnow (talk) 23:57, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement from the WMF Trust & Safety Team

(edit conflict) Dear members of the English Wikipedia community,

We have been approached by several volunteers with questions concerning the recent Office Action, the time-limited partial Foundation ban of User:Fram covering your project. As we saw similar questions also being asked in your discussions around the project, including here, we thought it is most accessible to interested community members to provide clarifications publicly here:

  • What made the Foundation take action at all and why at this specific time?
    • As described on the Metapage about Office actions, we investigate the need for an office action either upon receipt of complaints from the community, or as required by law. In this case we acted on complaints from the community.
    • All office actions are only taken after a thorough investigation, and extensive review by staff. This process usually takes about four weeks.
    • Office actions are covering individuals and not just individual user accounts. Therefore, the measure covers more than one user account in this case.
  • Who made the complaint to the Foundation?
    • The Foundation always aims to be as transparent as possible with office actions. However, as outlined in the general information section of the office actions page, we also prioritize the safety of involved parties and legal compliance. Therefore, we do not disclose who submitted community complaints.
  • Why did the Foundation only ban for a year?
    • As part of the Improving Trust and Safety processes program, less intrusive office actions were introduced. Those options include time-limited and partial (project-specific) bans to address serious concerns that are, however, temporary or project-specific in nature. For example, if a user has been problematic on one project in particular while contributing without concerns to another community wiki, this can now be addressed in a more targeted way than a full Foundation global ban.
  • Why did the Foundation de-sysop? Does this mean that Fram will not be an administrator when his ban ends in 2020?
    • The removal of administrator access is intended as enforcement of the temporary partial Foundation ban placed on Fram. It is the community’s decision what to do with Fram’s administrator access upon the expiration of the Office Action ban.
  • What kind of appeal is possible against this office action?
    • As a this time-limited Foundation ban is an outcome of a regular office action investigation, it is governed by the same rules already familiar from Foundation global bans: it does not offer an opportunity to appeal.

As the team carrying out office action investigations, Trust and Safety starts cases from the position that it is up to volunteers to decide for themselves how they spend their free time within the frame of the Terms of Use and the local community’s rules provided for in section 10 of them. The Terms of Use do not distinguish whether a user participates by creating and curating content, building tools and gadgets for peers doing so, helping out as a functionary handling admin, checkuser or oversight tools or in other forms. However, on occasion community members submit evidence strongly indicating cases where local communities consistently struggle to uphold not just their own autonomous rules but the Terms of Use, too. We will continue to consider these rare cases brought to our attention under the framework of the office actions policy. Best regards, WMFOffice (talk) 20:58, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

However, on occasion community members submit evidence strongly indicating cases where local communities consistently struggle to uphold not just their own autonomous rules but the Terms of Use, too. We will continue to consider these rare cases brought to our attention under the framework of the office actions policy. So does that mean you have determined that the ENWP's community failed to uphold its own rules or the TOU in relation to Fram, despite no actual case, action or report being raised against Fram on ENWP? Only in death does duty end (talk) 21:02, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Of all the non-answers I've seen in my life, that's possibly one of the most long winded. Reyk YO! 21:08, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Award-winning. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:09, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
Oooh, this sounds like a whole new way of getting rid of people we don't like... without going through the tedium of due process, ANI, ArbCom or anything. Just badger the WMF with complaints and, hey presto, the user is vanished. Winning!  — Amakuru (talk) 21:16, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

@WMFOffice: What was it about this complaint that meant it required investigation and action by WMF Trust and Safety instead of enwiki's ArbCom? If you cannot state this publicly (even in general terms), please send an explanation to ArbCom's private mailing list so they can confirm that there were good reasons for this action to be handled in this matter. WJBscribe (talk) 22:47, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

Community response to WMF

OK, I said further up that I wanted to wait a few days to hear from Fram before going bonkers. 17 minutes later, we heard from Fram. Is it time to go bonkers?

Support response to WMF (1st proposal)

  1. The block of Fram was ridiculous micromanagement by the WMF, and Fram wasn't even that noisy a WMF or Arbcom critic (I'm sure everyone here can think of noisier ones). I'm not an admin so don't want to sound like "let's you and him fight". But the strongest response I can think of offhand would be an admin general strike (let the WMF handle its own vandalism and BLP reversions, or shut off editing) until Fram is unblocked and resysopped.

    Something like that should only be done if there is considerable solidarity among the active admins. They should communicate with each other (probably off-wiki though it couldn't really be private) before deciding.

    Lesser actions are also possible (suggest your own). As a resolution I'd be fine with the WMF referring the matter to the en.wp arbcom, which I think would respond with an appropriate "sheesh" and do nothing. (talk) 08:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

  2. Silencing criticism in such an obscure way is not acceptable --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:53, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Fram can be abusive, hostile, a pain, but existing WP policy is sufficient to ensure that we separate harassment from robust discussion. If the WMF believes Arbcom is incompetent, or policy is not being implemented properly, then that is something to raise openly, where the evidence can help improve the culture and norms. This action should be handled from here on by Arbcom, where Fram can follow the appeals process. -- (talk) 08:54, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. What Fæ said. If an editor is causing problems, we have mechanisms either to deal with the problem or to decide that the problem isn't actionable; we don't need the WMF sending in secret death squads to eliminate editors against whom they've taken a dislike, simply because they don't trust our own processes to come to their preferred verdict. Consider this a complete vote of no confidence. ‑ Iridescent 08:59, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Per Iridescent, this is a vote of no confidence. Yes, I know this will put me on the WMF's hit list. No, I do not care. Reyk YO! 09:05, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Per Fae and Iridescent. WBGconverse 09:10, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. First they came ...; per all the above. (Block all WMF accounts for a period as a minimum - anything 10 minutes to a match of Fram's block), just to kick things off. - SchroCat (talk) 09:11, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. Yes. The community needs to make it overwhelmingly clear to the Foundation folks that actions like this are not welcome here and won't be tolerated. If they won't repeal that ban, and do it quickly, heads must role at the office. Fut.Perf. 09:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  9. We have long-established processes in place. We don't need or want WMF office actions for anything other than serious legal / safeguarding issues. A faceless, anonymous WMF account with no accountability, no intention of explaining themselves, and no competence or experience deciding s/he knows better than the entire community, deciding our norms for us, and flinging around blocks is not what we signed up to. WMF, if you don't trust the admin corps, the bureaucrat team, and the arbitration committee to manage our own house, feel free to go right ahead and look after it yourselves. Block your own vandals, protect your own pages, why should we do it for you if there's no trust? Fish+Karate 09:14, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  10. Consider my comment a vote of no confidence in the WMF. This was a sanction in search of a reason, and when none could be found, the WMF hid behind Trust & Safety. Mr Ernie (talk) 09:15, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  11. Overturn as a gross abuse of wmf t&s oversight. I'll have more words later, but this unilateral ban for criticizing ARBCOM is completely unwarranted. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:16, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Expanded version: I don't support strikes, letting vandalism in, or anything that would jeopardize our core mission. Plus, if this was the brainfart of a couple of well-meaning but over-reaching people in the ass end of a basement in the WMF, we should at least wait until the higher ups at the WMF respond. Yeah the T&S team fucked up (and I find the 'deep state' silence-the-critic accusations to be too out there and unsubstantiated to be believable at this point). But if this is resolved in say 1 week, or at the WMF meeting, let's not shoot ourselves in the foot by having to undo 7 days of unchecked vandalism. If vandalism/vandals are allowed, what pressure does that put on the WMF? Very little, if any. BLP lawsuits? Let's not forget that the real victims would be the subject of the biographies, not the WMF. If the WMF fails to properly respond? You want to take an action that puts actual pressure on the WMF? Then block all WMF accounts from enwiki. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    This is indeed precisely what I meant above, and it is clearly not ok. I do think there are issues (or more precisely there were issues a year ago), but they must have been handled via existing on-wiki processes.--Ymblanter (talk) 09:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC) I still think like this, but the header has been changed in the meanwhile, and I can not support the new header. --Ymblanter (talk) 15:42, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  12. Support per Mr Ernie. WMF have made a huge error of judgement, people should lose their positions over this, and Fram should be restored to the community. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  13. (edit conflict × 8) I also agree with Fæ and Iridescent. I'm certainly not Fram's biggest fan but we do have processes here to deal with actual problems and it does not look as this was attempted and failed. That said, I do generally see a problem with WP:UNBLOCKABLES being able to evade scrutiny and in these cases an intervention from the Foundation might actually be helpful if local processes failed. I just don't see that this was the case here although I am open to be persuaded iff the WMF actually explains their actions. Regards SoWhy 09:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  14. I support any of the following "community responses" in order of decreasing severity: 1) a ban or block of WMFOffice, 2) a TBAN to WMFOffice from enacting blocks, bans, desysops etc except where legality supersedes community desire and/or 3) a general admin and editor strike. Consider this a vote of no-confidence with sanctions attached. (Oh yes, noting Headbomb's vote I'm also up for a very bold overturn of the office sanctions if that's the way we want to play it). Mr rnddude (talk) 09:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  15. Overturn the ban, and start seriously discussing methods to ban Foundation-controlled accounts support MER-C's discretionary sanctions suggestion in instances of hideous overreach like this. This is not just beyond the pale, it's something that any other admin would lose his tools and very likely his editing rights over given how grossly disproportionate this is. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 09:23, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  16. Per Mr Ernie - this is an excuse to push through unwanted software changes when they can't even get the basics right. This decision should have been referred to Arbcom. Put all WMF staff under discretionary sanctions while we're at it. FYI: Community action against the WMF is not unprecedented - we nearly had to resort to using the abuse filter to implement WP:ACTRIAL (see Wikipedia talk:The future of NPP and AfC/The DGG discussion and Wikipedia talk:The future of NPP and AfC/Archive 1. MER-C 09:29, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    That is an interesting point. "Structured data"? "AI-generated content"? The WMF has a serious conflict of interest with the supposed goal of writing an encyclopedia. But, I don't think that was the motivation for the immediate incident. It seems more like a facepalm-worthy attempt at living the wokeness currently fashionable in the internet platform management world. (talk) 09:51, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  17. Per Mr Ernie and Iridescent. While Fram might be a "love him or hate him" character, they most certainly do not deserve such underhanded action. And the WMFs attempt at censorship is akin to an online dictatorship. CassiantoTalk 09:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  18. Support withdrawal of service. Until this is overturned, the WMF can do my admin job too, because I won't. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Honestly, an admin/functionary strike might help - or it might backfire horribly. I'm doubtful it'd be ignored, though. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 09:52, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    The only thing which would help is a blackout for a visible period of time.--Ymblanter (talk) 09:57, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I can't see any backfire that could possibly affect me. As I say in the section below, I will not work as an admin under the control of an unaccountable civility police - and if that is not rectified, I don't want to be an admin here anyway. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:36, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  19. Support - I'm not really following this monster thread any more, but follow whatever action (such as striking) my fellow editors/admins agree upon. I'm not a scab! GiantSnowman 10:06, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  20. Support - if people go for this then I'm in. I too am appalled by what's happened and happy to go with whatever consensus is reached. Another possible idea is to replace the main page with a banner of some sort. We could do that as a community couldn't we?  — Amakuru (talk) 10:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, of course, if we have a consensus to do so. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I would oppose doing anything destructive to the encyclopedia itself - I simply support the withdrawal of admin labour. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Admins going on strike is ipso facto destructive to the encyclopedia because it will give vandals the temporary ability to make hay. That action, although likely to make the WMF take notice, is actually a lot worse than turning off the main page would be, since it would affect our readers and the accuracy of what they read without their necessarily being aware that then are being affected.  — Amakuru (talk) 11:08, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    The distinction I'm trying to make is between any of us actively doing anything destructive, and passively not doing anything to stop destruction. And I think that's an important distinction. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    It is necessary to make it clear that we work here as volunteers and can withdraw our free labour as and when we choose. This is a message that some people at WMF apparently do not choose to hear. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 11:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  21. Support general strike as described. Just halting Main Page processes like TFA, ITN, DYK, and OTD is going to make SanFran uncomfortable. Chris Troutman (talk) 10:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    It'll take some balls, but that's a great idea. Let's just delete tomorrow's TFA, DYK, OTD, ITN, TFP. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    No, we shouldn't actively break things, just passively not do them any more until this is resolved. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:41, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I propose that we let the stale TFA, DYKs et al remain. No need to actively blank stuff.
    And, along with that, cease using editorial/admin tools. If the WMF can micromanage to such extents, they can certainly write the encyclopedia and maintain it. WBGconverse 10:44, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, let's not be actively disruptive - just passive. Non-violent civil disobedience. GiantSnowman 10:47, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Alright, that. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:50, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  22. Support Vote of no confidence, blocking all WMF usernames not associated with a specified person, and a general "down admin tools" until this has been reversed. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 11:08, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  23. Support vote of no confidence. I will participate in any non-destructve measures to drive home the community's rejection of this gross overstep. Tiderolls 11:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  24. Support CBAN per CIR. I believe there should be a measured and proportionate community response to this, so obviously we should hand out 1 year unappealable bans like candy. The OFFICE ban is ridiculous, and so is the form letter statement. At least put together a half-assed explanation when banning people, if a full-assed one is too hard. Alpha3031 (tc) 11:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  25. Support Go bonkers. Per Fae & my longer comments above. [1]. T&S should not supplant Arbcom and community processes except in the most extreme circumstances -- which these do not appear to have been. Jheald (talk) 11:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  26. * Pppery * it has begun... 11:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  27. Support, per the above. Karellen93 (talk) (Vanamonde93's alternative account) 12:44, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  28. I agree with many above that, based on the information provided here so far, this action by the WMF Office appears irresponsible and unjustified. I support the community overturning it, to the extent possible under applicable policy, and pending a better explanation by the WMF Office. Sandstein 13:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  29. Support anything that doesn't damage the encyclopedia. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 13:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  30. Support - I'm a non-admin, and even I think that something needs to be done, if nothing else to at least get the WMF's attention.--WaltCip (talk) 14:21, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  31. Support - I'm out for now. - Sitush (talk) 14:44, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  32. Support Just like the people in Hong Kong knew what was coming a long time, we knew what was coming the minute they started locking accounts at all. But now that it's here and they're directly making their move to take over, we still might as well protest like those million people on the front page. We accumulated a lot of content and a lot of money and now a certain class of Better Than Us is here to take it all for themselves so they can continue to be Better Than Us. Wnt (talk) 14:51, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  33. Support at a minimum, we need to strongly consider banning LauraHale for her the grotesque and unconscionable overreach that resulted in an IBan, evidently at her behest. And yes, I'm quite comfortable taking Fram's word against the WMF's word. Why? Because Fram is the one who cares about and contributes to this community. Lepricavark (talk) 14:58, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Do you have any reason to suppose it was her behind this? Two edits pertaining to her were used to explain the initial 'warning', but I don't want to infer too much from that. If we lash out at a bystander carelessly, we'll take a beating for it. Wnt (talk) 15:16, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I've revised my statement slightly, but suffice it to say the initial warning was extremely shady. Going back several months and handing out an IBan for two edits that weren't even inappropriate? Unbelievable. And I doubt that she had nothing to do with it. Lepricavark (talk) 15:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  34. Support Note that this is not exclusive to my support of other options. rdfox 76 (talk) 15:14, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  35. Support If "going bonkers" means strong, escalating responses to the WMF action - which has not been satisfactorily explained to the community - based on the continuing evolution of the situation, then yes, indeed, the community needs to "go bonkers" to adequately express its displeasure. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:01, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  36. Support Going bonkers, on strike, cancelling TFA etc whatever. Fuck the WMF, it's clearly starting to become incompetent to run the projects. They have little to no care about situations that clearly need their involvement (Croatian and Azerbaijan Wikipedia) but for some reason is happy to suddenly ban an admin while revoking talk and email for stuff that should be dealt here. Also block the WMFOffice account as a violation of the username policy. CoolSkittle (talk) 17:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  37. Support: There's a cancer at the heart of the Wikipedia establishment, and this is yet another example of it. That the Office have gone over the heads of the entire community to ban Fram for "civility" issues which wouldn't even result in a slap on the wrist from AN/I is unconscionable and we shouldn't have any part in it. Sceptre (talk) 18:01, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  38. Support - The WMFs blocking and response above is all but bullshit and I would 100% support any strike that happens, If it's true Fram was blocked due to that last diff then well my respect for the WMF is nothing ... pretty much like their statement really. –Davey2010Talk 19:50, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  39. Support walkout per B!sZ, who said everything I wanted to without the WTF sputtering. When I think of all the time I've spent helping to shore up Jimbo's pet project, I feel like a damn fool. Miniapolis 00:42, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  40. Support going bonkers. 04:15, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  41. Support - think it was excessive and opaque. starship.paint (talk) 05:37, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  42. Support - this is a vote of no confidence, not an endorsement of vandalism. Tazerdadog (talk) 09:52, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  43. Support Even though I've been quite active here on Wikipedia, this whole drama somehow slipped by me. However, when I saw it at WP:AN, I was rather flabbergasted. The Wikimedia Foundation should not be micromanaging individual Wikis; and this type of unacceptable behavior has occurred in the past. I have no confidence in the WMF going forward. Rockstonetalk to me! 07:39, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  44. Support Given that we have yet to get a straight answer to the simplest of questions from either T&S or the WMF board. I am supporting all options that oppose the WMF's totalitarianism. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose response to WMF (1st proposal)

  1. "Go bonkers" isn't really specific enough for me to be able to support. I do not support many of the escalation paths listed in the support section, such as beginning to block WMF-related accounts. It'd be nice to hear a more specific proposal. --Deskana (talk) 11:11, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Oppose anything more than a passive "down tools" action right now. No WMF blocks, bans, or anything like that, as that is over-reaction at this stage. Jimmy is apparently looking at it, Doc James suggests the board will look at it, ArbCom is apparently seeking clarification. So let's keep our heads cool and not go dramatically overboard until we see how that all turns out, huh? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:14, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. More or less per Boing! said Zebedee in this section. Let's wait for inquiries to produce anything. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 11:32, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose I'm particularly concerned about any attempts to make this a "you're either with us or against us" type situation with comments about scabs etc. If individual editors (including admins) want to stop editing here (including taking admin action) they're completely welcome to. But it would be incredibly harmful to everyone if we try and force others to act in a certain way. I'm likewise obviously completely oppose to any active attempt to harm wikipedia like deleting elements of the main page. (To be clear, blocking WMF accounts doesn't fall into that category since the WMF can ultimately override those if needed although I am opposed to it as it's something which just seems silly.) See also my oppose to the other proposal. Nil Einne (talk) 11:35, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose - I don't see how this is going to help. Our responsibility is towards the encyclopedia, and us downing tools as our first counter-step is insanely counter-productive. Let's let the community reps on the Board have a go (they meet on the 14th June) and give us a thumb up/down on whether it was reasonable (even if excoriatingly badly handled). Nosebagbear (talk) 11:48, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Oppose. "Go bonkers" is not something that will plausibly help defuse the situation or result in any other positive outcome - whatever your view about Fram or the WMF. Thryduulf (talk) 12:00, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thryduulf, have you missed a "not" from this? - SchroCat (talk) 12:04, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    @SchroCat: I did indeed, now fixed. I went through about three different ways of phrasing this before clicking save - seems I didn't update everything! Thryduulf (talk) 12:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. 'going bonkers' can rarely count on my support and I support the statement by Zebedee above. I do however find this entire page plenty evidence as to why people would feel safer turning to T&S than to the community when it concerns Fram's behavior. I've long stated that I think the community is not upholding it's own rules when it comes to certain people; That I can barely support our current core community as it is and regularly consider leaving it (it's a tough battle between the mission I care for and getting rid of negative influences in my life, which i consider this community to be). I'm also first to admit that Fram gets considerably less consideration from me. Fram's behavior towards volunteers and staff was a big part of why I turned in my sysop tools for 2,5 years. While I've seen progress by Fram over the last few years, it is far from perfect. As such none of this surprises me very much. I also note that only T&S is likely aware of employee complaints about editors. I'm not sure that was into play here, but the communication does seem to imply some history (unsurprisingly). I fully support the Foundation in providing a safe and sane atmosphere for their emmployees to work in. If you don't, then please stop using this website and start running your own and hiring people yourself that you are responsible for. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Translation:- I developed severely shitty products during my tenure with WMF and plan to do so; Fram did not like it and criticized me. But obviously, we are above criticism. Incompetency is a virtue in WMF and we are a bunch of children, to be mollycoddled. We got angry and complained to our Class-Monitor and he (obviously) took action. Now I see that nobody supports such stuff but hey, that's the reason why I don't like the core community, at all. I am beginning to think that I am the sole arbiter of civility and that the rest of the community can fuck off. WBGconverse 13:32, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Winged Blades of Godric, I never worked for the foundation. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:54, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. Oppose per TheDJ. Gamaliel (talk) 13:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  9. Oppose per most of the above, basically, "go bonkers" is not something that I can support. —DoRD (talk)​ 14:15, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  10. No it is not time to go bonkers. It is time for civil discourse and possibly straw polls of actionable statements. — xaosflux Talk 14:16, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  11. As above. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:23, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  12. I had the pleasure of meeting TheDJ at Wikiconference North America 2018 and hold him in high regard. His statement resonates with me. What real-world court would not find someone who addressed them in the manner Fram spoke about Arbcom without finding them in contempt? At least one member of the Arbitration Committee presumably read this, and they failed to effectively respond. wbm1058 (talk) 15:56, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    ArbCom ain't your fucking Court. What do you propose next, that we start addressing the honorable arbitrators with Milord? WBGconverse 18:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  13. Oppose. "Going Bonkers" in this case is playing chicken with a train. Calm down.--Jorm (talk) 16:55, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  14. Oppose. That said, WMF needs to exercise a bit more transparency. I doubt the three edits Fram listed are the real reason. The final may have been a last straw, but there is a lot more to this story. Until we have more information, the torches and pitchforks need to be stored for later. Montanabw(talk) 17:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  15. Per TheDJ, Boing! said Zebedee and Deskana. – Ammarpad (talk) 17:28, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  16. Oppose Per my comments below and per Montanabw. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:38, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  17. Oppose. Concur with sentiments expressed by Nil Einne, Nosebagbear and Thryduulf, among others. Overreaction will not solve any issue or improve the encyclopedia. SusunW (talk) 18:02, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  18. Oppose the initial suggestion here. I will not join in any "administrator strike". What a perfect example of disrupting Wikipedia to make a point that would be! I do agree with the reaction of most people that this seems to have been an outrageous abuse of authority (which they recently granted to themselves) by WMF. But I doubt if any amount of outrage from us editors is going to have any effect on the situation. I think that ArbCom, Jimbo, and the WMF board are the actors that might be able to do something and we should encourage them. -- MelanieN (talk) 18:15, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  19. Oppose per others. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:23, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  20. Rschen7754 18:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  21. Oppose as not really able to evaluate this non-proposal, and it's not even really clear that everyone in the "support" heading is even voting for the same thing. ST47 (talk) 10:10, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  22. Oppose cases like these are difficult enough to handle when people are calm. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 17:11, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  23. Oppose per others.--Vulphere 09:59, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  24. Oppose any strike actions. If administrators disagree with WMF's stance, the best move would be mass resignstion, not disruptions. Wikipedia's function should not be disrupted by internal issues. Administrators actively disrupting in protest should be removed for abuse. Juxlos (talk) 16:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  25. Oppose Admins should not use their power to protect each other. Lets not end up like the medical or legal professions.Slatersteven (talk) 09:35, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  26. Opose: Action at this stage appears premature. The facts of the matter will no doubt emerge with time.--Ipigott (talk) 10:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  27. Oppose—Stop the drama. We do not own the Terms of Use. I place significant trust in the Foundation's T and S division. Shake yourselves out of the admin-for-life mindset, too. Tony (talk) 08:59, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  28. Oppose per Tony1. The WMF has responded more than adequately below. The reality is that when privacy and harassment are involved, not all the details can be made public. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  29. Oppose per Tony1. SD0001 (talk) 17:24, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Alternative proposal: The WMF was wrong to ban Fram, and we reject this overreach and have no confidence in the WMF's handling of office bans.

Support response to WMF (alternative proposal)

  1. Support – I'm adding a new heading, because I don't think "go bonkers" is quite the right reaction. I don't know how I should format this, so feel free to change it. As I mentioned above, I think Seraphimblade has the right idea. KSFT (t|c) 09:14, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Do you mean ban WMF accounts? I'd count that as going bonkers (and I'm in favor of going bonkers), but it is silly and wouldn't change anything (try to realistically imagine how it would play out). (talk) 09:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    (edit conflict × 2) I mean that we should start by making clear statements, like, I hope, the one I wrote above, and that we should consider later symbolic protests like imposing a community ban on WMF accounts, possibly including WMFOffice. As much as I seem to agree with you, I don't think "go bonkers" is a particularly useful call to action here. This isn't mutually exclusive with the heading above. KSFT (t|c) 09:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Do you want to suggest an alternative wording to "go bonkers"? Would "throw a gauntlet" work for you? What I mean is take non-symbolic action that potentially leads to disruption (e.g. the idea of an admin strike: who needs to do shitty volunteer work day and night if the result is to be treated like this?). Banning WMF accounts would be symbolic (i.e. ineffectual) and disruptive, which seems even more bonkers to me. (talk) 09:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Just ban the ones that do not have a responsible person attached. We already have a policy that an account must be for a single user. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 13:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Support. This is not mutually exclusive with the Support I will be giving above. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 09:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Support- again, this complements my support of the "bonkers" section. Reyk YO! 09:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Support of course they were wrong. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Support per Fæ. If the WMF can persuade ARBCOM this was justified, that would be adequate, but to have not even attempted to do so is overreach. Even as a new user, I'm shocked. GreyGreenWhy (talk) 09:26, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'm sorry this is one of your first looks at behind-the-curtain stuff. This doesn't paint anyone involved in any sort of a good light. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 09:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    For what it's worth, I appreciate the comments in opposition to this, and my support can be considered withdrawn if arbcom or the community board members express confidence this was okay. Thanks, GreyGreenWhy (talk) 12:08, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Support. MER-C 09:29, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. Partial Support. I wasn't generally opposed to WMF's handling of Office Bans because there are some that clearly need to be done. But this is clear overreach and is firmly overstepping into issues that the community and ArbCom should have been left to handle. The T&S squad has appointed itself as an unaccountable civility police. That's a chilling development and presents an environment under which I will not work. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:11, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. Obviously Per all above. WBGconverse 09:58, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  9. Support - Per everything. Mr rnddude (talk) 10:02, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  10. There are some issues that need to be handled privately, but this is not one of them. For a WMF employee to appoint themselves as en-wiki's Civility Cop and start handing out additional blocks and bans because they don't feel we're being harsh enough is a gross abuse of their position. For a WMF employee to be so clueless that they're unaware of how much reputational damage this would cause is incompetence rising to the level of outright misconduct. ‑ Iridescent 10:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, they should be encouraged to seek alternative employment. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:10, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  11. Support - of course. GiantSnowman 10:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  12. Support and one wonders if this piece of gross mismanagement is the WMF's new method of removing their critics, in which case a lot of us should be severely concerned. Black Kite (talk) 10:14, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well, if was good enough for the Nazis and the North Koreans... The Rambling Man (talk) 10:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    This was bound to happen eventually...pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 13:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  13. Support -  — Amakuru (talk) 10:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  14. Support. What Iridescent said. Fut.Perf. 10:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  15. Support as an alternative to bonkers, which is my preferred choice. Chris Troutman (talk) 10:29, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  16. ~Swarm~ {sting} 10:52, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  17. Support as second choice to the above - SchroCat (talk) 10:55, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  18. Support No confidence in WMF's handling of this office ban, anyway. Jheald (talk) 11:28, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  19. * Pppery * it has begun... 11:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  20. Prefer this one after reflection on Boing's oppose. – Teratix 11:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  21. Support. The handling of this has been unacceptable; I have been reading and drafting responses to this thread for too long - a statement of lack of confidence is important, but other action may also be required. My guess is that at the very least, a number of experienced people will get completely disenchanted with the whole thing and gafiate (a pretty useful term, even though this isn't fandom). --bonadea contributions talk 12:37, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  22. Support -- (talk) 12:37, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  23. Support -- In fact, I am very tempted to take the next year off in protest. -- Dolotta (talk) 12:44, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  24. Support Absolutely outrageous the WMF would trample over Arbcom and all our processes this way.-- Pawnkingthree (talk) 12:51, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  25. Sandstein 13:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  26. Support per everything. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 13:36, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  27. Partial support along the lines of Boing. I found Fram's actions towards ArbCom troubling, especially when ArbCom decided to started making changes in response to Fram's decision to clerk through protection like sectioning themselves (which is silly) because it suggested Fram cowed ArbCom. I still cannot in any form or factor support the WMF Office action in response. ArbCom was wrong to not stand up for itself. We the community were wrong to not stand up to Fram in a stronger way about their actions towards ArbCom. And yet despite that wrong and that inability/failure of the community to act WMF got it wrong in more substantive substantial ways with this action. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 13:40, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  28. There are some bans that absolutely have to be done, and whose reasons are unsuitable for public discussion. Arbcom spent years trying to get WMF to take over child protection bans, for example. But WMF needs to remember that the legitimacy of their bans depends on a limited reservoir of community goodwill, and that reservoir can easily be depleted by this kind of overreach. T. Canens (talk) 13:43, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  29. Support; aside from the fact that this specific ban appears totally unjustified based on the evidence so far presented, the idea that we will now have two overlapping and competing bodies (one paid, one volunteer; one accountable to the community, one not) dealing with routine conduct and civility issues is a terrible idea for many reasons, made worse by the fact that it was imposed on the community without any input or consultation, and made worse still by the fact that the first target was a long-standing administrator well-known for offering legitimate, on-point criticism of the WMF's various bureaucratic overreaches and technical foul-ups. This really stinks, and needs to be pushed back on with whatever means we have at our disposal. 28bytes (talk) 13:52, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  30. Support to the same extent as my support for the previous proposal. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 13:56, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  31. Support Disgraceful and sinister (ab)use of power that undermines the open and community-based decision-making of the project. PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 13:58, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  32. Support certainly a broad statement, but it's pretty hard to have confidence right now. What concerns me is that the WMF apparently thinks they will get away with this. Lepricavark (talk) 14:55, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  33. Support at a minimum. Outrageous. No such user (talk) 15:15, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  34. (edit conflict)Support First choice. Again, not exclusive of my support of other options, but we need to send T&S a vote of no confidence right back at them for their vote of no confidence at the community. rdfox 76 (talk) 15:17, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  35. Support - what a clusterfuck. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 15:35, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  36. Support. I largely agree with several of the "Oppose" voters, particularly Deskana and TonyBallioni—Trust and Safety has up to this point had a good track record and I don't see any reason to question their actions up until recently in applying global bans. However, from the evidence brought forth so far, it seems that as a result of the T&S consultation and the changes to allow a broader spectrum of office actions than permanent global bans, T&S feels empowered to expand its scope of practice well beyond what they've done competently in the past, and beyond what (IMO) even their revised policies support. I think a vote of "no confidence" in the parliamentary sense is justified—not that nothing they do can be presumed competent, but because going forward there's going to be a big element of uncertainty as to whether an office action was for the horrific misconduct we expect or for tone-policing. Choess (talk) 16:02, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  37. Support Unless and until T&S and the WMF have satisfactorily explained this action - which they have not done to this point - then supporting this proposal is a necessary step. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:03, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  38. Support as per those above. –Davey2010Talk 19:52, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  39. Support pbp 22:21, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  40. Support, obviously, Huldra (talk) 23:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  41. Partial support I don't believe that "go bonkers" was intended literally, and our sea of indignant words must be reinforced with action or the WMF will simply wait us out. Boycotts are effective. Miniapolis 01:18, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  42. Support per Fæ. Oshawott 12 ==()== Talk to me! 02:15, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  43. Support Benjamin (talk) 04:16, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  44. Support, in the "parliamentary sense" as mentioned above. Prior to this, I did know why some WMF bans were implemented (granted, the WMF still didn't say, but I was already familiar with the background). Those bans were entirely appropriate and necessary, and were folks who we very much do not want around. However, they seem to be extending their reach to interfere with normal community policy enforcement, and based upon the accounts of editors from the German and Chinese projects, does not seem to be the first time they've done it, nor the first time they did it badly and upset those communities. I do not have confidence in WMF to take those kind of actions; community processes are already in place to deal with regular on-wiki misconduct and that should not be tampered with by WMF. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:22, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  45. Support - think it was excessive and opaque. starship.paint (talk) 05:37, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  46. Support Agree with this statement. ST47 (talk) 10:11, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  47. Partial support following Boing! said Zebedee's comment above, some WMF bans are necessary, but this ban appears to be overreach. The WMF has not yet made a strong case as to why this could not have been handled by arbcom. Dialectric (talk) 14:03, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  48. Support. There appears to have been a secret trial without the right of representation, defense or appeal. That's not the way community projects should work. Nor is it even the way these things work in the non-virtual world. DrKay (talk) 16:32, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  49. Support - This ban in particular is ridiculous based off what we know. A substantial amount of faith has been lost. Anarchyte (talk | work) 16:35, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  50. Support per Iri. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:03, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  51. Support. I have no idea whether Fram deserved a ban, but the WMF was definitely wrong to ban him. --Yair rand (talk) 21:39, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  52. Support - Office actions should be limited to legally necessary steps, and privacy requirements should not be used to keep civility sanctions trials secret. EllenCT (talk) 00:57, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  53. Comment I support the handling of civility issues using on wiki processes such as ANI and Arbcom, while recognizing that harrassment issues require privacy. Unfortunately, I despair at the thought of codifying the distinction.S Philbrick(Talk) 16:33, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  54. Support If the WMF is now asserting are their own personal fiefdom, I'm out. A little confused by people who oppose any action. You're going to sit back and take this? I don't care how you feel about Fram. I don't have any personal feelings about him. What has been happening is outrageous. We have given them plenty of time to apologize or backtrack and all they've done is double down and triple down. As for 'confidence', given what they've done (whoever they are, I have no idea if every action/edit is signed off on by every member of the team or not), I have zero confidence in them to handle any cases whatsoever. Competence issue. Enigmamsg 16:30, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  55. Support. Are we in CIR territory for trust and safety? Tazerdadog (talk) 09:54, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  56. Support per Boing --Dweller (talk) Become old fashioned! 11:19, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  57. Support: "Trust and Safety" are not trustworthy or safe. Jonathunder (talk) 19:03, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  58. Support: This is mutually inclusive of my support for above. The Wikimedia Foundation should not be micromanaging individual Wikis; and this type of unacceptable behavior has occurred in the past. I have no confidence in the WMF going forward. Rockstonetalk to me! 07:54, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  59. Support: Office actions should be taken only when necessary as required by law. WMF has not even made a bare claim that this action was a legal necessity. I vehemently reject any notion that the WMF should be the behavior police for en.wikipedia. The mere fact that taking this action entered into their head has caused me to lose confidence in their decision making. Sperril (talk) 21:57, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  60. Support Given that we have yet to get a straight answer to the simplest of questions from either T&S or the WMF board. I am supporting all options that oppose the WMF's totalitarianism. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:40, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  61. With the caveat that this doesnt apply to global bans, none of which Ive seen as a problem. nableezy - 04:10, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  62. Support --Hubertl (talk) 09:34, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose response to WMF (alternative proposal)

  1. Oppose. I don't agree with the above statement, because I think it is far too broad. I haven't yet looked in detail into the circumstances of Fram's ban. However, even assuming that the ban was handled improperly, I do not agree with the blanket statement that I "have no confidence in the WMF's handling of office bans". The vast majority of their bans are reasonable, so if this ban was handled improperly then I would say that my confidence would be reduced, but I would not say that I "have no confidence" at all. --Deskana (talk) 11:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Oppose per Deskana. I personally do feel the way the WMF handled this was very poor, and I'm not convinced they should have gotten involved in the way they did. But I also don't feel I've seen enough to be able to comment reliably and in any case it's only one particular action (or a series of actions about one editor). And I do find a number of the comments Fram has made that I've seen before, and I don't just mean the ones highlighted here, the sort of commentary which I feel harms a community. Whether they were bad enough to warrant sanction, I make no comment in part because I haven't looked into them in detail and I'm also unsure how far we should go in requiring civility etc. (And I repeat what I said that I'm unconvinced it made sense for the WMF to involve themselves the way they did.) But I was very reluctant to post this because I didn't want to paint a target on my back from anyone. I ultimately plucked up the courage due in large part to someone who is either new or socking and Deskana the first (and only when I wrote this) to oppose either proposal as well as coming to the realisation that I don't really care that much what others think. And I trust that however people may disagree what I've said, it's not going to be strong enough reaction to encourage doxing or anything untenable. So whatever the WMF have done wrong, I do think we need to consider how we have responded. P.S. Give the two principles of 'don't care enough' and 'this is a mess all around and I don't like a lot of what I'm seeing', this will probably be my last involvement in the matter. Nil Einne (talk) 11:43, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Oppose 1) Let's wait and see if the board reps feel it was justified as a ban (even if badly handled). 2) As Deskana says, I don't have no faith in their office bans - we are instead concerned with a growing overreach of their responsibility. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:50, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose as far too broad per Deskana. The handling of this particular block was terrible but we don't know enough to understand whether it was reasonable or not. Other office blocks that I know about (e.g. from my time on arbcom) were absolutely correct and handled appropriately. Thryduulf (talk) 12:02, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    the problem with that argument is that firstly its not enough to be reasonable but it also has to be reasonable for the WMF to do it through the office mechanism. The other issue is that it appears this block is so flawed that it is difficult to have any faith in their actions going forward.©Geni (talk) 13:51, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Every office action I know enough details of to have a firm opinion about was a correct use of the office mechanism. I do not agree that the publicly available evidence gives the appearance that this block is flawed - it simply shows that the communication of the block was flawed; we do not have enough evidence to know whether the block was flawed or not. My gut feeling is that it was not, but I will happily change my view if the evidence shows otherwise. Even if this was an error, it does not rise to the level that I have no confidence going forward. Thryduulf (talk) 17:09, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose per Deskana. I aware of the circumstances of a number of the office bans and in all of those cases they were done properly and were warranted. Gamaliel (talk) 13:26, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Oppose as too broad. I do have confidence that the office has, at least up to this point, made appropriate and necessary bans, and that they likely can in the future. —DoRD (talk)​ 14:21, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. In favour of alt 2. I have general confidence in their ability to handle bans. It just appears this one was a pretty large mistake. Basically what DoRD said. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. Oppose I have confidence in office bans. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:38, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  9. Oppose per Deskana and Gamaliel. SusunW (talk) 18:04, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  10. Oppose per others. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  11. Oppose per Gamaliel. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 17:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  12. Oppose per my opposition below to alt 2. Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:23, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  13. Oppose, sometimes privacy is needed. AdA&D 21:24, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  14. Oppose per Deskana and Gamaliel and AnnedrewAndrewandDrew. --Rosiestep (talk) 00:22, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  15. Oppose really, nobody should be drawing conclusions based on no information. Banedon (talk) 00:54, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  16. Oppose per Deskana and Gamaliel.--Vulphere 10:07, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  17. Oppose As I say far below, I have been involved with cases like this, and it is often not that black and white. Moreover (to mirror one or two other attitudes here) there is a major issue with users and admins who think they can do what the hell they like, and that policy (due to IAR) does not apply to them.Slatersteven (talk) 09:37, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  18. Oppose: Premature to take any action at this stage.--Ipigott (talk) 11:00, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  19. Oppose—Per quite a few of the comments in this section. Tony (talk) 09:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  20. Oppose – this statement is absurdly overconfident considering how little we know about the details of the situation. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:05, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  21. Oppose – per others. SD0001 (talk) 17:14, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Alternative proposal 2: The WMF was wrong to ban Fram

Support response to WMF (alternative proposal 2)

  1. Regardless of broader issues they've failed to provide any justification for a block or the need for the block to be carried out by the WMF using the office mechanism. There is no evidence that they have any such justification and what evidence is availible strongly suggests they don't.©Geni (talk) 13:54, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Obviously. This support is not mutually exclusive with the others I have supported. Reyk YO! 13:56, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Assuming that the information we have access to is accurate and complete, I support this statement. —DoRD (talk)​ 14:17, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I now know that the information available then was incomplete, so I can no longer support this. —DoRD (talk)​ 11:19, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    TonyBallioni (talk) 14:20, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    per striking per DoRD. My concern is with this being done locally only. I do not know if it was justified, so I should not be supporting this. TonyBallioni (talk) 18:22, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Per DoRD and Geni. Currently, there is no information available to suggest that this was an appropriate action. Regards SoWhy 14:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Yep. GiantSnowman 14:42, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. I think Fram should have been desysopped and banned for his behavior a long time ago. I also think it should have come from ArbCom or the community, not WMF. --Rschen7754 14:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. I'm concerned that the quantity of proposals floating around here will muddy the waters and result in us all getting bogged down in disagreements. We need to provide a united front to the WMF letting them know that we are not okay with what they did and that there will be consequences. We may need to take a bit longer to work out exactly what those consequences should be, but for now this proposal is a good starting point. Lepricavark (talk) 14:54, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. From the evidence we have, I think the statement is correct. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 15:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. Support as third and weakest choice. Again, this is not exclusive of my support of other options. rdfox 76 (talk) 15:18, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  9. SQLQuery me! 15:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  10. Support. If a WMF employee were to open an ArbCom civility case, that would have been more likely to accomplish the WMF’s apparent goal of deopping one of its biggest critics. But that didn’t happen, so here we are. This is a new low for the WMF. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 15:38, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  11. This is the one I am comfortable to support. The case must have been referred to ArbCom to follow usual dispute resolution avenues. The office action is not appropriate in this case (on the basis of what we currently know).--Ymblanter (talk) 15:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  12. Sandstein 16:21, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  13. I don't understand what was so problematic with those sports edits, it appeared Fram just added templates. The Arbcom comments were a bit harsh but not enough to warrant even a block, let alone an office action. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 16:55, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  14. If Fram's description of the precipitating events is accurate - and we have no reason to believe it is not, given the absence of a substantive response from WMF - then the block was unjustified. It is also unjustified in that no community involvement was sought, and there is no apparent reason that T&S couldn't have referred the case to ArbCOm and allow normal processess to work. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:08, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  15. Assuming Fram's description is accurate. * Pppery * it has begun... 19:06, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  16. pbp 23:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  17. Reading through the opposes, the issue is not so much the one-year unappealable ban (which, based on the facts we know from Fram, I believe is excessive, but opinions may differ), it's that the ban should never have gone through Office in the first place, then the completely botched handling of post-ban events. – Teratix 23:43, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  18. Support, although in light of increasing evidence I think we're parsing this major screw-up to death. We, the backbone of WP, deserve more respect. Miniapolis 01:25, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  19. Support Especially considering the way it was done, this should be uncontroversial. Benjamin (talk) 04:18, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  20. Support - think it was excessive and opaque. starship.paint (talk) 05:37, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  21. Support Firstly, the opacity is a problem. The ban is inexplicable, no explanation has been offered. The combination of both its urgency, and its limited duration, are even more puzzling. But the real problem is that in the absence of any adequate explanation, the rumour mill is now circulating its own which offers a plausible explanation that reflects very badly on WMF. In the absence of anything else, that's the version which will have legs. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:51, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  22. Support - in addition to the arguments above, if the Arbcom had a COI because Fram used uncivil language, they should have been given the opportunity to make that decision themselves. EllenCT (talk) 00:58, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  23. Support Given that we have yet to get a straight answer to the simplest of questions from either T&S or the WMF board. I am supporting all options that oppose the WMF's totalitarianism. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:41, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  24. Support – Based on the information that is publicly available, the WMF banned Fram from the English Wikipedia for being one of their biggest critics. Every other justification has proven spurious at best. I was already uneasy with the manner in which the WMF exercised its authority, but this is by far their most draconian decision yet. It almost makes me want to quit the site in protest. Kurtis (talk) 07:12, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose response to WMF (alternative proposal 2)

  1. Civility and respect, one of the five pillars, is at best a weak suggestion these days. I have no problems with T&S taking action against users who have a years-long track record of incivility and making rude/nasty comments to people. I would like to see the WMF being more transparent about this type of ban, however, and will be recommending that to them. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 15:09, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    If they had a worthwhile case they could present it to arbcom like anyone else.©Geni (talk) 15:52, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Per Ajraddatz. I can't say I'm an expert in all things Fram-related, but i don't object in principle to a civility-related block from the WMF for a longtime offender. Calliopejen1 (talk) 15:36, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Exactly per Ajraddatz. The problem with this block is how it was communicated, not that it was made. Thryduulf (talk) 15:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Since we don't know the entire circumstances, how do you know that the block itself was not problematic? Are you saying that it is justified based on the evidence in Fram's statement? I don't see that. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:10, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Since we do not know the entire circumstances we know only that the block was poorly communicated and widely unpopular. This does not equate to it being incorrect. Based on what I do know (which includes things from off-wiki sources*) I believe it is more likely than not that this block was a reasonable application of the terms of use. If the review by Jimbo and the board finds otherwise I will revise my opinion. (*I cannot ottomh remember the privacy of this material (I'd guess it dates from circa September 2018 but that is plus or minus several months) so I will assume that I cannot disclose it here). Thryduulf (talk) 17:43, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose per Ajraddatz and Calliopejen1. Gamaliel (talk) 16:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose per Ajraddatz, Calliopejen1, and Montanabw. --Rosiestep (talk) 17:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Oppose per Ajraddatz, Calliopejen1, and Thryduulf. SusunW (talk) 18:11, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. Oppose per others. How can anyone support this, while complaining about not knowing the facts of the case? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. For the same reasons outlined above by Ajraddatz. I might as well indicate my support here. We should avoid making statements until we know all the info, and I do think we have unaddressed conduct problems at a decently high level. :/ –MJLTalk 19:05, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  9. Oppose per Ajraddatz, Calliopejen1, Thryduulf and Montanabw. Fram should have been banned for life a long time ago. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 20:23, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  10. Oppose per above. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 17:13, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  11. Oppose per Ajraddatz. Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:21, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  12. Oppose per Ajraddatz. I find it embarrassing that Fram apparently thinks he's not had enough warnings and was banned over one (emphasis his) edit. Banedon (talk) 00:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  13. Oppose As I've explained before, I think the WMF handled this poorly. I can't judge whether or not they were wrong to ban Fram without further info. I do have concerns over the way Fram generally interacts and am not sure whether them being the one to ban was the best course of action although I do understand the great difficulties privacy issues create. While I also understand the concern some community members have about the apparent secrecy of the proceedings (complaints, evidence etc) even when it comes to Fram themselves, I also understand that the WMF we probably be between a rock and a hard place given their legal obligations and reasonable expectations they have on the information they received, as well as the nature of the internet making any NDA or similar difficult. (If these sort of things were to happen at an employment or university level for example, the person will often be entitled to a fair amount of detail over what is alleged but may also be binded by an NDA or similar as well as various other legal recourses relating to harassment etc if there is concern over details of the complaint resulting in harassment etc.) The way this was handled is of course not that different from the way a lot over websites will handle complaints, the problem is we have a community where this is very far from the norm. I really have no idea how to proceed from here, but do think this action is not it. Not without a lot of further info and as said, I'm not even sure if we should ever have that further info. Nil Einne (talk) 03:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  14. Per Ajraddatz. – Ammarpad (talk) 06:46, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  15. Oppose per Ajraddatz.--Vulphere 10:09, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  16. Oppose Again, they may have had no reason or a very good reason. The simple fact is we do not know, and we need to protect all users (dare I say it even IP's), not just certain admins and their buddies..Slatersteven (talk) 09:38, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  17. Oppose WMF may block users who violate the terms of service, that's not the community's job. I don't agree with how this has been communicated, but I can't make the argument this was wrong not knowing everything that went into this just because I don't like it. SportingFlyer T·C 03:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Thought about this more now that I understand what happened better. If Fram violated the Terms of Use of the website, why are they only banned from English-language wikipedia? Shouldn't a TOU breach be a global ban, even if temporary? I still don't support any of these proposals, since none of them get to the real issue: perhaps they were right to ban Fram for a TOU violation, I still don't know their side, and the TOU says they have leeway to do what they want, but the actual actions are confusing here. SportingFlyer T·C 16:24, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  18. Oppose We don't have all the information, so we can't say the Wikimedia Foundation was wrong in banning Fram. The manner in which they executed it was wrong, but that is a different matter. NoahTalk 01:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  19. Oppose—It's presumptuous to claim to know the details. Get a grip. Tony (talk) 09:01, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  20. Without all of the information, it's impossible to say for sure whether it was wrong to ban Fram. However, based on the information that is available publicly, I concur with Ajraddatz et al. --Deskana (talk) 21:03, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  21. Oppose. We can't possibly know whether or not the ban on Fram was justified. Those who say the issue should have been handled by Arbcom have overlooked T&S saying it is "improper to ask the Arbcom to adjudicate a case in which it was one primary target of the person in question, as this could put volunteers into a very difficult position and create the appearance of a conflict of interest regardless of the actual handling of the case." How very true. Imagine the screams had Arbcom taken this action. Moriori (talk) 21:51, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  22. Oppose As others have said, the WMF have access to details that we don't have and shouldn't have. Given that, I have no idea if the ban was justified or not. - Bilby (talk) 07:33, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  23. Oppose, not something the community is able to determine.
  24. Oppose can't say without the evidence being revealed. SD0001 (talk) 17:17, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Alternative proposal 3: Work towards the position where Office local actions are appealable to ArbCom

I think we can assume that almost nobody took real offence at Fram's posts which were the stated reason for the ban, otherwise they would have ended up at ANI or ArbCom, so it's likely that most folks on enwiki would have viewed the "fuck ArbCom" post as a bit of venting following a badly worded message from ArbCom. Fram is a highly valued, long term editor and admin, and despite any differences we've had, I fully believe they have the best interests of the encyclopedia at heart, and don't think we should be losing their contributions for a year over a trivial matter. So it's quite understandable that most of us feel outraged at the ban imposed.

On the other hand, if we step back a bit and try to assume good faith (hard as it may be) on the part of Trust & Safety (and given the people involved, I think we ought), I feel we ought to concluding that they were also acting in what they felt were the best interests of enwiki, but were mistaken. Now, if that sort of mistake was easy to rectify, then we wouldn't really have a big problem. Just appeal the T&S decision and be prepared to accept whatever the result of the appeal was. But that's not how things are currently set up.

Sadly, I don't think that we can any longer trust T&S to make ban decisions affecting just a single wiki without a mechanism to appeal that decision, particularly when the wiki in question has a well established, accountable body in place that is charged with making those decisions. So I propose that we focus our efforts on ensuring that the sort of local ban we have seen is appealable, and I suggest that ArbCom is the correct venue for that appeal. Don't be distracted by red herrings like "T&S need to be able to impose bans over confidential issues" – of course they do, but they also need to be accountable to the community they claim to serve, and that accountability can easily be implemented by making their ban decisions which affect only enwiki subject to review and appeal though the English ArbCom, which is directly accountable to the community that elected them. --RexxS (talk) 15:59, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Support making T&S enwiki bans appealable to ArbCom (alternative proposal 3)

  1. Support as proposer. --RexxS (talk) 15:59, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Support with caveats - (1) only when the sanctioned user communicates to arbcom that they wish to appeal; (2) it is explicitly limited to actions that are not global in scope; (3) any appeal to ArbCom is explicitly final. Thryduulf (talk) 16:14, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Support. I can understand the concerns expressed below, but this proposal is for single-wiki bans only, and the kind of serious stuff that should not be appealable will be global. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:23, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Support as a final action. However, the role of Wikimedia Foundation in Wikipedia matters needs to be clarified, and Thyrdulf's three caveats are good. This ban seems to be unfair and especially points to a lack of clarity in understanding the role the WF has or should have in Wikipedia affairs. This proposal would be a sensible unemotional response but also a wider dealing with the multiple issues that have arisen is needed both for Fram and for the future. Littleolive oil (talk) 17:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Support Much of the community outrage is because the nature of this ban just doesn't make sense. Miniapolis 01:28, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Second choice after abolishing them. If T&S needs to issue a ban, it should not be limited to a single project. EllenCT (talk) 01:01, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. Support. No brainer. Arbcom is the official venue for last-resort or sensitive issues. No opaque, uncommunicative, and authoritarian regime should be over-riding standard, policy-based, trusted, equitable processes on Wikipedia. Softlavender (talk) 02:10, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose making T&S enwiki bans appealable to ArbCom (alternative proposal 3)

  1. Oppose as pointless. The WMF has shown on many occasions that they have no interest in having to be accountable to local wikis, and any attempt to push for this position will just be stonewalled and/or ignored by the Foundation--and, fundamentally, as owners of the site, they don't have to be accountable to the users, in a legal sense, so the only leverage we would have would be threatening to fork enwiki to a new site, which is, frankly, a pretty empty threat, given the odds of any attempt to do so succeeding. rdfox 76 (talk) 16:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Oppose again, I do not want ArbCom dealing with pedophiles. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:16, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Pedophiles would not get just a single-wikipedia ban and would not be covered by this. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Tony, couldn't any WMF block involving a pedophile simple be rubber-stamped by ArbCom? I see no reason for them to open a case, or even a full in camera review, for every appeal which might be brought to them. Beyond My Ken (talk) 17:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    The fear of pedophilia is frequently used as a wedge to deny other people their rights. But for every one pedophile we know about, there are probably a hundred we don't. Are we really making anybody safer by endorsing a Star Chamber procedure to deal with a small risk with a small percentage of pedophiles we know about, rather than having an honest community process? I should note that I had this position from the very beginning because I knew then that we would end up here out of it. No bureaucrat ever really gives a damn about the children. Wnt (talk) 13:36, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Oppose Some things may truly be legal or safety issues, that may not be safe to disclose to even NDA'd users. StudiesWorld (talk) 16:19, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Truly legal and safety issues would not get just a single-wikipedia ban and would not be covered by this. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:26, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose The thinking is right, but this is structured the wrong way around. Given the lack of cross-examination and appeal, office actions on en-WP should generally be reserved for misconduct so egregious as to require permanent sanction, such as the categories named above. If T&S receives a complaint and decides that it's problematic but doesn't rise to the level of a perma-ban, they can take it to ArbCom themselves to ask for whatever intermediate sanction they deem appropriate. Choess (talk) 16:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose per TonyBallioni, StudiesWorld, etc. Arbcom is hardly capable of dealing with the sorts of issues that T&S has to deal with. Gamaliel (talk) 16:25, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Ideal oppose ArbCom should not be involved in areas where the T&S should be (namely legal issues). But vise versa should most certainly also be the case, which the banning of Fram clearly demonstrates isn't. funplussmart (talk) 16:34, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. Oppose In most cases where the WMF steps in, there's a legal issue involved. ArbCom is a volunteer group, and as such, there is pretty significant liability protection for the individuals who serve. Unless ArbCom can also be sued the way the WMF can be-- with concomitant protections -- they can't be offered nor should they accept this kind of power. Montanabw(talk) 17:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. Supporting this unfortunately does not make sense; or maybe it does symbolically, but I am not a fan of symbolics. Per m:Office actions#Primary office actions, these bans are not even appealable to the Foundation. "They are final and non-negotiable." [2]. So this proposal is not enforceable. It'd be better if something with possibility of happening is proposed in place of this. – Ammarpad (talk) 17:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  9. It would make more sense to make T&S actions appealable to the Foundation in general. Nobody is perfect and every action should be reviewable somewhere. I do understand though that if the Foundation steps in, it usually means - or ought to mean(!) - that local processes, including ArbCom, are not equipped to handle these kinds of problems. If the Foundation steps in without need to do so, someone higher up at the Foundation should be able to hear an appeal and overwrite the decision if needed. Regards SoWhy 18:05, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  10. Oppose per Montanabw and because this would likely have other unintended consequences. --Rschen7754 18:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  11. Oppose per TonyBallioni, StudiesWorld and SoWhy SusunW (talk) 18:15, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  12. Oppose per others. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:26, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  13. Oppose If there are legal and safety issues, we need to be careful. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 17:14, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  14. Oppose per rdfox 76. Banedon (talk) 00:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  15. Oppose I would support WMF bans having an appeal process to the foundation. Not to the arbcom given the numerous problems that would create re: privacy etc. While I have great respect for the work arbcom does, history makes it difficult to trust anything sent to them is not going to eventually leak. More importantly even if it does, I can understand both the legal issues, and the reasonable expectations of complainants etc which would mean they would not want arbcom being provided all the info needed making this a non starter. Nil Einne (talk) 03:35, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  16. Oppose per rdfox76.--Vulphere 10:13, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  17. Oppose per Megalibrarygirl. I can imagine situations where I would want an appeal process implemented, but I can imagine situations in which I accept that the no appeal decision is appropriate. This proposal overreaches.S Philbrick(Talk) 18:27, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  18. Oppose As I say above, I do not want to see a situation where if you get enough buddies you can do as you like. Nor do I accept the "this user is too valuable to lose" argument.Slatersteven (talk) 09:41, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  19. Oppose This would just create a situation where people who have connections would be able to walk. As much as we need more transparency from the Wikimedia Foundation, their bans should not be reviewable to potentially biased people. No offense to Arb Com or anyone else, but we simply can't take any chances. The bans from the foundation should stay there, but we should have more transparency. NoahTalk 01:06, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  20. Oppose—Certainly not. ArbCom isn't charged with enforcing the Foundation's Terms of Use. In my view, a bit more centrally imposed discipline is needed in the WMF's 900 or so sites. On some of those sites, things are seriously amiss. Tony (talk) 09:02, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  21. Oppose The WMF and its various bloated teams have shown they have no interest in working with the communities that give them a job, dictators should not be appeased. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:43, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  22. I don't think this is workable, per Montanabw and others. It'd be nice if it could work this way, but in practice it can't. --Deskana (talk) 11:06, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Alternative proposal 4: The WMF was wrong in at least the manner in which it decided on and implemented this ban, and the ban should be reversed if the community does not support it.

Support statement (proposal 4)

  1. Support – I'm adding yet another proposal here, because, while the ones above have significant support, some people think they are too broad or go too far. I wrote proposal 2 and stand by it, but I think it might be useful to see if this is a baseline statement more people can agree on. Of course, this is not mutually exclusive with the other proposals. KSFT (t|c) 18:41, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Support Office actions should be limited to legally necessary bans and blocks, and ToC issues limited to a single project within the purview of established policy procedures and community processes should not be within the Foundation's remit. We shouldn't allow discretionary editorial control by the Foundation for intermediary liability reasons anyway, in case section 203 case law returns to its previously established state. EllenCT (talk) 01:05, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose statement (proposal 4)

  1. Oppose. While the handling of this was at the very least suboptimal, whether the community supports an action enforcing the ToU and/or an action taken based (in part) on private evidence is irrelevant. Thryduulf (talk) 18:57, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Oppose since there may be legal and safety issues involved, we should leave the situation at WMF. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 17:15, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Oppose per Thryduulf. Banedon (talk) 00:43, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose based on all I've said before and Thyrduulf. Nil Einne (talk) 03:36, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  5. Oppose I don't have sufficient facts to assess whether the decision was wrong. That's not to say I don't have raised eyebrows and concerns about the process, but I don't accept the the community has the authority to reverse it simply because it doesn't support the action.S Philbrick(Talk) 18:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  6. Oppose As I have said more then once, I can see scenarios where it was right or wrong, the problem is that (given the mentality shown here and at ANI on occasions) putting a user in a position where their actions against Fram can be ID'd means WMF must protect the user. Admins should not be above the law. In fact admins should be leading by example.Slatersteven (talk) 09:43, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  7. Oppose—Stop the screeching outrage. A more mature, considered reaction would be welcome than this pile-on herd mentality. Here, we have a rather narrow grasp of the facts. Tony (talk) 09:04, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  8. Oppose proposals to revert the ban, because we literally can't do it. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:24, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Alternative proposal 5: Use Editorial Independence to Force Communication

Proposal 5 withdrawn in favour of proposal 6 below
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

If, after a reasonable time (say a week from now), no steps towards a resolution of the core conflict have been taken, we temporarily suspend WP:NAVEL and put a summary of this case and our concerns with undue WMF intervention onto the main page. And leave it there for however long it is necessary - or until the WMF uses advanced rights to remove it.

Support statement (proposal 5)

  1. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:15, 16 June 2019 (UTC) (as proposer)
  2. In principle this is a good idea, but prefer MediaWiki:Editpage-head-copy-warn to reach all editors, instead of Main Page readers. This is appropriately targeted in the spirit of the warning message: to warn editors that they are subject to secret behavioral rules by secret judges based on secret accusations, with no right of representation, defense, or appeal, and provide instructions for contacting the Board, CEO, and Chief of Community Engagement to ask for a revision to the T&S policy. EllenCT (talk) 05:09, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose statement (proposal 5)

  1. Oppose. Absolutely not, no. Vandalism of the encyclopedia itself is not an ethical option. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:19, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. The Foundation has already behaved irresponsibly and in a way that's destructive to the project and the encyclopedia, and we are quite properly condemning them for it. We lose any right to do so if we behave the same way. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:26, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. hell no. This amounts to vandalism by administrators in defense of another administrator. The fact that there are administrators supporting this stance puts into question the RfA process if anything. Juxlos (talk) 19:32, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Oppose. This would completely destroy the reputation of Wikipedia as a neutral, unbiased source of facts. The average user of Wikpiedia does not care about this, and they shouldn't. We may very well win if we did this, but we'd just cause more ruin to the project. Rockstonetalk to me! 21:46, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Discussion of statement (proposal 5)

  1. Re. Boing!: The main page is the most visible page, it draws in attention, and it points me to many interesting topics. But it is of marginal encyclopaedic value. And the encyclopaedia is not autonomous - in my opinion it depends on a vibrant community. There is plenty of historical precedence - from the original sabotage via 20th century suffragettes and Gandhi's passive resistance to burning draft papers where necessary resistance goes beyond what is usually considerer acceptable behaviour. If the WMF does come to its senses and talks to the community at eye level, I'll be more than happy. But if they need some reminder that this is not a situation where they hold all the aces, so be it. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:29, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, that's all very poetic and emotive - but anyone I see vandalising the main page gets blocked by me. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:31, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Of course if this gets consensus (which, admittedly, does not look likely right now), it would not be vandalism. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:47, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    You'd need to get a consensus to change the wording of WP:Vandalism, which says "editing (or other behavior) deliberately intended to obstruct or defeat the project's purpose, which is to create a free encyclopedia", and what you propose would do exactly that - even with consensus. The consensus would simply be to vandalize. As it happens, you have no chance of getting this proposal passed, so it's moot anyway really, but I think its disgraceful to see an admin advocating for vandalism of the encyclopedia. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:53, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Main page content is subject to consensus. If the consensus was to replace its entire content with the portrait of Jimbo done by Pricasso, it still wouldnt be vandalism as the main page has zero impact on the projects purpose as you have defined it. You coudld delete it entirely and all encyclopedic content would remain. Stephen is correct here. Personally I dont think altering the main page will serve any *useful* purpose as the average reader who visits it is unlikely to care, and it will just antagonise the DYK/ITN/etc crowd who wont get their credits... Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:49, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    I fear we may be too far apart to come to an agreement, but maybe we can get at least a common understanding. How would that be "deliberately intended to obstruct or defeat the project's purpose, which is to create a free encyclopedia"? The encyclopaedic value of the main page is low to non-existent (I don't deny it's value to the project, but it is not a core part of an encyclopaedia - most encyclopaedias don't have anything comparable). I see this very much comparable to the SOPA blackout and the more recent blackouts in Europe protesting the EU copyright reform. Do you consider these as vandalism as well? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:53, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Actually a lot of wikipedia editors objected to that as it was using wikipedia for political purposes (and the way it was forced through by certain parties) but I dont recall any credible argument it was vandalism. Only in death does duty end (talk) 20:56, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, and while I think sometimes such an approach is better than the alternatives, I fully understand that opinions on the usefulness or even the cost/benefit ratio of the proposal differ. But Boing! seems to deny that it can ever be a legitimate tool. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:17, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    I take your point about the SOPA thing, but that was very controversial, and there was a direct link to actually improving the encyclopedia - and using the main page to fight internal squabbles is a very different thing. It simply is not true that the SOPA blackout justifies every possible consensus change to the main page, or that consensus automatically is not vandalism. Also, how "core" you might think the main page is is of no relevance. It got more than 17,000,000 page views yesterday, it is a very important part of the encyclopedia, and I will not budge from my conviction that one faction deliberately damaging it to try and win their fight against the other faction is vandalism. Anyway, it's academic - the community is simply not that vindictive and there will be no consensus to use the main page in this way, so any further discussion is probably pointless. (And no, Boing! most certainly did not "deny that it can ever be a legitimate tool", Boing! has only opined on this one specific proposal) Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 21:19, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Obligatory link to WP:DDMPpythoncoder (talk | contribs) 22:26, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    The worst part is that most involved don't seem to be joking - and are admins. Juxlos (talk) 23:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Re Juxlos: I don't think it is at all relevant to the discussion that Fram is an admin. I would react in exactly the same way for any other established editor. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:49, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    It is completely unacceptable for any editor to conduct vandalism under any reason, period. Worse if said editor is one of few granted permission to edit the main page specifically because they could be trusted by other editors. In a polite way, I recommend any admins who would do this to just resign as an administrator. Juxlos (talk) 20:09, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Alternative proposal 6: Use Editorial Independence to Force Communication (2)

If, after a reasonable time (say a week from now), no steps towards a resolution of the core conflict have been taken, we use MediaWiki:Editpage-head-copy-warn or a similar prominent location to inform editors that they are subject to secret behavioural rules by secret judges based on secret accusations, with no right of representation, defence, or appeal, and provide instructions for contacting the Board, CEO, and Chief of Community Engagement to ask for a revision to the T&S policy. Modified from Proposal 5 based on a suggestion by EllenCT.

Support statement (proposal 6)

  1. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:23, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Support - This is appropriately targeted in the spirit of the warning message. EllenCT (talk) 15:49, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. This is a proportionate response. I hope it will prove unnecessary. Tazerdadog (talk) 07:10, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose statement (proposal 6)

  1. Petty childish nonsense. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 08:14, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  2. Although I wouldn't have put it quite that way, I agree with Boing! said Zebedee. Users are informed they're subject to the Terms of Use, there's no need to supplement those warnings with a petulant version of them. --Deskana (talk) 11:11, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Deskana and Boing! said Zebedee: do you find the wording objectionable, or just the idea that we should warn people they are subject to opaque rules and enforcement? How do you feel about petitioning from that interface message? EllenCT (talk) 15:47, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    @EllenCT: That's a bit of a loaded question, which I think was unintentional, so I'll try to answer it anyway. The Terms of Use are already advertised immediately above the save button ("By publishing changes, you agree to the Terms of Use…") and in the footer when reading "By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use…"). Making the Terms of Use even more prominent, and using quite pointed language in the notice ("opaque" is quite a charged term), feels to me like a knee-jerk reaction to this situation, intended to attack the Wikimedia Foundation rather than contribute to a resolution of the problem. --Deskana (talk) 16:18, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    There is nothing in the Terms of Use which suggests that people will be tried in secret, on secret evidence, or without any avenue of defense, representation or appeal. Because this is a change to longstanding processes and the expectations of editors, a warning is justified. When explaining the state of affairs seems like an attack, that proves that they have deteriorated such that they are indefensible on their own right. Here's how Anti-Harassment Tools Team Design Researcher Claudia Lo put it in her November 2018 "Reporting systems on English Wikipedia" written for the Community Health Initiative:
    the Wikimedia community highly prizes transparency. For reporting systems, this is interpreted as publicly-viewable processes, outcomes, and the identities of the involved users. Transparency in this case is not just a design consideration put into place to achieve a certain kind of efficiency or mode of operation, but a value to be strived for in the way the entire system operates.... whatever changes we recommend, it must adhere to these values even as we change key features, otherwise it will not be trustworthy.
    Do you see a resolution to the problem which does not involve petitioning the Board and management? Are you satisfied with the newly imposed T&S process? EllenCT (talk) 17:38, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Both. No editor without a history for incivility or behavioural issues has been banned under these allegedly opaque rules. SD0001 (talk) 17:31, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Prior to the imposition of the new rules, editors banned for incivility were done so in a transparent fashion. What is the cost of allowing secret accusations and trials without defense or appeal? How is the community expected to know what the civility standards are under these conditions? EllenCT (talk) 17:38, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  3. Childish nonsense as Boing! says. SD0001 (talk) 17:31, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  4. Yeah, this is exactly the same as vandalizing the main page - probably even worse. I imagine a stark majority of editors don't even care about this and will only be discouraged from editing Wikipedia knowing that admins act this way. Juxlos (talk) 18:19, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Discussion of statement (proposal 6)

  • My goodness, proposal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 101. We really are going crazy here. I think we really have to just wait for more information about what is going on, such as waiting for the Board's discussions to be published, before we have so start making it seem like we can have any proposals at all. People here are obviously in a bit of a panic mode, what has happened here is a bit shit, but you know, just calm down and wait. talk to !dave 07:57, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Further comment from the Foundation

[Forthcoming shortly] WMFOffice (talk) 18:58, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Dear members of the English Wikipedia community,

Over the last few days we have received many requests to review the recent issues that have surfaced due to the office action taken against Fram. We are reviewing such feedback with care and aim to reply in helping to clarify the situation. We expect to reply at least one more time as we continue to review the feedback. We hope the following helps to address several points raised so far:

The Foundation is strongly supportive of communities making their own decisions within the framework of the Terms of Use, as outlined in section 10. There have been many questions about why the Foundation's Trust & Safety team handled this case rather than passing it to the local Arbcom to handle. This happened for two main reasons.

  • First, our privacy provisions do not always allow us to "pass back" personal information we receive to the community; this means there are cases where we cannot pass on to Arbcom things like the names of complaining parties or the content of private evidence that might support a concern. As a result, the best we could have given Arbcom in this case would have been a distillation of the case, severely limiting their ability to handle it.
  • Secondly, we believe it would have been improper to ask the Arbcom to adjudicate a case in which it was one primary target of the person in question, as this could put volunteers into a very difficult position and create the appearance of a conflict of interest regardless of the actual handling of the case.

For these two reasons this case was handled differently than Trust and Safety would usually have handled cases falling under section 4. of the Terms of Use.

In terms of us providing direct justification for this ban to the community, as both several community members and we have already mentioned, we do not release details about Trust & Safety investigations due to privacy concerns. What do we mean by that? We mean that when someone reports a situation to us, or someone is involved in a case we investigate, we are obligated to keep their identity and any personally-identifying evidence private. That includes not only literally not publishing their name, but often not sharing diffs (which might show things like "who the named party was targeting" or "what dispute this investigation arose from") or even general details (in many cases, even naming the specific infraction will allow interested sleuths to deduce who was involved). What we can say in this case is that the issues reported to us fell under section 4 of the terms of use, as noted above, specifically under the first provision entitled “harassing and abusing others.”

Many of you have asked questions about why a one-year local ban was placed in this case, as opposed to the more-common indefinite global ban. The Trust & Safety team updated the policies to allow these less-stringent sanction options for use in cases where there was reason to think time might change behavior, or where disruption is limited to a single project. The intention of these new options is to be able to act in a way that is more sensitive to an individual’s circumstances and not have to give out indefinite global bans for problems that are limited in time or project-scope. Based on the evidence we received, this is such a case and we are hopeful that if Fram wishes to resume editing in a year, they will be able to do so effectively and in line with the terms of use. Prior to this policy update, the only sanction option available in a case like this would have been an indefinite global ban.

We know this action came as a surprise to some within the community, and we understand that many of you have deep concerns about the situation. We can only assure you that Trust & Safety Office Actions are not taken lightly, nor are they taken without sign-off by multiple levels of staff who read the case’s documentation and evidence from different angles. We take these actions only in situations where we believe no other option is available that will preserve the health and/or safety of the community. We will continue to monitor your feedback and provide at least one more reply regarding this matter. Best regards, WMFOffice (talk) 19:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Further clarification

To follow up on the earlier statement from today, we can provide additional clarifications:

The scope of Trust and Safety investigations: The Foundation's office action investigations generally review the conduct of the user as a whole. Therefore, they usually involve conduct on the projects over an extended period of time. In the case of established editors, the time window reviewed often extends beyond any individual complaints received and can include conduct spanning several years. The scope is one of the main reasons why such investigations usually take at least four weeks. Such investigations evaluate the conduct of a user and by default not the substance of their views.

Conduct warnings: Conduct warnings are a rare office action. They are normally issued when a situation is observed to be problematic, and is meant to be a preventative measure of further escalation. It is considered as a step geared towards de-escalation of the situation, when there is believed to have sufficient margin for it. It informs the recipient that behavior they may consider acceptable is in fact not, grants them the opportunity to reflect on it, and encourages them to take corrective measures towards mitigating and eventually eliminating it. However, should these warnings be ignored and the problematic behavior continues, further actions (such as bans) may be deemed necessary and their text usually references the possibility.

Style and substance: Critique is an inherently important part of an encyclopedic community. Neither the Foundation nor community institutions, like ArbCom, are above criticism. Such criticism naturally can be direct and hard on the facts, but in a community it should also remain strictly respectful in tone towards others.

Enforcement: The Wikimedia Foundation never seeks to force administrators or other community members to enforce the Terms of Use (just like an admin is rarely 'obligated' to block a vandal), but we do greatly appreciate the work of administrators who choose to do so. Admins who do take such actions should not be subjected to threats of removal of their admin rights, when their actions are based on a good faith belief that they are upholding the Terms of Use (and any action in support of enforcing a Foundation office action or a community global ban is, by definition, upholding the Terms of Use). If community believes that their good faith efforts are misguided, the issue may need discussion, if necessary, a different approach. We are always happy to join in such conversations unrelated to individual cases. Best regards, WMFOffice (talk) 00:33, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Banned but not blocked

Okay, just a quick thing. We have now a perhaps paradoxical situation where Fram is banned from but not blocked. Is this is a precedent? Do we need to understand more about what that situation means? I.e. if Fram edits once, does he get blocked? The Rambling Man (talk) 20:28, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

@The Rambling Man: we constantly "ban" editors without blocking them, see Wikipedia:Editing_restrictions#Active_editing_restrictions for examples. — xaosflux Talk 20:30, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Except in this case, isn't the user site banned? My research on the subject yielded mixed results. –MJLTalk 20:34, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
What makes this any different from a new account being created for block evasion or a sleeper sock or a friendly admin helping you block evade by unblocking a sock? StudiesWorld (talk) 20:31, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Pedantically, there is no paradox. Blocks can be used to enforce bans (WP:EVASION). As long as Fram doesn't violate the ban, there is no evasion and no reason to re-block. But any edit technically is violating the ban; it's kind of like a topic ban from everything. Not that I'm going to touch any of this with admin rights, but that's how I would play it. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 20:32, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
xaosflux I'm not a dick, so explain what happens now Fram has been banned from yet unblocked. If he makes an edit to, will he be blocked? I think you know where I'm coming from, so some explanation would be helpful. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Because Floquenbeam unblocked him due to there being overwhelming consensus to do so. funplussmart (talk) 20:36, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
That is the long and short of it. He edits en.wp, WMF will likely reinstate the block (or worse, glock). —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 20:36, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
That's the way I see it, ban evasion is ban evasion. But I'm not going to be the one pushing that button. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 20:37, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
(many EC) It's often fairly trivial to create an account to get around a ban, at least for a short time. And of course many IP editor who are banned are not blocked for long, given dynamic IPs etc. So I don't think that part of the situation is so unusual. The fact that the main account is unblocked is a little different. (Well sometimes socks are banned at least defacto without their connection to their main account being uncovered, and obviously them editing from their main account is still violating their ban. However it's still a little different in that in those cases it's because the connection is unknown and the account/s which were uncovered are blocked.) But really the main difference to me seems to be that the editor is banned by the WMF, but have been intentionally unblocked by an admin based on their reading of community consensus. Whatever happens to the unblocking admin aside, I have strong doubts that the WMF will take kindly to someone evading their ban however it comes about. It's the editor's choice if they wish to do so, I'm sure they're aware of the complexities of the situation. Nil Einne (talk) 20:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @The Rambling Man: I don't think you are - just passionate about the issue. I don't think we share the same point of view on this, but I don't think we are diametrically opposed either. As to "what happens": I'd think that Fram would be "in violation" of the ban, whether or not anyone would enforce the violation with another block for example is beyond me (I wouldn't personally enforce it, but I'm not usually active in ban enforcement areas either). — xaosflux Talk 20:40, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • WMF could reblock right now, or they could wait to reblock if he edits. They're essentially the same thing, so I assume (and it is assuming, I don't speak for her) that Bish would then unblock. Or if I'm not desysopped, I could unblock again. So the only difference is, Fram might be surprised if he's not reblocked immediately, edits, and is then reblocked. But other than the surprise (and delay) there really isn't a difference. If he chooses not to edit thru the theoretical ban, it's the same as being blocked. I'm not the WMF; I can technically undo an office action block, as long as I'm willing to suffer the consequences, but I can't prevent them from reblocking either now or later, and I can't *make* then rescind the theoretical ban, just (while I have the admin bit) the technical block implementation. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:43, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I want to go on record as saying that WMF would be very much in the wrong if they were to take any recriminatory action against Floq. The unblocked-but-banned status is an awkward one, but it is entirely within community norms for an admin, after reviewing lengthy discussion, to unblock a blocked user. (Indeed, a re-block would arguably be wheel-warring, at least by en-Wiki standards.) The worst possible thing to happen next would be for WMF to escalate an already tense situation by any sort of chest-thumping directed against the unblocking admin. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:00, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
WP Policy is clear that "Wikimedia administrators and others who have the technical power to revert or edit office actions are strongly cautioned against doing so. Unauthorized modifications to office actions will not only be reverted, but may lead to sanctions by the Foundation, such as revocation of the rights of the individual involved." (From WP:OFFICE) Rivselis (talk) 21:08, 11 June 2019 (UTC) CU-blocked. Beyond My Ken (talk) 04:26, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I know that. And I still mean what I said. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:12, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I personally HIGHLY disagree with Floquenbeam's actions.. This is effectively undermining the Foundations' responsibility in upholding the Terms of Use of their own website. I think that is and should be a blockable action. As I've said before, people can fork and run your own webproperty. I even considered opening an Arbcom case about this action. But I need to sleep, and tomorrow i have to work, making that a bad idea. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Suffice it to say that it would be a bad idea even if you had all the time in the world. Lepricavark (talk) 21:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, although the WMF has the legal right to demand fealty, they have a commonsense management responsibility to recognize that without a supportive editing community, the WMF would have little reason to exist. This is an important concept: just because one has the right to do something doesn't mean that it is wise to do it. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Unless they speak a lot more languages than I think they do they already have a very limited ability to do that on any practical level.©Geni (talk) 21:31, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    We pretend we're part of a community, but all we are are bums on somebody else's property. That's what computing is about: poor people pretending they can play on the rich man's estate, and so long as play means dusting and sweeping for free, maybe they can, but eventually the rich man comes up with some other plan. We should spend less time studying Wikipedia policy, more time studying Marx and Kaczinsky. Wnt (talk) 21:40, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
FWIW, Fram has been reblocked by WMFOffice [3] Nil Einne (talk) 00:36, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
And then unblocked again by Bishonen. Thryduulf (talk) 11:06, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Unban Fram

So it's now clear that while we had overwhelming consensus to unblock Fram, that is actually meaningless to the wikilawyers who would tell us that since he's still banned yet unblocked, any edit he makes anywhere on could end up lengthening his ban. Which of course is horseshit. So we need to try once more. In the face of precisely zero evidence, I propose that Fram is unbanned from English Wikipedia. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:42, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Oppose - Trusted community members are still investigating the matter. Procedurally, this is impossible. StudiesWorld (talk) 20:47, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    "Procedurally, this is impossible" anyone that says that should be summarily ignored. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:48, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'm sorry, explain this to me. You believe that it is currently possible under local policy to overturn an office action? StudiesWorld (talk) 20:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Trusted community members are still investigating the matter. if that means the same "trusted group" who banned Fram in the fist place, plus Jimbo (please!), then the point is moot. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:57, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes. Of course. Fram can be re-sysopped locally by 'crats and his ban (which is an abstract concept now he has been unblocked) can be ignored. What kind of super powers do you think WMF hold??! The Rambling Man (talk) 20:52, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Exactly. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:51, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    The keys to the site? I mean it only exists at the whims of the Foundation. Q T C 15:56, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support The community needs to be able to make their own decisions without needing intervention from the Foundation. The ban of Fram is completely uncalled for and the inadequate response from the Office shows its complete lack of transparency, especially in this situation. I don't care that this is "procedually impossible" if its because the bureaucratic Foundation makes it that way. funplussmart (talk) 20:53, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per funplussmart. CoolSkittle (talk) 20:55, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in the absence of further information. If this is about civility, ban everyone else on the project, as the border of civility and rudeness is nebulous. If this is a metasticisation of his dispute with the WiR, check the WiR's history here on en.wp. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 20:57, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support WMF have acted inappropriately here, maybe on behalf of an inside relationship. This action should be seen as wholly illegitimate. Mr Ernie (talk) 20:59, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu. Office bans cannot be undone by the community. ~ Rob13Talk 21:00, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Of course they can. If the community deems the Office to have over-reached, then it will be fixed. Jeez, no-one "owns" the community, without us, you're nothing. Get used to thinking about how we feel about shitty decision-making. Arbcom was bad enough, now we have this Office bollocks. Gervais would be proud of us. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:26, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The "procedural impossibility" is for WMF to ban editors solely for their on-wiki conduct, with narrow exceptions such as child protection or threats. (If Fram's account of events leading to the ban were inaccurate, WMF has now had the opportunity with its second statement to dispute it, and did not do so, so at this point we will have to presume that Fram's account is accurate). "Fram was mean to me" is a matter for the English Wikipedia community to handle, either directly or through the Arbitration Committee it elects. It is not a matter in which the WMF can intervene because it does not like the community's decision, including a decision to refrain from action. If Fram has behaved in a way deserving of a site ban, that ban should be imposed by the community or ArbCom only. (And when there are not legal considerations, yes, the community absolutely can overturn Office actions. If we've not yet clearly established that we have that authority, now's as good a time as any.) Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:03, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict × 11) In the abstract, I support unbanning and reopping, but that assumes the RFC is binding (and it’s unclear if it is at this moment). —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 21:06, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu (I like that as a response, thanks Rob). While we're here, let's vote to break the UK's parliamentary Brexit deadlock, to reconcile the Israelis and the Palestinians, and to cure the world of all known diseases too. Well, we have as much power to do those as reverse an Office ban, so why not? I think the ban is wrong, and I think it represents a power grab and a chilling shift in the governance structure of I think the ban should be reversed, but we can't do it, and voting on it here is just pissing in the wind. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 21:16, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support even if we can't make it stick, we can at least tell the WMF exactly what we think. Lepricavark (talk) 21:22, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) The community consensus for an unblock already includes consensus that Fram be allowed to continue editing, otherwise it would be pointless. I doubt people were thinking, "restore Fram's technical ability to edit, but if he actually uses it then the ability should be removed again." Even if the WMF ban technically still exists, at minimum the community expects that it will not be enforced. (But whether the WMF enforces it anyways is a separate issue, of course.) Sunrise (talk) 21:21, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Well yes. If the office wishes to make a case to arbcom they are free to do so.©Geni (talk) 21:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • My understanding is that the community does not have the authority to override an office action, so this is not possible. The unblock, though understandable, was therefore premature. This will need to be looked at through proper channels, via the board members accountable to the community. They are in a position to question WMF staff about the reasons for these actions and explain them to the community. And, if need be, they can help take Foundation-level decisions about any necessary consequences from this episode, including personnel decisions and an office-level unban. Process should be followed, even if it is annoying. Sandstein 21:33, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in the absence of a non-boilerplate response by the WMF. For this nonstandard of an action to be taken against such a well-established editor, with little-to-no comprehensive explanation (thus leaving us all to speculate) is ridiculous. -A lainsane (Channel 2) 21:38, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose In agreement with Sandstein. In the face of precisely zero evidence, I propose that the Brexit deadlock be considered null and void. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 21:40, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Hawkeye7, is not it a bit rich for you, of all folks, to talk about evidence in these type of cases? WBGconverse 12:01, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is not an anarchist site. Sir Joseph (talk) 21:55, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
@Sir Joseph: Just because people oppose a decision a leader(s) make, doesn't automatically make them anarchists. The people want good leadership, not incompetent leadership. X-Editor (talk) 04:26, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose when it comes to sensitive personal data we should be very careful. -- Magioladitis (talk) 21:57, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu. BU Rob13 and Boing! said Zebedee are in the right here. The community cannot do this, and its time would be better spent on a different approach. Mz7 (talk) 22:19, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, the community can do whatever it gets consensus to do. Applying primitive constraints is stupid and wasteful. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:26, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu. It is not within the remit of the local community so discussing this is meaningless (this is the perfect way to describe my response; thanks!).--Jorm (talk) 22:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well it just think a bit harder then. What would you vote if you could get your desired outcome? We, as a community, can do anything we like here. Or perhaps you'd prefer to just go along with the sheep? Yes sir. No sir. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:29, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'm not sure you'd be happy to know my desired outcome.--Jorm (talk) 22:31, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I don't really care about your opinion. What I do care about it is the ability for us as a community to exercise our consensus in the way that Jimbo originally conceived. Twenty years later we're not seeing that, too many owners. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:35, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    You only care about the opinions of those who agree with you. Got it.--Jorm (talk) 22:44, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    What a strange thing to say. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:49, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support i.e., the community resolves Fram in its view is still welcome to edit and administer the en.wp project. This means that by community consensus, Wikipedia admins should not intervene to enforce the ban. Whether the WMF gives a fig about that, or enforces the ban itself, are separate matters that don't concern us here. The community should also not recognize Fram's IBAN with the anonymous WiR, but it can postpone disputing that issue (and I'd advise Fram to do the same). I'd be satisfied about the IBAN if WMF turns ownership of it over to Arbcom (Arbcom doesn't have a COI regarding it) and Arbcom lets it stay in force while they review it and ultimately decides whether to lift it. (talk) 22:27, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. Here are some axioms: (a) we do not have the power, under US law, to override the office unless we fork and leave their servers, (b) there is allegedly an ongoing attempt by Jimbo Wales and Doc James to do some mediation, which has not run its course yet, and (c) we still don't know for certain whether there is more to this than Fram's statement would imply. Give those axioms I therefore propose that we sit tight for a while and wait and see. I agree with the spirit of Floq's unblock, but just as the WMF need to de escalate and build bridges, so also do we.  — Amakuru (talk) 22:37, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I don't see it as overriding the office to say there is no community ban in force, the community wants Fram to be editing, and the community refuses to act on the WMF's behalf with regard to enforcing the ban. WMF owns this ban and if it is enforced at all, WMF itself must do the enforcement. We won't do this dirty work. (talk) 22:43, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Contrary to the statement above, there is nothing whatsoever in US law that forbids the user of a site from taking actions which the owner of the site disagrees with. The owner can, of course, undo the action and ban or block the user, since they have the technical and legal power to do this -- but that is entirely irrelevant in this case, which hinges not on what the WMF can do, but on what actions it is willing to do in the face of a community revolt. They can choose to retaliate, and do, most probably, extreme damage to the website, destroying its ethos and undermining its future improvement, or they can look the other way and negotiate. I believe they would do the latter, because as inappropriate and (predictably) stupid as this action was, I do not think that they are, collectively, unintelligent people. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:50, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as premature. As Wikimedia staff has stated, they are unable to release the evidence that supported their action. Without having seen the evidence (or even a summary of that evidence), it is premature for the community to demand that the action be immediately overturned. Let the oversight and investigatory processes proceed, and then an informed decision can be made. Cbl62 (talk) 22:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Its trivial to claim that you have evidence that you can't release.©Geni (talk) 23:07, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
4 PM. 2001:4898:80E8:2:A5F:2E62:10E4:D7D1 (talk) 22:57, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Not our call. The WMF has the authority to ban anyone from their site who they deem to have violated the ToS. Any community consensus to overturn such a ban is completely meaningless. AdA&D 22:50, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    Moreover, if the WMF found that Fram has harassed and abused others, he should be held to account like any other user. I understand the frustration about the lack of transparency, but that's the unfortunate reality of harassment complaints lodged to WMF itself; they're confidential. And let's be real, people are only kicking up such a fuss because he's a power user. If this was some random editor you guys wouldn't give a shit. AdA&D 23:53, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Nope, without a community, the WMF is purposeless. Think about it. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:51, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    TRM, I like you but you are not cynical enough. Look at some of Wnt's posts. She or he is more astute about this. (talk) 23:13, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Even without a conclusion, we're learning a lot about our fellow editors, aren't we? Black Kite (talk) 23:05, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Arbcom is elected and accountable to the English Wikipedia Community. "WMFOffice" and whoever is behind it is not. The fact that there is no transparency behind who did this is another problem. I may not know who "BURob 13" is but enough editors of this community trusted them with the responsibility of being an Arb which is how this whole project works. Enough of us work together to build this place. One foreign, unaccountable person should not and cannot perform actions like this when we have local, effective governance in place. Fram is a pitbull when he finds an issues for better and worse. I've thought multiple times they need to back off but its always been because they want to make the Wiki better. I've been an on and off editor for 14 years. First as an IP, then as a user, back to an IP, and back to a sporadic user. Actions like this kills communities. Remember, this community is your golden goose. No community, no encyclopedia, no donations. spryde | talk 23:21, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support unban. This section, as I understand it, is for gauging the community's views on the Office action banning Fram. The WMF may or may not take our views into consideration as they review this situation, but for God's sake don't pre-emptively say your voice doesn't matter by muing at us. Support the unban or oppose it, but don't sit in the cow pasture "mu"ing because you think you won't be listened to, because that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. The WMF may ignore a strong consensus of editors, but they most definitely will ignore people who are fearful of taking one position or another, and they will be right to do so. 28bytes (talk) 23:40, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Of course. The block was only intended to enforce the ban, unblocking him only undoes the technical mechanism which kept him from editing. To be effectively undone, Fram needs to have the ability to edit freely as well. If undoing an OFFICE action is forbidden, well, then, Floq already crossed that threshhold (thank you, Floq), on his own, in recognition of community consensus. If community consensus is also to unban Fram as well (as it should be), then some other admin should take that action. Finally, if community consensus is that Fram's desysopping was out of process, and the community supporst his being re-sysopped in the interim, some brave bureaucrat should do that. I say this with the full recognition that those taking these actions could easily find themselves the target of OFFICE actions as well, but if each action is properly well-supported by the community, then I don't believe that the WMF would be foolhardy enough to take those steps. What they have now is a tightly-focused result, what they need to watch out for is provoking a widespread revolution. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:42, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
    I can't sit behind my completely unprivileged IP address and encourage people with advanced permissions to wheel war with the WMF (I described my suggestion of admins passively going on strike as "going bonkers" but it turns out to be one of the mildest actions discussed). But I would say that the "unban" we're discussing means the community doesn't object to such actions, won't sanction anyone who does them (even if the WMF might do so), and might sanction those who try to undo the actions. (talk) 00:06, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per 28bytes, who hits the nail on the head. I say this, however, recognizing that there might be factors that I don't know because they haven't been made public. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:47, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per 28bytes. This is about sending a strong message to the WMF that local governance should not be sidestepped without a good reason. This discussion may not result in any concrete implementation (Fram is unblocked and can technically edit, the community won't sanction him if he does, so the ball is in WMF's court regardless of the outcome here), but we need to present a unified front to make it harder and harder for them to defend their actions (either that or provide an actual transparent explanation of what Fram did, if he did indeed do something ban-worthy). As shown in the superprotect fiasco, the WMF will cave under sufficient pressure. -- King of ♠ 00:17, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) Regardless as to whether the community is capable of doing this, I support this proposal. Unless Fram's post-ban statement on commons is incorrect, then there is no confidential information in this ban, meaning nothing stops the community from coming to its own judgement. Since the community does not ban users for one year on a first offence, the one-year ban is clearly excessive and should be undone. * Pppery * it has begun... 00:19, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Logging in after not being here for ages just to support this, with a caveat: all evidence so far presented claims that Fram’s ban was solely for on-wiki behavior. Assuming that’s the case, that behavior hasn’t always been optimal but it certainly isn’t outside the purview of the community’s already in place mechanisms to deal with conflicts. That the diffs provided to Fram, including the backdoor IBan, all involved conflicts with people with direct access to the Office stinks to high heaven. Fram’s conflicts with the WMF are no secret and, much more often than not, he was correct about the facts, even if overzealous on the execution. Assuming the office ban is based solely on on-wiki behavior, the idea that anonymous complaints are “private” is asinine and antithetical to every conflict resolution process setup by the community. This same type of banning has happened across multiple language wikis since late 2018, baffling those communities as well. If that’s what the WMF wants, then so be it, but then drop the charade. Then, you know, actually pay community moderators to enforce your insular whims, if that’s their intention, because the WMF clearly didn’t have confidence that the community would sanction Fram for attacking their own. Capeo (talk) 00:55, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - For all I know, the sanction may be warranted (I personally think it was excessive, but that's beside the point). However, this is a local matter that should have been referred to Arbcom. I do not appreciate the WMF meddling in issues that are for the local communities to solve. –FlyingAce✈hello 01:20, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support At this point, it has become clear that the WMF doesn't care about being answerable to anyone but themselves, and providing a strong community consensus against this ban is the only way that we stand a chance of getting this overturned by the Board, by giving Jimbo and the Community Representatives something to point at and say how blatantly out-of-touch this action was. rdfox 76 (talk) 03:05, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support I'm not just going sit back and let the WMF get away with banning a guy just because he made a somewhat rude comment against ARBCOM and get banned for a whopping one year as a result. The WMF needs to be more transparent and actually get consensus for this type of ban. X-Editor (talk) 04:22, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Benjamin (talk) 04:26, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support per nom. Oshawott 12 ==()== Talk to me! 04:27, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. The ban may or may not be warranted, but it should not be WMF's decision to make. Their flimsy rationale for bypassing arbcom applies equally to WMF itself, of which Fram has been a long-time vocal critic. If Fram does need to be banned, and T&S reviewed Fram's entire history of 187k+ edits as claimed (or even a substantial portion thereof), then they should have no difficulty putting together a case for the community's established processes to consider, in private if necessary. T. Canens (talk) 04:39, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - No muing, the community should not enforce this ban. The ban itself is conexcept, but enforcement of it is not. Tazerdadog (talk) 05:10, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per Tazeradog and all above. WBGconverse 06:42, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - reversal needed for this opaque, seemingly harsh, and confounding situation (if he did something so bad, would it be a one-year ban? starship.paint (talk) 07:17, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - It has become clear that this ban was arbitrary and capricious. Whether our reversion of this ban is real or symbolic, it is important. ~Swarm~ {sting} 08:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Mu? - Support in principle, but there's no point in this vote because the community can't overturn office bans. ST47 (talk) 10:17, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unless and until the investigation(s) by the board, Jimbo and Doc James demonstrate evidence that the ban is actually incorrect not just unpopular. Thryduulf (talk) 11:07, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as there is no evidence to support a ban, and the ban itself appears to be an attempt to undermine community resolution in a disruptive manner. DuncanHill (talk) 11:09, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - Ofcourse WMF blocks generally cannot be overturned blah blah blah - Block was ridiculous and as such I support unblocking, –Davey2010Talk 12:00, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support — This is how to walk back this gravely ill-considered office action. Of course, it would mean tacitly admitting error, so I don't have much hope that the geniuses who decided to do this will reconsider without a big push from their boss and/or nominal overseers. Carrite (talk) 12:13, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. We can only judge the situation based on the evidence presented to the community, and on the basis of the evidence, the ban is at the very least an unwise overreach. If we assume the worst of the imposers, then it could be corrupt and disruptive. DrKay (talk) 16:37, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose if this is a legal or safety issue, we don't have the "right" to view all of the lurid details in order to get this unblock. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 17:23, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Fram has already been unblocked (twice). This is about the ban. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:58, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. If there is a concrete legal concern behind the ban, that needs to be explicitly stated by WMF legal, which certainly could be done without revealing personal information or all of the background. If this is not a legal issue, this should have been addressed by Arbcom rather than the WMF; Arbcom is well equipped to handle sensitive and private information carefully and rationally.Dialectric (talk) 20:56, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose acting without information is very dangerous. Wait for Jimbo, Doc James, etc, to conclude their investigation. Banedon (talk) 00:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as others have said, not without further information. There is no rush, especially for an action which has no clear effect. Nil Einne (talk) 02:40, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Can we get a formal closure here? Tazerdadog (talk) 06:24, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • You mean make the obvious close here, one that the majority of participants oppose (that the Wikipedia community did not ban Fram and as such cannot unban him)? No, I dont think anybody wants to do that. nableezy - 07:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
We clearly disagree on the nature of the obvious close. To me, the obvious close would be something along the lines of "The community rejects the ban on Fram and will not enforce it." This is why we have uninvolved experienced editors close discussions, however. Tazerdadog (talk) 08:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
That's obviously incorrect, because the discussion isn't about enforcing the ban (which is only mentioned by a small number of people). And, as an aside, it's as meaningless as "The community rejects the law of gravity and will not enforce it". I think the most that could be said would be something like "There is a consensus opposing the WMF ban of Fram." Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 08:36, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
You know what enforcement of the ban entails? A global lock. Then what, who's going to overturn that one for you? People are acting like we have some sort of trump card here, but the WMF is playing a hand of all spades. This thread is like a WikiProject deciding they can overturn an ArbCom ban. The only way this gets overturned is if the WMF overturn it, and efforts are better directed towards that end rather than this. The only people that can change this are the ones that can change T&S, or force them to change, and guess what, that aint us. nableezy - 16:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Wait The world isn't coming to an end, I'm definitely not on the WMF's side, no one should be but it's best to give it time and know where it's going. --qedk (tc) 06:30, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose The WMF office has every right to ban Fram, even if it is based on evidence that they won't show us. Personally, it doesn't come as a shock to me that a person with such aggressive and hostile behaviour has been banned for harassment. Nevertheless, they were great as an editor and content writer and will be missed. SD0001 (talk) 06:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Neutral We, as a community, cannot unban Fram, since we do not enforce the terms of use, WMF does. Admins can unblock Fram, but admins can't unban Fram, and based on what I read, Fram arguably violated the terms of use. I'm simply hoping the WMF makes the correct call going forward here. SportingFlyer T·C 08:16, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support unban. The hard way that the WMF has handled this is not the way forward. If they come with a proper statement, or, better, they handle this to ArbCom (and they come with a proper statement). This can only move forward if members of the community know what not to do and to what level. And there is no way I will support unappealable bans for anything else than illegal activities (child pornography and similar). As WMF has NOT issued a statement along the lines of 'Fram performed illegal actions within applicable jurisdictions', then this ban/block is a) too heavy for a first ban/block and b) should be fully appealable. If the actions of Fram did warrant a clear warning, then consider this a final warning to him with 'time served'. And yes, the community has the full right to overturn WMF (as we do with overriding their unwanted extensions) if they do not communicate ánd discuss with the communities the boundaries of certain restrictions they apply. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:17, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support and echo 28bytes. In fact I will be a bit more stronger and say if you are sitting on the fence here you are actively helping the WMF to impose its totalitarian practices. They should be sent a clear rejection even if we ultimately cannot functionally lift the ban, or they decide to lift it themselves. Only in death does duty end (talk) 08:28, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, at the very least to make it clear that he is not banned by the community. We have waited long enough now. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 08:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. In the absence of evidence (public or submitted to ArbCom) or an evidentiary hearing, this is the only logical position to take, unless we really are living in a totalitarian regime where a small unelected body can give itself the power to ban anyone without appeal or plausible explanation. Softlavender (talk) 08:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose—I'd like to see more WMF scrutiny—not less—of what's going on on its sites, globally. They have to deal with s**t people here don't know about. And legal responsibility stops with them, not en.WP editors or ArbCom. Tony (talk) 09:06, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Tony1, that is on the assumption that there is actually something that is a legal problem, right? --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:59, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Tony1 If 1,600 admins have a hard time making perfect judgments over disputes on Enwiki, how will a small unit culled from the 300 employees at WMF prove more efficient, under a new set of civility protocols that are even more stringent? You can only do that if (a) the work of judgment is delegated to mindless software or/and (b) by massively expanding your miniscule WMF workforce (a great temptation for bureaucracies). The prospect has nightmarish implications you appear to miss. Nishidani (talk) 10:18, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    A bit of Devil's advocacy, but T&S wouldn't need to make perfect judgments at all. If they impose their own rules and their own judgment, which can not be appealed and do not need community approval, they don't need to satisfy anyone but themselves of the validity of their actions. Admins need to satisfy community consensus (which in a lot of cases is simply impossible) while T&S only need to satisfy T&S - and in some ways that makes their job far easier than admins doing the same thing, not harder. Power held by a small group with absolute authority is far easier to wield than power held loosely by a large group with community consensus authority. (I'm not saying anything about whether it's right or wrong, I'm just responding to that specific practical point.) Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:27, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Nishidani No, it's not a case of having "a hard time making perfect judgments" at all. Everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect: look at me. The tip of the iceberg is admins' systemic arrogance, acceptance of admin CoI, herd-like support of each other at public forums, public bullying and shaming of editors at ANI, and their breaking of policies without consequence. I don't trust that system now, and I've been here since 2005; it's why I rarely interact with the community nowadays. Who could be surprised that this toxicity would evolve in a job-for-life system where the judges of admin behaviour are themselves admins? Even crats are counted out of that system. Adopting de.WP's sensible reform that modified jobs-for-life (years ago) would be a start. Beetstra We don't know whether it's a legal problem in this case; but knowledge of the world tells me loudly that the internet is fast becoming a legal quagmire. You can't blame the WMF for protecting the movement where it feels it needs to. Boing! said Zebedee "Admins need to satisfy community consensus (which in a lot of cases is simply impossible)"—I rest my case. Tony (talk) 10:51, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Tony1, as far as has been made clear to Fram, and according to their reports on metacommons, it is not. And that is in line with all the information (</sarcasm>) that has been received from WMF. One line along ‘we had legal reasons to block Fram’ would have totally quenched this discussion. —Dirk Beetstra T C 11:11, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Tony1,Well, I can understand your frustration with arbs - I have a block record to prove it! (Sometimes I think they are within their right: sometimes they are wrong - but I have never appealed even my permaban. I accept the decision because the process of indictment, discussion, and evaluation, together with the evidence, is in the public domain and my purview. It's democratic) The flaw is, in my view, that your experience tells you an open forum, democratic in form, has corrupt elements and therefore you can compensate for its failings by empowering an anonymous body to do the same thing, one that is without recall, using secret evidence no one, not even the accused, can evaluate or respond to. That is, surely, trying to fix a known problem, which has created an atmosphere of distrust, by a blind act of trust that exercises even more problematical procedures that are utterly opaque, and in which only the plaintiff, and the secret adjudicating body, will have any knowledge of - a recipe for disaster. Nishidani (talk) 12:11, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
'public bullying and shaming of editors at ANI.' I've never seen that. I take harassment and bullying seriously, but where I grew up things like having the jagged edge of a broken bottle held at your throat to stop you running to intervene when your brother, without provocation, gets beaten to a pulp by a practiced drunken thug, defined bullying. Sharp words, an insult here or there quite another - the latter occurs every day in any normal family and not rarely among friends. That, to me, is not threatening. Apparently, for a lot of people it is. Nishidani (talk) 12:26, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Nishidani, I certainly don't always agree with you, but here, you've hit it dead on. What happened to Fram could, if anything, quite properly in itself be described as bullying, especially if he is accurately describing the communications he received. Also, if anyone thinks people are harsh on Wikipedia, they ought to have been on Usenet. This place, even this discussion, is a quiet conversation over tea compared to that. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:47, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support.Nishidani (talk) 10:18, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I stand with the community and it's ability to govern itself. -- œ 10:24, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, it's a manifestation of the wrong role th e service organisation WMF is usurping towards it's superior, the communities. The WMF is only there to support the real bosses, the communities. It must never even think about pretending to be some kind of boss of the Wikiverse, it's not. And I think it is really a perversion that one of the main villains of the Superputsch-disaster is now head of Trust & Safety. Grüße vom Sänger ♫ (talk) 10:28, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Tentative support, mostly pending on the WMF response. I don't particularly like Fram, but based on the evidence available so far, and WMF statements made so far, this seems like gross overreach and completely unwarranted. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:57, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Our Wikipedia cannot function properly if it is subject to this dark, unaccountable power. --NSH001 (talk) 15:19, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Not our call - it appears too few editors have a full understanding of the general powers of the WMF, so I'll just drop this link right here for whoever feels the need to learn how things operate per the WMF's By-Laws, and where we sit on the totem pole. Atsme Talk 📧 15:30, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Not our call - is totally correct. Govindaharihari (talk) 17:01, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment all this "not our call" or "mu" is pathetic. The British public no longer has a say on Brexit yet they can express their opinion. The folks protesting in Hong Kong can't, themselves, change laws, but they can express their opinions. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:35, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Comment Pathetic. Brexit and Hong Kong are meaningless here, we are not an activist site. Govindaharihari (talk) 17:40, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Well you missed the point 100%. The examples given were simply to state that you can still give your opinion even if you can't enact it. But sorry if that was too much for you. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:50, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
        • there you go again , belittling other users comments, a pattern for you. Govindaharihari (talk) 17:58, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
          • You don't think that's a little hypocritical, given the post he was replying to? Reyk YO! 18:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    • The heading of the section says "unban Fram" as a proposed course of action. We cannot take such a course of action, which is why mu is the correct answer. But to the extent that we are making some form of statement of opinion on what the WMF should do, oppose, given all the invective and personal attacks Fram threw toward the Committee (both collectively and as individuals) recently, and the fact that he followed me to multiple unrelated places to continue "confronting" me in a rather transparent exercise at wiki-stalking. That, itself, was harassment. His comments went far beyond criticism toward personally attacking individuals and stalking them. And before you ask, some example diffs: [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] ~ Rob13Talk 17:48, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Rob, didn't you retire about five times? And even if (once again) you haven't, those diffs just prove that people like Fram don't trust Arbcom etc. Saying "fuck Arbcom" isn't a crime. Just like saying "Fuck Trump" or "Fuck May". Get over it. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:52, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
        • that's personal attack, so what, we can all do whatever we want, bullying in my opinion. Govindaharihari (talk) 17:55, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
          • Can you explain what constitutes a 'personal attack' in the above post? And while you're at it, can you all sort out the complete fucking mess of indents. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:55, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Rob, Fram was quite correct to revert you in that last diff - being an arb doesn’t give you the right to edit through protection when the page has not yet gone live. Admin permissions are supposed to be not a requirement for being on the Committee. Pawnkingthree (talk) 22:13, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Can we all cool it with the invective above please? It's not reflecting well on either party, or the community as a whole. Tazerdadog (talk) 18:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
TRM has been harrying any perceived opposition to his strident opposition at every opportunity, I don't think that is just an opinion. The comment was unequivocally thuggish. @Govindaharihari: TRM is fuelled by righteous indignation, don't get sucked into his need to gain satisfaction by insulting others. cygnis insignis 18:29, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks Cygnis and agree. Govindaharihari (talk) 18:35, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
No Cygnis, your actions and opinions have been overtly proven incorrect here. I have no "righteous indignation", I would like a clear indication as to why someone can be covertly banned for one year. Rob has told us all, numerous times, that he has retied, yet he continues to opine. That is not retiring. I suggest you try another front. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:53, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
@The Rambling Man: I stand by my attempts to suppress drama mongering that causes real damage to other people, but not privy to the determination where I was proven wrong. There is currently no constraint to your conduct, no limit to trolling and harrying of people you nominate as adversaries. Your pronouncements are absurdly one-sided, it stinks of war and fear. It would be silly to express an opinion in the absence of information that I may have no business knowing. There are several possibilities that haven't been aired, no matter how narrow that possibility is, and some already aired that outline how it may be none of your business either. Do you accept that possibility? cygnis insignis 23:16, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
      • BU Rob13, thanks for posting that set of diffs. They don't appear to be terribly egregious, but I suppose I could be wrong. A question for you: in their June 11, at 19:27 response the OFFICE writes: Secondly, we believe it would have been improper to ask the Arbcom to adjudicate a case in which it was one primary target of the person in question, as this could put volunteers into a very difficult position and create the appearance of a conflict of interest regardless of the actual handling of the case. Do you believe your diffs provide the answer to the question re "conflict of interest"? I've been wondering what that conflict could have been and why they decided to bypass Arbcom. Thanks. Victoria (tk) 18:20, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
        • The WMF explicitly cited the "Fuck ArbCom" diff as their one example of Fram's pattern of harassment and/or abusing others. I assumed that diff was the potential conflict.

          I disagree with you on how egregious the diffs are. No volunteer should have to face a person saying all this in the span of a day or two: "Fuck you" (ArbCom, in the original quote, but made more general), "crawl into a corner and shut up", "tonedeaf powergrabbers", etc., with further comments suggesting someone shouldn't be allowed near a keyboard. Add onto that the following me to an unrelated ArbCom case just to revert me trying to perform my duties as an arbitrator and take shots at me in an edit summary... These are Fram's actions toward just me. He treats most people this way, from what I've seen. Why on earth would we want that around the project? ~ Rob13Talk 18:29, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

          • Thanks, Rob. I thought it goes without saying that the "fuck Arbcom" comment isn't worth discussing; I was talking about the others not being particularly egregious (based only on my own experiences, of course). Anyway, thanks for the reply. Victoria (tk) 18:38, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
            • Utter nonsense. There's no justification at all for a one-year unappealable off-wiki ordered ban for editors who may or may not upset others. That's why we have dispute resolution, ANI and (sadly) Arbcom. We don't need a God-account to suddenly drop by and issue executive orders without rhyme or reason. That's what Nazis did. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:57, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
              • Whoa, The Rambling Man, back down! I worded that sentence carefully, "isn't worth discussing", can mean any number of things. Sheesh. If you want to scream at me for it, come to my user page. Victoria (tk) 22:10, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
                • Victoriaearle sorry for the confusion. My response wasn't to you. Ironically there are a number of individuals here who can't format responses properly. I didn't want to scream at you at all. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:14, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
          • Most of the diffs were on ArbCom pages. Where were the clerks? --Rschen7754 03:54, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
            • Did we change how we indent replies to people while I wasnt looking? nableezy - 04:09, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
              • My apologies, corrected now. --Rschen7754 04:17, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
                • Sorry lol, didnt mean to call you out but it had literally just led to a brouhaha right above you. nableezy - 04:30, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support only way to restore some semblence of calm and normailty—and, ironically, perhaps (make a start on) put the trust back in "Trust and Safety".. ——SerialNumber54129 22:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Behavioral problems on en-wiki should be handled by en-wiki processes. Pawnkingthree (talk) 22:30, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support enough of this Kafkaesque process, Huldra (talk) 23:59, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support If we support overturning the ban and then implement it, what's WMF going to do? Ban us all? Rockstonetalk to me! 06:14, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose/Procedurally impossible. From a procedural perspective, the actions of the Trust and Safety team are allowed, and policy does not allow us to override them. We could definitely go through the process of trying to change those policies, although it will be complicated as it involves legal issues where the Wikimedia Foundation could—and perhaps even may be legally required to—override consensus. This is to say, even if there is a consensus to unban Fram here, it is not procedurally possible to actually enact that consensus. --Deskana (talk) 11:16, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: we can make clear at least they are not banned by the Community. Jonathunder (talk) 17:49, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Reinstatement of Office Action and temporary desysop of Floquenbeam

Hello all,

We are aware that a number of community members believe that the recent Trust & Safety Office Action taken against Fram was improper. While the Foundation and its decisions are open to criticism, Office Actions are actions of last resort taken by the Foundation as part of our role and our commitments to hosting the Wikipedia sites. In section 10 of the Terms of Use, we identify that the need may arise as part of our management of the websites to take certain actions, and these actions may not be reversed. Using administrative or other tools or editing rights to reverse or negate an Office Action is unacceptable, as is interfering with other users who attempt to enforce an Office Action or the Terms of Use.

As has been correctly observed by users on the bureaucrats' noticeboard and other places, Office Actions are explicitly not subject to project community rules or consensus. If a user attempts to reverse or negate an Office Action, the Wikimedia Foundation may take any action necessary to preserve that Office Action, including desysopping or blocking a user or users. In this case, and in consideration of Floquenbeam's actions in reversing the Office Action regarding Fram, we have reinstated the original office action and temporarily desysopped Floquenbeam for a period of 30 days.

Floquenbeam's contributions to the projects are appreciated and we are not against them regaining admin rights in the future, hence our action is not permanent. If they wish for their admin rights to be restored, a RfA can be opened once 30 days elapse, and the community may decide on the request at that time in such or another way.

However, we cannot permit efforts to obstruct or reverse Office Actions or to subvert the Terms of Use. Doing so would undermine the policy's ability to protect our projects and community. On these grounds, we will not hesitate to take further appropriate actions should such abuse occur again. The same applies for any attempts made by Floquenbeam to evade the sanctions announced against them today or by attempts by others to override that sanction. We will reply to other concerns in a separate statement as indicated in the post prior to the attempt to overrule the office action. Best regards, WMFOffice (talk) 00:32, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

WMFOffice you’ve written If they wish for their admin rights to be restored, a RfA can be opened once 30 days elapse, and the community may decide on the request at that time in such or another way.- in particular where you said “in such or another way” could you clarify whether we may establish in the restoration of privileges policy that bureaucrats may summarily restore adminship once the office action has lapsed? (See Wikipedia talk:Administrators). –xenotalk 03:49, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
WMFOffice, Whom is speaking, please? Don't hide behind the role account. SQLQuery me! 00:39, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
In hindsight, that isn't likely to help anything. Struck. SQLQuery me! 00:51, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Go Fuck Yourself, Big Brother. You won't get away with that crap here. Nocturnalnow (talk) 22:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Good luck. Even FormerArbRob says telling people like Arbcom to fuck off is perfectly adequate grounds for being disappeared. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:10, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Everyone, please remember not to say "F*** the WMF Office for its heavy-handed and authoritarian actions seemingly designed to inflame and divide the editing community." That sort of thing could get you banned. Try to find a more civil way of expressing it. 28bytes (talk) 00:55, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

I think that's plenty civil enough, no? --Dylan620 (talk) 00:59, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Stop fucking stonewalling us. You're only burying yourselves deeper. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 00:59, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

  • This is exactly the wrong thing to do if the WMF wishes to de-escalate the situation and maintain the barely tenable perception that they care about concerns raised here at all. – Teratix 01:01, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment by me, now moved to below. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:20, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    At this point I don't even think the WMF knows what they want, other than to spite en.wp and its consensus. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 01:09, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Yes it’s nonsense. The WMF is just making it up as they go along. Pawnkingthree (talk) 01:14, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
This will not end well for you. 2001:4898:80E8:2:56DB:4566:6C0F:24E5 (talk) 01:11, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
No, I asked a serious question, and I would like WMF to give a serious answer. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Good luck with that. -A lainsane (Channel 2) 01:16, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Indentation mistake. Was not meant to be a reply to you, but to the clown currently running WMFOffice. If what I'm reading is correct, which it damn well appears to be, there is a SERIOUS conflict of interest and someone is about to lose their entire job. 2001:4898:80E8:2:56DB:4566:6C0F:24E5 (talk) 01:19, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm still confused why people think there is any real chance any of the major actions of WMFOffice can be ascribed to any one person. This seems extremely unlikely to me knowing what I know (very little in many ways) about the way any sufficient large organisation tends to work when there is something major and that the WMF has shown all signs of fitting into that category. Nil Einne (talk) 01:42, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
P.S. In case there's some confusion, I wouldn't be surprised if it was primarily one person operating the account for big chunks of time although the precise person could change depending on various things. But I find it extremely unlike the major actions i.e. the two blocks and the three major comments here didn't have multiple people approving them before they happened. Nil Einne (talk) 02:03, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Considering Floq understood that a potential, and not improbable outcome, was a desysop and some kind of ban, I congratulate the WMF on a measured response, though Tryptofish's question could be answered. There is all the world of difference between this statement and action which can point to principles that were clearly laid out and well known and the chain of events that led to the inciting incident. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:24, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • IMO this wasn't really a potential outcome, but a likely one. From where I stand, the only real likely alternative was the WMF implementing a superblock quickly and simply reblocking with a super block and giving a very stern warning to Floquenbeam. But the fact that we don't actually have any existing different levels of blocks (AFAIK, although the upcoming partial blocks could be related) means a superblock/officeblock was always likely to take a while. It's not quite like super-protect where we already had different levels of protection which affected different classes of editors so was I assume a far easier software task. Whatever the wisdom of the original block, or for that matter whatever the harm to community relations, the action they took seemed almost definite since the WMF would feel the need to make it clear when they say something can't be overturned especially a ban, they mean it. Frankly I strongly suspect if legal didn't really care before, they really, really care now. There is simply no way the WMF could realistically risk giving the impression their office actions can be overturned by anyone but themselves. I mean there was a slight chance they would just make clear that the ban still stands, and just hope Fram doesn't test the waters. But IMO even that was likely to be seen as way too risky. This is IMO way more extreme case than super-protect. In that case their actions were fairly predictable for any organisation, but in many ways it didn't matter that much to them that they send a clear message as was the case here. We could keep trying until they implement a superblock, or we could just accept that we need to convince them to change their minds on the ban. Nil Einne (talk) 01:57, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
@Nil Einne: from a technical level, if they don't want to get stuck in wheel warring is to just upgrade to a global lock, I doubt stewards are going to try to pull an "override wmf" card. — xaosflux Talk 02:05, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Nil Einne, yeah I perhaps understated things but that was my point. Floq did the unblocking knowing the consequences and the WMF, rather than even going as harsh as they could have reasonably and with-in policy go, decided to be measured. This stands in stark contrast to how the foundation failed to really explain what seems to be a movement wide change in policy in addressing certain issues, coupled with more nuanced remedies at their disposal, ahead of their acting on it. That's the distinction I was trying to draw, if doing so imperfectly. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 02:10, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

And can you, can you imagine fifty admins a day, I said fifty admins a day walking in and unblockin Fram and walkin out. And friends, they may thinks it's a movement. And that's what it is, the Floquenbeam's Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement, and all you got to do to join is unblock Fram the next time it come's around on the dramaboard. (talk) 01:26, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

That'd actually be really nice. ENWP has always had an issue of long-term 'power-users' getting away with things new users would get blocked for. Q T C 16:02, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

What the actual fuck? CoolSkittle (talk) 01:27, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

@CoolSkittle: Alice's Restaurant. Bishonen | talk 08:00, 12 June 2019 (UTC).
  • Is there a reason that you keep blocking Fram with talkpage access and email disabled? Bizarre at best. SQLQuery me! 01:50, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    @SQL: The only valid usage of talk page (and presumably email, although I'm not aware of an explicit policy on the matter) access is to appeal one's block. A blocked user that (from the WMF's point of view) has literally no means of appealing would have no reason to edit their talk page or send email. * Pppery * it has begun... 01:53, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
@Pppery: Not actually true. You may find Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive991#Improper use of talk page while blocked interesting. An indeffed editor was not only freely using their talk page, but was using it to continue to make (constructive) edits by proxy. Ironically, it was SQL himself who tried to enforce what you said here, revoking TPA. The ensuing controversy was so severe that he self-reverted, with a majority of the community opposing the revocation, and all agreeing that there was no existing policy or precedent-based guidance. Mind you, that was a user attempting to make edits via proxy while blocked, which could be easily construed as block evasion, and the majority of the community opposed TPA revocation. So while what you say is a common notion (and FWIW I agree with it), it's certainly not an actual rule that the community has ever backed. ~Swarm~ {sting} 05:52, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Your response contains a contradiction—or, at least, a strong tension—between two policies. The first is that WMF is a last-resort enforcer of the project's basic policies. The second is that Office Actions are explicitly not subject to project community rules or consensus. Unless WMF restricts administrative sanctions to the most clear-cut cases, that means you're basically going to exercise your powers arbitrarily. I don't know where to go from that, other than it's the kind of thing that can do a lot of damage. --Jprg1966 (talk) 02:01, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If I were Fram right now I would happily stick 2 fingers up to this website and never return!, What a fucking shit show this has become, I 100% stand by Floq's de-escalation of the issue. –Davey2010Talk 02:17, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

you have lost 3 administrators today, care to go for 4? (talk) 02:19, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm admittedly late to this discussion,, but I don't understand your math...Fram, Floq, who's number 3? Liz Read! Talk! 03:32, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Rob, presumably. T. Canens (talk) 03:39, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
He had already stated a few weeks ago that he was going to leave: this is just a dramah quit. - SchroCat (talk) 06:31, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Ansh666 also comes to mind, although that was unrelated. -A lainsane (Channel 2) 04:07, 12 June 2019 (UTC) total now stands at (talk) 07:34, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Dear WMF - maybe we should start talkin' about an Revolution. What do you guays in Frisco thing, how log we let do this to us? Who pays who? You guys have to work for us, not against us. The whole behavior here ist the clear kind of acting as in dictatorships. As long you do such Office actions, we need to talk about this office! -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 04:54, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Kudos to Floquenbeam for the moral courage to reverse the action. The opposite to the WMF, who need to read the first law of holes. Tazerdadog (talk) 05:00, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Please clarify the desysop

I'm moving my comment here, from above. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:20, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

  • I have a question about the meaning of the "temporary desysop". This (among so many other things) is difficult to understand. A "temporary 30-day desysop" would ordinarily mean that, after 30 days, the sysop flag would automatically be restored. It's like a 30-day block, in that after 30 days the user is no longer blocked and does not, at that time, have to file an unblock request. However, the statement above refers to a new RfA. Is it in fact the case that re-sysopping can only occur via a new, successful RfA? If that is so, then calling it a "30-day desysop" is not accurate. Rather, that would mean that the desysop is indefinite and under a cloud, and that the community as a whole is banned for 30 days from participating in a new RfA. Is WMF really sure that they want that? --Tryptofish (talk) 01:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Clarification would be good although they said If they wish for their admin rights to be restored, a RfA can be opened once 30 days elapse, and the community may decide on the request at that time in such or another way. (emphasis mine) I take it to mean we could decide a RfA is not necessary after the 30 days has expire, like they seem to have suggested we could do for Fram themselves when their ban expires or is removed. Nil Einne (talk) 01:29, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I take your point, but I still feel a very serious need for clarification, mainly because I don't see what such "another way" would really be. If some "other way" is required, then it wasn't temporary, and WMF is restricting what the community can do, or at least when we can do it. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:35, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
On the one hand, I think that the minute that 30 day clock is up, the nearest 'crat should immediately restore rights. On the other hand, I think it would send a good signal to immediately have an RfA where Floq gets the most votes ever for adminship. bd2412 T 01:44, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
BD2412, I'm sympathetic but, while I'm not a 'crat, if I were, suspect I would struggle it finding authority for such an action. For better or worse, 'crats tend to be, well, bureaucratic. I would welcome some clarification as I also see an inconsistency between the word "temporary" and the subsequent wording.Might guess is they didn't want to make it automatic, but want to leave it to the community to decide but as far as I know there is no precedent so the community has no rules for such a situation. Far better that they treat "temporary" literally and restore the bit at the end of that period, with the community always having the authority to consider whether de-sysopping should occur. S Philbrick(Talk) 18:40, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
'Crats follow policy. Let's just enact a policy that states: "If a Wikipedia administrator is temporarily relieved of their administrator status by the Wikimedia Foundation for carrying out an administrative action for which local consensus had been established, their administrator status may be restored by any Wikipedia bureaucrat without further process, upon expiration of any period specified by the Wikimedia Foundation". Then the 'crats would be following policy by reinstating the admin bit. bd2412 T 19:24, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Now proposed at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Allow bureaucrats to quickly re-sysop admins temporarily de-sysoped by WMF for carrying out out community consensus. bd2412 T 19:33, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

The proposal above is similar to of what I was thinking about. However, even if we put aside that it doesn't seem to have gaining consensus at this time, it's IMO it's somewhat of a flawed proposal if intended to apply to Floquenbeam without further discussion. It's IMO an open question whether Floquenbeam carrying out community consensus. Especially since the discussion was not formally closed by a neutral admin or better 3 as we normally reserve for contentious decisions. (Floquenbeam was clear very far from neutral here so should not be the one to assess community consensus in such circumstances.) It was also not open for a minimum of 24 hours. While the later is the standard we normally require for any community ban, it seems to me any unblock on such contentious circumstances as this would also need to follow the same standard at a minimum, but it did not do so here. Note that as always, any close would need to be more than a simple counting of votes. Even in such overwhelming numbers as this, care needs to be taken. As a participant of said discussion, I'm aware there was at least one editor who expressed support for an unblock of Fram, but did not seem to clearly support going against the WMF in the way Floquenbeam did.

So ultimately it seems difficult to judge that Floquenbeam's action had community consensus from the evidence we had. In other words, even if such a proposal were to pass, I don't think it's clear it would apply to Floquenbeam as worded without some further consensus process to determine that. Still this would not need to be an RFA. We could have instead a community consensus process to determine of Floquenbeam's actions had community consensus. If they did, and the earlier proposal passed, then re-admining Floquenbeam after 30 days would seem to be justified without an RFA. Note that a discussion after the fact would IMO need to be clear on what we're discussing. We would not be discussing whether or not there was community consensus for Floquenbeam's actions, but whether Floquenbeam's actions were carrying out community consensus at the time. If Floquenbeam's actions would have had community consensus, but did not at the time because the consensus process was not completely carried out, this would still seem to point to Floquenbeam's action lacking community consensus. It would IMO be a bit of a disaster if we start allowing people to carry out an action based on community consensus before it's clear that such a consensus existed. Still it's ultimately up to the community. I mean we could decide an action which has consensus as established after the fact is considered to have community consensus when it was carrier out if we wanted to.

An alternative course of action would have been for a clearer proposal that would apply to Floquenbeam without doubt. But I'm not sure how easy it would be to word such a proposal without specific mention of Floquenbeam. Do people really want a policy that we automatically re-admin anyone de-syspoed by the foundation for reversing office action when the foundation no longer has an objection to such a resysop? Again, IMO it would be a mistake but it is up to the community if they wish to do so.

BTW, in terms of whether a "temporary" de-syspoed is really temporary if someone has to go through an RFA this is IMO largely a semantic issue. If I'm right that the WMF have no clear opinion on what should happen after 30 days, then it's up to the bureaucrats taking their queue from the community as to what to do. I don't think we have any clear precedent for a situation like this. I'm not aware of what happened very long ago before circa 2007 or so, but the only recent temporary de-sysops I'm aware of are those where there is doubt who controls the account. Funnily enough, what happens in those circumstances may have been one of the things that lead to this whole mess. Still they aren't a good comparison.

I think even with the WMF saying it's up to the community, bureaucrats will struggle to make a decision without some guidance from us on what should happen. I suspect they'll most likely err on the side of not re-syspoing if we really gave no guidance. As said, this doesn't have to be an RFA, but whatever their flaws in the understanding of what goes on here, the WMF were IMO right to conclude we will need to give guidance in some form if we expect Floquenbeam to be resyspoed.

Nil Einne (talk) 03:00, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

@Tryptofish: As the most likely explanation, I would guess that the person/people who wrote the message simply don't have a good understanding of enWP policies and procedures, and so they didn't know that what they wrote is self-contradictory. That and using the word "temporary", especially in the heading, makes the optics of their action look better. Sunrise (talk) 04:07, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for a very reasonable interpretation, but I still believe that we, as a community, really do not know what can or cannot be done. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:49, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • It is very, very unfortunate that instead of a measured response -- which would have been to maintain the status quo of Floq's clearly community-backed unblock -- WMOffice has chosen to go the authoritarian route and desysop Floquenbeam. I would urge someone with the proper amount of chutzpah and the necessary rights to restore Floq's flag. I think the point needs to be made, as forcefully as possible, that the community will not stand for unaccountable Office actions which bypass or override normal community-based processes.

    Not to be too melodramatic, what is being decided here is who is in charge, and I believe that if the community, collectively and individually, does not stand up to the Foundation and its staff members when they behave in ways which are detrimental to our ability to govern ourselves, we will, over time, lose that capacity altogether. That is really what's at stake here, and Jimbo Wales had better step up his "investigation" and report back PDQ before he loses what he created.

    This is not a call to the barricades ... yet, but it is intended as a warning to Wales, the Board, and the office staff that they are playing with fire, and if they think that en.Wiki -- which is the community, is going to roll over and play dead, they could well be surprised. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:54, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    At the very least, the WMF board needs to meet via teleconference and make the decision to set the playing field back to zero, undo every Office Action taken in this incident, and open a frank and honest dialogue with the community instead of hiding behind empty boilerplate bullshit. The people who built this encyclopedia deserve nothing less. Beyond My Ken (talk) 01:58, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
There's no need for clarification. They can do whatever the fuck they want without explanation. It is absolutely, strictly, THEIR COMPUTER and they'll throw off whoever they feel like, censor whatever they want, push whatever shitty video game ads on the Main Page they want, and work with any and all paid editors they want. Wnt (talk) 01:56, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Wnt, please stop your pessimistic and paranoid (as well as wildly unrealistic and ungrounded) postings here. I believe everyone is well aware of your viewpoint, and, frankly, you're not helping anything by constantly being Debbie Downer. If you have so little faith that the Foundation wants to help make better, despite their current missteps, you should simply stop editing here and find something else to do with your time. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Good luck. Paranoid conspiracy theories, particularly on Wale’s TP, is WNT’s thing. Capeo (talk) 02:46, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
...and it is exceedingly tiresome, Wnt. Like a broken record. Go back to Jimbo's talk page where you usually hang out and make dire predictions. Liz Read! Talk! 03:37, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Wnt's posts look perfectly factual and accurate to me, in saying what could happen (not necessarily what will happen, at least immediately). Maybe Debbie Downer is just a Depressive realist ;-). (talk) 04:40, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Since Wnt is prognosticating, unless you've got a time machine that can take you into the future, there's no possible what that you can know that they are "factual and accurate". If what you meant to say was "I agree with Wnt" or "I think that what Wnt said is a possible outcome of this affair", please just say those things, and not wrap your personal opinions up in false claims of factuality. Beyond My Ken (talk) 09:13, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Okay, 28: F*** the WMF Office for its heavy-handed and authoritarian actions seemingly designed to inflame and divide the editing community. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 04:16, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • 28bytes-- to misquote Fram: Fuck ArbCom WMF which doesn't even understand their own messages and again give themselves powers they don't have. First it was deletions visual editing, then it was mandatory 2FA "AI-generated content", inbetween it is loads of evidence of utter incompetence in many of its members (witness the statement by AGK the WMF Trust & Safety Team above, but also some of the comments at e.g. the Rama Media Viewer RFC case request). Just crawl into a corner and shut up until the community asks you to do something within your remit, but don't try to rule enwiki as if you have the right and the competence to do so. Or collectively resign. But don't give us any more of this bullshit. Fram (talk) 07:39, 4 May 2019 (UTC) (talk) 04:19, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Doesn't really seem to fit here since the WMF have not given themselves powers they don't have. They have always had whatever powers they wanted to on their end of things. Nil Einne (talk) 03:07, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • There's no clarification needed IMHO. They've said temporary, it's temporary and he gets the rights back after 30 days. They can desysop but they can't mandate an RfA. I think that's a misunderstanding on their part. Doug Weller talk 05:25, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    • They can because the bureaucrats interpret being desysopped by the WMF as "under a cloud" and will not give the bit back without a RfA. Enigmamsg 05:39, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
      • The crats, the community at RfA, it doesn't really matter. The default for desysopping is that the bit can be reinstated via RfA at any time, with the understanding that a just desysop could not be reversed for years and years. The 30 day freeze on resysopping, AFAIK, is unprecedented, which is hilarious, because they're admitting that they know that everyone would rubber-stamp a resysop same day if we could, which by extension is an admission that the desysop is blatantly unjust and that they need to prevent it from being overturned for their own reasons. ~Swarm~ {sting} 06:00, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
        • I just think it's significant that the 'crats indicated they will not return the bit because while being without the bit for 30 days is not a big deal, having to undergo a new RfA is. You'll deal with the usual opposes from anyone who doesn't like you, plus added opposes from people who believe "if you were desysopped, you obviously did something very wrong, so you shouldn't be trusted with the tools." Good luck finding anyone who was desysopped and actually passed a RfA. I think Floq would pass because the RfA would get tons of eyes and the community overwhelmingly feels the WMF is out of line, but not without a significant amount of opposes. Enigmamsg 06:15, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
          • Enigmaman: in both your comments above you seem to indicate a belief that the bureaucrats have presented a unified front on this matter, but I do not see that as the case. What is clear is that to return the bit summarily after 30 days requires either new community policy considerations or an IAR action as this situation is unprecedented on this project. –xenotalk 19:31, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
            • The discussion may have changed since I read it. I read the discussion at BN/WT:ADMIN before I commented here and based on the discussion at the time, every 'crat (who chimed in) had said they would not resysop automatically. Obviously, time has now passed since my comments, and more replies have been made at BN/WT:ADMIN. Enigmamsg 20:24, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
        • Swarm, not unprecedented, see [9] for the same. Quite possibly that's the last case of something similar, which received the same response. Galobtter (pingó mió) 06:33, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
          Galobtter, interesting, and relevant. What happened at the end of 30 days? S Philbrick(Talk) 18:44, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
          You can see the discussion at c:Commons:Village_pump/Archive/2016/03#Edit_and_wheel_warring, not sure what happened at the end of it. Galobtter (pingó mió) 18:56, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • So, what admin wants to unblock Fram next? I don't care that this is wheel-warring; the WMF fucked this up royally, and consensus that the block and ban is unjustified, as far as I can see, has not changed at all. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 06:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I would strongly discourage this. The WMF already basically mandated Floq will need a new RfA and it can only be done after 30 days. I doubt they'll be as 'lenient' with the next one. Anyone considering unblocking Fram should consider that there's a very real possibility that they won't be an admin here for a long time. The WMF knows the community is against them. They don't care and they will continue to lash out at those who defy them. Enigmamsg 06:18, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Then let them lash out. Let them deop whoever the fuck they please. Let them ban whoever the fuck they please. The more open our defiance, the more open their responces to it will necessarily have to be, and it's going to spill out sooner rather than later. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 06:24, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I think this must go to ArbCom for clarification. RfA is the community process.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • When this all ends, I think both Fram and Floq should be able to just approach the bureaucrats and ask for their admin rights back as former admins in good standing. Insisting they go through RfA is just another insult. Reyk YO! 08:01, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Is this the first time someone has been temporarily desysoped? My understanding is this Wikipedia's rule has always been that editors either hold the tools indefinitely, or not at all. I can't think of a case of ArbCom removing the tools for a set period - as far as I'm aware, they always desysop indefinitely, with the editor being able to regain the tools only after the community endorses this in an RfA. I don't think this sets a good precedent. Nick-D (talk) 08:58, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Nick-D, in the earliest days of Wikipedia, we used to have temporary desysops. Need to check the ArbCom case archives. WBGconverse 09:01, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thank you for that reply. As well as the question as to why the WMF thought this was a good response given that it doesn't reflect modern nroms, it's also unclear to be why Floq wasn't referred to ArbCom per the usual procedure for admins believed to have missused the tools. Surely ArbCom could be trusted to handle this? Nick-D (talk) 10:42, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

30 days - or 24?

@WMFOffice: - you say that he is de-sysopped for 30 days, and the community can run an RfA after that point. Putting aside (just for now) the rightness/wrongness of this action, surely the community can run an RfA after 24 days. The requirement is "not to become an admin again within 30 days", RfAs take a week, however overwhelming the support. If an RfA is forbidden till then, you've punished him for 37 days - which would mean stating 30 days would be a lie. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:56, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

They never said the discussion had to run for seven days. It's up to us how long we want it to run. Smartyllama (talk) 14:17, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
That's a distinction without a difference. All RfAs here run at least seven days if they're to be closed as successful, so if they're saying an RfA is required (which is not exactly clear, because none of their statements have been clear about anything), then they are saying at least 7 days. Enigmamsg 14:29, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Two other issues

Why were Stewards notified in advance and not ArbCom?

One aspect of this controversy has been somewhat overlooked. TonyBallioni notes above that Stewards were notified in advance about the desysopping, block and ban of Fram, but ArbCom was not. Since the action involved English Wikipedia only, and since Stewards have -- relatively speaking -- much less involvement in's affairs than they do on other, smaller wikis, and considering the remit ArbCom is covered by Stewards for wikis that don't have their own, why was this the case? What possible justification can there be for giving Stewards notice, and not ArbCom?

This is yet another part of these office actions which needs to be explained to the satisfaction of the community. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:46, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Beyond My Ken, stewards are generally made aware of all Office actions related to bans and are even consulted.
On a sidenote, (among arbitrators), Opabinia regalis was made aware by T&S in their monthly phone call, that Fram was (very likely) going to be sanctioned in some manner over en-wiki; why she did not choose to pursue it, any further, can be answered by her and her alone. WBGconverse 07:53, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Do you know if OR told the rest of the Committee? Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:08, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Based on what SilkTork has said, she did not. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 08:11, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
The rest of the arbs did have the minutes from the meeting available shortly after. Galobtter (pingó mió) 08:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
These two points contradict to some extent, though it's perfectly plausible that STork did not read the minutes. WBGconverse 08:27, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I can confirm that the meeting minutes were available to those of us who were not on the call, and included a section about the likely action against Fram. GorillaWarfare (talk) 13:06, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
GorillaWarfare, this is plainly weird stuff. You were aware of everything yet STork resorted to lying in saying over WT:ACN that the Committee received the news regarding the ban at the same time as the community which painted a picture of ignorance. It honestly seems to me that after seeing the community backlash, you were just trying to turn WMF into a scapegoat. WBGconverse 13:21, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
As Opabinia said in her comment, Arbcom found out this was implemented at the same time everyone else did. We did hear in advance that an action to do with Fram was under consideration. I believe SilkTork was referring to the fact that we did not know that action was definitively going to be taken with respect to Fram until the ban was placed, though only he can confirm what he meant to say. We did know that the WMF had been considering it, and the meeting notes from last week's meeting mentioned that the Trust & Safety team had made the recommendation in favor of the one-year ban. GorillaWarfare (talk) 13:39, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
GorillaWarfare, many thanks. This is a succinct and well-written disclosure which should have come hours earlier. WBGconverse 13:46, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

I am astounded that ArbCom did not think there would be some form of backlash and didn't say anything to the WMF. Did the WMF assume there would be no backlash because they had run it past you? I get that there will have been discussion about this behind the scenes since the news broke, and that Jimmy has said he is communicating with you, and that you are probably (like us) waiting for something from the board meeting, but it is looking like you (as a group) will have some explaining to do. In the interest of not pinging all ArbCom members (many of whom are inactive), I will ping GorillaWarfare and Opabinia regalis and ask them to alert the others (and will post at WT:AC/N). If this is purely a failure to read meeting notes where only one arb was at the call, then by all means say that, but sooner rather than later. Or was there internal discussion of this? Carcharoth (talk) 14:46, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

I don't think anyone, either on the Arbitration Committee or at the WMF, was naive enough to think that blocking Fram would be uncontroversial. Again, the Wikimedia Foundation informs us when they are likely to place an office ban, but it is as an FYI, not to request our approval. We don't typically advise them on how to go about it—after all, we are volunteers and they are the professional community managers. We are perhaps more familiar with this community, but I'm also not sure what we could have told them that would have changed their approach: that the ban would be controversial? They knew this. That people would want to know why it was placed? I'm sure they anticipated that as well, but they stated from the getgo that they would not be providing details, and are remaining firm there.
If you're wondering how many of us saw the meeting notes, I can only speak for myself. I had not read the meeting notes (nor have I been keeping up with other email largely since the beginning of the month)—I went inactive on June 7 and somewhat belatedly noted on my userpage that I've been quite busy in real life and so have had to take some time away from both the wiki and the ArbCom. GorillaWarfare (talk) 15:36, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
"professional community managers" - LOL, thanks for injecting some humour into this sad affair. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 15:41, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, they're hired and paid for it at least; the ArbCom is just a random group of folks who know a lot about the English Wikipedia but generally not a whole lot about "community management". We've certainly bungled our fair share of communications in the past, so I don't know if we have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to saying we could have advised them on how to handle this better. GorillaWarfare (talk) 15:44, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
They're paid, certainly, but "professionalism" means a lot more in my book. Would the current ArbCom, with far greater knowledge of policies and culture and with a wide range of options for actions at your disposal have done a better job than a "professional" group with a single-minded civility agenda and no tool more subtle than a 1-year no-appeal ban hammer? I'm quite sure you would. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 15:54, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I certainly don't think anyone could have done any worse. The statements made by arbitrators about this situation have been far more clear, and do not have the patronizing tone of the corporate many-words-to-say-nothing "statements" the WMF has been issuing, to say nothing of them barking orders in the same breath. So, paid or unpaid, WMF could take a few lessons from that. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:00, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, GW. The bizarre thing is that they did talk to Fram, and gave him enough information that the details (at least in part) of what he was being banned for did not remain confidential (as he disclosed them). Arguably, by providing Fram with the information (and diffs), the WMF have breached their own privacy policy. They should either say enough to be transparent, or say nothing. The WMF clearly were naive here, and have not been handling the fallout well. If they had any sense, they would undo their actions, back off and leave on-wiki civility/interpersonal interaction issues for ArbCom to deal with. There is still a sense that more went on here, some set of double standards. If the Board can demand full disclosure of what was discussed at each level of review of this decision, they should do that. Carcharoth (talk) 15:50, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I started to respond to this thread, had to step away for a bit, and came back to find GW has pretty much covered it :) I don't think anyone was naive enough to think there wouldn't be a strong reaction to this. I had a somewhat strong reaction myself in past meetings where the general topic of project bans was discussed. For a sense of the actual conversation, it's basically as GW says - information only. The discussion was not a request for new input and I certainly did not have the sense that they were thinking they were getting arbcom's blessing or insulating themselves from community response by informing us in advance. I certainly do think they genuinely thought they were doing a good thing for the project, and that it was not a convenient way to get rid of a critic or some kind of personal corruption or whatever other weird conspiracy theories are cropping up. Opabinia regalis (talk) 17:09, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Going back to the original question, when global bans started stewards were given maybe a sentence of why there was a global ban. I thought I read somewhere that they were more extensively consulted on some of the global bans that came after I stepped down from the team. As for why, I have my own ideas (global bans came right after superprotect, and stewards tend to be the incredibly paranoid type that go through Meta logs on a regular basis)... but I can't say for sure. --Rschen7754 18:34, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

This discussion is essentially an indictment by the community of the T&S staff

In another comment, Tony also vouches for the work of the T&S people, and since I have great respect for Tony, I have absolutely no reason to disbelieve him, but, surely, even given that T&S is usually sensible and does good work, this entire community discussion must be seen as a indication of a complete lost of trust by the English Wikipedia community of T&S's actions in this instance, as, in fact, a indictment of them by the community. I believe that any investigation by Wales and the WMF board should look into not only the way this incident was handled, and whether T&S inappropriately usurped powers usually wielded here by ArbCom, but also they must take a very close look at whether changes need to be made in the T&S staff due to what appears to be gross negligence or hamfisted behavior. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:46, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Don't forget COI--see further up. (talk) 08:03, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Or, Beyond My Ken this discussion is full of a lot of people who are angry because they aren't getting what they want: the lurid details. Some issues can't be handled publicly. From what I casually knew about Fram, they had many issues and a lot of supporters. Of course the supporters are angry. They want to be able to litigate the situation themselves and decide for themselves if the issues were "bad enough" to warrant the ban. In the real world, we trust processes like juries to make these decisions without knowing the details of what the jury decided. What goes on in the jury room stays in the jury room. And even in the real world, some victims are kept anonymous for their own protection. Sometimes we have to understand that we don't always have to know the details. So I disagree that this is an indictment. This is a discussion as it should be. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 17:02, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
If you think this is just an angry reaction by Fram's supporters, you have very badly misread the situation. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:11, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Boing! said Zebedee I don't think that. I don't think this really about Fram at all. I see that people don't want WMF involved. What I'm saying is that since they got involved at all this must be a serious case. It also shows some failure to fix things on our end. I don't have a solution for that sort of thing at all and wish I did. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 20:09, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Sorry MLG, I know you are coming from a good place, but this case is not about wanting to know "lurid details", if any of that actually exists it can and should stay confidential, and it certainly is not a case of Fram's 'supporters' being a pitchfork wielding mob; especially as I was accused by several people of being Fram's most likely accuser so hardly fit that profile. Your parallel of a jury is a good one, as it is this element of accountability and credible governance that is missing. -- (talk) 17:17, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, , I appreciate your perspective. It's just that when legal or safety issues are involved, as seems to be the case here, I don't think that we get to know. In my example, the jury would be T&S. In a legal case (at least in the US), we don't get to know the reasons why the jury decided, we only get to know what the jury decided. I think this is similar. Of course, in the US, it's can be easier to allow the victim to remain anonymous. But there are parts of cases that are closed to the public. These things happen and I think that in the balance, it's OK. I think this situation is similar. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 20:04, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
(ec) I wish you wouldn't paint critics of WMF's action here with such a wide brush. I, for one, barely knew Fram. I am objecting because of the process, because this is the most serious challenge to our self-governance in three years. Some secrecy and sensitivity is good, WMF's stonewalling and holier-than-thou attitude is not. You think the hundreds of thousands of people marching in Hong Kong don't care about the victim of the horrific murder in Taiwan? -- King of ♠ 17:20, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
King of Hearts if you don't feel you fall into that category, then I'm probably not talking about you. I understand that a lot of people are objecting to the process. That's what I'm trying to address: sometimes the process needs to be opaque. And that sucks, but I'm OK with some amount of opaqueness and privacy for those involved if it means a safer community for editors to edit in peace. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 20:08, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, any reasonable process for dealing with harassment (in online communities especially) would have to include victim privacy, which means the process will be by definition "opaque". Galobtter (pingó mió) 20:13, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
What a weird statement, which unfortunately leads me to think you don't understand what's going on at all. In this case there was no jury, simply a judge who made a decision without the input of the accused's peers. Most people are upset that a jury, ie the community designated body to handle such things (ArbCom), was not involved. Mr Ernie (talk) 17:35, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Mr Ernie I was using a metaphor. I think that T&S as a group can be seen as a jury. Is this an exact or perfect metaphor? No. And as far as I can tell Arbcom was not involved because it would allow too much transparency and therefore become a problem for the person reporting the issue. Sometimes privacy is needed. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 20:05, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
My professional background is in "Human Resources". In that environment, there are times that information cannot be shared outside of HR, the organization's Legal Department, etc. In the case of this ban, I would assume that T&S shared their findings with WMF Legal, and that WMF Legal supported the decision made by T&S, or perhaps, WMF Legal made the actual decision and T&S simply carried it out. The wiki community and Fram will probably never know all the facts, but as an HR professional, I am confident in assuming that there was legal justification for the T&S action. I am also assuming that the T&S action is meant to protect the identity of people involved in the investigation who need/want to remain anonymous for their protection... names that might surprise everyone. --Rosiestep (talk) 00:17, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Rosiestep, As a complication, the office statement:

...we investigate the need for an office action either upon receipt of complaints from the community, or as required by law. In this case we acted on complaints from the community.

seems clear that it was not a legal issue. That said, and recognizing the complications that the office may be unable to fully clarify, I can imagine a situation that was not precipitated by a legal action, but has legal ramifications. My guess is that you are exactly right but based upon their initial statement my mindset has been that this is not a legal issue. I'm guessing that assumption is incorrect, even though it is based on their statement. S Philbrick(Talk) 16:41, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@Megalibrarygirl: - I must agree with Mr Ernie - there was no jury, there was a judge, and I'll go further in saying that by all appearances, the judge was also the executioner. With the available information, it appears that it was a trial in absentia - there was no opportunity for Fram to defend themselves for the recent ban. So, perhaps, we could appoint a proper jury. I recall there was some suggestion on this page, of having esteemed members of the community (who can be trusted on privacy matters) to review the evidence to judge if there were really privacy concerns. What do you think? P.S. - for the record, I'm not a Fram supporter, I don't even know anything but their name. starship.paint (talk) 00:59, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Starship.paint, We already have them. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:22, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@Seraphimblade: - missed the ping. Well okay, I'd support these candidates. starship.paint (talk) 12:36, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Self-inflicted damage to the WMF reputation needs to be considered

I have been a participant to this project since 2005, a registered editor since 2008, and an admin since 2011. Over that time I've witnessed multiple incidents that the Foundation didn't handle perfectly, but I never lost faith in the WMF entirely. After nearly 15 years, I have lost faith in the WMF. You no longer have my trust. You no longer have my support. If a journalist came to me right now, I would throw the WMF under the bus as a terrible and corrupt organization that has lost its founding principles. It will take serious steps to begin to reestablish that trust. It is clear that I am not the only one feeling this way. A significant portion of the community has had their faith in the WMF shattered. Most notably, Floquenbeam and Bishonen, two of our greatest, and most policy-compliant, admins of all time, who have openly rebelled in spite of the revocation of their tools. These are people who gave a great deal to your project. If you want this project to survive long term, you need to start taking the community seriously, right now. Jimbo has taken us seriously since the early days. If the WMF wishes to betray that precedent, then it deserves to be relegated to the ash heap of history. And it will. You are not immune to the court of public opinion, and you need to start realizing this. This is a turning point in Wikipedia's history. You can either side with the community, or against it. But make no mistake that your decision will make a difference in the development of Wikimedia long after this blows over. If successful in repressing this dissent, it may well break out in the media later on as a successful coverup. There are few things the public hates more than a corrupt charity. ~Swarm~ {sting} 09:37, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

  • And in case it literally needs to be spelled out, it’s a big fucking deal that Floquenbeam and Bishonen have fallen on their swords over this. These are not random admins. These are serious pillars of the community who can’t be replaced. ~Swarm~ {sting} 09:54, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Echo above in its entirety. I have (had?) a lot of faith in WMF, and I know editors who have either worked with WMF, it's sub-orgs or were contractors, and needless to say, they were wonderful people. But, what we are seeing is a terrible, terrible way to reflect their lack of faith in the community. This needs to stop, for an organization which claims they conduct their business transparently, this is the equivalent of dirty and opaque knee-jerk reactions. Each of their response is increasing stonewalling of the community and just seems to be an authoritarian actions as a byproduct of their arbitrary whims. They keep saying each of their actions is thought out and passed through multiple staffs and that just makes it so much more worse than bad decisions, this shows a terrible design by committee that fails from the get-go. As someone who has faith in the WMF, this is just amazingly terrible behaviour from an organization that seeks to help the community. You do not have my vote of confidence any more. And everyone from the WMF who is involved in this and everyone who partook in this opaque, stonewalling move is not welcome to this community. That is all I had to say. --qedk (tc) 09:57, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

WMF chair "sexism" whitewash

  • The WMF Chair is now directly attempting to whitewash the community outrage as sexist. If this is our reward for dedication to the project, labelled by someone who couldn't who hasn't actually been an active contributor to the project since 2007, then I don't see what the point of any of this is. ~Swarm~ {sting} 10:59, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Rubbish. When you are being trolled and your personal life made sport of, including open calls to go sniffing for dirt through personal social media accounts, in some cases by active Wikipedians who are contributing to this page, then the response here is both understandable and justified. Honestly, you think none of that motivation is for bad reasons? See Jerk. -- (talk) 11:05, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
There was certainly no possibility of sexism in the community's initial reaction to Floquenbeam's de-sysop, since the reason cited was a general statement of disregard for ArbCom. The prior warnings looked like innocent edits and certainly had no screaming banner of sex hanging over them. Heck, I'd always assumed Flo was a woman, and had to go back and change my first comments because I kept saying 'her' by accident.
That said, there is obvious potential for some "GamerGate" response tactics, which are typically to be held rightly in very low regard. Caveat being that if Wikipedia becomes an organization where central power dictates who is in and who is out and what must be deleted and what spin an article has to have, then it isn't itself any better than GamerGate tactics and there is then no moral basis on which to condemn them; they would just be "ordinary politics" at that point. Wnt (talk) 11:33, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I have no idea what you’re referring to, Fae. I have done nothing of the sort. Neither have the vast majority of the community who are outraged, including the admins who have given up the bit over this. I don’t know who you are referring to, but it’s certainly not most of us. It’s clear insanity has prevailed here and speaking out against it will only get us slandered by the Chair herself. Until some semblance of common sense and respect for the community has been retaken, I’m done contributing. ~Swarm~ {sting} 11:37, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
It's nonsense because I have been highly critical of the lack of transparency and accountability for the use of the WMF Office account for years and was one of the first in the line to support firm re-action. What Raystorm has written on this page did not slander me, nor do I feel disrespected.
Read the personal statement in context. This was a response by Raystorm, who is being subject to intense trolling and ridicule by a number of f***tards. It was not a statement by the WMF board, and I did not read it as a statement by the WMF Chair. This is Raystorm putting in her 2c and it is perfectly understandable if she is hopping mad at the bullshit she and her personal life is being subjected to.
So, read, think, get real. -- (talk) 11:57, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Will confirm User:Fæ's comment that this is a personal statement by Raystorm and not a board position. The board has not yet had the opportunity to meet. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 12:44, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Second, it is not, was not meant to be AFAIK, and does not sound like a statement from the Board. It is personal statement and I appreciate Raystorm's effort to make it and to follow up with the details. Pundit|utter 14:52, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I see sexism here in the response to the ban. I also see a bunch of mostly male editors who have a great deal more tolerance for harassment than do female editors. I don't know if you want to label that as sexist, but this whole discussion should be Exhibit A for why our editing community remains mostly male. Calliopejen1 (talk) 17:48, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • With respect, the gender issue was never raised at all until Raystorm did so. I can see no gender-based comments in this entire thread before that section. Black Kite (talk) 18:14, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree with Black Kite. EllenCT (talk) 01:07, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I've been pondering this, and I agree too. Sexism is a very serious, and very real, thing. It should be taken seriously, and there is no place for it at Wikipedia. But that does not mean that the very real concerns of many members of the community are the result of sexism. To a far, far greater degree, the concerns were triggered by some incredibly clumsy moves by the WMF. Editors should be able to call foul on that without being accused of sexism. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:21, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Nuance always gets lost in outrage. My read of Raystorm's post mentions the user in question has been the subject of harassment for being named and caught in the crossfire here. I don't think the community is being accused of sexism as a whole, but rather noting the damage to the named user is greater because the user publicly identifies as female on the site, especially since - I believe? - Raystorm identifies as male. Regardless of how we got here, this is a problem worth noting. I strongly disagree with the sentiment the community outrage is sexist, but I do believe an arm of it absolutely is. SportingFlyer T·C 06:04, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
SportingFlyer, Raystorm is Maria Sefidari - see here for more information. Mr Ernie (talk) 06:25, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Mr Ernie: Thank you - I read the comment below which suggested the user's name was Raymond Storms and took it literally. SportingFlyer T·C 06:57, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@SportingFlyer: - and to clarify for everyone else - I was referring to a hypothetical situation of two males in my below post.. starship.paint (talk) 07:06, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Starship.paint: I apologise for jumping to conclusions. SportingFlyer T·C 08:18, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
@SportingFlyer: - okay, don't worry about it! starship.paint (talk) 08:20, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
@Calliopejen1: - I also see a bunch of mostly male editors who have a great deal more tolerance for harassment than do female editors. - okay, so from your statement, males apparently think differently from females. I don't know if you want to label that as sexist - would males thinking differently be sexist? Not in my view. It would only be sexist if the male editors would not tolerate harassment of other male editors, but allowed harassment of female ones. Frankly, I don't think anything at all would change if, hypothetically, the accuser was Lawrence Male, and the Foundation member being Raymond Storms. starship.paint (talk) 01:50, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Not only am I not a "gamergater", I never even heard the term until Raystorm decided to paint the community with it. I'm unsure whether I should be offended or not and I am deliberately not reading up on whatever her pet issue is. Enigmamsg 20:49, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Further response from Fram

I have to step away from the computer for a bit, but there has been a further response from Fram over on Commons, see here. Maybe someone can copy that here, or include as a subsection above in the original response section. Not sure. Obviously too much back-and-forth will get difficult to manage, but pointing it out as no-one else seems to have seen it yet. Carcharoth (talk) 14:01, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

For the record, since Fram has wisely not been saying too much over on Commons (apart from dealing with some trolling directed against them), but has said some more, there is this. My experience of this sort of cross-wiki communication with a single-project banned user is that it can get out of control, so it should be minimised (but it is still important to keep an eye on what is being said). This is particularly important in this case, because the head of the WMF's T&S team have said they will enact a global lock if Fram edits over here, and arguably proxying here for them can be seen as enabling that, so some care is needed here. Please note I have asked Fram if they wish the local block to be re-enacted to avoid accidentally triggering that (this is a pragmatic response to what the WMF said, not a judgement either way on whether the WMF should have said that or the principles involved). I believe self-requested blocks are still allowed (and can be lifted at any time), so if that gets requested (no idea what Fram's response will be), maybe someone else could look out for that as I am logging off soon for the night. Maybe put this in new section if it needs more prominence. Carcharoth (talk) 23:45, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

About the ban

First, thank you to everyone who stands up against or at least questions the handling of this by the WMF (no matter if you think I'm a good admin or if you believe I should have been banned a long time already).

Then, to the actual case. As far as I am concerned, there are no privacy reasons involved in any of this (never mind anything legally actionable). I'll repeat it once more, if it wasn't clear:

  • I have not contacted anyone I was in conflict with in any offwiki way (be it through email, social media, real life contact, whatever)
  • I have not discussed anyone I was in conflict with in any offwiki way (e.g. I have not contacted employers, I haven't discussed editors or articles at fora, twitter, reddit, whatever).
  • I haven't threatened to do any of the above either.
  • I don't know who made complaints about me to the WMF, and I won't speculate on it. The information I gave in my original post here just repeated the info I got from the WMF.

I invite the WMF to either simply confirm that my original post was a fair summary of the posts they sent me, or else to publish the posts in full (I don't think any editors were named in their posts, but if necessary they can strike out such names if they prefer). I also invite the WMF to explain why standard procedures weren't tried first, i.e. why they didn't refer the complainants to our regular channels first.

I'll not comment too much further, to avoid throwing fuel on the fire (or giving them a pretext to extend the ban). I'll not edit enwiki for the moment either, even when unblocked (thanks for that though), at least until the situation has become a bit clearer. Fram (talk) 11:14, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

One more thing, regarding my first post here, and now BU Rob13 claming that it was misleading: they have their facts wrong (e.g. the warning was not from a year ago, but from March 2019), but I noticed on rereading my post that I had one fact wrong as well. I said that I had received an interaction ban, but what I actually had was:

"However, in the hopes of avoiding any future issues and in the spirit of Laura’s own request on her talk page, we would like to ask that you refrain from making changes to content that she produces, in any way (directly or indirectly), from this point on. This includes but is not limited to direct editing of it, tagging, nominating for deletion, etc. If you happen to find issues with Laura’s content, we suggest that you instead leave it for others to review and handle as they see fit. This approach will allow you to continue to do good work while reducing the potential for conflict between you and Laura.
We hope for your cooperation with the above request, so as to avoid any sanctions from our end in the future. To be clear, we are not placing an interaction ban between you and Laura at this time. We ask that her request to stay away from her and the content she creates be respected, so that there is no need for any form of intervention or punitive actions from our end."

To me, a "suggestion" that I stay away from her or I would get sanctioned by them does read like an actual interaction ban, but technically it wasn't. But whether it was an interaction ban or not, former arb BU Rob13 should be aware that mentioning an interaction ban and the editors you are banned from in the course of ban discussions and the like is perfectly acceptable. I did not drop her name just for the fun of it, I raised the issue because it was the only thing I got alerted from by the WMF between their vague first warning in April 2018, and the ban now. I was trying to be complete and open, but apparently that was "misleading"?

BU Rob13 may think the LauraHale thing was unrelated, but the actual mail by the WMF says otherwise:

"This decision has come following extensive review of your conduct on that project and is an escalation to the Foundation’s past efforts to encourage course correction, including a conduct warning issued to you on April 2018 and a conduct warning reminder issued to you on March 2019. "

(note that the "including" may suggest that there is more than these two, but there isn't: the March 2019 reminder is the LauraHale one).

All of this could be made easier if the WMF posted their full mails of course (although by now large chunks have been reposted here). Doing this the wiki way instead of through mail would have helped a lot. Fram (talk) 13:12, 12 June 2019 (UTC)


Appreciate you collating this, Carcharoth. Something to consider. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 14:32, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

SchroCat copied it over. It is easy to miss developments in this sprawling mess... Carcharoth (talk) 14:39, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
It's even easier to miss it when SchroCat fails to signs the edit when he did it! Carcharoth, thanks for posting there was an update. - SchroCat (talk) 14:42, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Thank you both. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 14:45, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
My reaction is that Fram should not have dropped any names. That's the point of dealing with harassment issues... the more the names are out there, the more likely the victim of harassment will receive further harassment. I had a clue that Laura may have been involved from the discussion above. And from this discussion, there is now a photo of her posted on a public forum in connection with this discussion. (No, I will not link to the forum and invite further harassment.) I am going to report the photo which is posted on the forum with the words "names to faces." As you can see, bringing up the very name of a person who may or may not have been involved (I really have no idea--I heard about the ban from a friend and my first reaction was "I thought WMF didn't get involved with on wiki stuff") can invite more harassment.
I will say, however, that it's very problematic that we only hear Fram's detailed side of the issue. We have no idea what the scope of the situation is or was. We don't know if Fram is even fully aware of the scope. I would like to hear from the other side in detail, too, but clearly, there are also issues of safety involved. How do we balance such a thing? Is there a way to hear from the other side that won't out whoever they are? Is there more than one side? Why aren't more people concerned with the general harm that a person who is victimized by harassment online goes through in this discussion? I think we should be addressing these issues instead of threatening a general strike or appeals to Jimmy. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 16:43, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Let's make this not about either Fram or the victim (alleged or otherwise) for a moment, and instead consider the optics of this entire situation. To the surprise of virtually everyone in the community, a respected administrator - albeit one with known civility issues - has been banned by an office action for a period of one year and cannot appeal this. Regardless of however you feel about Fram, this is an unprecedented act and one that ultimately acts as a chilling effect to other editors on Wikipedia, since existing and long-standing community procedures (some of which were very recently reaffirmed in ArbCom cases not too long ago) were set aside for what essentially amounts to an ad hoc decision, thus the visceral reaction. However you come down in this dispute, this is not a good look at all. Editors should have a reasonable expectation of who ultimately is the governing authority on this website. Up until now, it's been assumed that any and all civility disputes are handled via WP:ANI and, if necessary, at WP:RFARB. The existence of a vague, difficult-to-quantify shadow process that supersedes all of this essentially wrecks the self-governing dynamic of the community, and undermines the belief that all of these established processes will work when needed. If that was WMF's intent, then that's fine, but this was something that should have been more clearly communicated. As it is, the fact that this wheel-warring is taking place amounts to a leadership vacuum.--WaltCip (talk) 17:11, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
There was a moment when a more circumspect view was here, consideration of what might not be aired and the very good reasons for that. I do not think the reply above is as cautious as I would hope in editors commenting on this aspect, the other aspects are well aired here and off-site. cygnis insignis 17:40, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Fram himself mentioned his rude comment on ArbCom talk on May 4 as one of the main reasons for action of the WMF against him. In my view this is a massive breach of TOU. What exactly did the english wikipedia community in response to that between May 4 and the recent action of the WMF ? Was there any vandalism report ?--Claude J (talk) 07:02, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
The problem is that the TOU are very vague, and I would estimate that multiple comments as severe or more severe than that are made every day across the English Wikipedia; a selectively enforced rule is as good as no rule. If the speed limit for driving on a highway is "reasonable and prudent" (yes, that's a real thing in the rural US) and our own local cops will pull people over for doing 85, and this has been the way for years, you can't expect us to not be surprised when a state trooper suddenly decides to step in one day and pull over someone for doing 75. We should indeed be tightening up our civility/harassment policies. But instead of engaging in productive discussion with the community about how we can improve as a whole, the WMF simply decided to impose a decision on their own. -- King of ♠ 07:14, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
But the rules are clear in this respect and Fram is/was an Admin and responsible for enforcing this rules.--Claude J (talk) 07:28, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

I have tried to avoid this thread as it is a huge time sink, but several people (with a range of different views on the issue) have contacted me (on and off wiki) asking me to say a few words. I have banged heads with Fram more than a few times, but the phrase I keep coming back to is "being right and being a dick are not mutually exclusive". If I have a pound for every time I have said "well Fram wasn't very nice to say that but he's right and I agree with him" I'd probably never have to work again.

In March 2018, an Arbitration Case was opened between Fram and myself after we got in a bit of a row and shouted at each other. We both expressed remorse, apologised and the case was declined. I don't think it's been brought up, but one arbitrator said, " Fram, this is the third time in just over 4 months that you've been involved in unrelated case requests - to do with behaviour that supposedly the community cannot handle. I advice that some introspection would be useful to stop a fourth time, as it certainly appears that you are the common factor in multiple disputes."

Over the coming months, I believed Fram was making a sincere effort to improve his conduct, which has (mostly) continued since. However, I also got several off-wiki complaints about Fram, with an eye on starting an ArbCom case to get him desysopped. I declined to start a case on the following grounds:

  1. I didn't think there was enough firm evidence to result in an Arbcom case ending in a desysop, based on who was likely to contribute, past cases and the general standard of Arbcom
  2. I felt a case, even if accepted, would result in an enormous amount of drama that would be completely unproductive towards building an encyclopedia (I think this very page has proved that one right)
  3. As an admin who had recently clashed with Fram, I probably shouldn't be the one starting the case as I had something of a conflict of interest

However, just because I didn't personally think Fram's conduct rose to the level of a desysop or ban, it doesn't mean anyone else was obliged to share my view. I am sure those coming to me privately with grievances about Fram are based on a genuine belief they do not feel safe or welcome on the project, and if people do not want to contribute to Wikipedia because of Fram, they are entitled to hold that opinion even if I can get on with him. To give a rough analogy; I'm a 6-foot male middle-aged geek who thinks nothing of walking late at night alone from the station to my home underneath an underpass with some unpleasant racist graffiti on it. If I was a 21-year old woman, I might have a different view on that. I believe the complaints were made privately because they didn't have confidence that Arbcom would be a suitable venue to air grievances privately and get the result they want, which other people have documented elsewhere in this thread. To give a practical example (which drew several off-wiki complaints to me, and not from the article creator), I am certain that Fram deleted Allanah Harper in good faith, that it was a legitimate application of WP:G12 and totally backed up by policy. But equally, so was my restoring the article in a rewritten state that didn't violate copyright, which seemed to satisfy the complainants.

I know Fram has on-wiki thanked me at least once recently for saying he's been incivil but right, so as far as I know my current relationship with him is in good standing. I think Office has acted in good faith using the policies and procedures that are open to them, but I don't think a year's ban with no avenue of appeal is an appropriate response and the blowback from the community was predictable. I also agree with those who have said the office procedures that might work on smaller wikis don't really scale to an established community the size of en-wiki, that the offices' relationship with the community needs work, and that harassment and safety are real issues we need to deal with. I am sure that Floq and Bishonen acted in good faith in the sincere belief they were helping the project. The actions may be somewhat, um, novel but I have full confidence in them as administrators - it's not like they do this sort of thing on a regular basis. I also have confidence that Doc James will be able to present something to the board tomorrow that will get this issue sorted out. If it doesn't, that's the time we need to discuss what to do next.

Finally, I will respect and listen to anyone who feels they have been harassed or feel unwelcome editing here. Whether or not I or anyone else agrees with their views, they should still be treated like people and given a fair hearing. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 07:30, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

That is far too reasonable a reaction to be on this page. nableezy - 08:06, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
So you mean Fram is insightful, then he should resign voluntarily from his admin post for one year (before trying to be reelected) to avoid more damage to the project.--Claude J (talk) 09:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I mainly agree with Ritchie333 in his description of the situation.--Ymblanter (talk) 09:48, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Far too reasonable indeed. Thank you, Ritchie, for writing this. – SJ + 19:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Some of this issues can be remedied if you give admins time limits. The issue is not surprising and still maintains the status quo, a few people get access to ban someone without their actions scrutinized and thereby find a perfect way to dodge scrutiny. Why did they go through this route? because part of the system is broken? the drama boards are not effective? Meanwhile, if it is a case about some editor with 400 edits or less, many people will not even read a sentence just scroll to what an established editor or admin writes and rubber stamps it, ban him. I think wikipedia needs to go back to treating people equally, taking people to the same 'ineffective' drama boards and juries or fix a problem if it exists. Wikipedia for a long time have a thriving small niche of amateur conflict resolution specialists and negotiators managing the affairs of content disputes and behavior, leading to an incoherent application of set policies and procedures, and now the WMF have shown to be below or on the same level. I am sure it is nothing new to a few people. My problem is what makes this case special that drama boards cannot take the case? while a few people have to go through this drama boards, be admonished, and every other stuff. Nothing new, same old same old.Alexplaugh12 (talk) 21:01, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Realistic proposals

Lots of verbiage on this discussion page but not many realistic proposals as to what the WMF or we as a community should actually do IMO. Here's the facts of the case, as I understand them:

  1. Fram was banned by the WMF for violating section 4 of the Terms of Use, namely the "Harassing and Abusing Others" provision
  2. According to their privacy policy, the WMF is unable to release any information to the community (that includes ARBCOM) that could identify the complainant
  3. Several employees of the WMF reviewed the case and agreed that Fram violated the Terms of Use
  4. Jimbo and Doc James are looking into the matter, but they likely won't be able to release any info that WMF hasn't already (besides perhaps saying whether they agree with the decision)
  5. WMF has the ability to unilaterally enforce their Terms of Use regardless of community consensus (See: WP:CONEXCEPT and WP:OFFICE)

Given the points above, here are a few proposals that aren't possible:

  • WMF should release more specifics about why Fram was banned
  • WMF should refer the case to ARBCOM
  • should reverse Fram's ban itself

Here are some proposals that might be possible:

  • WMF could alter their policies so that going forward ARBCOM can handle harassment/abuse claims filed with the WMF
    • This wouldn't necessarily increase transparency, it would just change *who* is making unpopular decisions shrouded in secrecy
  • Going forward, the WMF could require a community representative to be involved in the process of handling harassment/abuse claims
  • Our benevolent dictator for life could investigate and decide whether to reverse the ban
  • We could fork Wikipedia
  • WMF could alter their privacy policy so that going forward, harassment/abuse claims are not confidential

AdA&D 15:15, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

For the record, I disagree with most of the possible options of recourse I listed above, but unlike most of the proposals on this page they are actually feasible. AdA&D 15:15, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Forking is a little problematic, not least due to the difficulty of porting across userrights and usernames to the new wiki and reserving them for the existing Wikipedian. I'm not yet convinced that we need to do it over this latest WMF scandal, but has anyone put any thoughts in to how it could be efficiently done? ϢereSpielChequers 15:31, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
The problem with your assertions is that you assign immunity to WMF's policy without explanation. WMF might have current technical superiority, but we all know that in reality the Wikimedia project relies on the community, and without the community, it is nothing. And the WMF understands it too, otherwise Fram was already blocked again and the sysops that unblocked him would be too. But they aren't, because the WMF understands that without the community it has nothing. So no, WMF policy is not above criticism, protest and mass civil disobedience, if necessary. Yoohabina (talk) 16:19, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
I think that the suggestions by Anne drew Andrew and Drew are reasonable. And I would say that, like they mentioned, I disagree with them, too. Harassment is such a difficult issue for the community to deal with. People who have not been the subject of harassment don't understand what the victim goes through. Sometimes these situations need to be handled anonymously. I would also say that the fact that this was handled anonymously shows that something very serious must have happened. I wish I knew the details, but we don't and sometimes that's OK. We need to accept that privacy and safety issues are sometimes more important than all of us knowing what we want to know. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 16:34, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

"People who have not been the subject of harassment don't understand what the victim goes through. Sometimes these situations need to be handled anonymously. I would also say that the fact that this was handled anonymously shows that something very serious must have happened." It would be better if you didn't speculate about what happened or raised accusations without a shred of evidence. Nothing "very serious" has happened. I have no idea why the WMF feels the need to handle this with such secrecy, or why they drop hints about legal and so on being involved. Basically, they are pointing a very ominous picture without providing any evidence for any of this (because, well, there isn't any). If their reasoning is that I have been uncivil towards too many people for too long, or that I have kept an eye on some problematic editors for a longer time, and that from now one they will be banning or blocking people for such things, fine, say so, no need to be secretive. But your comments make it very clear that their process, the way they handle this, is effectively poisoning the well, in a "well, if there's smoke there has to be fire" method.

I would invite the WMF to provide their evidence to a number of trusted enwiki people who have no real reason to defend me, but whom I still trust to be impartial. People like Newyorkbrad, Drmies, Ymblanter, GorillaWarfare, Giant Snowman, ... Let them judge the evidence in private, without sharing it with me; if they agree that a) th evidence is compelling, and b) it couldn't have been handled in public, then so be it. Fram (talk) 19:59, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Where do you see in their Terms of Use or Privacy Policy that sharing with ArbCom is not allowed? In fact, upon reading it (especially the section "To Protect You, Ourselves & Others" in the Privacy Policy) I seem to get the opposite impression. -- King of ♠ 16:54, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm working off their justification here, which states:

First, our privacy provisions do not always allow us to "pass back" personal information we receive to the community; this means there are cases where we cannot pass on to Arbcom things like the names of complaining parties or the content of private evidence that might support a concern. As a result, the best we could have given Arbcom in this case would have been a distillation of the case, severely limiting their ability to handle it.

I'm assuming this statement is indeed rooted in WMF policy, but I'm not sure exactly where that is. Perhaps someone at the Wikimedia Foundation can provide some clarity. AdA&D 17:14, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
This provision makes no sense because all functionaries are subject to confidentiality agreements (also called L37 in WMF legalese) and as such, eligible to partake in nonpublic information sharing. --qedk (tc) 18:02, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
Anne drew Andrew and Drew, I think the "community representative to be involved in the process" proposal has merit.--S Philbrick(Talk) 19:03, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm coming late to this, & I have tried to read all of the comments up to now, so I apologize in advance if I am retracing old ground. However, I feel a couple of points need to be made here.

The primary issue I see here is -- if Fram is correct about the reason for his ban by the Foundation -- is that the Foundation acted as if it were the party in charge of en.wikipedia, & we volunteers were simply the junior members in the relationship, with about as much clout as the average members of FaceBook or Twitter. Rather, since we volunteers predated the Foundation's creation, we see ourselves as equal partners in this enterprise to create a free encyclopedia, & the Foundation's arrogation of handling this matter is an insult to us. We have processes, flawed as they sometimes are, to handle conflicts here, & no matter how good of intentions anyone at WMF has in intervening they must use these processes first, & only override them after making a clear case why they did so. This they did not do. The Foundation wants to become management, & make us volunteers their (unpaid) employees. So AdD&D's realistic proposals don't really address this act to subordinate the Wikipedia volunteer community.

If my interpretation of this conflict is correct, there are two very powerful ways to react:

  • A general strike. Of course, we won't get every Wikipedia volunteer & contributor to participate in a strike, but what we need is for the core volunteers to participate. The people who keep the wheels turning & the fuel tanks topped off -- who number no more than 400 people. And looking at the names at the end of the comments here, most of them are here. We strike for three or four days -- long enough to demonstrate our power & mood -- & the Foundation will be forced to realize they must accept we are equal partners, & they cannot keep pulling crap like this & Superprotect.
  • The nuclear option. Every year the Foundation stages a fund raiser. If by the time of the next fund raiser they still have not accepted that we are equal partners, we stage a counter-campaign to defeat their fund raising. In other words, hit the Foundation in the pocket book. I know this is an extreme option -- which is why I labelled it as a "nuclear option" -- but it could be done by just a handful of otherwise devoted Wikipedians. And it is an option that I sincerely hope is never resorted to. -- llywrch (talk) 07:44, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    The idea that a general strike by the most active users (whose most visible effect would be a couple thousand extra new articles per day not being deleted) would be somehow unwelcome to the WMF (whose metrics have everything to do with number of articles, number of new users, number of edits) is giggle-worthy. —Cryptic 08:08, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    So you consider the only way to get past the metric-colored glasses of the WMF is to sabotage the next WMF funding campaign? Convince the usual group of donors not to contribute? (I suspect everyone who has posted to this page, despite their own sincere beliefs, could write a very persuasive essay arguing that it is a waste of money to donate to the WMF.) That would bring a nuclear winter over Wikipedia. -- llywrch (talk) 15:08, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well. I'd read your statement as similar to another suggestion here, to actively block the WMF fundraising banners or run a counterbanner alongside them, and didn't think it worth responding to. (If anyone still thinks that's somehow a remotely feasible idea - the WMF would revert such an overt threat and globally lock anyone they considered even peripherally involved so fast your head would spin.) But you're instead saying to, what? Write a bunch of userspace essays and hope all the folks who'd otherwise contribute four or five bucks instead stumbles across one first and Sees the Light? Directly approach major donors? Unless one of the outraged users here secretly has direct influence over a Google-alike's pursestrings or owns a YouTube channel with a couple million subscribers, I can't see something of the sort having any effect to speak of. —Cryptic 22:26, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    That was not my intent in my second suggestion. I'm talking about off-Wiki advocacy that people should not donate to the Foundation. Write essays for, say, Medium, on the issue. I would think if a long-term established Wikipedia editor argues that people should not donate to the Foundation, it would attract news interest. (And I agree with you that userspace essays would have zero visibility.) -- llywrch (talk) 07:08, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

This wouldn't necessarily increase transparency, it would just change *who* is making unpopular decisions shrouded in secrecy. That might make a difference, though? From the small amount of information we have, it feels as though a big part of the problem here is that the WMF (and the people making these decisions) aren't familiar with longstanding Wikipedia standards and practices. The things we've seen so far hint at Fran generally behaving suboptimally but fall far, far short of the standard that would lead to a block under normal circumstances - it resulted in a block simply because WMF has different standards. That's bad on several levels, since it leads to confusion and random-seeming outcomes. Working it through ArbCom (who is generally extremely experienced with our standards) could solve this. Then, if the WMF feels that ArbCom and our standards are too lenient, they could push us towards what they consider ideal - which might not be fun but would at least result in consistent policies formed in a transparent way, without having to risk outing anyone's identity in any specific case. A big part of the problem here, basically, is that it dosen't feel like the WMF was willing to do the bare minimum to work with the community - working via ArbCom would solve that problem. (And, from a PR standpoint, they would benefit from letting ArbCom take the heat for unpopular decisions rather than taking it themselves.) --Aquillion (talk) 22:28, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Statement from Jan Eissfeldt, Lead Manager of Trust & Safety

Dear members of the English Wikipedia community,

My name is Jan Eissfeldt and I’m commenting in my role as Lead Manager of the Wikimedia Foundation Trust & Safety team about the team’s recent investigation and office actions. In addition to this comment, the Trust & Safety team will be making a statement at Arbitration Committee Requests/WJBscribe tomorrow.

I want to apologize for the disruption caused by the introduction of new type of sanctions without better communication with this community beforehand. While these changes were the result of the changes to the Trust & Safety team’s processes, and are not an expansion of the team’s scope, I know that these changes to the processes came as a surprise to many people within the community, and that many of you have questions about the changes.

Responding to community concerns about the office action requires deliberation and takes some time. We have been in active dialogue with staff and others - including the Board - to work on resolutions, but we understand that the time this takes opens the door for speculation and allowed concerns to expand.

I realize that this situation has been difficult for the English Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee (ArbCom). The Trust & Safety team apologizes for not working more closely with them in the lead-up to this point. We will improve our coordination with community-elected bodies like ArbCom across the movement when carrying out our duties.

I also want to elaborate on the reasons that Trust & Safety cases will not be discussed in public and often not even privately with members of the Wikimedia movement who sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). When we receive non-public information, the Wikimedia Foundation must handle it in a manner that is both consistent with our Privacy Policy and any other commitments made to the person disclosing their information. When dealing with sensitive allegations of inappropriate behavior, we must ensure that we are upholding a relationship of trust and confidence with people who have entrusted us with personal information about their experiences. This means that even in cases where users have signed a community NDA, our legal obligations may not allow us to share information given to us.

Additionally, I want to explain the reason for using a role account when performing office actions and during follow up communication. Decisions, statements, and actions regarding things such as Office Actions are not individually-taken; rather, they are a product of collaboration of multiple people at the Foundation, oftentimes up to and including the Executive Director. As a result, we use the WMFOffice account as a “role” account, representing the fact that these are Foundation actions and statements, not a single person’s.

Some of you may remember that Trust & Safety staff used to sign with their individual accounts when discussing Office Actions. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible due to safety concerns for Foundation employees, as in the past staff have been personally targeted for threats of violence due to their Office Action edits. I am taking the step of making this statement personally in this case due to extraordinary necessity.

There continue to be questions from some people about the Foundation’s Trust & Safety team doing investigations about incidents occurring on English Wikipedia. I want to clarify the rationale for Trust & Safety doing investigations when requested and they meet the criteria for review.

Part of the Trust & Safety Team’s responsibility is upholding movement-wide standards based on the Terms of Use. We recognize that each of the hundreds of global communities under the Wikimedia umbrella have their own styles and their own behavioral expectations, but we also believe that there must be a certain minimum standard to those expectations. Sometimes, local communities find it difficult to meet that minimum standard despite their best efforts due to history, habit, dislike by some volunteers of the standard, or wider cultural resistance to these standards. However, it is important to keep in mind that even communities that are resistant to it or are making a good faith effort are expected to meet the minimum standards set in the Terms of Use. In cases where community influences or barriers interfere with the meeting of these minimum standards, the Foundation may step in to enforce the standards - even in situations where the local community dislikes or outright opposes those standards.

It is important that victims of hostilities like harassment have a safe place to make reports and that we uphold and respect their privacy when they do so. The Foundation is currently working with the community on a User Reporting System that would allow communities and the Foundation to cooperate in handling complaints like harassment, and we have every hope that that system will facilitate local, community handling of these issues. However, at the current time, no such system exists for victims to make reports privately without fear that their “case” will be forced to become public. Indeed, it is often true that a mere rumor that someone was the victim of harassment can lead to harassment of that person. Unfortunately, that has been proven the case here as some individuals have already made assumptions about the identities of the victims involved. Accordingly, the Foundation is currently the venue best equipped to handle these reports, as we are able, often required by laws or global policies, to investigate these situations in confidence and without revealing the identity of the victim. That is why we will not name or disclose the identities of the individuals involved in reporting incidents related to this Office Action.

There have been some concerns raised about the level of community experience and knowledge involved in Trust & Safety’s work. The Wikimedia Foundation’s Community Engagement Department, of which Trust & Safety is a part, supports contributors and organizations aligned with the Wikimedia Foundation mission. In order to conduct informed and contextualized investigations, safeguard the community at events, and support community governance, Trust & Safety has focused on building a team with a combination of deep Wikimedia movement experience and team members who have experience with Trust & Safety processes with other online communities. To better assess incidents, the team has people from diverse geographic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We have former ArbCom members, administrators, and functionaries, from English Wikipedia as well as other language communities, informing our decisions, and expertise from other organisations helping to build compassionate best practices. We have utilized all of this experience and expertise in determining how best to manage the reports of harassment and response from members of the community.

One of the recent changes to the Trust & Safety policy is the introduction of new options that include time-limited and partial (project-specific) bans to address serious concerns that are considered temporary or project-specific in nature. This change to policy is not a change of the team’s scope of cases taken. However, it does alter the way that sanctions are enforced and unintentionally introduced ambiguity about the ability of local communities to overrule office actions.

In acknowledgement of the confusion caused by the application of this newer type of ban, we will not be issuing sanctions against or desysopping those who edited the block or the sysop rights of those who edited the block to date. However, despite the ambiguity in its application, the ban continues to stand whether it is being technically enforced by a block or not. Should Fram edit English Wikipedia during the one-year period of their ban, the temporary partial ban of User:Fram will be enforced with a global ban (and accordingly a global lock). We must stress again that Office Actions, whether “technically” reversible or not, are not to be considered reversible by a local, or even the global, community, no matter the circumstances or community sentiment.

The occurrence of Office Actions at times is unavoidable, but it is not our intention to disrupt local communities any further than necessary. Here we failed on that score, caused disruption to your community, and we welcome feedback about how such disruption could be avoided in the future when the Foundation takes Office Actions, and ask that we all engage in a good faith discussion bearing in mind the legal and ethical restrictions placed on anyone within or outside of the Foundation engaging in reports of this nature.

In addition to asking for feedback about the trust and safety office actions in this incident, over the next year, the Foundation will be asking members of the Wikimedia movement to work with us on several initiatives that are designed to promote inclusivity by ensuring a healthier culture of discourse, and the safety of Wikimedia spaces. --Jan (WMF) (talk) 20:44, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Response to Statement

  • There are several aspects of this I find troubling, but I respect that you did come forward and put your name to it. It was well-written and it does add some information, considerably more than the statements made by the role account. Enigmamsg 20:51, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • To quote A. E. Housman, "And since, my soul, we cannot fly / To Saturn nor to Mercury, / Keep we must, if keep we can, / These foreign laws of God and man." Cheers. Dumuzid (talk) 20:55, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Really pathetic. Accusations of harassment are very serious. Please provide the diffs. This new type of star chamber judgment against editors is most unwelcome. Mr Ernie (talk) 20:59, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    I'm unsure how you think the WMF is able to both provide diffs and protect the anonymity of those that were harassed. Regards SoWhy 07:15, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • we will not be issuing sanctions against or desysopping those who edited the block or the sysop rights of those who edited the block to date – WHAT??? EEng 21:04, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    EEng, I don't read that as a pardon by any means – "we will not be issuing sanctions" doesn't mean ArbCom won't be doing so. – Juliancolton | Talk 21:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    Do you really think ARBCOM will do anything? Sir Joseph (talk) 21:36, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    I was simply highlighting the difficulty these people have formulating a coherent sentence. EEng 23:33, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks for coming here and making the statement. The next step should be indeed a constructive discussion outlining the boundaries more clearly, sharing responsibilities, and clarifying how communication can be improved, because, indeed, in this case the communication was a total disaster.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:10, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    And, specifically, I can live with the idea that T&S will enforce civility even when the communities are not prepared to accept it, but in this case it must be very clear whic level of civility is expected. Otherwise it turns into a minefield. In this case, I believe, though Fram has been banned, it is still not clear to them which red line exactly have they crossed. They are of the opinion that the "Fuck ArbCom" comment played a role, in which case dozens of users could be banned anytime. --Ymblanter (talk) 21:30, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • It is regrettable and avoidable that Wikipedia users have taken to onwiki and offwiki harassment of WMF staff, and in this context it is understandable to use the role account. This most recent statement also acknowledges community concerns more clearly than the previous ones. Even so, I suspect other community members will still struggle to understand (1) the necessity of the action taken against Fram in the first place, and (2) by what process of decision WMF will decide to issue sanctions in potentially controversial cases. I suppose we will not get more clarity on the former, but surely in the latter? --Jprg1966 (talk) 21:11, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    It is striking that Eissfeldt says that the unexpected blocking reflects "changes to the Trust & Safety team’s processes". Yet the link he gives by way of support/explanation of this presents a primary objective of mak[ing] more transparent to the team’s stakeholders - communities, affiliates, Foundation staff, and partners - what kinds of complaints the team refers to community processes under current practice and which types it does handle. This is plainly what has not been achieved, nor does there seem to have been any discussion with the community of the team's processes, its balances, or its outcomes. The community are stakeholders in this project too, and are right to insist on being treated as equal partners. Jheald (talk) 21:27, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Thank you for publishing this statement, and please do endeavour to keep the community informed as to how we can participate in improving the dialogue between ourselves and the Foundation. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 21:14, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This was a good statement, and it addressed a lot of my own personal concerns. I also thank you for the apology that this caused disruption to the community. As a newer editor, I sometimes feel that the power hierarchy built here is intentionally built to shut certain people out. It's almost as if there is a shield of protection that exists for the powerusers, admins, and even established users which simply does not exist for me because I both new and (oftentimes) impulsive. They are a known quality, whereas I am not (nor am I as particularly helpful as they are). Early on, I was told by the users who care about my wellbeing that if I used our pre-existing reporting mechanisms that retaliation would almost be guaranteed. That isn't the system anyone in the community intended to have, but it is the one that best prevents disruption. I really don't have all the answers, but I'm glad that WMF at least wants to have this kind of conversation. I can't say I agree with how this has been handled up by the foundation up to this point, but if at least some good comes out of this then we'll at least have that. [placeholder]MJLTalk 21:14, 13 June 2019 (UTC) Replaced: 21:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
MJL, thanks for your thoughts on this. I think you expressed many of my main concerns better than I could have. I agree with everything in this comment. StudiesWorld (talk) 21:45, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@StudiesWorld: [Thank you for the ping] I'm pretty sure that is the first time someone has ever told me that on wiki. –MJLTalk 22:05, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • While I appreciate the effort to make some kind of statement, I find this tremendously inadequate. Yes, protecting privacy and the general rights of the accusers is very important. But due process for the accused, in any fair system of justice, whether in a court system or not, comes part and parcel with the very notion of a fair adjudication. There has been *zero* effort made to outline what due process the accused can expect in these ex parte hearings and what rights *Fram* has to defend himself against serious charges. Not even the slightest lip service is given to the notion. And anyone for whom the concept of due process is either foreign or merely inconvenient has *zero* business being involved in this project. WMF exists to be the servant of the Wikimedia movement, not its master. It's not supposed to be a jobs program for those who want to cosplay as tin-pot dictators. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 21:17, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
What if the accused disclose the evidence, as occurred here, potentially leading to further harassment of those named in the evidence, whether or not they were involved in or even aware of the complaint? StudiesWorld (talk) 21:41, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Then the ban should have been escalated immediately. They did not do that, which has ultimately led to a Streisand effect with regards to the likely complainant. The downside to this is that this would have likely have instantly confirmed the complainant's identity. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 22:27, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
There are plenty of things that can be done to escalate in a situation like that. Like in every other hearing in every single context everywhere, ever. It's WMF's stance that is the gross outlier. People will figure it out and the accused certainly will be able to make some pretty good guesses; if a crime is severe enough for this penalty, it wouldn't be a complete surprise and if the crime isn't, it hasn't any business being taken out of ArbCom's hands. "Sorry, Mr. Hinckley, we can't tell you what president you're accused of shooting, because then you'll know!"CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 23:11, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • My thanks too to Jan for posting what he has. I do have two questions (or points for discussion), though I appreciate Jan may not be able to engage in back-and-forth answering of the many questions people may have.
    • My first question is this (if the ban does end up staying in place): how can Fram, who by virtue of being able to edit other Wikimedia projects is still a member of the Wikimedia movement, participate in discussions on en-Wikipedia relating to changes to the Wikimedia software and similar strategic proposals being made by the WMF? What I foresee, is that others will include his critiques even if they are made on different WMF projects. This is why project-limited bans can be difficult to enforce. For example, if Fram is participating in Meta and MediaWiki discussions on those topics and makes cogent points, will people be able to point to and quote his opinions in discussions here, without being accused of proxying for a banned user?
    • The other question (a bit more difficult to address) is whether the Trust & Safety team can operate effectively if it loses, or has lost, the trust of a community it is policing? If enough people believe that you made the wrong decision here, they will not have trust in any of the decisions you make as a team until those trust issues are addressed.
I suspect others will want the issues of local autonomy and allowing en-Wikipedia to police their own addressed, so will not say anything on that. Carcharoth (talk) 21:17, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict × 2) The Wikimedia Foundation did not accuse Pudeo, SchroCat or 1989 of proxying for a banned user when they copied Fram's comments from Commons. * Pppery * it has begun... 21:25, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): - thank you for your well written message. But you still don't explain how someone is supposed to defend themselves against non-specific accusations under privacy conditions as strict as these - it end's up in a judge/jury situation, with the accuser getting to set their case, but not the accused. Nosebagbear (talk) 21:20, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • That's not a bug, Nosebagbear. It's a feature. --Floquenbeam (talk) 21:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks. We are not done, but that's a good start. S Philbrick(Talk) 21:21, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): You wrote: "It is important that victims of hostilities like harassment have a safe place to make reports and that we uphold and respect their privacy when they do so." There is a striking implication in that statement that Fram was banned for harassment, otherwise such a statement would be very out of place. Would you be so kind as to answer a couple of questions?
    1. Was Fram banned for "hostilities like harassment", or harassment?
    2. If so, was public evidence used in your findings (content that can be found on enwiki pages, or in enwiki logs or revision history).
I'm sure you realize that answering those questions cannot possibly reveal any other parties in the matter, nor would it disclose any private information. Thank you.- MrX 🖋 21:22, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • That we've been dignified with a substantive statement, in contrast with the boilerplate copy to which we've hitherto been subjected, and that some concessions have been made in earnest make this a not-insignificant step in the right direction. Hopefully the community can match that step with some introspection of our own. – Juliancolton | Talk 21:23, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Statements like this are why I consider T&S to be one of the most competent teams at the WMF. Thank you for acknowledging the confusion here. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:27, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Something strikes me as extremely odd about this. The claim being made is that (1) this block is based on harassment and (2) regardless of what you have said, the basic gist of it remains "everything is privileged". That has led Fram to fill the void, and while he is a biased source and there are things missing in his reply on Commons, you have done nothing in responce to this. I understand this would be counterproductive in some way - Upgrade to a glock, and you essentially confirm what Fram says; confirm it and breach people's privacy - but the way this was handled was such that T&S hasn't done anything at all in responce to this. The only reason these conspiracy theories (of which one of them may eventually be right, and it's looking increasingly likely this was used to "win" a long-running editorial dispute between two users who, frankly, aren't very well liked) have been promulgating is because T&S maintains that literally everything is privileged, dowm to the word "the". This is not only an asinine position to take, but Raystorm's statement emphatically did not help given she accused everyone defending Fram of sexism, which only serves to help confirm those theories.
    The end result does not reflect well at all on the WMF or its Trust & Safety team. "More communication" is impossible if T&S's starting position is "everything is privileged", when I can think of a few things in this situation that would not be (that it's specifically for harassment, that Fram had been warned twice before, and WHY the ban was limited). At a minimum ArbCom should be told the sort of actyion being taken and (in broad strokes) why it is being taken, and while an arb has said that they were told vaguely this and it was provided afterwards in the meeting minutes, that arb (and others) evidently did not expect a ban. The communication has just been grossly mismanaged by T&S from the word go, and because of that T&S as aa whole no longer has the community's trust, as Risker points out so succinctly below. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 21:34, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • simply thx -jkb- (talk) 21:36, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I appreciate any effort to clarify and communicate, so thank you for that. But I cannot make sense of it, if I simultaneously believe everything in this statement and also believe everything that Fram has posted about what he says he was told of the reasons for the ban. If I believe that the comment Fram made about ArbCom was the immediate reason for the office action, then it just does not seem like a valid reason for the office action. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:37, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • It isn't; it's just the last straw. Fram has outright stated that they've gotten two warnings from T&S over the past year; the ArbCom comment was a third strike of sorts. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 21:39, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Then it isn't a valid last straw. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:43, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Jan E. was the man behind Superprotect. This has led to his de-sysop in the German Wikipedia. No, no, no trust in this man. A former german language Wikipedian admin... OMG --Informationswiedergutmachung (talk) 21:41, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks for stepping up. For any future TS bans where you can't identify the accuser, it may make sense not to say it was for harassment.
  • Halfway transparent houses are dangerous for a couple of reasons. 1) Online sleuths on platforms WMF don't control are liable to guess who the accuser was, and then take action against that person(s). So they can cause folk to suffer harassment that might be worse than any excessive scrutiny experienced on wiki. 2) It can be unfair to the accused. I've gone up against Fram several times over the years to defend the outstanding inclusionists he used to attack, so I think I know them quite well. I can see why their actions might validly appear to be harassment, but it always seemned they were in fact just trying to protect the encyclopaedia from what in Fram's misguided but sincere opinion were excessive mistake makers. So it's annoying to see Fram (effectively) labelled a harasser by a star chamber.
  • It's great you're going to step up efforts to promote inclusionism. I hope it's appreciated this is a task that may need great tact if you are to avoid alienating the volunteer enforcement wing of the community, who in several ways do a better job than the very expensive and hard to manage paid moderators used by the other large platforms. FeydHuxtable (talk) 21:42, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Just for information: Jan was the one who declared the open war of the WMF against the communities together with Eric Möller in the MV-disaster. He was the one who worked with extreme hostility against the deWP. I don't have the faintest idea ,how such a completely disgraced person in regard of community interaction could have become head of trust and safety, he is the very opposite of trustworthy from the community perspective. Grüße vom Sänger ♫ (talk) 21:44, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): Thank you for your statement, Jan. Despite what I'm about to write, I do appreciate you taking the time to make it. First I want to welcome this:
    "We will improve our coordination with community-elected bodies like ArbCom across the movement when carrying out our duties."
    However, I have grave concerns about a couple of the statements you make, namely:
    "the reasons that Trust & Safety cases will not be discussed in public and often not even privately with members of the Wikimedia movement who sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) ... This means that even in cases where users have signed a community NDA, our legal obligations may not allow us to share information given to us." This is the part that's unacceptable to the community. It is a mistake to think that your staff are going to be any more capable of preserving privacy than the elected representatives of our community who are bound to the same level of confidentiality. If you have evidence of ArbCom failing to meet their obligations on that front, then say so. There's no need for chapter and verse, but we deserve to be informed if T&S no longer has faith in ArbCom's ability to perform its mandate.
    Secondly, "In cases where community influences or barriers interfere with the meeting of these minimum standards, the Foundation may step in to enforce the standards - even in situations where the local community dislikes or outright opposes those standards. You need to tell us plainly exactly what minimum standards the English Wikipedia community fell short of in this case. You are wrong to suggest that the English Wikipedia community dislikes or opposes any of the standards expressed in TOU, and I hope you'll either justify it or retract that slur. In fact we not only have policies that make clear our support for the standards you're so keen on, but also policies and precedents that show how we deal with breaches of those standards.
    In conclusion, I for one, am not willing to stand by and see T&S arbitrarily impose a parallel, yet unaccountable, scheme of dispute resolution on the English Wikipedia. If you want to meet your remit and supply support for editors who don't feel able to use our dispute resolution procedures themselves, then bring a case on their behalf and allow the community's elected ArbCom to decide the case. Otherwise you need to consider why the English Wikipedia should not simply abandon its present procedures, disband ArbCom and refer all of the disputes to T&S. --RexxS (talk) 21:45, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
RexxS. My reading of the statement regarding not communicating with NDA users was that it meant that the WMF was under the impression that they had legal obligations to keep some complaints internal. If that is the case, then there would be no way for them to effectively handle these complaints without allowing some internal proceedings. I think that this could be a result of an interpretation of GDPR, based off of discussion higher on this page. StudiesWorld (talk) 21:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
ARBCOM doesn't decide on cases unless DR or ANI fails first and I for one would never go to ANI on a conduct or bullying issue. Sir Joseph (talk) 21:51, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
That is simply not true, not in cases involving privacy. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 22:14, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Right, but not everyone who may be the victim of harassment is the victim of private harassment. I think that if anything is going to come of this, I hope that, at the very least, ArbCom changes their procedures to allow private hearings of on-wiki evidence. StudiesWorld (talk) 09:27, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I was going to say the same thing as Rexx about the "minimum standards", but he did it better than I would have. We have no idea how the community is 'falling short' of Terms of Service, so we are all literally in the same boat as Fram! I also take umbrage at SuSa will create a complaint processing map of its and related community workflows to make more transparent to the team’s stakeholders - communities, affiliates, Foundation staff, and partners - what kinds of complaints the team refers to community processes under current practice and which types it does handle. The program will reduce the risk of double work on the same issues from staff and volunteer functionaries... To me this is confirming what I suspected - the Trust and Safety goal is to supplant administrators on anything it cares about - and any powers they retain is merely current practice, a historical accident. T&S will super-protect, super-delete, super-ban, super-bias anything it wants any way it wants, and then the community is free to ban anybody else because who really cares. And I expect that like any other social media company, no one will really know why or what they will go after. Wnt (talk) 22:23, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I understand that there are going to be times that a final authority will need to exercise some drastic action. However, until now, that has been limited to things that are so serious as to require an indefinite global ban, and I am unaware of any global ban that has seen a wider community challenge it because of that understanding that the tool would only be used for such extremely serious activities (child protection and such things). I am still at a loss as to how a user can have a time-limited ban for behavior and not be informed as to exactly what behavior is at issue. The Foundation is seemingly deciding to both impose on this community a standard on civility that it has repeatedly rejected and also failing to actually define that standard. You are effectively saying to any user dealt in this way that their conduct is lacking, but you cannot tell them what that conduct was, but be sure not to repeat that conduct when they are allowed back despite not knowing what the actual conduct in question is. The Trial is not supposed to be an instruction manual. At the end of the day, this is private property, and you may do whatever you wish to do with that property. You can deny access and ban someone, you can impose access and require us to allow somebody to edit. But if you want us to know what is expected of us then you need to explicitly say what that is. nableezy - 21:55, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): when you say "In acknowledgement of the confusion caused by the application of this newer type of ban, we will not be issuing sanctions against or desysopping those who edited the block or the sysop rights of those who edited the block to date", is that an acknowledgement that it was a bad idea to desysop User:Floquenbeam? Do you regret not re-sysopping him before User:WJBscribe stepped in and did it, less than 24 hours ago? Bishonen | talk 21:57, 13 June 2019 (UTC).
  • The key element to me is "not to be considered reversible by a local, or even the global, community, no matter the circumstances or community sentiment" - or, in other words, the community be buggered, T&S are the editorial controllers of Wikipedia and nothing you say or do can change that. Fucking disgusting. DuncanHill (talk) 22:02, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I like the polite fuck off statement but it solves nothing. There is no escalating blocks or indeed any sort of system to appeal or otherwise moderate it. Hell in a Bucket (talk) 22:20, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This bothers me: While these changes were the result of the changes to the Trust & Safety team’s processes, and are not an expansion of the team’s scope. You have a contentious claim asserted as a fact. You have a link that looks like it might be a supporting source, but doesn't actually support the rebuttal. In an article I'd tag that with a {{cn}}. Guettarda (talk) 22:28, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Fire Jan Eissfeldt and his whole T&S-Team. --Informationswiedergutmachung (talk) 22:33, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Nah. Firing people for their failures only breeds fear, not competence, and not improvement. We need a better response to crises, especially when they're entirely self-created. Guettarda (talk) 22:45, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • JEissfeldt (WMF), while I appreciate you at least being willing to put your name on this statement, it is still more of the same. I will be posting a response as to why shortly, point by point to what you said, but in short: The WMF is not a "higher authority" than the English Wikipedia community, and may not overrule it, any more than we could walk into the San Francisco offices, point to an employee, say "You're fired", and expect that to have any effect. WMF is a separate body, but it is not "higher" than the English Wikipedia community. We don't can your employees, you don't can our editors or admins. You also do not overrule or bypass our editorial or community processes. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Jan, assuming you're taking the time to read all of these comments: if the current NDA does not facilitate communication of matters like this between its signatories and the WMF, is Trust & Safety interested in working with WMF Legal to replace it with an agreement which is compatible with such communication? Or is it your position that this is either impossible, or not worth the time? Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 22:52, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I appreciate the statement, Jan, but I continue to have significant and severe questions and concern about both the conduct of the Office, of which you are a member; and the Trust and Safety team, of which you head as Lead Manager. I'm going to be frank: I join the sentiments of DuncanHill and Nableezy completely and fully. Now, I originally wanted to discuss how WP:IRL is a fact; but that has been supplanted by another matter: the nature of the ban itself. You note, Jan, in your statement, that these time- and project-limited bans are for "serious concerns that are considered temporary or project-specific in nature". I'm afraid I don't understand how the actions, statements, and behaviors of Fram in any way qualify or otherwise comport with the statement, more or less, of when such bans are to be used; how, exactly, is this situation time-limited? Clarification, both in general and regarding the specifics of this case, would be appreciated. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 23:00, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): Thank you for your statement, however, I would dispute "While these changes were the result of the changes to the Trust & Safety team’s processes, and are not an expansion of the team’s scope..." If the manner in which the sanctions were levied against Fram is an example of how they are intended to work, then what has happened is not merely an "change to the processes", it is a usurpation of community rights which is indeed an expansion of T&S's scope, and an extremely unwarranted one at that. That you cannot see this is a significant part of the problem here, and the actual core of the controversy, not whether the sanctions were justified, but that T&S took upon itself a right which is the community's.
    Further, you have said nothing about whether the sanctions were influenced by pressure from the WMF chair, who is, apparently, a personal friend of the complainant. This, if true, is a matter of institutional corruption, and must be dealt with as well. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:03, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If it was, they wouldn't dare confirm it so as to protect the complainant. But Raystorm's accusing everybody defending Fram of sexism strongly hints that it is, and I don't think Raystorm realised that was how such an accusation would be received. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 23:10, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Exactly, Raystorm's playing of the gender/harrasment card simply made it much more probable that she brought implicit or explicit pressure to bear, otherwise there would be no reason to respond in the manner she did. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:23, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): I am concerned about the basis for the ban and suspicion of lack of impartiality behind it. I would only be satisified if the uncensored reasons were shared with another independent body (presumably the arbitration committee or ombudsperson) to review and conclude the basis of the ban was justified or otherwise. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:25, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I find the statement from Jan Eissfeldt completely unsatisfactory. Fram has said all he was banned for is on wiki (ie, no email, no personal contacts, etc). Many of us have looked hard at Fram's contributions, and while I have found some which could, say, merit sanctions over language etc, nothing merit the draconian punishment from WMF. My conclusion is that WMF has punished its possible most ardent critic. If you think that will bring WMF any credit: you are wrong. I suspect most Wikipedians find the action of WMF totally despicable, Huldra (talk) 23:32, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • First, thanks to Mr. Eissfeldt for stepping up and communicating. I can appreciate the need for discretion, but considering this office action has the community deeply concerned about the WMF's commitment to transparency, the previous statements from WMFOffice were anything but helpful. When a significant number of volunteers have serious concerns, it was disappointing (if not entirely surprising) to see the Foundation answer with responses that were impersonal, opaque, and bureaucratic. As I stated previously, this attitude goes against Wikipedia's spirit of free participation and mutual respect. It's my sincere hope this will serve as an opportunity for growth, both for WMF and its staff, and our community at large.
I expect after the board meets tomorrow, there will be further dialogue, and hopefully a little more openness where warranted. For now, in the interest of drawing the right conclusions and focusing our energy toward productive ends, we can reasonably infer a few things from Mr. Eissfeldt's statement:
  1. Specifics regarding the case against Fram cannot be made public (or shared with anyone outside WMF) as a requirement of the Privacy Policy, and/or other contractual or legal obligations to the complainant
  2. Fram was banned for violating the harassment clause of the Wikimedia Terms of Use, but not necessarily our harassment policy
  3. WMF considers WP:HARASS inadequate in covering violations of the ToU, or else it views ArbCom as incapable of adequately enforcing WP:HARASS (or both)
We are not going to get details about who accused Fram of what, ever. Nor would we if this had gone to ArbCom, nor should we in a serious case of harassment. All we can hope is that the board will review it, and if they uphold it, give us a sense of why it was justified. IMHO, a year ban seems like a lot, even for one as prickly as Fram, but I don't know what happened.
I think we can all agree this was needlessly disruptive for a variety of reasons. The core of the issue though, is that the ToU (as interpreted by WMF) don't align with WP:HARASS (as interpreted by ArbCom/the community). We can do very little to change the ToU or the WMF (not that it's stopped us trying), but this would be an opportune time to review our harassment policy and how it's enforced. We may not think there's any problem, but as long as the WMF disagrees, this sort of thing is bound to keep happening. With any luck, we will receive some clarification on how exactly harassment is defined, vis-a-vis the ToU, and what ArbCom would need to do to better enforce it, thus avoiding the need for office action in the first place. —Rutebega (talk) 23:36, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
That is a conversation I am more than happy to share, but WMF thus far have not told us where it is deficient and are not likely to absent dropping their stance here (and this is the sort of thing that should not be subject to privilege; we can't fix it if we don't know where the flaws in the policy are in the first place). —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 00:01, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the response Jan, it was more informative than what we've received before. But I still do not believe that trust between the community and T&S can be restored until more transparency is provided into the process. In particular:
    1. Will specific details of the case be made known to WMF board members?
    2. Is any portion of the information being withheld for the sole purpose of protecting the Fram's privacy (i.e. as opposed to protecting the privacy of all parties involved)? If so, and if Fram were to waive their right to privacy in that regard, would you be willing to publish it? (I ask this because he has made the claim that all the evidence of his alleged misconduct exists on-wiki, and additionally that he is happy for the contents of the emails to be shared.)
    3. Fram indicates that the WMF office told him that complaints were lodged against him leading up to the April 2018 warning. Were there further complaints between April 2018 and March 2019? between March 2019 and the ban? Or has his case basically always been open since April 2018, with T&S staff proactively monitoring his actions to see if he has made any further violations? Basically I want to know in general terms what instigated the series of internal WMF actions that led to this ban. If you believe that answering this would violate Fram's privacy, see #2. If you believe that answering this would violate the privacy of anyone else or you cannot answer this question for any other reason, please give us an explanation which is not buried in legalese, because I honestly don't see how disclosing the existence of a complaint can violate anyone's privacy (especially given that such disclosure was given to Fram in the April 2018 email).
    4. If the community's processes (including ArbCom) are insufficient at the present moment to deal with harassment/incivility issues, do you envision a future in which every such case, with the exception of anything with legal/child protection/etc. implications, can be referred back to the community or ArbCom? If so, what needs to change in the community procedures to allow that to transpire? Or do you believe that there will always be cases (excluding the obvious exceptions) where the T&S will take action without consulting the community, no matter how scrupulously it self-regulates? -- King of ♠ 00:08, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • With respect to 3, knowing that X complaint was received at Y time can lead to exposing the person who filed it. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 00:13, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Not for such a broad period of time, when Fram probably butted heads with dozens of people. Anyways, regarding #3 I mostly care about the general procedure: does T&S only investigate on a new complaint, or does it follow up and keep tabs on the people it has warned indefinitely? -- King of ♠ 00:29, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): are Office bans which are not required for legal compliance reasons, such as bans with blocks for harassment and incivility, appealable to Jimbo Wales?[10] EllenCT (talk) 00:19, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): Can you please do something about azwiki? (or some of the other broken Wikipedias like Georgian, Croatian)? In cases where community influences or barriers interfere with the meeting of these minimum standards, the Foundation may step in to enforce the standards - even in situations where the local community dislikes or outright opposes those standards. I don't understand why there is so much focus here and not on other wikis that are promoting genocide denial or other POV editing and copyvios. --Rschen7754 00:54, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

    Is there much focus here? I thought one of the key reasons this blew up is because it's literally the first time they've really intervened in this way on en. Okay there is some private stuff that happened before, but I'm not seeing much evidence of a lot of focus here. All I'm seeing is evidence they intervened in one specific instance against one individual. Since then it blew up, and understandably for good reason the WMF feels they have to see this through and therefore there is a lot of focus on it at the moment, but that doesn't demonstrate a lot of focus on en.

    Of course for better or worse en is the largest wikipedia by far, and the one with the most focus of the world by far. I don't think it's a good thing, and maybe the WMF haven't helped as much as they can, but I do think there's also not much they can do about the general lack of care anyone else has about the other wikipedias and it does mean there's always going to be a divide between dealing with stuff which affects their major by far service, and the more minor ones especially the very minor ones. As I said before, that doesn't mean they should ignore problems in the minor ones but everything else being equal the problems in the more minor ones will get far less attention.

    From what I've read, the problems at az are very serious, way more serious than whatever Fram did although that also doesn't mean that they should have ignored the Fram situation. More importantly, I've seen no real evidence they have been ignoring the az.wikipedia problems. From what I read, it was only about 22 May that people began to really bug them about it. (Although it is possible they were told in private before.)

    We know from their previous statements it often takes about 4 weeks to deal with stuff which from what I've seen of large organisations isn't exactly surprising. And that's with simple cases involving a small number of individuals and concerns over one of them in particular, based on stuff in English, a language I think everyone who works for the WMF speaks. The az stuff seems to be fairly complicated and while some stuff may seem clear cut on the outside, in the interest of fairness as well as ensuring they take all the necessary action, even if it were all in English it will likely take months to deal with. It being in Azerbaijani greatly compounds the problems.

    Of course you don't have to resolve it all in one go, and I'm hoping that the WMF will start to issue bans sometime soon and also ensure that extremely offensive article names are not allowed. But even in the best case, 2 months from when they were notified (22 May) seems reasonable. While the copyvio stuff is one thing, the denial of the Armenian genocide is quite another. It's a very serious matter that urgently needs to be dealt with but at the same time if you're going to ban people for denying the Armenian genocide, even if you're not going to say it's the reason you need to take great care in your evidence and how you go about it. The fact that almost no one will notice, probably receiving not even 1/100 of the attention of the outside world as this case which as far as I know has still largely passed the world by, not withstanding.

    And considering this fallout, and the size of the WMF means this is likely to be diverting significant resources, I would imagine a further delay of 2-3 weeks. To be clear, I'm not saying this is anyone's fault (although I stick with my belief the WMF made mistakes here), simply that it's the nature of the beast that the fall out from this means it's likely diverting most of their attention and they can't just ignore it telling us 'sorry we'll deal with how much you hate us once we're done with Az, in the mean time Fram stays banned'. And for so many reasons, they also can't say 'well we still think we made the right decision here but it blew up and it's taking too much time from dealing with az so we'll overturn the ban for now and re-implement it later when we have time to deal with you'.

    Nil Einne (talk) 03:58, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

    • I know for Croatian we stewards point-blank asked T&S if they would do anything about it and they said no. --Rschen7754 04:02, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I have no idea whather Fram's actions were sancionable or not, and that is in large part beside the point. What is at issue here is a basic principle of natural justice, the accused should be given the right to face their accuser(s) and to defend themselves. This by T&S's own admission has not been allowed to occur. That T&S has explicitly stated that there is no appeal in this instance only adds fuel to the fire. Furthermore, operating a star chamber to institute and oversee such sanctions is not only reprehensible, but is exactly the wrong way to instill confidence in a volutneer organisation over which WMF has chosen for itself to exert some sort of supreme executive power. The tone deafness exhibited here is simply astonishing. At the very least, T&S need to give all the information relating to this action to a trusted, uninvolved and independent third party, I suggest ARBCOM. If that was done and the third party upon consideration of all the circumstances considered that the block and de-sysop of Fram be upheld, then so be it. Otherwise the block and de-sysop and any consequent actions taken against other here such as Floq and Bish, should be overturned and any related entries on their block logs be expunged. I'm not holding my breath, however. I have completely lost faith in WMF to be a reasonable actor with any kind of oversight of the project/ - Nick Thorne talk 01:34, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The head of T&S is a former admin desysoped on his home wiki? Unreal. Capeo (talk) 02:11, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    • To be fair, dewiki did a lot of things after superprotect that I am not sure were the "right" things to do. --Rschen7754 04:07, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
      • It does, however, still raise some eyebrows and result in some questions as to how it came to be. In particular, what the process that resulted in it happening ended up being and if anyone thought to ask how this might look if it came up in the future--regardless of whether or not dewiki did the right thing, it's still a pretty questionable optic for the WMF to have. rdfox 76 (talk) 04:12, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
        • To give some clarification: The process of desysop in de.wp is quite different than in en.wp. Every sysop in de.wp is open to recall. Whoever was responsible for the development of Superprotect, Jan was the one who used it first (with his WMF-account) and the reaction were immediately the 25 votes necessary for a re-election of his private sysop-account, that surely would have no chance in the heated situation, so the desysop was automatically issued after 30 days and does not speak for any wrong-doing in the de.wp besides what he was ordered from the WMF. But maybe the experience is in the back of his mind, when he now wants to protect the T&S-team members from being hold personal accountable for WMF actions. --Magiers (talk) 14:42, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
          • My comment wasn't in regards to how that all went down or who was in the right or in the wrong. It doesn't matter. It was in the regards to the fact that no competent organization would even risk the impression of bias or COI on the part of employees handling sensitive issues like child protection, threats of harm, stalking, anything that like that. That should be a salaried team of outside hires, professionals in their fields, not contractors from within the editing community. Distance from the community and rock solid impartiality are required for such posts. Familiarity with community norms is not required to detect cases of child grooming or to deal with threats of harm or off-wiki stalking. If the WMF wants some kind of civility enforcement team hired from within the community then fine, do that. I think it's an awful idea, but whatever. Capeo (talk) 15:55, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Jan: Thank you for your comments. m:Trust and Safety: "As a part of the Foundation’s commitment to respect community autonomy, the Trust & Safety team does not handle general community or community-member disputes that may be addressed through community processes, nor does it serve as an appeal venue for community-made policies and decisions". As I see, you have gone beyond your jurisdiction. You not only intervened in ordinary internal conflict, you went against the will of the community on it. But a few people cannot replace the whole community. English Wikipedia has the most powerful community, ways to resolve conflicts and privacy practices. You must cancel your decision immediately. We must to stop work and reform the Wikimedia Foundation Trust & Safety team. At least, we need to publicly discuss how it works, limits of its competence, discuss how to interact with local communities, introduce direct elections to this team from each language (cultural) community. Yea, Wikimedia is a multicultural movement and it is movement, not a private organization. --sasha (krassotkin) 07:26, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I am in ongoing discussions with Jan, and I am finding him open to looking for ways forward. There are aspects of this communication that I find troubling, and it's related to concerns I have already raised with Jan regarding the Foundation speaking to the community rather than with the community. The two main ways forward that we are discussing is A) Having an interface on Wikipedia for the community and the Foundation similar to the 'Crats noticeboard and the ArbCom noticeboard. A place here on this project where we can communicate directly, and where can discuss suggestions collectively. And B) A new system for dealing with civility and harassment issues. I have suggested to Jan that whatever system it is, it needs to come out of open discussions here between the Foundation and the community. It cannot be something imposed on the community by the Foundation. I have suggested a board with members from the community that are trusted by both the community and the Foundation, working alongside members of the Foundation to hear complaints of civility and harassment. Any sanctions are to be notified via the proposed WMF Noticeboard. Sanctions for harassment to appealed to the Foundation legal dept. Sanctions for civility to be appealed to ArbCom. Members of the Civility/Harassment Board should not also be members of ArbCom to ensure impartially in the appeals process. SilkTork (talk) 09:58, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    A) seems like an excellent idea, and would save a great deal of headaches. I'm still chewing on B), but I'm not at all happy with it, and I'd refer you to SeraphimBlade's excellent commentary below for why a large section of the community will feel that way. In particular, the WMF has no business in garden-variety harassment or civility enforcement, and sticking their nose in it will not be popular. Tazerdadog (talk) 10:13, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
The suggestion of a Civility/Harassment Board is one idea. A starting point for discussion if you like. My main point is that we need to find a solution to civility/harassment issues together not - as at the moment - separately. I also think it very important that we start to break down the barriers between the community and the Foundation. The more active shared working together we do the better. At the moment the Foundation communicates snippets of information to ArbCom, but rarely actually consults. This situation is rather frustrating. In the present circumstance where the Foundation informed ArbCom that it had concerns regarding Fram, and then blocked Fram, ArbCom get caught up in an impossible situation. The Committee were informed, but could do nothing with the information. And then when Fram is banned, the Committee are asked by the community about our involvement, and the Committee struggle to articulate clearly what is known. I suppose, by default, ArbCom agreed with and are complicit in the ban by not formally protesting the proposal. But the actual proposal came as part of a wider discussion of other matters during a phone call to one Arb, and it came at a time when the Committee were busy with other matters, and were understaffed. And we were arguing about being understaffed! Anyway. a fuller consultation about the situation, such as: "We have received complaints about harassment and incivility by Fram. We are considering banning him from for a year. What are your thoughts on this?" would have been, for me, a much more useful and collegial approach. More consultation, and less diktats would be a good way forward. As I said to Jan: "Work with the community and the community will work with you. Work apart from the community, and there will always be a distance, a suspicion, and a certain degree of resentment resulting in push back against unpopular decisions." For the avoidance of doubt, any communications I make while inactive from the Committee are entirely my own. I am not sure yet if I will be returning to the Committee. I may join the list of those willing to unblock Fram. Not because I support Fram or wish to defend his hostile manner of engaging those he disagrees with, but because I feel that the Foundation have got this wrong, and bad things happen when good people do nothing. But it wouldn't be appropriate for me to do that as a member of the Committee, so if I did that I would resign from the Committee and resign CU and OS as well. (Sorry, just re-read Jan's post. No need for this as it appears the Foundation will not be reapplying the block). SilkTork (talk) 11:02, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Excellent. Thanks SilkTork both for your steps and for updating the proles. One of the most egregious problems with the currently imposed situation is that this cannot be appealed (even in camera). I understand why a full SanFranBan (Foundation wide, all encompassing, for paedos, etc) does not have one, but for the temporary blocks like this must be able to be discussed and appealed against by those blocked - it goes against all forms of justice I can think of for someone to be punished without a full explanation, in which they are not allowed to put forward arguments in defence and then are forbidden to appeal against overly harsh treatment. - SchroCat (talk) 10:44, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) @SilkTork: I'm really pleased to hear that a member of ArbCom is talking directly with Jan and exploring ways of better cooperation in future. That has to be the best outcome we can hope for. It seems to me that the current issues have exposed a genuine gap in our dispute resolution procedures: that of where an editor feels harassed or bullied or victimised by another editor, especially one with a high profile in the community. Regardless of whether such feelings have any genuine basis, there exists the problem that an editor in that position will find it difficult to commence dispute resolution because of the fear of retribution in the context of our very transparent procedures. We do need some means of support for editors in that situation. However, I remain convinced that although T&S can offer real help (as is their remit) in supporting editors faced with those problems, I believe it is a mistake for T&S to take on the roles of investigator, judge, jury and executioner in those sort of cases. They will clearly be far more empathetic with the complainant, simply because he or she is the one they have worked most closely with. To then use Office action as the means of enforcing their decision in such cases is almost guaranteed to produce a strong reaction from the community, regardless of the propriety of the action. To Tazerdadog, I'd say that T&S actually has the opportunity to help bridge a gap in our systems as a partner with the community (or its representatives), rather than trying to be a replacement for them. --RexxS (talk) 10:55, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I believe that working together, the community and the Foundation can come up with a solution. At the very least, as long as there is consensus in whatever solution is agreed, the community will back and support it. SilkTork (talk) 11:06, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • SilkTork, it's nice that Jan's working on this, but if he wants to work with the community, he needs to work with it, not backdoor with you. Don't get me wrong, I've had my differences with you, but I do trust you in general. But ultimately, if there's to be a community solution, the community must be involved. That must start with WMF backing off from its position that it holds the authority to enforce bans over the consensus of the editor community, and it must start with discussion of this issue by him on the wiki, not via a back channel. Opaque back channeling caused this blowup to start with, and it certainly won't fix it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 11:14, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
To be absolutely clear. I am not making back door deals. In our email exchange Jan felt that we had different points of agreement on the moment the Foundation could get involved in harassment complaints, and asked me where I felt that moment should be. My response was: "As for where a line should be drawn where if crossed the Foundation should step in. That should be decided in an open discussion with the community. The community have evolved good rules and procedures through open discussion which gains consensus. And the community upholds very strongly the principle of consensus. If the community is involved in discussions, the community buys into any procedures and rules that are agreed. And the community would then back those rules and help enforce them. If the Foundation creates rules in private discussions, and then informs the community of these rules, there is resentment and a certain degree of push back. Work with the community and the community will work with you. Work apart from the community, and there will always be a distance, a suspicion, and a certain degree of resentment resulting in push back against unpopular decisions." I do not wish to speak for the community - my ideal is that the community and the Foundation speak for each other and do so together. SilkTork (talk) 11:26, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
"I am not making back door deals ... I do not wish to speak for the community", that's a relief to hear, though given your elected role, it's unfortunate that you are in a position where you have to make these statements. Hopefully that means you have not and will not be having any undocumented quasi-official discussions or secret emails, but Arbcom will be properly and officially represented in recorded discussions that not just the current elected Arbcom members will be able to review, but future elected Arbcom members will be able to reference, including all emails with the WMF. If you mean something else, then now would be a jolly good time to spell out what exactly what you are doing and who you represent. -- (talk) 11:38, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Fae, I do not think there is a reason to believe SilkTork does not have the community's interests at heart, and I think the message he describes sending to Jan is absolutely correct. I know it's hard to presume good faith in instances like this, but I believe we should here. Seraphimblade Talk to me 11:56, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Plenty of good faith, but I have lots of experience with different Arbcom members, both very good and very bad experiences. Arbcom members are elected officials carrying the trust of our community. It is not adequate to have secret conversations while still wearing those hats and later on say "oh, I was only writing in a private capacity, I cannot say anything about what was said or agreed, even for other Arbcom members to review." What we lack here is leaderships on transparency and good governance, you don't fix that by starting yet more secret "unofficial" conversations. There are never good reasons to choose to avoid good practices. -- (talk) 13:06, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
We've had good and bad people and good and bad editors serve as arbitrators and we've had effective and ineffective arbitrators. However, it strikes me as absurd that any Wikipedian, including the ones who've most explicitly been entrusted by the widest number of people in the community, cannot speak with any (willing) WMF staffer in an individual capacity about Wikipedia matters. SilkTork seems to have shown that they're trustworthy by reporting back what they've said. So far so good in my book. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 13:46, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
If I understand SilkTork correctly, members of the ArbCom have more information about this banning than will ever be released to the rest of our community, hopefully enough to form an opinion on it. If so, I'd find helpful if the ArbCom make a simple statement if they concur, dissent, or decline to comment on the grounds of T&S's ban of Fram. (In other words agree, disagree, or abstain from stating if Fram did something wrong.) And should a case be presented in the future where for whatever reason none of the facts can be made public, the ArbCom should be given the opportunity to make a statement to the same effect. -- llywrch (talk) 16:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Stewards did have a similar conversation with WMF during superprotect, formally and informally. While I understand the concerns about backroom deals, I think it can be helpful for WMF to have a conversation with someone without having to deal with the walls of text on this page and who they know won't personally attack them. --Rschen7754 18:15, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
For clarity, the information ArbCom had was minimal, along the lines of "concerns raised regarding Fram, looking into it" and "considering ban, looking into it", but no details (not who raised the concerns or what they were concerned about), and no timescale for when a ban might be applied or how it would be done, or if ArbCom would be consulted before it was done. My comment was regarding ArbCom's difficulty in responding to questions about how much ArbCom knew because, clearly, the very fact that the WMF is concerned about a particular user is confidential information. ArbCom can not reveal which users the WMF are concerned about. So ArbCom were put in an awkward position of not being able to deny the Committee knew that WMF were considering a ban, but not able to fully confirm it either as the Committee were unsure of what they could or should reveal. That is what I meant. SilkTork (talk) 21:34, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): Your statement is flawed. 1) There is no "non-public information" (other than private complaints to the WMF), unless Fram is lying. We can see all of Fram's contributions and whether they have been rev-deleted. Please show diffs of the harassment, if not, you are casting baseless WP:ASPERSIONS. Tagging new articles for improvement is not harassment. 2) You have not demonstrated that the English Wikipedia was unable to deal with this issue, so this is an unprecedented power-grab. That is the main question, not poor communication. 3) Mimicking private report functions from sites like Twitter or Facebook sounds questionable. They are considered to be pretty arbitrary and are affected by things like coordinated mass-reporting. This way there is no public scrutiny of the evidence. You are not real detectives or better than the community/ArbCom in this. There is a massive difference between enforcing the TOS when it comes to acting against child pornography and interpersonal disputes on-wiki. You are biting more than you can chew. --Pudeo (talk) 12:33, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): You have sanctioned Fram on grounds of harassment of another user -- so it seems from all of the evidence others have provided, & your own refusal to clearly provide an alternative interpretation. Congratulations: you have now just taken on legal responsibility for all cases of harassment on Wikipedia: the serious ones, the ones that could be settled through a simple process, & (especially) all of the irresponsible wild accusations that the usual troublemakers who infest online fora make. Failure to handle these in a prompt & reasonable manner means the Foundation legal department will need to handle lawsuits & the threat of lawsuits over this.

    You could have easily avoided this result had you first consulted the en.wikipedia community -- either as a whole or a proper representative body such as the ArbCom -- & stepped in only when the process arguably failed to arrive at a just & reasonable result. If you haven't noticed, even our members in good standing get a bit unruly, & our conflict resolution process is busy. Moreover, people are not always happy with the results of our conflict resolution process, sometimes for valid reasons. So where the members of the WMF could watch from some distance our chronic unruliness, & laugh at the ensuing foibles, you are now in this mess with us, & must needs sort out these conflicts for us.

    (Some advice from a long-time Wikipedian, who has witnessed more than a few conflicts here: many of these conflicts are about the content of Wikipedia articles, & to handle these conflicts one needs great familiarity with the subject of the article. Since Wikipedia's articles cover a wide variety of subjects, if I were you I'd get to becoming experts on a lot of different subjects. But don't try to save time by reading Wikipedia articles, since it has been known that some have mistakes, some omit material, & some give undue emphasis to certain points of view -- matters you can only detect by reading reliable sources, not Wikipedia articles.) -- llywrch (talk) 17:18, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

  • no ... system exists for victims to make reports privately without fear that their “case” will be forced to become public. Does the Arbitration Committee not qualify? – Teratix 13:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): It is important that victims of hostilities like harassment have a safe place to make reports and that we uphold and respect their privacy when they do so. Why? What you're enabling is anonymous reporting and sweeping punishments without anyone knowing what happened. Either Fram is lying (in which case, he SHOULD be desysop'd) or the accuser is. By masking the details in every way, you're not only masking the justice process, you're encouraging frivolous claims and leaving the rest of us wondering whether we're next. To be blunt, the lack of transparency here is astounding and WMF should be clear. From what I've seen thus far, Fram's ban stems from abusing sysop authority in some manner to harass another user. If that assessment is true, in order to prevent such behavior in the future, just say that. As it stands now, Fram's saying he hasn't and no evidence has been provided to prove otherwise. People are currently left wondering what was said/done and without the means to ensure we don't step into such a situation. Buffs (talk) 17:35, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @Buffs: Jan is right here. It is important for people to have a safe way to report abuses without exposing themselves to harassment. That's not the issue. The issue is wether or not Fram's conduct was actually harassment, or if Fram got banned for making someone feel like they were being harassed. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
      • @Headbomb: The problem is the whole thing. People who feel they are victims of harassment should NOT be allowed to anonymously report a situation and expect a punishment of the accused without having to present their evidence publicly (which is exactly what's happened here). I'm sorry, but the #MeToo movement has infiltrated our collective logic to the point that accusations are considered proof. What we have here is private accusation -> private investigation -> private deliberation -> public punishment. Fram had ZERO chance to defend himself. Now, if Fram threatened to kill another editor (or other heinous acts), that's something completely different, but why hide it?! It should be simple enough to say "Oversighted evidence has been submitted that Fram has threatened others and we've decided an outright ban in perpetuity is appropriate" (example only). This would clarify what happened and discourage further misbehavior. As it is, we have no idea what happened. I'm not even supporting him or opposing the ban in general. My problem is that the process here is woefully lacking in transparency. Buffs (talk) 19:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
        • "People who feel they are victims of harassment should NOT be allowed to anonymously report a situation and expect a punishment of the accused without having to present their evidence publicly (which is exactly what's happened here)." They most definitely should be. Let's say you live in Bahrain, and you edit primarily on gay topics. I call you at your home at 3AM every day, posts your personal information elsewhere, defame you on troll forums, and generally engage in fucking creepy behaviour. You have clear evidence of this. This is general reprehensible behaviour, but going with a 'public trial' jeopardizes your life, because it outs you. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Further comments from Jan Eissfeldt

I would like to thank you all for your comments and feedback in regard to my recent post. I will try to reply here some of the main points and questions the community has asked.

  • The changes to our Office Action policy were made publicly on February 19, 2019 as part of the documentation on Meta. It has not been our practice, historically, to report changes to T&S policy to the hundreds of local communities we work with. As I have noted previously, the use of local and time-limited bans is not a change of the team’s scope but was intended to be a less heavy handed option than indefinite global bans for cases that fall within the established scope. Their intention has been to close the gap between conduct warning office actions, which played a role in this case more than once, and indefinite global bans. The community’s reaction here to these more gradual bans has been clear that such less-”nuclear” options are both confusing and not felt to be acceptable and I will consider that carefully (and these two ideas, too).
  • Regarding questions on balancing fairness to the accused party with the safety of the accusing party, this is something we have been working on for quite a long time, and it’s not something we or anyone else has perfected. By default, we reach out to the accused party for information if doing so is possible without violating the privacy of the accusing - or other involved - parties.
  • To address questions about how the T&S investigations procedures work, I have asked my team to put together some public documentation that is easier to digest than the approval path table already available on Meta together early next week.
  • Regarding the desysoping action taken, my team's reasoning was guided by the precedent set in 2016. You can find a bit more on that in my statement to the ArbCom case.

I am continuing to read this and other related pages, and as noted in my ArbCom statement will continue to engage with the community on several other points next week when the public documentation will be ready. Jan (WMF) (talk) 19:35, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Thank you for paying attention to community feedback. I want to directly quote part of your ArbCom statement:
"Though my team followed precedent for a Foundation desysop of those who attempt to interfere in Office Actions, in deference to the confusion of this case, the Foundation will not be issuing further sanctions against or desysopping those who edited the block or the sysop rights of those who edited the Fram block to date. We defer to Arbcom’s judgment on how to proceed with regard to such behavior issues in this case."
I'm pleased about that, and I hope that it will help to lower the temperature of the discussions here. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:41, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Likewise! Buffs (talk) 17:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): I'd like to ask a follow-up question about process. Whether warranted or not, this action has been immensely disruptive to the community - saying that it has consumed many thousands of volunteer hours is probably an understatement. It should never have come to that. Based on the last decade and more of community responses to controversial actions by WMF, the community's reaction here was entirely predictable. Which makes me wonder
    • Does the T&S team have procedures to avoid or mitigate obvious, for want of a better word, shitstorms like this one? If T&S doesn't have its own procedures, does WMF?
    • Assuming that such procedures exist (and I find it hard to imagine that they don't), were they followed here?
    • If they weren't followed, why weren't they followed? Can you give the community some assurance that they will be in the future?
    • If they were followed, the procedures are wholly inadequate. Can you assure the community that they will be revised to avoid this? Are you willing to seek community input in revising your procedures?
    • Once you identified this as a critical incident, what was done? It took three days for you to respond. I assume that wasn't consistent with your crisis response protocol. Can you assure the community that you will ldo a careful post-mortem here, with a clear eye towards identifying and correcting the problems here?
  • I realise that you are all busy people, but can you commit to updating these procedures in a timely fashion? One month? Six months? This response has burned a whole lot of goodwill from the community to WMF - goodwill that was slowly accumulated since the last crisis. It has also burned thousands of volunteer hours, and if you're in the school of thought that sees volunteer hours in monetary terms, we're talking about many tens of thousands of dollars. Volunteer time is a precious resource. Keep that in mind. Thank you. Guettarda (talk) 20:05, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): I guess that link should have been to Office Action instead? The other page hasn't been modified since 2 April 2018. That policy page says that "The Foundation does not hold editorial or supervisory control over content and conduct in the Wikimedia projects; this work is done by a largely autonomous community of volunteers who, in accordance with our Terms of Use, create their own policies meant to uphold the educational goals of our movement. However, in cases where community actions have not been effective and/or legal considerations require us to intervene, we may take actions accordingly." The first part seems to repeat what many people have been saying in this discussion. The second part carves out the exception that T&S is relying on. Could you please clearly explain why you do not believe that enwiki community actions have been effective (can you claim they are ineffective if they have not even been tried?) or directly say that the ban was because of legal considerations (that would surely make everybody back off). Rasmus (talk) 21:10, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @JEissfeldt (WMF): It has not been our practice, historically, to report changes to T&S policy to the hundreds of local communities we work with. And every time the WMF takes some action that outrages the community this has been the case (and they happen every couple years or so on average). In the spirit of the definition of insanity (repeating the same actions and expecting a different result), please consider whether that practice is suitable for achieving the overarching goals. Things that affect this community needs to be discussed with this community (and I do mean discussion, as equal partners, with real possibility of the WMF changing course as a result). And if there is some critical reason why the WMF has to overrule the community (a legal obligation or whatever), then being ruthlessly open, communicative, and transparent about it is critical. As others have said (I want to especially call out Risker's and Headbomb's messages here), the current situation was both predictable and preventable: we could have avoided the wasted volunteer hours, the wasted staff hours, and the damage to the trust and to the relationship between the community and T&S and WMF as a whole. --Xover (talk) 07:32, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I translated Jan's comment for the German equivalent of the village pump (de:Wikipedia Diskussion:Kurier#Update). I am following your discussion closely since this is an issue that is also highly important for the German wikipedia (see the infinite local ban against de:User:Edith Wahr from 19 February). I see some hope in Jan's statement although it is certainly insufficient in some points. It would be very good if a global discussion about WMFOffice bans and T&S could begin as soon as possible, and, as far as I understand, Jan is ready to participate. Where could such a global discussion take place? The discussion on en.wp is necessary and has to be continued, but a global issue should additionally be discussed on meta.--Mautpreller (talk) 16:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
German equivalent of Wikipedia:The Signpost, you mean, I think. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:00, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. You are right that the Kurier is a kind of "newspaper" but its talk page is definitely the place where issues of general relevance for the German-language Wikipedia are discussed. We don't have a page "Village pump".--Mautpreller (talk) 20:13, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Didn't know that, thanks for the clarification! That will be useful if I ever need to post a notice at dewiki! Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • So here's something that has troubled me and I'm hopeful that JEissfeldt (WMF) can actually assuage me, and perhaps other members of the community, on. Trust and Safety talks about how they can't do a ban, that they need to go to legal and the executive director to get sign-offs. What percentage of the time don't those sign-offs happen? A good process for me, and one that would give me confidence that we're not in star chamber territory, would be 3 - 10 percent of the time and maybe a bit higher in looking at Conviction rate. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Comments from Risker

*Noting that I see Jan Eissfeldt has written something while I was drafting and reviewing the text below, so some of the concerns I have identified may have been (partially) addressed.

Like many English Wikipedians, I have felt very conflicted about the OFFICE action that has imposed a one-year ban on Fram on this project only. Now let's be clear. There are plenty of people on this project who would not have been the least bit distressed if Fram had been blocked and/or desysopped using our own community processes, and I respect that opinion, whether or not I share it. I've also had a long and generally positive experience working with what is now the Trust & Safety team, going back more than 10 years. Most of my problems center around the processes that have led to this action. My critique of recent events is focused primarily on the process.

Complete lack of communication in the change of use of OFFICE actions: Until this week, everyone on English Wikipedia understood that an OFFICE action against a user was taken when there was no appropriate local process to address the issue, or the issue needed to be addressed globally. We knew this meant things like paedophile advocacy, realistic threats of harm against other users, deception in access to non-public personal information, or something to that effect. It was big, it was major, and it was quite literally unaddressable by the community, and it justified a permanent removal from all projects.

Then came the ban on Fram. It is localized, it is of comparatively short duration, it is unappealable, and it is for reasons that are deliberately not being shared with the community. This is pretty much the opposite of what everyone on this project (and in fact, just about everyone in the global community) understood OFFICE actions were all about. This change in use of the OFFICE power has been completely undiscussed with the Wikimedia community in any formal setting of which I am aware, at either a local enwiki level or a global level. This is a major failure of communication, because it leaves contributors uninformed of what kinds of behaviour may lead to OFFICE actions. It is clear from what we have learned from the Dewiki and Zhwiki communities that the practice of localized bans was put into place some months ago (although this appears to be the first non-permanent ban), so there is no justification for failing to inform the global community of the change in the use of OFFICE actions.

Failing to differentiate between previous OFFICE actions and this new type of action: Until this past week, it was widely understood that OFFICE actions were permanent removals of a person from all projects. It was the "nuclear weapon" that both local and global communities recognized was needed in certain narrow circumstances, and that is why it has been respected for many years. This current usage is not in any way similar to that usage. While Trust & Safety may feel that they need to carry out these (potentially temporary) local actions, it is very inappropriate to be using the same tool for this as it is for those well-understood "nuke" situations. If a user is not so irredeemable that they are still allowed to contribute on other projects, then a different tool is called for. It is not reasonable to use the biggest weapon in the arsenal to deal with a localized issue; surgical precision is required, and OFFICE is not it.

Target selection: This is the first OFFICE ban of its kind, a time-limited single-project ban affecting a user on the largest Wikimedia project. In order to develop community buy-in for this new process, it was important that the target of the ban be someone who was clearly behaving in a way that was (a) unacceptable to a significant part of the community and (b) whose inappropriate actions were focused on the ordinary editorship. Community buy-in should be a primary goal in taking such an unprecedented action, particularly when it disproves everything that the community understood about such actions. It is unreasonable to believe that Fram is the only "problem" user whose behaviour is being watched by the Trust & Safety staff. The WMF should have waited until they had a better target.

Fram's reputation on this project revolves mainly around two things: he is very active, productive and generally appropriate in his content and administrator work, and he has been a thorn in the side of the WMF technology/developer teams for a very long time. There have been some justified complaints about the manner in which he has interacted with WMF staff. Fram also has a pretty good history of being right when pointing out problems with software or technical matters, and going against WMF Tech/Development (especially when they are creating major issues that have large-scale negative impacts) has historically been one of the most frustrating and thankless tasks that community members could take on, which has earned him the grudging respect of community members in some quarters. There is also a history here of concerns or complaints about Fram from people who have or are perceived to have a disproportionate influence on WMF staff compared to "average" contributors. Whether or not this history was involved in any way in the final decision to block, it is the one point that is clearly visible to the community when we look at Fram's contributions.

Involvement of stewards: Stewards are specifically selected by the global community to carry out certain technical activities. They are specifically *not* selected for their understanding of or ability to carry out dispute resolution, content management, or individual user behaviour management. They do not have the knowledge, experience, or scope to deal with these situations. Nothing that occurred here, particularly as it is a local ban, required or even suggested there would be any useful input or action on the part of stewards. On enwiki, only users with super-advanced permissions (i.e., checkuser and oversight, Arbitration Committee, and those who run the Arbcom elections) have any reason to work with stewards, and the majority of stewards have no connection to the enwiki community. That they have "more information" than even the local dispute resolution body about this block is extremely disturbing. If the WMF wants to turn stewards into their "community authority", then the global community needs to be informed, and the global community needs to have the opportunity to select stewards on a completely different basis.

The illusion of safety: The overall impression given by the OFFICE action in this case is that the WMF has decided to implement a radical change in its manner of dealing with what it perceives to be unacceptable behaviour on the part of individual community members without formally discussing with either the global or local community, and has used a tool that was previously only used for very serious situations that were clearly outside of the ability of local communities to address. The WMF is treating this as a shot across the bow for communities to....well now, here's the hard part. It's completely unclear what their concern is here, what they want us to change, what they see as problematic. It comes across as a FUD campaign: we'll temporarily ban people who did something wrong according to rules we haven't shared, but we won't tell you what they did, what can be done to prevent similar actions, or whether we'll change the [unshared] rules again without telling you. This is why even people who don't like Fram, and even those who think Fram was behaving unacceptably, are having a hard time with this ban. Bluntly put, I feel much less safe working on a Wikimedia project today than I did a week ago, because one of the most fundamental understandings I had about working here has now been proven wrong.

A message to the community: Please, stop being cruel to individuals whose names have come up in the course of this issue; if ever you wondered why User:WMFOffice exists, those of you who have overpersonalized this situation have illustrated the point quite well, while also not helping to bring impartial eyes to the situation. Admins and 'crats, please don't unblock/resysop again until more of the dust has settled and we have had the chance to talk this out as a community. Let's stop the "fork" conversations; it's not going to happen. There are issues, yes. Some of these need to be addressed at a global level, not just here on enwiki, and we will need to consider exactly what message we want to send, how we can encourage other projects to understand and join in our message, and what outcome we really want to see. Let's take some time to think about that.

Risker (talk) 21:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Was there any involvement of stewards in this? I don't recall any. Vermont (talk) 21:31, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
#Why were Stewards notified in advance and not ArbCom? higher up on this page. --GRuban (talk) 21:40, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Well said, Risker, and thank you. Enigmamsg 21:35, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
That's a very good summary, thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:40, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks also from me.--Ymblanter (talk) 21:44, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Well said as usual, Risker. I do believe Jan's simultaneous statement has somewhat addressed some of your concerns, particularly the "illusion of safety" bit, but there's still a lot of "finding common ground" to be done here. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 21:47, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I am afraid the statement actually confirmed the worries of the safety illusion.--Ymblanter (talk) 22:00, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm referring more to the "we banned someone and we're not saying why" aspect of that section. Jan was a little more clear on that than the previous WMFOffice statements. Not as clear as they could have been, probably, and certainly not as clear as some of the loudest voices would like, but if those voices think we're ever going to have full public hearings of sensitive harassment cases on Wikipedia, they're delusional. But no, I feel no more (nor less) "safe" from Office actions now than I did yesterday, nor on April 16th nor in 2014, for that matter. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:00, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Ivanvector, I don't feel any safer because of Jan's statement. It is good that at least some of the communication issues have been recognized, but it is only one small part of this. And no, when we still have no idea what kinds of interactions are triggering T&S warnings to users, let alone bans, there's more that has to be done here. Risker (talk) 23:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Note on the involvement of stewards: Indeed we are not selected for dispute resolution, but that isn't our role vis a vis global bans. Our role there is oversight of a Foundation process, specifically regarding use of advanced access by Foundation staff on-wiki and application of the appropriate global policies. Those are areas that we have always been involved in, and are not a change from the status quo. That said, I agree that for local Foundation actions they should be looping in the appropriate local group. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 21:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes. I know that stewards have said things like "what the hell, why did this WMF person OS this page on Meta, it does not meet the policy and there is absolutely nothing sensitive" many times before. Many stewards are/have been obsessive and paranoid (and yes, I put myself in that category). --Rschen7754 00:22, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Ajraddatz, I could see your point about a global ban, although I'm not entirely persuaded that stewards are the right group to handle that, and might actually suggest Ombuds would be more appropriate; however, we are not talking about a global ban in this case. We are talking about a local ban. There was no need for steward involvement or for informing stewards, since there is no element of it that falls into that group's jurisdiction. Risker (talk) 00:52, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
The Ombuds have a very specific scope and are not accountable to the global community. Stewards and T&S are both global groups, so I think it makes sense that if we are going to have a quasi-oversight role, we be informed of all WMF actions as they pertain to members of the community. As I've said before, when this impacts just one project then notifying the appropriate local group makes sense too. But for us to have a big picture understanding of the WMF's involvement, we need to know about things like this ban, the removal of CUs from zhwiki, and other actions targetting specific projects that still fit within a bigger picture of WMF actions. And I'll throw my usual plug in about these being internet websites and the counter-productive nature of setting up more and more pretend jurisdictional boundaries. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 01:16, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
After seeing how badly they bungled the Alex Shih case (and basically the entire second half of 2018), I don't even trust OC to do what they are currently scoped to do. --Rschen7754 04:04, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Very wise words. Yeah the Fork idea does seem a non starter. There's been dozens of attempts over the years to create a successful Fork. No one serious wants to fund another elitist Citizendium, but in the case of inclusionist Forks, they sometimes attract millions in Funding. ( E.g. Everipedia (which raised over 30 million, and includes a blockchain implementation) & more recently Golden (which raised over 5 million.) There's a reason why even hyper inclusionist search giants like Google don't provide them the support they need. Given that nothings ever perfect in this wicked world, they've concluded that Wikipedia is already about as good as it gets. FeydHuxtable (talk) 21:52, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
The WMF is endangering it. The idea of a fork would be to take it away from them to save it, not to start all over from zero articles. Yngvadottir (talk) 22:01, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
No one ever tries to start from zero articles (Well they do, but when that happens it's not a fork by definition.) The fork attempts useually start with a full copy of the Wikipedia database. But so far they never take off, even when they have millions of dollars of seed funding along with advantages like a much better UI and a deeply inclusionist ethos. I was surprised to read someone as perceptive as yourself seems to have such low trust for WMF. Maybe you could meet a few WMF staffers at the various RL events they often attend - they're not so bad once you get to know them. Though I agree this Fram affair could have been handled better, to put it mildly. FeydHuxtable (talk) 22:19, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
A quick answer because I have to prepare for work. I spoke above of the real names requirement the WMF imposes for offline interactions, and the way it potentially endangers vulnerable editors. I am a woman, in case that isn't obvious. No, I will not reveal my identity to the WMF. In addition, I personally happen to be unusually well placed to meet WMF staffers (I may well bump into some at the grocery store every weekend) but in general "Spend money and time coming to visit us so we can reassure you that we are human" is condescending.
What I looked at this page again to find a place to say before work is to underline one point Risker made: that this makes her feel less safe. It should. Asserting the right to disappear one of us makes us all less safe. I've recently spilled pixels in Wikipedia space and in e-mails about the "win at all costs" school of argument many editors belong to, its fundamental incivility, and how it makes me feel far less safe than f-bombs, and has led to my withdrawing from improving articles on important topics, and more and more into trivial little articles. But this isn't helping. This is making editing less safe. Who will they target next, without even explaining it to their target? Yngvadottir (talk) 05:04, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree with most of that, and thank Risker for a good distillation of my own hard-to-put-into-words concerns. A more general, but (sorry Risker) even better written distillation coming from a slightly different direction is here. But I'm much more pessimistic than Risker: unless Doc James comes away from this widely over-anticipated meeting tomorrow and has been shown proof (rather than just be assured that proof exists) that I'm 100% off base, my faith in WMF T&S - which until recently, until 3 goddamn days ago, was nearly unshakeable - is irretrievably broken. They were like the one portion of WMF I respected. Now I realize that WMF in general (and now I'm guessing T&S in particular) literally doesn't care whether my trust in them is broken; I'm an easily replaceable cog. Maybe a few of my peers here care, which is why I even bother to spend time typing this. --Floquenbeam (talk) 22:04, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "stop being cruel to individuals." Bottom line. The problem begins and ends with that issue. Thank you Risker for laying out that issue. Montanabw(talk) 22:10, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words, and for picking up an important point (even if it's something of a buried lede), Montanabw. I'll point out, though, that we really don't know what constitutes "cruel" in the minds of the WMF at this point. Risker (talk) 23:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for reminding me of that page, Carcharoth - enwiki functionaries were directly invited to comment. My comment centered around the fact that there was a major conflation between disruptive editing and harassment in a lot of what was there. That "consultation" is still ongoing, so I doubt it had any significant bearing on this specific case, which seems to have been initiated about 14 months ago, based on what Fram has said. Risker (talk) 23:24, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Risker, Carcharoth: On June 13, Rosiestep posted this 3-minute video on the gender gap on her "About me" userpage: [11]. In it Sydney Poore (aka FloNight on EN-wiki), who is a member of T&S, states that both a "Universal code of conduct" and a "New reporting system" would be implemented next year. The timing of the video (uploaded to YouTube June 11) seems eerily connected to the Framban. Softlavender (talk) 07:05, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Softlavender, the video in question was posted on my talkpage before I added it to my "About me" userpage. The video was created by the University of Washington in 2019 to document a study it conducted a few years ago. While harassment has long been an issue in the wiki movement, there is no connection between UW's debut of the video and "Framban". --Rosiestep (talk) 15:02, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Rosiestep I suspect the concern is more that the community is finding out about things that may affect them deeply not from the WMF, but from third-party sources. This lack of transparency has been an ongoing failure of the WMF over the years (Flow, Visual Editor) and doesn't appear to be improving. Black Kite (talk) 15:10, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
To be fair, the work over there by Sydney Poore (FloNight) has been going on for a long time. I don't think it would be fair to read too much into the timing. More likely those working on that are (privately) very annoyed at how difficult this heavy-handed use of a project-specific WMF ban has made their work. See also the note left by Sydney here:

A quick update to note that there are adjustments being made to the timeline for designing and developing the User reporting system. The plans will be updated in the next few weeks. SPoore (WMF) Strategist, Community health initiative (talk) 18:39, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Carcharoth (talk) 13:46, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

'The Trust and Safety Department identifies, builds and - as appropriate - staffs processes which keep our users safe; design, develop, and execute on a strategy that integrates legal(used as a noun), product, research, and learning & evaluation to proactively mitigate risk as well as manage the overall safety of our online and offline communities when incidents happen.'

Solecistic texts of bureaucratese only confirm the impression that the thinking and judgment behind the 'User reporting system' are going to bring about another fuckup. Compare any wiki policy page: they are, unlike many articles, lucid, grammatical and unstraightjacketed by legalese. We do things better here. I guess that noting things like this, in context, can be taken as a form of harassment? Nishidani (talk) 14:19, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
You got that from meta:User:SPoore (WMF)? I don't think it appears anywhere else. I don't think focusing on that will help. It would help more if more people participated in the discussions over there. Carcharoth (talk) 14:28, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I clicked on all the links given on this page, and read them, finding that first. I've been thinking about the various cultures in conflict in these discussions and, at a discursive level, noting that while the two sides agree that we have a communication problem there is a yawning gap stylistically between the prose written by the Office and that generally written by Engwiki editors, arbcoms or peons as the case may be. The former is characterized by brevity, carefully calibrated with an eye to legal issues and a nodding formal gesture of courtesy to the plaintiffs. The latter is a no-holds-barred multi-perspective survey of implications, precedents, source and claims evaluations etc. There is no dialogic prospect in sight, given the diversity of presuppositions at work. I prefer not to contribute to the discussions because I think we should, having an extensive coverage of opinions at least on these boards, try to synthesize the gravamens of the dispute (in good part excellently marshaled by both Seraphimblade and User:Risker) and conceptualize the problem in formal terms, at this point.Nishidani (talk) 15:25, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I realiza a lot of people have thanked you already, but these comments are spot on. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 23:23, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Risker: Excellent statement. Between you and Seraphimblade (below), plus a few other comments here and there (EllenCT, I believe), the description of the situation has been very clearly laid out and analyzed. Now, if the folks at WMF would only pay attention... Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:18, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I understand the various issues and their possible ramifications much better now. Thank you @Risker:, THANK YOU. I also appreciate the "Trust is..." essay mentioned by @Floquenbeam: above. Shearonink (talk) 02:41, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Well said indeed. Civility is important, but it is not going to be improved by random lightning strikes from up high. T. Canens (talk) 04:06, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Risker: I'd like to deny the claims that stewards have or have had any kind of involvement about this or any other OFFICE actions, or that we have or have had --or will have FWIW-- any more information about this matter.

    1) If we ever get notified about any OFFICE action all we get is a courtesy notification that said office action has happened, as those usually happen on Meta logs and we patrol them, but we ain't informed about why, the backgrounds, etc. I think it is safe to say that we as a group know as much as many people know, that is: nothing. And I personally know nothing about this whole lot affair. As such, your claim that "they have "more information" than even the local dispute resolution body about this block is extremely disturbing" is, all due respect, not true. I cannot speak for the ArbCom of course, and I don't know if they know anything about it or if they know something. We ain't consulted, asked for our advice or asked to give our sign-off about anything the office does; and we shouldn't either. It is not our role.

    2) As steward I have -and I think many of us- do not have any interest in being any kind of "community authority" for the WMF Office or any staff member. They do not need us either. WMF staff have local and global user groups which grant them enough user permissions to work autonomously, as I think it should be. The only exception is granting and removing global user rights for staff members on staff request, which is in the hands of the stewards.

    So to sum up: we don't have any information about this and we ain't, nor we have any interest in becoming any sort of WMF Office enforcers. I of course assume good faith on your part but I felt I couldn't those innacuracies without a reply. Best regards, —MarcoAurelio (talk) 10:07, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

    • @MarcoAurelio: During early 2015, we were given a very brief explanation about some of the earliest bans (in the stewards-l archives). I specifically remember because well, I'd rather not know some of those specific details. Are you saying that this is no longer the case/was not the case for this particular ban? --Rschen7754 13:34, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't know what happened in 2015, but in 2018 and 2019 we don't get such thing. — regards, Revi 16:39, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
You have access to the archives, you can find out Face-smile.svg But hmm. That is interesting. --Rschen7754 18:09, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @MarcoAurelio:, thank you for your comments. I reached that conclusion based on statements in more than one forum by more than one steward that they had advance information about this local ban before it was executed, and it seems from what Ajraddatz wrote above in this specific section that they agree that stewards are at minimum informed about global OFFICE actions, and implying that there was information exchange about this specific OFFICE action in advance. Now, perhaps there's something happening in the middle here - e.g., one or more stewards being informed directly instead of a post to the Stewards mailing list - but I'm finding the difference in information to be perplexing. I'll leave it to the stewards as a group to sort out what does and doesn't happen. I was writing based on information I received from people whom I believe to be reliable sources, but perhaps that information was incorrect. Risker (talk) 18:50, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
      • To be clear, before any action is taken by T&S against a user we get an email telling us what the action is, who it is directed against, when the action will be executed, and a very vague reason for the action. We also are given access to a certain type of private information that allows us to identify which WMF actions on-wiki are taken as part of which investigation. This information is for our information only and we don't have a say in the process, at least not formally. Sorry if I have been unclear or misrepresented something above. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 19:19, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Risker's comments are an excellent description of people's concerns about this action and why they exist. What concerns me most is how the way this action was taken is that it has undercut those members of the community who trust the WMF and have been trying to improve WMF-community relations. I agree with all off the statement, including the call for local admins not to escalate further and for everyone to be less personal, more kind and avoid conspiracy theories. Thank you User:Risker, GreyGreenWhy (talk) 12:55, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with your comments, Risker. Thank you for stating things so clearly. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 18:52, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree with much of what Risker says. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:26, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Similar to what I said about NYB's comments, this is a good structure for what needs to be covered by a consensus resolution. Clearly Jan hasn't immediately solved every concern, but (and I think Risker you'll disagree a bit here) between the recent statements here and at WP:ARC, he and the T&S team have acknowledged these concerns and have said they will make actionable progress on many of them. Indeed, I think the timing may have been ideal, as it suggests a cogent but independent agreement by two parties on the underlying concerns while simultaneously deescalating. Progress! ~ Amory (utc) 10:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Editor retention

Top Wikipedians compared to the rest of the community, 8 January 2014.svg

It's been noted by various people that if you piss off the volunteers, they leave. This is certainly true. However, I strongly suspect that the people who worry about our governance process, or are even aware of its existence, is a very small faction of our volunteer community. They may do a disproportionately large share of the editing (not to mention all the mopping), but overall, they're not who we need to be worried about when we're talking about editor retention.

The pie chart I've linked to is five years old, but I doubt anything has changed much. The top 10,000 people, which almost certainly includes all the people who have commented here, contributed 1/3 of the edits. The rest of the community contributed 2/3.

Let's assume WMF does some hypothetical thing which pisses off enough of the top 10K, that 10% (uniformly distributed) of them quit. Let's further assume that this same action makes wikipedia a more user-friendly place by reducing aggressive behavior, threatening language, and disharmony. Which results in a 10% increase in retention among the long tail of the community. This gives us 3% fewer total edits from the big users, but 6% more total edits from the small users, for a net increase of 3%. Even if you stipulate that this thing done by the WMF was a breach of process, it's still a win as far as increased community involvement is concerned.

Yeah, I know. The numbers are somewhat made up. And it doesn't take into account that the top 10% includes essentially all of the users with advanced capabilities. But, the WMF doesn't exist to (only) serve the serve the power users. It exists to serve the entire user community. As do all of us in the admin corps. My value as an admin isn't when I adjudicate some highly technical AfD argued by policy-quoting experts on both sides. It's when I help a newbie with something that needs a mop and convert them into a long-term contributor. I think we sometimes lose sight of that.

-- RoySmith (talk) 23:06, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

RoySmith, I think you're right to a degree, and we should generally try to avoid having a bite for new contributors. That being said, though, pissing off a few senior contributors to the extent they leave might have the same impact as annoying thousands of new contributors, since many of them only edit once and never again. We need to think very carefully before we do that. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:29, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
Not everyone with less than 8000 edits is new. Some of them may even be among us. —Rutebega (talk) 23:49, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
  • RoySmith: Do the pie chart and your premise ignore the quality aspect of wikipedia articles and edits? If you count edits that are vandalism, disruption, misinformation, disinformation, blogging, testing, plugging of WP:WWIN content and such as equal in value to a high-quality summary of peer-reviewed scholarly sources, then your analysis is right to that degree, but deeply flawed from the community aims perspective. It is generally the repeated vandalism/abuse/disruption/gaming/disrespect of our content and editing guidelines that get our admins and active editors obnoxious and hostile. Sometimes they are more obnoxious than is necessary. Yet, Wikipedia needs these gadflies if we want well-sourced, scholarship-based, neutral and better quality articles. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 00:41, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
It's certainly true that much of the "rest of Wikipedia"'s edits are poor in one way or another, and have been reverted - especially 5 years ago and further back. But equally, and especially in those days, quite a lot of the top editors' work was doing the reversions. Johnbod (talk) 16:24, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
T&S versus the effects of false information and disinformation?
        • Johnbod: Thanks. We need to find ways to politely, yet firmly, discourage poor editing. Or better, how to evolve the poor editors into better editors. I tend to review, edit or intervene in dispute-filled, sensitive topics relating to religions, history, ethnic or interreligious conflicts, elections, and such topics in South Asia, East Africa and elsewhere. I am concerned that some well-meaning editors commenting on this Framban page may not be considering the "Health and Safety" impact on our readers and our fellow human beings too poor to afford internet-connected devices. There can be and sometimes is a real effect of fake hate propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and careless (or intentional) nonsense in en-WP article by the way it affects the social media, public or political discourse. We need watchful and when necessary aggressive admins to help maintain the quality of Wikipedia articles. All editing is not of the same value. Quality is important. Our admins and editors need an open community-consensus process to patrol and act. I hope the WMFOffice initiatives at T&S and the actions such as Framban do not adversely affect the "Quality and Reliability" of en-WP content. We must not jeopardize the "Health and Safety" of individuals and communities affected by what our articles contain (e.g. our health/pharma/medical/civil war/terrorism/past genocides/conflicts/etc articles). Of course, we can and should achieve this without unnecessary obnoxiousness or hostility between editors. Obnoxiousness and harassment is, at times, a serious problem in en-WP. We must welcome new editors, yet we must also be protective of our admins because they are, at times, subject to a lot of abuse and burnout. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:24, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @RoySmith: - while it's an interesting argument (and not without at least some theoretical benefits), your penultimate line reads "it's when I help a newbie with something that needs a mop and convert them into a long-term contributor". Your hypothetical mooted a 6% increase in new edits. But that assumes that the loss of helping editors + loss due to a less well-run website, won't eat away those new editors. The aggression absolutely does drive them away. I would like a firmer CIVIL requirement... though one that is promulgated, not imposed from the darkness. However there is more than one way to discourage new editors from sticking around. Nosebagbear (talk) 08:45, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Editorial independence of the English Wikipedia community and response to Jan

This statement addresses the above one from the WMF. Simply put: The English Wikipedia editor community is entirely editorially independent from the Wikimedia Foundation. That means that, in addition to not deciding what English Wikipedia content may be, the WMF may not decide who may or may not write it. We have asked the WMF to step in for a few areas, such as child protection, threats of harm, or legal issues. However, it should be noted that the English Wikipedia community handled these issues before the WMF even existed. Wikipedia founded the WMF, not the other way around. The WMF exists to serve, not rule, the community, and absolutely may not step into any situation without being invited to do so. And the WMF may never, under any circumstances, overrule the community. The following is a direct response to Jan's statement and its numerous inadequacies, including its failure to concede editorial independence of the English Wikipedia to our editor community. We will not accept less than that.

Dear members of the English Wikipedia community,

My name is Jan Eissfeldt and I’m commenting in my role as Lead Manager of the Wikimedia Foundation Trust & Safety team about the team’s recent investigation and office actions. In addition to this comment, the Trust & Safety team will be making a statement at Arbitration Committee Requests/WJBscribe tomorrow.

I want to apologize for the disruption caused by the introduction of new type of sanctions without better communication with this community beforehand. While these changes were the result of the changes to the Trust & Safety team’s processes, and are not an expansion of the team’s scope, I know that these changes to the processes came as a surprise to many people within the community, and that many of you have questions about the changes.

This is not acceptable. You do not "communicate changes" to the English Wikipedia community. You ask if you may make them. If the community says "no", you do not make them, or at least you do not implement them here. WMF is not a "higher authority", and you may not push through changes without the consensus of our community. The problem is not (only) poor communication, it is entirely inappropriate action. The WMF may not overrule the English Wikipedia editorial community.

Responding to community concerns about the office action requires deliberation and takes some time. We have been in active dialogue with staff and others - including the Board - to work on resolutions, but we understand that the time this takes opens the door for speculation and allowed concerns to expand.

You have, however, not been in active dialogue with the English Wikipedia's community.

I realize that this situation has been difficult for the English Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee (ArbCom). The Trust & Safety team apologizes for not working more closely with them in the lead-up to this point. We will improve our coordination with community-elected bodies like ArbCom across the movement when carrying out our duties.

Actually, you used to do this when I was on ArbCom. In the instances you had concerns about a user, you forwarded it to ArbCom. So, it is not "We will ban a user based on private evidence, heads up ArbCom", it is "We have concerning evidence about a user, here it is ArbCom." Except in cases of child protection, threats of harm to self or another, or United States law or court order, the WMF does not have the authority to ban editors on the English Wikipedia.

I also want to elaborate on the reasons that Trust & Safety cases will not be discussed in public and often not even privately with members of the Wikimedia movement who sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). When we receive non-public information, the Wikimedia Foundation must handle it in a manner that is both consistent with our Privacy Policy and any other commitments made to the person disclosing their information. When dealing with sensitive allegations of inappropriate behavior, we must ensure that we are upholding a relationship of trust and confidence with people who have entrusted us with personal information about their experiences. This means that even in cases where users have signed a community NDA, our legal obligations may not allow us to share information given to us.

If you require an updated NDA, have Legal develop a better one. You must be allowed to share information with the community organizations, such as ArbCom, involved. If your current NDA and policies don't allow that, ask for Legal's assistance to fix them so they do allow it.

Additionally, I want to explain the reason for using a role account when performing office actions and during follow up communication. Decisions, statements, and actions regarding things such as Office Actions are not individually-taken; rather, they are a product of collaboration of multiple people at the Foundation, oftentimes up to and including the Executive Director. As a result, we use the WMFOffice account as a “role” account, representing the fact that these are Foundation actions and statements, not a single person’s.

Do you really think your volunteer administrators have never gotten harassed or threatened as a result of on-wiki actions they took? I really wish I had the thirteen page death threat I once received for deleting an article, telling me in exquisite detail how the individual planned to torture and murder me. I just got a laugh out of it. If someone actually means to hurt you, they won't threaten you, they'll just do it. (Much of what they described was probably physically impossible, too.) If you take an action, you put your name on it. If it is Katherine who approves these bans, she should provide notice of them from her account. If you know what you did was right, stand behind it and put your damn name on it. Not some poor WMF staffer tasked to do it; the person who ultimately made the final signoff on the matter.
I've gotten a whole load of death threats, "You're a __________!", "You're corrupt!", whatever else, from decisions I've made as a volunteer on the English Wikipedia over this past decade. Now WMF wants to tell me that people who get paid to do this get to use some anonymous account, while I put my name on everything I did and still do? (For the record, I wouldn't have used some anonymous account even if I had the option. If I make a decision, I made it, and I will take responsibility for it. But if those of us who don't get paid a nickel put our names on what we do, and sometimes suffer negative consequences for it, you damn well can too when you're getting a paycheck to do it. If occasionally the reaction to that is negative—tough.)

Some of you may remember that Trust & Safety staff used to sign with their individual accounts when discussing Office Actions. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible due to safety concerns for Foundation employees, as in the past staff have been personally targeted for threats of violence due to their Office Action edits. I am taking the step of making this statement personally in this case due to extraordinary necessity.

Again, not acceptable. If you were the final or highest-level person to sign off, put your name to it. That's who is ultimately responsible. It is, at that point, not the "Wikimedia Foundation's" doing, it is your doing. If you would be ashamed to do it, then don't do it.

There continue to be questions from some people about the Foundation’s Trust & Safety team doing investigations about incidents occurring on English Wikipedia. I want to clarify the rationale for Trust & Safety doing investigations when requested and they meet the criteria for review.

Part of the Trust & Safety Team’s responsibility is upholding movement-wide standards based on the Terms of Use. We recognize that each of the hundreds of global communities under the Wikimedia umbrella have their own styles and their own behavioral expectations, but we also believe that there must be a certain minimum standard to those expectations. Sometimes, local communities find it difficult to meet that minimum standard despite their best efforts due to history, habit, dislike by some volunteers of the standard, or wider cultural resistance to these standards. However, it is important to keep in mind that even communities that are resistant to it or are making a good faith effort are expected to meet the minimum standards set in the Terms of Use. In cases where community influences or barriers interfere with the meeting of these minimum standards, the Foundation may step in to enforce the standards - even in situations where the local community dislikes or outright opposes those standards.

The "Trust and Safety Team" may not overrule community processes or consensus. The WMF needs to very, very swiftly disabuse itself of the notion that it is a "higher authority" than the English Wikipedia community. Wikipedia created the WMF, not the other way around. You exist to serve, not to rule, this community. If we say you may not step in for some particular thing, then you keep out of it.

It is important that victims of hostilities like harassment have a safe place to make reports and that we uphold and respect their privacy when they do so. The Foundation is currently working with the community on a User Reporting System that would allow communities and the Foundation to cooperate in handling complaints like harassment, and we have every hope that that system will facilitate local, community handling of these issues. However, at the current time, no such system exists for victims to make reports privately without fear that their “case” will be forced to become public. Indeed, it is often true that a mere rumor that someone was the victim of harassment can lead to harassment of that person. Unfortunately, that has been proven the case here as some individuals have already made assumptions about the identities of the victims involved. Accordingly, the Foundation is currently the venue best equipped to handle these reports, as we are able, often required by laws or global policies, to investigate these situations in confidence and without revealing the identity of the victim. That is why we will not name or disclose the identities of the individuals involved in reporting incidents related to this Office Action.

If the community decides the case should be public, it should be. The WMF does not exist to overrule community decisions it considers wrong. If a case involves private, off-wiki evidence, the ArbCom can already handle that in private. If it does not, it must be handled publicly. If you don't like that—in short, tough. The WMF does not exist to overrule community decisions it considers wrong.

There have been some concerns raised about the level of community experience and knowledge involved in Trust & Safety’s work. The Wikimedia Foundation’s Community Engagement Department, of which Trust & Safety is a part, supports contributors and organizations aligned with the Wikimedia Foundation mission. In order to conduct informed and contextualized investigations, safeguard the community at events, and support community governance, Trust & Safety has focused on building a team with a combination of deep Wikimedia movement experience and team members who have experience with Trust & Safety processes with other online communities. To better assess incidents, the team has people from diverse geographic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We have former ArbCom members, administrators, and functionaries, from English Wikipedia as well as other language communities, informing our decisions, and expertise from other organisations helping to build compassionate best practices. We have utilized all of this experience and expertise in determining how best to manage the reports of harassment and response from members of the community.

If they were familiar with the community, they should've known the fallout this would cause. The English Wikipedia jealously guards its editorial independence. If the Foundation staff is not explicitly invited to enter in an area, you are not welcome, and you must stay out of it. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with past Foundation interactions should know that. And the English Wikipedia is not "other online communities", so experience outside it is totally irrelevant.

One of the recent changes to the Trust & Safety policy is the introduction of new options that include time-limited and partial (project-specific) bans to address serious concerns that are considered temporary or project-specific in nature. This change to policy is not a change of the team’s scope of cases taken. However, it does alter the way that sanctions are enforced and unintentionally introduced ambiguity about the ability of local communities to overrule office actions.

This is a very troubling assertion. If previous globally banned editors were banned for similar reasons to Fram, that calls into question every global lock or ban the WMF has ever placed. Did you just accidentally leave Fram a way to defend himself? WMF should be intervening only in the most serious issues, not garden-variety "harassment" claims.

In acknowledgement of the confusion caused by the application of this newer type of ban, we will not be issuing sanctions against or desysopping those who edited the block or the sysop rights of those who edited the block to date. However, despite the ambiguity in its application, the ban continues to stand whether it is being technically enforced by a block or not. Should Fram edit English Wikipedia during the one-year period of their ban, the temporary partial ban of User:Fram will be enforced with a global ban (and accordingly a global lock). We must stress again that Office Actions, whether “technically” reversible or not, are not to be considered reversible by a local, or even the global, community, no matter the circumstances or community sentiment.

Let's neither of us be disingenuous, please. Floquenbeam, Bishonen, and WJBScribe knew they weren't supposed to do what they did. They didn't care and they were very deliberately acting in defiance of your overreach. You may not ban editors for simple incivility, whether or not you like the way the English Wikipedia handles it. It is outside your authority.

The occurrence of Office Actions at times is unavoidable, but it is not our intention to disrupt local communities any further than necessary. Here we failed on that score, caused disruption to your community, and we welcome feedback about how such disruption could be avoided in the future when the Foundation takes Office Actions, and ask that we all engage in a good faith discussion bearing in mind the legal and ethical restrictions placed on anyone within or outside of the Foundation engaging in reports of this nature.

Very well, here's the feedback: Don't ever again take an action of this nature. Take office actions only where the community has agreed you may: United States legal requirements, child protection, or threats of harm to oneself or others. Otherwise, leave control entirely local, and refer any complaints to local English Wikipedia authorities, even if you grit your teeth while you do it.

In addition to asking for feedback about the trust and safety office actions in this incident, over the next year, the Foundation will be asking members of the Wikimedia movement to work with us on several initiatives that are designed to promote inclusivity by ensuring a healthier culture of discourse, and the safety of Wikimedia spaces. --Jan (WMF) (talk) 20:44, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

That's nice. But Wikipedia ain't a "safe space", it's a website. People of a lot of different temperaments are there, and we like it that way. If you're going to participate in a project like it, you need something of a thick skin. It's the real world, not a safe room. But regardless, how it is run is ultimately decided by the community, not the WMF.

For these reasons, this statement, while at least from a named individual, is still inadequate. It tries to reassert that the WMF has the right to step in and overrule the English Wikipedia's community. It does not, and anything less than a full acknowledgement of community control is not acceptable, no matter how nicely it might be worded. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:34, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

It also verges on useless for other reasons. Once again, the statement takes a default position of "everything about this matter is privileged", which is both facially false (they haven't sanctioned Fram for what they have said on Commons and even if they had the three strikes and an explanation as to why the ban was limited should not be privileged) and only continues to Streisand things even more. We've had it with the stonewalling, and this is basically more of the same. I will give Jan credit for putting the responce in her his name, but the fact remains the responce is still woefully deficient in key areas, and isn't going to help de-escalate things because it does not address some of the concerns with overreach and governance a sizeable chunk of the regulars are starting to have. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 23:56, 13 June 2019 (UTC)
@Jéské Couriano: FYI Jan is a male German name. -- King of ♠ 00:21, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Yep, I'm also pretty sure 'her' is a 'his'. Trust me. See Nick Moyes (talk) 00:26, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Apologies, corrected. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 00:28, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Bravo Seraphimblade, well said!Smeat75 (talk) 00:38, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
+1, brilliant response. CoolSkittle (talk) 01:10, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
In regard to T&S not notifying the English Wikipedia about changes to their procedures, do you expect them to ask all 750 or so communities prior to changing the way T&S operates? Of course, they could have done more than simply editing the page, like leaving a message on the Wikimedia Forum, but it's simply infeasible to ask every community to approve changes to WMF operations prior to them taking effect on their wiki. In regard to your opposition to leaving messages with the role account, it's useful for leaving messages on behalf of the entire WMF Office. From what I understand, there is rarely, if ever, only one person behind decisions like these. Thank you, Vermont (talk) 01:07, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
That was easy enough for the Foundation when moving from GFDL to CC-BY-SA. EllenCT (talk) 01:16, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I think that sidesteps the point in what is, overall, a rather poignant response. Thanks for taking the time to draft it, Seraphimblade. El_C 01:12, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
@Vermont: To be pragmatic, 99% of those wikis will never be the subject of office actions. --Rschen7754 01:15, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Vermont, I would certainly expect them to ask prior to implementing it on the English Wikipedia, yes. Wikipedia founded the Foundation, very literally, not the other way around. The English Wikipedia is not a WMF project. WMF is an English Wikipedia project. They are not a "higher authority" over our community, and they may not intervene except where they are explicitly given consensus that they are welcome. WMF may not horn in on our community. Whether any other communities come to that same decision is up to them. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:18, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
@Vermont and Seraphimblade: - it would obviously be impossible to gain the consent of all 750 local communities. It would also be damaging to the global community just to require en-wiki's permission. However it would be well within the abilities to put together a global discussion, advertising that changes are being mooted on all 750. I cite as an example...the current advertising we have, the brand change, etc etc. An excellent piece of work Nosebagbear (talk) 08:53, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Excellent response Seraphimblade, in every respect. Not to overdramatize, but this is a line in the sand that badly needs to be drawn. If anyone thinks that Jan's statement was the beginning of a dialog between equals, they are deluded. There have been more than 40 comments and several very serious questions in response to Jan's statement, and not a single response back from him. That tells you everything you need to know about what the foundation thinks of the community that created it.- MrX 🖋 01:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
In my view, this is unfair. Many of those comments and questions are indeed cogent and serious, and deserve response, but expecting a thoughtful, and complete response within a few hours is unreasonable. In addition to contemplating how to respond, he also has to prepare for a board meeting today, and I want him preparing carefully for that meeting.S Philbrick(Talk) 13:30, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I think it's very fair. When you have assumed the role of spokesperson, you don't dump and run. You stick around to answer questions honestly and openly. A 1400+ word statement is not a substitute for the dialog that we should expect from our infrastructure partner.- MrX 🖋 12:17, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Strongly support Seraphimblade's response above. DuncanHill (talk) 01:37, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This is the best and cleanest distillation of my own views on the subject that I've read in this entire thread. Bravo. Tazerdadog (talk) 01:40, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Very well laid out, Seraphimblade. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 01:45, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If anyone is looking for a more popular piece of text to be written on this issue, it had better be written on a pink slip. Wnt (talk) 02:02, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • What Seraphimblade said, a thousand times yes, or in my best Australian vernacular, piss off WMF.- Nick Thorne talk 02:04, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If accurate then this pretty much is the bottom line. Randy Kryn (talk) 02:07, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Seraphimblade: An excellent analysis and statement, bravo! I agree totally and completely with everything you wrote. I dearly hope that Jan, the other folks at T&S, the rest of the WMF office and Jimbo and the rest of the WMF Board pay very close attention to this because their failure to do so is simply going to exacerbate the situation. They need to reign themselves in and disabuse themselves of the notion that they can operate in the manner it appears they wish to. I think it abundantly clear that the editing community is not going to stand for the abrogation of its rights, and that what they're seeing in the response to their actions isn't a mere blip on the radar, it's a full-scale defense of what is by history and right ours, and not theirs to do away with whenever they want. In short: this is a big deal, and it's not about Fram, something they clearly have not shown that they understand. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:13, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • At first, I saw this and thought "TL;DR". I read it, anyway. I'm glad that I did. Well said, Seraphimblade. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 02:16, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If I can nudge my way in between everyone patting each-other on the back here, obviously the WMF is the legal owner of the site regardless of whether this domain was registered before the WMF was founded. The WMF is the legal entity that is responsible to governments for what goes on here. I disagree with most of the other stuff that Seraphimblade is saying but don't really care enough to argue it point-by-point, just want to note that this is not a unanimously-shared sentiment within the community. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 02:21, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Not unanimous, but I think the opposers are in the minority. I don't even know Fram, and I support Seraphimblade's statement. starship.paint (talk) 02:30, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    You know, I'm pretty sick of hearing this point being trotted out as if it has some relevance, when it has absolutely none at all. I've read the vast majority of this page, and I don't recall anyone denying that, legally, the WMF owns the website and the servers etc, but that's hardly the point. The arguments being made here are about our historical, moral and ethical rights as the builders of this encyclopedia, and as the force that was the impetus for the WMF to come into being. Everyone knows that if the WMF wanted to, they could shut down the servers, or blank the website, or block all the editors, or desysop all the admins, or whatever authoritarian actions they might want to do, but the question is not can they, but should they, not whether they have the means to abrogate our rights, but whether they should do so from a moral and ethical standpoint, and, if they do, what our response should be. The "legalistic" POV is self-defeating and nihilistic; it says that since they can do whatever they want because they own the place, the' we can't do anything about it, which is simply just not true. Unless the people at the WMF are soulless, immoral, unethical zombies who care nothing about the fate of their premier website, they are susceptible to being swayed by argumentation, protest, and just acts of "civil disobedience", which is precisely what is happening. If you believe that their legal ownership of the place means that they are willing to destroy it, I believe you are very sadly mistaken, and deluded especially about the realities in play here. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:40, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    I would prefer that you don't call me deluded, thanks. I should be able to argue an opposite point of view from you without being attacked. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 02:44, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    "deluded (adj.) believing something that is not true" -- so it's not by any stretch of the imagination an attack. Nevertheless, I've rephrased. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:46, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Thanks, I appreciate it. For what it's worth I agree with the general point of your comment. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 19:21, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Bravo to all of this. Detailed and when necessarily, biting. I see nothing to disagree with here. The best result here would be Fram's desysop reversed, all evidence forwarded to ArbCom for ruling, and every person at WMF who had a part in this mockery of justice needing to check the want ads. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 02:24, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Jan Eissfeldt needs to be terminated from employment by WMF. No confidence. Carrite (talk) 02:29, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Of course nobody should be fired over any of this. It's a learning experience for all involved, and in the long run will be good for WMF and the rest of the community and bring everyone closer to the ideals of civility and assuming good faith. Randy Kryn (talk) 02:42, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure about that. Referring to Headbomb's post above, if this is his case 1, then we can treat it as a learning experience and move on with the same people in their current roles. If this falls into his case 3 or 4, this is not possible, and heads will have to figuratively roll at the WMF to restore the trust. If its a case 2, then it is context and detail specific. We still do not know what it is because the current communications from the WMF have been light on the details and specifics. Tazerdadog (talk) 04:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Situation 4, obviously (but I agreed that's like crackpot). Situation 3 would be awful, but it'd be hard to target the blame (not because they've merged, but because even with a boss, I think we'd be targeting one member unfairly). I also think it would be counterproductive to actually solving the issue (if they thought their jobs would be part of any resolution, obviously they'd be motivated not to agree!). Nosebagbear (talk) 08:58, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I really dont understand how people are saying the WMF can or cannot do anything. They can do whatever the fuck they want to with this website. They can turn off the lights if they want. Early on somebody said we arent just the tenants here. I think thats right, but not for the reason they meant; tenants pay rent and have rights. We arent tenants, we are guests. We can try to reason with them and hopefully they see that the value the WMF is able to offer anybody and why anybody would ever donate to them is the work of us guests, but this is in fact a privately owned website and the WMF is the owner of it. It is quite literally their property. Like any other non-profit it has certain responsibilities, but agreeing to this projects "independence" is not one of them. the WMF may not decide who may or may not write it: Yes they can. The WMF may not overrule the English Wikipedia editorial community. Yes they can. I struggle to think of anything involving this website that is actually outside of the foundation's authority. You may not ban editors for simple incivility Yes they can. It would be, and is, incredibly stupid, but they certainly can do it. nableezy - 02:30, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Per my response above, you are completely and totally mistaken about the real-world situation. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:40, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Im sorry, and Im not trying to be rude, but your historical, moral and ethical rights dont mean shit. In the real world the owner of private property retains the right to determine who may access that property. I dont know how what has happened so far has not reinforced the fact that we in fact do not run shit here. That if the actual owners, not what you think are the ethical owners, want to do something to this or any other website they own that they will in fact do it. We can try to convince them it is a bad idea, that it will result in attrition of the people that actually provide it with value, that it is morally and ethically wrong. But pretending we have some power here is not the same as having power here. nableezy - 02:46, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Technically, the community has 3 seats on the board and affiliates have 2, out of 10 total. The community vote will inevitably be tilted towards the more populous projects due to one user, one vote, while the affiliate vote has a much more diverse composition, but both can be thought of as representative of the community in some way (House and Senate, if you will). And the board governs the corporate entity of WMF. So there do exist checks and balances to keep them in line - at the very least they cannot afford to alienate the entire global community. This is of course far removed from everyday WMF affairs, but we own the WMF just as much as the American people own the United States. -- King of ♠ 03:10, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
As an American, that made me smile and then cry nableezy - 03:25, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
But that's IMO the key point. We do have some influence but it's limited. And the more important point is that our own real legal control comes about via how we affect the board's composition. If people feel that morally the WMF cannot override the community that's up to them and ultimately probably not worth getting into dispute over especially not here and at this time. But I'm concerned that some people seem to genuinely believe that legally the WMF cannot override the community. Whether because of something to do with the history of how the site was formed and the WMF or some other reason. My belief, which as I said below is not based on much, is they are seriously mistaken and actually the WMF is right and if these people actually try to prove it via the only way possible i.e. a court case, they will lose spectacularly. And I think this is important since if I'm right, it seems to me they're in for a world of hurt when I'm proven right. And besides that, I do think that having some basic understanding of the actual legal situation is important here. I am particularly concerned that people may be contributing with some mistaken belief of the legal situation since I'm all for people making informed choices about how they spend their time and efforts which requires the 'informed' part. Nil Einne (talk) 04:16, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
@Nil Einne: - A massive amount of this debate is based on the morality of an organisation formed to serve the community taking unrequested additional control. You're certainly right on the legal side - but this discussion (both generally and this very section) has never just been about that. Nor should it. Both morality and pragmatically (in the sense of damaging the Community) are vital areas to consider. The idea of putting them off is inappropriate and unwise. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:21, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • You response provided zero real information to demonstrate what you are saying is true. Not for that matter did Seraphimblade's responses. Nor does mine or Nableezy's of course. I strongly suspect however that Nableezy's response which is fairly similar to my view, is far more likely to be correct. Notably, I'm fairly sure that the WMF's view of the situation has competent legal advice behind it. From what I can tell, so far no one has provided legal advice supporting your or Seraphimblade's view on the WMF's lack of ultimate control. Also, even if you did receive legal advice supporting your position it could easily be a moot point. Like it or not the WMF has a lot of money behind them as well. Maybe you'll be able to convince enough people to act pro-bono but if not you're going to have to convince enough people here to put their money where their mouth is and fund the multimillion legal case you'll need to test the WMF's view of their control. To be clear, I won't be helping fund such an effort in any way because I think it's a long lost cause and a bad cause at that. I have no sought legal advice supporting my view of the situation is that the WMF is correct, it's simply a gut feeling based on the little I know of the law etc. Still to be clear I do believe whatever the history here, they now have ultimate authority to decide on what goes on in all their sites. The time to challenge that if anyone wanted to has long passed. Nil Einne (talk) 02:59, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • From a moral and ethical purview, this is a very good response to Jan's statement and (+1).
    Obviously, no merits from a legal viewpoint but that would mean that the WMF can choose to not pay any heed to our concerns, at any time. Fork off or fuck off has always been a favorite phrasing of the pro-WMF clique but it has not yet worked. WBGconverse 03:02, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Absolutely the above is completely wrong. Nonsense to imply that the Office is intervening on editorial matters, it is intervening on gross behavior matters and about systematic allowance/celebration of bullying/harassment which is intolerable. The current Wikipedia community has absolutely failed in protecting people, in addressing rampant bullying, in controlling idiotic tendencies for mob rule (evident on this page). I and I think the majority of persons who have participated in Wikipedia (most of whom have been driven away by bullying and other idiocy here) certainly do hope/believe that some control / strong actions / whatever will come down from above, by rights of the owners/managers of this site, to address the bullying and idiocy. Right, it is hard for people who have gotten their way to absorb this. Any which way it is communicated will be blasted with further idiocy (sorry to be blunt), such as the ridiculous dismissals of any validity to the Office's position due to some being dumbfounded about the one-year term of the action taken. With ridiculous assertions that because it is a one-year term it must be wrong, etc. The majority here has no willingness to recognize any circumstance under which bullying and gross behavior here can/will be tamped down. I certainly hope this Office action is the first of many in a increasing sequence that will be imposed upon continued inaction/idiocy on the part of the collective Wikipedia community. Of which I am a part, I and you and everyone should recognize that the sum of our actions has been pathetic, and we are all to blame. Any outsider, any consultant about bullying/harrassment is indeed appalled at what goes on here. I am really glad some action is being taken, maybe enough to prompt this community to begin to consider what needs to be done to head off further escalating actions by the Office. There is little willingness shown on this page to begin that process, it is all raging protest which I personally think is pathetic. Sorry, that's just my opinion. --Doncram (talk) 03:11, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Doncram, thanks for your opinion. I appreciate that but has no intention of providing any response other than noting that an erstwhile Arbcom heldd an unanimous view that you accused others of harassment w/o any merit or seeking proper resolution and that you were hardly much competent at editing, either. Obviously, you were being harassed and they failed to recognise;-) WBGconverse 03:17, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Doncram, what sort of improvements do you think could be made to make WP:HARASS and the like actually have teeth? —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 03:39, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Huh. It'd be great to see the substantiation of your version of events regarding this particular incident with even a single shred of evidence of bullying and/or harassment. Unfortunately, WMF hasn't provided any of those, so I'm not sure why you're filled with such conviction about it. Grandpallama (talk) 14:46, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Bullying and harassment are a problem. Fram is not the one doing them. And Star Chamber trials are not the solution. H.L. Mencken defined a free society as one where it is safe to be unpopular. And safety depends on having rights. When you don't know you have any rights, and are dependent on the whim of someone else, that gives them license to bully you, and to demand that you bully others on their behalf, and to make you afraid to act to defend those who are bullied. Wnt (talk) 05:49, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I absolutely agree with everything in Seraphimblade's response. Well said! Sperril (talk) 17:20, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Sub-section break

  • Several people above are saying (to paraphrase) "WMF owns the site, they can do what they want". This isn't quite true. WMF isn't a private owner like, say, Facebook. They're a non-profit, and they're bound by a variety of rules and laws. They're custodians of the site, and they're required to act for the public good. Guettarda (talk) 10:51, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I empathise with a lot of what Seraphimblade says above, but I have to say a good bit of it is ideological rather than practical. I won't say much in response, but I just want to pick up on the one point...
    "If you require an updated NDA, have Legal develop a better one. You must be allowed to share information with the community organizations, such as ArbCom, involved. If your current NDA and policies don't allow that, ask for Legal's assistance to fix them so they do allow it."
    I'm not a legal expert, but I've come across similar cases in my own employment, and I think that misunderstands the legal issues surrounding confidentiality. As I understand it, if the WMF receives a confidential complaint, it can not share it with anyone outside of its own legally employed and contracted agents - and you can't write an NDA that gets around that. I think it could be shared with ArbCom members if those members signed agreements making them contracted agents of the WMF, but that obviously can not and should not happen, for many reasons. Whatever the Wikipedia community wants ArbCom to be responsible for, it can not be responsible for confidential complaints sent directly to the WMF (at least, not without the consent of the complainant). Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:13, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Actually, providing data to someone under an NDA is generally considered a good-faith effort in keeping that data confidential. And the WMF could easily enough post a prominent notice saying "By contacting us, you agree that information you send us may be shared privately with volunteers who have signed our non-disclosure agreement. We will not share your complaint with anyone who is not under NDA." There you go, complainants are put on notice that such data could go to the appropriate ArbCom or other functionaries if needed. Seraphimblade Talk to me 11:21, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Re "Actually, providing data to someone under an NDA is generally considered a good-faith effort in keeping that data confidential." There might be conditions under which that would be acceptable, but laws on confidential personal information are quite strict (and are different in different jurisdictions). Adding clauses like "We will not share your complaint with anyone who is not under NDA" does not allow WMF to get around the law if the law is more restrictive than that. Again, this is all as far as I know - you'd need to ask a legal person to be sure. But my main point is that it's pointless trying to make up clauses that would enable what you want unless you fully know the applicable law and/or have legal advice. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    WMF is in the United States, and under US law, that is quite sufficient. (I do know that, while I'm not a lawyer, I've had to look at that extensively in regards to data privacy.) WMF is not subject to any other jurisdiction—and if it somehow is, especially European jurisdiction, well, get the hell out of there, as of now. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:00, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Certainly the WMF is in the US, but it would be foolhardy to ignore European legislation - as a number of US companies have found out. Also, I'm just saying you need to be sure of your laws regarding personal information, conduct and complaints before you can tell us what WMF can and should do. And it's not just data protection - my own experience has covered data protection (for a US company that also operates in Europe, as it happens) and also the handling of personal issues and complaints. It's easy for armchair lawyers to say "It's easy, just do X, Y, and Z", but in reality it's usually a lot more complicated than that. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:07, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Well, those companies have assets and offices in Europe, so they're subject to European jurisdiction. WMF, to the best of my knowledge, does not. The best advice for any tech company for who it is not too late is to stay far, far away from Europe. But I certainly don't want to see WMF trying to comply with utter botches like GPDR or Article 13. Just stay out of Europe, and let European courts rule against you all day long—you've got no assets to find against there. Seraphimblade Talk to me 12:14, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    I agree that GPDR and Article 13 are, as you say, botches. But does the WMF want Wikipedia to be closed down in Europe? Anyway, that aside, European law is something of a distraction. We need to be sure of US law (if that's all that's applicable) regarding these issues before we can propose what the WMF can and should do regarding confidential personal issues like harassment complaints. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:28, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    If it has to be an employee/contractor, let the community elect an ombudsman, and let WMF hire them as a contractor. It's about oversight and trust. Guettarda (talk) 11:33, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    @Guettarda: - excellent idea. Did you mean only using one ombudsman? How about multiple of them? I was thinking maybe three? With reserves. starship.paint (talk) 14:38, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
But (unless of course they have to make it all public, which defeats the object of the exercise) would this still not be "in secret" and therefore not transparent? All this means is that those who can muster the most votes can run the secret tribunals, and I am not sure that is any better (and also remember, demographics change, you may be in charge now, but will you hold the power 10 years form now, in fact maybe that is the whole point here, a cable of edds who used to have it all their own way who no longer control the vertical). Sorry but any oversight body must be wholly independent of who they oversee, not beholden to a popularity contest to hold office.Slatersteven (talk) 14:47, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: - not that this is a carefully thought-out idea, but I was thinking elect them for something like a 1-2 year term with the option of being re-elected maybe once. Pay them for their time (so they're a WMF contractor), but don't make this a real "job". Have them report to the ED (since employees shouldn't be answerable to the Board). Mostly it's about having someone the community trusts who has the power to oversee and review things (again, in a way the Board can't, or shouldn't be able to). And yeah, maybe, as Starship.paint suggested, have three, so it's less of a burden. Guettarda (talk) 16:01, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
And as I said, this might not be a good idea as the make up of the community is already changing "What's happening to this project? is a cry we often here, in part because of situation like this "do you know how long I have been here?". I am reminded of Brexit and Donnie in the US, Do not assume that you are on the winning side.Slatersteven (talk) 16:09, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: - 1 year terms (with no consecutive terms allowed) shouldn't have too much of community-changing. There should be elections for such posts. starship.paint (talk) 00:43, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I did not say it would change it (in fact I am implying the exact opposite, it will reflect it, the whole community). I said that it will reflect any problems the community has regarding attitudes and enforcement.Slatersteven (talk) 08:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • A fair point Boing! said Zebedee. However, Seraphimblade's option is a better way for the WMF to deal with such confidential complaints. WMF is responsible for running the servers, but the community is responsible for the content being held on those servers. Issues arising out of editors' behaviour on-Wiki need to be delt with by the community. If there are weaknesses in the way the community deals with those matters the solution is to modify those processees or institute new ones. In no way is it appropriate for the WMF to usurp the community, not least because of the denial of natural justice inherent in Star Chamber procedings. - Nick Thorne talk 11:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Sure, but the best way to handle confidential complaints is always constrained by the legally permissible ways. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Except there is no obligation for the WMF to accept confidential complaints at all. Existing processes to handle sensitive issues already exist, such as WP:OTRS. - Nick Thorne talk 13:24, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Are there no legal obligations to do so? Are you sure of that? And even if there are no legal obligations, are there no ethical obligations? I think there are, and that there must always be an appeal-to-the-top avenue open for people dissatisfied with standard procedures. And as I ask below, "should people be able to send an OTRS request and ask for it to be kept confidentially from ArbCom?" I think they should. I suspect a lot of people calling for blood here would be among the same people shouting "Go straight for the top and don't be put off" when people are treated badly by companies and other organizations through official channels. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 14:03, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If the WMF thinks it has some legal obligation to do this, explaining what law requires them to might be rather a wise idea. But generally speaking, the only thing an interactive website must be set up to handle is DMCA complaints. A site owner doesn't otherwise have to moderate their site whatsoever. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:48, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • And the ethical obligations I suggested? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:04, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally any statement which claims "the only thing" in reference to a legal obligation is probably wrong, especially when it's not coming from someone who has extensively studied the law on the matter. The owners of Backpage found out the hard way that the DMCA was not the only thing they had to worry about.

    To be clear, I'm no way suggesting that what happened here is similar in any way, or even that there was a legal requirement (I don't know enough to say for sure although I suspect the legal requirements here were very limited or non existent). I'm simply giving an obvious example of where US law has seemed to suggest (the case resulted in guilty pleas so wasn't tested to the limit on the constitutional issues) there is some requirement other than DMCA compliance. Remember also that while Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act has created greater mostly untested legal requirements, the Backpage stuff predated FOSTA-SESTA.

    There is an interesting point in the Backpage case, AFAIK common in a lot of US case law surrounding similar issues and which I know has come up primarily in relation to copyright before in relation to the WMF. Namely the some would say ironic situation that the more someone gets involved, the greater legal risk they generally raise for themselves since they may no longer seen as a simple service provider with safe harbour protections but instead a publisher or similar. How this relates to the situation here is complicated. Simplistically it may suggest it's a mistake for them to get involved, but that assumes you're only worried about minimising legal liability. If you're worried about doing the right thing however you define that, then it's far less clear the WMF should avoid involvement simply because it may create greater liability and requirement for them to be involved. Notably, I hope no one in this discussion wants the WMF to be involved in child protection cases only because of the possibility of legal risk.

    An interesting additional point here and the main reason I even bring the "irony" point up. It's clear from these discussions that plenty of people don't like it when WMF staff who in some way interact with the community have little experience or involvement with the community i.e. are not active on some wikimedia site. I wonder if this involvement itself may create legal risks with the WMF being viewed as a simple service provider. Having clearly delineated accounts for staff and "volunteer" contributions may help, but unless there is some case law which has tested this I wonder how easy it will be to have confidence in how the courts will rule. This strikes me as the sort of thing where what you say publicly and what lawyers tell you privately may differ precisely because you don't want any courts using it against you.

    Nil Einne (talk) 19:58, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

  • GDPR (the most aggressive data protection, afaik), would generally accept bound volunteers of an organisation as suitable to see data, otherwise smaller charities would be unable to function. However this might be contingent on whether we'd count as volunteers under the WMF banner or just helpful individuals who have no link. However, I'm inclined to think that the WMF must already accept the involvement of certain editors as sufficient, otherwise OTRS agents (who get hoards of private information going to a wikimedia email) would appear to be unsuitable. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:31, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    Interesting. But GDPR is, as you say, specifically data protection, and I doubt that is the only applicable law when it comes to harassment complaints. Also, WP:OTRS does clearly say that it is handled by "a group of volunteers who answer most email sent to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation," and I doubt that volunteer flexibility would be applicable to confidential complaints sent directly to the WMF outside of the OTRS system. But even then, should people be able to send an OTRS request and ask for it to be kept confidentially from ArbCom?

    Along those lines, I think we are in danger of missing an important ethical issue. If someone believes they are victims of harassment, in my view they absolutely should be able to make a confidential complaint to the WMF without having it handed off to a non-WMF body. That the WMF handled the current issue with what many of us think was woeful incompetence a very ham-fisted approach should not detract from that. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:16, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

    Hypothetically under the GDPR a European editor could just do a subject access request for all communications and information regarding him held by the WMF. Since the T&S team insist they perform full investigations etc etc, all this material would be covered. Where the WMF is located, or keeps its data, is irrelevant to GDPR as GDPR applies to all individuals and organisations handling data about EU citizens. Members of the board and quite a few employees are in the EU and so are reachable by the various data commissioners at an individual level. Should the WMF wish to redact/hide the identities of third parties mentioned in their material (but would still be required to provide the material) there are other options. The UK has Section 35 DPA requests - essentially an organisation has to disclose the identity of individuals for the purposes of legal actions - eg you want to sue someone in a civil court for, purely hypothetically here, making libellious statements about you to an organisation you are volunteering for, and the organisation wont tell you who it is or provide evidence so you can defend yourself. I make the comparison here between the two to point out - a SAR is not a legal action. Its a right guranteed to all EU Citizens (and residents of the EU) and an obligation for individuals and organisations who collect data in the EU or on EU residents to comply with. If is not complied with, the next step is reporting to the data commissioner. A section 35 DPA request IS a legal action, being a prior step required in many civil cases in order to make sure the correct individual (to be sued) has been identified. I really dont think Jimmy and the other EU board members want to start having to answer questions to ICO and its EU equivelents about why they are holding star chamber courts on EU citizens with private undisclosed evidence from other unnamed EU individuals. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:20, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Here's one theory that all of the pieces match. Fram was in an ongoing tussle with someone (who they already named) who has connections at WMF. They used those connections (plus the poor system over there) to get Fram smacked. The silence could be to both protect the reporter and to avoid embarrassment and backlash from what actually happened. North8000 (talk) 15:45, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Of course, or there could be another reason, but no one should be forced to reveal personal data about a third party just to prove they are innocent. No one should resort to (what is in effect) blackmail. But it might be nice to have a link to this "tussle" so we can all judge who was at fault.Slatersteven (talk) 15:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
North8000, you're only about the 350th person to make that suggestion (and I only exaggerate a little). Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:12, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Boing, sorry I mostly missed that or I wouldn't have repeated. Slatersteven, Fram gave it in their post. North8000 (talk) 16:52, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Forfice me but this is a huge thread and I cannot find their post, not is one listed in their edit history.Slatersteven (talk) 17:23, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Consider yourself forficed ;-) Fram did not make the allegation, but it has been suggested by others in various locations. I don't know where now, and I would not expose it further if I did, as it is entirely without evidence and only serves to throw more shit at more people. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:42, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't agree with your (Seraphimblade) dismissive attitude towards violent threats. You may be able to laugh them off, but others don't and shouldn't have to, and they have the right to take measures in order to protect themselves. You have chosen to edit without anonymity and the paid staff has chosen to work for the WMF, but neither should have to tolerate threats of violence. -kyykaarme (talk) 18:02, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Kyykaarme, please don't get me wrong, I don't condone doing such a thing. I consider threatening violence against another editor to be grounds for an immediate, no-questions-asked indef. But at the same time, "I might get a threat on the Internet" isn't the end of the world either. I've been getting them since before the World Wide Web existed (if I might date myself a bit), when it was still Usenet and BBS setups, and I'm still quite alive and healthy. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:08, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I generally agree with the sentiment expressed by Seraphimblade, though I find some of the suggested courses of action to be a bit extreme. Still, I think this shows just how much the WMFOffice screwed up in this instance. Their actions didn't even follow their own rules, so they had to make up new ones that were never communicated to the community they were allegedly "protecting" from the "extreme threat" of Fram. </sarc> If they (WMFOffice) take anything away from this, I hope that it's a willingness to work within the existing framework rather than throwing firebombs at it. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 18:57, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I thank Seraphimblade for an excellent analysis. (And I take some pleasure in seeing multiple community members providing clear-headed and insightful examinations of what happened.) Although it's already been discussed at some length in the replies to the statement, I want to comment further on the legal and otherwise relationship between the WMF and WP. I agree with a lot of what BMK said above the section break. Yes, under US law, WMF "owns" all of the infrastructure of all of the WMF projects. And they have the legal right to require every project to adhere to Terms of Use. So WMF could decide at any time, without consultation with the rest of us, to shut down the servers and make the websites go dark, any time they want to, and I doubt that any court in the US would rule against their doing so. Likewise, any legal owner of a private business has the legal right to mismanage it to the point of running it into the ground (although a private charity has some legal obligations to their charitable contributors, just as a publicly-traded business has certain obligations to shareholders). But the fact that something is legally permissible is not the same thing as being sensible. The whole concept of everything-"WMF" is to crowdsource each project, including en-Wiki. Without an editing community, the WMF would have the legal right to soldier on with the websites, but they would be in a practical and ethical bad place (and their charitable contributions might very well dry up). When the en-Wiki community agreed to comply with the ToU about office actions, that was based on the community's understanding of what office actions were going to be. And it seems very unlikely that what was done with Fram falls within that understood scope. (Maybe there's something I don't know, I admit.) The fact that WMF has the US-legal right to do what they did to Fram does not entitle them to expect a happy or placid response from the crowd that crowdsources en-Wiki. There is nothing sensible, in terms of fostering a wiki-based editing community, in what WMF did here. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:06, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
    • @Tryptofish: don't you think that as a non-profit WMF has to adhere to a very different standard than a for-profit company? A non-profit has a mission and a defined set of by-laws: I'm not sure that shutting down the website would be consistent with its mission. Sure, the board could probably vote to dissolve, and distribute their assets in a manner that's almost certainly pre-defined. But they can't say "I'm bored, let's do something else". Guettarda (talk) 21:17, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Could they deviate substantially from their annual plan without getting approval from the Board? Guettarda (talk) 21:19, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
        • Those are good questions, and I better begin by saying that I'm not a lawyer. When I referred to "WMF", I was lumping WMF staff together with the Board, but it's true that the Board is really who is in charge with respect to the staff that they employ. I would think that the Board also makes the final decisions on their by-laws, so at least in theory, they could change those by-laws, albeit with the probable need for following a specific procedure for doing so, and they are certainly free to decide to revise annual plans mid-year. From my personal experience (having successfully sued a university in the US, as an employee thereof), at-will employment does apply to non-governmental non-profits in the US. That means that a non-profit such as a private university (and I assume a charitable organization) have rather broad legal rights to treat their employees however they want, so long as they don't violate any law, basically on the (very capitalist) legal theory of giving very broad rights to leaders of non-governmental (private) organizations to do anything legal that they want to do. I assume (but could be wrong) that this also means that they have pretty wide discretion to make and internally enforce any (law-compliant) rules that they want to. So I'm pretty sure that I'm correct at least to the point that the WMF Board could enact any (law-compliant) rule or policy they want, and the editing community would have zero chance of success at getting a US court to intervene. But my point was that doesn't matter in the topic of our discussion here, because it would be practically and ethically disastrous to make rules that alienate the crowd that crowdsources the reason for WMF's very existence. Now, if it happens that the restrictions for charitable organizations are stricter than what I think, then that would make it even worse for WMF to do something that undermines their stated mission. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:47, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
          • (tangent warning!) As a technical point, the WMF Board does not interfere in staffing decisions, this is entirely the CEO's authority. The WMF Board does have the final say on who to appoint to the CEO role, and the board holds them to account for their annual performance against the agreed strategy. In this case where serious questions are arising from policies and staff actions, the WMF Board can ask the CEO to report back and make recommendations as part of holding the CEO to account, in turn the CEO may delegate that work to her senior managers or expert contractors. With regard to deviating from the annual plan, that is the CEO's job to make those operational calls, but any well managed board will have pre-agreed limits to both organizational or budget changes and if the CEO breaks those limits they are at risk of being replaced by someone who the board will find more reliable. -- (talk) 12:27, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I generally agree with what Seraphimblade has written here. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:25, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Explaining the block process (by 1233 from the Hong Kong Community)(and the Chinese Wikipedia's Situation)

Hi all,

This is 1233 from the Hong Kong (and the Chinese) Community.

Point to note for all first: the Chinese community is way more complicated, and less self-governing than the English community.

I am here not to explain or support (or whatever you call) this particular action from the foundation about the ban of Fram, but to explain the current reporting system, as I have previously used, mainly dealing with harassment in the Chinese Wikipedia against me, both on-site and off-site.

It consists of quite some history (about internal matters, blocks, ongoing issues of the Chinese Wikipedia, and more).

Make things short, the community health of the Chinese Community on-site is far worse than that at the English Wikipedia, which is this case possibly due to the geographic distribution of contributors of the Chinese Wikipedia to be mainly within the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong (and Macao), Taiwan, and South Asia.

The foundation would never actively start an investigation against any individuals, and the process would only start with reports from other bodies through emails to (previously .

The related teams would then investigate on whether the report is genuine or not, and whether the content reported is against the terms of use.

So, the reporter (at that case, me when dealing with on-site harassment) would need to collect related materials (including comments on-site, etc.) and submit it directly to the aforementioned email, and explaining the reasons why it is directly against the terms of use (of Wikipedia).

Things will go more complicated right after that, as it is the internal review period by the Trust and Safety Team, and I have received email requests explaining why this particular thing is against that particular terms of use.

The reporter would know the final decision though, and as stated by Jan, the reason to keep this private is due to the fact to protect the privacy of the reporter and to avoid retaliation. It works kinda like how an external team handles bullying at school.

Office Actions are last stand actions. They are done only when all local actions fail to address a particular genuine issue.

--1233 ( T / C 15:14, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

What happened to me at the Chinese Community
Some history first

The complicated geographic distribution would mean a more stalemate community, with one vs another (this case, Mainland vs Taiwan, and whatsoever like that). The English Wikipedia Community is more diverse, and is more multi-headed than the Chinese Community.

So, in this case, geographically based separation will form smaller, more "connected" community bodies versus the large, single language Chinese Community. However, due to political reality, there were internal split of the Mainland China community and thus the establishment of m:Wikimedians of Mainland China(WMCUG) versus the foundation-recognized meta:Wikimedia User Group China(WUGC). Argues sparked between the two Mainland-based community, and this in fact have completely paralyzed the normal community operation of the Chinese Wikipedia, and have led to quite some problems.

It looks like the Brazil situation, but the stage is a virtual zone, i.e. .

After the former is formed, some long-term supporters of the former (and closely connected users, User:守望者爱孟 and User:Galaxyharrylion included, both OFFICE Banned.) have continued their attacks on meta:Wikimedia User Group China, and forcing the latter to cease normal offline community operation.

It looks okay if WMCUG promotes the project and respects project participants. However, in reality, became the heaven for pro-communist users, and have lodged attacks directly against the "establishment" WUGC.

They (WMCUG and its supporters, including both OFFICE banned users) even tried evading the normal use of CheckUser Tool and used Unrestricted Warfare methods to attack Wikimedians not supporting them. There were even rumors about them threatening WUGC members (i.e. Death threats, threatening to report them to the China Communist Party that they do not support the government). In one case, the leak of CheckUser data (with no idea who did it, but it seems to be connected to the OFFICE banned user User:守望者爱孟) have directly lead to the removal of all CheckUsers and suspending the access tool for local Chinese Wikimedians at end of March at 2018.

WMCUG admins (in this case, User:Techyan) and other members even engage in wheelwaring of blocking and unblocking WMCUG members and supporters.

What happened to me

At mid-March, 2018, I requested a comment on this issue of Techyan unreasonably unblock a user who is pro-WMCUG and brought the issue to the Village Pump, and instantly saw attacks from Galaxyharrylion (at that time not banned) and other WMCUG members. Local de-sysop actions failed due to the fact that they have used sea tactics to recruit and train WMCUG members and supporters. Knowing that the local community is unable to handle the arguement (including opposing the establishment of the Chinese ArbCom), I was forced to seek help from the Trust and Safety Team, and filed complaints about Users harassing me on-site and off-site because I requested Techyan to explain why he unblocked a particular user without any reasons, and had since then calling me with bad names, such as "anti-China" , "anti-CCP", "anti-Chinese Community", "dumbass", "retarded".

During this time, Techyan continued his actions, and once I requested again about this problem, he ceased his online activity (and, sarcastically, got a full scholarship to participate Wikimania 2018) so as to avoid questioning of his actions, and de-facto abused the "half-year no continuous de-sysop rules" to try cool the problem down.

It also became more hostile day after day against the core members of the Hong Kong and Taiwan offline Community once they notice their stance about disregarding the actions of WMCUG members attacking Wikimedians of WUGC. (Note, affcom's resolution to de-recognize WMHK is unrelated to this issue)

To make things worse, due to the fact that the Chinese Community does not have a Signpost-like magazine, the WMCUG instituted the establishment of QiuWen at early 2019, where the relationship was not revealed until requests by other community members at March due to the contents ("news") implicitly and continually attacking WUGC, myself, other community members, and even disrespect the WMF statement when the foundation protested against the Chinese authorities in blocking access to all language variants of Wikipedia in China. There were requests to reveal the whole editorial board like the Signpost, but there were no revealment of the whole board, except Techyan, WQL, and Alexander Misel, a Chinese Wikipedia tech-oriented b'crat who is also a WMCUG member.

The colleague that User:Techyan wrote received no warning prior to the firm conduct warning is in fact User:WQL.

Thanks - this is really helpful. You came forward, and did not leave us to guess what was wrong, even though we write in another language. If Fram's accuser(s) (if any) had done the same, this might be a much smaller page. I'll believe you that an external team helps, but I don't believe that a secret process helps. In this case, conflict of interest has been alleged against the T&S people, because they're not really external to us. We would do better with a jury mechanism to ensure that truly external voices - random Wikipedia contributors far from the centers of power - get to decide cases. Wnt (talk) 15:35, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I write in both English and Chinese (to be exact, Cantonese), so it is not a big deal for me (and I hold quite a few rights here in enwp and is helping out at a local outreach activity from a local university in Hong Kong). For this case about Fram, it seems that the accuser(s) do not trust how ArbCom handles this matter, and thus reported through the foundation's trust and safety team. This is a much serious issue, as it means local last-stand bodies losing trust from members within the community.--1233 ( T / C 15:40, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
It could be that ARBCOM is losing trust. But it could also be that the complainer is doing the equivalent of WP:FORUMSHOPPING, possibly on purpose because they have friends in the WMF. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:14, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Nein. Personally knowing someone at the Safety Team does not grant any precedence when these reports are submitted.--1233 ( T / C 03:00, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Ideally, yes. In practice, humans are humans. Someone going "Hey, I know that person/this group of people, I like them, I'm sad to hear they've been mistreated... let's help them!" is always a possibility. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:06, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • 1233: Your zh-WP case seems very different than this en-WP Fram case. en-WP's mission isn't to ensure "local last-stand bodies do not lose trust from members within the community". en-WP's mission isn't to make everyone feel good, cozy and welcome to create and distribute free "nonsensical propaganda based on unreliable sources, misinformation, or disinformation". en-WP's mission is to collect and distribute free "information" based on peer-reviewed reliable sources to the best of our collaborative abilities. In this mission, cases of content disputes, behavioral issues and questions of best practices emerge. It is there we need admins and local bodies who are willing to examine and weigh the evidence – preferably in open, but sometimes in private – to reach an independent decision. They must then pass judgment – preferably with kind words in a respectful tone, but if necessary in harsher/firm language – that may feel bad or even hostile to one editor or a group of editors. In this mission, the WMF with extraordinary powers has a role, but only a very limited role, one that requires checks and balances. This role includes complying with United States court orders and our laws pro-actively, acting in cases of child protection, acting in cases of threats of harm to oneself and others, and other cases explicitly consented upon after discussions within the community and BoT. Even then, the WMTOffice should record and submit its proceedings to the BoT and ArbCom/the community nominee(s) if and when necessary to ensure that the WMTOffice is not being abused and had no conflicts of interest in the decisions it took. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 17:41, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Just replying this: what I mean is that local last-stand bodies losing trust from local editors is a major issue. It is of course not a mission, and yes I mean enwp last stand bodies, the ArbCom. About the release of information, I would say that reporter’s privacy must be taken into consideration. I do agree submitting the documents to BoT though. --1233 ( T / C 21:05, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
To put things in context, WMF did remove all CU rights from zhwiki, but it was definitely cast in a different light than this scenario on enwiki. I had a conversation on Meta with James Alexander here, and to quote from that This should not be taken as a negative reflection on any of the checkusers in the role at the time of removal. zhwiki has no local ArbCom (and did not have local CU/OS until the last half of this decade, I don't remember the exact year). I can't comment on the global bans. --Rschen7754 18:06, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Techyan's earlier response to Fram situation pertaining the above case is archived here. In case anyone may find it useful. I don't think a major share of 1233's comments on the zh community can be substantiated, however, I also do no have detailed information on the specific case. People who explained tend have different attitude, and my reaction to this post is similar to my response to Techyan's post: It's quite different and the office's over-reaching use of their power does not mean they shouldn't have any power at all. The problem is not if but how. Police brutality doesn't mean we should just abolish police, likewise. Viztor (talk) 18:53, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Replying this, it involves the February edition of QiuWen against me (without revealing the true name though), the same edition attacking WUGC members, and more, including this month's edition. The magazine got it's out of wiki domain registered by WQL. Note: Report emails contains on and off-wiki content which one could confirm it's username. All materials are examined by the trust and safety team, so it would be highly genuine reports instead of make ups and fake comments. The user himself is also a Community Liaison and Educator at Wikimedia Community User Group Hong Kong.--1233 ( T / C 21:17, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Does even Fram know what he was banned for?

I may have missed it in the GB of chatter, but is it now clear that Fram fully understands the explicit reason for his year-long ban? By that I mean has he been presented with the various diffs? Or are WMF sticking by the idea that they can just ban people without comprehensive and forensically tangible information being provided to those whom they "disappear"? The Rambling Man (talk) 21:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

From their post on Commons, they were told ... this ban has been triggered following your recent abusive communications on the project, as seen here [12]. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:44, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
So the answer is no? Fram himself still has no idea what caused this superban? And so does that mean that each and every contributor to Wikimedia projects is now under the gun as and when the T&S group decide to just pull the trigger? They need provide no evidence at all, even to the accused? They're literally being judge, jury and executioner? Is that right? The Rambling Man (talk) 21:49, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I fear that is right, at least in what happened to Fram, unless Fram knows something that he hasn't made public. It's up to the rest of us to continue to insist that this is unacceptable. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:02, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I think Fram knows. I think we know too. I think it's because Fram said 'Fuck ARBCOM' and was pissed at them for making a poor decision, and that someone at the WMF felt they had to shield ARBCOM from such criticism. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:07, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
But the previous (deleted) edit from 28bytes seems to now demonstrate an off-wiki attack on Fram (and other people prepared to stand up for him) with unfounded accusations by our own Women in Red project. What do they know that we don't? The Rambling Man (talk) 22:09, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Deleted because I don't want anyone griefing Women In Red. 28bytes (talk) 22:11, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
How ironic that they took such an opportunity to deal out more shit here and yet you felt the need to protect them. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:12, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
THIS is how the WiR project are dealing with the current crisis. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:14, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This is exactly what I've been talking about on this page: anything a person says about someone who allegedly did some serious-level harassment anywhere is suddenly "attacking." Plus, if anyone isn't careful with their language, ironically those who advise us to have "thick skin" are outraged. Should the word "crime" be used? Maybe not, but it's pretty clear that something legal or very serious was involved in this case. This is a non issue. Let us talk. All you are showing is that some wikipedians work hard to silence and police others not only on, but also off Wiki... And it's not us doing that. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 23:44, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
You wrote it's pretty clear that something legal or very serious was involved in this case. How is that clear? Something of that nature would result in a, one would assume, indefinite global ban. It is because it is not clear that such a thing was involved here that we have megabytes of text written about it. nableezy - 23:54, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Why else would WMF get involved? I was told they didn't do anything on Wikipedia that involves editing or editors. I have to believe this is an extreme case because of the extreme reaction. I don't think that the WMF or T&S are full of vindictive people who block admins on a whim. Others (obviously) disagree with me. But this is how I see it. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 00:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Thats the problem I think a lot of us are having. The only reaction the WMF has ever had to anything "extreme" has been an indefinite global ban. That they do not think the problem severe enough to ban Fram from any other WMF site, such as commons, or to make it indefinite makes it, to me at least, not clear that it involved something legal or very serious. Honestly this whole thing to me is Kafkaesque. And decidedly unclear. As far as I know Fram does not know the limits here. And more importantly to me, I dont know what the limits are here. I have been accused of all sorts of things in my idk 12 years or so editing here. Ive been point blank called a terrorist, multiple times even. But Ive always felt that I would at least be told of the charges against me and also have the ability to defend myself to an accountable group of people. None of that is true anymore. There is a group that has the authority to make secret judgments based on secret evidence and most importantly seemingly on secret rules. I have no idea what may set them off. And that concerns me. nableezy - 00:20, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, that's the disconnect the WMF Trust and Safety group have created. Most of us are aware that only the most egregious behavior results in an WP:Office ban. Today I went looking for WP:Trust & safety or some permutation of that and couldn't find anything. But I did stumble across WP:Office and this section WP:OFFICE#Primary office actions tells us about Partial Foundation Bans, presumably that's what Fram's ban is. The text was added on February 19, 2019. If there was discussion, it wasn't terribly prominent. Presumably there's a similar page on Meta. Personally, I'm assuming, until someone tells me something else or that I'm wrong, this is a new type of ban, will circumvent local governance and dispute resolution and we can expect to see more of these. Hence, we're all confused and jumping to conclusions that most likely aren't correct. Victoria (tk) 01:13, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Megalibrarygirl, do you really think something “legal” happened here? You do know the history of the involved parties, correct? Some parties that were made involved by T&S providing the diffs to Fram that illustrated the issues they had with him? I have to assume you don’t because, I’d assume if you knew the history between these parties. Like Fram’s conflicts with the WMF’s broken software launches, a launch that the current head of T&S forced on through a new privilege that was quickly removed. A conflict with an editor with obvious ties to a WMF board member. We have T&S’s warnings to Fram to leave certain people alone even though they produced policy violating crap and the apparent final straw was Fram’s criticism of the current ArbCom. I’m not going to argue that Fram can’t be an asshole. That would be a stupid argument. I am going to argue that your ridiculous faith in the WMF that Fram did something illegal because a COI strewn WMF said so is naive. Shit, the T&S didn’t even claim that much or else Fram would be globally banned. Capeo (talk) 02:10, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • sigh* talk about throwing oil on the fire. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:15, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
So, apparently, "REAL CRIMES" (no legal threats mind you, just "REAL CRIMES" accusations) from a Wikipedia project. How helpful. And no, that's not "oil on the fire", it's transparency. If Wikipedians are accusing Fram of "REAL CRIME" on the internet, we should know about it. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:18, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I'd reply, but I don't feel like being harassed by the twitter crowd. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:19, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure you're in a position to reply really, this is about the WP:WIR project going online externally to accuse Fram of REAL CRIMES. Is this an acceptable turn of events? The Rambling Man (talk) 22:21, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
"Real crime" here is idiomatic, not a legal accusation. Mark Hamill wasn't suggesting that this guy's parents were literally guilty of a criminal code violation here. Let's not wilfully misinterpret things for sake of of fueling the shitstorm. And by 'reply', I meant replying to the tweet. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:31, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Oh, good one! The Rambling Man (talk) 22:36, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
@Headbomb and The Rambling Man: Wait, which is it? A person is getting arrested and you say "the real crime is that outfit". That's just common sarcasm. That doesn't mean you can just casually say "X is guilty of real crimes". What did it say? ~Swarm~ {sting} 01:32, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
It's not, and if anything they're proving T&S' point for them - by attacking Fram from off-wiki, which we can do little and less about absent a sustained campaign and an ArbCom case. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 22:24, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Ironically I'm note seeing Fram attacking anyone anywhere, yet the WiR project's Twitter account is going out guns blazing about "CRIMES" which (legal threats?) is really inappropriate. Whoever runs that shitshow should be binned out and ashamed of themselves. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:26, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
We can deal with why the Wikiproject feels it's appropriate to use Twitter to further/encourage harassment at a later time; right now the focus should be on T&S' overreach and how to avoid situations like this in future. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 22:28, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
For all I know, there could have been other stuff that happened off-wiki, and it could have been pretty much anything. But it could and should have been handled via email to ArbCom. The fact that it ended up, instead, at T&S, has at least the appearance of forum-shopping. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:33, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
And I don't understand why "fuck Arbcom" isn't simply an admin/Arbcom issue (if, indeed, an issue at all). Perhaps this has been discussed ad infinitum, but I don't have the life force to determine that. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:12, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I think Fram has made it clear that he was told that the comment about ArbCom was the triggering reason for the ban. Common sense (in my opinion) indicates that there had to be something more that led up to that. And I think no one knows why ArbCom could not have dealt with it. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:15, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, the other substantial diffs we were shown involve the Wikipedian-in-Residence that Fram's been in a longrunning dispute with (and they were basically challenging her sources, IIRC). And I feel it bears repeating: Neither Fram or the Wikipedian-in-Residence like each other, nor are they particularly liked in the community. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 22:19, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
A dispute implies disagreement, which there was some of. What there was a lot, lot more of was 'cleaning up the messes they repeatdly left in their wake' which is not quite the same thing. Only in death does duty end (talk) 22:29, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
The main problem now is that editors and admins are going to avoid taking the editor to task for their crap for fear of secret accusations against them and being spirited away in the night. So the messes will just hang around, stinking up the place. The T&S team has directly through its actions affected content and editorial practices on ENWP. Only in death does duty end (talk) 22:32, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

Fram has been accused of "real crimes" on Twitter by the official Women in Red Twitter account. More on this talkpage, but apparently we can't link to the the actual accusations, according to some censoring by an admin. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:58, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

(edit conflict)There is a solution, but unfortunatly it plays in to WIR's "We're persucated" narritive: By community consensus we disband the WikiProject Women in Red for collective failure to adhere to CIVIL/AGF/5P4/CONSENSUS. I'm not advocating for that, but I am suggesting that an official warning that the behavior is very near (if not over the line) of several points made in the EEML ArbCom case. Hasteur (talk) 23:15, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't think the tweet is in particularly good taste (as I would say for anyone gravedancing over any banned member), and I'm disappointed to see it. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 23:18, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, if that was the project's narrative (free clue: it is not) then such action certainly would play into it, because you'd be damning the project because of the action of one person, which most project members are proably still not even aware of. Hell, I support the proejct's aims, and without looking I can't even remember whether or not I'm a signed up member. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 23:38, 14 June 2019 (UTC)
Speaking of thin-skinned, who cares who tweets what. nableezy - 00:00, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I am an admin on the Women in Red Twitter account and I have deleted the post in question as the wording lacked precision. On behalf of Women in Red, I apologize for that. --Rosiestep (talk) 00:06, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Rosie. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 00:08, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. El_C 00:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Rosiestep! I know that wasn't the intention to muddy the water! Megalibrarygirl (talk) 00:14, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Danke, Rosie. Let's all keep from elevating the temperature any more than it already has been, hm? —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 00:34, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Can you or anyone else help shed light on the "crime"-related wording, without, of course, breaking any confidences? --Tryptofish (talk) 00:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
As stated above, "real crime" here is idiomatic, not a legal accusation. Mark Hamill wasn't suggesting that this guy's parents were literally guilty of a criminal code violation here. Let's not wilfully misinterpret things for sake of of fueling the shitstorm. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:41, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I know how to read, and I already saw what you said earlier. I get it, that it wasn't a legal accusation. But it was a reflection of what the discussants regarded as a problem. If there is anything about that, that doesn't involve private information, it would be very helpful to know about it. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Particularly if it gives another "side" of the story. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:47, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Note. The Twitter account is now being discussed by some editors at the request for arbitration. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:55, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
It's been discussed by Softlavender, myself, and BullRangifer so far. starship.paint (talk) 06:35, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

@Rosiestep: - [13] - you wrote that I am surprised + angry😠 that onwiki, there is little 2 be said about support 4 the victims. We only know some of them (others may have confidentially reported their case 2 @Wikimedia). But 4 the ones we do know, we need 2 express empathy + seek their opinions re a way forward.. It seems that you know who some of the victims are. I don't recall WMF ever mentioning any victims. Do you know something I don't? starship.paint (talk) 01:14, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

I read it as a general statement, but maybe you know something I don't. Do you? cygnis insignis 01:47, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Cygnis insignis: [14] - that tweet is the culmination of an entire thread discussing this incident There is a huge debate on line over the banning of an admin who was so toxic that the foundation made an exception and banned them for a year. There is now a debate over whether they overstepped the mark ... and the debate is so toxic that it offends the eye., in which Rosiestep makes multiple replies. starship.paint (talk) 02:13, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Starship.paint, what I know is that some editors in the last few years perceived that they were being harassed by Fram. Whether I actually know any of their names is irrelevant. I also know, from my career in Human Resources, that when someone perceives that they are being harassed, they feel like a victim. My tweet did not refer to any statements made by the WMF so please don't read into it something which isn't there, and, for the record, I have no "insider" information regarding the WMF's case. I stand behind my statement that we should be empathetic to those who have been hurt. I hope that ArbCom and/or the WMF seeks the opinions of those who have been harassed on how to improve our community health in such a way that incidents such as this Office Ban do not occur again, rather, problems are addressed more quickly and more efficiently. --Rosiestep (talk) 02:17, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Rosiestep: - how am I to be empathetic when I don't know the stories of the victims? starship.paint (talk) 02:22, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I also hope that ARBCOM/WMF can distinguish between perceived harassment, and actual harassment. In my experience, there are a lot of people that claim to be harassed when really all that happened is that they didn't get their way on an issue they cared about. It doesn't mean that they're aren't feeling hurt, but feeling hurt doesn't that someone was out to hurt them. And given the interaction ban Fram received for insisting BLPs have quality sourcing, even when the WMF recognized that those edits were not problematic, nor intended to hurt the person complaining about them, it is hard to have faith in the T&S team here, given they have sided with an editor's feelings, over actual behaviour. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:31, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I have no opinion on Fram (if we've interacted, somehow it never stuck in my mind). But I have previously seen multiple cases where someone was punished for not-publicly-explained misbehavior (often by loss of a job rather than suspension of editing activity on a website), management was not forthcoming about why, the target of the punishment pointed to some minor infraction as the sole reason for the punishment, and everyone got upset at management overreacting to minor infractions. Every time, it eventually turned out that management was not forthcoming for good reasons but had not been overreacting — that the supposed minor infraction was part of a much bigger pattern of more serious problems. I don't want to suggest that this is what is happening here; I know nothing more than anyone else here does. But many here seem to have rushed to the judgement that Fram's side of the story is the only side and that he was set up for nefarious reasons as part of a power grab or personal vendetta, and while that is more plausible than WMF making an example of someone who said "Fuck" once as a way to ensure civility, it still doesn't make a lot of sense and I think it's premature to conclude anything. As for starship.paint's demands that people who do know more tell: I think the mob mood clearly on evidence here makes that a bad idea. starship.paint may want the names and stories of victims in order to become more empathetic, but others in the comments above seem to want the names of accusers in order to subject them to mob justice. —David Eppstein (talk) 03:55, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Your experience with HR/Management is certainly different than mine. I know a person who was disciplined at work for "making inapropriate sexual remarks", based on anonymous complaints. HR said they couldn't tell them what the inappropriate remarks were because they didn't want to identify the complainers, but were taking a zero-tolerance approach because it's the age of #metoo and they wanted to 'make sure' the message that 'this was inappropriate behaviour' sank in.
Now imagine this is you. You are getting disciplined for unknown "inappropriate" remarks you said, accused by people you don't know about, have been lumped with the likes of Harvey Weistein, and cannot defend yourself because you don't even know what the hell you're accused of, nor can you even adapt because you don't even know what in your behaviour caused the complaints.
I later overheard people complain that this person "kept talking about 'his condoms'". And because I knew this person, it dawned on me that what caused this is that they were a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, and they kept talking about Mike Condon, which sounds a lot like "my condom".
So let's not dismiss the possibility that HR can be wrong. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:48, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Indeed. Knowing who the victims were helps nobody, in any circumstance. And it's not that Fram's side of the story is chiptruth - it's incomplete and (very likely) biased - but that Fram's side of the story is the only one we have because T&S won't even elaborate on the things that couldn't possibly risk exposing the complainant. I'll say it yet again: I understand that there are things that cannot be said without exposing or risking exposing the complainant, but things like the existence of the prior warnings and a brief explanation as to why the ban is time-limited cannot and should not be privileged, because neither of these things, if done even halfway competently, should carry a risk of exposure.
The entire way T&S did this is suboptimal. We all agree on this. The fact that they've left Fram to tell his side of the story is a massive strategic and practical error. We all agree on this. The off-wiki actions of other parties are helping to throw fuel onto a bonfire that's already threatening to burn down the house. We all agree on this. The only thing we don't really agree on is why Trust & Safety seems dead-set on horribly mismanaging the responce to this by trotting out canned orders over loudspeaker, double-talk, "everything is privileged", and overall refusing to elaborate just how, exactly, the systems they disparage are deficient and how they could be improved (and this, again, should not be privileged because an inability for us to figure out a solution basically forces T&S to assume responsibility for it, which is a big chunk of why everyone is angry).
Every reasonable request for information is met with the institutional equivalent of an upraised middle finger and canned messages with a general undertone of disrespect at best and petulence at worst. Any communication has been one-sided, with T&S pretty much talking at us as opposed to to us. Under such a situation, it's no wonder the community has lost trust in the people running T&S enough to consider a CBAN of WMFOffice. The only hope I have is that Jimbo and Doc manage to figure out a way to resolve this as amicably as possible, because right now, the only thing trying to engage with T&S has given us is a resounding, and not to put too fine a point on it, "FUCK YOU." —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 05:42, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@David Eppstein: - the names of the victims are less important than their stories. You wrote that we have only Fram's side of the story. That is indeed a big problem. starship.paint (talk) 05:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Jéské Couriano: it is extremely standard for corporations, non-profit organizations, or similar entities to say nothing public in cases like this, even when it hurts them in the court of public opinion. In this affair, that is how WMF are acting. We may not like it that they are acting this way, but from their point of view they may have no choice. As for starship's "the names of the victims are less important than their stories": it is very likely that from the stories and Fram's edit history we could (and some would) work out the names. —David Eppstein (talk) 06:03, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
The thing is, we already largely have. Two of Fram's diffs (that have not yet been revdelled) involve his dealings with a particular Wikipedian-in-Residence - the same one who has a polemic screed about him on her user talk page (also not removed/revdelled). The accusations of sexism levied by Raystorm only helps support such a theory, as Fram's and the WiRs sexes weren't mentioned until her statement and are still considered to be a red herring at best. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 10:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Your speculation in search of someone other than Fram to blame for this fiasco is only proving my point. —David Eppstein (talk) 16:46, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
We wouldn't even be speculating has T&S given us more information from the word go than they did. Explaining it was for harassment, that there were prior warnings, and justifying the limited ban would have been enough for all but the ones who prefer to die on Transparency Hill. But the way T&S handled this just completely caused it to not only spiral out of control, but has a very real risk of exposing the complainant because they have done nothing to help tamp down the speculation, nor have they punished Fram for their comments on Commons (once again, if privacy was a major concern, they should have IMMEDIATELY escalated the ban to a global one after that comment.) —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 18:44, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Rosiestep: (of 00:06, 15 June 2019 (UTC): "Deleted the inflamitory comments") I thank you for stepping in to rein in the "contributor" who used the WIR Twitter to express their thoughts, can you understand why that should have never been aired outside of enWP? Squabbling outside the perview of enWP regarding enWP makes any meaningful discussion difficult (or impossible) and only stokes the schadenfreude fires of detractors (WikipediaReview in particular). Can you please commit to reminding all the authorized posters to the WIR twitter that on wiki conflicts are supposed to be resolve on wiki? I would observe again that this entire distraction is very reminiscent of the Eastern European Mailing List Arbcom case and it would be unfortunate if the community or ArbCom had to close the WikiProject because some members repeatedly fell on the wrong side of the principles of the ArbCom case. Hasteur (talk) 19:51, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Hasteur, I can make that commitment and can say that the conversation has occurred. I will also commit that in the days to come, Women in Red will work on developing a social media "guideline" or "essay" or some such, and we welcome suggestions from Women in Red enthusiasts on our talkpage in that regard. --Rosiestep (talk) 20:11, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

On-wiki only or not?

Fram has stated: "Everything I did is visible on enwiki, no privacy issues are involved, and all necessary complaint, investigations, actions, could have been made onwiki."

@JEissfeldt (WMF): with regard to any Office Action, one, ond only one, of the two following statements would always be true:

  • This action is based entirely on the Foundation's findings relating to behavior on Wikimedia Foundation websites and/or mailing lists. (1)
  • This action is based on the Foundation's findings relating to behavior on Wikimedia Foundation websites and/or mailing lists, and/or other behavior. (2)

Can you make, when you announce such Office Actions, one of these two statements? It would be helpful to the community, if it knew there was no "other behavior" of any sort (in-person, private email, etc.), to surmise where its standards fall short of the Foundation's standards. Then we may endeavor to raise our standards to the expected minimum, as it would always be preferable for the community to impose the sanction so as to minimize drama, blowback, controversy, etc. Surely such a vague piece of minimal addtional information would not put any victims/accusers at risk, and if you don't act before multiple complaints have been filed then while we can find the issues upon digging into the editing and mail archives, we would never be able to identify one single incident or complaint as the one to "blame". For example, we might surmise that uncivil demeanor towards the Arbitration Committee was unacceptable and strengthen our civility policy to reflect that. On the other hand, if we are told that "other behavior" is a factor, it would be more difficult recognize where policy enhancements would help. Thank you. wbm1058 (talk) 01:49, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

...I see that the term "legal" has been mentioned on this page over a hundred times... ruling out "other behavior" would squelch the bad rumors and innuendo developing here that he may have done something "illegal". wbm1058 (talk) 02:23, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Wbm1058, I am very sympathetic to the thought process that lead you to this request, because it's something that I'm wondering about myself. That said, I don't think it works as written. I'm not sure whether minor tweaks or more substantive changes are required. For my rationale, let me start with a hypothetical (which might not be all that hypothetical). Imagine an interaction between editor A and editor B. B feels harassed. Everything relevant about the situation relating to A is on wiki. Almost everything relevant involving B is on wiki except that B writes a private email to T & S expressing concern. We not only permit such a private email, we encourage it. Yet that technically means the second of the two statements would apply. The tweak might modify the statements to exclude such a private communication but it might be a slippery slope. Again, I'm sympathetic to the desire to figure out whether actions are based upon information that we all potentially could see or actions that might be unknown to us, but I don't think the simple phrasing works. S Philbrick(Talk) 14:17, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Sphilbrick, I think we can assume that there will almost always be non-public communication from B to the WMF. Obviously all or most office actions will be based on a privately-filed complaint from B, about an A. I don't think we need to know whether an Office Action resulted from privately-filed complaint(s), nor how many privately-filed complaints, or if it's something that the Foundation's artificially-intelligent bots scanning for abuse discovered on their own. What is relevant is whether A was abusive in a private discussion or incident. If, at the time of the initial complaint, there was no off-wiki abuse then it would be a (1). If, in sending a private response to an inquiry made during a T&S investigation A was abusive, that would change the initial (1) case-type to a (2). Make sense? wbm1058 (talk) 14:38, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Wbm1058, Yes, although I still have concerns about precise wording. S Philbrick(Talk) 16:07, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Sure, suggest tweaks to the wording. The word "secret" is littering this page (30+ times). The idea there was a conviction based on "secret evidence" is toxic. If this is a (1) case, then all the evidence is hiding in plain sight (with possible exception of revision-deleted or oversighted material). If the evidence is hiding in plain sight, then either the community hasn't properly reviewed it, or the community consensus on the interpretation of it is in conflict with the Foundation's interpretation. wbm1058 (talk) 16:33, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Oh, I see:

Partial Foundation bans may be implemented in cases of:

  • Repeated misconduct within a single Foundation-supported project, with considerable impact either on that project overall or on individual contributors who are active in that project.

So, based on that, can you definitively say that this one-year ban is based entirely on repeated misconduct within the English Wikipedia, and rule out the innuendo that there also was some bad off-wiki behavior? wbm1058 (talk) 02:52, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

  • The basic rules of Wikipedia: 1) Writing an encyclopedia 2) Openness and logability of each action 3) Possibility of anonymity. It's all. Therefore, every management action must be justified. They must explain the reasons. In the meantime, it seems that now some participants in conflict with the administrator have sent a complaint to him to their friends in the Fund. And these friends repressed the administrator against the will of the community and not providing a justification. As a result, Wikipedia has been deprived of a useful participant for a year (and this is a long time!). And now it turns out that everyone who has detractors is at risk of being blocked by their complaint. This is unacceptable and violates all norms of the project. I hope that my concerns will be dispelled. But for this I need an adequate explanation from the Fund indicating specific violations the rules by Fram. ~ V. Ch. 08:14, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, this one-year ban is based entirely on repeated misconduct within the English Wikipedia. No, up to date one has no proven facts that that it happened within some friendship relations or some other conflict of interest. --Neolexx (talk) 10:08, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Punitive Punishment

I was rereading Fram's statement on commons, and found this "We ask that her request to stay away from her and the content she creates be respected, so that there is no need for any form of intervention or punitive actions from our end." from the Trust and Safety team emails the that fram posted. Punitive actions are in direct conflict with Wikipedia's core values and policies. WP:NOTPUNISHMENT Afootpluto (talk) 11:42, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

I am not sure I like the idea of punitive punishment, but I think much of the above has been about how WMF is not Wikipedia, and so is not subject to the same rules. The question of should it be is another issue.12:11, 15 June 2019 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Slatersteven (talkcontribs)

Reform must be toward democracy, not away from it

In the response to the T&S comments above, I see User:SilkTork said, I believe that working together, the community and the Foundation can come up with a solution. At the very least, as long as there is consensus in whatever solution is agreed, the community will back and support it. ... The two main ways forward that we are discussing is A) Having an interface on Wikipedia for the community and the Foundation similar to the 'Crats noticeboard and the ArbCom noticeboard. A place here on this project where we can communicate directly, and where can discuss suggestions collectively. And B) A new system for dealing with civility and harassment issues. I have suggested to Jan that whatever system it is, it needs to come out of open discussions here between the Foundation and the community. It cannot be something imposed on the community by the Foundation. I have suggested a board with members from the community that are trusted by both the community and the Foundation, working alongside members of the Foundation to hear complaints of civility and harassment. Any sanctions are to be notified via the proposed WMF Noticeboard. Sanctions for harassment to appealed to the Foundation legal dept. Sanctions for civility to be appealed to ArbCom. Members of the Civility/Harassment Board should not also be members of ArbCom to ensure impartially in the appeals process.

Now there are favorable aspects in the above, but we must also be very wary of compromises that legitimize all or part of the recent power grab. Wikipedia is supposed to be a common endeavor of the people of the world, and any centralized power that judges whether your comments are "too nasty" is not compatible with that.

Let me be clear: I have been utterly enraged by the failure of community processes to work fairly against harassment; that was in during the ArbCom case against User:Fae back in 2010. Given the undeniable existence of a large peanut gallery outside of Wikipedia in which anti-gay sentiments were not uncommon, and the coordination between onsite processes and offsite actions that extended to literal media reports, it is easy to see why people would look for another answer. If someone went to T&S in this case, I can certainly see why she would not have trusted a community process.

That said, abandoning the community process rather than fixing it is not progress; it only accelerates the decay. The offsite forums have wasted away almost to irrelevance during the past decade, yet this T&S action seems likely to breathe life into them -- or any other mechanism by which people wildly and irresponsibly speculate to try to fill a void in what they are allowed to know. People who may have complained to T&S are still getting flack from multiple quarters. And it is only a matter of time before someone even more ambitious than Jan manages to seize the position, who might have an agenda to start purging certain Wikipedians for complaining about obvious harassment using the same sort of bullshit reasoning ArbCom used against Fae back in 2010. Only they don't actually have to explain why they sanction people in a way that says anything, noticeboard or not, so that's optional.

The progress we need instead is toward democracy.

  1. We need intelligible 'law' - I proposed a total rewrite to WP:Civility years ago, because it is just a trash bag full of vague aspirations and advice mixed in with might-be-requirements.
  2. Among that, especially, are intelligible rights - we need to declare a civility action for "fuck ArbCom" to be right off the table and have the kind of uninhibited Wiki we do without apology or fear.
  3. We need a national defense where coordinated campaigns to harass editors for political and/or bigoted reasons are resisted by a vast pool of enlightened and independent editors.
  4. We need a trial by jury system where we randomly pick genuinely uninvolved people to decide cases, rather than leaving it to a power cabal or a forum packed with accusers.

Let's strengthen our democracy rather than walking it back. Wnt (talk) 12:27, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

@Wnt: Not a bad manifesto to mark the 804th anniversary of Magna Carta, a previous revolt by a community against over-reaching central authority. "No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, and or by the customary law of the land." (clause XXXIX). Jheald (talk) 20:15, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
And for every user that agrees, someone else will agree we need to deal with the same actions from the other side. "Fuck off, its contextual", "Sometimes bad users force us to act badly" "but me and my mate think calling each other sandnigger is just 'avin a larf"". As I have said before, for any system like this to work, context must be ignored and any law must be blind. All users should be equal, none of this "but he is too useful to lose" "well what can we do short of banning?". Anything else and this problem will not go away, it will just be transferred to another group who are being put upon by those who control the system.Slatersteven (talk) 12:47, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Users are too useful to lose. Yes, I think there are some sharks circling Wikipedia with a raider mentality, who say "look, they've written the encyclopedia, now why should we deal with these messy users crapping the place up? Let's shoot 'em all and claim their work as our property." But the truth is that Wikipedia and especially any sister project is still massively incomplete in almost every possible way, lacking history, lacking science, lacking math that can be understood by anyone who doesn't know it already (and even some of them feel iffy after trying to read the article), lacking educational resources. If a student can't get a decent anatomy and physiology handout on the respiratory system to go through and study at each of about five different levels of introductory coursework, the job isn't done. Also, users are not equal -- user work should be equal. If you can tolerate somebody coming on and doing 1000 edits with one ugly interaction, then you can tolerate someone doing 100,000 edits with 100 ugly interactions. It is the same outcome. This is a principle that was not comprehended in the case of Fram -- no, replacing her with somebody new is not just like changing a burnt-out light bulb.
Incidentally, I should say I didn't resort to using racist terms for illustration during this argument for two reasons. One, I'm feeling the minorities don't really deserve to be used as pawns ... and two, I assume that T&S will make its new universal code of conduct to include bans for anybody who uses that word for any reason, whatsoever, including doing scholarly work on the article itself. In meetings they'll be able to tell their stakeholders that they have zero tolerance for racism; when asked by editors, they'll say their reasons are not explainable and not appealable. At least, that is where I expect this kind of process to take us. Wnt (talk) 15:39, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I think this is a constructive way forward, Wnt. I have on this page been saying that this ban showed a problem that we had as a community dealing with issues of harassment. I, too, would rather that we fix our own problems than have WMF step in. My question is how can we construct a fair process that everyone feels safe in reporting? I don't think that bad language is a problem. We should be able to say what we wish. But speech still can have consequences. I think we should measure the consequences to speech, rather than focusing on what precise language is or isn't allowed. I support a rewrite of CIVILITY to reflect issues that we are facing here. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 15:59, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
So its basically "if enough users think you are useful you can get away with it ocracy" And you may not have resorted to racist terms, others have, and sexist ones as well. Ugly is ugly and as long as they know they can get away with it they always get worse with time. NO one should feel intimidated or unwelcome here, and it is this attitude that tolerate bullying that causes so much bad publicity. Also No user has a unique set of skills or knowledge, any user can be replaced, that is the whole point, we have a world to draw from, not a narrow academic institution. What this is not is a democracy, because in that the majority (not a self selecting elite) make the decisions. It is no more democratic then what WMF have done. The only difference is that instead of forcing your will on others others are now forcing their will on you.Slatersteven (talk) 16:05, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: the tricky bit here is that what is sexist, racist, or generally whatever-ist is depends on cultural context and backgrounds, and will vary from person to person. Someone can have a deeply held belief that deleting a biography on a person who is [insert minority of choice] whatever-ist, but that doesn't mean that deleting that biography was whatever-ist, or more importantly, was the wrong outcome. I've been accused of being sexist for editing a female-centric topic, and it was claimed that I couldn't possibly have any legitimate interest in the topic because simply because I was a man. That person was wrong and sexist, of course, but they nonetheless feel they were right, and that I was the one being sexist simply because I was a white man in a dispute with women. But I don't trust HR people to decide what my intents were simply because they have a mob of twitter activists filing complaints after complaints, and decide that a white man must be wrong because the other side happens to be women. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:51, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Headbomb I think you're right about cultural context. But I also think it's more important to look at outcomes. If you're a man working on an article about a woman, that's obviously not sexist. Most people I know would consider you an ally. However, if there are systemic negative actions by a man on a woman's article, it might be sexist and it might not be. Ultimately, we need to look at how the parties are affecting one another and go from there. And what if we need to have a private venue to facilitate this? These are questions we need to deal with. And Slatersteven I'm not sure what you mean exactly. It seems as though on Wikipedia we don't really have a democracy. Instead, people feel they have consensus when enough interested parties participate and agree on a single page. We don't actually know if it does reflect consensus since we're not all anonymously voting. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 22:57, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Outcomes are important, I agree. But when there is a clash of cultures / social norms, the last people I trust to adjudicate this are corporate HR goons oblivious to the norms of a community deciding either side was wrong according to their corporate HR values. The reality is that Wikipedia is part of the real world, and in the real world, you will have to deal with different viewpoints, with being offended, and with not getting your way. This is especially important to remember in the age of twitter activism and virtue signalling. Before this incident, I would have trusted T&S to be sane enough to understand the difference between feeling harassed, and being harassed. However, this incident calls the judgment of T&S into question.
That said, there could be zillion of ways to improve relationships and minimize harassment, for example, instead of a 'warnings/punishments/bans' sort of culture at T&S, one of the most productive thing you can do in dispute resolution is talk to the parties as humans (rather than victims/aggressors) and have a discussion and try both sides to de-escalate, or ask some basic questions like "When this person slapped a {{cn}} tag, can you imagine a non-hostile/good-faith reason for why they have done so? How could that person have told you the same thing, in a less hostile/threatening way?" / "When you slapped a {{cn}} tag with the edit summary "INSERT SUMMARY HERE", can you imagine how someone could have perceived that as hostile, even if you didn't mean it that way? Can you think of friendly way to convey that message, and possible even go further and help that person learn how to do X, which you feel has not been done to your satisfaction?".
Then answers can be transmitted to each party, if it doesn't cause privacy issues, or the parties encourage to take this dialogue they have with T&S and apply it to on-wiki issue in the future. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:34, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
What I mean is Wikipedia is already (except in very rare instances justice (and rule) by mob. It is already a case (after all Fram has been unblocked, and how much of the community said they wanted this, 10 users, 20, out of how many?). As to the rest, "well its culturally contextual" has been used to justify all kinds of vileness in the past. (as I said elsewhere in this forum) "sandniggers" was defend for (in essence) just that reason. This will (imagine if we had gone to the press and they saw "well sexism can by justified in context") reflect badly on us as a group, if we tolerate blatant racism, or homophobia or other hate "well yes but where I come from saying "9/11 well it did the world a favour, more dead Yankee scum", is considered acceptable" then we will be seen as part of a wider social problem. We will fight tooth and claw against PSEUDOSCIENCE!!! whilst allowing bullying and intolerance. There is also the issue of leading by example, rather then do as In say not as I do.Slatersteven (talk) 08:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I very much agree with the gist and in particular with the headline here. I think the attempt by the WMF to inflict direct sanctions onto a large, mature, and reasonably stable community like the English Wikipedia, is fundamentally misguided. Yes, our processes are not perfect. There are users who get away with things they should not, and there are also users that are being sanctioned for no good reason. But then no community is perfect. We need to accept (if never condone) the fact that there will be mistakes. The apparently optimal "all misbehaviour will be sanctioned" is only achievable at the cost of erring massively towards sanction - and as Blackstone famously wrote: It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer (and, to go further back, Maimonides set that ratio at 1000 to one and warned against judgement "according to the judge's caprice").
The WMF action against Fram, on the other hand, seems to be based on the idea that some 300 unelected people (most of which primarily have other jobs and duties) will make universally better decisions about a community of 30000 active and many more semi-active editors than the community itself. Indeed, decisions that are so much better that neither transparency nor appeal are necessary. That is a kind of hubris that really needs to be corrected.
I've been a part of many online communities, from Usenet newsgroups and LPMuds to Slashdot, Quake 4 and Die Zeit forums. Wikipedia overall has about the least toxic atmosphere - and I believe this is due to the community processes, with people being voted into positions of trust (and power), with multiple levels of appeal and open discussions of problems. Star chamber trials from up above are incompatible with this. There is always room for improvement, but imposition of a dictatorship by the unelected few ist not an improvement. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:28, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Very well said, Stephan. I only hear about what goes on in social media from people who choose to ruin part of their day by participating in them. I see very little here that comes near to the pathological abuse, targeting and shouting I am informed occurs there, and whereas in those media, nothing of substance is achieved, this ramshackle democracy has, despite its episodic injustices, aggravations, bunfights etc., a continuous growth in the quality of its nigh 6 million articles. That has largely been done without merciless conflict. The finessing of rules we are threatened with seem more largely concerned with a recruitment policy based on a civility protocol designed for adolescents, than with retention of editors.Nishidani (talk) 09:56, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

"Writing a universal code of conduct, and making a new user reporting system"

In a few places, eg here, here, people have started wondering about a video "Exploring the gender gap in Wikipedia editors" (YouTube, 3 mins), posted by User:Rosiestep on June 11.

At 02:32 User:SPoore (WMF) (FloNight) talks of

"Two of the big initiatives that are going to be happening this next year - one of them is writing a universal code of conduct, and the second one is us making a new reporting system."

Not clear what the community's role in this will be. Jheald (talk) 12:59, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

If they intend to ram this through without meaningful input from the community, then this is very scary. Unfortunately, I do not currently doubt that they intend to do exactly that. This has the potential to explain a good deal about the WMF's actions so far in this case - and their initial target. @Doc James:, could you include anything that you know about this in your report to the community? Tazerdadog (talk) 13:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Not aware of any specifics User:Tazerdadog. We at Wiki Project Med Foundation and the Wiki Journal of Medicine are working on codes of conduct. IMO such codes need to be developed by the communities (with potentially some support from the foundation) not by the foundation independently. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:04, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
So that the link is on record, the draft CoC that the WikiJournal User Group is working on is here. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 01:55, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Last I checked, the community was still trying to flesh out a broad-brush "strategy for 2030"... wbm1058 (talk) 13:14, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
A universal code of conduct? That is very scary. Raise a hand everybody who believes that will be based on anything other than US corporate English notions of good conduct, narrowly interpreted and with no room for culturally conditioned variation. I doubt there will be any place for people like me here if that happens. And who would enforce it? T&S, who somebody somewhere described as "having our backs", but who will never in a million years "have the back" of most of us? --bonadea contributions talk 13:29, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Even worse, "universal" means it is going to involve all WMF projects, I bet. Oh this is so bad. --bonadea contributions talk 13:33, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Bonadea, be pleased to know that the consultation phase of User-reporting-System is already over and per their timeline, they are either preparing the workflow or designing the final software. I did see no notice over en-wiki, awaring the community of the phase and only 4 admins from en-wiki seem to have participated. WBGconverse 13:37, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I am pretty sure I have seen a notice several times. I believe it was on AN for both consultation rounds, though I might have a memory aberration.--Ymblanter (talk) 13:44, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Ymblanter, possilikely, certainly.
I, for one, searched for the contributions of the relevant stuff and did not come across any (might have used MMS, though) post for the consultation of User-report-system. A string-search over AN led to a sole hit:- a Tech News report mentioning it ;-)
I am not doubting any conspiracy or invoking an ulterior motive in the Community Health plans but running non-advertised consultations or learning of the pending development of an universal CoC from an offsite video, is pretty against our values of transparency. WBGconverse 14:08, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • A very controversial new initiative, coming to light the day after the disappearing of one of the community's most vocal critics of controversial new initiatives. There appears to have been very little notification of this on enwiki, as far as I can see. Black Kite (talk) 13:35, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Black Kite, Fram's not banned on meta, where he's free to criticize controversial new initiatives, at least at this time. MLauba (Talk) 18:40, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • As I say above, it may not be fair to read too much into the timing. My take on things so far (though I may have missed bits here and there) is that there will be updates coming down the pipeline (from WMF staff and from Doc James who has said on his talk page that discussions are ongoing) that should make things clearer. Something that is concerning me is that I do think the WMF don't appear to trust the en-wiki ArbCom - might this be related to an earlier (this year or last year) resignation of an arbitrator and whether confidential material was being kept confidential (I may be misremembering)? Finally (apologies for putting it in here but I won't have time this weekend to follow things closely - maybe a really good summary will get written...), could some people keep an eye on Fram's Commons talk page, as that has the potential to blow up if more people start posting over there. I hope people don't lose sight of the fact that there are real people involved here (on all sides), and they need personal resolutions to all this, as well as the big picture, project-wide considerations. Carcharoth (talk) 13:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • English-language Wikipedia is a worldwide project with people coming from extremely different cultures and with varying backgrounds, and very often English is not their first language (myself included - I'm from Switzerland, my first language is Swiss German). Introducing some kind of "universal code of conduct" seems very challenging in this environment. A statement that might be perceived as direct and outspoken, but not offensive in culture A might be seen as a frontal attack in culture B. Of course there are some things that would be universally inacceptable (such as direct threats, something like "I will come to your house and beat you up"), but that doesn't necessarily include things such as swearwords (some of which are, for example, much less taboo in German-speaking countries than in America, I think). Gestumblindi (talk) 14:18, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm certainly hoping that either Doc James or SPoore (WMF) can shed some light on this subject, but it is...concerning, to put it mildly. Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I had been saying the methods suggested by others were OTT...but this would be catastrophic. Hell, it'd be terrible even if they did have user participation because a universal code of conduct can't work for 750 different projects! ...And we don't see any sign of significant community involvement. Along with the reporting system it is functionally a disenfranchisement of every community and the enforcement mechanisms that exist in many of them. We don't have the details yet, but if more comes out in this vein, then we're going to have to change from the "keep it in-house" discussion. If it comes - it's a lock-out the site level. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:12, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • By the way, apparently this is being done here on Meta. There's a breathtaking example of doublespeak there: The Wikimedia Foundation’s general approach, as described, in the Terms of Use, section 10, is to respect local self-governance of the volunteer communities it supports where possible....While the Wikimedia Foundation's Community health initiative will make the final decisions.... Riiiiight. In the same breath, talk about how much you respect local projects' self-governance, and state that you plan not to respect it at all. But, for all the good it'll do, maybe some objections ought to get registered. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:21, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Swearwords are considered vulgar and offending language in the same way in german speaking countries than in englisch speaking, but you must compare the right swearwords (not the direct translations or usage of english loan words which some use to sound less offensive, giving perhaps a wrong impression to english readers who notice this). As to the multi-culture background of the english wikipedia, everyone who learns english as a second language gets warnings of using the four or seven letter words, especially from the very countries of the native speakers. So I simply don´t buy any reassurement of some of the editors here that this is nowadays considered a small thing.--Claude J (talk) 15:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Claude J: I think you are oversimplifying. For instance, you are throwing all English-speaking countries together, but there are huge differences when it comes to swearwords e.g. between the UK and the USA. Also, what would be "the right swearwords" to compare? I think that the usual scatological swearwords, for example, such as German "Scheisse", are usually taken very lightly. Also, for example, German television has absolutely no tradition of "bleeping" out swearwords of any kind, English or German (it's only encountered in imported TV shows and sometimes to make fun of this "American thing"). Gestumblindi (talk) 16:05, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Addendum: English-language Wikipedia is not an American, but an international environment. The English language here is only a veneer, not really that unifying as one could believe on the surface. Often, all people involved in an English-language conversation are not native speakers, and native speakers might come from countries so different as Ghana and Scotland. Gestumblindi (talk) 16:53, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I don't see anyone arguing that is American. I don't have statistics for this but I'd say the majority of users are not American, so it could hardly be referred to as an "American" wiki. The USA's significance is only that I think of any single country, it would have the most editors on Enigmamsg 17:21, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I think that there is room for a universal code of conduct - just so we don't get things like azwiki. But it needs to come about a different way. Ideally, it would be decided on Meta and focus on the universal Wikimedia principles - universal enough so that the largest 10 WMF wikis should be able to implement it on Day 1 with little to no changes to local policies. --Rschen7754 15:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Also, those pages linked to above on Meta are hard to navigate and make me want to cry. --Rschen7754 16:47, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    Rschen7754, how does one exactly avoid an az-wiki or Croatian-Wiki rerun with a CoC? WBGconverse 16:49, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    The code of conduct has to encompass more than civility - don't upload copyvios and don't write POV content, for one. --Rschen7754 16:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with Rschen7754. There is no reason that a universal code of conduct can't be compatible with local codes of conduct. In the US Army, there is a general code that everyone follows as a soldier. Each individual unit, however, was free to add to this, just not allowed to subtract. We can, as a community decide how much (if anything) we want to add to a universal code of conduct. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 16:04, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Megalibrarygirl: - it can only be compatible if every local code of conduct either already met it or changed. The WMF, as considered above, is likely to pick "corporate US civility" as the base level, which would require dramatic changes from multiple communities. The fact that local communities could add is somewhat irrelevant to the concerns. If the WMF picks a "bare, required minimum", which would be good, then they could probably go with it. If and only if they demonstrated they could be trusted and that both harassed and accused could be treated fairly. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:39, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm rather annoyed that this didn't get banners but the talk page did. We've only 2 weeks left to comment - I've added it to Cent and VPP (though it might belong in VPR). The timing isn't iffy, but the heavy lack of spreading the word is Nosebagbear (talk) 16:41, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Megalibrarygirl, I think the issue is not in adding, but in interpretation. "Be civil" means different things in different places and different contexts. It may, for example, be perfectly civil and acceptable for me to swear while out for a beer with my friends, but would be unacceptable to do in a job interview. It may be perfectly okay for me to tell someone who I know well that they're a dumbass if they make a mistake, but would not be civil if I saw a stranger make that same error. I do not want those decisions to be made by some faceless, unaccountable, and probably ultimately outsourced "moderation team" like happens on so many websites. Our means may not be perfect, but at the very least, if you get in trouble for something, you know what you did wrong, you know why the community disapproves of it, and you know what you need to do differently going forward. And perhaps most importantly, you can argue in your defense, which is an absolutely indispensable part of any fair process. The Army might court-martial you if you break their rules, but they will not do it in secret with you not allowed to present a defense or even know what you're accused of. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Beyond them being faceless and unaccountable - their interpretation is based in a completely different community. To continue the analogy - courts martial are tried by individuals in the same communities - understanding expectations and ethoses. T&S (or whoever) have functionally no involvement so they run off their own viewpoints alone. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Megalibrarygirl I agree with Seraphim's comments, plus I don't trust the WMF, as it currently stands, to write a simple bare-minimum code of conduct that individual projects can add to as needed. As with Nosebagbear, I suspect that "corporate US civility" will be the minimum they will consider putting through; based on past WMF communications, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if they end up expecting everyone to talk in exactly the same sort of language they use--the sort of content-free legalese we've been getting in this case that is clearly written by an on-retainer lawyer to ensure that there's no way for it to be held against them from a legal standpoint. Given that most of us are not lawyers and can't afford to keep one on retainer to help us draw up every single statement we make on Wikipedia, I'd say the potential chilling effect is clear--and anyone who believes that "corporate US civility" language requirements would do anything to stop harassment or other abusive acts clearly has never spent any time in an American corporate environment, dealing with the levels of office politics that make enwiki's problems look like a drop in the bucket. (Not to mention how political correctness results in continuous change of what constitutes such civility standards, meaning that what's acceptable today may get you fired six weeks from now...) rdfox 76 (talk) 16:58, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Megalibrarygirl I think the proposed mechanism is understood, what worries at least me is that the defined minimum standard will be, and I have great doubts that it will be in line with current standards onto which community can decide to add some rules, or reverse them in future. EllsworthSK (talk) 17:01, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The military analogy is inapt. WMF is not the commanding officer of English Wikipedia nor is it the WMF's role to instill discipline in their alleged subordinates. The WMF is the *servant* of the Wikipedia movement, not its master. This is more comparable to a military coup, a powerful group that is supposed to be serving the Wikimedia movement that aggressively takes control based on the argument that they have the guns and we do not. All hail Despotpedia. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 17:16, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Don't take the analogy too literally, CoffeeCrumbs. I used it because it was an example that I'd experienced when I was in the military. I agree that the WMF is not a commanding officer. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 23:01, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • A lot of the problems we are having throughout this dispute have to do with the execution of policies, by fallible human beings, as opposed to what the words on the page are. I think editors who have been around for a while understand what is envisioned in the idea of the kind of harassment that requires an office action. And I think the community has a consensus that the intended meaning of office action is one that we support. Normally, the community would consider a true office action to be something that no admin should revert. But what is happening here is that a rather strange time-delimited and single-project sanction was made as an "office action", but what appears to be the causative conduct does not look like something that would be understood as requiring office action, and the administered remedy does not look like something that is appropriate for the kind of really bad conduct that office actions were intended for. In that sense, nobody reverted an office action, but rather, they reverted something that was mislabeled as an office action. I say that in this talk section because, in principle, the idea of a better WMF structure for dealing with serious bullying, and helping to repair the barriers that women and some other editing populations experience, is actually something with which I agree. In principle. But I think many of us see danger in these new plans about a CoC and reporting system because it looks like they will be subject to the same serious problems in execution that happened with Fram and the subsequent communications. Should there be a safe way for a bullied editor to get help? Yes, I support that concept. But should we have something that looks like a gameable way to disappear someone you don't like? Of course not. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:58, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with a lot of what has been said here (not everything, certainly) and would just like to add a couple of points. Caveat: we can never extrapolate from a population to an individual (this applies equally much to individuals who through birth have been randomly assigned to a gender group, as to individuals who have been randomly assigned to a cultural/language group) and so I'm not making claims about any individuals, just general trends among groups of pople. That being said, "civility" is not merely about appropriate word choice, about not swearing when that would cause offence, using politeness phrases, making sure to pick the appropriate gender pronouns, etc. Those are important things but they are only part of civility/politeness/whatever you want to call it. I'll give two examples, which are perhaps not directly relevant to Wikipedia, but still serve to illustrate the issue. a) In the US, it is acceptable to speak well of onself. (Incidentally, one reason I would never go for a RfA is the mandatory question about what contribution one is most proud of - a typical and fairly neutral kind of question in an American context, perfectly fine for many non-Americans as well, but impossible to address for me.) However, in e.g. Australia, people who do that risk being perceived as tall poppies. This has sometimes caused misunderstandings and friction when American business people have done business with Australian colleagues. Not because Americans are ruder than Australians, or vice versa, but because the same language is used differently, and because of differences in what is appropriate to say. b) In the United States and some other part of the Anglo world, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" is often cited as a useful, civil, and desirable way to interact with others. I have seen it said in discussions on Wikipedia, as a matter of fact. However, in many cultures, that cultural script is completely inappropriate, since it encourages people not to mention other people's flaws - which is dishonest to the point of rudeness. This doesn't make one culture more rude than another, certainly not. It just shows that civility and rudeness are concepts that differ in fundamental ways. (I know that the WMF employs people who understand these issues very well indeed, but they won't be involved if this is a "T&S" thing.) Final point: a couple of editors who are often cited as shining examples of civil behaviour are people whose communication styles come across as very patronising to me. That's my own problem obviously, nobody else's, and it doesn't mean I can't communicate with them - but it illustrates the same thing.
TLDR: There is no universal concept of civility. Not even in English. And trying to impose such a code will only erect new barriers. --bonadea contributions talk 20:59, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm reasonably sure this is considered uncivil, even in Australia. -- RoySmith (talk) 21:49, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
No. You're dead wrong. the Prime Minister Bob Hawke joshing with Ron Barassi is proverbial in Melbourne at least for illustrating the language governing mateship codes. Gough Whitlam, the most aristocratic yet comradely politician the post-war world ever heard, loved Ciceronian speech-making, but it didn't exclude him from using the word fuck.Paul Keating in the presence of newspaper reporters. I have relatives from downunder who, studying in the US, have endless anecdotes about the misunderstandings arising from using a 'matey' Australian vernacular with Americans who often give the appearance of being much more guarded and socially cautious, at least in public social discourse, as opposed to their government's foreign policy shenanigans. The proposal strikes me as extremely Americanocentric. Has no one ever read Thomas Szasz on the medicalization of social problems, or Michel Foucault on the problems of the carceral mentality behind the medicalization of life itself in modernization. I guess not. Some culturally thin bureaucrats are legislating 'health care' for editors. Jeezus! What a world of wimps. Nishidani (talk) 20:05, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
That... has no bearing at all on anything I wrote above. But even so, how would that be usefully dealt with by a new code of conduct? If that is universally uncivil (I am not saying I disagree about that), what use would a "universal" code have that WP:CIVIL doesn't cover? And then there is the question of shades of grey. I would never consider that post a banning offence. A cause for a request to back off and cool down, certainly, but not for blocking or banning, given the full context. You may disagree, perhaps, but the important thing is that it can be a point of contention, it cannot be absolutely codified. (It is past midnight and I hope I make some sense.) --bonadea contributions talk 22:06, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
"it can be a point of contention, it cannot be absolutely codified" and it is not for the WMF various activist-filled teams to codify it in the first place. Only in death does duty end (talk) 23:02, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Actually, as an Australian I would interpret that comment as a sign of frustration with the target of the comment, whether warranted or otherwise. Although it may be somewhat abrupt it is not offensive. Anyone taking offense at such a comment in this country is likely to be laughed at. - Nick Thorne talk 00:17, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Nick Throne has clarified the Australian perspective. Same goes for India. WBGconverse 04:29, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
That would be regarded as uncivil in Australia and anywhere else. cygnis insignis 11:56, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The fact that the new "Universal code of conduct" and the "New user reporting system" are explicitly mentioned directly in relation to, and only in relation to, gender issues points up the recurring theme that there is a secretive and non-transparent gender-war going on behind the scenes at WMF, T&S, and elsewhere, that has not been either transparent or clear on EN-wiki. Fram appears to have been the first target/victim, via a new power that T&S/WMFOffice gave itself. Fram was given no plausible explanation for the sudden ban/desysop, and the only warning he got was concerning two posts he made in 2018 on the talkpage of someone with serious conflicts of interests with WMF and WMF's Board of Trustees, and who is a gender-warrior. So Fram is the first victim of the secret, non-transparent gender war. Who is next? Softlavender (talk) 23:00, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Softlavender your framing of the situation is very perplexing. First of all, what is a "gender-war" and a "gender-warrior?" Why do you consider efforts to make Wikipedia a better place for women and non-binary people to edit safely and in comfort a problem? Surely framing it this way, and the way that Only in death frames the WMF as "activist-filled teams" does not help to discuss the situation in a calm way. If you assume that the "other side" is full of awful, terrible people out to get you, how can you reach consensus? Megalibrarygirl (talk) 23:12, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
You seem to be under the misapprehension the WMF wants or seeks consensus for its actions. Wikipedia seeks consensus amongst its community. The various WMF teams (tech, T&S etc) have shown, over a number of years and situations, no interest in doing anything other than imposing their own will on the community. I mean, you can continue to be a Neville Chamberlain if you want to, but there are only so many times editors can AGF before they look like fools. And that point was past ages ago. Only in death does duty end (talk) 23:17, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict)If WMF didn't want consensus, they wouldn't seek input--which you can see clearly on the meta front page. And there is no need to call me a "Neville Chamberlain" and practically invoke Godwin's law because I don't agree with you. It just shows that you are arguing from a heated position. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 23:24, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
The WMF has repeatedly sought input then generally ignored it and done what it wants regardless. Tipping the hat at consultation is a standard corporate tactic for doing something you want to do and give the impression you actually care about what other people want. Given that you have basically spent a good amount of text here being an apologist for an organisation that thinks its acceptable to disappear people without given them the courtesy of seeing the evidence against them or the right to defend themselves perhaps you should be less condescending about arguing from a heated position. You should be heated when they come for you in the night. So less of the 'I can see your angry' passive agressive tactics please. If I wanted to be talked to as if I was a woman being told to calm down there are plenty of other misogynistic locations on the internet. Only in death does duty end (talk) 23:35, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I never said or implied or assumed anyone or any group is/are "awful, terrible people out to get me", and you failed to address any of my points. Softlavender (talk) 23:22, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
No, you said what I quoted above. What on earth are you talking about with those terms? One of the biggest issues on Wikipedia is the gender gap and the fact that women and nb folks face a good deal of discrimination. Then when they report it, they face additional harassment. This is a pattern I've heard about over and over from people I trust and edit with. So I see good reason to address gender. I've just never met a gender-warrior and if they have a recruiting office, maybe I'll go find out what it's all about. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 23:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
@Megalibrarygirl: Both things are/can be true here. Women and NB do face additional hurdles and more harassment. At the same time, those additional hurdles and harassment causes a hardening, and a propensity for activism. This activism, is by far, a good thing in most cases. But it also often cause to apply broad generalization that apply in the aggregate to individual cases where nuance is lost.
I have asked a similar question at Wikimania 2017 in Montreal, about how you could go around telling someone from a minority group you are wrong about something, without causing them to hear I know better because I'm member of the social majority, especially when members of that minority group may not be as versed/skilled in the art of encyclopedia writing due to a difference in background, or want to promote/rectify a situation, when we are required to be neutral. We need to find a way on how to do that, but sadly my question was dismissed as too silly to be worth addressing, and a lot of people in the audience reacted in a sadly predictable 'look at the white man thinking he's better than us' way. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:51, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I totally understand how you felt in that case, Headbomb. My kiddos are biracial. When I was younger and dating, I met my then-boyfriend's sister and boy did I put my foot in it. I thought I could talk about the black experience because I thought I had a "good enough" connection. I could have walked away from the experience thinking that black people didn't want to hear what I had to say and just gotten angry. Instead, I reflected on it. I realized that black people have heard what I, as a white woman, have been saying over and over again. I wasn't adding to the discussion. Now, I listen. That's most often the best thing an ally can do: listen. Minority groups will always tell you when they need your voice. Often, they do. Listening is one of the greatest gifts we can give to one another. I think that's often where minority groups and women are coming from. As to your question: I'd tell a person from a minority group that needs help that you're there for them if they have any questions. You can tell them they are wrong--to not correct mistakes is infantalizing a person, and is patronizing. There's nothing bad about helping others learn to be better editors. It's helpful. Just do it in the way that is respectful. We all want to be treated with respect. That's what I'm advocating. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 19:34, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Well that's the tricky bit. You can listen all you want, at the end of the day, if the minority group is wrong, you still need to click edit and make changes that don't align with what the minority group wants, and they'll go "there they go again, not listening" or similar. Then they blame their not getting what they want on the person making the changes being part of the patriarchy / white hegemony / whatever. I have no real solution for that, and I don't really know anyone that has. But if someone had at least part of a solution that would be great, both for allies and for the people of minority groups. Because reality being what it is, as an ally, when you get accused of being sexist / anti-trans / anti-whatever, or get dismissed simply for being a white man, it is one of the most infuriating things to happen to you, and a lot of goodwill gets burned. It also sadly (and usually disproportionally) turns people against that minority group, providing the anti-whatever with examples of "SEE THEY'RE ALL NUTS! This guy was perfectly reasonable and they accused him of being an anti-whateverist!" allowing them to dismiss all subsequent claims that someone has some anti-whatever bias as invalid, based on the one claim that was invalid. Causing Jussie Smollett types of damage, even if unintentionally, rather than maliciously. Very few people have the moral backbone to still support a movement that has maligned them, sometimes grossly (I have received harassing calls at work, got stalked at Wikimania 2017, and had my personal appearance mocked as result of it), and overlook the transgression because they know a movement can still be right in the aggregate even if the aren't right 100% of the time, or that some of its members are so deep in the echo chamber that they now resort to the same tactics they claim to oppose, out of a sick sense that any men are "fair targets" because some men behave in less-than-exemplary ways.
However, I know I don't want HR types to adjudicate these sorts of content disputes as if they were harassment. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:16, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Megalibrarygirl "Gender warrior" is indeed the wrong term here, and as you say is not the best way to be constructive. What did happen, however, is that the editor concerned wrote a huge amount of seriously sub-par content, and when called out on it (by no means only by Fram - one of the relevant ArbCom cases didn't even mention him) somehow the narrative shifted to some sort of gender issue because many of her articles were about women. The problem with the articles wasn't that they were about women - it was that they were riddled with errors. Black Kite (talk) 23:31, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Black Kite Errors need to be corrected always. I agree with that completely. I don't know about the case you're referencing, so I can't speak to it. :( Megalibrarygirl (talk) 23:37, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Megalibrarygirl the discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sarah Tuttle might also provide context for why some editors are mistrustful of WIR. From my vantage point, the ability to discuss that article on its merits was taken away when numerous WIR editors adopted the mindset that the deletion discussion itself was a moral wrong and an example of gender bias. Unsurprisingly, personal attacks and strawmen were directed at those who did not fall in line with this mindset. Like many, if not most, Wikipedians, I believe we need more articles about women. Yet I don't think we should accomplish this goal by ignoring or downplaying our notability standards in favor of articles on women, nor do I consider it acceptable to assume sexism on the part of editors who are simply trying to enforce GNG. There was a serious lack of AGF in that AfD, yet the editors who needed to assume good faith were unmovable in their unwillingness to do so. At a certain point, one becomes weary of trying to have a reasoned conversation with those who will only resort to ad hominems and strawmen. And Raystorm's own attempt to make this a gender issue helps me to have a much clearer understanding of the reason why Fram was banned. I completely understand Softlavender's attitude. Lepricavark (talk) 02:03, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
@Lepricavark: Gender bias is a moral wrong--just as any form of prejudice is. Was everyone on that discussion !voting 'Keep' a member of WIR? I don't think so. One important thing about sexism is that it's part of our culture. I, too, have sexist attitudes. I've learned to recognize them and fight them (most of the time I hope!). We all have them. If someone thinks gender bias is involved, we all owe it to ourselves to look inside and make sure that we aren't acting on the biases that society has given us. Based on the fact that WIR is working to fight bias, I'm not surprised editors are mistrustful: it goes against society's narrative. Whether we want to believe it or not, that's the world we live in. Pretending sexism isn't involved in many situations is just putting our heads in the sand. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 19:43, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • {ec} I think that there is a universal concept of civility. We all know when we've been treated poorly. We can communicate the issue to those who cause the harm. Many people at that point will say, "I didn't know this caused you harm. I will stop." But members of the community decide that the harm doesn't count because it wouldn't bother them or that the editor should just not feel the feelings they feel and continue to act in ways that hurt that person, that's not civil. What bothers a person will vary by culture, generation and even their emotional state on a particular day. That doesn't mean that I get to decide that what hurt someone is or is not valid. Only they can decide that. And the outcome should clearly be the offending party please back off. I think there are ways to codify this. We do it every day in the real world. On the job, as a manager I constantly hear complaints that would not personally bother me. However, I do find ways to empathize and respond in such a way that the issue is resolved without escalation. Not all issues are resolved the way a person wants, but I do resolve them fairly. We can do that here, too. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 23:20, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Megalibrarygirl, I think that works to a degree. If someone told me "I'd really prefer if you didn't use the word ________ when you talk to me", sure, I'll try to accommodate that. On the other hand, if it's "It really hurts my feelings when you nominate an article I wrote for deletion", but I believe the articles in question do in fact fail inclusion criteria and need to be deleted, the response is going to be on the order of "I'm sorry you feel that way, but I will continue to do that if the need continues to arise." So, to a degree, such personal requests can be honored, but there will come many occasions when they cannot be. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I think you bring up a good distinction, Seraphimblade. Actions that are part of the process that help us build and edit the encyclopedia can't and shouldn't be circumvented just because someone says their feelings are hurt. I think a code of conduct would focus on the interactions we have while doing the editing. If someone says their feelings are hurt because an article is nominated for deletion, we can still be sympathetic (if you wish) to their feelings, but it's not going to stop the rightful process of editing the encyclopedia. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 19:52, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
"And the outcome should clearly be the offending party please back off." that is ... very very dangerous to codify, especially when it comes down to tone policing. Should this not have been written because it offended some people? Should its author have been sanctioned? A lot of activism and progress is caused by people who disturb the status quo, and who aren't afraid to speak up with words that would cause Victorian society to implode. Different cultures have different standards, and I'm not ready to have the American HR Culture become the only acceptable culture allowed. This is why Silver Linings Playbook is rated R (under 17 must be accompanied by adults) in the US and Tous public (everyone) in France, instead of having a United Nations rating that has force of law everywhere on the globe. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I cannot recall an event when this approach ended in anything but a fiasco. It sounds good - lets have a system that has looks at each and every case individually and in the end enforces decision based on the observation of behaviour. But without codified and unified set of rules, it falls apart like a house of cards. One meter shall be applied to one person, another on another one due to subjective nature of such hearing. The rules will not be set up as guideline of what not to do, and what penalty to be had once the line is crossed, but will try to muddle the waters into basically "the judge, jury and prosecution in one will make a decision". Especially if core principle is that offended party gets to decide which action consist of an offence. I mean, is that not what the discussion about Fran v Laura edits has been about?
Perhaps there indeed is an universal understanding of civility. In that case, you will be able to barely fill up a stub with it. Everything outside of it differs depending on a time, place, culture and many other variable factors. And I very much doubt that what WMF is cooking is unified subset of rules that are already in force. Rather, as is often the case with new CoCs, it will decide to up the ante over the heads of community, quoting imaginery concept of safe spaces or whatnot, thus already appropriating position of moral superiority. Lovely. EllsworthSK (talk) 01:16, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
@Megalibrarygirl: I often agree with your position, but please believe me when I say - speaking from a position of actual linguistic expertise - that there isn't "a universal concept of civility". I'm not going to post another wall of text to try to prove that, because I already tried to do so above. It doesn't have to be a problem, as long as it is openly acknowledged and accepted that notions of civility vary a lot - isn't that a more likely way to make communications work smoothly, than setting up a set of rules and telling people from dozens of countries, speaking hundreds of languages, that they have to adjust their thinking about what is "civil"? After the 2011 survey, the WMF talked about the need to hire more staff based in different parts of the world to increase diversity, and the need to attract a more globally diverse set of editors to get more voices heard. A universal code of civility could directly counteract that work, unless it is phrased in such general terms so as to be useless - I'd love to be proven wrong here, but unless the point of departure is that there is no universal law of what is and isn't civil, I don't see how it could be helpful rather than harmful.
As for harassment, it is indeed the person who is being harassed who has the first right of interpretation (the silly English language has no word for that, but there is one in Swedish - tolkningsföreträde), and to deny people the right to have their reports heard and taken seriously is fatal. Of course. But unfortunately, what we very often see is people feeling harassed or insulted by editors who scrupulously stick to the "comment on edits, not on editors" policy, as discussed above. A lot of the flak that gets comes from us adhering to notability and verifiability policies, and as long as we are an encyclopedia, that's not going to change.
Another question: above you talk about efforts to make Wikipedia a better place for women and non-binary people to edit safely and in comfort - which is unambiguously a good thing to do. But how would you address the fact that women have expressed on this very page that what the WMF are proposing make them less safe and less likely to want to participate and make their unique voices (unique because they are individuals, not because they are women) part of the conversation? Who has the first right of interpretation of the collective experience of women, when we don't even know which editors are male, female, nb, genderqueer, or something else? Is it unreasonable for me to assume that again, it is going to be a US-American view of what women want, a view that is often deeply offensive to other people (regardless of gender), and directly excludes a large number of people who identify as women? --bonadea contributions talk 09:10, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

I am kind of reminded of another incident (this time on a course) where an immigrant engaged in behavior that was sexual harassment, but not where he came from. Now I do get that we cannot (and should not) impose our values on other countries (the white mans burden all all that). BUt I can see how a corporate entity might want to impose a given set of values on its staff (after all whilst you may not employ child labour in your base nation, the publicity of you doing so in wheerevaistan will still affect your market image in your base nation). Moreover it also would make it easier for those who are not from WASP nations to come here and not fall foul of our standards (such as rules on notability or OR, let alone civility). If we have one set of standards no one can plead "but not from where I come from" as a justification.Slatersteven (talk) 09:27, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

@Slatersteven: I think you bring up some very good points. I'm trying to think of a way that we can all have a universal system of civility, but clearly there will always be situations where we fall short. I don't think that a universal civility process has to be perfect: it just has to work well enough most of the time. For other situations, as you rightly point out, we will have to handle differently somehow. I'm not sure I'm the right person to do that: I'm a librarian and it's not my area of expertise. But I want to start the discussion and not give up on the idea just because it's going to be hard to figure out. Megalibrarygirl (talk) 19:58, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
As I said rules only work (and are only fair) if they are inflexible. Else you get "well he is my mate I will protect him" mentality. So no I did not say (and do not agree with the idea of) we have to take into account "context", cultural; or otherwise, ("well I can tell him to fuck off, but he cannot tell me to"), quite the opposite. What I said was that any corporate entity has to take into account publicity, and how that impacts on its operations. So ultimately any code of conduct has to be informed by where the company has its biggest operations (or its base). It does not matter if Barry come from foregnistan, it does not give him a right to ignore rules on (for example) personal space, culture be damed.Slatersteven (talk) 08:41, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I think the candour in the above comments clarifies one view, a sort of undercurrent in the outrage that has been less frankly stated because of its ugliness. cygnis insignis 12:18, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • There are certainly hurdles to trying to produce some kind of universal code of civility, and if we're pedantic about it then a truly universal one can't exist - because civility means different things to different cultures, backgrounds, and even individuals. But we should not be pedantic and should not throw our hands up and say "We can't have any code then, and have accept everything". Similar to the way a lot of this dispute has led to polarizing of positions, this is another issue where the answer is simply not black or white. The choice we face is not between a perfect code and no code at all. If we should come up with one that is not in keeping with the cultural and/or personal values of some individual editors (which is inevitable), then I think it can be entirely reasonable for those individuals to be expected to moderate their civility approach to match the code. I've been in plenty of different cultural environments, and I've adjusted my approach to civility to fit - I certainly don't go to, say, another country and expect its natives to accept my way of doing things (unlike, sadly, a lot of my compatriots). Some of the civility problems to date have surely been due to different individuals approaching the same issue from different cultural and personal directions and finding each other's approaches lacking - and there's been no central reference to direct people in such cross-cultural situations. I confess I have my doubts about how well a universal code of civility can be developed, and I do get twitchy when I hear of such things. But at this stage, I'm withholding my judgment until I see what it looks like - anything else would be unfair. After all, nobody has yet come up with the faintest working idea of how to deal with incivility, and in many cases we're just getting worse at it. And we have to get better. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 20:58, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Wouldn't it be simpler, more effective, and certainly more pertinent to the present case, to develop a code of what is and isn't harassment, rather then attempting to codify "civility", which is not only much more difficult, but is also a much less important issue? It would also be in line with any legal concerns the WMF might have. After all, it seems unlikely that the Foundation would have any reasonable legal exposure for not blocking or banning an editor who was merely impolite, as opposed to one who was actually harassing another editor in the legal sense. Let the WMF define "harassment" as precisely as possible, so that the community and ArbCom have a standard to apply, then T&S can step in if it's not properly enforced at the community level -- but only when it opens the Foundation up to potential legal action. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
the Issue is not rules, but uneven enforcement I think.Slatersteven (talk) 08:41, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

New "User reporting system"

For those of us with too much time on our hands, I've put together some links to what I've been able to find out about the background to the initiative to create a new User reporting system. I've added a few quotes to give a flavour of each document.

Start here 
m:Community health initiative/User reporting system consultation 2019 – "The Wikimedia Foundation's Community health initiative plans to design and build a new user reporting system to make it easier for people experiencing harassment and other forms of abuse to provide accurate information to the appropriate channel for action to be taken."
Volunteer liaisons 
m:Community health initiative/User reporting system consultation/Volunteer sign up page – Twelve volunteers signed up to be liaison for wikis or affiliates.
Overview of research about English Wikipedia dispute resolution and harassment 
Wikipedia:Community health initiative on English Wikipedia/Research on dispute resolution and harassment – "quantitative data analysis of posts to AN/I ... 533 total ANI cases, 315 of which were resolved ... 40 cases included the keyword '3RR', 26 'COI', 18 'harassing', 14 'hounding' and 22 'boomerang'".
Research about ANI 
Wikipedia:Community health initiative on English Wikipedia/Research about Administrators' Noticeboard Incidents – "This survey is intended to understand community sentiments around AN/I, and will not lead to immediate or imposed changes to AN/I from the Foundation. Rather the purpose of the survey is to fill in gaps in data that could lead to on wiki discussions about possible improvements to how AN/I cases are managed. Any changes would need to be backed by the volunteer community on the English Wikipedia."
Admin confidence 
Wikipedia:Community health initiative on English Wikipedia/Administrator confidence survey/Results − "The Anti-Harassment Tools Team is interested in measuring how admins feel about different kinds of conflict specific activities (wikihounding, vandalism, harassment, sockpuppetry), how confident they feel spotting, mitigating, and intervening in these case types, and if they feel supported with tools and other resources from the Wikimedia Foundation." See especially Comments about policy, reporting, harassment, community culture.
Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program 
Recommendations on the Development of Anti-Harassment Tools and Behavioural Dispute Resolution Systems for Wikimedia (pdf) — "Findings ... Current systems for reporting, managing, and evaluating user incidents do not appear to be effective at preventing harassment. "
Reporting systems summary 
Reporting systems on English Wikipedia (pdf) – "the Wikimedia community highly prizes transparency. For reporting systems, this is interpreted as publicly-viewable processes, outcomes, and the identities of the involved users. Transparency in this case is not just a design consideration put into place to achieve a certain kind of efficiency or mode of operation, but a value to be strived for in the way the entire system operates. Because the current reporting system aligns with a certain dominant interpretation of transparency, the system engenders a feeling of trust from its users. However, we know that the same commitment to transparency can be harmful and serves to chill the participation of other users who are not properly served by the system as it stands. Our current conundrum is the fact that, whatever changes we recommend, it must adhere to these values even as we change key features, otherwise it will not be trustworthy."

Hands up everybody who wasn't even aware that we had an"Anti-Harassment Tools Team" [raises hand]. But that last one is the real kicker, isn't it? I hope somebody will ask Jan if he read the report commissioned for his team, and if he did, what he made of "whatever changes we recommend, it must adhere to these values even as we change key features, otherwise it will not be trustworthy." Given that clear warning dated November 2018, you have to wonder why he didn't see the current shitstorm coming. --RexxS (talk) 17:56, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

Oh, I'm quite sure he saw it coming. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:03, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
[raises hand]. I hope you're wrong Boing!, because if the WMF knew full-well what the reaction would be, and then did it anyway, that's gross neglect for the relationship between the WMF and the community, and we need to respond with some form of direct protest (Freeze the Main Page?) Tazerdadog (talk) 18:24, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
However the new power structure was introduced, what do you reckon are the chances there wouldn't be a shitstorm reaction? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
The introduction process should have been "Ask first, get a consensus for what editors want to see, and then do that." You'll notice when they followed that process with Visual Editor and MediaViewer, their deployments went very smoothly, whereas when they failed to, it blew up in everyone's face. So, basically, ask us what we want done, don't tell us what will be done. And given those earlier instances, they should already know that. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:59, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
They wouldn't have got a consensus for what they want, and they were going to do it anyway, so asking us first and then overriding the objections would have probably made it worse. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:04, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Simple enough solution, then: Don't do it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:15, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
As I say, there were going to do it anyway. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 19:20, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I write better content today and am a more efficient editor because Visual Editor exists. A consensus based community, like we are, is going to be (notice the lowercase letter here) conservative by its nature. Overall this is good - it's why we get praised for the quality of our coverage of difficult topics. However, there are going to be times when this conservatism is going to harm the project in the long-run. Figuring out how to thread that needle of respecting our norms, traditions, and culture, while opening the door to continued viability as a project is the needle the foundation should be trying to thread. And because it's a challenge they're going to get it wrong a bunch. And when they do we should rightly criticize them for it and they should learn from it. But that doesn't mean they should just stop trying to do the bigger kinds of changes that promote longterm health. In this case they've gotten something very wrong and I worry what, if anything, they're going to take away from all this. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 19:29, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Barkeep49, IIRC, the core of the problem was not VE itself, but introducing a highly buggy VE, that caused more issues than it solved. There are major differences between today's VE and the one, that was first launched.
A software product must be stable to minimum extents, before throwing it to the masses -- that (apparently) evaded the WMF developers. WBGconverse 04:36, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Winged Blades of Godric I was indeed not active at that point so I don't know if it was a minimally viable product or not - I am guessing it wasn't just from the animosity that so many feel and you're right it shouldn't have been introduced. But my point was the foundation wasn't wrong to develop it. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
@Barkeep49: Besides the initial bugs, they tried to enforce it us. VE was at some point plainly enabled for all users and I had to turn it off. Mediaviewer was just enabled. Standard setting for beta-features is, IIRC, to standard enable any beta feature UNLESS you chose not to. Remember SuperPutsch. WMF has been enforcing stuff on us for a long time becuase they think we need it, With VE, in its buggy status, it was not 'hey guys, we have this new gadget, for those interested please try it and tell us what you think. And if you think it is good enough and there is community consensus, you can turn it on <here>.' (personal complaint, they refuse to work on material that is easily 10 years outdated, source of regular complaints, and would not even do it if it would get enough suppert in the annual Community Wishlist).
Seen its history, I would NOT be surprised that a meta-RfC would gain sufficient traction to throw out WMF or to seriously restrict its powers (though I doubt we are int time for that - they might just block everyone who is against them). --Dirk Beetstra T C 10:54, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
For reference for those wondering what the controversy the thread above is discussing was: WP:VisualEditor/RFC. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 07:05, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I guess I just don't see how we go from superprotect to this (and I don't like bringing up names here but Jan used superprotect). --Rschen7754 18:27, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Hands down; read about it in the usual places. isaacl (talk) 18:39, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Isaacl, have you read of the User-reporting-system consultation? Please point me to the relevant thread. Reagrds, WBGconverse 19:23, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I recall seeing this announcement of the community health initiative but never watchlisted the corresponding page (and its talk page), so I've not kept abreast of the progress in this area. isaacl (talk) 06:13, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Hands up everybody who wasn't even aware that we had an"Anti-Harassment Tools Team" [raises hand]. As a shameless plug, for things like this I recommend subscribing to Wikipedia:Administrators' newsletter. The efforts of the anti-harassment tools team to improve the blocking interface have been publicized there on several occasions last year: e.g. Jan 2018, Aug 2018, Oct 2018. Mz7 (talk) 19:54, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Doc James: - were you aware of this (or the team in general) WMore importantly, what do you think of the discussion above: Should the WMF have sought (and obeyed) cross-project consensus first, or should they implement changes they feel are necessary even if the community disagrees? Nosebagbear (talk) 19:55, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Was aware of the team. They have been working on tools such as partial blocks for EN WP. Am hoping they would also look at improving the CU interface (but as I am not a CU not sure if they are). User:Nosebagbear been busy at work today and need a bit of time to catch up. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:06, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Sure, no worries - I'm sure you came out of the board meeting to an avalanche of pings - plus everything else that draws your time Nosebagbear (talk) 23:09, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
[Just a small aside...] Gee, all I want to do is edit/create Wikipedia articles. Wasn't aware of the AHT Team or the Community health Initiative either... Shearonink (talk) 18:33, 16 June 2019 (UTC)


--qedk (tc) 09:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

WMF now doing community micromanagement?

A few times in the above discussion, I encounter the word "micromanagement". I think this might be an important reason for community irritation in this case: Until now, I think it was pretty accepted that the WMF would use the "ban hammer" for really grave, egregious transgressions (of a nature that could also have legal implications), so: If there's a ban by the WMF, then for such a serious issue that it necessarily must result in a global, unlimited and unappealable ban. It is the traditional understanding of the community (in the large projects I'm familiar with) that the community-developed institutions, especially admins and the local ArbComs, are responsible for managing most conflicts between editors that don't escalate into the most extreme kind of feud (and even some pretty extreme ones). This is done by volunteers investing lots of their free time into helping the projects run smoothly.

If now the WMF also becomes active in this perceived area of community responsibility, handing out project-specific and time-limited bans for smaller infractions (even if we would assume that Fram didn't tell us everything, it must be smaller, or they wouldn't have limited the scope of the ban so narrowly), of course the volunteers handling user conflicts must start to wonder what they're doing here anymore. If the WMF knows better than the local admins or ArbComs, and doesn't want to leave such smaller matters to them, the reaction could be: Leave it all to them, then? Dissolve the ArbComs, restrict admin work to technical matters - user conflicts are now the sole responsibility of the WMF, we are not burdened with these anymore, it's no longer a volunteer-managed area. Let the WMF people deal with all edit wars, every instance of name-calling and so on (they would have to hire dozens of full-time staff for that, of course). But the WMF should tell us clearly if that's their plan. It might not even be a bad thing then, really. If done properly and transparently, it could be of help to the communities. There just should be a clear plan communicated to the communities instead of starting with such surprising, sudden interventions. Gestumblindi (talk) 15:31, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

The same on the other page from a different editor.Nishidani (talk) 15:40, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I was told by a friend high up in the management of the Presidio of San Francisco over a decade ago that sometime earlier, when a new director took on the job, he requested an opportunity to interview all the personnel before he sat down to plan a programme. The secretary arranged a schedule of meetings, with a list starting with the executive branch, down through various overseers, police and finally ground staff. Given the appointment list, he scanned it and asked her to invert the pyramid: he would start from the ground up, listening firstly to what the people who actually did the physical work of maintenance and development had to say, and then work his way up, with the last to be listened to those at the apex of the bureaucracy. Nothing revolutionary. Impeccably 'Friscan, though he was an outsider, in its combination of canny managerial nous and a certain 60s-70s counter-cultural tradition. It worked.Nishidani (talk) 18:32, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

What message did WMF want to communicate to us?

Now, almost a week after the incident, it is clear that there will be no more specifics forthcoming from WMF (nor from Fram, or from anybody else, for this purpose). Does anybody finally understand what message did WMF want to communicate to us (by "us" meaning specifically the English Wikipedia community)? They probably failed to communicate it clearly anyway. but what was the message supposed to be?--Ymblanter (talk) 18:07, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Well, it is the weekend, and presumably the WMF employees in charge of making such a statement are enjoying a break from work. GorillaWarfare (talk) 18:20, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I will be happy to be proven wrong, but my impression is that they already said everything they had/wanted to say, and now we are left decrypting the message.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:41, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Jan stated that he would engage further, and two of the Board members have also said they were preparing to say more. I think it's very important we be seen to act in good faith, so I think we need to at least give them a more than reasonable period of time to do so before concluding that they have no intent to follow through. (Of course, hopefully, they will respond, and it will be something more than yet another load of say-nothing junk. I can't say as I would wager money on that, but hey, anything's possible.) Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
My reading of his message was not that they will give us any more details about the incident, but that they will be working with ArbCom / community developing better communication procedures. But may be indeed this thread is still premature, and we can wait a bit longer.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:48, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm willing to wait for up to a week or so after Jimbo and Doc report back to us from the board meeting, assuming what they tell us doesn't prove to be yet more accelerant. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 06:58, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I wouldn't say it's clear at all that "there will be no more specifics forthcoming from WMF". The board meeting was only on Friday, it's been the weekend for two days, and Doc James told us the board were still talking about it. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:22, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd tend to agree. I would hope to hear something from the Board members soon, but it's only been a few days. Now, if after next week no more information is forthcoming, I think we might have to conclude that the message we're getting is one normally communicated as a one-finger salute, and decide on our response accordingly. But let's exhaust all other options before it goes that route; that's not a good ending. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:26, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
(Reply to both messages). It might be that the Board will do the job for us and decrypts the message, but absent this I do not think there is any more specifics forthcoming.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Likely the Board is going to keep the ban and the response will be no more information but just restating what they said anyways as we all know the WMF is not very transparent at all and they are one of the least transparent groups I have ever seen Abote2 (talk) 20:46, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Don't be so pessimistic; they have to balance legitimate privacy concerns and what they tell us, but I think it's glaringly clear to a number of community representatives on the Board that something was wrong and needed addressing. Part of the addressing is how do you feed back that feedback into the Foundation without smashing people flat who, undoubtedly, were doing what they thought was right under the circumstances. We're going to exit this episode still as a community here and with a Foundation to work with. If Foundation staff start to view the community as a minefield it doesn't help. We need some stuff addressed, carefully and thoughtfully. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 07:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I think anyone predicting what the board will or will not do or decide is simply projecting from whoever makes a prediction. The board met Friday. The issue is complex. The board, is by far and large, made of relatively sane people that are very aware they have a community PR nightmare on their hands, and they may or may not be themselves divided on the issue, or that the issue was too complex to fully resolve in one meeting. "We're looking into it, we'll have more at a later date" is a fine response for now. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:57, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Particularly - even if the Board had firmly stated something on the 14th - indicating the WMF teams need to do something (whether that be a new message, a new action etc); weekends notwithstanding, that has to be made...and then run through the same 3 teams as the initial ban. And then the board. So it might take a while - and the Board probably would want to see anything they asked for before saying anything more than a placeholder to us. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:45, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I expect, from the silence on anything of substance from both Jimbo and James, that we will hear something from someone at some stage. I also expect it will bind T&S to nothing, but speak of implementing the ToU to further the health of the community, and pledge consultations with AC and with others where practical and similar stuff. I would think it possibly unwise for the AC to be the consultant group, given what's likely to happen when someone who is actually popular gets banned under these policies.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:52, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia consultation on new user reporting system

Moving OT notification to talk. This is already advertised in WP:CENT as well. --qedk (tc) 09:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

An interesting paragraph

Indeed, I have not seen you literally threatening other contributors. But, I have observed the sum of your activity in certain areas of interest (like copyvios, for example, or automated editing) having a similar effect to that of a threat: causing contributors to be scared to continue to contribute in fear of being constantly monitored and later attacked through community process, and eventually driving them away. From what I've seen, you are very good at spotting problematic edits and editing patterns; the issue is with the way and the perseverance with which you appear to approach the editors responsible for them. In many cases, even if your concerns have been valid, their raising has been done with a degree of abruptness, repetition, scrutiny and persistence that feels like hounding to the person on the receiving end, and causes them to abandon the project or limit their contributions. Now, I don't think this is your intention, but this does seem to be the result in several cases, hence the warning. So, I'm not saying you should stop trying to improve En.WP., only that in doing so you also consider how your activity and approach impacts the users you address and other readers of your comments, and how it contributes to an unfriendly volunteering environment that discourages them from returning to it.

— Kalliope, WMF T&S, Warning email to Fram based on offwiki complaint by unnamed editors, April, 2018

  • We can as well let the admins take a (well-deserved) break whilst T&S deals with our day-to-day issues. And, I, for one, am very uncomfortable about dealing with folks who persistently violate policy, from now onward; never know which editor feels harassed because I have been reverting their non-policy compliant rubbish, all-the-while. Also, some people need to be thrown off the project or their editing activities limited. We have a host of mechanisms including TBans, blocks et al to limit activities. Editing an encyclopedia is not everybody's cup of tea; competency is a fundamental necessity. Frankly there was a degree of non-optimality in Fram's conduct, but for that, a site-ban or a WMF warning?! And, when even his earlier-detractors agree that he has fundamentally improved throughout the last one year? WBGconverse 14:02, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Winged Blades of Godric: But that does not matter, even if you are the friendliest and most beloved administrator on this site, you just need to have some occasions of people who feel (or pretend to feel) harassed because of the material you deleted/edits you reverted/material you tagged/links you blacklisted/socks you blocked. Chilling ... --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:14, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Precisely. Also, there are times when folks choose to bring an editor over AN/ANI, leading to a block/ban. Thus, the editor was attacked through community process. But, the OP will take the blame for forcing him out of the wiki? WBGconverse 14:34, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    • These days, there is a huge push to redefine harassment to be how the person perceives your conduct, rather than your intent behind it. Many universities have fallen prey to this redefinition, I hope the WMF is not next. Such a definition of harassment is completely unworkable. Maybe one of the requirements to edit on Wikipedia is to have a reasonably thick skin. Rockstonetalk to me! 18:47, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Sounds like something that they should have gotten a warning on from an admin, except that aspect (for admin conduct) is dysfunctional in enwiki. North8000 (talk) 14:45, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Well, they did get a warning from an enwiki admin, namely Fram, for persistent copyright violations or other inappropriate edits. meant Fram should get a warning,  for calling attention to that, telling them to stop, and if they didn't making them stop? Why? Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:50, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I meant that it sounds like Fram should have gotten a warning from an enwiki admin but such (i.e. where it involves conduct of someone who is an admin) is dysfunctional in enwiki.North8000 (talk) 15:37, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • North8000, yes, I know what it is you meant, and I may have been smarting off a bit. But for clarity's sake, I believe it is the person who is introducing copyright violations, errors, etc., who should be receiving warnings and if need be sanctions, not the pesky admin who keeps catching them when they do it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:45, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Seraphimblade Yes, but what if they way they handled it was itself a behavior problem? BTW, what I would lobby for would be a subset of admins with impeccable credentials/qualities handling (autoconfirmed-up) user conduct issues, including of admins, with more review of admin conduct going on than we have now.North8000 (talk) 17:15, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
If someone fears that their edits are 'monitored/reviewed/etc' against copyright violations, and that they have a problem with that, I really don't see how that should be an actual issue for the community. Everyone should welcome copyright scrutiny. If you 'fear' it, it can only mean that you are intent on violating copyright policy despite having been warned against it, and refuse to learn. I know I certainly welcome such scrutiny. Then again, I'm not trying to repeatedly include copyright violating material in the encyclopedia either. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:23, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Okay, if it was it was, and that's a separate issue. But the paragraph Fram quoted essentially stated that Fram was catching people doing these things too often and too well, and that made them feel bad. It reminds me a bit of people who speed, get a speeding ticket, and then yowl about the asshole cop. Well—the cop didn't push your foot down on the gas, Leadfoot. If you don't want to risk a speeding ticket, stop speeding. You're welcome to review my edits for copyright violations, because I'm quite confident there are none to find. And if there are, well, that's an issue that should be corrected. If people are embarrassed and upset when they get caught doing something they shouldn't, the solution isn't "Stop catching them, it makes them feel bad", it is to tell them "Well, stop doing that then, and then there'll be nothing to catch you for!". Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:41, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
SeraphimbladeI think "if it was...that's a separate issue" says it all, and that possibility is the one that I was discussing. BTW, asking this in a friendly way, could the fact that you moved away from looking at the possible "separate issue" three times in our thread be the type of thing that might make enwiki weak on self-policing in this area? Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 18:06, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
No, I don't. I think it represents a very deliberate decision made by the community, that issues that damage the integrity of the encyclopedia, such as copyright violations or source misrepresentation, are a great deal more serious than being more terse, blunt, or enthusiastic than one perhaps should have been when calling attention to it. If someone thought Fram really crossed the line, bring that up. If everyone else says "That wasn't a big deal, but what you did was", well, that is what it is. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:29, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If WMF felt that there was justification to issue a conduct warning, why not communicate it onwiki? The WMF is out of their depth here if they think they can approach editors on their own and issue warnings as they please. Their mandate is to step in when the community has failed but this is the WMF exercising their rights without any basis to do so. It's insulting that they will insert themselves into situations and play the big chip where the need for transparency is the biggest. All an editor needs to do now is to convince select members of T&S to agree to the POV and ta-da, you're absolved of the requirement to prove your case. Terrible, terrible behaviour from the paid side of the field. --qedk (tc) 15:05, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    "We're paid to do something. This is something. Therefore we shall do it!" DuncanHill (talk) 15:10, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "Warning email to Fram based on offwiki complaint by unnamed editors," is the last bit relevant and accurate, because the author discusses what any can view and their view of it. I'm assuming the author said it was okay to make it public. cygnis insignis 15:31, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Has this concept of "attack through community process" been floated elsewhere by WMF staff? The community hasn't been great about dealing with repeated incivility, but the above comment departs from discussion of uncivil statements, and frames use of established community processes as attack. This definitely needs clarification. I hope the author just meant forum shopping / vexatious litigating, but my understanding is that Fram has not engaged in this behavior. Dialectric (talk) 15:33, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    (+1). That's a very strange phrase. And, Fram certainly did not forum-shop. WBGconverse 15:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • WTF? "causing contributors to be scared to continue to contribute in fear of being constantly monitored and later attacked through community process" is possibly the most ludicrous thing I've ever read. If you don't do anything that is likely to result in censure by community process (whether that be admin action, ANI, ArbCom or whatever) then there is no issue. If you are, then - madness, I know, but - stop doing it. Black Kite (talk) 15:43, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
It stems from the ideological groups who think that criticism is bad and that feelings trump evidence. So from that start point, its perfectly natural to take the view that they should be able to do what they want without oversight. Its a basic incompatible stance with the wiki 'all your contributions are bare to see and be commented on'. Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:50, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm sure the intended context here is extreme and unwarranted scrutiny, but as written, the words are chilling. Who's willing to track troublesome editor behaviour in an environment like this? Guettarda (talk) 15:56, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I really think every admin should be made aware of the above comment from the WMF and they should think long and hard before acting in an admin role. I would advise against it, unless they backtrack, and I see no reason to think they will. Enigmamsg 18:23, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I thought the WMF got involved here because our community processes had supposedly failed to deal appropriately with Fram. But now it sounds like such processes constitute an attack. Will the WMF please make up its mind? Lepricavark (talk) 16:06, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • That paragraph from T&S exactly matches my impressions of Fram. It's similar to what was said when Fram was added as a party to a recent ArbCom case, a year after T&S's warning email. Since then, I saw the behavior continue (and I guess whatever I saw was an improvement compared to what came before). I think the WMF has a point that the community has tried and failed to address this (and similar situations) many times in the past. I also think it's a false dichotomy that either we have to totally ignore problematic editors or we have to hound them. There's a lot of room in between, and frankly, if someone can't tell the difference between properly addressing problematic editing, and hounding problematic editors, then that person should just flag the issues and send the diffs to someone else to handle instead of trying to correct the problem themselves. We already have procedures for handling problematic editing in a non-hounding way. For vandalism and edit warring, after a certain number of warnings, there's AIV or EWN, where it's passed off to someone else to handle. It shouldn't be considered OK to just revert and/or repeatedly post messages on an editor's talk page and/or argue with the editor at other pages, instead of reporting them to a noticeboard for further action (that's hounding). It shouldn't be considered OK to bludgeon AIV, ECN, ANI, etc. threads by endlessly arguing with the reported editor. That said, I didn't see anything from Fram recently that warrants a 1-year ban. Whatever happened to steady escalation? If WMF was going to act at all, it should have blocked Fram for a day, a week, a month, or a few months as a first step. Next time the WMF acts in this way, I hope they start with the a short block/ban and escalate from there. Levivich 16:09, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Levivich, since your impressions exactly matches with T&S', can you please let me know about what is an attack through community process ? I am genuinely curious. WBGconverse 16:16, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    WBG, in my opinion, an example would be the recent Rama Arbcom case. There you have a "problematic edit" (the undeletion of a page), and the editor behind it: received a rude initial message on their talk page 10 minutes after making the problematic edit; was taken to ANI within the hour; to Arbcom within two hours; had a number of editors (Fram among them) posting about their problematic edits every single day for almost three weeks straight, and then they were desysoped. It's true that Rama posted some problematic messages along the way that fanned the flames, but whatever you think about the initial problematic edit, the response was pitchforks and torches: a sustained campaign, all through established processes (like ANI and Arbcom), but a sustained campaign of "you suck, you suck, you suck" on a daily basis from a small handful of editors. Nobody regulated that (though God forbid you vary a section header or go over 500 words). I would call that an attack through community process. Others I'm sure would defend it as totally normal. But all of that could have been done without the rudeness, without the hounding, even if it ended up with the same result. In the Polish/Jewish case, the reported editor said some really horrible things about the filing editor–repeatedly–and got a warning. I'm sure the filing editor felt attacked through community process. (Meanwhile, a CLEANSTART that files too much at ANI just got a one-week block. We block new editors things less egregious while letting veteran editors get away with whatever.) There are examples of similar things at ANI right now. When I filed a recent AE report, I also felt attacked through community process due to calls for a boomerang based on completely-unfounded allegations of forum shopping. I agreed with the ultimate result of the report, but like the Rama case, like the Polish/Jewish case, like almost every case or report, we could have gotten there without so much ugliness. Levivich 16:35, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Nice points and I appreciate the thoughts, however much I personally disagree with their contexts. Will reply at your t/p, in some details.WBGconverse 16:55, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • There is this ongoing trope about how the community has "failed" to deal with these issues. No, the community has decided that such behavior does not merit a block. There is a subset of the community that insists that civility be enforced in such a way. However they have never been able to gain a consensus for their position, and so because the wider community has rejected, repeatedly, that view this claim that we have failed has become commonplace. No, we have not failed. We decided that saying "fuck arbcom" is not a year-long blockworthy offense. Im sorry that some of you feel that is a failure. But it is your failure for failing to gain consensus for your view that civility be enforced in such a way. nableezy - 16:28, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    That's just a restatement of the alleged failure. WMF's position seems to be that because the community does not reach consensus that this sort of thing is problematic, the community has therefore failed in regulating civility. The community–or some of the community–wants to say that civility is whatever we say it is. Whereas, the WMF seems to be saying, civility is what they, the WMF, says it is. That's the fundamental disagreement here: who gets to define civility. You can no more assume your definition (or the community's definition) is correct than the WMF can assume theirs is correct. It's not a matter of absolute, objective right or wrong; it's a relative matter of "minimum standards", i.e. definition. So either the community will prevail upon the WMF to accept its definition, it will fork, or the WMF's definition will win. Levivich 16:35, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    I agree with the last sentence. Not much more, but that one yes. nableezy - 16:38, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    FWIW, there may be a possible resolution in sight (if the WMF are willing to back down): see here. This may not be ideal, but let's see how things go. Carcharoth (talk) 16:42, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • That the WMF feels they can police the community in a way that prioritizes the feelings of people making the actual encyclopedia worse over the actual non-problematic actions of people defending the encyclopedia against problematic actions is bone-chilling. Foxes guarding the hen house. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:14, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    Very well said. * Pppery * it has begun... 19:12, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This is the strongest evidence yet that everyone involved in the decision-making in T&S ought to be busy finding new jobs. This paragraph, if it reflects the general thinking of this group, indicates people who are fundamentally unqualified for the jobs they have. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 17:27, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • This shows a profound lack of understanding of volunteer work in the context of editing, where senior, experienced, highly-skilled contributors must choose between the quality of the encyclopedia and taking more time to hand-hold fewer of the less skilled, error-prone contributors, instead of correcting their mistakes in a relatively terse fashion and moving on to the mistakes of other less skilled contributors. It's deeply disturbing that WMF doesn't understand this, sad, and disappointing. EllenCT (talk) 17:48, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • We come back again and again to the question which has constantly plagued this encyclopedia, from its very heyday, to the infamous "Fuck off" RFC -- What is civility?--WaltCip (talk) 18:37, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • In many cases, even if your concerns have been valid, their raising has been done with a degree of abruptness, repetition, scrutiny and persistence that feels like hounding to the person on the receiving end, and causes them to abandon the project or limit their contributions.

I.e. recruitment of editors of unknown quality is the aim, and trumps vigilance, competence and commitment by anyone with a proven record. Note in the bolded part that a subjective impression of hurt is accorded greater weight than the recognized technical accuracy of the editor putatively causing 'hurt'. Try translating that into work place practices, telling a foreman who oversees quality control on the production line that, after he has repeatedly noted flaws in the product, and told the assemblers to take more care, that he will be suspended because the head office has heard complaints from individual workers down the line that their feelings are hurt so badly they are considering leaving their job. Jeezus.Nishidani (talk) 19:52, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
All evidence we've seen thus far suggests that if Fram was making users feel unwelcome, it's because they either aren't a fan of his confrontational habit, and/or were doing stupid things like copyvio. If T&S really wants to go down this path, I strongly suggest any remaining active admins, particularly those who deal with copyvio and sanctions enforcement, turn in the mop and let T&S deal with them. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 20:30, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

A suggested resolution

Some thoughts on how we might collectively deescalate the situation. Of course, if there is significant additional information that remains unknown to us, this might not work. But if the facts are basically as the community has come to understand them, how about this plan:

  • The Office terminates Fram's ban. We don't argue any more about whether it was right or wrong, legitimate or outrageous, although everyone can maintain their individual feelings about that. But the ban is just terminated as of now, on the grounds that (1) it seems to remain counterproductive to Foundation-community relations, and (2) one presumes that any "clean up your act" message that was intended for Fram has been received.
  • If there is a specific editor or two with whom the Office believes Fram was interacting problematically, Fram quasi-voluntarily agrees, without admitting any wrongdoing, to stay away from that editor(s). The editor's or editors' name(s) do not need to be disclosed on-wiki.
  • Fram also quasi-voluntarily agrees to improve his decorum a little bit. It may only be a surface issue, but there really are better ways to say "I disagree with ArbCom's action" than "Fuck you, ArbCom" (and I would say that even if I hadn't been a long-time ArbCom member myself).
  • The community hopefully accepts that even if this one was mishandled, Trust and Safety actions are generally taken with good intentions, and that there is a reason many of them can't be publicly discussed. As Opabinia regalis reminded us in her comments on the arbitration request, "T&S is these people." Most of them come from the Wikipedia communities, many from this community. They're not perfect, but they didn't accept jobs at the Foundation for the purpose of perpetrating a hostile takeover.
  • The Office opens, or reopens, or expands a dialog with the community about what it is trying to accomplish and how to get there (assuming it's somewhere it's desirable to be). It's been pointed out that various consultations have been open for awhile, but have flown under the radar of many editors, and certainly were not expected to culminate in this type of action. WMF, if you didn't before, you have our attention now. What are you trying to do, and how do you plan to go about doing it?

Comments appreciated. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 18:18, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

  • All of that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. 28bytes (talk) 18:28, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Samesies. nableezy - 18:29, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse Sounds good to me. If the Office is acting in good faith, I do not see why they would not accept this. Enigmamsg 18:30, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse as a fair compromise Atlantic306 (talk) 18:41, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse Fair. CoolSkittle (talk) 18:52, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse as a reasonable and good faith way out of this mess.--Mojo Hand (talk) 19:03, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I removed "a little bit" entailing the "improve his decorum" bit as it means nothing additional compared to an arbitrary improvement. --qedk (tc) 19:05, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Change reverted. "A little bit" is material. Fram is not being asked to promise to be a saint, but he would be being asked to be more careful. Jheald (talk) 19:15, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    • See WP:TPO, if youd like NYBrad's comment changed you should ask him to change it instead of changing it yourself. nableezy - 19:15, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
      • If possible, let's focus on the bigger picture here rather than nuances of the wording. Thanks. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:17, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Please don't chastise me about policy, meaningless wording is concerning in a proposal the community has to endorse and I removed it for that sole reason. I personally don't care about being reverted so, meh. --qedk (tc) 19:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse I like the good faith part and it being reasonable.Yger (talk) 19:11, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse Seems a reasonable way to try to walk back this situation. Jheald (talk) 19:16, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Generally Endorse If behavior is inappropriate, WMFOffice should bring it and evidence to the appropriate board immediately (such as ArbCom). The undoing of the ban need not be instantaneous if exigent circumstances are present (such as a death threat and WMF is working with local authorities). Buffs (talk) 19:20, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Uncertain I endorse this in spirit, although the specifics make me queasy. The main point I disagree with is saying "I am angry" in a "calm collected manner", can be in many situations, much less effective that showing that you are angry (Whether or not FUCK ARBCOM is the most effective way of showing that, I'll leave up to debate). So I don't think Fram should be required (based on what I know of the publicly available evidence, at least) to self impose an interaction ban / clean up his act, especially if that interaction ban leads to the other editor(s) resuming their poor encyclopedic behaviour or Wikipedia institutions failing to hear that something is unacceptable when it is unacceptable. That said, that doesn't mean I'm not in favour of Fram generally improving their behavior (if indeed poor behaviour has occurred), or that I don't acknowledged that it is unpleasant to be on the ass end of a "FUCK <INSTITUTION>" comment. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:26, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse This feels reasonable and responsive to issues on multiple sides and so I support it. I would hope that this reasonableness would receive a positive response from the foundation rather than it being seen as a negotiating posture (e.g. "well you you asked for immediate reinstatement and we said a year so let's compromise on six months"). Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 19:32, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse Perfect / brilliant. We should mention this in the other places that it is being discussed. North8000 (talk) 19:34, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Reluctant Endorse but pending BoT statement. It might be very plausible that Fram actually did something quite serious enough (in which case, the ban shall stand) or that the staff were plainly incompetent in a bid to discipline and micromanage the community. We need to learn the rough details. Also, echo Headbomb; fuck an institution will be somewhere around 2, on a scale of 10, if we are rating various forms of harassment and bullying. WBGconverse 19:38, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Sounds like a good plan, and much more sensible than the ArbCom case request. Headbomb makes a good point though. —Kusma (t·c) 19:42, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse with changes: I do admit that Headbomb has a point. However, having read through enough AN/I and AN threads with Fram's involvement, I'm sure that Fram can improve somewhat in terms of decorum. At least, I do hope so. Now, setting that point aside: I'd like to amend the proposed resolution to provide for the opening of an Arbitration Committee case, pursuant to Fram's request, as seen here. Of course, I may be able to accept it without this change. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 19:43, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I've got a few issues with a detail or two (for example, if I understand right, WMF would refuse to tell Fram who to avoid, though I imagine he could guess as well as the rest of us by now). The overarching idea of the WMF vacating the ban, leaving any action (if needed) against Fram to processes, and then having this much talked-about, calm, no-deadline, respectful discussion seems better than what we have now. --Floquenbeam (talk) 19:45, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - it sounds like this plan entails the WMF disclosing to Fram the names of those who reported him. I highly doubt they'll ever do that, unless the reporters themselves agree to it... whatever else may come out of this, the foundation's privacy policy for people who contact them will remain sacrosanct, and I would have thought rightly so. Other than that this may be a reasonable way forward if the WMF and Fram both buy into it, but let's not forget there are other avenues already being explored through Jimbo, DocJames and the board. As for Headbomb's point, I disagree. I've never really got into the discussions over language and tone before, and it offends me not at all, but we should be mindful that Wikipedia has a diverse range of ages, genders, races, creeds and cultures, and if WMF enforce a stricter guideline on the tone we use then I for one won't be complaining. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 19:49, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse with similar qualms and wimpy caveats as Headbomb and Floquenbeam. But peace matters. Thank you, Newyorkbrad! ---Sluzzelin talk 19:50, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse Sounds perfectly reasonable. (if I may, as I'm mainly active in German-language Wikipedia and on Commons, so I don't feel wholly part of English-language Wikipedia's community - although my first edits were made here, back in 2003 :-) ) Gestumblindi (talk) 19:52, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse per Floquenbeam. Haukur (talk) 19:56, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse - with ArbCom case - The main issue here is the question of whether and where our policies are deficient, and that is something the ArbCom is best equipped to figure out (as this may well require assessing past cases where private communications were involved). That said, such an ArbCom case should stick to fact-finding on this subject and interpreting that as much as possible to make recommendations to the community. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 19:58, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Makes sense to me as a possible option--Ymblanter (talk) 20:01, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Reluctant Endorse I view any action that leads to Fram no longer being office-banned as progress, although much of this proposal accepts a level of office involvement in the community that I, and probably many other users, feel is excessive. * Pppery * it has begun... 20:07, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • It's hard to find fault with the overall thrust of this proposal, but I think a bit of skepticism needs to be added. Yes, it would undoubtedly be helpful if WMF drops the stick over the ban. Yes, it would unquestionably be a good idea for Fram to be more empathetic in his interactions with others. But are we just kicking the can down the road in the event that, a little later, someone secretly contacts T&S asserting that a recent comment by Fram violates his "quasi" commitment? Yes, the community should be cooperative with WMF staff, rather than adversarial. But I actually think the overwhelming majority of us have been willing to do that all along, and no amount of consensus will dissuade those who really want to be adversarial. And the problem arose from T&S not being willing to cooperate with us, not the other way around. Yes, there needs to be dialog between the community and T&S, as well as between ArbCom and T&S. But a lot of that is already being initiated, and the proof will be in the proverbial pudding. WMF does need to communicate with the community about what they intend, but we need to expect that the community response will be complex, and WMF needs to expect that, if they express it as a top-down take-it-or-leave-it kind of thing, it won't work. I'd actually prefer to decide on all of this only after we find out what the outcome of the Board meeting Friday was, and what the upcoming WMF-ArbCom meeting leads to. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:24, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • A fair assessment, and if they come out of the board meeting with something that throws more fuel on the fire it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect this option to be taken off the table. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 20:27, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse with an additional request: if and when an editor with an instance of problematic editing such as WP:CopyVio is identified, en-WP admins and editors – including Fram – may scrutinize other edits of that editor. WMFOffice accepts that this is neither stalking nor evidence of hostility or harassment, rather such efforts are in good faith and necessary to maintain or improve the "Quality and Reliability" of the en-WP. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 20:30, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse as a first step. In my opinion, this concentrates too much on the individual case, not on the general relationship between the foundation and the communities. But it might rebuild some bridges and de-escalate the situation to allow for a constructive dialogue. Thanks for a useful contribution, Brad! --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:31, 17 June 2019 (UTC)