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

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Just why didn't they predict this?[edit]

Putting aside the rightness and wrongness of actions, i have to ask

Given the involvement of multiple WMF teams - why did no-one have the nous to predict how the Community would react (both to the ban but also to the "en-wiki is failing to enforce standards, but we can't say how")?

Is it the serious dearth of individuals with Wikipedia experience? They say they have employees with community management experience, but we really don't imitate any other web community (both in the form of the Community and the supposed form of the executive).

Is it "we don't care, we believe there are issues and we "know" how to solve them"?

I know several teams were given, but I'm not sure Community Relations were - did they just not get the right internal voices?

Nosebagbear (talk) 15:18, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

On what basis do you come to the conclusion that this reaction (or something akin to it) was not expected or predicted? I've been working since Day One on the assumption that it was pretty much entirely predicted to shake out the way that it has. Even the timing is not surprising, occurring within a week of a long-scheduled board meeting. So far, none of this has surprised me. Maybe it's because I spend a lot more time operating at the "global" level. Risker (talk) 15:28, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Risker, one would think if this reaction was expected, they would have been better prepared for it. Is there something in particular that leads you to believe that the WMF did this with the intent of causing this type of disruption? That's a pretty serious accusation. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:41, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm inclined to believe with Seraphimblade - if they did predict this blowback, then they didn't do a great job prepping for it. It also means they'd be at dire risk of deceiving the board, which seems a hell of a personal risk to take. The Community response was angry in a general sense, but the actual actions considered were all over the place. Some really unpleasant things (for both sides) could have occurred. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:47, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

There are two possibilities, both quite discouraging, but I can't think of a third one:

  • A, the "cluelessness theory": The WMF people responsible for these actions are genuinely so completely detached from the community and aloof that they didn't have a clue how mature, large Wikipedia communities work (such as the English or the German one), and really couldn't foresee the uproar caused by a well-intentioned intervention they thought would be in the interests of the "health" of the community.
  • B, the "conspiracy theory": They planned it all from the start, expected the uproar, are intentionally behaving that way, and this is part of a plan to gradually erode the independence of the Wikipedia communities through actions that are accompanied by nice words and apologies for handling it badly, but ultimately pushing through what they want.

I think - and hope - that A is more likely. It's also not good, but at least if it's A, then there is hope for improvement. Gestumblindi (talk) 15:54, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Responding to Seraphimblade and Nosebagbear: Change is, by design, disruptive. They may not have predicted this exact response to the disruption, but I am certain they anticipated that the action would cause disruption. There have been a lot of indications that changes in the management of user behaviour were coming. Keep in mind that T&S and the WMF aren't just dealing with English Wikipedia, and that our user behaviour problems, while minor compared to some other small projects, have a disproportionate impact on the perception of the global umbrella of projects. The fact that it is now out in the open that these changes have been in progress for over a year, and that various iterations of similar penalties have already been imposed on other projects, tells us that this is part of a larger plan. I do have the advantage of being personally acquainted with at least half of the people involved in T&S or in the chain of authorization for OFFICE actions, and none of them are fools; every one of the ones I know would have fully anticipated that Enwiki would go "nuts" when they made their first OFFICE local block here. The WMF - and the Board, just about every member of whom is actively involved in the work being done on the 2030 strategy development - has been moving toward a more global approach to just about everything for a long time, and here on this project we've generally been turning a blind eye to it and acting as though we're too important to mess with. We don't exist in a vacuum, much as some may want to think we do. Risker (talk) 16:11, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Risker, thanks for that. I have to say, sadly, that what you say makes a certain degree of sense. But the idea that WMF is deliberately undertaking actions that will be destructive to the projects that they were founded to support is troubling, to put it mildly, and is a lot to digest. If you are correct on this, what do you propose that we might do about it? Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:21, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I guess the question is whether or not disruption (which I'm sure they'd agree this is) is the same thing as destruction (which is a lot more questionable). In a lot of ways, our project is becoming increasingly self-destructive. How many people on this project know that the majority of sub-Saharan African Wikipedians edit either this project or French Wikipedia? How welcoming are we to them? Do we seek them out, treat them with respect, understand that they're probably better arbiters of what constitutes a reliable source about Kenya or Lesotho than those of us sitting in the Northern Hemisphere? Are we dealing effectively with edits coming out of the Indian subcontinent, another major global area contributing to our new editor cadre? We aren't talking about that stuff on this project, and I'll lay odds that most people are completely unaware of where the potential for new growth is coming from, and the support systems and mechanisms that oldies like us had when we first started editing just don't exist anymore.

    As a community, we've embraced globalization throughout the WMF when we've thought it to our advantage. We were happy with the introduction of SUL, a lot of people were genuinely excited with the introduction of global preferences and global user pages, we were pretty much thrilled to bits with the introduction of the "paid editing" clauses to the TOU, and we were proud to be the pilot projects of what became the global legal fees assistance program. The roots of the Trust & Safety program are right here on English Wikipedia, and many of the activities we are seeing now on a global level were first developed to address issues on this project; when you look at the list of OFFICE banned users, more than 2/3 of them primarily edited this project.

    This is wandering pretty far off-topic here, but I suppose my key point is that we're not doing a great job ourselves of resolving the low- and medium-level user behaviour problems, despite knowing for years that they've been adversely affecting new editorship, and there's good reason to believe they've affected editor retention, as well. These are really hard problems to solve - and they're problems in just about every type of online community. I don't think this was the best way to address things, but to be honest I suspect we would have wound up with almost the same discussion if the T&S team had come here and said "hey you've got some user behaviour problems that are adversely affecting your project, and we suggest doing XYZ" than if they just did XYZ. We wouldn't have wound up with the desysop/crat issues, but I'm pretty sure it would have been just as contentious otherwise. Risker (talk) 17:33, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

    All of the things you are saying the community was happy about, with the exception of SUL, are opt-in programs. SUL was only non-opt-in for the users who were forcibly renamed (who I presume were not happy). However, the WMF applying its own standards and banning users it feels have breached them is non-opt-in for the entire community. * Pppery * it has begun... 17:41, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The Terms of Use are not opt-in. The OFFICE global ban program is not opt-in and in fact was created and expanded because of pressure by English Wikipedia. SUL was never opt-in; it was all-or-nothing. Global preferences is a preference program that affects anyone who, while logged in, goes to another Wikimedia project; it has defaults that are largely benign but it's not really opt-in. The use of the LFAP is optional for editors to whom it applies, but it applies regardless of what project(s) the editor contributes to. I don't really think any of the programs I've pointed out are really optional. Risker (talk) 17:58, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • On the content/WikiProject level, I'd say that there are at least some efforts going on - for example, Wikipedia:WikiProject Highways/Countries which has a summary of the road articles enwiki has compared with what Commons and Wikidata has.
  • I would say though, that some things like SUL and global preferences/userpages were requested by many people for years. Some of the more controversial things like MediaViewer, Flow, or these WMF local bans don't fall into that category. --Rschen7754 18:17, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • You've hit on a very key point, Rschen7754 - the successful global programs tended to come from widespread (i.e., multiple-project) community requests and with significant community involvement; those that were not successful tended to be more top-down and either had little broad global/local community involvement and/or were resistant to such involvement. Risker (talk) 18:22, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I think there's a lot to address in that earlier statement. How many people on this project know that the majority of sub-Saharan African Wikipedians edit either this project or French Wikipedia? Didn't know it, but I would've guessed it. How welcoming are we to them? Do we seek them out, treat them with respect, understand that they're probably better arbiters of what constitutes a reliable source about Kenya or Lesotho than those of us sitting in the Northern Hemisphere? I will agree we should treat any new editor well. I think projects like TWA have helped with that. I do not, however, agree that any editor is a better judge of source reliability based on their location. Now, certainly, those editors might know of some reliable sources that we generally aren't aware of, and that's great. But I would not, for example, say that I am a better judge of reliable sources about the US than someone in Kenya, and I wouldn't say the reverse between myself and them either. Are we dealing effectively with edits coming out of the Indian subcontinent, another major global area contributing to our new editor cadre? So far as I can see, we have quite a large amount of content about Indian subjects. Editors are not required to specify their nationality and many never do, so no one can say for sure how much of that was written by Indians, but I would say it's probably a fair bit. As a community, we've embraced globalization throughout the WMF when we've thought it to our advantage. Sure, like any community would, and we have also pushed back when we thought it not to be, resulting in the improvement of what was being attempted. You'll note that we do now have Visual Editor and MediaViewer on the project, but without the very real problems that indicated they should not have been deployed as they were. Similar with other initiatives. SUL has the ultimate opt-out—it only affects you at all if you choose to use it. If I would prefer, say, not to edit as Seraphimblade on Commons, and instead use an account named JimBobBoPeep, I could do that and SUL would do nothing to stand in my way. The opt-out mechanism, in that case, is organic and entirely built-in: If you don't want to use it, just don't. Same with the paid editor clause. Sure, we enthusiastically welcomed that, but Commons did not, so they opted out and were not stopped from doing so. It served our community's needs well, but not theirs. That's the way to do these things without being unduly disruptive. Put them up as an option, but always provide the option to say no. Telling WMF "We would like you to handle situations such as child protection and threats where reports to law enforcement may be required" was not equivalent to telling them "We would like you to come along and ban whoever you just don't like." And if they had come along and said "Hey, we've found indications of some problems, can we discuss them?" would almost certainly have been better received than what essentially amounts to a power grab. Really, any approach other than that would have been better received. Unilaterally banning one of their most vocal critics was about the most disruptive choice they could have conceivably made, and I would say that deliberately upsetting many senior members of our community, and causing a rift that has caused many to leave, is indeed very appropriately classified as "destructive". Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:26, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    Seraphimblade, I am from India and have some idea about editors from this belt. There are multiple sysops and highly decorated content writers, from India. Obviously, the more, the better but there's fair many. And, I see multiple new editors, who have become experienced enough, at a regular rate. I though note that this is about India alone; I have an idea about Pakistan, too. But, no clue about the entire subcontinent i.e. Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan et al.WBGconverse 18:43, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
(ec) I'll also take a crack at addressing, Are we dealing effectively with edits coming out of the Indian subcontinent, another major global area contributing to our new editor cadre?
Wikipedia certainly has a lot of problems in this topic area as the existence of, and steady need to use, WP:ARBIPA amply demonstrates. But we also have a lot of informed editors, and institutionalized knowledge and memory to deal with the content and conduct issues in this area; more than what WMF can ever hope to develop even if it expands its paid staff by 10x (just take a look at the recent discussions here and here, or take a gander through the WT:INB archives, to get an idea of the breadth of knowledge we can call upon). And even if one is narrowly focused on civility and editor-retention issue, I don't see T&S having, or developing the capacity, to handle those either. For example: can anyone in the T&S staff take a look at this current "discussion", decipher the insults being thrown around, understand what real-world identity-disputes they reflect, and then act to balance the civility and edit-retention concerns? Frankly, I doubt regular wikipedians, including me, will be too successful either but I do think that we are better equipped to try.
(TL;DR)  Yes, there are problems and opportunities in the Indian subcontinent 'growth area', but not ones that will be solved or even helped by 'globalization', using the blunt tool of TOU enforcement, or intervention by paid-staff. Abecedare (talk) 19:07, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
(+1) to what Abecedare said. Damn true; the situation can be improved but not by random lightning strikes, from up above. WBGconverse 19:15, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

There is also a third possibility that this is not really something that was planned top-down by the WMF but a result of WMF-internal office politics. Maybe annual reviews are due, and the T&S team haven't done enough to justify their budget. Maybe T&S are bored because there is just not enough work for them, so they have to ban whomever they can (that would explain them banning an already banned user in the german Wikipedia). Maybe T&S wants to have more requests in the future to increase their size and importance within WMF, so they needed a high-profile case like this one to remind everyone that they exist and are ban-happy. --Tinz (talk) 18:45, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

This is sheer conspiracy theory, at-least to me. WBGconverse 18:48, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
I have no idea whether this is case, but it is a third option to the scenarios A and B suggested by Gestumblindi. The WMF has grown to a size where I would be amazed if there was not a lot internal office politics going on. --Tinz (talk) 18:53, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

The ability of WMF to foresee this exists along a spectrum not a binary, ranging from "they expected no pushback" (100% wrong) to "they expected this level of pushback" (100% right). Speculations about motives and preparation for the fallout of their actions are two separate conversations which overlap with whether or not they saw it coming but are distinct topics in and of themselves. I have my guesses about all three of these things but think it's important to define this correctly first if we're to analyze it. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 19:13, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

I'm a little confused because the 100% wrong seems to be an opinion. Enigmamsg 19:33, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have just stuck to "The ability of WMF to foresee this exists along a spectrum of 100% inaccurate to 100% accurate" and then proceeded with the remainder of my thought. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 19:39, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
At the very least they seem to have achieved a "dead cat" moment, to attract our attention to what they've been working on. Jheald (talk) 19:43, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
As a logical possibility, they could have expected more pushback. Lots of us here were supportive of that. I myself suggested that all the admins go on strike. Others made even more forceful suggestions. Fram made the explicit point that nobody should undertake actual violence. I'm sure nobody even considered that, but it tells us something that the topic had to even come up. Someone else said something about protesting with signs. Picketing the WMF office during the board meeting was certainly doable (for those of us in the region) and it could have been organized here. I dunno how much turnout there could have been though, or whether it would have affected anything. (talk) 19:50, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Responding to Seraphimblade: Yeah, I was concerned that I was going too far off-topic in that particular post, though I'll note there's a difference between "you can create an alternate to the paid editing TOU but unless your community supports that, this TOU applies" and "you can opt in to this paid editing TOU". [Complete aside: I was the person who piloted the "alternate disclosure policy" for Mediawikiwiki and tech projects.] Coming back to the core issue that seems to be at the base of the WMF/T&S action here, we have long known that there are very serious difficulties in addressing behaviour issues amongst the group of editors who've been labeled "unblockable"; this group includes most administrators, and a lot of long-term prolific editors. In the latter case, they have in fact often been blocked, but the blocks don't tend to stick. There are probably only about 20-30 administrators who could successfully block an unblockable, and even then they'd be risking their bits to do so. I am certain that just about every administrator who carries out blocks has refrained from blocking one of those individuals at least in part because they know (even though the block has been more than earned) they'll spend days defending the block, and will likely burn up a good chunk of whatever social capital and sweat equity they have in doing so. We know as a community that this is a problem, we've known it for years, and we've avoided addressing it. Arbcom isn't the answer - it's not designed to address this sort of stuff, and we really haven't given it either the authority or responsibility of doing so. There have been complaints going back almost as long as I have been on this project (almost 15 years now) that our community can't or won't deal with this issue. So I'll go a bit further out on a limb than I have to this point: I don't think that T&S is the right answer here, either; it's not the process or the course of action I would have recommended (had I been consulted), nor the one that I think will achieve the best results. On the other hand, I don't think I or anyone else in this community has come up with any other, better courses of action.

    I think perhaps the issue here is that there isn't a consensus on how to interpret the core action here. Some see it as a wake-up call that our user behaviour problems are more serious than we have admitted, and we need to make "human resources" type changes in our project. Some see it as a flat-out usurpation of community independence. Some see it as a much-needed step because the project has, in fact, failed to enforce its existing policies and/or has not developed processes or systems to address problems we know we have, and attempts to resolve these problems have not only been unsuccessful but have been openly and actively blocked. My suspicion is that elements of each of these perceptions are correct; that this one action has a lot more aspects to it than simply one issue. Risker (talk) 19:41, 15 June 2019 (UTC)

  • The internal politics side is interesting (not the "did it to show existence", which I disagree with) but a legitimate 3rd choice - that would turn it into "Why didn't T&S expect this". Perhaps community relations did know, but T&S went ahead anyway. @Risker: is right in the sense that people have interpreted it in different ways. However I disagree with his (His? Apologies if wrong judgement that no-one has come up with better thoughts. There was quite a productive conversation kicked off going on WT:AC/N by this, with the first 2/3 discussing it in detail, before recent side-tracking. Several mitigating options as well as duplication a less extreme form under ARBCOM control were considered. This suggests that if the WMF had said "right, you need to do something, or we're going to have to start blocking people without you", but not gone ahead, something could have been done. Nosebagbear (talk) 20:05, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
    • Hi Nosebagbear - I'm a woman, although I ticked off "gender neutral pronouns" in my preferences; she/her is just fine, but my focus is always on the conversation rather than the pronouns, so don't feel awkward about it. [Another complete aside, it seems that the software that estimates number/percentage of female editors uses this preference, and counts "gender neutral" as male.] Yes, there's another recent discussion. I've lost count of the number of times it's been discussed; I could probably come up with a list of 50 prior discussions, small and large, if I wanted to spend all weekend at it. At most, we've come up with genuinely tangential applications (e.g., not using external websites to attack people) but really haven't hit the core "low-intensity chronic aggression" issues. And now this recent discussion has lost its way, too. do we get the discussion to stay on track, to come up with actionable positions and plans that address general comportment rather than fringe cases, and then bring it into force? That's the most important challenge we face. Risker (talk) 20:25, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm skeptical of the argument that ArbCom has been particularly ineffective at dealing with these kinds of things. ANI, yes, for sure. And maybe a few instances where ArbCom didn't do enough. And certainly situations where it's better to contact ArbCom privately than to post a request on-site. But I'm having trouble believing that there is a large and systematic population of trouble-makers who have been taken to ArbCom and given a pass, and who therefore need to be handed over to T&S. Although I can believe that there are some users who think that certain editors need to be reigned in, and who think that the rest of the community is getting it wrong. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:20, 15 June 2019 (UTC)
The en-wiki system works poorly in this area, but only a tiny fraction is Arbcom's fault. North8000 (talk) 03:28, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Risker, if this is entirely about Fram's on-wiki conduct, where one or more people think they were being wrong but aren't willing to deal with the hell of on-wiki dispute resolution, what about the possibility of having someone else "represent" them? I have to say I'm very creeped out about the secrecy, if all the evidence is on-wiki and public. If there's an allegation of off-wiki misconduct that's different of course. Can we get a straight answer from T&S about whether Fram's (alleged) misconduct was entirely on-wiki? Being able to short-circuit normal DR by sending a few diffs to T&S sounds like a great new feature of Wikipedia (that's sarcasm but it does almost sound like it was done that way). (talk) 03:03, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for your question. I understand entirely where you are coming from, and the answer isn't simple and is (once again) rooted in ancient Enwiki history. There was a point in time where there was a small group/one or two individuals who took it upon themselves to advocate on behalf of fellow Wikipedians; this would have been 8 or more years ago, and I'd have no idea where to look for the relevant pages, many of which were probably deleted. This was put to a stop for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was some pretty trolling behaviour on the part of one of the self-appointed advocates, and some real questions about whether their actions were really helping the purported "aggrieved person", or if they were acting with the agreement of that person. It's possible that one or more other "old-timers" may be able to fill in some of the gaps in my recollection; I can't even honestly say that I remember the usernames of the accounts that took on that campaign. Risker (talk) 04:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Association of Members' Advocates? isaacl (talk) 06:31, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, I kind of remember that, but it was more to help people navigate the DR process than pursue the dispute on their behalf, and its members weren't always all that clueful. I was imagine something where the advocate did more. But, I no longer think it's a good idea, even if it's workable. What the Committee of Public Trust & Safety is doing is insane though. It will lead to la Terreur. (talk) 07:00, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The strangeness of 1-year instead of indefinite, and of just en-Wiki instead of global, could perhaps indicate that, for whatever reason, they wanted to make an office action, but they were insecure about what they were doing and were attempting to hedge their bets. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:39, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    If one's unsure of what one's doing, one would not insist one was infallible by making one's action have no method of appeal. * Pppery * it has begun... 02:36, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
    I agree. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:49, 17 June 2019 (UTC)


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

We have now topped the 1 million character mark for this page. Nice work engaging the community and increasing participation, WMF bureaucrats — well played! Carrite (talk) 03:26, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

  • Is this including the archived threads? Either way, yes! WMF has gotten people out of the woodwork. It is really cool to see everyone together to rant about them. --Rockstonetalk to me! 05:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • And that doesn't even count the lengthy discussion on ARBCOM's board and the talk page here. The fact that we don't really have anything to !vote on does keep the ball rolling. And we've still got anything Doc James might tell us, too. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:31, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    What is most flabbergasting is that the WMF literally had clearly no clue what they were doing was going to cause this. Or if they did, they lack the leadership to do anything about it, which is clearly being demonstrated day on day here with an abject lack of anything substantive from anyone there. I think that, in a nutshell, demonstrates a clear disconnect with WMF and their community. If anyone had made this kind of error of judgement where I work, they'd be terminated. The Rambling Man (talk) 10:42, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    I actually agree with Risker above that WMF had a very good idea what the consequences would be.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:46, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Definitely, yes. I'm sure they were fully expecting a shitstorm of some magnitude, at least. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 10:47, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    And yet were (a) happy to enable it and (b) unable to respond to it? Really? The Rambling Man (talk) 11:29, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    I think so. If you know that something you intend to do will be unpopular but are determined to do it anyway, just doing it and riding out the storm can be an effective strategy. How much of a storm they expected, I've really no idea, and it might be bigger than they thought. But the suggestion that they just didn't expect a big backlash assumes they're stupid, and the individuals involved are most certainly not that. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:42, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Shock and awe, in other words. 28bytes (talk) 13:49, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • If @Risker: is right, it also meant that they were aware of the shitstorm they were bringing in reaction to the WMF...and still didn't think dropping an FYI to the board was worthwhile. Even with day to day autonomy, if a charity' employees failed to warn their trustees that they were going to take an action which would infuriate 20% of their volunteers[citation needed] , I can't imagine they'd be thrilled. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:05, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    In the normal logic of conflict, where there is an imbalance of power the outcome of any challenge is a foregone conclusion. Unless the weaker side can wield a significant threat to the dominant power, whatever the former does -protest, complain, argufy - has no weight or influence on the decision-making process. What we have here is therefore 'pro-forma', -in lieu of a general strike whose effectiveness would also be questionable since people don't readily sacrifice their pastimes and hobbies to a principle - a matter of waiting 'democratically' until people exhaust themselves and go back to work under the new rules. In Hong Kong, they won only by going into the streets on masse, and that is unlikely here. Nishidani (talk) 12:37, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    There certainly is truth to this, excepting there are some drastic steps that can be taken short of a full strike, that I agree would be unlikely. The question would be whether the community had the staying power to exercise them. These actions would also draw outside attention - some prior thought into, if not win, hold to a draw the secondary media battle. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:02, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    Doubt that can be won on those terms. WMF has the money and an internationally known figure, and probably the sympathy of the woke press once they paint it as historically disfavored communities struggling to be heard vs. Internet trolls/Gamergaters. That kinda thing anyway.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:18, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
    A strike can take many forms. The classic one is simply laying down one's tools until further notice. No requests to be desysopped, no sacrifices: simply not doing some function critical to the daily operation of Wikipedia. It is not a measure that would have an effect were peons like me to adopt it - we're replaceable and our presence or absence here makes no difference (though I have suspended my contributions to article improvements from the moment I noticed this problem) - but were a small but significant minority of people doing things required for everyday management, Arbcom, arbitrators etc to take an indeterminate wiki break without drama all at the same time (if the proposed measure becomes practice) I think an imporftant message would get across.Nishidani (talk) 14:36, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
I.e. if the problem is civility, there is a conflict of competence that is best resolved by arbitrators referring every single complaint covered by WP:Civil, such as WP:Hounding, WP:AGF from thereon in, to the T&S Community Health specialists, automatically, since the proposal has challenged the competence of Enwiki arbitrators in these regards. Let them take on that workload. They'll have to hire a lot of staff to handle the significant increase in work volume, and the unpaid men and women here who have had, out of sheer voluntaristic passions, handled these issues hitherto can feel some relief that their burden of unpaid servitude for a cause is lightened.Nishidani (talk) 15:33, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Nishidani, I completely agree. I suggested something similar at the WJBscribe arbcom case. Either we resolve our own user conduct cases or we don't. —Kusma (t·c) 06:17, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Nishidani, "people don't readily sacrifice their pastimes and hobbies to a principle"−I did (somewhat). I was a moderator on a web forum owned by a company and another moderator blocked a spammer who was one of the company's customers. The company unblocked the spammer so several moderators including myself quit. I'm still there as a regular member interacting with other members, but moderating amounted to free labor for the company, so I stopped donating it. What I suggested earlier was that Wikipedia's admins stop adminning, though keeping on editing if they want. A few did quit, but not enough to create a real issue for the WMF. (talk) 01:21, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Nishidani: - unfortunately, that method only works for an organisation that doesn't have the ability to step up to it (it's best on disputes to a micromanaging boss as an individual etc) - here, we could end up conceding everything rather than an effective method, despite the nuisance it would cause them Nosebagbear (talk) 15:46, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
In efficient business management, you don't reduplicate functions. The project is reduplicative which in turn creates a conflict of competence. When you have a turf dispute, precise lines of demarcation of competence are required, which isn't apparently in place. We don't 'concede' anything above. If the WMF asserts its right to adjudicate civility matters in Star Chamber protocols, there is nothing the 'community' can do about it, other than push that logic of quiet encroachment to its logical end. Rather than 'concede', one simply recognizes the de facto logic, and leaves the disputed ground under one legal system, rather than two. This means that Enwiki, rather than conceding on the principle, admits that its powers to regulate behavioural abuse have been usurped, that it will not be complicit in whatever decisions are made by the encroaching authority, and leave the occupying power to sort out the mess it created without quisling complicity.Nishidani (talk) 16:15, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I've read about the times people calculated how many pages Wikipedia would come out to if you printed the whole encyclopedia out. Well, the discussions centered around the WMF's actions and statements amount to quite a lengthy book. If this ever ends (the WMF evidently is trying to ignore and hoping people will just forget it ever happened), we should do the math on the main page, the talk page, the ArbCom case, the discussions on WP:BN... record-setting stuff. Enigmamsg 17:44, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Some statistics to consider, congratulations to those that made their point without appearing in the top ten:'s_ban_of_Framcygnis insignis 21:08, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
And yet for all our sturm und drang it still only has 68k views. Tons for a project page, but a drop in the bucket of our overall scope. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 13:49, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Can't believe I wasn't in the top 20 - barely made into the top 40! Of course that 70k views is linked to the most disruptive issue in 3 years. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:52, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Last Meeting[edit]

Is it worth highlighting that on the meetings page the last meeting with minutes linked is mid 2018? Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 14:12, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

...well, that's disturbing. At best, unless there was some quiet change to the org rules that allowed for/required keeping the minutes secret (which, if unpublicized, would be concerning in and of itself), the best case interpretation would be incompetence. rdfox 76 (talk) 15:55, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
The first thing to do, in this situation, would be to ask the person who is apparently responsible for putting up the minutes to update the page. So I did that in this edit. Let's see if we receive a response. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 16:42, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
January 2019 meeting minutes here. Not sute they are terribly informative.There may be others lurking somewhere on foundation wiki.Nigel Ish (talk) 17:10, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
You guys are hilarious. They don't need to minute things any more, they just act and the rest of us can go "figure" as some of you might say. The Rambling Man (talk) 17:30, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
"'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'". (talk) 21:41, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
Geez...I thought "That's not the way the world really works anymore..." was a quote from Animal Farm at first... Shearonink (talk) 06:57, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
That was interesting. Especially the discussion in the slide deck (I won't ask why it isn't on Commons) starting around slide 39, where, among "tier 1 risks", they discuss community engagement. I suppose that concern just hasn't filtered down to operations level staff, like T&S? Guettarda (talk) 19:51, 16 June 2019 (UTC)
@Guettarda: Good catch! Let's look at that risk: "The risk that the Foundation fails to engage contributors and content creation decreases. Further, that the Foundation fails to reach new markets and developing communities." The way I read that, the risk is that a) Wikipedia fails to gain access to new wallets because it is seen as rude or banned by some Third World censor. For example, if WMF fails to suppress Flow threads that are sexist, or ban the people who post them, or fails to post threads insulting to Erdogan, or ban the people who post them, they lose access to some of their "market" and that is a risk. This is in the spirit of the world's oldest profession. Wnt (talk) 13:09, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
@Guettarda: The reason WMF slide decks aren't put on commons is because commons folk have a habit of deleting everything that staff upload to be point-y and contrarian. It got so bad that people just stopped trying because why bother? (Personal attack removed) --Jorm (talk) 15:17, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
@Jorm: Wow - I knew relations between WMF and the community were bad, but I had no idea they were that bad. I don't think we've ever had problems adding things like that to Commons. Guettarda (talk) 16:12, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
@Jorm:, Can you kindly provide the relevant diffs? I checked Fram's contributions and other logs but failed to locate anything, in the regard. Thanks, WBGconverse 16:19, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I really don't feel like doing any homework about this. It was easily five years ago or more, though, that these decisions were made. Why are you guys surprised at this? Staff are routinely treated like absolute shit by the various communities.--Jorm (talk) 16:24, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, but sans any evidence in the form of diffs, you are casting aspersions. Please provide the evidence or strike-through your accusations of mis-conduct about Fram. I am not inclined to find out about whether the community really behaved in the way that you described (which if true, is pathetic) and thus, don't have any problems with the first part. Regards, WBGconverse 16:33, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict) That content is licensed under CC-BY-SA, so any of us can upload one of those slide decks or the like to Commons, providing appropriate attribution under the CC license, and see what happens next. I'm rather inclined to do that myself. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:41, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I would imagine if any of the WMF's stuff was deleted there was probably a credible argument its not in scope for a project designed to host educational resources. Slide-show minutes would require a fair bit of fast talking on the part of the WMF to justify, but given the WMF routinely gives the impression they are not interested in justifying anything (I have removed Jorm's unevidenced personal attack above) I can see commons deleting it quite easily. Minutes are minutes, and other as a lasting record, have very little educational value. Only in death does duty end (talk) 17:15, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
───────────────────────── Part of Commons' scope is files being used on other Wikimedia projects, outside user and user talk pages, including for an "operational reason". It would seem to me that if a project used links to such WMF material to facilitate project discussions, that would put it well within that scoping. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:43, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
The keeping up of the Foundation Board's page is spotty at best. If you ever want to see what they're conveniently forgetting to link, PrefixIndex is your friend: List of all the Minutes subpages Hasteur (talk) 21:45, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Editorial cartoon[edit]

The WMF respects the policies on each project. Here, for example, is how we apply WP:TNT to English Wikipedia.
The WMF respects the policies on each project. Here, for example, is how we apply WP:TNT to English Wikipedia.

I wonder if someone can make a cartoon of the Wikipedia globe with a firecracker stuck into it, and a hand from outside the frame lighting the fuse with a match. The hand would be labelled "WMF Trust & Safety Team". (talk) 22:30, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

Or, how about someone urinating on the Wikipedia globe? (Defecating would probably be an overreaction.) EEng 00:25, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Or someone from the WMF shooting a gun at the Wikipedia globe and it deflating Abote2 (talk) 10:16, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
The Signpost pays big bucks for their cartoons, right? Right? --Xover (talk) 14:53, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Afootpluto (talk) 17:05, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Afootpluto, this is great, now I have to figure out how to use it (or by all means, put it in the signpost article). I may have another request at some point if you're up for it. (talk) 23:52, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia consultation on new user reporting system[edit]

Moving OT notification to talk. This is already advertised in CENT as well. --qedk (tc) 09:03, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia is holding a consultation [1] on its 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. If you wish to offer input, click here. starship.paint (talk) 09:00, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Exiling to alternative outlets[edit]

Just my two cents; if any of you remain dissatisfied with the sudden ban of Fram then you might need to consider alternative outlets such as decentralised Everipedia to flee from the rising bureaucratic monster. Not to mention that the recent imposition of Articles 11 and 13 of the European new copyright law will have adverse effects on this project too in the coming 2 years. (talk) 14:30, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Hmm, I don't think so. And it's even more worrying when a free knowledge project is headed by a for-profit corporation. --qedk (tc) 14:59, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
I really can't help but to think of that XKCD cartoon after all; now it goes both ways. (talk) 15:33, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
[2] [3] [4] No thanks. (And Citizendium is no better...) —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 17:04, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Alright but one day the hard choice will be inevitable if the trend stays the same. Everipedia seems to be lesser of all evils. (talk)
That logo for site, not a joke? Leaving themselves wide open a joke if it is not. cygnis insignis 19:27, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Trololo... --Deskana (talk) 19:33, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
Pretty sure that European copyright laws won't have any affect on Wikipedia, since it is hosted in the US. Rockstonetalk to me! 09:51, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
No it's effects are worldwide per the Brussels effect. This boingboing article sums up pretty well. (talk) 12:18, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Everipedia is not going to gain from what's occurring here because this entire episode will make Wikipedia stronger. The Foundation will have to make changes, and will become even more communicative with Wikipedia editors and admins, Jimbo will put things right in the end (sorry Larry, try again), and when the dust settles there will first be more dust, then that dust will settle, and even healthier topsoil. There has been nothing in history like this marriage of computer tech, information sharing, and belief that a user-based encyclopedia created by like-minded altruistic people would succeed. It's a miracle of trust and love. Editors and readers in every nation continue to sense the importance and historical value of this community-based project (thanks Larry and Jimbo!), so no, we ain't buyin' what you're selling (or to be more accurate, copying). When Wikipedians gets their rightfully deserved Nobel Peace Prize within a few years I hope both Jimbo and Larry are on the stage to be acknowledged and to acknowledge. And those who think that this blip-worthy recent incident harms Wikipedia are missing the big picture, as it's actually one of the healthiest things to happen to this project in awhile, on many levels. Randy Kryn (talk) 23:11, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

I would disagree. I don't have faith that all will be made right in the end. WMF has had ample opportunity to backtrack or provide an explanation and hasn't. It's been over a week since they did this, and they did this sort of thing previously on other Wikipedias. We just didn't notice. I think this will hurt Wikipedia. has been around for 17 years and while there have been various scandals, we've never had a hostile takeover attempt. What amazes me is there are a handful of editors supporting the hostile takeover attempt. Enigmamsg 23:29, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
"Over a week"...well, Wikipedia has no time. Things happen at the pace here that lets everybody be heard and gives all points of view time to emerge and meld. Assuming good faith not only binds the project together, but is itself a well-designed life lesson that Wikipedians take to heart. So things will be fine, all will be put right, and the strength of the project will be upheld and increased by the use and command of the concepts it embodies. Randy Kryn (talk) 23:44, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Wow. I have to admit, I stayed away from Everipedia assuming that it was an aspidochelone, that a for-profit would just be spam and would fold like so many other mirrors. But they do seem active with a lot of edgy articles. The criticisms of them posted above are definitely swaying me in their direction -- I don't need an encyclopedia to be correct, I need it to summarize known sources and not throw data away. "Verifiability, not truth" - yup, that dated concept. Especially when "truth" mostly consists of not printing anything at all - we literally don't have a single thing about Geary Danley outside of the Signpost, so we have no way to dispel any misinformation on the web falsely identifying him as a criminal. If WMF is going to start imposing unknown standards by fiat, it may indeed be time to look at these alternatives seriously. Wnt (talk) 00:16, 18 June 2019 (UTC) Unfortunately, it looks like it is a scam after all -- go to actually sign up and you'll see what I mean, there's some kind of cryptocurrency rigamorale that amounts to spending money, apparently repeatedly as best as I can riddle out. I'm not sure who is editing what they do have or why. Wnt (talk) 08:50, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Larry Sanger, one of the co-founders of Wikipedia, defected to Everipedia well before this. (talk) 12:15, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Of course nothing is fully perfect, but to paraphrase Thanos, "Dread it, run from it, destiny still arrives". (talk) 05:29, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

You reap what you sowed[edit]

[ removed hat|WP:DENY here - this IP is not blocked and has not been accused of wrongdoing. You don't "DENY" people solely because they are contemptuous of the current process and or lack the social standing of a better placed editor ... at least, not unless you work for WMF. Wnt (talk) 13:32, 19 June 2019 (UTC)]

For years now wiki admins have made sure to punish wrongthink and push out anybody outside the allowed thinking norms. The spreading of corruption to higher levels should not be surprising to any rational editor on this site. Millions of USD get donated to WMF with no accountability or possibility of tracking anything. You guys have made your bed and now have to lie in it. This comment will probably be removed by some overzealous clueless idiot eager to win favors with the corrupt system. (talk) 22:26, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

@ It's a good thing you clarified they were clueless idiots who'd do it - otherwise I could have done, damn! Nosebagbear (talk)
We didn't start the fire, and no matter what happens, it will keep burning, no matter what you, me, Wikipediocracy, Breitbart, the Wall Street Journal, YHVH, or that insane man ranting about the end times in front of the corner 7-Eleven is gonna say. Also, sociopaths tend to gravitate to positions where they can be as corrupt as they damn well pleaseregardless of the community - you, me, Breitbart, Wikipediocracy, the Wall Street Journal.... —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 22:51, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

@Headbomb: "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." You should be careful, your opinions are approaching wrongthink, and sooner than you think an useful idiot might come to take you down for daring to not adhere to the social wave that must-not-be-stopped. (talk) 18:49, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

I have no idea what you're getting at. The point is when you accuse allies of group X of being enemies of group X, support for group X will drop amongst allies, and will weaponized by enemies of group X. That a doesn't mean supporting group X isn't worth doing just become some people in group X are wrong about one specific thing. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:35, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, how much of what this IP says is 1984 memes and how much is trying to justify a Judge-like approach? And how likely is it this IP is one of the usual policy-wonk long-term abusers who rant about justice and free speech while spouting stuff that, if they aren't just taking the piss, is just a sad display of paranoia? —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 09:11, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

[hab] removed

IP sounds right to me. This WMF banning is the intensification of contempt for the idea that people might say funny things. Wnt (talk) 13:32, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Funny things? Enigmamsg 15:16, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
Fram's final Incriminating Post may not be Dante, but I think it falls closer to comedy than tragedy or drama. Wnt (talk) 00:22, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Poor white men, oppressed by all societies, no power, no money, no influence. Subject to being shot by police officers for no reason at all. Enslaved. Seriously, Is this the hill you want to get blocked on? I think maybe you'd be more comfortable on Gab than Wikipedia. Liz Read! Talk! 00:30, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
@WNT and Liz: I've written more featured articles that have appeared on the front page than you have worked on your entire time here on Wikipedia. You veiled threats that fail to reference any policy violation shows how low the state of adminship has dropped. You should be ashamed of how you dignity your privileges as an admin. You don't care about the wellbeing of this project, and instead of caring about actual contributions to this volunteer-based project only look for victimhood points. If you think the privilege you have been entrusted with by others how have recommended you for adminship entitles you to veiled threats towards other editors, then you are nothing more than a representation of the cancer that has encompassed this project. A project that has been built over the last two decades NOT by people who think like you. (talk) 01:52, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
"Dismissed simply for being a white man...." Hmmm. I award you 100 victimhood points. Carry on, everyone. Dumuzid (talk) 01:57, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
You must have misread, because I *removed* the "hat" around your post. I also know what you are talking about, having been taken to ANI recently [5] simply over trying to revert somebody's deletion of a link in a talk page item. There is something very sinister going on in this society, with an abrupt and inexplicable rejection of bedrock principles of scholarship: even at the height of the Cold War and McCarthyism, with ten thousand nukes pointed at the U.S., the works of Karl Marx were not stripped from the libraries, yet now there is an apparent panic over a handful of racists who are universally denounced! Now I did prevail in the case, but I fear I would not had they decided I actually believed in a racist ideology, i.e. a thought crime. Now to be sure, racism actually is wrong, but I feel like that is only happenstance -- the same process with the same intolerance could well be applied to expression of some other belief that I do believe in, and it would be hard to even guess when it would come about. Meanwhile, the ability of Wikipedia to provide education against beliefs when their proponents are not allowed to argue for them is badly compromised. Wnt (talk) 03:37, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Sydney Poore responds regarding the video[edit]

In case anyone missed it [6] Enigmamsg 02:28, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Cold logic[edit]

I'm sure few would disagree that the kilometres of emotionally charged us-vs-them commentary on the page is supported by almost no factual information: we're in the dark.

Let's put aside my well-publicised poor opinion of en.WP's dispute-resolution procedures, and my belief that the site is now a risky environment for editors; here a narrower focus might be needed.

Rather, we could apply cold logic to the little we do know: indeed, I'm tempted to ask whether not knowing much is the whole point of the exercise. One of the problems in our system (I suppose it rests with ArbCom) is the failure to acknowledge that in a small minority of cases the complainant's and/or the defendant's privacy needs to be respected.

I hear you protest that secrecy risks descent into the unaccountable, and possibly a free hand for conflict of interest and corruption of due process. Openness, I hear you say, is a precious way for the community to scrutinise, to allow some form of control. Broadly, that's true. But experience of WP and the way the internet is evolving suggest that a blanket insistence on public hearings is itself a problem. This is especially pertinent because the lines between on- and off-wiki are becoming ever more blurred; harrassment is just one type of hurt editors can experience where privacy is often a big deal.

It's time for a modicum of flexibility, I say. We elect arbs and others expecting to trust them, and they already conduct much discourse behind closed doors, to which I hear no objection. Anglophone judicial processes out there allow the occasional closed hearing, used very selectively and for strong, explicit reasons (it's definitely not a normal expectation).

I know nothing about the case at issue, and I don't want to. Maybe we should view this incident not as a threat to the site's independence, but as an opportunity to tweak the settings to allow our elected judicial people just a little flexibility to at least keep things in house—an option used strictly in carefully framed, urgent circumstances. The use of closed hearings should be minimal, but should be available as an alternative.

It would be a practical approach to reducing harm—not just to the parties, but to the community at large. I invite you to consider.

Tony (talk) 04:02, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

The proposal itself isn't unreasonable, I think. We already do allow that in certain circumstances right now, and have for some time—if, for example, someone is being harassed or stalked off-wiki, that can be handled privately by ArbCom, since it is unreasonable to expect them to air that out in public when it isn't already, and possibly out themselves by revealing what accounts they use elsewhere. I think the devil's in the details, though. ArbCom is elected by the community, and ultimately accountable to it, and those occurrences are rare. If suddenly ArbCom starts making fifty "private evidence" bans per year, people are going to ask for some information at least in general terms what the hell is going on, and can vote out the current members if the answer is unacceptable or not forthcoming at all. Also, many people (including me) would question the need for private hearings when all the evidence is already on-wiki and public. So, I think such a proposal could be considered, but the range of things eligible for private hearing should remain narrow (as you said, it should be the exception, not the rule), clearly defined, and done by ArbCom (except in cases like child protection and threats, where the WMF already handles it since law enforcement interaction might be required). So, I think the thought is worth consideration, but we'd be looking at broadening what can be handled privately. Some things already are. I certainly would not want to see every garden-variety "X was rude" or "Y is misrepresenting sources" to be done privately. Do you have any thoughts on how the definition of privately handled matters would be changed or expanded? Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:21, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
(ec) @Tony1: The main problem here is that we have those existing exceptions to public processess—both for ArbCom and T&S—but in this instance T&S has provided no information that makes plausible the applicability of those exceptions; the information actually provided in fact suggests the opposite; and all observable evidence we can find ourselves contradicts the applicability of those exceptions. That is, the outrage here is because T&S appear to be applying exceptional procedures to a pedestrian issue.
There is also the crucial distinction between ArbCom and T&S that the former are elected by the community and thus have implicit trust, and they are accountable to the community in broad strokes: they can handle individual cases in secret where needed, but if they go overboard and the cases start smelling iffy they can be removed next election. T&S have exactly zero such accountability: in fact, their individual members are deliberately hidden behind the WMFOffice role account and get protections from the WMF as employees that we as volunteers (includiing ArbCom) are not entitled to.
Applying cold logic, either T&S is here accusing Fram of posting illegal material, serious treaths of physical violence, criminal harassment, or other serious outright criminal behaviour—but still only banning them for one year from one project—or they are stepping outside the circumstances where such exceptions to our community processes apply but still acting as if they do.
It's a matter of proportionality and who gets to decide to evade public scrutiny on what grounds. Should those exceptions allow me to complain, in secret, to T&S that my crappy prose got taken down hard at FAC and now I feel harassed? Should T&S be alowed to send a secret warning to the FAC reviewer in question? Should they be allowed to impose a secret interaction ban on that FAC reviewer? Should civility issues be judged to different standards based on whether you complain to ANI or to T&S? Why then would I not pick the channel most likely to give me the result I desire (taking that pesky FAC reviewer down a peg), or, even better, I start with T&S because that's secret, and if that doesn't work I try in public at ANI.
Our community processes and standards are not perfect by any means, and in some areas we have outright systemic problems with them. Those issues are worth discussing and finding better solutions to. But letting SEAL Team Six perform extraordinary rendition black ops on our shoplifters or public drunks solves none of these; creates new problems; undermines local law enforcement; and wastes precious Navy Seal resources we need to catch international terrorists. --Xover (talk) 05:48, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
No idea what you're talking about, Xover: SEALs, crappy prose, black ops, shop lifters? Seraphim, would it really mean 50 private hearings annually? I'd have thought ... several. "Do you have any thoughts on how the definition of privately handled matters would be changed or expanded?" No, I don't have that kind of experience or knowledge. But arbs (and former arbs) have the experience to write up a proposal that would keep numbers under control, and define how the data should be reported to the community. Clearly non-public hearings are hard to come by at the moment. Also: "the crucial distinction between ArbCom and T&S that the former are elected by the community". Yes, but the WMF owns the servers and much of the infrastructure, and bears the ultimate legal risk internationally, unlike ArbCom. There are two factors here—an awkward ambiguity that we've managed to live with for nearly two decades. Tony (talk) 10:15, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm tempted to ask whether not knowing much is the whole point of the exercise. So here's the problem - not knowing creates an environment of fear. That message about copyvios - OK, so we know there's some level of copyvio enforcement that can get you banned. And, presumably, there's some level that won't. But where's the line? After 15 years here, it's easy enough to know the general line of acceptable behaviour. Good enough or not (and I agree, we're too tolerant of people who create a hostile environment), it's knowable. Now? I literally have no clue.
There's another side to this as well, of course - if this was intentional, then T&S intentionally wasted thousands of hours of volunteer time and intentionally poisoned the relationship (further) between the community and WMF. The intentionally made the job of the harassment initiative much harder. I've been harassed here. I've had editors go to other WMF projects, create attack pages, and had the bureaucrats on that site refuse to even consider doing anything about it unless I publicly outed myself. So yeah, I get the value of trying to do something about harassment, I get the value of protecting the privacy of certain complainants. But this action doesn't promote community safety - it makes future anti-harassment efforts almost impossible. T&S has shown that they are incapable of managing comms and community relations - why should be trust that they are any better at handling harassment complaints? I have no desire to defend incivility, far less potential harassment, but it's either that, or say that I'm ok with zero semblance of transparency in community governance. Guettarda (talk) 19:23, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
@Tony1: - your initial point correctly sets out why the community as a whole should not be able to see all accusations/claims. The limits of that can certainly be debated. My issue is disputes have (very) roughly 4 groups of parties: Accuser(s), defendant(s), adjudicator(s) and bystander(s). On ANI et al (but not ARBCOM) the latter 2 can merge. A private dispute only has 3 groups. So: what about the defendant - even assuming no willful failures and issues with temporary absence of does the defendant's right to defend themselves interact with your stated need for privacy? They will need to know all the accusations and specific evidence to be able to make a defence - which will generally yield their identity (at least on-wiki) to the accused. Even, say, an advocate "in the know" couldn't defend many accused without being able to query them. Consequences could be mitigated, but they're always going to post a significant disruption to the set-up - with a clear answer needed. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:54, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
  • @Tony1: T&S said explicitly that the ban was triggered by edit 895438118. I will take them at their word. We are not in the dark regarding the main point. It is also a very good thing that we're not in the dark, because the first local ban the we've become aware of was clearly completely unjustified, strongly indicating that, even if they were a legitimate authority in this area (which they're not, T&S's scope specifically excludes such things), they have no idea what they're doing. --Yair rand (talk) 00:59, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:TRUSA listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]


An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Wikipedia:TRUSA. Please participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. Abote2 (talk) 09:52, 18 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia Belgium concerns about WMF[edit]

--qedk (tc) 17:13, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Putting here for the record my objection to the change in title that took place here and was reverted here. Thanks OiD for doing that revert. QEDK, no objections to the move from the talk page to the main page, but it does look strange that 'Get back to what matters' was moved to the talk page (which gets less attention) as it arguably was related to the above. We need to be a bit more careful with moving things back and forth and changing section titles. @Winged Blades of Godric and Carabinieri: courtesy pings. Carcharoth (talk) 12:26, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Noted, but I did not move the other thread to TP, don't know who did. I changed the title to make it pertinent to the agenda of a community response. That's about all. --qedk (tc) 13:06, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
I linked above the diff where that other thread was moved: started by Carabinieri and moved by Winged Blades of Godric, hence the courtesy pings. Carcharoth (talk) 13:28, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Oppose votes in "A suggested resolution"[edit]

I find that about 1/3 of the opposing votes states the ban should be kept, as he "deserves it", while around 2/3 states the T/S team should be given a hard reprimand. For me it looks like opposite reasonsing. Would it be clearer to split the opposing votes into two categories? Yger (talk) 18:00, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Get back to what matters[edit]

This discussion is increasingly going off the deep end. First, it was sleazy speculations about board members' personal lives, then it was attacks and vitriol directed against WiR and anyone who agreed with WMF's actions or even just had a somewhat nuanced view on the issue. Now we're starting to compile completely unrelated incidents where someone had a negative interaction with T&S. If I was at WMF, I'd feel like this thread vindicates the decision to take decision-making power away from the community because it shows the community as being completely incapable of dealing with an issue.

I have no idea why this thread is so long and so much of it is completely irrelevant and repetitive. The questions at hand are so simple: Is the Wikipedia community doing a good enough job of dealing with incivility and harassment? If not, should we delegate some of that to WMF or do we need to improve the way we do it? If we decide we don't want WMF to take over these things, how do we force them to stay out of it, in other words what leverage do we have? Get back to the questions that matter, or this whole "protest" is doomed to fail.--Carabinieri (talk) 17:43, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

  • While we're at it, let's remind you of the stonewalling and not-answer answers, and the "real crimes" that Fram has committed. You do not have the right to absolve WMF of their mistakes. If you personally feel they're innocent, so be it, but do not speak on our behalf and say it like we are blowing it out of proportion when the very fundamentals of Wikipedia (I'm talking about the people of Wikipedia if you missed my drift) are under attack. With thanks, qedk (tc) 17:49, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
    • I didn't deny that the way WMF is acting with respect to "Framgate" is outrageous. What I'm saying is that our response is completely inadequate.--Carabinieri (talk) 17:53, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
      • Refuse to co-operate with T&S at all. Ban any staff members from from wikipedia (you cant technically keep out staff, but you can impose a ban on editing). Lobby the various WM groups to refuse T&S participation at events... I could go on. None of the above is likely however, as most editors tend to be nice and assume good faith of their opponents, so drastic action is unlikely to gain consensus. At best you will get a strongly worded protest statement from ENWP. The WMF does not appear to share the same values any more and so will just ignore it. Only in death does duty end (talk) 19:30, 19 June 2019 (UTC) WBG
The WMBE thread is absolutely relevant, and speaks to whether T&S can handle harassment at all. Unlike ENWP, WMBE is a national organization for a national-language Wiki and so I think they could secede relatively easily, so they're not as powerless as you think you are. (I should note that I assumed they would ignore us from the start, and suggested another course of action that the freethinking dissidents on this thread promptly concealed and removed) Banning staff members, however, is something I oppose, because our goal is to oppose arbitrary political bans not based on principle, not join into the idea. And why give up that principle for a solely symbolic ban? All loss, no gain! Wnt (talk) 00:16, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, what do you think the "national language of Belgium" is? Belgish? ‑ Iridescent 06:17, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
People are exercising free speech while they can, there is too little time for fact-checking. cygnis insignis 07:11, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
@Iridescent and Cygnis insignis: This, I do believe. (West Flemish, though I will admit it isn't purely in Belgium upon examination). It is a tiny Wikipedia, but when speaking of forking, that's actually a good thing because the barrier to starting a fork doesn't seem so insurmountable. If WMBE starts a mirror and they get a room of 20 people to promise to translate 1 article per day or recruit others to do it for them, then in a year they have double the articles of the West Flemish Wikipedia and it's time for editors on vlswiki to start talking about shutting down. Wnt (talk) 12:29, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
I assume that the Belg language is still spoken in parts of the Congo, if not so much by the Belgisians and Hollandians, and willing to bet they are running that wiki to mine crypto-bucks. cygnis insignis 14:01, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
  • I think what matters is this. Have you ever come back from a vacation, opened your refrigerator, and been hit with that brick wall of foul smell? You may not know exactly what in there is rotten—but it's crystal clear that something is. I think that's the situation we find ourselves in. We can only speculate on exactly what is rotten, but it is overwhelmingly clear that something's gone bad. And someone is going to have to find out what that is so it can be fixed. So, how do we ensure that the rot is found and corrected? Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:42, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Summary of speculation[edit]

There's been a lot of speculation about why the WMF took these actions, with numerous different explanations given over the course of these discussions. (WMF becoming hostile/having different values/opposed to project-self-governance, corruption leading to instituting the ban as a favor to someone, bureaucratic incompetence, WMF infighting, maneuvering to increase T&S budget/influence, WMF wanting to silence a vocal critic, a confused WMF thinking that everyone wanted this, Fram actually having done something dangerous but the WMF somehow not being able to let anyone even know that anything severe happened, and a lot of other ideas...) Anyone want to try to build a list to summarize them, group them into similar categories, link to the areas where they were suggested, and note a few of the most significant bits of evidence and counterarguments? I feel like if we're going to wildly speculate, we might as well do it well. --Yair rand (talk) 04:33, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

I would just point out that your last item in the list is not mutually exclusive from the rest. More generally, "Fram had it coming", "T&S botched this", "WMF had an ulterior motive" could be true or false in any combination. Someguy1221 (talk) 04:52, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
I'll try, but I'm going to stick to the ones that seem most realistic (i.e. don't have any convincing evidence against them).
  • Theory 1: Someone asked T&S to sanction Fram for behaviour months ago in responce to actions Fram took against them (whether as an admin or an editor). T&S took them at face value (i.e. they did not do even a cursory investigation) and monitored Fram while giving them vague warnings which didn't explain what Fram was doing wrong; after Fram's "Fuck ArbCom" post (which was made in responce to the Rama case, if I'm not mistaken) they were banned with that as justification. (Just who reported Fram is academic here.) This theory is backed up by T&S's behaviour with the Treasurer of Wikimedia Belgium, documented in the Wikimedia-l mailing list (linked to on FRAM) and by Jan Eissfeldt's words.
  • Theory 2: T&S took it on their own initiative to sanction Fram, with the warnings mere formalities. Fram is a noted critic of the Foundation's behaviour as far as tech policy is concerned. This theory is backed up by the unusual bans taken on de.wp (where the targets were already indef'd/community banned and unlikely to come back anyway) as well as T&S' own words, where they explicitly state they do not trust the en.wp commmunity to address the issues.
As to the debunked theories:
  • debunked 1: This ban was taken at Fae's behest. Fae has outright denied this and has been critical of Fram's ban.
  • debunked 2: The ban was requested by someone higher-up in the WMF. Raystorm has stated that the WMF Board was not aware of anything involving T&S' interactions with Fram, and Doc James and Jimbo's reactions to the news corroborate this.
  • debunked 3: The WMF is intending to take a more ruler/serf role with the various projects. This is ludicrous considering what we know about the WMBE incidents and in light of Raystorm confirming that the board had no idea.
Hope this helps. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 06:09, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
I completely disagree with classifying #2 and #3 as debunked. Just because the board did not know this, this doesn't mean that other higher-ups in the WMF weren't involved. There is probably more than one level between the T&S lead and the executive director, we simply do not know if any of them were involved. #3 is also certainly not debunked. The WMF might want to take a more ruler role without having discussed it with the board, or they might have discussed the general approach with the board and just not told them about this specific case (dealing with specific cases like this would not be the responsibility of the board anyway). Personally, I think that #3 is quite likely because the involved persons from T&S are former editors/admins, know the communities well and are certainly not stupid. --Tinz (talk) 13:38, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Theory 1 becomes a little more interesting if you introduce the suggestion that it was actually a member of ArbCom that reported Fram following the "Fuck ArbCom" post... Black Kite (talk) 14:13, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Oh, that is entirely possible (surely people were aware of that from the start?). Trouble is, I can think of at least two candidates. One key point is that the vast majority of Wikipedians were unaware that T&S were a credible way to get rid of a trouble-maker. Arbitrators (and possibly other functionaries), particularly those who are or have been liaising with the WMF, are different in that they were fully aware that T&S actually takes such complaints seriously, and also that Fram was on their radar (this is something that it seems only arbitrators knew) and that maybe one more complaint would see Fram banned, and that T&S would be obliged to keep the identity of the complainant confidential. It is entirely possible that the WMF and other members of ArbCom know that something like this has happened, but have to keep it confidential. I would hope that if this (frankly disturbing) speculation is true, and any arbitrators are aware of this, that they would examine their conscience and do the decent thing. Maybe this speculation has not been discussed more because people were afraid of the possible consequences? Carcharoth (talk) 14:46, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that most Wikipedians were aware that T&S had the ability to disappear troublemakers, and in the case of such things as child protection or off-wiki harassment I'm sure they wouldn't disagree with that. What most didn't know were that bans such as Frams were possible for purely on-wiki issues and by bypassing ArbCom. The members of ArbCom, of course, would be far more likely to know that. And now we have a position where if this is the case then T&S are totally unable to name that person because the backlash against them (and, possibly, against ArbCom as a whole) would be horrific. Black Kite (talk) 18:44, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
They should "have the ability to disappear troublemakers". There are clear T&S reasons why they would need that. So are we (in the scope of this page) upset about that power? (I think there is little support for this) or about their choice of Fram as target? (there seems to be more support) Additional issues are about their opacity, then and ongoing. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:52, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Uh, yeah, that's why I said in the case of such things as child protection or off-wiki harassment I'm sure (the community) wouldn't disagree". Black Kite (talk) 19:26, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
At no one in particular, why is it assumed that once Fram was 'on the radar' that another complainant was necessary to act, that is, the report was made when he saved a comment here? (I just typed 'he', people keep saying that like it is known). cygnis insignis 19:12, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
The WMF's own explanation was this ban has been triggered following your recent abusive communications on the project (my emphasis). I'm still waiting for anyone to reply to my challenge to go through his recent contributions and point out these "abusive communications on the project". ‑ Iridescent 19:15, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
There is no need to because they pointed to a specific diff - this one (per Fram). I'm looking through their last 500 edits right now (that diff is within them, if only just) and thus far I'm not seeing anything that looks like harassment. That may change, though. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 19:44, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
Possibility 1: Amitamitdd. Fram moved three of their articles to draft space (Draft:Hyderabad Custody, Draft:Wetalwadi, Draft:Anand Vidyalay) and criticised them for creating pages in mainspace that were not up to snuff ([7]). They would later take them to AN/I (Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive1010#User:Amitamitdd), where Lourdes indef'd them due to their total and utter uncommunicativeness. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Bori! 20:08, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
No, that wasn't it, if only for the reason you gave: "totally uncommunicative" cygnis insignis 20:40, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
[ec Excuse me Mr Couriano] Granted, but my point is that an assessment by the 'office' [right or wrong, I'll say wrong to avoid the backlash] need not be a response to a later report. cygnis insignis 19:48, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Archiving and unclosed straw polls[edit]

The settings for the archiving of this page (i.e. WP:FRAM the front page that this page is the talk page of), and the lack of pinning some of the proposals, has ended up with some of the proposals/straw polls or whatever they are, being archived by bot rather than being closed by someone who can assess consensus. A good example is here where 7 discussions got archived. Can we discuss the best way to handle this and keep the page manageable? Carcharoth (talk) 12:29, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Table of relevant locations[edit]

I hope I'm not the only one to struggle to stay on top of all aspects of this issue. While thankfully, much of it is centralized on this page, some bits show up in other places. I put together a crude table to keep track of the main locations and fully aware that this isn't exhaustive — for example there are posts on individual editors talk pages including some of contributed to, that aren't listed but I think I have the major ones. I'd obviously be interested in knowing if I have any major omissions. Virtually everything in the table as it now exists is "current" information — I'm thinking of adding on historic section with information on, for example, Ani, and Arbcom come cases involving Fram. My expectation is that it would remain on this page for some time, and then be copied over to the summary archives.--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:25, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

Fram related content
Location Type Link Shortcut Comments Size (19 June)
Current links
On wiki En WP Community response... (CR) WP:Fram Main page (see also numbered archives

and named archives listed below)

WP Archive 1, Archive 2, Archive 3, Archive 4,

Archive 5

Archives 152k, 142k, 127k, 200k,


En Talk CR...Talk Talk page 77k
Talk Archive 1, Archive 2 Archives 144k, 34k
WP CR.../Summary WP:FRAMSUM Useful timelines 14k
WP CR.../Proposals Proposals about WMF Office 34k
WP CR.../Fram's response Originally on Commons and copied over 22k
WP CR...Jan Eissfeldt 10k
WP CR.../Community Conduct An essay on civility 11k
En WP:AN AN Several proposals, all closed without action
En WP:ANI ANI twitter Brief kerfuffle related to Twitter issue
En WP:VP Proposed 'crat power Proposed, but quickly closed without action
En WP:BN Fram Banned Original notice, subsequently moved to WP:Fram
En WP:BN Desysop BU Rob13 User request–granted[1]
En WP:BN Desysop Floquenbeam Notice of action
En WP:BN Desysop Nick User request–granted
En WP:BN Resysop Floquenbeam User request–granted by WJBscribe

(review by ArbCom requested)

En WP:BN Desysop The DJ User request–granted
En U Talk Fram Banned, Board meeting? Two threads on Jimbos talk page
En U Talk Notice to Fram Only the notice at the top of the page is relevant
En WP:Arb Arbcom WJBscribe Self report regarding the resysop of Floquenbeam 168k
En WP [8] [9] Edits leading to second warning [2]
En WT:Arb Precipitating edit? Claimed to be the edit which led to the ban
En WT:Arb Request for a comment Request that Arbcom comment on the ban issue
En WT:Arb Can we handle harassment? Discussion of Arbcom role vis-a-vis T&S Whole page is 243k
En U Talk User talk:WMFOffice Several messages intended for WMFOffice 21k
En WP Office actions[3] WP:OA Office actions Policy 46k
Meta Meta Office Actions[3] Office actions Policy (on Meta) 51k
Meta Meta User reporting system consultation 2019[4] User reporting system consultation 2019 21K since 13 June 2019
Meta Talk m:Talk:Trust and Safety#FYI Standards for a fair process [5]
Commons U Talk Fram's Talk page Most, but not all the material is relevant 65k
Off wiki Email lists Wikipedia Mailing lists
Historical Links
En WP:Arb Fram Arbcom 2018 Case Declined
En WP:Arb Fram Arbcom 2016 Case Declined
En WP:Arb Crosswiki issues A case initiated by Fram, but declined
En WP:ANI ANI Complaint about Fram 2016 Ended up as boomerang
En WP:AN AN complaint about insults 2013 See subsection Administrator Fram
En WP:ANI Request for TBAN 2017 Didn't happen
ENn WP:ANI Block review 2019 Block issued by Fram reviewed and accepted
  1. ^ Not caused by the WMF's actions here, but by the community's.
  2. ^ These were linked in Fram's response, but deserve separate mention
  3. ^ a b Although this page does not directly reference Fram, it the basis for the ban
  4. ^ No reference to Fram, but many editors have discussed how we ought to move forward and this page is very relevant to that discussion
  5. ^ No direct refernce to Fram but arising out of this incident
TheAustinMan,  Done--S Philbrick(Talk) 00:53, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Excellent work, Sphilbrick. Thank you so much for this. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:37, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
  • The resysop of Floquenbeam request on BN was granted in that a bureaucrat resysopped him. That action is under review in the ArbCom case request, but it happened nonetheless. The box should say "granted by WJBScribe". Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:16, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
 Done I initially didn't include Fram's talk page on Commons when the only content was his response that had been copied over to the main page but there is substantial additional discussion, so I agree it should be added, which I have done. As for User talk:WMFOffice, This is a perfect example of why I posted this table here, on the chance that I was missing some important pieces.S Philbrick(Talk) 13:15, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

WMF Research Showcase - June 2019 - theme is user blocks[edit]

Every month the WMF hosts a research showcase at the office in San Francisco and live on YouTube. This month the theme is "user blocks". The Fram incident is a coincidence, but I thought that since that incident is block oriented and this showcase is about blocks then I would share the event.

This is Wednesday 26 June 2:30 EST (New York). I am presenting this round which is why this is on my mind.

Thanks Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:59, 20 June 2019 (UTC)