Talk:Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2011/Archive 1


It's jobs-for-the-boys.

I really expected something better than this.

300 edits?

So I have to correct 300 pages by the 15th of May to get onto the election list?

Dang... I'm glad I'm not eligible. Just call it WikiCorp Inc. and save us the effort of bothering.

You're not after people who are committed to an ideal, you're looking for busybodies.

A world of by committees...for committees

Welcome to WikiCommittee

(Signed: Mr Severely disappointed)

If it's a board you can call it

If it's a Committee you can call it

Drop me an email when your system evolves into a democracy.

Subpage system for the translations of candidate pages

As a result of what I wrote on Talk:Board elections/2009#Candidate removed from English candidate list, still present on he, lb, hi, eo, instead of the more informal note: candidate statements need to be translated on Candidates page written on Board elections/2009/Translation, I would like to create a translation table for candidate statements, with a column for each candidate statement and a line for each language below the main translation table, on Board elections/2011/Translation.

As this is a change in the coding of the links in the pages' layout, this has to be thought early enough (before or while the English version is being written, in all events before translation work begins). Teofilo 15:56, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Or are we going to use a language select tool like the one on Template:Sr-elections 2011, which looks attractive. Or a combination of both methods ? Teofilo 18:08, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Call for volunteers: Election Committee


An email was sent asking for views on who should have suffrage, with one option being donors.

Allowing votes based on donations is likely to send the wrong message, however noble it might be. If the level is high then it allows "buying votes" where lower level donors could not; if it is low then paid-for voting swamps the informed users who may know the candidates and makes it more "political". If donations are to be a criterion then I would suggest it must be met at least the last 2 years, not just one year - regular donors may be seen differently to "once off" donors. But this one is a can of worms and more trouble than it's worth - best not.

What I would be interested in is some representative way to involve our other big category of the community - readers. Speculatively one could allow up to 50 or 100 reader votes, invite non-logged-in readers to apply by submitting their email address, select 50 - 100 by random poll proportionately by country (after checking for obvious duplicates) and allow them to vote. Again may be more trouble than it's worth, but it is important to consider if readers may have a say in what matters at the election. After all they are whom the project and all of our efforts are aimed at supporting.

(It also reduces the risk of insularity, where the results reflect only the small number active in the project.)

FT2 (Talk | email) 11:14, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi FT2, I don't quite agree with relying on readers to vote. I thought the whole point was getting the internal community to vote for candidates that it might know. Readers are relatively an outside entity to the internal structure and workings of the projects. This also doesn't take into account the issue of verifying genuine readers vs. random users who might try and game the system. They can vote multiple times for the candidates they support. I agree it might be more trouble than its worth. Theo10011 11:27, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Fair points, but I don't think they are a problem.
The entire project - all we do, all we produce - is ultimately for readers, not editors. It is quite possible that readers (as a whole) may have different perspectives and priorities than the comparative few in the editing/developing/WMF community know of. Disenfranchising readers means we don't hear their voice, and the board unavoidably is based purely on (internal) views. As WMF staff will confirm, this can be a major problem, for example those on the "inside" may not appreciate the experience or views of those on the "outside". This comes over for example, in the user experience area, where those who contribute most are also precisely those not typical of our readership.
As a result, I favor including reader perspectives in the voting that forms the board. They are as competent as anyone to read and understand board election statements (or to ask questions if not). Since we have hundreds of millions of readers around the globe, by the time we select a fixed number (say 50 - 100?) of those interested at random, and proportionate to country/region, the odds of someone being able to deliberately sock the resulting 50 - 100 are probably very small, or no worse than the main election as a whole. If gaming the system is the main concern with allowing representatives for reader voting, then I'm not sure it's a problem. FT2 (Talk | email) 11:41, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean by 'a fixed number'? Someone will write a 'fair' algorithm to select readers? John Vandenberg 11:47, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
We have about 100k editors, a small-ish proportion of those are highly active editors - and 400 million unique visitors a month (+/-). It seems important to represent readers. They are whom this is all for. 99.5%+ of readers are non-editing readers. In simple terms our readers individually all have equal standing. We can give the readership a voice by allocating a fixed (although arbitrary) number of readers who will be invited to vote. The number would be arbitrary in that it would have to be selected (and probably chosen to give a perceived "fair voice" in light of past numbers of votes in past elections) although this could be done by open consensus on the wiki. As other criteria for voting such as editor activity levels are also chosen by the community this doesn't seem difficult. We issue an open invitation to all readers to submit their email addresses if interested in voting for the board. We do not use the emails any other way. Out of 400 million readers a month we will probably get far more interested readers than the number the community has agreed. Random choice within a population (via a pre-agreed algorithm if needed) is commonplace and not controversial. FT2 (Talk | email) 12:16, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Alternative method - we decide the fixed percentage of the total vote given to readers (1/4? 1/3?), then however many readers vote, scale it as the agreed proportion of the cast votes.FT2 (Talk | email) 13:00, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
But how would one identify unique readers? WereSpielChequers 13:18, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
You don't (or you don't demand rigor). You rely on the idea that if there are 400 million unique visitors, then you may get 50,000 - 500,000 interested readers (0.25%±?) and if you remove obvious duplicates and choose 500 of those by random method based on geographical representation, then most socking will be eliminated. Or you allow all 50 - 500k votes and then scale it to the percentage of election votes. Either way the effect of any non-unique users will be very low. FT2 (Talk | email) 13:44, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

How can we include donors without sharing the chapters donor databases, or distributing the talk of 'vote scrutinising' to chapters? John Vandenberg 11:50, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

We should not sell votes, and whilst I have no objection to enfranchising readers I see no practical way to do so. Readers, donors, students, former board members and staff are all welcome to !vote, but they need to have done enough edits to qualify. I would be happy for developers edits to whatever test wiki they are using to count as contributions for the purpose of deciding who can vote. WereSpielChequers 12:45, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

No need to artificially force developers (or any other group) to fit criteria that don't match the group. We can devise different and more suitable criteria for developers. FT2 (Talk | email) 13:00, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't particularly care for the idea of granting suffrage to donors, basically for all the reasons given above. Several other sensible exemptions have been proposed, but what about (additionally—not replacing any others) a blanket rule that you can vote if you've already identified yourself (for another reason, not solely for the election) to WMF? Austin 13:27, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand the point of that inclusion, would you mind elaborating a bit Austin? the current policy dictates that the Identification be limited to designated employees of the WMF- Philippe, Christine or Megan. They would have to be accountable to include who gets to vote? Besides community members running for stewards, opting for CU, even OTRS identification and a handful of contractors, I can't see the point of including identified individuals separately in the election. A fair majority of those are already included as community members. Community members already have the right to vote without identification, did you mean identifying as an alternative to circumvent the edit or time requirements? Theo10011 13:54, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought it was obvious that I was talking about exemptions—clearly, many of those identified with the Foundation are already eligible for other reasons, but we're trying to keep obviously eligible people from being disenfranchised on a technicality. The idea I just floated would encompass contractors, server administrators, people involved with chapters and other meta-organization, and some others—you're right, it's not a particularly large number of people, but I think we can agree that they should all be allowed to vote. As for implementation, I imagined that it would happen on a by-request basis, so if we simply make it policy the election committee can contact an authorized staffer to either confirm or deny that they've identified themselves. Austin 14:12, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
ah, I agree with that completely. We should make it easier for anyone willing to vote to be able to and not get shut out on technicalities. I support relaxing the rules for identified candidates. Sadly, I doubt this group would be very large, and even then a lot of them might just not be as interested in voting. Thanks for the clarification. Theo10011 14:17, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Here's a couple of loosely connected, and hopefully useful, thoughts:

  • There are donors that are Wikimedians, but their donation details aren't linked to their Wikimedia accounts - so you let people donate twice. Also as pointed out above: a lot of donors now donate to chapters rather than the Foundation.
  • If we want to include votes from donors and readers: rather than randomly selecting readers, as suggest above, and also to weigh the votes towards Wikimedia editors rather than donors, I'd suggest combining votes from different groups together differently, e.g. as:
    Wikimedians (including developers, and paid staff): 50% of total vote
    Readers: 25%
    Donors: 25%
    So, no matter how many readers vote, their votes add up to 25% of the total, with that 25% divided up amongst the candidates according to the % of votes for that candidate.
  • I would definitely support lowering the barrier to entry in terms of number of edits, so long as the risk of sockpuppets voting multiple times is kept low.

Mike Peel 19:27, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

i guess that we are debating stuff as a single topic that would be better divided in two. 1) for donors: the "community seats" are - most likely - the wrong door to knock on. the donors contribute to the organizations, not the directly to the projects. the problems of chapter data bases (John), donors = members (Ziko) and so on could be fixed (maybe), if this discussion would be related to the "chapter seats". their selection process - although producing good results - was criticized as such in the past ((in-)transparency, overrepresentation, and so on). maybe elections on chapter internal level and summing the results among all organizations, or so (chapter matter).
2) reader: beside the technical aspects and random factors, mentioned above, i don't see one thing: how should a (only-)reader decide stuff (at least with minimal competence), he knows literally nothing about and will, most likely, not invest several hours to read the files or ask someone (he considers competent). after all: it's a board, not a parliament and the purpose is limited, regards --Jan eissfeldt 21:52, 20 March 2011 (UTC)


In 2009, the nomination period started in July. This year, the nomination period starts in May. I recommend that there should be some announcements at Wikimedia's sister projects to make sure that potential candidates are not taken by surprise. Markus Schulze 10:52, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion for other years


for this election way too late, but for later editions, I would like to suggest to build in a mechanism to limit the number of candidates somewhat in the final round to an overseable number. Currently the threshold is quite low to candidate - so there is some risk that the number of candidates is so large, that the voters have trouble informing themselves decently and making a well informed decision. This could both lead to lower turnout and a dishonest advantage to "oh, I know that guy at least".

My ideal number of candidates would be roughly 2-3 * n, with n being the number of available seats. With three seats, I would prefer to see 6-9 candidates. That way at least the candidates without any chance could be removed and the voters dont have to bother about it. To be clear: I have no clou what will happen to the number of candidates this year, I intentionally place this remark before I know who will candidate to avoid any potential bias.

possible methods of achieving this could include:

  • Highering the requirements for number of edits (not my favorite)
  • Requiring X support statements by potential voters, either public or private (that way you proof you have at least some chance of becoming chosen)
  • Have a two round system (disadvantage: people still have to read everything for the first round)

I am confident others can come up with better suggestions to reach such effect while still having the candidates with a serious chance participating. Effeietsanders 13:19, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

clarification needed: requirements for Wikimedia staff

I am translating the requirements to vote and I am not sure what is the meaning of the requirements for the Wikimedia staff. Do they have to be employed continuously between 15 February 2011 and 15 May 2011 or it is OK to have been employed at any time during that interval? Using an example: if someone had worked for WMF starting at 1 January 2011 and ending at 30 April 2011, would he qualify to vote? The same question applies for someone that was hired on 1 March 2011 and still works for WMF at the time of the election. --SMP (talk page) 16:35, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

I think they are eligible as long as they were paid for at least one day of work between 15 February 2011 and 15 May 2011, so I think both of your examples should work. However, you might want to wait for someone on the election committee to give an official answer. Cbrown1023 talk 19:54, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the intent of the requirement is that staff must have been employed continuously for the entire interval between 15 February and 15 May 2011. Employees starting after 15 February, or leaving the Foundation before 15 May, would not be eligible to vote. Ral315 (talk) 20:31, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
In that case, I would recommend that the wording be changed to "from ... to." "Between ... and" suggests Cbrown1023's meaning - any time between the dates. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 06:24, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
  Done Jon Harald Søby 08:44, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I just noticed this now, after the wording was changed. I don't think it solves the problem. Adding the words "throughout the period" before "from" would remove any ambiguity. Eclecticology 22:22, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Linking directly to a translated page

The link to "Become a candidate" from the Hebrew Wikipedia points to a page in English. Is it possible to make it point to a page in Hebrew?

This is probably relevant for many languages. --Amir E. Aharoni 08:43, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

I would like to do that as well, but it can't be done automatically with the CentralNotice system (unfortunately), so it needs to be added to each message manually. I will do some testing to try and find a good solution. Jon Harald Søby 09:32, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
  Done. If you find any errors, please do tell us. Jon Harald Søby 12:16, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

huseen duur

born uk 1978 problem solver working house inteligence orginaly from somalia

If you would like to submit yourself as a candidate, please follow the instructions here. Please note the requirements for serving as a board member (these requirements apply to anyone who votes in the election as well). Ral315 (talk) 13:44, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

WARNING: Pornography in link to the content page

The link to this page (from Wikipedia) has been vandalised by User: Meepsheep to include a pop-up pornographic image. 12:47, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Already fixed by someone with this edit. Courcelles 12:49, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Identification signatures

I don't see any benefit to including a user signature with identification notices. The diff seems to suffice. I've removed the signatures and modified the underlying template code. Let me know if you know of some reason that the user signatures are important. --MZMcBride 02:49, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

I wish you wouldn't. They allow the committee to see at a glance who has confirmed that the candidacy exists on the identification noticeboard. It's one of several pieces of error checking (and yes... there's redundancy). Philippe (WMF) 06:16, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Suggestions for Election Organization

There seems to be a lot of ambiguity regarding the rules and nature of this election. I suggest that someone at the WMF take the time to address several key issues:

  1. The organization of the pages is seriously wanting for improvement.
  2. The requirements for being a candidate seem to be subject to broad interpretation making it difficult for voters to objectively elect anyone.
  3. There seems to be a need for grammatical editing, sadly, one of the shortfalls of these types of sites.
  4. There should be an election coordinator to modify the pages and answer candidates questions.

The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 05:40, 3 May 2011 (UTC).

Hi, and thanks for the comment. The election coordinators are us, the election committee. If you could give us some feedback on exactly where the pages are "wanting for improvement" and what grammatical mistakes are to be fixed, that would be great. Jon Harald Søby 07:44, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Self-nomination banner

The banner inviting people to become a candidate is displaying for logged-out users. This doesn't make much sense to me in light of the 300 edit requirement. People that edit the projects that much are likely to be logged in. The overwhelming majority of our readers won't care.--Chaser (talk) 06:43, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, we're gonna restrict the banner to logged-in users tomorrow. A lot of non-high-intensity users have a tendancy to log in to make their edits, then log out again. We're running it for everyone for two days to make sure that most of these will be aware of it as well. Jon Harald Søby 07:41, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Why isn't this page locked?

If it shouldn't be edited, why not just lock it? -- 15:16, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

It is, but the note is for everyone including those that are able to edit it even when it's locked. Jon Harald Søby 16:03, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

What the hell are students running for?

Tehre should be no runners under the age of 35. 19:51, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Why? Certainly, if a candidate is unsuitable, the voters will simply pick someone else? Conversely, wouldn't any elected candidate have been ipso facto a suitable one? — Coren (talk) / (en-wiki) 20:04, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Candidacy sign up instructions are unclear

The instructions for submitting your summary do not quite tell you HOW you would go about submitting. It only includes a link to existing candidate profiles and not a form where they can submit their self-nomination. Perhaps I'm having a "brain fart" moment.

Spelling mistakes

"spell correction" should be "spelling corrections". —Tom Morris (talk) 13:51, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Proof of Identity

From the text in the Content page it is not clear how to submit to the Wikimedia Foundation the proof of Identity. Can somebody provide some clear instructions. Thanks TomyDuby 20:39, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

There are clearer instructions here. Basically the easiest way is to email copies of photo identity to :) --ErrantX 09:50, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

A statement in German

Urs Wäfler's statement is in German. This holds me back from completing the translation to my language (and probably others, too). Ofrahod 06:58, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Me too, I'd expect only English statements on the English page. Can someone (perfectly, the applicant, who claims knowing English) translate the statement? Spiritia 19:31, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Japanese Candidate

User:Mikkabie submitted a candidacy at Board elections/2011/Candidates/ja. It seems to me that this candidacy is meant to be serious, but that the candidate is not eligible. Markus Schulze 18:22, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

There are somany cofusions.

This is ofcourse a good network, But here are so many confused steps by them candidates are not able to use the facialities of Hyves. Here is a lot of rush but no good service provided to say yes it's for the setisfaction.

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