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Talk:Harassment consultation 2015/Ideas/Contributor Covenant

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Hi Ocaasi (WMF) and thank you for jumping in! I like the idea of adopting a code already developed, tested, and used by other communities. I feel like I keep asking the same questions of people who have suggested policy-type ideas, so excuse me if this comes across as repetitive - I really just want to do what we can to explore the limits and fail points of ideas like this so that we're better equipped to avoid them. So with that said:

  • Would you expect harassment@wikimedia.org to go to Community Advocacy? To a global functionary (volunteer) group? (If the latter, how would these people be selected - would it be an Ombuds Commission type thing?)
    • Both CA-staffed and community-staffed harassment@ solutions would have their weak points in a job like this: CA is limited by the size of our team, by the commitment of the movement to community autonomy whenever possible, and by not being part of every community and hence less conscious of context; community members would be limited by the difficulty of recruiting and organizing a decisive body of multi-lingual, multi-time-zone volunteers (we do it with the Ombuds, so it's not impossible, but it's a pretty big challenge both to organize and to participate in, from what I hear) and by the community's internal divisions about what constitutes harassment and what level of sanction is appropriate in any given case
  • What tools would the harassment@ group have in its arsenal to handle these cases, and what force would underlie the tools? I can imagine anything from self-contained admonishments/blocks/bans to an AUSC-style “recommend course of action to local project admins” to “submit report and recommendations to Community Advocacy for action/decision/documentation”

As usual, responses from anyone reading this, not just Ocaasi, are welcome! Kbrown (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Kbrown (WMF) for those clarifying questions. I don't see it as an either-or proposition. As with OTRS, there could be parts that are handled by vetted volunteers who sign an NDA, parts that are handled by CA, parts that are reported locally to admins on a particular project, and parts that are just about triage to decide which route is necessary. In short, a variety of possible responses with a central address from which to route them through. We have certainly demonstrated the capacity to entrust and train volunteers who work on correspondence, funding, bureaucrat and steward work... all of those positions require significant trust and reputation. I see no reason why we can't train admins to handle sensitive issues around harassment and safety, with proper review from staff where needed.
As for tools in the arsenal, it would be staged and multiple: report to police or emergency services, global ban/office action, delegation to stewards for cross-wiki issues, report to local bureaucrats, or admins, or OTRS queues. There could be a committee of volunteers to handle cases and decide actions--an arbcom for conduct if you will that would hold pre-approved/elected spots but require vetting and training.
Obviously I have more ideas than a single solution, but I think the key is to start with the code. Even if that email address is left out, it's something we can advertise and appeal to. Local communities could write their own policies around it. WMF could hire staff around it. Tech could build tools around it. All of that can be brainstormed--but if you don't have the code, then you have nothing behind it. Just my brainstormy thoughts... Ocaasi (WMF) (talk) 21:00, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I could support the idea of using a code of conduct that is embraced by other organizations. No matter which code of conduct or harrasment policy is used there would need to be a method to address the problems reported. The details about the approach to enforce the the code would need to be tailored for the wikimedia movement and would need to have support from different aspects of the wikimedia movement to be effective. Dedicated staff would probably need to be outsourced to manage the the large number of languages of the movement. Functionaries and administrators would need to receive training about identity based harassment since they are are on the front line for dealing with harassment. Retaining their permissions should be contingent on addressing harassment well. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 13:51, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
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