Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-06-30/News and notes

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Mysterious ban, admin resignations, Wikimedia Thailand rising: Many administrators resign related to Fram case; Wikimedia Thailand to host Wikimania 2020


Mysterious Wikimedia Foundation ban of English Wikipedia administrator

In an official action on 10 June 2019, the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) through the special role account User:WMFOffice revoked the administrator rights of English Wikipedia administrator Fram, saying "This user has been banned by the Wikimedia Foundation from editing the English Wikipedia for a period of 1 year, consistent with the Terms of Use. Please address any questions to ca@wikimedia.org."[1] At the same time, the WMF blocked Fram for 1 year (including blocking account creation and disabling email and talk page access) with the same summary.[2] This ban was significant for being the first of its kind, outside the usual Wikipedia system of justice, and for various odd other circumstances which the Wikimedia community is currently discussing to all ends. More than 400 commentators have posted at WP:FRAM (Wikipedia:Community response to the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of Fram), and so far the responses have resulted in Fram being unblocked, reblocked, and unblocked again, as well as having their administrator rights restored and then revoked again. More extensive coverage of the incident, the community's response, and the related arbitration requests are in this issue's Discussion report.

Admin/crat/functionary changes

Wikipe-tan mopping.png
If resignations continue, Wikipedia mascot Wikipe-tan will be the only remaining administrator.

In response to the WMF's ban of Fram, in protest to the responses of others, and for other reasons, a record number of administrators, bureaucrats, and functionaries have resigned in the last few weeks. As of 20:05, 30 June 2019 (UTC), the following administrators have resigned:

  1. 28bytes (also resigned as a bureaucrat)
  2. Ad Orientem
  3. Ansh666
  4. Beeblebrox (also resigned as a checkuser and oversighter)
  5. Boing! said Zebedee
  6. BU Rob13 (also resigned as a checkuser and oversighter)
  7. Dennis Brown
  8. Deor
  9. DoRD (also resigned as a checkuser and oversighter)
  10. Floquenbeam
  11. Gadfium
  12. GB fan (also resigned as an oversighter)
  13. Jonathunder
  14. Kusma
  15. Lectonar
  16. MSGJ (also resigned as an interface administrator)
  17. Nick
  18. Spartaz
  19. TheDJ (also resigned as an interface administrator)
  20. WJBscribe (also resigned as a bureaucrat)

Many of these users also published personal statements on their user talk pages explaining their actions.

Furthermore, Flyguy649, Moink, and Syrthiss were desysopped for inactivity, and Od Mishehu and Rama were desysopped by the Arbitration committee.

English Wikipedia currently has 1,146 administrators. The Signpost routinely reports the coming and going of administrators and community discussions related to the institution. English Wikipedia itself has an article on Wikipedia administrators. The decline of the number of administrators sometimes inspires predictions of the end of Wikipedia among both Wikimedia community members and mainstream media sources as documented in that Wikipedia article. In general, the Wikipedia community expresses gratitude to get even a single new administrator and remarks on the departure of every individual who leaves the role.

Wikimedia Thailand becomes chapter, will host Wikimania 2020

Aerial view of Lumphini Park.jpg
Wikimedia Thailand has membership around the country, but Wikimania 2020 will be in the capital Bangkok.

Wikimedia Thailand became a Wikimedia chapter on 14 June 2019 through a resolution by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees and on the recommendation of the Affiliations Committee. Previously the organization was designated as a Wikimedia User Group in the system of Wikimedia Movement Affiliates. In that scheme, groups of 10 people can register a user group, and if their organization grows in participation, administration, and impact, then it may commit to additional responsibility and become a chapter in recognition of Wikimedia community trust and as a prerequisite for access to greater funding.

The difference between a chapter and a usergroup is not entirely documented. In general, user groups have smaller membership, make few reporting commitments, and receive little or no organization funding from the Wikimedia Foundation Grants program. In contrast, chapters demonstrate stability in administration and reporting and usually seek funding through either the Funds Dissemination Committee's Annual Plan Grant process or the Simple Annual Plan Grant process.

The last time a Wikimedia user group became a chapter was in April 2019 when Wikimedia Korea got recognition. Before that, Wikimedia Belgium became a chapter by an October 2014 resolution.

The promotion of Wikimedia Thailand is part of a plan for Wikimedia development in the region, including Thailand hosting the 2020 Wikimania conference. Available information on Thailand at this conference is at meta:Talk:Wikimania 2020. Thailand seems to have not published a Wikimania proposal and perhaps the Wikimania Foundation is assisting in the organization of the event. Organizations which made proposals or bids in the public process were Armenia, Perth, and Indonesia.

Brief notes