Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Diversity

Active discussions

Area of inquiryEdit

Who would - and how - decide authoratively which are "dominant" or "mainstream" cultures, or the opposite, and what would be the consequences? I think I understand the original problem, but if the topic is supposed to be consequential it would need proper and clear definitions. Ziko (talk) 12:07, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Current situationEdit

Unaligned language levelsEdit

English is much more used for technical, scientific, and universal subjects. Articles in English are (much) longer, contain more details, and have more decent references. There are much more writers available to add more text. Local languages have shorter articles about local and country or language specific subjects.

When languages are shared amongst countries, there is a huge risk of competition amongst regional variants of the language that tend to dominate the smaller part of the regional language.

I believe we should have more attention to local languages, regions, and cultures. Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 17:05, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Relevance rules as barriers of entryEdit

Relevance being considered from a local point of view is a problem. Some kind of relevance guidelines has to be implemented for all languages. There is a real risk of some themes that are not familiar to the speakers of one language to be left out of that language version of Wikipedia as irrelevant.
Our goal is to provide all knowledge to all the people. I can read an article about Albal, or carajillo or Barchell Castle in Spanish. Therefore, they could be translated into any other language. Any language at all. And the fact that those three things are foreign to the recieving language is not a reason to forbid such translations.
If something is not relevant, it isn't relevant irrespective of language. For instance, I cannot write an article about my desk, because it is irrelevant. Irrelevant in English, in Spanish, in Catalan. But if something is relevant, it is so in any language.
B25es (talk) 19:55, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Why this scopeEdit

Hello, I read "different kinds of resources" and try to understand what this could mean. It seems to be a kind of opposite to "academic papers". Can you confirm that, and elaborate on those "different kinds"? The scientific method has been invented in order to assure that certain quality standards are achieved in history science. So, how would you assure these quality standards in "different kinds of resources"? Would you say that a non scientific historiography is as much a reliable source as scientific historiography? Ziko (talk) 11:57, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Think on cultures/languages that lack an academy. -Theklan (talk) 15:42, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Science, history and philosophy for thousands of years focused on privilege and power. When the women's movement/civil rights movements/anti-colonial movements began in the 1960s, scholars began to rethink the previous presentation of history and schools of thought. Scholars recognized that there were depictions of women, people of color, and marginalized segments of society in artworks throughout history. Studying those images and trying to identify who the subjects were, there was recognition that there were also books which presented information on subjects who had been ignored by previous researchers. Much of our knowledge has been lost because it was neither preserved nor studied. Much more of it exists, but is obscured and numerous new methods for studying society have emerged over the last quarter century. Academia is not infallible and their methods are not bias-free (neutral). Different kinds of resources include oral histories, papers presented at symposiums conferences, off-line materials, reputable sources as defined by specific communities (i.e. feminist, LGBT, ethnic journals, etc.) and many others. SusunW (talk) 18:49, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Key questionsEdit

Could you elaborate more on the code of conduct? What topics/rules would it deal with? Ziko (talk) 12:05, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

"How do we transform our culture and collaborating spaces, including (but not limited to) articles, general discussions, talk pages, and Commons to support diverse representation of contributors and writers, as well as our definitions of reliable sources and neutrality, to build a safe environment where everyone (minorities/unrepresented/underrepresented/mainstream groups and cultures) is included and can see their knowledge represented and talk openly about themselves?"

This is quite a long and complicated sentence, I try to understand it for myself. I believe it is about

  • transforming ... spaces ... [in order to support]... representation
  • transforming ... definitions [in order to build] ... a safe environment

Is this correct? So this means that our current definions of reliable sources and neutrality have created an unsafe environment? Or does this come from the spaces that have to be transformed? I believe it would be very helpful if this sentence was cut into 2, 3 or 4. Ziko (talk) 12:05, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Ziko it means that for many who contribute (or attempt to contribute) the environment is hostile. Systemic biases (the focus on mainstream, Western-idea of academic-based knowledge) discount many traditional cultures which may have different methods of passing on knowledge. Those same biases unintentionally often impact groups which have at different points been marginalized from mainstream participation. Defining reliable sources in a manner which excludes local sourcing and data from within communities, also unfairly prejudices the representation we project. Defining neutrality from a point of academic acceptance also re-colonizes and reinforces a power-driven view of historic events. If a given group or community recognizes that someone has had a notable impact upon that group or community, but our guidelines and policies are written in such a way as to prevent that person's contributions from being included, it is a problem. If indeed, the goal is to represent all "notable" knowledge, we have to do a better job of broadening how our policies can include diverse ideas. SusunW (talk) 18:34, 25 April 2019 (UTC)

Sign languagesEdit

Just a note to say, please bear in mind that a certain proportion of the world's population prefers to receive information through sign languages. Many deaf people have a sign language as their first language, and have limited access in whichever written/spoken language they are familiar with - often slower or more difficult access, or only being able to read long documents with the aid of an interpreter. Audio tends to be of even more limited use, for obvious reasons. I think the needs of sign language users fit well under your scoping question no. 5 but just wanted to mention this explicitly as I haven't seen this topic mentioned before in this process. Thanks! Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 15:57, 2 May 2019 (UTC)


"As volunteering is essentially a role for the privileged, should Wikimedia Foundation start giving monetary incentives and honorarium"?

yes, the WMF has historically not funded content creation, and when it tried, did it poorly.
given the implicit bias in the privilege of leisure time, and unpaid knowledge work, the WMF need to provide resources to support, train, and organize volunteers. if you do not provide resources, then you ride on the implicit bias in a volunteer workforce.
there should be established career paths for volunteers for moving from unpaid to paid internships, and full time wikimedia-in-residence, or staff. by organizing the volunteer base in global north, they can build learning patterns and mentoring for global south activity, i.e. GLAM-wiki.
this resourcing is an important maintenance in community health debt. i.e. if you do not invest in community health, then you are betting the reputation of WMF on the health of volunteer community self-management.
you could ramp up small grants to serve as honoraria, but it would require a change of mindset, with more risk taking. you could spin off grants to a chapter, but you would need to provide a revenue stream, with grant-making training. Slowking4 (talk) 22:50, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
+1 Oliveleaf4 (talk) 22:36, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Working group talk page discussionEdit

Please see Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity. James Salsman (talk) 14:02, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Representative sampling in surveysEdit

Dear Diversity Strategy Working Group members, please approve my representative sampling proposal, based on Bill Takatoshi's general method proposal. Thank you for your kind help with this. James Salsman (talk) 20:06, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

Access for blind peopleEdit

Hello - to help centralise the conversation I just wanted to draw your attention to this post by Guy Macon which points out our CAPTCHA is inaccessible to blind people - and has been since 2006 - preventing blind people from participating, despite being probably a relatively easy technical problem to solve. (It strikes me the Diversity scoping document is very focused on community and participation but please don't overlook technical requirements for diversity either). Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 13:37, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

Feedback and input from Wikimedia AustriaEdit

This is feedback from WMAT's expert group for international affairs, the input was also discussed with our board and community.
Disclaimer: We are aware that the following “mountainous regions” in Austria are still way more developed than other parts of the world. The detail of the scoping questions appears to be a bit too detailed for these early stages and are difficult to give feedback to without including a global context. Recommendations for this working group should - in our view - differentiate based on the regional or local context.

  • We welcome the emphasis in form of a scoping question concerning the diversity of languages on various platforms. It is an issue that the Austrian community has had to deal with since the beginnings of the German speaking language, often having to overcome ignorance and belittling comments when pointing out the pluricentric nature of the German language. It is our belief that establishing guidelines for platforms to acknowledge and nurture pluricentric languages will enrich those languages and the people who use those platforms.
  • We also concur with the scoping questions in that raising awareness and use of our platforms in “low awareness regions” like the rural regions of Austria is only possible when acknowledging the demographic challenges (i.e. an aging society with a deteriorating infrastructure) we have to overcome in those regions. Anyone already on the Internet already knows about Wikipedia - the challenge will be how we also integrate those who have been left out in our information age.
  • It is not clear from the document, whether and how the work of this group is also directed at the organized part of our movement (WMF and affiliates), particularly Wikimedia as an employer. Diversity and inclusion need to be addressed in a more systematic fashion here as well: E.g. How can we make sure that females* and people of colour have equal access to leadership positions and how can we avoid a gender pay gap?
  • Wikimedia Austria believes that Diversity&Inclusion should be reflected in the structures and public appearance of movement entities and so they become the welcoming spaces that the Wikimedia projects often can’t be. Hence, we use inclusive language in all our official documents (e.g. bylaws), made sure the bylaws also represent and support the principles laid out in our friendly space policy and made efforts for better gender representation in our committees and expert groups. We hope that the strategy process will result in recommendations for affiliates which make less of an exception and more of a rule in the movement.

--Wikimedia Österreich (talk) 15:03, 29 May 2019 (UTC)

Regarding key question 10Edit

Regarding the last question in the page, I would recommand reading the first parts of Freakonomics. There are several studies showing "incentivizing" volunteers by money would have adverse effects. Similar work has been done on donating blood. If you pay some money for each donation, people start to say "it isn't worth that much" and if you pay lots of money, the amount of fraud will make it unusable.

Keep these researches in mind. Amir (talk) 14:47, 30 May 2019 (UTC)

About question #3Edit

How do we avoid the pitfall of recentism, tapping in to elder networks, LGBT networks, women’s networks, indigenous communities, etc.

I presume you mean somehing different. How about: "How do we avoid the pitfall of recentism, how do we encourage more participation by elderly people, LGBTQ people, women, indigenous communities, etc." Is that what you mean? --Prüm (talk) 06:57, 31 May 2019 (UTC) (I'm not a native speaker)

Prüm Recentism is when material focuses solely on the current environment and immediate past, leaving out the foundational history. Studies have shown that much of the material on various Wikimedia projects reflect the current reality, often omitting context from history, people from history, and historic events. Because many groups were barred/omitted from not only participating in society, but also representation in both media and academic treatment, the historic record is often skewed. The question relates to broadening interpretations by seeking diverse communities to add balance to our coverage of history from their unique perspectives and resources. SusunW (talk) 19:36, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
SusunW I only wanted to suggest that the sentence I quoted be rephrased slightly, because it seems syntactically ambiguous to me. --Prüm (talk) 04:54, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
Prüm We are aware that a lot of the concepts we put forth are pretty complex and that we didn't communicate them as well as we might have done. This one in particular has been brought up by other communities in the feedback, as "recentism" is apparently not very translatable. I appreciate your asking about it, as others have been confused by it as well. SusunW (talk) 05:18, 3 June 2019 (UTC)
I was only trying to be helpful, not to win an argument. --Prüm (talk) 16:35, 3 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia Deutschland staff perspectiveEdit

Over the last weeks WMDE's Strategy Liaisons, Moritz Rahm and Cornelius Kibelka, have conducted interviews with 13 experts among our staff on the themes of the working groups. Mostly, the qualitative interviews were done with groups of 2 or 3 people, the texts provided are summaries of the statements.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Best regards, --Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE) (talk) 14:18, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

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