Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 1/Community Health/Community diversity and growth

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Most likely, new comments will not be taken into account by the new three Working Group members in their work of developing the final Recommendations. You are free however to continue discussing in the spirit of "discussing about Wikipedia is a work in progress". :)

Compulsory trainingEdit

Your working group proposes compulsory training for admins and ArbCom members. Kudos! Will training cover only conflict resolution, or also other subjects? Will they be trained in non-violent communication? Currently project communites are self governing. How will those communities 'voluntarily' adopt compulsory training for their admins and ArbCom members? What are the outcomes of your talks with the Roles and Responsibilities working group in this regard? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 10:07, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Everybody can put their +1 for compulsory training here:

  1. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 10:07, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
  2. Slowking4 (talk) 19:27, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  3. Aron Manning (talk) 18:40, 14 August 2019 (UTC) — I'll run for Arb, or OS if necessary. Seriously interested.
    Which project? Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 19:19, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
    I'll let you pick. MORE. — Aron M (talk) 04:10, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
  4. ...

Um, the compulsory training is proposed for "user rights groups with access to non-public information" which on Wikimedia means CheckUser and Oversight (and Stewards and arbitrators, usually), not to every two-bit admin. I also think that this recommendation is assuming that CheckUser and Oversight has something to do with conflict resolution but that isn't the case. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:18, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

Agree ... Barring 5 & 6 (maybe 1, to some extent), none is any relevant for "user rights groups with access to non-public information". Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 19:19, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Which of the specified topics under mandatory training and certification would be required for which user rights groups?
  • At what stage would the user be required to participate in the training?
  • Would such training be generally available for contributors who are not members or immediately potential members of the relevant user right group/s?
  • Who would set up the training and assessment materials for such training?
  • How would quality assurance for such training be provided? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:36, 29 August 2019 (UTC)


OTRS agents also have access to non-public information. We don't handle too much in the way of conflicts. Those we do have are usually because it's impossible to do something they want us to. Is this also supposed to be for us? I can't see it particularly helping my role (certainly there's not been any tickets where an improved conflict resolution skill would notably help.

Doing yet more data protection seems irksome as well, I mean I did a year of it before and after GDPR switch on, and do some ongoing work in it now. Most basic data protection training I've seen does little other than frustrate its users - data protection is less about knowing what to do, but being able to always implement it, whatever your state of mind (tired, distracted etc).

I'd be happy to write the Legitimate Interest Assessment for the process though, and have a read through of any DPIA (or its US equivalent) carried out. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:44, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

on the contrary, OTRS is implicated in the adversive deletionist culture, which seeks to stop discussion by making it opague and inscrutable. there seems to be a credulous fear based assessment, detached from professional standards such as at WMF legal. as a confidence building measure, training and monitoring should be required. Slowking4 (talk) 09:01, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
...Really? Could you demonstrate that an appreciable amount of OTRS agents seek to stop discussion by arbitrarily confusing individuals, and do so with the motive to uphold a deletionist culture? Speaking for myself I actually enjoy explaining in-wiki discussions in terms that can be understood (I'm also an inclusionist, as a side note), I can't speak for the breakdown of inclusionist/deletionist viewpoints amongst the agents, but the former is a shared trait amongst those I've talked to. I've no idea if you being blocked as a Sockmaster on en-wiki has anything to do with this (I'd have to look into our prior tickets to check, which I can't do). Nosebagbear (talk) 10:55, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
really, is that is your idea of enjoying an explanation? the past deletion decisions do not inspire confidence. [1] no, mistrust of an unaccountable OTRS is separate from admin misbehavior. Slowking4 (talk) 01:25, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
What has OTRS got to with the above discussion? It merely houses the letter of clarification from AP (~April'05) about the copyright status of the photo; nothing else. That letter was itself hosted on Commons, prior to being deleted out of its own copyright concerns after the end of the original debate about the AP-photo.
I am in OTRS and like my colleagues, often go out of my way, to help well-meaning folks who can't find their way around our byzantine bureaucracy.
Overall, I am afraid, that you are talking about the wrong stuff at the wrong place at the wrong time. We, over here, are talking about the necessity of data-protection-courses/conflict-resolution-courses for OTRS agents and that excludes training agents on the intricacies of intellectual-property-law with an objective of arriving at proffesional standards. There can be a debate on inclusionist/deletionist behavior in folks handling OTRS-permissions-queue and whether some training in IP-laws will help mitigate copyright-paranoia but this ain't the section, for it. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 08:42, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
on the contrary, file deleted because "This letter contains AP claim of copyright and information that the image may be ued in Wikipedia as Fair Use (but not copied elsewhere)." subsequently undeleted, by an otrs admin. given that otrs determinations are made with no oversight and reviewed and overturned with no oversight, what confidence could the public have that otrs determinations are reasonable, and will not be changed at the whim of passing otrs functionaries? the otrs conflicts that do occur show an ignorance of copyright law.
"and like my colleagues, often go out of my way, to help well-meaning folks", that is not my experience. Slowking4 (talk) 12:12, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

More specificity neededEdit

The recommendation reads:

Newcomers (people, communities, partners) are essential to our movement as it diversifies both in terms of knowledge and people. The strategic direction challenges Wikimedia to reach out and embrace both new stakeholders and new forms of knowledge in the pursuit of knowledge as a service and knowledge equity.

Everyone agrees that newcomers should be welcomed. The problem is whether newcomers must accept the existing culture and goals or bring sudden change with them. In many cases, Wikipedia turns away newcomers because they do not accept the definition of the project as being an neutral encyclopedia based upon verifiable information. Many newcomers arrive thinking that Wikipedia is just another social media platform or one that can be used to spread biased publicity for the newcomer's pet activity or organization. The Working Group must give much more thought to how the movement shifts out people who are a bad fit, while remaining welcoming to people who integrate into the community and accept the community's expectations. Hlevy2 (talk) 17:50, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
This is a very interesting point. It would also be worth considering that almost all new members only really start communicating their different viewpoints after a couple of months. Editors newer than that mainly write and talk specifically about what they happen to be writing. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:10, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
no, "accept the existing culture" is an excuse. “It’s because the newcomers don’t stick around,” Halfaker says. “Essentially, Wikipedians had traded efficiency of dealing with vandals and undesirable people coming into the wiki for actually offering a human experience to newcomers. The experience became this very robotic and negative experience.”[2], and "You don't want to get into a situation where you think that the ideology is more important than people. If you see that it's not working for people you don't say: "Oh, well, those are just the people who don't get it, those are the ones who get left behind, those are the expendable ones, they don't matter." [3] -- Slowking4 (talk) 09:05, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Regional CoordinatorsEdit

The recommendation advocates regional coordinators:

As an initial step towards concrete actions, current and planned future efforts addressing newcomers, we should develop regional coordinators that coordinate the efforts in the various communities of that region.

This seems at odds with the other recommendations to push more authority down to the local level. To whom would the regional coordinators answer: the WMF or the local chapters and affiliates? Is the danger of overlapping newcomer welcoming events greater than the danger in loss of chapter and/or affiliate autonomy? For example, recently there were tensions between the India Chapter and a WMF office set up in India. What lessons can be learned from this experience, and how would the regional coordinator interact with the local chapters and affililates (beyond scheduling of newcomer events)? Many thanks, Hlevy2 (talk) 18:06, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

A noteEdit

that there's a trove of academic literature which sheds considerable doubt on whether these digital-courses/certifications are much helpful, as to some of the categories. Will try to link some of them .... Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 13:26, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

From Catalan SalonEdit

Both recomendations available here.

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