Talk:Croatian Wikipedia Disinformation Assessment-2021

My $0.02 and some queries edit

Firstly, while I have paid a significant amount of attention to the hr-wiki issues and handling since 2018, and aided in the drafting of the final meta-rfc on the topic as a whole, clearly I am not an active member of any of the relevant projects with either direct experience of the issues or major impact by any recommendations adopted/not adopted.

The report gives a good explanation of how the issues sprung into being, and despite an initially concerning list of questions in the survey, does make good note of the improvements made in the last year or so in the actual report, but minimises that aspect in the summary (which is otherwise clear and well-written).

In regards to the recommendations:

  1. Well I assume that no-one would object to this one. The report considers some aspects, particularly in formalised review as a method of at least detecting back-sliding, even if it can't stop it. I would love to see some discussion on what particular things hr-wiki would like here, even if it's not ultimately something I can help with.
  2. This is...interesting, and the fact that a majority of hr-wiki editors who replied (more on that below) are interested in it, offers an interesting compromise route. What I don't think the report does say, and would have been good to know, is what the views are on the other projects on it. The report also advises SecurePoll, rather than an on-wiki usual style, which I found interesting. The author does neglect a rather key negative, that these cross-SC admins would need to be aware of differing policies and means of executing those policies.
  3. While the author is of course correct that it would have been preferable that the projects never split, the level of difficulty in re-merging seems...extreme. Every (significant) divergence in policy, article, norm, and such would need to be identified and handled. While I am aware of issues on non-hr SC wikis (and the report gives multiple good examples), editors there may feel like they're being penalised for errors outside their remit. The list of pros and cons is well crafted for this recommendation, and to me, seems to come down in opposition to it (albeit worth for consideration and insight).

I do have a couple of further notes/questions:

  1. The report is written using clear English, and actually would be a good example of how other documents made by the WMF can be made readable
  2. Is the full report available in languages other than English? Given it proposes major changes to multiple projects, the full report (not merely the summary) needs to be in each of those languages. [With thanks to the person who pointed them out - good translating spread]
  3. Is the author able to answer questions on it, whether through written form or office hours?
  4. Three hr editors have commented that the consultation/fact-finding process was not ideal, without live interaction and rather rote questions. I can't verify their statements myself so I'll ask: Do other hr-editors feel this way? Was there, in fact, live discussion done? If not, why not? Nosebagbear (talk) 19:04, 14 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

it feels as a bit too little too late... edit

Thank you for publishing this, but in all honesty it feels as a bit too little too late.

After a quick reading of the summary I am somewhat disappointed that the investigation commissioned by WMF was so reductive in presenting the complexity of the situation (it is not all about the language) and keeping it content centric *(with very few people/social centric observations).

WMF also did not reflect on more than a decade of itself being a more-less passive observer (if even observer) of frustrations of contributors to Wikipedia in Croatian language *(calling it Croatian Wikipedia is a part of the problem as it adds to the nation-state perception of Wikipedia). In this decade aspirations with UCoC makes me wonder how WMF's lack of action would pass here?

For Wikipedians who spent over a decade asking for help *(many have burned out and will not return even now that situation is better) it would likely be useful to hear some kind of a sign of apology for the lack of interest, oversight and support on the WMF side. As for the recommendations presented, these at best may be well intended but also seem fairly technocratic in approach and naive at what the capacities and conditions of work are in the wider context and in the project itself. --Zblace (talk) 07:15, 15 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am not sure if this comment is late, but if it appears to be too little too late, then it seems resetting the Croatian Wikipedia and making a fresh start could be tabled as an option. How exactly will need to be discussed further, whether it is a clean start, or a phased reset. --92.236.0.141 12:33, 18 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

...also non-moderating and framing discussions edit

(especially on such controversial topic) edit

feels like wasted opportunity to advance edit

(at least with more people involved) edit

Maybe there is still way to do this better and with more focus and care? --Zblace (talk) 06:44, 24 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you edit

Thank you for the feedback and questions. The author might not be able to do office hours but would be willing to answer some of the questions in the written form. Users are encouraged to read the report in full and share their thoughts and questions. We’ll pass arising questions to the author and post the responses back towards the end of next week. --NNair (WMF) (talk) 11:07, 15 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two English pages? edit

Why twice? --Novak Watchmen (talk) 18:22, 15 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The translation system will always create a "specimen" version of the source language page. That page can be useful, since it is just English text without translation markup. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 18:57, 15 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe it makes sense to do one in Simple English as this is kind of globally relevant especially for small language Wikipedia projects where fewer people is in excelent command of English. --Zblace (talk) 09:23, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A self governance issues - the nexus of hr.wiki disinfo problems edit

First of all, many thanks to WMF for engagement (finally) and the author of this document for accurately describing all the most pressing issues hr.wiki had over the last decade. The document IMHO gives the reader a good overview of what happens when a small wiki is left to it's own devices and because of it's small size it is unable to defend itself from even a small but organized group of bad faith people with an agenda.

Of the three recommendations I find the first, the one about the "robust self governance" to be the most important because it is the only one (in my opinion) that addresses the cause of the problem, not the possible solutions of the particular case of hr.wiki (which are outlined in 2nd and 3rd recommendations).

So, personally, I find the (lack of) proper self governance to be the root and cause of all problems on hr.wiki. However, since the main subject of the whole assessment process (as well as of the resulting document) is the current disinformation problem hr.wiki has, the part of the document that deals with works of the "kabala" is lacking a bit in details on how exactly the "kabala" ruled the hr.wiki for more than a decade.

Basically, the main thing that led to hr.wiki disinfo disaster was the lack of suitable mechanisms to control the actions of the admins. Without such mechanisms in place to ensure the will of the community trumps admin's wishes it was entirely possible that once the "right" admins were in their seats, and the majority within the admin group was secured, it was game over for hr.wiki.

Self governance the hr.wiki way edit

The problem is very serious and has a long and complicated genesis. But to be blunt, as a long time user and editor on hr.wiki, when it comes to "self governance", I can say only this - There is no such thing on hr.wiki! Please try to understand: hr.wiki the most closely resembles a feudal system where all the governance processes themselves are firmly positioned in the "benevolent admins" hands, by the hands of the admins. And seemingly, they do not want willingly to give up that power, not even today. Currently, on hr.wiki there are no real mechanisms for a wiki community to influence, guide and correct the behaviour of admin caste. Any modern and functional community is ruled by laws, or in our case on wikipedias - the wiki policies and guidelines. On hr.wiki the wiki policies and guidelines themselves are either missing or are just hijacked by the admin caste to ensure their rule cannot be questioned or disrupted. On top of that, the people responsible for interpretation of the policies and guidelines are admins themselves, often inventing rules ad hoc. And on top of that, there is no ArbCom - a panel of editors which has the authority over the admins when it comes to rules interpretation and enforcement.

So basically instead of the system where admins are to obey and enforce the will of the community we have the system where ordinary users are sheeps, led by our "benevolent" shepherds - the admins. Of course, as often done by real shepherds, if you oppose the decisions of admins you end in the kettle. (Please excuse me for generalizing admin's behavior perhaps a bit too much, but there IS a kind of toxic comradeship amongst the admins that I find exculpatory enough in this case.)

I might agree that the current set of admins are much better than the ones during the "cabal" rule (there are good admins on the right of the political spectrum also, and amongst the "old" ones even), but the fundamental problem still remains. Six months have already passed since Kubura & Co. were dethroned and what has changed? At first, for a short while, admins (even the old ones who cooperated with the "cabal" or were the part of it) were softer, more tolerant toward critics, more open to changes. But unfortunately, as the time went by, the situation slowly but surely reverted to it's old "normal" before the new normal was even established. While some of the admins (most, but not all of the new ones) supported the community wanting the changes by participating in writing the new policies where policies and guidelines were missing, or by rewriting the existing ones, as well as supporting the cleaning of the POV content that disgraced our hr.wiki in the public eye, the rest strategically opposed most of the changes that would introduce any form of admin control mechanisms and in effect start to build a form of local governance on hr.wiki more modern than the medieval one we currently have.

How admin caste operates? edit

When I said "strategically opposed" to the changes, please allow me to illustrate what exactly I mean by that:

Break, ignore and bend the rules edit

I was the person that together with few others translated and adapted the main content policies and guidelines from en.wiki to replace the old, garbage hr.wiki ones for the purpose of neutralizing the POV pushers that made disinfo hell from hr.wiki. I can say that my perception is that only the three to four admins were 100% behind the effort with one admin as a lead and collegaue in autorship and presentation of the new rules to the community. The majority of admins were and still are silent, seemingly not interested at all in laying the foundations for the future of hr.wiki by replacing the old compromised policies and guidelines. And why is that? I'm not saying the admins should write the new policies by themselves, but for the most part the ONLY input I had from them in writing the new content policies was the old "cabal" mantra: "we do not have to have the same rules as en.wiki has because the en.wiki rules are not always applicable to hr.wiki". Really? A content policies from en.wiki like WP:NPOV or WP:VER are not directly applicable to hr.wiki? That was the only thing to contribute after 10 years of inquisition by cabal? That and silence? And not doing anything else supportive?

Before I'm accused of not assuming a good faith here (inaccurately but purposefully translated to Croatian long time ago as "assuming the good intentions") let me just summarize the results of our efforts on writing and rewriting the hr.wiki's policies and guidelines: 1) Adopted new policies: - WP:No Original Research (was missing entirely), WP:Edit Warring (was missing entirely), WP:Reliable Sources (was missing entirely). 2) Still not adopted, in process: WP:Neutral Point Of View (was and still is poorly written), WP:Verifiability (was and still is poorly written). 3) Still not adopted, NOT in process: WP:Five Pillars (not accurate in sensitive parts). 4) Admin related new rules: number of new policies and guidelines regarding the admins themselves that are written in the last 6 months equals ZERO. 5) Admin related current rules: number of current policies regulating the admin practice and conduct also equals ZERO.

Let me emphasize this once more: the only rules that were adopted by the community till this moment were the ones that we didn't have at all, in any form - WP:NOR, WP:WAR and WP:RS. Meanwhile, WP:NPOV and WP:PRO are ready for adoption for months, but still are not adopted and seemingly are on ice. No discussion. No opposition. Nothing. Just silence. Because yeah, who needs such trivial things such as WP:PRO and WP:NPOV for battling the disinformation on hr.wiki when we have our all wise and benevolent admins ready to help us? And of course, we do need rules for admins since they are so wise and benevolent. Right?

So you see, the first mode of operation for cabal-like groups AND cabal-compatible power hungry mentalities is: Do not have rules! Just make the rules as you go but only when you need them. Remember, when there are no rules, nobody can accuse you of breaking them in the first place.

Eliminate the oposition edit

Personally, I was also involved, together with other pro-change minded colleagues, in fixing the most notorious POV articles on hr.wiki. We were constantly sabotaged, disturbed and provoked by POV pushers, which resulted in verbal clashes with POV pushers and admins who protected them (Blocks...) Admins did their job eventually, kind of, but not to go into the details to much (without being provoked to do so), I'll just summarize the bottom line here: The admins seem to want to protect POV pushers for some strange reason. Maybe it's fear of being accused to be "vindictive", I don't know. All I know is that I'm blocked (2 months) for protesting about admins avoiding for months to dismiss a POV pusher from the role of patroller (official cause: not assuming good faith), and the other prominent "POV-buster" colleague blocked (2 months) for (again) criticizing admins for not enabling us to delete POV content (outright right wing extremism garbage) without consent from admins (official cause: personal attack). So now we have a patroller who was caught in blatant POV push still patrolling the hr.wiki while the people who try to change things and eliminate the POV are being punished and ostracized for frivolous imaginary reasons (as interpreted by who else than admins) such as not assuming good faith or personal attack on admin for criticizing admins obstructing the removal of POV. Good job hr.wiki!

(BTW, The POV pusher patroller still active on hr.wiki I mentioned above - the one that get me blocked by proxies a week ago, not during the "kabala" rule - is the same one who reverted any mention of "war criminal" from the intro sections of the articles about Croatian war criminals multiple times [1][2][3][4]. You can read all about problems with war criminal articles in the Disinformation Assessment itself.)

The second mode of operation for cabal-like groups AND cabal-compatible power hungry mentalities is: Make it personal! When editor is in fact not breaking any rules, act offended for no real reason and quickly block him! Just accuse the editor of personal attack, and if you stick to the "no rules" rule from above, the editor will not be able to defend himself. Moreover, even if the user manages to unblock himself somehow by appealing to other admin i.e., every consecutive time you block the user for the "personal attack" or "assume good faith" or "disruption of Wikipedia" the next time it will be even easier, because the critic will now have a "history" of bad behavior so you could even construct a "personal attack" or at least "assume good faith" case for any other user who opposes the block. Don't mind the policy that for any personal attack claim admin should recuse himself (WP:INVOLVED) too much. It's new (smuggled into some "obscure" content policy), and nobody seams to give a damn after all.

(Now even the allied admins are starting to refuse support to the editors that want change because of the 1) toxic comradeship I mentioned before and because of 2) character assassination campaign performed over all dissenting voices asking for change by rogue admins that want to rule hr.wiki now and forever. We have a history of clashes with admins by now. It became an argument against us all by itself just as described right above, under the "second mode". Even the clashes with "cabal" admins 8 years ago are being taken against us regularly. Go figure...)

Could this happen to your favorite wiki? edit

So, dear friends, this is the state of hr.wiki as I see it now. It's (not so) slowly falling back to the old ways and it will go back unless you are going believe the serious accusations I was forced to make here. The disinformation situation is a little bit better only because admins are collectively forced to help fixing it by the global community, not want to expose themselves. But the real problem of local governance, the cause of the whole mess, just cannot be fixed without the wider support which will ensure that first the right policies and guidelines are in place, and then the right practices are established within the hr.wiki community. By "right" I mean the policies, guidelines and practices as found on other more functional wiki communities around the world. You are all more then welcome to help! And make no mistake about it - no matter how big your wiki is or how good your wiki is organized, your wiki could be next.

I'll end this long rant of mine with the excerpts from never adopted hr.wiki version of the Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee - Wikipedia:Arbitraža which can be found here: [5]. To better illustrate the rogue admin problem I would've prefered if I could give you excerpts from hr.wiki version of WP:ADMIN, WP:BLOCK, WP:BAN, WP:DEL, WP:APPEAL or similar, but THERE AREN'T ANY! (1st mode of operations, remember?). Instead, I hope this little "pearls" from the mind of the "cabal" leader SpeedyGonsales will help you understand the mind of average hr.wiki admin as it was for the last 10 years, and I fear maybe still is.

(Croatian Wikipedia does not have ArbCom, and the admins have the supreme and unchallenged authority over the hr.wiki)

  1. Croatian Wikipedia ArbCom is modelled after the Arbitration Committee found on English Wikipedia, however it does not function in the same way as it does on English Wikipedia.
  2. ArbCom exist for the common goal - creating the free encyclopedia.
  3. ArbCom consists of three members, of which two are admins, and one ordinary user.
  4. The members of ArbCom are nominated by the administrators of the Croatian Wikipedia, after which the elections are held.
  5. The written rules should not be taken explicitly.
  6. Wikipedia is not a democracy but is a subject of benevolent oversight of its administrators who will intervene if need be.
  7. Editors who evidently submit the complaints without valid reason may be sanctioned by notice or be blocked by the ArbCom, even prior to the complaint formal deliberation.
  8. If the complaint is dismissed, the counter-complaint may be filed automatically because of the harassment.
  9. Editors are to be warned not to file complaints without reason because by doing so they are wasting ArbCom's time.
  10. ArbCom may, if need be, update and change the ArbCom policy by itself.

I hope this excerpts and the whole post clearly illustrate the problem the hr.wiki has. Hopefully now you have a glimpse of the mindset of rogue admins and their methods and it clearly shows that it's very hard for individual users to anything to oppose it. I also hope you will perhaps agree with my opinion and the opinion given by the Assessment itself that the communities themselves, especially the small ones with poor self governance infrastructure (just like hr.wiki is) are not equipped to deal with problems of this magnitude by themselves, and that outside help and guidance in establishing the self government infrastructure is needed in one way or another. If you do, I would really like to hear your ideas on how to do it.

Please note - this is my personal point of view and it should be regarded as such. I'm sure others (especially some of our feudal benevolent overlords) will disagree, but I have diffs, screenshots and google translate to back up my claims if need be. I might be perceived as disruptive true, and usually "they" accuse me and even punish me for that reason. But, what's not to disrupt here exactly? Imbehind 23:43, 15 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments edit

Hello Imbehind! You have forgotten to point out an important distinction in this rant: nobody is disputing your edits nor preventing you from correcting POV content in any way. The behavior you were blocked for does not relate to the POV issues, but to your own inability to maintain a cool head, communicate with your fellow editors in a civil manner - especially if they have diverging opinions, nor to extricate your own emotions and beliefs from a civil discussion. Nobody needs to experience abuse or insults simply because they disagree with you. Calling admins lazy, calling fellow editors pieces of sh*t, and violently demanding administrators take action without consensus having been reached defies the spirit of collaboration this project strives to reach. I hope you take some time to truly reflect and hopefully improve your own behavior instead of calling for admins' heads. Respectfully, a hrwiki admin. Ivi104 (talk) 13:06, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dear Ivi, this is not a post about me or you. It's a post about my opinion on the state of Croatian Wikipedia in general. But if you feel you need to talk about me here, please continue with your character assassination effort to further demonstrate the method (I mentioned in above post) to your colleagues. But please, use diffs for your claims in the future. Thank you. Imbehind 13:29, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Imbehind, could you post a single diff where any admin (or even an ordinary user) is actively discouraging writing/improving any rules for hr wikipedia? --Argo Navis (talk) 13:51, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dear Argo, this is not a post about me or you. It's a post about my opinion on the state of Croatian Wikipedia in general. But if you feel you need to talk about me here, please continue with your character assassination effort to further demonstrate the method (I mentioned in above post) to your colleagues. But please, use diffs for your claims in the future. For instance, you should be able to quote me saying above that admins were "actively discouraging writing/improving the rules". You can't? If that's the case then double thank you! Imbehind 14:13, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But, this is about you! It's about your (and your pals') fixation with the idea that admins are actively protecting Kubura's POV. I, personally, fixed probably more then a hundred articles writen by Kubura's socks, but that didn't really saved me from accusations that I *protect* his POV. And the (blocked) user who harrased me with those accusations repeated that a dozen times. He was warned several times not to do that, even promised to stop doing that, but he continued and he was finally blocked. Why should I bother giving diffs when you didn't provide any diffs yourself? This entire rant is just your own personal POV, without diffs backing your claims. It's worth nothing more then any other personal opinion. If you can't prove admins are *actively discouraging writing/improving the rules*, then what exactly *is* the problems with admins? Should we be forced to help writting the rules? If you are unsatisfied with the pace of changing rules on hr wiki, why do you single out admins? --Argo Navis (talk) 14:28, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Imbehind is an user who was blocked several times because of personal attacks, and even swearing, on wikipedia. Although he did a great job fixing some POV, unfortunatelly, he did much more harm with his uncontrollable temper and lack of communicating skills. Noone blocked him for POV fixing. Actually, many admins admire his POV-fixing work. The same admin who blocked Imbehind in May (Maestro Ivanković) supported giving Imbehind auto-patrol sttaus 2 months before, precisely because he trusted Imbehind's POV-fixing changes.
Imbehind, this rant above is, unfortunatelly, consistent with your rants on croatian wikipedia. Just like there, you are expressing your frustration with slow progress in implementing new rules on croatian wikipedia, but you conveniently forgot to mention that noone is actively discouraging any rule changes nor POV fixing on hr wikipedia. I understand that you hoped that many more users will join you in POV fixing, but you are forgotting that none is obliged to do that. If someone prefers working on non-controversial articles to POV fixing and translating rules from en wiki... well, you'll just have to learn to live with that. Please, try to keep your frustration to yourself, instead of attacking entire community just because they don't satisfy your expectations.
Regarding alledged "cabal"-styled behaviour of "new admins", unlike before 2020., you are free to question admins behaviour. You are free to propose formation of ArbCom. You are free to propose any change in rules. You are free to start de-sysop vote on any admins. You are free to propose new admins. --Argo Navis (talk) 13:46, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is funny, as I was blocked so i can experience wiki vacation [6], something that would be quite forbiden by new rules they constantly ignore [7], so Argo Navis, don't lie here. You love to break the rules(like my block when I was removing POV pushing, and you was reverting it[8] [9]). And you didn't block him when he was using bad language, but when he asked admins to start doing they job, some months later. His 2 month block was to shut him up. Kanikosen (talk) 14:17, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You were not blocked for wiki vacation, admin used an euphemism. You were blocked for constantly and persistently assuming bad faith and accusing multiple users that they are trying to sabotage POV-fixing. You communication is extremelly toxic, full of systematic assuming of bad faith, and you need to work on your communication skills.
No, Imbehind was not blocked for bad language, but he was warned to improve his communication. He stopped swearing but continued with agresive comments. The block reflected all the problems in his communication. --Argo Navis (talk) 14:47, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did he? So there was real reason for my block? Really? What did I do wrong to warrant 2 months vacation? Do tell. And what happened to no one was blocked for removing POV, I just show you diff, of you returning your friend Kubura POV and my block. So no, you can't remove POV on Croatian wiki when Argo Navis is there to defend it(as first you have to fix entire article, and only then you will be able to remove POV parts). You gave up on fixing POV after another user proved everyone that your work is subpar (same method of work you tryed to force on me) and you quit saying don't come back crying to me [10].
Can you translate comment Iambehind did that warranted 2 months ban as from what I am seeing, he called for you admins to start moving and that was it? Kanikosen (talk) 15:28, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Calling Kubura "my friend" very much sums up what is problem with you. I'm not going to discuss my role in the everts that led to solving the problem of Kubura, but I can asure you that a lot of people reading this are reacting to your comments about me and Kubura with one big WTF??? I rest my case. --Argo Navis (talk) 19:17, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kanikosen, you are not telling the complete truth here. You accused me of reverting your edit and restoring Kubura's text, but you conveniently forgot to say what very same day, I completelly rewrote this section and removed most of it, while keeping a few sentences that were undisputed. When you look at my total work (3 edits in row), you get this. This paints quite a different picture of what you were trying to prove, doesn't it? --Argo Navis (talk) 11:49, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Meta-Wiki is certainly the place to have this sort of discussion, but at this point it appears beneficial to remind participants of our civility policy. Despite perceived history or current activities, remember to assume good faith and keep your discussion civil and productive. Meta-Wiki, though being the host for significant discussion regarding the Croatian Wikipedia, is not the host for exporting problems that can be handled on hrwiki or for exporting incivility. On that note it would be beneficial (as some users have realized) to back up claims, especially those that could be interpreted as accusations, with diffs or other evidence. Best regards, Vermont (talk) 00:05, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The key point here is that any of these problems *can be handled locally on hr wiki*, so this is not a topic for Meta. If the community is not satisfied with some of the admins, anyone can start de-sysop proposal or RFA for new admins. If nobody can give a valid proof that problems can't be handled locally, I don't see the point in continuing this discussion. --Argo Navis (talk) 04:58, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Argo Navis for most I can agree with you, but to claim that *can be handled locally on hr wiki* is not quite precise and adequate as there are very few contributors there in general + even less with voteing rights ++ 33% of those were happy to have Kubura back with 3 toxic admins (so much for 'community')...Please lets not reduce complexity of the situation, modalities of work and ways to handle all this. Also I mostly do not agree with Vermont on what he thinks is adeqaute communication (with tons of passive-agressive and 'sealioning' in English) and also how (proactive) project custodians should act (hence my block on Simple), but ...in this case I agree Diffs are the best way to communicate issues in different contexts and scales (Wikipedia in Croatian language, Wikimedia projects in Croatian/SerboCroatian + multilingual projects/contexts like Meta, Wikimedia mailing-lists..) that are official Wikimedia infrastructure. --Zblace (talk) 07:28, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Zblace, as you have mentioned it, I believe there is a need to clarify for readers. First, accusations without evidence are often considered aspersions, which are an issue of civility. And I am not sure who you are accusing of sealioning; my administrative note, or the arguments above it. I am not here to participate in debate or have an opinion on the issues involved. My intention with my edits in this discussion is to keep the tone welcoming and the path constructive, in line with our civility policy and intended contributing environment. Second, your block on the Simple English Wikipedia is a mix of a checkuser and conduct block due to your using the project and sockpuppets for some type of misinformed and terribly-planned social experiment. It is entirely unrelated to this. Please do not conflate your conduct issues there with my reminding people that Meta-Wiki has a civility policy here. Best regards, Vermont (talk) 11:03, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Zblace, considering years-long "cleaning" of opposition, 1/3 of votes to keep old admins is actually quite low. Also, I believe some of those votes were protest votes because some users were also irritated by part of "opposition" users (Kanikosen being prime example), and they feared that there will be some revenge. One of the reason for that is Kanikosen's comments like this. Kanikosen constantly posted comments predicting dire consequences for people who didn't participate in removing Kubura (whether supporting Kubura or just ignoring the problem with him), and he was warned multiple times not to do that, for example here, by Lasta. In situation where the community needed a period of peace, since everyone was tired od endless arguments in village pump, some new admins decided to put extra effort to solve problems peacefully (in off-wiki talks, when needed), giving the community time to adapt to new situation. Admins were tolerant of users on both sides of ideological spectrum equally, even Imbehind was unblocked after off-wiki discussion with him, when he recognised his mistakes in communication. Unfortunatelly, Kanikosen and Imbehind constantly asked for revenge and punishment for their "enemied" and that is the main cause of conflict with them. --Argo Navis (talk) 11:34, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Argo Navis, it is highly relative and subjective reading if 1/3 of toxic voters (counter global ban and decade of manipulation+supression) is high or low...let's agree to not agree on interpretation of this. As for Kanikosen's comments I would think that is maybe not strategic in communication or to be more blunt, not 'socialy-lucrative' (small language Wikipedia should not use contributors even if they lean to rightwing nationalism), but rather explicit in what he understands would be correct course of action (my own is also different from both of yours and Lasta's)...so his big 'sin' here was stating (OK, maybe too often) what many people from my social circle would think is adequate way to do with manipulative nationalists in open and participatory global knowledge project (written in Croatian language, but not just Croatian). So I would again agree to not agree on this interpretation of Lasta and you on what is the most adequate. I would be also hesitant to talk of single 'community' and judging what is 'adequate' for it (that sounds a bit patronising, as if people involved are not consenting adults). Anyway - this is now #offOffOFF from the topic of what this page should be used for and Meta admins should consider to move to new page+namespace. --Zblace (talk) 04:57, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Argo Navis, thank you for your input. I should have clarified; though this page is not a proper outlet to pursue changes on the Croatian Wikipedia, discussion regarding it's current state, especially relative to believed inaccuracies in the Disinformation Assessment, is more than welcome. So long as the discussion is kept civil, of course, which fortunately it has been so far (though is quite heated, hence my perceived necessity for a civility note). Best, Vermont (talk) 11:03, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually Vermont I would strongly disagree... - this is now #offOffOFF from the topic of what this page should be used for Talk:Croatian_Wikipedia_Disinformation_Assessment-2021and Meta admins (or others facilitating?) should consider to move to new page+namespace...It is this kind of detours that make Meta (spagetti like structure) incomprehensible to people who are not fully committed to Wikimedia work daily (priviledged) and is it extracting too much mental power and/or alienating people who can not afford that (unpriviledged). As prominent custodian/Wikimedian you should not encourage this type of writting just to fulfill curiosity. --Zblace (talk) 04:57, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, the "proposal" and related conversation is very clearly off-topic, and no consensus gained here can be applied anywhere as it is very much out of scope for this page. In that matter you are completely correct. This isn't an RfC, this is a talk page. However, when it comes to pages and discussions taking place on Meta-Wiki, you are incorrect. If you want to find consensus-building discussions, just look at the main page, or Requests for comment which has a listing of every request for comment currently under discussion and those recently closed. Or perhaps note how, whenever large discussions take place here, editors use MassMessage, mailing lists, banners, and other forms of notifying those who may want to participate. It doesn't take much "mental power" to find the discussions that matter; it is literally on the main page. If anything it's many times easier to find important discussions here than it is on content projects. To note, your cheap shot about "privileged" Wikimedians is not easy to take lightly. You've done this in the past, when you accused me of being anti-LGBT after your conduct/sockpuppetry block on the Simple English Wikipedia. Both are rather offensive to me; I am pansexual, and work a full-time minimum-wage job, and I don't come to Wikimedia to be insulted or accused purely on the basis of your assumptions of bad faith. To note, I want you to give your opinion, but I want you to give that opinion without aspersions, explicit or implicit. It is in the best interest of both you and the Wikimedia contributing atmosphere. Best, Vermont (talk) 00:34, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Vermont this is totally of topic again, but thank you for informing me of how Meta operates and how it is 'adequate'...considering I did take part if few Meta discussion, it is easy to say that we do not agree on how functional its (as do many other Wikimedians). I do not claim it is not useful at all (I obviously use it), but that it is under-organized and priviledging those with much time and English proficency. As for your personal acusations - they are in-correct, not-documented and misplaced here, so I will not deal with them here and now. As for assumptions of bad faith - there is also much to say (including your use of 'social experiment') and selective info sharing, but also not here and now. With the respect to the original topic and situation at Croatian Wikipedia I will communicate this elsewhere in hope someone starts moderating or at least moving this to more adequate space. --Zblace (talk) 06:22, 24 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]



[11] And this is why I am arguing, even now that Vodomar and anyone who did this (faked CU check to save Kubura) need to get perma ban. And Argo Navis is against that. I don't see how someone who faked something like CU check could remain on project? But Argo is not on same page as Ombuds Commission [12] . I am standing behind my words, people like Vodomar need to be removed from project. And why did you spoke in plural when every call i had for ban was one person, ex admin Vodomar. Man who did what? Faked CU check and had IPs of how many users after he lost CU rights? Kanikosen (talk) 17:49, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Kanikosen, you used word "lie" in summary of your comment. You just can't stop assuming bad faith? This is just tipical of you. On hr wiki, you did mention that Jure Grm should be permabanned, maybe even for some other users, didn't you? Do I have to look for a diff to prove it? --Argo Navis (talk) 20:29, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding Vodomar - he obviously left wikipedia, no need to humiliate him any more then he humiliated himself. Unlike you, I think blocks and bans should be prevention, not punishment. Also, I don't like hitting people who are already on the floor. I find it sadistic. --Argo Navis (talk) 20:35, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Argo Navis Funny, feel free to find that diff. As you can see here [13] administrator Jure Grm was molesting me and abusing his admin tools. That was confirmed by 3 other admins on wiki.hr. And you know what Argo Navis did, nothing. He did everything he can to stop Jure from losing his admin tools. All I did ask was for him to lose his tools, as he was abusing them. I had 2 admins comming to me in private in discord(i have ss of those conversations) begging me not to start de-sysop process, one even telling me that he will do it. I was fool for being good sport and listening to them. And then, we had this atrocity [14] Argo did his best to protect Jure. So yes, I have problem with that.
Humiliate? Vodomar faked CU chek Argo, plus he had acces to our IP adresses after he lost CU check rights. You are fine with that? Kanikosen (talk) 20:53, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which part in "block should be prevention, not punishment" you didn't understand? Also, here is your plural for perma ban. --Argo Navis (talk) 21:26, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't "protect" Jure, I just did what I thought is the best course of action in that moment, taking into consideration that Jure lost his nerve because the admins tolerated your own constant rants and attacks on everyone who you saw as enemy of the project. If we blocked you in time, Jure wouldn't lost his nerve. I feel personally responsible for tolerating your behaviour for too long and thus causing frustration in great part of the community who felt we tolerate your rants just because we are "on the same side". Blocking Jure after we tolerated your own bad communication would, in my opinion, cause another round of conflicts in the community. As in many other cases, I thought we should try to find a solution without any penalties, at least while the community is still in transition from previous period. Unfortunatelly, it always leaves some beligerent users, like you, unsatisfied. Don't forget I personally unblocked you based on WP:INVOLVED when Jure blocked you. Jure was very fruatrated with my action. I'm not on Jure's side nor on your side, I'm just trying to solve the problem with the least demage to the community. You might question the quality of my decisions, but you shouldn't constantly assume my bad faith. --Argo Navis (talk) 21:26, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Antisemitism and Holocaust denial is not for perma ban? Thank you Argo for showing why I have problem with admins on wiki.hr. And to translate myself, this was not for only one year ban, but for perma ban. And I stand behind that Argo Navis. And checking now you admins unblocked person that wrote this[15]. For real? Why?
Argo, did Jure molested me? Yes or no? It's not my problem his mental condition, but his work on project. That man blocked me, insulted me, then his coments about Serbs, Atheist are ok in your book[16]? That is wiki.hr admin material? And when did you unblock me, after how many days of arguments, and was it after I told you I am going to Meta to repot that block? Then, 20 min later, unblock. That block should never happen in first place. You just proved that admins are beyond any responsibility. You truly wonder why I have problem with work you do as admin? Kanikosen (talk) 21:43, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Great part of the community Argo Navis? You, and Jure? Who else? As from what I can see, people having problems with my work are your friend Kubura, Vodomar, Jure and you. So please explain, what majority of users on project have problems with me, do tell. Kanikosen (talk) 21:46, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To end this, as there is no point arguing. I'm not assuming your bad faith Argo, I'm telling you that you just do not know how to do your job properly. I know you act in good faith, that you are a good person and have good intentions, and really trying your best. But Argo, sometimes our best is just not enough. Your decisions are questionable. As an admin, you should implement the written rules, not improvise by yourself and create chaos. I provided enough diffs about your admin errors and explained how your decisions affect the hr.wiki project. You do not answer my questions but only attack me personally so what's the point in talking to you? I am done with you. Kanikosen (talk) 22:08, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Folx you are all hugely of topic of this page and this content (worth discussing) should be moved elsewhere...discussing it here does not help WMF advance follow up to first larger scale practical action they did after a decade in HR Wikipedia. Please assume good faith in my wish to have this re-located and structured as useful communication and make operable action. --Zblace (talk) 04:57, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal for the possible solutions to the problem of dysfunctional local self governance on hr.wiki edit

Before anybody objects to my criticism for not giving any solutions, let me try to do just that.

As you may noticed in my previous post, I do kind of hold a grudge. But it's not a personal grievance against any particular person, admin or otherwise, but rather a deep frustration with the current form of dysfunctional local self governance that produced ten years of "Cabala" as well as all of our current post-Cabalian problems. Also, I would like everybody to understand that we (yes, there are more then two of us) don't have problems with "admins". We have problems only with those admins who want to continue their adminship within the existing and flawed local self governance (LSG) system we've inherited from Cabala, as if nothing happened six months ago. As it is already elaborated in the Assessment (Recommendation #1), and as I (hopefuly) illustrated in my previous post, there is a serious problem with current LSG system in the sense the root and the cause of the problems with Cabala was not personal, but systematic and we have to fix it before it destroys this second incarnation of our hr.wiki. We have no other option but to change the flawed system that got us in this situation now the Cabala's admins/leaders are gone. If we want a hr.wiki to succeed we simply do not have to luxury to continue on the path set by Kubura&Co, pretending there are no more problems, but must forge a new, better and more Wikipedia spirited path for our community.

Please try to understand, the problem is not personal. It is systemic. That's why I did not mention any names in my previous critiques. That is why I didn't answer to the personal attacks made by my dear colleagues Ivi104 and Argo as I often do on hr.wiki (and I will not engage with them if they decide to continue either). Cause it is not Argo Navis or Ivi104 that created the flawed system of LSG, it was SpeedyGonsales, Kubura & the rest of the Cabal. Because of that it pains me to see my former (and I hope future) allies react in a personal manner when we were only criticize their behavior - their clinging to the old ways of LSG which was the root cause of our problems in the first place. They should be able to understand a simple fact of life: the only personal thing one might have against the admins on hr.wiki is due to the fact that no slave or serf really likes or loves their master or king. So if they want to be loved, they must allow things to change. As simple as that.

Dear friends, the job of saving the hr.wiki was not done and finished in the moment when Kubura left. His global ban by the global Wikipedia community was just an opportunity for a fresh start, but if we do not fix the mess that Kubura&Co left behind, hr.wiki will collapse and die out in no time at all. And when I say "mess", I don't mean problems with POV articles but I'm referring to our current inherited local self governance system that looks more like some medieval kingdom then like modern, vibrant and diverse democratic society the Wikipedia is today.

The admins have many responsibilities in this new chance that was given to us, a chance for a transition towards a functional community. For if the transition is to be successful, the first responsibility admins must fulfil is for them to stop being afraid of the change. Dear admins, open your eyes to the possibilities, you don't even have to do the necessary changes all by yourself, you don't have to do it at all, we have people who will do the most of the work, but please, at least do not stand in the way (or worse).

Cause hr.wiki simply cannot continue to exist based on principles, policies and rules like: "The written rules should not be taken explicitly" or "Wikipedia is not a democracy but is a subject of benevolent oversight of its administrators who will intervene if need be." It is wrong, it is unethical and it is in total opposition to everything Wikipedia stands for! hr.wiki just cannot survive another decade under the total admin domination, no matter how benevolent they might be.

To avoid this grim scenario, I propose the three following steps to recovery:

Step 1 - Stop fighting the change and lets try to fix things together edit

I would like to ask of all truly benevolent admins here, publicly, to finally get out of their foxholes and trenches, to stop looking at the problem as a personal one (solved by Kubura exiting the scene), to stop perceive the critiques of the flawed LSG as a personal attacks, to stop assuming bad faith every time a person opposes them or demand from them to do their duty, to stop being loyal only to their colleagues and finally to start acting as a part of the hr.wiki community which elected them to implement the changes in LSG as quickly as possible. We, or at least the majority of us that voted for changes, did not want an improved model of Kubura to rule over us, but a new hr.wiki!

Step 2 - Reform the local self government system to meet global Wikipedia standards edit

We cannot operate any longer as some distant, backward, stubborn, overall weird and conspiracy theories obsessed cousin, but have to embrace the global Wikipedia community in its entirety. For start, we just have to write, rewrite and fully conform our current principles, policies, guidelines and practices to the global Wikipedia standards as quickly as possible, together with our mindset.

To that effect my proposition is to formally, as a Croatian Wikipedia (once and if the consensus is reached on hr.wiki), seek help from the global Wikipedia community in rewriting all the policies and guidelines on the hr.wiki that are not in compliance with either principles, the practice or the spirit of the global Wikipedia movement. It must be done because the said policies, guidelines and principles are the very backbone, the blood ad veins of our future local self governance system, and are currently deeply compromised by the Cabal.

I also propose for hr.wiki to seek help, advice and oversight from our more experienced colleagues in the matter of implementation of the new policies, guidelines and practices, for as long as needed, or at least until the local ArbCom is ready to take upon itelf their duties.

Since admin rights have been abused for a decade, I propose that the re-establishing of robust LSG system starts with thorough overhaul of all policies regarding the admin conduct, rights and duties (and since there are none, we just have to write them.) :) The first and the most pressing priorities should be the following:

  1. Help with writing of policies and guidelines governing the admin conduct, rights and duties (WP:ADMIN - there is none currently)
  2. Temporary oversight of admin adherence to WP:INVOLVE, WP:ADMINABUSE and WP:TOOLSMISUSE principles as defined in future WP:ADMINS policy
  3. Help with full rewrite of policies abused by Cabal to block and silence the editors: WP:AGF, WP:NPA, WP:DISRUPT etc.
  4. Temporary oversight of the blocks and other admin practices regarding the use of WP:AGF, WP:NPA, WP:DISRUPT etc.
  5. Help with reaching the consensus about transparent block and ban policies and related criteria for their usage (there are none curently).
  6. Temporary oversight with aim to prevent block use for solving personal disputes between admins and editors.
  7. Temporary oversight with aim to prevent usage of blocks and bans for punishment instead for the purpose of prevention and protection of the Wikipedia.
  8. Temporary oversight with aim to establish the practice for blocks and bans to be progressive in nature, not ad-hoc and unpredictible as they currently are.

The second priority should be the local ArbCom because we can't expect for our colleagues to babysit us ad infinitum. It is a crucial step because if we do not establish a local governance and control mechanisms all the effort we already invested and will invest in hr.wiki project in the future could again undo itself and revert to the current state easily. For this to succeed we could also use help from global community in the following areas:

  1. Help with writing the ArbCom policies and guidelines (there are none)
  2. Help with electing and establishing Local ArbCom with power to mediate in matters of consensus, dispute resolution, admin misuse and abuse etc.
  3. Help with education of ArbCom members

And finally, there is a pressing matter of the main thing we are supposed to do - the Wikipedia articles themselves and the disinformation content they currently contain. It is a third on my list simply because only the healthy community can produce a healthy content. Once the robust local self governing system is established, NPOV violations and NPOV violators will not be able to remain on hr.wiki for very long. New content policies and guidelines are mostly ready or are already adopted, but still we need (some):

  1. Help in rewriting the rest of the current policies and guidelines.

Step 3 - Actively seek regional cooperation and collaboration edit

As a part of Wikipedia global community we must not take part in regional politics, especially the bad ones. However, we have the chance, and in the spirit of our movement even the obligation to cooperate with our colleagues not only in the region, but worldwide. To this end we must do what ever is possible to cooperate and collaborate with our closest neighbors and try to reach a regional consensus on how all of us collectively could make our local Wikis better.

Personally, I'm not taking any sides (yet) on the recommendations #2 and #3 that the Author of the Assessment made, because it's not a simple thing and no clear vision on how to reach proposed goals was given, nor it's 100% clear that the proposed steps would indeed solve anything. On the other hand, I'm 100% certain that no later than 300 years from now, if there even will be local Wikis, the West Balkan one will be united in one common edition. So, lets start preparing for that moment in a timely fashion, shell we? :)

In any case, for sure, It wouldn't hurt to at least detect what we can do NOW to avoid quadrupling the time spent on writing the separate articles for each of the BCMS editions. I'm also sure there are articles which would only benefit from any kind of collaboration. Lets devise the mechanisms to work together on these at least, before we try to wrestle with the more controversial ones. Once we have the mechanisms, the controversies will slowly but surely fade away with time, as they naturally do.

For this step I propose a more general approach - a call for volunteers with interest in collaboration with colleagues in the region to make a formal groups all across the region. Once and if the groups of volunteers are formed, it is up to them to devise their purpose and methods.

Conclusion edit

Here are my proposals. No calls for vengeance or "revenge", no calls for retribution, no dire consequence, no demands for heads or personal attacks, just a big fat pile of HARD WORK waiting for us all to do it, if we want hr.wiki to succeed. I am ready to carry my part of the load, and it will not be a tiny one, rest assured (if my private circumstances allow me to participate as much as I'd like to). There are people on hr.wiki that have had this entrenchment mentality for more then a decade, and for a good reason at that. But now, perhaps, is a time for that mentality to end. It must end, or it will be the end. Imbehind 16:36, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments (2) edit

current form of dysfunctional local self governance

Please provide a diff proving that hr wiki self govetnance is flawed.

No problem. Would these suffice? [17][18][19][20][21] (The last one is my favorite: "Croatian Wikipedia is such a garbage that even it's owners want nothing to do with it")
Non sequitur. This was not about local self governance, it was about specific group of people hijacking a wikipedia and ignoring the rules in order to stay in power. If admins are not OK, WMF relies on the individual communities to solve the problems of bad admins with desysop voting. This process was not possible under the cabal because, in all admin votings, both RFAs and desysop votes, Speedy agressivelly attacked anyone who voted different from him. This is not the case with any admin today. If any hr-wiki admin any time tryes to intimitade voters in order to influence the vote, feel free to come here and scream "hr wiki self govetnance is flawed". Until that happens, please use regular community decision making process. If you are not satisfied with any admin, you are free to start desysop vote. Or, if that is too stressfull for you, you are free to propose a new admin who will be more simpatetic to your view of the situation. Did you try any of those actions? No! Of course you didn't. Because, deep down, you do understand that great majority of hr-wiki users view the situation radically different from you and a few of your friends you can't get what you want through community. That's why you decided to come here and tried to get what you want by bypassing local community. --Argo Navis (talk) 08:06, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So basically your "argument" goes as follows: Once upon a time, we all lived in perfect harmony in our little kingdom on the Adriatic sea. We had everything we needed and our lords were just and benevolent and everybody knew his place. Then a dark force invaded our lands, led by evil Knight Kubura and his sorcerer SpeedyGonsales. They conquered our castles and ruled over us for a decade. It was a decade of chaos and misery. Anyone who raised their dissenting voice was aggressively attacked and silenced by the evil sorcerer SpeedyGonsales and so on. Everything for you revolves around admins, and in reality, on other wikis, admins are just a small but important part of local self governance system. On hr.wiki the local self governance was always admin centric and so much so that it never occurred to anybody in power in the beginning (again admins, including you) to even try to put in place a set of policies and guidelines that would limit the admin's power and ensure adherence to Wikipedia principles just in case that some day a set of not so much benevolent admins would replace you. You (the admins) never even understood the value of ArbCom as a control mechanism, and never tried to establish it permanently on hr.wiki. The one time the ArbCom was used (or maybe just considered, I don't remember) it was only for the purpose of inter-admin fighting and forgotten about when the fighting among the admin caste ended. So when Kubura&Co finally took over there were no rules or any other control mechanism to oppose them. Everything continued to revolve around admins, and with rudimentary (and flawed) content policies it was easy to transform hr.wiki into a right wing disinformation hub. And even now, after you were the victim of Kubura and Speedy together with the rest of us, you simply do not understand what was the real problem from the beginning. The self governance system is not to choose the people who appear benevolent and give them the absolute power and hope for the best. That's not a system but a costly display of plain stupidity and incompetency. Such "system" of governance is closely related to the early feudalism, where the small villages were ruled by elected elders, and not at all related to the democratic, self governing society with rules and mechanisms like Wikipedia. But please Argo, continue to glorify the advantages of such travesty and if you can, refrain yourself going "deep down" into my head. You just do not understand many things. My head and self governance concepts included. Imbehind 10:42, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hr-wiki was admin-centric because people who were admin, like Kubura and Speedy, forced it to admin-centric mode. Today nobody, especially not new admins, want hr wiki to be admin-centric. For example, here: hr:Wikipedija:Kafić/Arhiv 2021 3#Prijedlog: Zahtjevi za komentar (Requests for comment, RfC) umjesto Zahtjev za mišljenje administratora? admin Koreanovsky proposed changing the conflict-solving mechanism in a way that entire community discusses about conflict resolution, not just admins. Koreanovsky started the discussion on March 21, you were deblocked 3 days later. What stopped you from joining that discussion and propose the very same thing you propising here??? --Argo Navis (talk) 11:42, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding new rules, also, admins play roles of ordinary users. I didn't see any admin trying to use his adminship to force his opinion. If you wan't new rules - write them and propose them. Just like you already did several times and just like your new rules were put to discussion and eventually to voting (example: hr:Wikipedija:Prijedlozi/Dopuna postojećih pravila WP:NPOV i WP:PRO).
So, if admin don't play special role in bringing new rules and current admins agree with involving broader community into the conflict resolution process (the discussion you ignored), where exactly do you see the problem with admin-centrism? --Argo Navis (talk) 11:42, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ArbCom was created in 2009. in order to solve some conflicts that couldn't be solved any other way. Before 2009., nobody thought it's needed. It was dismantled in 2010. due to off-wiki harassment by Speedy and Roberta. Until 2020., it wasn't possible due to the cabal rule, and after 11/2020, nobody put up a proposal for creating ArbCom. I understand that you like the idea of ArbCom, but you aslo must understand that not all wikis have it and also that if the hr-wiki community doesn't want it, you'll have to live with that. You might see lack of Arbcom as a sign of "dysfunctional local self governance", but, hey, that's just your opinion - the one you didn't even bother to share with the community (or if you did mention it, you didn't actually proposed it). I, personally, like the idea of Arbcom. If you wanted Arbcom, you should have proposed it to the community, not here. Why didn't you? --Argo Navis (talk) 11:42, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
hr.wiki IS admin-centric. Period. It does not (still) have even a basic set of policies and guidelines which would enable and promote the practices and the spirit of modern self governance system. Let me remind you, until we did not translate them from en.wiki only a few months ago we didn't have AT ALL WP:NOR, WP:RELIABLE or WP:WAR on hr.wiki. And we still do not have anything resembling a decent WP:NPOV and WP:VERIFY policies. Also we do not have AT ALL WP:ADMIN, and WP:BAN and WP:BLOCK. So your claim about "specific group of people hijacking a wikipedia and ignoring the rules in order to stay in power." is wildly inaccurate. What did you think was going to happen? That you will all live hapilly ever after? Look, they did not need to "hijack" anything. They did not need to "ignore" the rules. They were elected admins and once elected they just made use of the fact that THERE ARE NO RULES and rule based mechanisms to limit their actions. So basically, it's not really a fault of Kubura and Speedy that the admins (you Argo personally, since you were admin then, and your colleagues) simply did not grasped the serious implications of not erecting a robust and resilient self governance system with mechanisms which would enable the community to battle rogue admins with an agenda of taking over the hr.wiki if such occasion ever arise. What's the most disturbing thing, ffwd 10 (or more) years, is that you still do not get it. You still think that everything was perfect in the beginning and that Speedy, Kubura & Co only with lots of luck, entirely by chance, used one single moment the other admins waren't looking and "hijacked" the project. 😂 In fact, the system of local self governance was so flawed and easily taken over as if it was planned to set it up like that so it could be "hijacked" at any moment. And you call it functional? 😂 If you think hr.wiki's self governance system is functional (then and now, because it's the same system) as it appears to be the case, I don't know what to say to you other than that you had your chance to design a robust LSG and apparently failed. Now, since you even won't admit the failure, please step aside and let others to set the things right. Or, if you're willing to reconsider your position and change your mind, join us and collaborate.
One more thing. You asked me why I didn't make my proposals on hr.wiki. The reason is that for even 10% of the things I wrote here I would be permabanned. And you know it. I was banned several times for A LOT less than this. I'm just sorry that you are unable to converse (at least) like this on hr.wiki with people that obviously annoy you like myself and Kanikosen. What's more, I'm even more sorry that WP:INVOLVED does not exist on hr.wiki just so we could talk to each other over there, without you feeling the admin itch too much. But it is what it is. Imbehind 14:22, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
hr.wiki IS admin-centric. Period ??? I asked you to be concise. You are doing it wrong. This is not a valid argument. You are right about hr wiki missing some basic rules, but that problem is being solved as we speak (in this very moment, there is a vote for two rule updates that you personaly translated). Also, noone is stoping anyone on hr-wiki to propose anything, quite the contrary. Your comment that you didn't comment in March because you thought you would be permabanned in baseless nonsense. So, there is apsolutelly no need to discuss new rules here because that process works perfectly.
The idea that any rules would stop Speedy and Kubura in taking over hr wiki is naive. Speedy was harassing users and we did have rules about harassment from the start. Speedy systematically acussed people of breaking WP:AGF while at the same time assuming bad faith in others. In 2009., we tried with ArbCom, but he harassed them off-wiki. We tried in 2013 with de-sysop vote, but he scared people off the votings with threats. So, despite having imperfect rules at the time, the takeover didn't happened because od bad rules but because of determined and well organised network of people who decided to have things their way. Given enough people organised in group, it could happen in any wikipedia (especially smaller ones), regardless of the rules. I'm sure WMF is aware of that, but sticks to it's non-interference principle because if finds it less of two evils (also because it can't happen on bigger, more important, projects). So, if you wan't to "fix" anything, try to "fix" entire Wikipedia, not just hr wiki.
hr:WP:INVOLVED doent't exist as separate rule, but it is part of another rule. I know it because i deblocked Kanikosen after Jure blocked him preciselly based on WP:INVOLVED. --Argo Navis (talk) 13:27, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also, I would like everybody to understand that we (yes, there are more then two of us) don't have problems with "admins".

I can assure you that number of users frustrated with your constant rants on hr wiki is also higher then 2.

I know. Good for you. You must be proud of the support you gained recently from the users such as our mutual friend patroller I mentioned above. Did you ask your new follower to revert his edits on war criminal articles yet? 😂 Looking forward to the re-elections in any case.
Admin re-election is just another idea of yours that didn't gained suport from the local community. No point in pushing it down our throats again. --Argo Navis (talk) 08:06, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, sorry. I'm not really a campaigner for re-election policies. Mentioned it once or twice in a conversation. I meant DE-election. Nothing personal, but I find SOME of your actions and positions to be detrimental to hr.wiki. But again, people can change and maybe you will if you'll listen some more. For instance, try to understand why Kanikosen compares you to Kubura next time he does that. It's nothing personal to him, why you insist on it to be personal every single time? Imbehind 14:33, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because of that it pains me to see my former (and I hope future) allies react in a personal manner when we were only criticize their behavior

Nope. Kanikosen constantly and very clearly question my motives and explicitely said "you do this on purpose" meaning my goal is to protect current state of POV articles.

He is just doing good ol' reductio ad absurdum act on you. Let's not pretend, shall we? He knows and I know your motives are not to protect the POV. There you go. Satisfied? So please do not use this strawman publicly and try to play victim again. And if Kanikosen ever again tells you that you behave just like Kubura, instead of using your admin rights and influence to banish him, ask him why he thinks so. Don't you want to know? I'm sure he will gladly explain it to you. Or what? You think he just meant to insult you with it? His plan was to get himself banned? Right? Face it Argo. You just don't know how to take a criticism from anyone. Just like Speedy was. There you go. You made me compare you to Speedy. Sleep on it. Maybe you'll grow a thicker skin, who knows? ❤
It's not a strawman. He specifically said I really think you're doing this so you can make Kubura a victim. And it's not just once, he does that every time. Even here on Meta, he called my comments "a lie". I don't care what were his plans. He must learn to discuss without constantly assuming bad faith. It's not my problem if that is too much of a challenge for him.
I don't have problems with criticism. I changed my opinions multiple times on wikipedia, when faced with good arguments. I even accepted some idea similar to what Kanikosen proposed, but only after another user proposed it in civil manner, with clear arguments. You and Kanikosen are not the only people working on POV. There are a few other users who do the same job on articles as you, but never had any problem with admins or any other user. If i were you, I would ask myself why is that, while doing in the same thing in articles, you always get in trouble and they don't. --Argo Navis (talk) 08:06, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you aware how the claim that you actually think he seriously holds a position that you are trying to make a victim of Kubura sounds? 😂 As I said before, he is pointing out the absurdities of your actions in dealing with POV. You're just very obviously and desperately trying to preserve content even if it's POV written by Kubura because you seem to think that berried under paragraphs of POV crap there's maybe, just maybe, a few legit sentences. 😂 I get that. You're not the only person which (probably) preserves old mobile phones and cardboard boxes for years. 😁 But Kanikosen has other approach, more of the necessity than of the conviction. There's just too many of articles that Kubura made (tens of thousands). If we are FORCED by YOU to sift through each and every one of those articles the POV will never be purged. And if you think clearly for a minute, the editors who fix POV are not in any obligation to follow your instructions. We only need to follow the rules. The rules say that WP:POV, WP:NOR and WP:VER problematic content and articles have to be removed. If you want them preserved, then change the rules, but you cannot force us to follow your instructions instead of the Wikipedia policies! It's not the place of any admin to impose their will to the community without the consensus of the community. If I remember correctly (you or Kanikosen can correct me if I'm wrong) you DID revert Kanikosen POV fixing and asked of him to rewrite the articles? Right? For opposing your decision Kanikosen was eventually blocked, and then you object when someone compares you with Kubura. The funniest part is when you were approached by another editor which did not triggered you by default, with the same arguments Kanikosen had, you give in to his arguments and walked away. The point is not that you were in the end able to accept the criticism, but that you shouldn't argue from the position of power in the first place. Ever. (WP:UCoC)

the only personal thing one might have against the admins on hr.wiki is due to the fact that no slave or serf really likes or loves their master or king. So if they want to be loved, they must allow things to change. As simple as that.

Please provide a diff that proofs than any admin "doesn't allow things to change".

I did not say "doesn't allow things to change" anywhere. What's wrong with you man? Don't you know how quoting works? What I said was "they must allow things to change" and I leave to the audience to judge the difference. This is not the first time you misquote people. Is it on purpose? I don't know but it's RUDE & WEIRD at the same time. (and a bit dumb since you copy/pasted my quote one line above your misquote) 😊.
You said "they must allow things to change". "They must allow" implies that they don't allow do it now. It's not misquoting, it's common sense. --Argo Navis (talk) 08:06, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Argo, this is just ridiculous. You do exactly the same thing on hr.wiki, not just to me (and not just you). I would laugh it off, but I got banned multiple times because of this strawman crap of yours. And you are not the only admin doing it. Mostly all of you do. You (admins) are just continuing using the methods the Cabal used before you and there are no control mechanisms to prevent it. That's the problem, not your nonsense behavior or you personally. Nevertheless, you should know better than insisting on your interpretations of what other people said. Or speculating on what people's intentions are. And then insisting people have bad intentions. Then blocking people for it. I won't even try to explain what exactly I said and just leave it to the others to draw their own conclusions about how hr.wiki operates with something like this practiced by admins. Imbehind 17:32, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

seek help from the global Wikipedia community in rewriting all the policies and guidelines on the hr.wiki that are not in compliance with either principles, the practice or the spirit of the global Wikipedia movement.

Any help with improving the rules is welcome, but all rules must be adopted through standard community procedure. AFAIK, local ArbCom is good idea, so I don't have to waste my time on reading rants of rightfully blocked users.

I agree. Rules should be adopted through standard community procedure. But still, WMF owns the hr.wiki so it could be done in any fashion WMF deems appropriate. Regarding your waste of time you are also right. You waste a lot of time for yourself. See, this is your first constructive contribution to the debate on this page in 3 days and you wrote almost half as much of the content I wrote. Anyhow, it is weird to see how a person which is right so often can also be so wrong sometimes - keep repeating "rightfully" if it will make you sleep better. (Skin grows while you sleep, so...)
WMF owns the hr.wiki, but local self-governance is one of the main principle of the whole idea. Hr wiki was under the cabal for 10 years, with Speedy and Kubura agresivelly molesting anyone who dared to complain, threatening people based on their votes. I personally wasted a lot of my time trying to pursuade various institutions of WMF to do something. If Kubura wasn't naive enough to use 12 socks in 2020 stewards elections, he would still be in power, together with the rest of cabal. But if you think WMF will listen to you and make a precedent based solely on your arguments ... --Argo Navis (talk) 08:06, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actively seek regional cooperation and collaboration

I like the idea of people from the region finding compromise in the article on, e.g., hr wiki, and then translationg it to serbain, bosnian... --Argo Navis (talk) 21:57, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed. One more thing, as I asked before, please stop with this passive-aggressive nonsense (because you're not that good at it without your magical admin powers). We should be on the same side. You do not need to like me, but we should have the same goals and since we will work together, I'll behave if you will try to behave too. If you'll continue along this line, go ahead, but please also continue to stay clear of any direct personal attacks cause I will not respond and you'll just waste more of your time. Imbehind 23:48, 17 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note on scope edit

This page is for discussion relating to the Croatian Wikipedia Disinformation Assessment. It is not for making proposals, posting aspersions directed at present project administrators, or anything else outside the scope of commenting on the Disinformation Assessment. Imbehind, if you want to make a proposal that can actually have any effect besides dying in talk page obscurity, please see Requests for comment. This is not the place. Zblace, thank you for asking for action on this. In the beginning the scope was questionable, but the discussion seemed beneficial (to the overall mission). At this point it's patently out of scope and should be diverted to somewhere where it would be in-scope. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. Best, Vermont (talk) 00:38, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have nothing more to add to the already posted comments. If you wish, you can move somewhere else, just post me a link somehow. Imbehind 01:14, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Argo & Vermont please propose a more suitable place to continue this public discussion since Argo obviously wants to discuss further and his posts are slowly becoming more productive. A subpage maybe? Anything except hr.wiki. Because, I'm currently blocked on hr.wiki for a period of 2 months for simply asking admins to do their duties after 2 months of doing nothing about the formal request to address the behavior of notorious POV pusher (the one who removed "war criminal", mentioned in the Assessment, still patroller), so I can't engage there. Also, if I ever continue to criticize admins on hr.wiki, I will be blocked for a period of ONE YEAR (or worse), as proposed by Argo Navis himself [22], so not it's not just me and Kanikosen, but really nobody is currently able to discuss anything on hr.wiki freely - a number of other editors told me in private conversations on Discord that they do not want to criticize admins or their practices on hr.wiki for the same reason - they fear retaliation. Because if "they" are able to block two of the most visible pro-change users which contributed hundred of hours (each) for NPOV fixing and writing the new policies and guidelines (Kanikosen & me) in the past 6 months for blatantly fictive reasons (breaking WP:AGF in the process), you can imagine what others think will happen to them if they also try to criticize the current state of affairs on hr.wiki. The other editors are probably reluctant to engage the discussion even here on meta for the same reason - they do not want to be blacklisted by some admins. I'm sure Argo thinks that it's not the case, but what are we supposed to do in this situation? He denies admin abuse, but the certain admin's practices and actions tell a different story. (For instance, in order to silence me completely, on hr.wiki I'm currently blocked from even editing my own talk page or from even sending emails. This practice is usually reserved only for evident vandals, which is pretty much the treatment I have on hr.wiki despite unanimous praises for dealing with NPOV and for writing and rewriting policies and guidelines. And why? Only because I dared to criticize the actions (or inactions) of certain admins.) Imbehind 16:38, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I propose to continue this discussion on hr wiki. He is blocked for his aggressive tone there. I explained in reply to his complaint to the block that he is right regarding admins beung reluctant to close the local RFC that he was inetrested in, but his own previous aggressive tone made admins procastrinate in hope some other admin will close it and have to deal with Imbehind's comemnts that sometimes compete in length with Fidel Castro speeches.

if I ever continue to criticize admins on hr.wiki, I will be blocked for a period of ONE YEAR (or worse), as proposed by Argo Navis himself

— Imbehind
This is a blatant lie. This is what I wrote: shorten the blockade to 14 days, with a warning to Imbehind that the continuation of any aggressive rhetoric entails a one-year block.
This was very cheeky misquote. I didn't mention attacking the admins at all, and I even proposed shortening the block to 2 weeks (after cca 10 days already passed, so it's cca 4 more). This false misquoting is tipical for Imbehind. --Argo Navis (talk) 06:32, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

... (Kanikosen & me) in the past 6 months for blatantly fictive reasons

It's not fictive. Kanikosen was blocked for systematically harrasing me with accusations that I'm trying to protect Kubura's POV. He was very very clear in his accusations, and even here in this discussion you said that (something like) "I should know he didn't really mean it". Imbehind, please, stop misquoting and making false claims. --Argo Navis (talk) 06:32, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
P.S., {{|Imbehind}}, you can always open plain old RFC on Meta, but be sure that I will list every possible misquote and tweaking of the facts that you used here in order to explain to the community what are we dealing with. Also, you will probably have to prove that problem can't be solved locally. --Argo Navis (talk) 06:36, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since I do not wish, for reasons explained, to discuss on hr.wiki and since I'm also unable to discuss on hr.wiki, because I'm blocked, I opened RfC here [23]. Please post a link on a Croatian wiki Village pump to inform the community about the discussion and try not to forget to remove the block from my user talk page and email on hr.wiki. Or maybe you think user talk page and email should be blocked? Who knows, but then, you are admin on hr.wiki, you can always invent the rule. Imbehind 11:34, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Questions for the author edit

I would like to know what about other wikis except the Croatian one? This is an Assessment made about hr.wiki, and now the Author proposes changes that would affect all the wikis in the region. I'm not familiar with other wikis, but I'm not under the impression that they have similar problems or problems of this magnitude at all. What the Author thinks the impact of his proposals would be to other wikis? Did the Author interviewed users from other wikis as well? I would also like the Author to elaborate some more on the current state of local self governance system on hr.wiki and if he can to write a few words about how his views and priorities differ from mine elaborated here on this page. Imbehind 01:35, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with both of these good sets of questions, as Assessment was so much focused on problematic content that lack of overview of other content dynamics on HR and SH wiki projects, context of regional dynamics and 'communal' capacity info makes it rather abstract and IMHO in-applicable. This should also be directed wider than just the author of research as WMF commisioned and I guess framed this research work. --Zblace (talk) 06:36, 19 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I would also add 4 questions (I think both above are good qs, as well). Q1 is in regard to hr-wiki consultation methodology, that I raise in the first section on this page. Q2 is that though the report notes "different specificities" as a potential issue with recommendation 3, how do you think the projects could handle many thousands (if not tens of thousands) of articles with different versions present - merging pages regularly takes a long time to do properly; related to that, how would you propose the communities feasibly handle differing policy pages? The third question I've also raised above, which is with regard to recommendation 2. You don't just propose a shared "electorate" for admins, but an actual shared adminship. RfA and equivalents usually have lots of discussion (whether in questions or votes) about candidate policy knowledge. How would you advise on issues where admins are unlikely to know the ruleset on differing projects? Lastly, as my Q4, why do you propose SecurePoll (a closed, anonymised, system?) rather than the more usual on-wiki consideration (perhaps using meta as a central point)? I can think of some positives, but negatives also arise: Other than the questions, doing it this way would make it very hard to determine why unsuccessful candidates were unsuccessful - something that would be key if it were attempted. Thoughts? Nosebagbear (talk) 18:59, 20 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Who is the author? edit

This was very, very painful to read. The anonymous author wrote a whole bunch of nonsense, this reads like a manifesto of a party just loosing the elections. Her/his excursions into social science were just over the top. She/he literally has no clue what she/he talks about, giving plain assessments of the situation 'from the gut' (not to mention the weakness of references). If this „report“ has any purpose other than „let's have a report“, like tackling the -deep structural weaknesses of sr,hr wiki &co, it is completely misplaced. If some policy decisions will be based on this report, it will be money down the drain. In my humble opinion the author has no clue of the inner dynamics of the respected wikipedias (ant the communities). In my view this is an opinion how to stage a PR stunt which will make u look good among some people who like this virtue signaling stuff, but after the moment passes non of the deep problems will be resolved, it will not earn respect among the rigorous academic community and it will not lead to writing a better encyclopedia. Money ill spent. --Ivan VA (talk) 10:58, 21 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ivan VA the Author is not anonymous. It might be anonymous to us, but not to relevant people in WMF. The reason for anonymity is clear. The Author is a member of hr.wiki and does not wish to expose him/herself exactly because of this "kill the messenger" mentality you seem to exhibit in your comment. Moreover, the whole sad history of hr.wiki has been plagued by this "who said that" rather than "what was said" dilemma (You can find more details about that in my previous posts). If you want to criticize the Assessment or the recommendations you are free to do so, but please focus on the content of the Assessment itself, not the person who wrote it. Imbehind 15:08, 21 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Imbehind: First of all, all our anonymity is protected through user names. So the idea that i'm going after a user name in real life is ridiculous. 2nd of all, the author is making claims in the article which only an academic can make (a professional, with training, from social sciences). That's why i'm asking about his identity, coz he owes us a reference to his expertise. As somebody who has (somewhat) knowledge about the past and present social reality in the region, i can tell u (and give references) about a number of non-truths in this 'report'. Without going sentence after sentence, the first thing on my mind is the claim that the ex-yu conflict has been vastly academically written about. That is not true. If u look at the number of actual writing out there (from the sciences), compared, let's say to the WWII stuff (in the region), it's very small. The moment we live in is the first time stuff is being academically evaluated on a big scale (30ys after). He points to the ICTY (the verdicts and archive), but doesn't know that this kind of materiel is not academic work. It's a primal source. Look at the guidelines for writing articles, how primal sources are to be treated. Justices are not scientists. There's a whole history where sentences and social reality differ. That's why secondary resources (profis works). That is not to say that ICTYs findings are to be recanted, it is to say that it is a primal, not a secondary resource. Once again, not my personal opinion, i can give u credible reference for these claim. Another one is that the work of ICTY isn't overshadowed by political decisions (the author used the term 'conspiracy'). Everyone familiar with the subject knows a body of professional opinion which says otherwise. The archive dates back to the early 2000s. The third thing is the language name issue and his unknowing why some prominent post-structuralists from Bosnia (for arguments sake) didn't sign the petition for the common language. And i can go on and on about the 'experts' findings, i'm just too lazy.
Now to the most important part. The 'comparative analysis' in the report. Because all this stuff i've written about above is not important. U can find it all over the web, if u know where to look and know who the high-priests of the (research) field are. The most important thing is what the findings are relating to us, the project (in this case hr., sr wiki &co). My understanding (of the deep seeded problems), having read the report, is that it's about the lack of the ICTY verdict reference in the first 3 sentences of a (supposed) hot-button article. Without being rude, but this is a wikipedia modelled on the cebuano wiki version. When i say this i mean it pejorative. Now back to the real life. As a user having spent 9yrs+ on srwiki, being active almost everyday there, i can tell u that the structural weakness of this wiki is it's lack of an editorialship willing to spend a few hours a week writing, constantly, in-depth, serious articles about stuff (including the ex-yu wars etc. stuff). When i say this i mean home made, from quality books, high quality articles. If the author of this „report“ would have made another analysis modelled on the presumption stated above, s/he would have looked at the dates of **substantial contributions** to these ICTY sentenced war criminals. S/he would then have found out that most substantial contributions to these articles are 3+ years, sometimes (on the less prominent ones) 6+ years old. Which is quite telling, given the claim that these are 'hot-buttoned', highly contested articles. No wonder that s/he focuses on the first 3 sentences in the article, so to speak, at the 'headline', coz that's the only place a supposed war takes place, given that theres no content below and given that u don't need any quality editing to write the prelude (being a summarized statement of the quality text written below). But i'll come to the 'headline optics' in a few secs.
Given the things said before, i'd like to challenge the author about his statements in the report. He implied that sr.wiki is a nationalistic project. But if he had done a full media coverage of the project he would have discovered that there is a whole bunch of commentary saying that sr.wiki has turned 'to much to the left'. Has become communist. If anything the ex-yu nationalists hate it's the 'multiethnic' yugoslav communists. How come this turn? Perhaps because, having said the above, unlike for the topic of the ex-yu wars and contemporary society, sr.wiki has an editorialship (exclusively) focused on writing (high-quality) WWII articles with a focus on the Yugoslav partisans. Every now and then a featured article gets on the main page featuring Partisans. Perhaps every 3rd or 4th featured is about the Yugoslav partisans (or related to the region in the WWII). Hence the broader reception. If the author had, perhaps, used the coverage of WWII articles, given the reception of that segment of history in ex-yu, he would have come to the conclusion that sr.wiki is a bastion of lefty/communist anti-fascism. Which just adds to the point of the absurdity of this 'methodology' used in the report, and the report as a whole.
Having made my point, i would like to point out that, if u see the problem as stated, it has direct consequences on some Wikimedia-run projects by the local branch. Like, i would cut this whole educational programme of Wikimedia which focuses on the idea that every kid at school should, on computer science class, learn to edit Wikipedia. Or write an article as a seminary in college. It's a waste of resources. Coz, as said, having 9y+ exp, i don't see from that any new editorialship recruitment. 95% of ppl on sr.wiki haven't come to edit coz of those programmes. Unlike the internship and especially the librarians programme which brought a whole bunch of quality oriented editors to the project.
Now to the motives of the report...I said it's a PR stunt. The prelude, with the now days (supposedly) popular theory on the competition between authoritarian systems and democracy (China vs US), the hailing of WP as a beacon of democracy (a social fact for democracy; which it is not), even a Rudy Giuliani quote given the whole narrative of the anti-Trumper media...What we get in the prelude, we get in the text. A fake hike into academia; A summary of headlines of articles which mostly consist of headlines (with a few exceptions); A conclusion which consists of a theory that all of this is some semi-organized plot/conspiracy, an excursion into politics with a remark of some 'strategic errors' (failing to point finger at LangC for the 4 wikis debacle, covering their a**, and having no clue about the current state of the debate on the topic), and as a cherry on top of the cake, a racist remark implying that the ethnic profile of editors contributes to the inability of creating encyclopedia content, which directly contradicts the 5 pillars notion.
What can i say else. If this becomes Wikimedia policy, we're all doomed. --Ivan VA (talk) 00:57, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Before I answer in detail, could you perhaps point out exactly which claims, conclusions or recommendations made by the Author within the Assessment you find problematic? Because much of your criticism so far has little to do with the Assessment itself, or the Author. Imbehind 02:33, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think u have read my answer 2 u. --Ivan VA (talk) 08:18, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The only relevant (to hr.wiki or sr.wiki) objection I can find in your answer 2 me is that you think Author "implied that sr.wiki is a nationalistic project". Is that all besides your objections to the methodology, author's interpretation of academic sources and his academic credentials, the usage of ICTY and similar? Imbehind 10:54, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Imbehind: What is the whole purpose of this report? --Ivan VA (talk) 19:54, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, the purpose is the state of hr.wiki regarding the disinfo campaign led by Cabal for the last 10 years, not the situation on sr.wiki. Because of that I'm also a little confused with the recommendations 2 & 3. I'm not exactly familiar with the current state of sr.wiki, but please note that the content still can be nationalistic although the bulk of the editors are not. For instance, my personal experience with sr.wiki is that there is still lots of nationalistic content in the articles I browsed, but that's anecdotal evidence. Exact statistic are not available to me. When it comes to hr.wiki it is currently not nationalistic when it comes to majority of editors - the nationalistic POV pushers are mostly neutralized (sort of). But over the last decade so much POV content was pushed into the articles that we will need at least a decade until it is cleaned. It's not something to be ashamed of, just something to resolve in the long run. Gives us something to do. :) Imbehind 21:00, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, the report went much much beyond a formal description of how a disintegrated hr.wiki community is being reintegrated and how the process of bringing POV articles and the entire project to the 5 pillars principle is taking place. The report completely missed the structural problems plaguing hr. and sr.wiki (as they compared those two) blaming each for POV content, as if POV content isn't the symptom but the cause of dysfunctions among communities. The report wrongly denoted the dysfunction to some sort of atmosphere (which the author felt (sic)), not grasping the true dynamics of communities... As if u cant re-edit the first 3 sentences in those 50 articles the way u like by organising a wikimarathon lasting 1 afternoon...Thus, since it's an official report, influencing future decision making by Wikimedia ppl, with far reaching consequences. Decisions being taken based on completely false premises, time and money being spent in vain. The second thing the report did was to white-wash the LangC and Wikimedia for the 4 wikis - 1 language situation, misplacing the blame and responsibility from Wikimedia and it's organs onto the communities, which is completely ironic (i wrote about this extensively in a separate post below). And lastly, spread and reinforced a bunch of biases and untruths about the communities in order to pep the report up.
I guess the only noble thing in this situation is for the author to come out (even as an ip adress if he/she wants to hide their username) and face cross-examination from the community members here/defend what hes/shes written in the report. Otherwise i don't see how the transparency principle, which Wikimedia puts up high, is being uphold here. --Ivan VA (talk) 23:04, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's just a proposal from one person to the WMF, not a WMF's official agenda. (So don't panic!) :)
As I said before, I'm not decided on my position about the proposals 2 & 3. I'm not sure even I understand how 2 & 3 would help anybody. Proposal 2 would maybe solve some problems, but potentially multiply others. And I'm entirely unsure how 3 is even feasible, technically speaking, even without taking into consideration the language and the community dynamics problems at all. If the POV is the problem on certain Wikipedia, then address the POV, address the self governance issues that lead to POV. What a Wikipedia from another country, written in different language has to do with it? How merging of any kind would solve anything? For instance, if sr.wiki is in much better condition than hr.wiki, is it wise to risk one good wikipedia to save a bad one? If sr.wiki is in the same condition as hr.wiki, what is to be gained? The only sold argument I see in favor of the merge (of any kind, 2 or 3) is the critical mass of editors - are BCS+SH wikis sustainable by themselves in the long run or not?
First of the two things I'm sure of is that nothing can be done by WMF without community consensus - As I said, I'm not yet decided what to think about the whole thing, and yet if WMF steps in and forces the solution I'm not sure if would stay on Wikipedia. I'm sure that a majority of the people to the right of me would leave, and I even know people much more to the left of me who would leave hr.wiki for good in case of anything being forced on them. And it's not possible to replace a large number of the editors at once so it's a big risk tu undertake just to save one local wiki. But then, as they say, the devil is in the details. Maybe I could be persuaded in the future with the clear and detailed plan. But the proposals given are not the plan. They are just an idea. Maybe even it's published just to observe our reactions, and the real subject of study is us and this page, not the report itself, Who knows?
The second thing I'm sure of is that the report and the fact that WMF even interfered on hr.wiki definitely have a net positive effect for hr.wiki, maybe even for the rest of the wikis mentioned. Because it's a clear message to the wikis in the region (and even to the wikis worldwide) that there is in fact a line to be crossed, and if a line is crossed nothing is off the table for WMF, including the pruning of the entire local Wikipedia projects. One even could paraphrase Jimbo's famous email when he said that "Zero information is preferred to misleading or false information." by saying "No local wikipedia is preffered to bad local Wikipedia." Imbehind 02:04, 23 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are better examples edit

What every Wikipedia needs is freedom. What hr.wiki didn't have was freedom. What WMF was supposed to help restore was freedom. I hope WMF will find a way to act swiftly when there are reports of abuse of power in any project bearing their logo. Desysop, hunt sockpuppets (en:AI), ensure all important publishing standards (no original research, reliable sources, verifiability) are in place and followed.

The report puts some blame on the lack of national diversity in "national" Wikipedias. Croatian society, like any other, is not a homogenous mass of alike thinkers, and what was missing was political diversity: hr.wiki was – for too many years – pruned of any opposition, all on WMF's watch. In some way the global community was lucky to have people from hr.wiki scream fire, and I hope some lessons will be learned.

As for the three recommendations, I feel that the arguments against #2 and #3 trump the arguments in favor, some of which are nothing but wishful thinking. Proposal #3 sounds like the 1850 utopia repeating itself, it's so out of place and time. The Serbo-Croatian (macro)language is a construct, an umbrella term useful for linguists; the "unified language" has never been taught in schools as such, it was always the separate languages. (interestingly enough, the report itself has been published in three different versions of the same language — how come?) The recommendation is based on the Author's strong POV that "the creation of separate BCS language Wikipedias, in addition to the existing Serbo-Croatian project was a strategic mistake" (?!) and goes against the opinion expressed by the majority of the interviewed Croatian editors.

Norwegian, Swedish and Danish are three mutually intelligible languages that have not one or three but four! wikis (nb, nn, sv, da). Should we call their creation a strategic mistake as well? Instead of being merged (not re-merged, as they were never split) into a mixture of languages that no one speaks, the projects in question should be encouraged to collaborate and helped to exchange content. The Scandinavian wikis serve as a much better example than en, fr, es wikis in the present case and it's a pity that there is no mention of them in the report.

The argument that "the WMF's goal is to give every single person free, unbiased access to the sum of all human knowledge, rather than information from the viewpoint of individual political communities" is used against the creation of national wikis if there are wikis in languages that the speakers easily understand. In that sense the creation of the Catalan wiki seems redundant, as Catalonia is part of Spain and all their people speak Spanish. Yet ca.wiki was the third wiki ever created and is currently the 20th largest wikipedia.

The "depth" indicator is used to prove the strength of collaboration, placing sh.wiki "second only to English". First of all, I don't see what the depth formula actually models – what's the science behind it? The indicator can be deceiving, here's why: The formula squares the number of nonarticle pages, for whatever reason. However, sh.wiki has for *every* article a ghost redirect page (sh:Књигаsh:Knjiga). There also seemed to be a bot that created user pages and user talk pages, which count as nonarticles, for all global users that ever visited sh.wiki, long before they made any contributions, if any. Many pages that originate from sr.wiki were added or updated by a bot — that cannot be taken as collaboration.

Both sr and hr wiki were growing faster than sh.wiki until sh.wiki doubled the number of articles in 2013, and again in 2014 (cf. this diagram). This to me seems impossible unless bots were involved. In all six years after that the number increased by only 7%. It is my impression that of all four wikis, sr.wiki has the strongest user base, best user engagement, and some extremely productive editors. This could have been hr.wiki were the editors, freedom, and public trust kept. Ponor (talk) 08:09, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Ponor: The main obstacle for hr.wiki was the admin terror. Now that that is gone, the project is looking for consolidation and expansion. As far as i can see, after Kubura&co have been kicked out, the problematic articles, giving hr.wiki a bad time, have been slowly fixed.
Saying from my experience, wikipedias go through different phases of expansion. The first obstacle, after the creation, is for the project not to become a cult like hr.wiki did. Basically me&my friends project, and no one else. It usually involves around politics&ideology. The achievment is that the 5 pillars policy becomes community consensus. Sr.wiki had that phase during the mid and late 2010' with bitter fights along ideological lines (u can check out the archives). After that is set and done, the next objective is expansion. With a steady influx of new editors. That obstacle is what keeps bs.wiki and sh.wiki from expanding. For various reasons i cnt go into now. In order to have that u need (broad) public legitimacy/support. That is what keeps people coming in. That influx was denied to hr.wiki due to the far-right admin terror and a low public support for the project. Now that that is gone, it's up to w8 and see if hr.wiki is able to get the hearts and minds of the public and therefore a broadening of the editorialship base. Sr.wiki has got that in the pocket. After u got that, your aim is the expansion of the project in width and depth. U'll then discover very quickly that the new, broadened editorialship base is very newbie when it comes to writing top-notch articles. They like translating from en.wiki (and other majors), and like writing articles from 2nd and 3rd grade sources (newspapers, portals). So, no library going and hamstering literature for Featured. No refined groupes/wikiprojects with people focused on covering 1 topic high-qual. So, u'll discover, that it is much easier to expand a project in width than deepness. And that's where sr.wiki for example is right now. Unable to overcome that obstacle. Or better say, still trying. Recruiting such an editorial base/expanding the current one.
And that is what made me so mad about this report. It's a bunch of fakery. The diagnosis of the problem is completely misplaced. Instead we got told its about the first 3 sentences in 50 to 100 articles. It's complete nonsense. Because, in order for a project to overcome the above mentioned obstacles, Wikimedia has financial and other tools which can help u with that. Tailored programmes which help (somewhat) the project to bloom. The only consequence of such a misplaced report is the funding of misplaced programmes which won't bring the projects anything. The bonanza will last for half a month, it will be a PR campaign and all the structural problems plaguing projects will stay exactly the same. --Ivan VA (talk) 09:33, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The language issue and the hypocrisy edit

Since it has been mentioned in the report, and discussed on this page, i want to add my view on the whole language issue and it's relation to wikipedia.

First of all, the language spoken in Croatia, BiH, Montenegro and Serbia is 1 language. It is linguistically 1 language. That's a fact. The second fact is that the language name is of the language is controversial, as if u want to name it with 1 name. The controversy comes from the fact that the language name is for a lot of ppl in the region a part of their national identity. I can cite u here some highly respected academic work on this topic... That hasn't been the case throughout history, but the controversy arises from the current moment. So it's called croatian, bosnian, montenegrin and serbian (most notably). It is also notable that the link between nat. identity and language name has different strength, given the country/social regime the speakers live in. In BiH it is particularly strong, in Cro as well but somewhat weaker, in Serbia and Montenegro it is present but not omnipresent (i would say lukewarm). This has to do with particular political problems each country/society in it faces relating to national identity (is the national question there resolved or not, and if so, to what degree the national identity in a context it is resolved is being (liberaly) cosmopolitized etc.). Meaning, most of the speakers in Serbia for example are more ready not to call their language serbian (but serbocroatian or our language or w/e), than those in BiH (for example).

Now let's get to the thing that matters to us. What does this have to do with us. First of all, given the context, the language name serbocroatian itself is controversial in this regard. So if u wanna make 1 language wiki, ull have to resolve the name issue. But even if u pick that name and enforce it. It's a given, that's not what's the state of the debate is. It is as follows:

In the early 2000's LangC decided to split sh.wiki into 3, making 4 wikipedias on 1 language. It was a decision based on non linguistic criterions, to put it diplomatically. By that they broke the most important criterion of the Wikipedia movement — 1 language = 1 wikipedia. After a few years they realised that and got cold feet given the repercussions of such decision. Globally. It would serve as a precedent in a bunch of similar cases around the world. In this particular context, they hit the brake with the request for a montenegrin wiki.

But now comes problem number 2. The only way LangC can turn back the clock is to, through a decree (authoritarian style), close down sr, hr and bs.wiki. On the basis my house, my rules. But they don't want to, because of the policy of non-involvement into each community matters (subsidiarity). That being an internal policy principle of Wikimedia. This case of hr.wiki is the perfect example. Kubura was banned coz of tax evasion (sockpuppetry on Meta votings) and not for being a mobster (keeping an entire local project locked). So Wikimedia doesn't want to close down the 3 wikipedias in order to enforce the 1language=1wiki principle. As a principle they don't want to. And that is where the hypocrisy of Wikimedia and of this report kicks in. Btw, they said that they don't want to close down the 3 wikis coz they have grandfathered, a concept unknown to the science of linguistics :))) But that aside.

The hypocrisy of this report and of Wikimedia is that it throws the hot potato from it's turf (responsibility) onto the community members of the 3 projects. And this report justifies that. It white-washes LangC and Wikimedia. Wikimedia has 2 choices in this situation, and that's where the current debate is. It can authoritarian-ly close down sr,hr and bs, and bring about 1 wikipedia. Or it can play innocent and say this is not our call, if they, the communities, wan't to merge it's fine with us, if they don't wanto to it's -meh- with us (but essentially it's also ok). What they essentially did is throw the hot potato onto the members to run about a classic political campaign to end their respective projects. When i say political i mean 1 person = 1 vote. That's the difference between democracy and science. Remember the famous wikipedia is not a democracy. Coz in a campaign to close down the 3, the fact that it is scientifically 1 language is just an argument. Some may listen to it, some may say i don't care, gimme 100 bucks if u want me to vote for u're proposal. It doesn't come down to science, but to votes.

And that's the hypocrisy of this whole episode. LangC and Wikimedia wants me (a sr.wiki member) to fight a war which is one of their own. And i wan't to tell the truth here, i have no interest in that. Not my coup of tea. It's their responsibility, not mine. Their job not mine. And since they don't wanna take that responsibility, they come up with reports saying people are nationalistic. It's their blame not ours. Given the situation (4 wikis, 1 language). The basic premise of this report and what it tries to achieve is a complete sh*tshow. It's sinister and completely off base.

There u have it...--Ivan VA (talk) 20:52, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Ivan VA: the report specifically states a failure by LangCom to allow the split in the first place, so I'm not sure how it could be viewed as whitewashing on that particular aspect. They've not had any other remit since that point, so in effect, 100% of their actions in the report were viewed negatively.
You say that it's a failure by them to drop the responsibility onto the Community to make the choice on merging, but would you also say it's a failure if they forced it? You seem to excoriate the WMF for its choices, but don't propose what they should do (not should have done a decade ago, but do now) to avoid that. Nosebagbear (talk) 23:05, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Nosebagbear: The white-wash isn't about what happened then, we all know what happened and who did it. The white-wash is about who is fault about the situation now (being over and over brought again, most lately by the mne wiki proposal). Every one in the linguistics world knows that its an embarrassment. LangC doesn't want to own the consequences of that in this very moment. Instead it puts the blame on the communities (they are very nationalistic etc.)
My point is simple. If they want to uphold the 1lang=1wiki principle, they should create that 1 wiki by force and shut down the 3 other wikis by force. If they don't want to do that then they should say -loud and clear, so everybody can hear- we don't have anything to do with this topic anymore. 'We are out and have no official statements to make on this matter'. We're out and have noting to do with this topic whatsoever. But that's not what they are doing and this report just piles up on this. They play the double game. They say: we'd like to see them merge, but its up to them, not us'. Meaning, if they don't listen to our advice (a board of 7 scientists), then these people don't reason scientifically. They are nationalists etc. And this report plays those lines perfectly. They wan't to have it both ways: uphold the LangC authority, at the same time not taking responsibility and putting the blame on others - in the eyes of the wider audience. And me, as a sr.wiki member, don't want to take it. Plain simple. --Ivan VA (talk) 23:42, 22 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Comment On the topic like "can Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin projects be merged back to Serbo-Croatian projects", I would say that's unlikely, though not entirely impossible, there are too many machine translation tools provided separate supports for Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, though non of them I've known provided Montenegrin as of now. There are many multilingual news websited provided separate editions in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin. And there are many universities in at least European countries, that have separate specialized subjects in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin, so for what reason the wiki contents should be "merged back"? Just to raise up server spaces? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 04:59, 6 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Learn from somewhere else, not Chinese Wikipedia edit

I'm embarrassed to read that the report recommended the Croatian Wikipedia and other Wikipedia editions within the South Slavic language family to learn from the Chinese Wikipedia among others. While on the surface the Chinese Wikipedia might look like a collaborative project for a pluricentric language, in practice in the last few years it was dominated by a core of Mainland Chinese editors with a pro-Beijing point of view in its coverage of politically controversial topics. Political articles prioritising other points of view might be found in less-known topics, but any topic that gets enough attention to attract a centralized debate will inevitably see dissenting Hongkongese and Taiwanese editors' viewpoints being bullied out of the forum by the core of pro-Beijing editors. Mainland Chinese censors' strategy of only letting their most loyal citizens access Wikipedia is having a successful impact in manipulating the Chinese Wikipedia's predominant point of view. The UCoC consultation study with the Chinese Wikipedia community has already highlighted this pitfall, and it is one that we should avoid leading the Croatian Wikipedia into. Deryck C. 23:02, 24 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Deryck Chan: My argument this whole time, as i put it above in length, is that this report is a PR stunt. Your remark is just one more small detail. The Chinese Wiki is 'in' (medially, as a PR show), coz it stands in contrast with the PRC gvt. shadow run online encyclopedia in use in Mainland China. And the 'author' began this whole, let's call it report, with a remark that this is being some sort of democracy vs. authoritarianism fight. So the chinese wiki is good coz it's democracy, compared to the, not mentioned, bad one.
As u point out, this in no way represents the inner life of the Chinese version. It's own struggles and problems. Which just adds up to the claim that the author is some kind of an 'expert' and so forth. --Ivan VA (talk) 22:54, 27 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ivan VA: I don't think the report's analysis of the Croatian Wikipedia has much to do with real-world democracy vs dictatorship, as much as I would like Wikimedia to take a stronger stance on this matter. This is about how four Wikipedia editions were opened for the various national standards of Serbocroat and how this contributed particularly to Croatian Wikipedia's nationalist majority viewpoint. The case of the Chinese Wikipedia was very different: the Chinese Wikipedia came first, and then Chinese censors blocked Wikipedia to prevent a "foreign" encyclopaedia from becoming the main source of information for Chinese speakers, and created local competitors under Chinese censors' oversight while allowing their propagandists to join the Chinese Wikipedia to promote the "Chinese point of view". The circumstances are different, but I think the common lesson is that in a pluricentric language, the nationalistic viewpoint of the largest majority tends to crowd out other narratives. Deryck C. 16:28, 3 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One traditional solution to oversized groups is making a quota -- either a minimum for each group (say, 15%), or a maximum for each group or sum of n groups (say, 50% for 1 and 70% for 2). But you can't trust people to self declare, you will need to keep track of it all the time, and it's not really a Wiki thing. A code of conduct would be nice, but only when, ya know, there's people to write it into local policies and then enforce them. (In fact, I'm surprised to know the UCoC is in use at all given w:zh:上海外来人口问题 still exists.) --Artoria2e5 (talk) 13:48, 18 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Responses from the author edit

Hello all, please find below the responses to the questions posed to the author. For brevity, the questions on similar lines were merged for consolidated responses.

  • Can you provide more information on the methodology of the assessment?

The scope and mandate of the report were framed by the Foundation’s request to the author to evaluate whether there have been organised attempts to introduce disinformation into Croatian language Wikipedia and whether an ideologically aligned group of admins has captured the project. As stated in the report, the methodology focused on detecting patterns of organised disinformation and ideological bias in articles covering politically sensitive topics and themes that still provoke strong emotional reactions in Croatian (and regional) public discourse. To that end, it developed an indicator of disinformation based on observed systematic recognition of the notability of war crimes convictions in introductory paragraphs of relevant articles in other surveyed language projects (BH, SR, SH, EN, ES, FR, DE). While the leading paragraph is not a measure of the quality of the whole Wikipedia article (or, for that matter, of any online source of information), its informational and cognitive importance has been well documented. Therefore, the report contextualised this as a proxy to measure the state of disinformation in preselected subsets of articles.

The three recommendations to the WMF and Wikipedia communities were informed by the cultural, linguistic, and historical proximity of the four existing Wikipedia language communities. While it is evident that communities could benefit from improved cooperation and sharing of resources, it is ultimately up to them to decide on modalities and develop institutions of self-governance. However, delving deeper into technical details of a possible implementation of each of the proposed options was beyond this evaluation framework - both in terms of scope and in terms of time and resources.

The author believes that for the continued sustainability of recent improvements on Croatian language Wikipedia, it is necessary that the community designs and implements an unambiguous set of rules and measures to monitor and safeguard the progress, and that the Foundation should stand ready to offer any type of assistance should it be required. During the study, the author reached out to some of the community members who were known to have been deeply involved in the Croatian language project and requested them to respond to a questionnaire. Responses to the questions were received through email and made anonymous for the report. Participants were asked to read and accept the privacy statement before sending their responses. The set of questions reflected the scope and framework of this evaluation.

  • Are there suggestions on how to implement the recommendations?

The author believes that community members understand their projects better than anyone else and should have the agency to figure out the details of implementing the recommendations themselves. The author recommends that the community should run its own consultations and come up with potential solutions and could then collaborate with the Foundation in implementing the same. The Foundation should provide the communities with the required tools and resources including the support in facilitating the discussions on the subject. Foundation and community should work together to implement the agreed-upon plan.

  • Why does the author recommend SecurePoll?

Technical aspects of potential implementation aside, the suggestion to consider using SecurePoll extension was included after a review of documentation related to the Croatian language Wikipedia community confirmed that community election mechanisms were manipulated on several occasions. In that sense, SecurePoll should be seen as an optional instrument for safeguarding sensitive community election processes.

  • What the Author thinks the impact of his proposals would be on other wikis?

The scope and mandate of the report are described further above. The author understands that some recommendations impact more than one projects. However, if the communities decide to opt for recommendations that affect other projects, there needs to be a constructive dialogue among the communities to work out the implementation. If requested, the Foundation should consider supporting the facilitation of such a discussion.

  • Who is the author of the report?

The author is a native speaker of Serbo-Croatian with significant international experience analysing political risk and patterns of organised disinformation. They are not an active contributor to these projects.

Next steps: edit

As the author's contract with the Foundation is nearing completion, they would not be able to respond to more questions. The report supports the continued efforts of the communities, the Foundation, and the wider movement to strengthen community governance throughout Wikimedia projects. The Foundation will be continuing the conversation with broader functionary groups as part of the ongoing Universal Code of Conduct conversations and ratification. There have been suggestions from the community for regional or global arbitration committees (volunteer bodies to hear complaints and try to resolve disputes between volunteers). The Foundation encourages communities without existing local bodies to discuss this suggestion. The Foundation is also supporting the development of a Movement Charter and Global Council, which may help inform and advise efforts. It is encouraging to see constructive input on these topics and the willingness for participants to engage on these issues. --NNair (WMF) (talk) 06:42, 25 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@NNair (WMF): Your response sounds like a press statement of a gvt body. Just put it out there, no questions allowed. I'm kinda curious if this kind of behaviour is going to be the Wikimedia standard? Putting out reports without due process. I have expressed serious concerns about this report in the discussion above, concluding that this is a PR stunt and that the native speaker of Serbo-Croatian with significant international experience analysing political risk and patterns of organised disinformation is a fraudster. It is essential that these concerns be addressed. --Ivan VA (talk) 22:14, 27 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@NNair (WMF): while I disagree, and have done so publicly, Ivan's latter points a la "fraudster", I do support their first two sentence.
The responses provided above are extremely formulaic, non-detailed, and most critically - do not provide answers to all the questions raised in the discussion above and don't leave any capacity for follow-up questions. Even to those who aren't taking the report cynically, are likely to be distinctly unimpressed with it.
For example:
  1. There wasn't any further coverage on the consultation methodology employed, the questions asked, lack of non-email/survey contact,
  2. There wasn't any explanation or detail provided of whether the non-hr-projects had as much reach-out given that 2 out of the 3 recommendations propose major changes to their projects, any report that didn't contact each to the same detail is inherently flawed and should be reworked.
  3. I didn't ask whether the author felt whether communities that would be impacted by a full or partial merging should have a constructive dialogue, I wanted the author to tell me their views on its practicability. Either they have the knowledge to make judgements like that, in which case they could have shared it...and didn't; or they don't have that knowledge...in which case, what were they doing making recommendations without any consideration of the difficulties attached?
  4. A process question for the author (or, if they didn't identify the qs themselves, whoever did do so) - why, specifically, were not all questions above answered?
  5. Process questions to T&S & NNair (WMF): the Community has, on multiple recent occasions, made it very clear that rapid, reasoned, and full responses to questions are needed. The rebranding, IP Masking, Strategy recommendations come to mind as instances were this hasn't worked...and it's caused major issues. The Enterprise project stands as an example of how an immensely controversial process has been smoothed by good communication, the Growth project gives an example of how a good idea is smooth-walking in because the product manager truly gets community discussion is a process, not a one-off thing.
    1. Anyway for the actual question(s). Why was a contract timeline for the author agreed that didn't include sufficient time for Community consideration of a report that I assume was known to cause questions?
    2. T&S could have provided an anonymised role account and the author actively participated here rather than 2nd hand, non-detailed answers - why weren't they?
    3. If the author couldn't do Office Hours, when will the new Disinformation T&S director do so?
  6. What is the author's views on WMF action/inaction between the original meta report and 2020?
  7. The questions asked in the survey were detailed, but very closed. What process was done to gather additional viewpoints on what questions should be asked, as that inherently will have influenced the answers given?
Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light - a flashlight cannot be flickered over misinformation to consign it to the dustbin. Instead it necessitates driving inquiry, and when you want to convince disparate groups of people, investigation without communication is less than useless. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:20, 29 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @NNair (WMF): - it's now been over a month - can I get a timeline on answers to the above questions. As presumably the lead contact with the consultant you likely have most of the answers to hand, but for those outside of that, I had hoped it should only be a week or so to get the answers and could use an update. Cheers Nosebagbear (talk) 21:37, 28 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you so much for your queries and feedback @Nosebagbear:- I would like to be candid with you. Disinformation challenges exist not only on the Croatian WP but also in several Wikimedia projects. This report is a first for WMF and it focuses on Croatian WP with an aim of making the community aware of the existing content-related problems on projects. It is WMF's view, and that of the author, that with this awareness, the community and the Foundation will be able to take appropriate steps either to counter or better to prevent them. It is a learning curve for all of us.
We really applaud the author because he dug deep into the issue and presented to the community and to the Foundation all the facts and figures gathered while investigating this case. The goal of his assignment was to present the findings, however, he went ahead and presented solutions and recommendations to the Foundation and to the community at large.
Having said that, I think it is important for us to remember that the author is not a community member. Therefore, being a non-community member, he opted not to intervene in community discussions, and to let the community take over the matter with the hope of finding local solutions to fixing this matter.
As a Foundation, we also realize that we need to have a collective solution to fix this issue in the long term. One way to do this is to improve the governance system of the projects. This is currently being discussed as part of the Universal Code of Conduct. The second way that WMF is working to provide a long term solution is by identifying projects with major disinformation challenges, presenting them to the communities, and working with the communities to come up with solutions that are specific to their various challenges. The newly formed T&S Disinformation team will be doing just that. I do understand that it must be frustrating not to see progress just yet, but this is because the team is still working on various long-term solutions that will cater to the needs of all the projects. I also want to assure you that we will have office hours to discuss this, and other matters concerning disinformation soon.
Once again thank you for your feedback - we are listening and we are putting together effective strategies that we will share soon.--NNair (WMF) (talk) 12:01, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@NNair (WMF): while much of what you say is true, and other parts a reasonable position on a non-clear point, your comments here don't answer many of the questions I asked. I am abundantly aware of disinformation issues existing on projects, and of issues handling such. Clearly the recommendations had to be viewed as possessing some worth and discursive value, or the work wouldn't have been carried out. Since it was, I'm still awaiting answers to questions on how it was set-up: the recommendations mention multiple projects, not just hr-wiki, so did the consultation get carried out to the same detail for each (potentially) affected project? Why was consultation only carried out by email? While clearly any ultimate solution would need a community discussion, that discussion would need to be confident they were understood the report, but the timeline of the author's contract didn't allow for that, nor was it explained why they couldn't at least provide clarity to the report even if they felt unsuited to engaging in the follow-up conversation. While the report was generally well-detailed (and, as I note at the top of this page, pleasantly clear to read), it didn't seem to consider actions taken and not taken by the WMF between the original meta report/2020, nor that of a failure to close it by the Stewards - and I would have liked to know the reasons for those not being discussed. All of these were questions that could be answered without conflicting with your answer, and therefore should have been answered, but weren't. So the tl;dr is: why weren't they, and of those that could still be answered (e.g. why was the author's contract not made longer to factor in ability to get clarity post-report publishing) when can we expect that? Nosebagbear (talk)
I also look forward to a disinformation director office hours, and hope to see that before long. As a new team at the WMF, and with extreme proximity to the traditional no-go area for the Foundation of content, I consider it key to spreading better understanding. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:18, 10 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Nosebagbear: I really admire the amount of good will towards the WMF (on this matter) u bring to the table here m8, having read these last few treads of comments (found them on my watchlist by accident). And u still don't believe it was a PR stunt? As u know PR stunts are made to last a short period of time, designed to make a media whirlwind and to distort the truth by overemphasising one aspect of it, putting others in the shadow. With this report there are no lengthy deliberations, major back and forth, lasting half a year or longer (the normal procedure we as editors are used to here on wp on matters like these). And it all happened just as i told u. A bunch of serbocroat lang. media from the region, and some of the international media as well (can link u the archive on that), reported all over that WMF distanced itself from hr and sr.wiki. WMF being the cosmopolitan beacon of light and hrwp and srwp the closed minded nationalistic trash. Discrediting the content on both of the projects per se. The WMF is saying: u are guilty for your own (miserable) existence and we don't wanna have anything to do with u, coz we are the enlightened cosmopolitans that we are. So, the propaganda has been sent into the ether, made a few rounds, WMF looking good srwp and hrwp bad, and after in the years ahead it will be used, in any media article regarding srwp and hrwp, as a dossier file reminding the readers that the high priests of the encyclopedia world have noting to do with the aborted projects (no matter how sr and hr wiki look like regarding content). And all of it from a travesty of a report which hasn't passed the basic due process procedure. U really believe this all is an accident, a joke? As for the response u got from @NNair (WMF):, it really made me laugh. It reads like kafkaesque process. Read it carefully. No one knows what the merit is, all we have learned is that they know about it (?!?), they have done something about it, and that they will learn something. What the -it- is, nobody knows. In my experience with stuff like this, the response has to be kafkaesque. Coz they (WMF) are disguising their true intentions (a whitewash and a hitjob). Having used (and abused) a public institution and it's procedures, like this one, for their own selfish policy.

The only thing i regret about this whole sad episode is that me, as a srwiki editor, and others from the project, did let this hitjob on us pass without firing back. Next time we will make our own voice heard in the media world/public and these kind of attacks won't pass without a price to be paid. --Ivan VA (talk) 22:31, 19 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ivan VA, please remember that WM:CIV applies to all discussions here, even if it is about the WMF. Vermont (talk) 13:17, 20 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Vermont: Having read the rule u linked, i really didn't see where in my responses i overstepped. As for the negative tone of the discussion, that has to do with the deliberate lack of response from the other party in this discussion. They deliberately fail to engage in due process although the rule says they have to. --Ivan VA (talk) 13:30, 20 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Vermont: If there is a rule which obliges the WMF to engage in this due process, than u should force @NNair (WMF): here to do so. Or do something about for not engaging. Since he is the guy who wrote here on behalf of the WMF. Every1 engaged in the discussion agrees that the responses he gave lack much substance and not answering on questions about this report. --Ivan VA (talk) 13:34, 20 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When you are engaging in discussions with other contributors, WMF employees or not, assume good faith and keep your discussion civil. This means commenting on the topic of discussion, not the assumed motives, intentions, or character of the other party. And no, people are not obligated to respond, especially not to uncivil communications. Vermont (talk) 16:25, 20 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Vermont: given that my attempts to garner communications from the WMF on topics include: pinging staff members; emailing staff members; participating in zoom calls; arranging my own zoom calls; contacting the CAC; reaching out to senior members of the organisation who I believe I have good relations with; reaching out to respected editors in the community with better relations; attempting to broaden questions in the BOT to acquire trustees more interested in promoting better discussions; specifically calling out when I feel that engagement by more hostile editors; especially on meta; have been downright hostile (including requesting your own review)...could you propose what other viable methods I should utilise to garner actual complete; in-time responses from the WMF on specific outstanding, critical, questions? Nosebagbear (talk) 18:55, 20 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Vermont: I think it's pretty much evident from the whole discussion above, that there is no good faith from the WMF side. So the assuming period is long over. Secondly, in the letter part of your response your advice is that i should behave to WMF staff as if they have absolute impunity (angels as Madison calls them in Fed. 51). Calling them out on their BeeS is wrong?!? Are u serious?! --Ivan VA (talk) 07:24, 21 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is not the Foundation's business edit

Dumpsters associated with the Russian special services applaud this report (1, 2 etc). The Foundation blatantly underestimates the tools of hybrid warfare.

But I have one question. Did the Foundation employees and contractors decide to take projects away from their communities?

If not, never touch content and communities. We will figure out how to create wiki projects ourselves. There are more of us than you. We all have very different views. We are committed to our projects. We create them for free. We will handle our problems ourselves and do it better than a small bunch of salaried employees.

The Wikimedia Foundation has only one job to keep the servers and software running. The rest is none of your business. --sasha (krassotkin) 11:40, 29 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I mean, the next time you need Legal cover, or someone to handle targeted death threats, you might want them. When you start with the hyperbole, all I can guarantee is that the WMF staffers will have no interest in listening to you, because you've rendered your own argument moot. Stick to the facts - that's what we, the Community, do. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:39, 29 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What??? Hah... The Foundation will protect me from murder or prison in Russia? Please do not make me laugh and do not give people false hopes. --sasha (krassotkin) 13:28, 29 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    So nothing should be done about hr.wiki because of Russia? Is that your claim? What is the alternative? Do nothing so Russian special services cannot lie about it? You must be kidding. :) Imbehind 17:29, 2 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While I understand your concern, I cannot think of any hybrid warfare goals something like this would actually accomplish. However, I agree with your statement somewhat- this is hardly a problem only with hr-wiki, but also with the Serbian and Bosnian wikipedia. All three of them, sadly, turned into mouthpieces for pushing nationalistic propaganda. What benefit has anyone gained from this? It has split contributor time and costs Wikimedia Foundation money which is not infinite, but relies on donations, and is just another aspect in the ethnic conflict in the region to be used and abused, without even helping people understand what they couldn't. This is because, let's say it in a politically correct way, the languages have a remarkably high mutual intelligibility, rarely seen elsewhere. Dege31 (talk) 16:52, 3 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Support for the message of the report and another note edit

This report addresses a real and serious problem, and I support it for that, and I will talk about something closely related. While unfortunately I think this kind of POV pushing affects quite a few language Wikipedias, the problem is most closely related to and of the most similar typology to the Serbian and Bosnian Wikipedia. It is in my belief, that all of them have become, in the lightest appropriate terms, mouthpieces for nationalistic propaganda. In fact, my notice of this makes me actively avoid them when possible, because I know they push POVs in favour(closest term I can think of) of: government-representatives, I suppose, of the lanuage; and the nationalities. Through this, all three have split valuable contributor time and, I don't know the exact numbers, but I know that they must have cost a statistically significant amount of donation money. The central question is, then: do the readers benefit, who Wikipedia is, after all, made for? Well, if a neutral point of view is pretty shakily followed on any given related biography, government, international relations, history, etc articles on these Wikipedias, does it at least expand the number of people who have access to encyclopedic knowledge? The answer is an absolute no, because whatever local government report or whatever tries to say otherwise, I will tell you the bare reality- everyone in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, if they speak the standard variety, can understand each other with zero issues. If noone else, at least I can totally confirm this, although it is clear to anyone not focused on some feelings of nationality. While I support and will not argue that people do not have the right to call their language whatever they want, I will not support a, willful or not, ignorance of the reality that the content is almost the exact same, as in, to the point where one can probably automate variant translations between Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, and Montenegrin. When this is used as it is, then it becomes a problem that I will work against. As of yet, I do not know how this is to be solved, I am just someone distressed that even this is used to provoke more ethnic conflict, and now that I am an editor, I am more deeply invested in this. I would like to see the best for the Wikipedia in my native language(s). It's been decades and this is still a problem, it has to be solved.

That problem currently is that, as it stands, I believe that hr-wiki, bs-wiki, and sr-wiki are detrimental to the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia, and it needs to be solved, whichever way is best. Dege31 (talk) 17:21, 3 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is this assessment a reason to block Montenegro peoples to contribute their mother tongue? edit

On Incubator's Administrators' noticeboard, there's a major discussion which this assessment page has been cited as a matter: incubator:Incubator:Administrators'_noticeboard#Montenegrin_Wikimedia_Incubator, do we have ideas how to answer the community members' concerns regarding this thing and Montenegrin Wikipedia test project at Wp/cnr? Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 14:29, 10 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Return to "Croatian Wikipedia Disinformation Assessment-2021" page.