Grants talk:IdeaLab/Propose Wikimedia Code of Conduct (adapted from open source Contributor Covenant)

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Code of Conduct for Wikimedia technical spacesEdit

For what is worth, the Code of Conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces is an ongoing effort that started taking the Contributor Covenant as reference, and evolved from there. If other Wikimedia spaces want to adopt a Code of Conduct and (very important detail) enforce it, I would recommend to take that one as a reference. The discussion page has 1936 edits today, and the work continues.--Qgil-WMF (talk) 09:02, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

It seems odd to recommend that Code as a reference if you believe that it is not yet completely drafted. It is also worth noting that it has not been published to the wider community for consensus. However, people who support this new project proposal here may also wish to look at the existing project which has been under development on MediaWiki since last summer: some of the people who have worked on it there feel that progress has been disappointingly slow and perhaps an influx of volunteers will speed things up. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:15, 3 June 2016 (UTC)


I was under the impression that the five pillars and AGF were our code of conduct. If that is no longer going to be the case will we have to get adopt to a whole new set of does and don'ts, or would they mirror each other enough that those of us who still contribute would be able to jump over with little to no disruption? TomStar81 (talk) 05:51, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

  • We already have a code of conduct - that's what the five pillars and AGF are. This is a solution in search of a problem. The user is probably unfamiliar with Wikipedia. To the originator: you're looking for the five pillars, and probably WP:CIVIL. Titanium Dragon (talk) 08:09, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
    Thanks for providing the token enwiki-only perspective. Please provide links to the other 700+ pages on other projects with similar standards. Though to be fair, I doubt that the staff who made the campaign even realized that they weren't on enwiki while making it. Ajraddatz (talk) 08:20, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
    For my part I do not contribute outside on because its the only language I know, but I assumed (correctly, apparently) that if this was being hosted on the meta is was a global site wide invite. If what you said is true, then AGF and the 5 pillars exist in a similar capacity across the entire wiki universe, which means that any unless I am mistaken here a code of conduct would then need to be applied across the entire wikiverse such as it were to be effective. Is that possible to do from here? TomStar81 (talk) 08:48, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
    Not through this process, but yes through "global" discussions on Meta that could happen. Ajraddatz (talk) 17:31, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Indeed we already have a code of conduct, of which Assume good faith/d:Q4663356 is the biggest part. It does take a while to make new users learn the code of conduct, mostly because so many places around the web are so uncivilised. Nemo 16:02, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
    Agreed, though creating a code of conduct which references existing wiki-principles and makes them more apparent to new users wouldn't be a bad thing. I also don't mind the idea of reporting revisions or pages for non-content issues, but that is kind of a separate idea. Ajraddatz (talk) 17:32, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Vague policies and secret trialsEdit

I am sure for an admin who has never been on the wrong side of the banhammer or the block tool this passage might seem terribly innocuous:

Maintainers are obligated to keep confidentiality with regard to the reporter of any incident, while reporters are permitted to privately share personally identifying information with maintainers in the interest of addressing harassment.

For me that is a blaring warning sign that this is a dangerous policy. My own experience of being banned for "harassment" saw this kind of notion being used by ArbCom on the English Wikipedia to justify not informing me of the reasons for the ban nor allowing me an opportunity to respond. Only after months of pressing the matter did I get a definitive answer on the reason for my ban and it was conduct that does not violate the letter or spirit of the harassment policy and would not appear to violate this code of conduct. Yet they are allowed to get away with it because they have all the power, they hid the reasons from everyone before and well after the ban, and most importantly because harassment is such a vague and ill-defined concept for some that it is very easy to convince people that anything you do could be harassment.

My own observations and personal experience suggest to me that lack of rules has never really been the problem in dealing with harassment or incivility. The problem is that because they are such subjective standards with all sorts of complicated factors, that it often comes down to interpretation by those responsible for enforcing those rules and bias invariably becomes a factor in such cases. Depending on who you are and who you are reporting you may either be able to get people sanctioned as harassers for completely innocuous behavior or instead be "boomeranged" for a bunch of procedural nonsense as the blatant harassment is ignored. Uneven and inconsistent enforcement is the biggest problem with civility and harassment policies from my vantage point and that has proven to be the case on other sites even when those responsible for enforcement are paid employees.

It should also be pointed out that the harassment that causes the most trouble in terms of driving away or discouraging editors is stuff any community, including ours, would already reject yet continues unabated precisely because we are so inclusive that people don't have to register an account and when doing so don't have to provide anything more than a username and password. As a result banning someone for real harassment is meaningless as they can just go right back to it by creating one or twenty new accounts just as quickly as it took to ban the first account. Creating new global policies that will be enforced secretly and selectively against regular editors in good standing based off whether the alleged victim is subjectively deemed a "bad target" or not is not creating a solution, but rather creating an additional problem.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 01:09, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

This can not possibly go rightEdit

With phrases like "Deeply unethical or irresolvably unprofessional conduct, that most reasonable participants agree cannot be tolerated" when en.wp as a community can barely agree that saying "fuck" is mostly OK and "cunt" is seen by most but far from all as beyond the pale, I really want to see how you expect to figure who "most reasonable participants" are. Who defines "reasonable"? Not to mention the problems with interpratation of words like "professional" and when does unethical become deeply unethical. Heck does anyone have a definition of generally accepted Wikimedia ethics?

And "Project maintainers--ranging from WMF staff to Wikipedia admins--have the right and responsibility to remove, edit, or reject comments, commits, code, wiki edits, issues, and other contributions that are not aligned to this Code of Conduct". Really??!!?? You want to introduce censorship to the Wikimedia projects??!!?? Yeah.. that's not going to happen at least not at en.wp, maybe elsewhere.

Possibly people should consider that in a free and open environment with many people from vastly different backgrounds with vastly different life experiences and talents there are bound to be assholes of all kinds. Some are malignant assholes and are blocked/banned, some are clueless assholes who take offense where none was intended and some are just run of the mill assholes who people in the aforementioned open and diverse environment must simply learn to deal with as a part of life.

I would firmly suggest that it would be much better to come up with ways to train admins with how to recognize and deal with harassment and to help those editors who are victims of harassment. Attempting to legislate morality and/or civility does not work in the "anyone can edit" environment. Expecting professional levels of conduct when a huge portion of your contributors are not and never will be professionals is a farce. Worse yet is trying to impose Millinial "Safe Space" values on a project where most do not share those values in general or having them forced upon the community in particular.

It is laudable to desire to prevent and mitigate harassment within the Wikimedia projects, this is just not the way to do it. JbhTalk 03:12, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Friendly spacers on a rollEdit

Yep. Whoops, I just made somebody uncomfortable, I'm now subject to be thrown off the encyclopedia-building project by a bureaucrat.

Do you not see a problem with this?

Join a church or social club. Carrite (talk) 02:02, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Here's the problem: the amorphous condition of "hostile conduct" is prohibited. Who will be judging this? WMF, who will apply San Fran Bans under the Terms Of Service. Who will they use it against? Their critics. This isn't about prevention of "harassment of marginalized peoples" at all, it is about the crushing of dissent. Wanna criticize the ineptitude of WMF engineering? Do that too much and it's a pattern of "hostile conduct." Hasta la vista. This is the tool for a coup of WMF to dominate and subjugate the volunteer community. Keep your eye on the ball... Carrite (talk) 13:07, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Oppose [moved from Grants: namespace]Edit

This section was moved from the Grants: page itself. Disagreements with proposals on IdeaLab are fine, but as a matter of practice, these are better placed on the talk page of Ideas so that idea creators and others are better able to discuss them. Joe Sutherland (WMF) (talk) 01:34, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
  • the contributor convenant is short, and clever. if you would propse to just take this convenant as is and replace all the other texts which exist, i'd be all for it. but this proposal is very different. it takes an excellent text adopted by already 10'000 projects, blows it up times ten already in the proposal, then suggests to mix in 260 cultures ("globalize"), because we are so special. i guess this is what we already have. with the serious deficit that what we have is not invented by WMF. kind of "if i wrote it i like it more" syndrome :) then of course there is w:en:Wikipedia:Ignore all rules ThurnerRupert (talk) 08:56, 5 June 2016 (UTC)--
For the sake of stopping harassment, would it not make sense for this Code of Conduct to be the lone exception to WP:IAR? All other rules are non-binding, and sanctions on disobeying them are kinda at the discretion of the moderators (I don't have that much experience editing Wikipedia so maybe they have a different name). If we're really going to be able to take action against harassment, which should be taken really seriously - more seriously than any thing else - then maybe it would make sense to have one exception to WP:IAR which you automatically sign up to if you edit Wikipedia (this could be reinforced by forcing people to check a box saying they agree to the Code of Conduct when they create an account and if they edit without logging in). IAR should be applied to any other Wikipedia rule, i.e. anything which is essentially exclusive to Wikipedia (including edit warring). The only thing that should be exempted from IAR, the CoC, should be exempted because it is a minimum standard which all editors sign up to if they edit Wikipedia. It's conduct which would also be expected in a professional setting and should make Wikipedia a better place for all. The WMF is running this project aren't they? They will have to validate the CoC anyway, even if the idea is community-sourced (which is fine). The CoC will give more power to moderators, but that's a necessity if it's going to work and one I'm happy to accept. It may go too far, but it can be edited, maybe you should say which parts you want to remove on this talk page and try and get the attention of the creators, or, since you support a CoC like the original this one is based from, maybe you should become a contributor and edit it yourself!
  • Oppose each individual Wikipedia sets their own standards based upon the norms of its participants. Attempting to force what are essentially American middle class Millennials' values on projects that may not even share Western values, much less that subset which are "safe space" values (which are not even generally accepted in the English speaking world much less elsewhere) is both paternalistic and ethnocentric as well as being simply unworkable.

    It is better to provide training for admins on how to recognize and handle harassment and for the WMF to provide real, tangible support for those editors of actual, criminal harassment. JbhTalk 22:45, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Note I have replaced these in the Grant namespace. They are specificly anti-endorsements which should be considered by the reviewers and not hidden away on the talk page. JbhTalk 17:14, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
@Jbhunley: Hi Jb, I've removed these again. Please do not reincorporate them on the project page. IdeaLab and the campaigns associated with the space are primarily a drafting space for ideas, and as such, the actual content of those ideas is likely to change based on feedback as the idea gets reviewed. Idea creators ought to be able to address feedback and change their proposal accordingly, and that makes more sense to do here, on the discussion page, where discussions happen. Furthermore, the endorsements section is not a vote. It's also not a guarantee that a given idea is necessarily workable, feasible, or eligible for grant funding from the WMF. Idea creators have to address legitimate concerns if they realistically want their idea to progress into something workable (whether through grant funding or through community consensus, depending on the nature of the idea), and they ought to have a chance to do that here on the talk page. I respect that you may disagree with this design, but IdeaLab simply uses a different approach. With that said, if the idea creator is OK with having feedback directly opposed to their idea on the project page directly, I don't have any problem with that. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:29, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
@I JethroBT (WMF): Looks to me like you want positive feedback only on the Grant page and negative concerns relegated to the talk. That is well... an echo chamber. There is no point in giving feedback if it is not considered in the grant assessment and if all you want are positive endorsements why bother to ask for community feedback.

Bluntly, if the idea creator can not address concerns brought up in good faith, and the grant reviewer can not see that they have not responded to those concerns, then they simply do not deserve a grant and the Foundation is simply throwing money away. JbhTalk 18:48, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Re "Furthermore, the endorsements section is not a vote" - of course it is and it is one with no dissent allowed. JbhTalk 18:52, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
@Jbhunley: Except that negative feedback is always seriously considered by both the WMF and grant committees, and failure to address or poor responses to substantive concerns is indicative that a proposal is not ready for funding. Grant committees and the WMF have routinely rejected grant proposals based on such concerns, and on how idea creators respond to criticism. That these concerns appear on the talk page as opposed to the main page presents no real problem in making sound funding decisions, and allows idea creators to address those concerns and make appropriate changes to their idea. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 18:00, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Since the exact placement of the endorsement is so important, please remind us of what exactly an endorsement is supposed to denote? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:18, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • You will notice that I opened a section for discussion here on talk and in my Oppose simply brought up an issue which can not be corrected and is a reason not to do it at all. Things like that should be part of the evaluated application since the way you have it set up when a grant fails you can simply point to the Grant page and say "see,we had all this positive community feedback".

    Anyway, based on the total lack of participation from the proposers on the talk page, I have no confidence in their ability or even desire to address the issues raised here. That, in and of itself, is bad when people are trying to make some policy to impose on the entire Wikimedia community. JbhTalk 16:26, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

  • Ahh... I see why you only want positive "endorsements". Negative comments there would mess up Grants:IdeaLab/Inspire/Leaderboard - Yeah "not a vote" riigghhtt... Probably should not have a Leaderboard, no matter the disclaimers, if you want people to take that claim seriously. Anyway, I am not going to convince you that you have invested all this effort in poor process design with poor optics. Oh well... JbhTalk 16:26, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose - See above thread for rationale. Carrite (talk) 13:03, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As has been brought up, this is culturally tone-deaf. Anything like this needs to be written to not abrogate the cultures of others given that different cultures have different standards. I also share Jbhunley's concerns that the oppose !votes are only here to segregate them, making it look like the idea has no opposition. If you have a shred of common sense, you should be voting this down. Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 19:50, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose The wording of the current document is highly problematic, and puts far to much power in the hands of untransparent moderators, who may have an agenda to push. BrxBrx (talk) 01:25, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, each project should set its own standards, and those standards should be interpreted and enforced by project volunteers selected to do so. Intentional or not, this looks like a power grab. WMF or others outside the project should only handle bans in the most extreme of cases involving severe, often off-wiki issues and serious privacy concerns; it should not be intervening because Johnny called Joey a butthead. That's for the local community selected volunteer admins to deal with. Seraphimblade (talk) 17:18, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

Premier and standard class citizensEdit

I notice that this proposal is advanced by a member of the staff, and the proposed resolution of claims of harassment would be in the hands of WMF staff. This reminds me rather of the situation at mw:Code of Conduct, which has been in draft form for nearly a year now. That proposal, which would presumably be subsumed into this one, specifically identifies two classes of people to whom it applies, namely WMF employees and others, and they are to be treated differently, by directive from WMF Legal. The management of the drafting process of that Code is in the hands of WMF staff: WMF staff have been the major contributors to the wording and discussion; and the claimed consenus over that wording is a consensus among the staff contributors. That Code would be monitored by a committee apoointed by WMF staff and subject to the appeal and overall authority of a WMF staff team. May we presume that this proposal would run along similar lines? Is it expected that no WMF staff will ever be involved in claims of harassment, either as alleged perpetrators or alleged victims? Or in the real world, how will the different status of the various groups be accommodated in a process to be run entirely by WMF staff? Incidentally it is my personal belief that some WMF staff are coming to see themselves as victims of harassment on the occasions when volunteers choose to question the direction or execution of WMF staff plans. I do hope that this proposal does not reflect a desire by staff to protect themelves from a perception of disobedience or ingratitude on the part of the volunteer community by awarding themsleves further protections and privileges. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 12:09, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

I can't agree with thisEdit

While I agree with a large number of the sentiments in this proposal - I'm sorry, but no, you can't make administrators responsible for dealing with harassment or code-of-conduct issues. There is no evidence that any project within the Wikimedia community has ever routinely selected administrators for their skills in this area; in fact, the vast majority of administrators on most projects are selected for reasons that have nothing to do with this. The same goes for bureaucrats and stewards. While there are several people in each of these categories who have the necessary skills and willingness to handle this kind of work, we are all volunteers. Any code of conduct that requires me to take certain actions (whether or not it's something that I think should be done, or I have the time to do it, or I'm even on-wiki at the time) is not going to cut it. Administrators who specialize in (for example) closing deletion discussions, or managing the MediaWiki interface, or developing templates, do that because they have the right skill set; they choose not to do other things. Many projects have given very considerable thought to their blocking/banning policies; I'd think that instead of creating meta-rules that simply cannot be enforced, it would be better to do a study or assessment of how various projects handle these circumstances and situations. You're about two years ahead of where you need to be with this proposal. Risker (talk) 22:30, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Nice to see how concerned you are about how this code of conduct might inconvenience admins by suggesting they are responsible for enforcing the rules even when they they don't want to enforce them, such as due to liking the victimizer or despising the victim. Of course, as this was proposed by an admin it already has wording to protect admins from any claims of negligence, incompetence, or abuse:

The presence of this Code of Conduct cannot guarantee that all abuses or reports of abuse will be seen, investigated, or acted upon. Ultimately, the safety of each user--and their personal decision to disengage from aspects of, or the project entirely, and whether to contact formal authorities for help--remains in their hands and their sole responsibility.

While giving wide latitude to admins to take action against lesser contributors for "harassment" as however admins define it in the moment without having to give the accused a chance at defending his or her self, the Code of Conduct makes sure to give admins ways to cover their asses to the point of victim-blaming in case they decided someone is unworthy of the protection this code of conduct would afford. This proposal is only designed to negatively affect us lesser contributors, so there is no need for you to worry at all.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 17:51, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
The Code requires all participants in the projects and events to behave in certain ways. Why is this a problem for administrators? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:58, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Do you not understand the problem with putting administrators in a position where they can be banned from the project for *not* blocking someone? Risker (talk) 17:05, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
I understand that you think that specific situation is problematic. Since there are numerous cases where admins put editors in a position where they can be sanctioned for not doing some specific thing, I would be interested to hear why you think admins should be exempt on principle from being put in that sort of position.
They aren't, and if you believe they are (or even think that that's what Risker's advocating) than something is wrong with your reading comprehension. The fact of the matter is, behaviour on Wikipedia is for the most part shades of grey, not black-or-white. Anything that thus forces the project to take a black-and-white weltanschauung with respect to disciplinary measures thus needs to be reconsidered. Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 19:53, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
I will admit that my reading comprehension does not stretch to parsing your opening assertion "They aren't", since there were three plural nouns in the previous paragraph ("cases", "admins" and "editors") that the plural pronoun "They" might have been referring to: unless of course "They" is a neutral singular in which case it might have been referring to "Risker". It is therefore impossible for the reader to know what assertion it is that you wish to deny. In general, though, it is a good idea to refrain from insulting other participants as a way of rebutting their arguments.
Risker wrote Any code of conduct that requires me to take certain actions (whether or not it's something that I think should be done, or I have the time to do it, or I'm even on-wiki at the time) is not going to cut it. I read that as an objection in principle to her being required to do something, in context that made it clear that it was in respect to her position as an admin, and so I asked what the reason was for that general principle, especially since the position of being required to do things they may disagree with is a position into which many admins have no objection to putting editors. I am trying to elucidate precisely what are the scope and scale of Risker's objection. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:58, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
Risker, it seems you didn't read what I pointed out above. This proposal has a weasel clause to insure admins never have to be held responsible for being derelict in their duties or abusing their position, so you are getting upset over nothing. Obviously, an admin is all for creating a harsher environment for non-admins where admins can rule even more by fiat so long as it retains a status quo that insures admins don't have to be held accountable for failing in their obligations. Instead of wrongly worrying that the admin didn't make sure to give every admin a way out of the level of responsibility commensurate with their privileges, you should perhaps show some understanding for lesser contributors who can be falsely accused or maliciously ignored due to this proposed global policy who are not allowed such loopholes.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 20:25, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
TDA, you know and I know that those weasel clauses are completely useless. They're in effect for people who are liked or powerful, and not in effect for people who are marginalized or disliked. We've all been on Wikimedia projects long enough never to trust a weasel clause. I like Ocaasi a lot, and I have a lot of respect for him, but I think he assumes too much good faith in writing this. On most projects, this is going to be ignored entirely; a project with only a handful of admins (in some cases only one or two) isn't going to enforce it. The large projects, where admins are often the targets of the very type of harassment described here. are very likely to find that the same admins are targeted by this for "failing to address" concerns under this code. Risker (talk) 00:09, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I think you lack perspective here. Admins and arbitrators openly flout the existing restrictions on their authority without consequence as occurred in my case. So long as admins do not flout the authority of other admins, arbitrators, or staff, they are nearly always golden. No reason to expect that would change now, especially with such a clear weasel clause and wording that is far less strict than the wording for non-admins. Responsibility to act is not the same as an enforceable requirement to act. Again, I think you are working yourself up over what is essentially a non-issue in lieu of things that directly impact those of us who do not have the protections that come with being an admin.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:13, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Ironically, here I was thinking that the perspectives of ticked-off enwiki editors who have had conflicts with admins is what is driving a lot of this. This is intended to be a global policy, but it does not in any way take into consideration the fact that there are dozens of projects with only a tiny number of admins, whose community expects only that their administrators do certain things. This proposal *is* written in a way that puts a positive onus on administrators to carry out certain activities. It is written from the perspective of users on the biggest projects, not the vast majority of projects where nobody would even in a minute consider the responsibilities mentioned here to be part of the standard admin expectations. However, even stepping away from the "admin" part of this, I have a lot of concerns that this code of conduct would be remarkably easy to leverage against opponents in content disputes, would be unevenly enforced against users who don't follow "party line" opinions on various issues, and would be ripe for trolling users who normally avoid conflict. We have seen similar behavioural codes leveraged very effectively to get people removed from other online projects (Facebook is particularly notorious for groups going around getting users banned for supposedly inappropriate behaviour that is really simply not-politically-correct opinion), and it only takes a few days of reading the Enwiki admin's noticeboards to see it happening right now even without this code of conduct. Risker (talk) 15:53, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense, thanks for clarfying. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:42, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
Risker has got this right, this is not for volunteers or admins. The WMF needs to take responsibility for enforcing its own terms of service. —Neotarf (talk) 23:43, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

Risker, good point. A simple removal of the word responsibility clarifies your change (done). Anyone in the movement has the "right" to address the harassment but volunteers are never compelled to take action, particularly in an area as contentious and emotionally labor-intensive as harassment. Better? Cheers, Jake Ocaasi (WMF) (talk) 17:52, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

I would point out that "no one" on enwiki has the right to address harassment; if I understand Arbcom position correctly, and I think I do, they do not consider it an appropriate topic of conversation and will remove anyone who attempts to discuss the subject in that venue. That's basically why we're here. —Neotarf (talk) 02:44, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Doxxing consistent consequencesEdit

Wasn't somebody doxxed on the English Wikipedia a few years ago and no one gave a shit? For some reason the John Pack Lambert "Female authors" category incident comes to mind but I don't think Lambert was that person who was doxxed. The person who was doxxed was banned or blocked for some reason, I think.

If we have a no-doxing policy, we need to be consistent. Mark Schierbecker (talk) 02:50, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Clarifying the status of the proposed CodeEdit

The code is written partly as a set of principles but contains a more specific paragraph of rights and responsibilities. It needs to be made clear how it relates to the various other codes, such as those mentioned explicitly, and the dozens or even hundreds of policies adopted by community consensus in the various projects and organisations. As a set of principles, it could be used to illuminate existing codes in difficult cases where their applications are uncertain or debatable. However, to the extent that it proscribes and prescribes various courses of action it is at least potentially in conflict with other codes and policies. What is the proposed order of precedence here? If existing policies take precedence, then this code is effectively nothing other than a set of guiding principles, or a fallback position for projects and groups with an incomplete or undefined code of their own. If this code takes precedence, then we are in the position that WMF action is overriding the community consensus, which is unlikely to be acceptable to the communities at large, and leaves every project with a potentially incoherent code derived partly from its previous consensus and partly from this new code, with any gaps and contradictions unresolbed and unresolvable. If no order of precedence is defined, which the current situation, then those projects with incompatible policies will unable to take effective action (and action against harassment is what is intended here of course).

In summary: what is the proposed status of this code with regard to policies and codes already agreed by community consensus, and which is proposed to take precedence in the event of incompatibility? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:34, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Followup: is it perhaps intended that this Code would revoke rather than sit alongside all the other Codes and policies? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:49, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

Disclaiming responsibilityEdit

It is perhaps worth pointing out that the purported disclaimer that "the safety of each user ... remains ... their sole responsibility", apart from being morally squalid, is legally ineffective in many of the more enlightened jurisdictions that events are held in. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:59, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Behaviour outside Wikimedia spacesEdit

Is it expected or intended that participants may be sanctioned under this Code purely or primarily on the basis of their behaviour outside Wikimedia spaces? For example, many people might be disturbed by the presence or participation of a notorious murderer, rapist or terrorist, irrespective of their behaviour within project spaces. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:55, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

Considering that this Contributor Covenant was used by its creators on Github in an attempt to ban major contributors for making non-politically correct tweets on their personal Twitter accounts, yes that is exactly what this proposal intends. Weaponized policy to eliminate dissent, forbid crimethink, and ensure absolute orthodoxy, worldwide throughout all Wikimedia spaces. Prominent Open Source software activist w:Eric S. Raymond wrote a scathing indictment of it here. The Wordsmith (talk) 14:25, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
The point was not quite clear, but it seems from what you say that this is indeed the intention. It seems appropriate to ask what processes and safeguards there will be against frivolous, tendetious or downright mistaken use of this power. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:56, 8 June 2016 (UTC)


There is a nod to evaluation: "Evaluate the implementation of the Code of Conduct over time". When, by whom, and on what criteria? What would the possible outcomes be -- reversion, and if so to what? How and where would modifications be made? More details needed. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:00, 7 June 2016 (UTC)

@Rogol Domedonfors: Do you have any suggestions? It might help the conversations get started. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 01:13, 12 June 2016 (UTC)
I ask the question precisely because it is not clear what sort of thing the proposed Code is. If it were a general statement of principle, for example, supporting and supplementing existing codes and policies, then perhaps the approrpiate criteria might be the extent to which current and new codes and policies were in alignment with the principles the Code enunciates. That sort of thing might be done by a community-wide review and discussion process. If the proposed Code were intended to override or replace all other codes, and be the sole instrument through which the community is regulated, then approriate criteria might be the extent to which incidents or complaints of harassment were reduced. Of course, in the latter case it would not be possible for anyone outside the WMF to carry out the evaluation as the required data would be held. at least in part, on terms of confidentiality. It would then be necessary to know whether the WMF was resourced to carry out that evaluation. A third possibility is a purely bureaucratic exrercise in drawing up timelines and delivery schedules and assessing whether some thing has been implemented on time, irrespective of whether it be effective or useful. It is pointless to go into details or make specific proposals at this level of detail unless and until further clarification becomes available, ideally from the proposer, as to what sort of thing it is that will need to be evaluated. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 10:58, 12 June 2016 (UTC)

Before you endorseEdit

Before endorsing this proposal, it is advisable to read up on its history. here and here are good places to start. Now, keep in mind that the Contributor Covenant intends to force the same standards onto the multitude of different cultures present in WMF, including cultures which are radically different from modern Western Social Justice. Could you imagine, for example, kicking all the Muslim editors out of Arabic projects because Islam is anti-gay and holds very different views of women than we hold in the West? The Wordsmith (talk) 15:02, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

A few other bits of of history. It might be worth mentioning that the project did eventually adopt a code of conduct as well. Ckoerner (talk) 20:36, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Transparency and accountabilityEdit

The proposed workflow under this Code assigns primary responsibility for adjudication and enforcement to the WMF. What transparency measures are proposed? Will the WMF teams or teams responsible be accountable for their exercise of their powers, and if so, to whom, and how? Will any information at all about their cases be made public? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:53, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

No engagement from project staffEdit

@Ocaasi (WMF), TJH2018, and Funcrunch: would you care to address the concerns which have been raised here? Several valid concerns ranging from concept to implementation to advisability have been raised. I see that none of you have commented even once on the talk page of this project which you have proposed. Without being willing to engage with the community here it is very unlikely you will be able to be successful when presenting this to the wider community. JbhTalk 00:22, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Hey Jbh. I put a lot of thought into anticipating objections, detailed on the proposal page. Unfortunately, I am very busy this week with conferences in San Francisco and going on vacation next week, so I won't be able to engage until after the 20th. Most importantly, this is an idea. It's not a proposal itself, and the idea pages aren't an RfC. What this proposal aims to do is put forth a vision that others can build off of. I would not be the one at WMF, or as a volunteer, to drive this proposal; indeed the idea asks for a project manager to investigate and propose it further. I created it to spark a dialogue and offer a hypothetical but concrete way to get started. This way, we won't be in the same place 2 years from now, even if some of the questions raised are worth further engagement. Best, Jake Ocaasi (WMF) (talk) 00:31, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@Ocaasi (WMF), since you seem to be working on this at the moment, here is a collection of links on the subject that has been going around, haven't had time to look them over yet. [1]Neotarf (talk) 00:40, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
  • @Ocassi: Thank you for the quick response. There seems to be quite a bit of interest here, mostly negative, but there is discussion. Part of the problem I, as I have mentioned here, is that people who support the idea are commenting on the main page while those opposed are related here to the talk page. This leads to a situation where the supporters do not know that there are issues being raised and no dialogue to address and resolve those issues can begin. Without that dialogue this idea will go no where and we, indeed, will be "in the same place 2 years from now". Cheers. JbhTalk 00:55, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
FYI, speaking only for myself, I've added each idea that I've endorsed or commented on to my watchlist, so I'm aware of the discussion on the talk pages as well as the main project pages. Not participating in the conversation does not necessarily imply unawareness that it exists. Funcrunch (talk) 01:15, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't quite see what the distinction is between an idea and a proposal which you are trying to make here. The first word of the title of the page is Propose. This may not be a formal RFC but by proposing a course of action which some rather detailed precriptions you can't be surprised by the discussion. You may have noticed that I have asked for quite a lot of clarification: for example, whether this code would supplement or replace the hundreds of existing policies. What idea did you have here? Do you regard the difference as trivial? Or do you explect other people to resolved that issue, and if so, who and how. Or is your proposal simply to discuss a code? In short, what, in your view, would happen next if this proposal were accepted? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 08:20, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
I've used "idea" and "proposal" interchangeably when discussing submissions to this campaign. "Idea" is the word used by the WMF on the main page of the Inspire Campaign. As Ocaasi (WMF) explained above, the goal is not to come up with a finished plan that will be implemented as soon as the month is over, but to brainstorm various ideas to combat harassment, gather supporters, then seek funding for further study of those that prove worthy. At least, that's my understanding of the process. Funcrunch (talk) 14:14, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I think I understand your position. You are not suggesting that we adopt the proposed Code of Conduct, merely that we agree to have a discussion about whether to adopt it, and further, again if I understand you, that discussion of the Code at this point is premature: the only thing we should be discussing here is whether or not to have that discussion and if so, how. Is that accurate? If it is, perhaps I can point you to mw:Code of Conduct/Draft where WMF staff have spent eleven months discussing a potential Code. Is that the sort of discussion you would advocate? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:27, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
Not sure why you're singling me out as I simply endorsed the project and said that I would volunteer to help make it happen if it gets enough support. I'm not "staff" (per your section title) and I did not help in any way to come up with this proposal; I proposed my own completely separate idea. Funcrunch (talk) 00:46, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
@Funcrunch: OK, my error. I saw you listed as a "volunteer" so I assumed you had some role in this. JbhTalk 00:55, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Grants to improve your projectEdit

Greetings! The Project Grants program is currently accepting proposals for funding. The deadline for draft submissions is tommorrow. If you have ideas for software, offline outreach, research, online community organizing, or other projects that enhance the work of Wikimedia volunteers, start your proposal today! Please encourage others who have great ideas to apply as well. Support is available if you want help turning your idea into a grant request.

The next open call for Project Grants will be in October 2016. You can also consider applying for a Rapid Grant, if your project does not require a large amount of funding, as applications can be submitted anytime. Feel free to ping me if you need help getting your proposal started. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) 22:49, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Return to "IdeaLab/Propose Wikimedia Code of Conduct (adapted from open source Contributor Covenant)" page.