Talk:Movement Charter/Content/Values & Principles

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Draft chapter November 2022

Marginalized Knowledge

It is from my point of view important to support marginalized knowledge and the documentation of such knowledge. The freedom of a language version of a Wikimedia project to be against this kind of knowledge within a project is from my point of view important. So I dont want that a Wikimedia project must accept marginalized knowledge. I think there about oral history what is not accepted in German Wikipedia. It is from my point of view better to create a new project for marginalized Knowledge instead of integrating it into existing projects like Wikipedia if there is no support within a community. Hogü-456 (talk) 20:54, 15 November 2022 (UTC)

Hi @Hogü-456, speaking specifically as just me, I couldn't agree more - and would also like the wording to more clearly indicate that. If you have a specific phrasing, please feel free to suggest it. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:59, 16 November 2022 (UTC)
HI @Nosebagbear, you are still on the committee who has proposed this Draft text about Values & Principles. What other portions of the text you do not agree with? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 15:49, 16 November 2022 (UTC)
Hi Ad, you'll get an overview of my positions over the next fortnight or so (although whereas I'd normally note all the agreements I have with drafts like this, that would be rather egotistical here, so you're more likely to just see any disagreements). In this particular regard, I don't know (and wouldn't be able to say without MCDC signoff) what the "intended" meaning is of this specific aspect - I don't know if I'm disagreeing with it, agreeing with it, or holding a position alongside a document that wasn't firmly written with one interpretation or another.
I'd also say that your comment suggests that me disagreeing with aspects of the draft text is negative - for either the MCDC or just myself. I would say the opposite - the MCDC disagrees. A lot :D - we don't even disagree consistently! It's perfectly possible that one or more members will get to the end and advise opposing ratification. That's not repugnant to those members being on the Committee so long as they think they can be a net gain. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:22, 16 November 2022 (UTC)

Clarification on Equity section?

Regarding the equity section, which currently reads like this:

Equity - We empower and support communities through pragmatic decentralization and autonomy. Along with equity in the representation of knowledge, we enable equity of resources. We also enable equity of digital rights such as privacy to our users and all participants to the widest extent possible."

During the strategy process, we have seen that "equity" is often a hard term to translate into many languages. Even further, this section in the MCDC doesn't explain well what is meant by equity. This would argue for the first line to be clear in defining equity so we know what is being talked about. Maybe along the lines of "Equity is the principle that..."

A possible statement might be, "Equity is the principle that all stakeholders have a fair say in, and access to, the work of the Wikimedia movement." This way, the rest of the statement makes more sense, because it mixes a lot of concepts in terms of knowledge equity, decision-making equity equitable treatment, and equitable access. - Fuzheado (talk) 15:57, 18 November 2022 (UTC)

In fact, the section about "Equity" barely covers the topic at all. It talks about decentralization and autonomy, covered by the Subsidiarity section already, and Privacy, which could be a core value on its own. I think the Equity value/section should be completely removed, and whatever vague idea that is supposed to be covered in the Equity value right now, should be subsumed in Inclusivity. MarioGom (talk) 09:31, 6 December 2022 (UTC)

The word "equity" should be eliminated completely. Either drop the sentences, or rephrase them to actually say what you mean. Even within the English language it often fails to translate between people. I've encountered too many times people had fringe interpretations, and the word itself actively obstructs discussion or progress. Alsee (talk) 17:34, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

interdependence rather then just independence

Maybe it is better to use interdependence rather then just independence? 15:51, 26 November 2022 (UTC) = Zblace (talk) 00:45, 27 November 2022 (UTC)

Sounds like a good concept, but these two are terms with very different meanings. "Equity" section says "We empower and support communities through pragmatic decentralization and autonomy", a complete opposite of "interdependence". :-) -Vipz (talk) 03:53, 27 November 2022 (UTC)
I think the content of the Independence value can be understood by everyone. Let's not add more confusing terms. MarioGom (talk) 09:33, 6 December 2022 (UTC)

Comments on Values and Principles by WMDE


The Movement Strategy Principles are an integral part of the recommendations and result from the merging of the principles developed by each of the nine working groups. Much thought, deliberation and work went into writing these. It is not entirely clear why the MCDC felt compelled to spend time writing new, yet similar principles. Some of them still need work in terms of wording, and could be phrased more strongly (“everyone feels valued”). That said, we commend the MCDC for making these a bit less wordy.  

Missing is the principle of people-centeredness, which was very central to stakeholders in the Movement Strategy Process. It is not done justice as a sub-aspect of inclusivity.  Efficiency was also removed, which strikes us as similarly important as the movement embarks on creating new structures and systems and the charter sets the guardrails for these. Missing is also transparency, which is increasingly important for our movement as a way to build trust and participation in the communities, as well as to assure donor trust in the context of diversifying fundraising.


  • Re-integrate the two missing principles from Movement Strategy
  • Add Transparency as its own principle
  • Make the wording strong and aspirational, and more reflective of the values of Movement Strategy

(these are part of a complete statement on the charter language proposed so far, which can be found here.) Nicola Zeuner (WMDE) (talk) 12:25, 1 December 2022 (UTC)

I concur with the comments from WMDE - there is excellently crafted text at Movement Strategy/Principles that has been worked on by many people over a long time and has been quality checked for understandability and readability. It would be ideal to build on that work and incorporate it here. Additionally, that page has been translated into more than 15 languages, which gives us a head start in that department. I like how the MS/Principles page starts with a bold definition for each point. That does well to address the issue I noted above, where "equity" is something that needs better explanation, even for English speakers. I'd encourage the MCDC to not feel any hesitation to build on and bring over good work that has already been done. It would not be a copyvio. :) - Fuzheado (talk) 01:04, 6 December 2022 (UTC)

"fact-based" is a problem

We have lots of people showing up ranting that our articles are wrong. They try to argue the Earth is flat, that the Moonlanding is a hoax, that Evolution is lie, that Global Warming is a fraud, that Astrology and Homeopathy are real, or they rant that our article is biased and wrong because it says favorite politician is a conspiracy theorist. We inform them that their arguments about "facts" and "truth" and "proof" are irrelevant and will be ignored.

Wikipedia does not contain "facts" or "truth". Wikipedia endeavors to contain an accurate summary of what reliable sources say.

We do not, will not, and cannot get bogged down in unconstructive and unending argument about "facts" or "truth". It doesn't matter whether evolution is true or not, we are going to accurately summarize the sources. Any attempt to argue the sources are wrong or part of some conspiracy only reaffirms that our article accurately summarizes those sources.

We explain this to people, and if they persist in making invalid/disruptive arguments about "truth" and "facts" THEN WE BAN THEM. The erroneous idea that we are "fact based" is a source of disruption. Asserting that faulty notion will just result in more people getting banned from participating. Alsee (talk) 18:29, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

Wikipedia obviously is fact- and truth- based, and this is the motivation of a number of editors. Because of the role of wikipedia people settle for verifiability as a proxy for truth. Talpedia (talk) 14:50, 10 April 2023 (UTC)

commitment to make space for inappropriate content

We commit to making space for the knowledge that has historically been marginalized  - including within our projects.

Firstly, the 2030 Strategy item Innovate in Free Knowledge has apparently unanimous opposition. Check the link. The 2030 Strategy process was so broken and so illegitimate that the individuals running the process rammed this item through every stage, despite absolutely zero visible support and despite repeated opposition during and after every stage of the strategy process.

Secondly, this committee should not be trying to "commit" the community to "make space" for content that the community has considered and explicitly decided to exclude as inappropriate.

Unfiltered unreliable information is just useless noise. Our projects exist to provide useful and reliable information. Our projects are based on the swarm-labor of anonymous random idiots on the internet. That places limits on how we work, and what we can do. Every project needs policies to filter useful reliable content from unreliable random-idiot-on-the-internet-garbage. We cannot allow malicious, mischievous, incompetent, or misguided random-idiots-on-the-internet to post malicious, mischievous, fabricated, faulty, or otherwise unreliable garbage. Any content that fails mandatory content-quality policies cannot be included, regardless of whether that content also happens to be "marginalized". Alsee (talk) 19:32, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

@Alsee: Get a grip, man. You callously mocked someone else for "whining" about their problems, yet here you are, whining incessantly about the WMF's goal of including knowledge that's been historically marginalized. The loudness of your temper tantrum could put a heavy metal concert to shame. I'll keep this simple. The inclusion of historically marginalized information does not imply a "commitment to make space for inappropriate content", as you semi-cleverly called it. Marginalized information and inappropriate content are not mutually inclusive. Any suggestion that they are would be the result of hilariously bad mental gymnastics. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 12:24, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

Code of Conduct and promising feelgoods for all

To do so, we establish and enforce codes of conduct, and ensure that everyone feels valued and equally included.

People who endlessly and disruptively argue that the earth is flat are not going to "feel valued and equally included", nor should they be equally valued and included. They need to be banned to prevent them from disrupting everyone else's work. Don't try to assert fantasyland feelgood nonsense like that.

Also, neither the Code of Conduct nor the enforcement guidelines for it have been accepted by the community. That should be dropped from the text here, unless and until the community actually does approve a Code. If the text here requires a Code, and no Code has been approved by the community, that could block or impede this. Alsee (talk) 19:50, 9 December 2022 (UTC)

I don't think silencing the objective would be productive. It would just come back again. Approval or no. The issue from what I see is marginalized people will never included if the majority rules. Human Rights enforcement has never been a democracy. Currently in from what I have seen is administrative actions can silence marginalized people and discouraging their input is going to cause the wiki movement to fail. Your strawman argument makes it easy for you to show how this would not work, it would be much harder to make your point with a topic that has more shades of gray. Where the opinions of indigenous people conflict with the majority of English wiki and finally the admins that would silence the dissenting opinion over claims of disruption. The above statement dances around the topic of racism. But it is clear that is exactly the issue. Deathmolor (talk) 11:35, 20 August 2023 (UTC)

Some remarks

(I am aware that some of these points may overlap with remarks already made by others on this page.)

1. We represent a fact-based, open, and inclusive approach to knowledge.

No, we represent a source-based approach to knowledge, and ideally the sources are reliable and have a high probability of reflecting the facts.

2. Our values and principles recognize that this approach to make knowledge available is a collaborative endeavor, and aim to keep the focus on [inclusivity, subsidiarity etc.]

If your values and principles aim to keep the focus on the seven concepts you listed, then they cannot be the same as those seven concepts (if A keeps the focus on B, then A is not B). Or are we to understand that your values and principles are in fact the concepts in the list?

3. We commit to making space for the knowledge that has historically been marginalized

Can you be more specific and at least reassure us that you do not mean oral knowledge (which is not reflected in reliable written sources)?

4. We foster a people-centered vision of participatory co-creation.

This is mere word salad. Imagine explaining the sentence in simple English to a fourteen-year old: how would you rephrase it?

5. Our practices build on and safeguard the diversity and rights of our communities. To do so, we establish and enforce codes of conduct

So if a community should decide not to accept these codes of conduct, that decision would be fully respected per your very commitment to ‘safeguard the diversity and rights of our communities’?

6. we [...] ensure that everyone feels valued

Only Wikipedians who contribute positively deserve to be and feel valued.

7. [...] and the prioritization of voices representing community leadership for the roles and responsibilities delineated in our charter.

Again: word salad. What do you mean? Try to keep it specific and transparent, without 'prioritization of voices' or similar mumbo jumbo.

Marrakech (talk) 22:23, 11 December 2022 (UTC)

Feedback deadline is 18 December

Thank you for all the feedback! This is an acknowledgement that all comments here are being monitored. A summary of them is being compiled and will be shared back here in January 2023. The MCDC will refer to the same summary when refining this draft and others early in the new year. As a reminder and as mentioned in the community consultations page, the deadline for this round of consultations is 18 December, so please share your feedback by then. There will also be more feedback opportunities in 2023 Abbad (WMF) (talk) 13:15, 14 December 2022 (UTC)

My own thoughts

[To make clear, these are my own $0.02, not indicative of the MCDC or any grouping]:

I share the position that the Equity aspect needs clarification - including scope limitations. In a sense, our fundamental being "the sum of all human knowledge", is one of the greatest knowledge equity showings the world has ever seen. But beyond that, if you start asking different wikimedians (especially from different projects), what it means, you get very different answers. And that, not unreasonably, has provoked some concern in both meetings and on this page. Beyond its scope, the level that disagreements on its scope will be settled also remains of interest.

For accountability, I would split up "shared editable documentation" and "publicly transparent". There are aspects that we should see more of - such as more detail behind the curtain on the WMF funds side and grants side. For example, the Knowledge Equity fund provides little useful information for seeing whether each fund is serving Wikimedia. Likewise, we appear to have some repeat grant recipients who can't readily show an actual ongoing gain to Wikimedia. But those shouldn't be publicly editable - and I wouldn't want it being the case that if something wasn't publicly editable, it didn't at least have to be made public.

prioritization of voices representing community leadership for the roles and responsibilities delineated in our charter. this is an interesting line. Direct community interaction remains key - it's why I feel the GC must almost entirely only draw its scope/powers from aspects currently within the WMF, not act as a smaller consultative body in place of large-scale consultations such as the talk-page process. Why should we listen more to leaders of the community than the higher effort of talking to a broad base? Nosebagbear (talk) 11:24, 18 December 2022 (UTC)

Comments from Yair Rand

  • "a fact-based, open, and inclusive approach to knowledge"
    • Using the phrase "fact-based" (or "truth-based") doesn't seem helpful, and could be problematic for attempts to ensure that "verifiability" is the threshold, on projects where that's a necessity. (See the old "verifiability, not truth", slogan.)
    • Our approach to knowledge also prioritizes being neutral, comprehensively broad, and reliable, with non-indiscriminate boundaries.
  • "We share, in the spirit of free knowledge, all of our content, all our software, all our platforms with the world, using the transformative tool of open licensing."
    • There's a norm underlying these points, that goes further than the particular examples mentioned in the above sentence:
      • We distribute content on the sites, but we release it under a free license (and provide dumps) so that anyone can distribute it. We create content, but do so on wikis, allowing anyone to edit. When we maintain wikis, we do so as volunteer communities open to participation by all. We host wikis, but on free software, so that anyone can host it as well as we can. The software is open-source and developed openly, allowing anyone to work on it as they like, with us or separate from us. At every part of the process, we relinquish control and let anyone continue it as they like. We share it freely.
      • (Further examples include, eg, open research practices, open policy-crafting, certain organization practices opening both participation and replication, certain elements of absolute transparency, and many more.)
      • I think it would be good to articulate this kind of thing in the Charter, and make its implications clear.
  • "people-centered"
    • This is a phrase that's been used a bunch recently, but I think this is one of those "true only if vacuous, meaningful only if false" things. Yes, our communities are made of people, and not fish or mushrooms. No, our activities are not fundamentally about anything other than the free knowledge efforts. If we're stuck between banning someone for the good of the project, or keeping them because they're a person, the project comes first. If this has been more thoroughly defined elsewhere such that it actually fits, we should probably have a link pointing there.
  • "Our projects are intended to be available in all languages"
    • I'd change this to something more indicating that every person should be able to access the projects in their own language, if it's possible to do so without making the text clunkier. The difference a very minor point, but we don't want to guarantee support for dead languages, if easily avoidable.
  • "accessible on diverse platforms by universal design and assistive technology"
    • This is getting at something broader, but getting too deep into particulars. As in the Vision, we make reaching/including "every single human being" a real goal, which requires usability by those with disabilities, those with limited internet access (eg Offline Projects), and those in areas where using the internet comes with dangers. (This last point is placed in the "Equity" section. The necessity for privacy and anonymity ties in well here, I think.) The more general point of "include everyone, really" should be made, so that we don't need to potentially quibble about particularities like regional/ideological/neurodivergent diversity. (And this also may tie into "we avoid involving the movement in outside conflicts, such that people of any 'side' would be excluded".)
  • "Our practices build on and safeguard the diversity and rights of our communities. To do so, we establish and enforce codes of conduct, and ensure that everyone feels valued and equally included."
    • I think these two sentences need a complete rewrite. The general point (we need norms that allow for as broad participation as possible) does belong here, but the ordering/connecting in this wording doesn't make sense. I like the wordings used by ENWP's ArbCom, that our goals require "an atmosphere of collegiality, camaraderie, and mutual respect".
  • "We empower and support communities"
    • This wording reframes things so that the "we" isn't the communities. :/
  • "equity in the representation of knowledge"
    • I'm not sure what this refers to, but I'm concerned that it may be referring to something that is not, in fact, something we do.
  • "equity of digital rights such as privacy to our users and all participants to the widest extent possible"
    • I don't think this really has to do with equity at all. The "digital rights" framing may also be very counterproductive in certain regions.
  • "transparency of shared editable documentation"
    • I feel like this should lean more towards how we normally do transparency, where all actions are automatically publically visible by default (as is the case on wikis). We don't typically reach that level in organizations, but it's still a good thing to strive for. Transparent shared editable documentation is certainly important as well, but I think it's more of an aspect of other broader things.
  • "We thrive by innovation and experimentation, continually renewing the vision of what a platform for free knowledge can be. We pursue effective strategies and practices driven by evidence."
    • Um, unless this clearly indicated to be aspirational, I have to say that this is false as a matter of fact.
    • I'm not even sure this is really a goal.

--Yair rand (talk) 00:57, 19 December 2022 (UTC)

Feedback report published

Thank you, again, to all who participated in the community consultation. We have published a summary of the feedback, to give a brief idea of the sentiments about the published drafts. The summary is based on an extended list of all the feedback received, which the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC) is looking through in detail in order to refine the current drafts.

The MCDC will share responses to the feedback in March 2023 (including what changes they are making and, if no changes are being made, the rationale/response to it) --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 12:47, 31 January 2023 (UTC).

Draft chapter May 2023

Revised draft chapters published

The Movement Charter Drafting Committee has shared the revised draft chapters: Preamble, Values & Principles, and Roles and Responsibilities intentions statement. These revisions are based on the community feedback received in late 2022. Please note that the drafts are subject to change based on future reviews and will not be finalized until the full Charter is published. --AAkhmedova (WMF) (talk) 13:19, 19 May 2023 (UTC)

Some problems

Hello. I want to suggest some modifications that I think it is really need of:

  • Inclusivity : How's change 'universal design and assistive technologies' to 'universal design, contents that can be easy-read and with contexts, and assistive technologies'? I think Wikimedia should start making easy-read and contextual read, which is very helpful with persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, and Language learners.
  • Equity : I suggest change 'the communities' to 'users and communities'. It can be read that expression allows neglection or discriminations from communities to a user or users, which shows 'un-social' edit patterns to each projects. For example, JA-WP or KO-WP have a strict rules that cannot be understand to other Wikimedia contributors. If some users that cannot have community in Wikimedia movement show the edit pattern to their projects, They can easily punished.
  • Accountability : 'shared editable documentation' should include easy-read form, to make accessible to people with disabilities and editors with other languages.

I think this is what would be neglected, which has neglected from some years ago. Anyway, thank you for reading. - Ellif (talk) 18:43, 19 August 2023 (UTC)

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