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Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/2

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it.
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". :)


Characteristics of the maturity levels.[1] -- This image documents Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), which is similar to but not the same thing as the Cultural Diversity Maturity Levels Model (CDMLM).

This seems to use some undefined buzzwords. What is a "maturity model"? What on Earth does something like "We need to focus on moving from a single center to multiple ones." even mean? I really am not certain even what is being proposed here. Seraphimblade (talk) 17:29, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Goodness; that is one hell of a sentence. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 19:45, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


  1. Sally Godfrey (2008) [ What is CMMI ?]
For "maturity model", see en:Capability_Maturity_Model_Integration. Siebrand (talk) 07:22, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Siebrand, thank you for the pointer. In tech, we have a shorter way of referring to stuff like that: "Business Buzzword Bullshit." That's got to be some of the densest million-words-to-say-nothing I've ever seen. Seraphimblade (talk) 13:30, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Regarding the the following...

"Q5. Why this Recommendation? What assumptions are you making?
It can be supported by the maturity models theory. To get mature at one topic (e.g. diversity) you need to incorporate discourse, methods, organization and strategy. It has already been suggested (Miquel, 2019) how to get mature at cultural diversity using a maturity model approach."

I have worked on several projects that used CMMI. See en:Capability Maturity Model Integration. Reading that "Miquel, 2019" link it was obvious to me that what he is talking about is some other kind of "maturity". Then I saw this section and realized that at least some people (hopefully not on the WMF side) have confused the two different meanings of "maturity". Diversity is a goal. CMMI is about process improvement. If your goal is to write a computer program or feed the hungry, CMMI can help you to organize a process that achieves that goal. The thing is, if your goal is killing all of the jews or convincing gullible yuppies not to vaccinate their children, CMMI can help you to organize a process that achieves that goal. CMMI is goal-agnostic. Whoever wrote Q5 is simply using a buzzword lifted from CMMI without actually understanding CMMI.

BTW, if anyone ever claims that the WMF is already following CMMI (saying that you are following CMMI without actually doing it is annoyingly common) ask them if we will be able to find published CMMI Appraisal Results for the WMF at [ htps:// ]. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:53, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

I found where this came from. The Cultural Diversity Maturity Levels Model (CDMLM) was developed by Kim Drumgo, then Chief Diversity Official for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, in an obvious attempt to ride the coattail of the well-respected CMMI. This was all written up in the Profiles in Diversity Journal in 2011.
Drumgo has since moved on and is now the director of diversity and inclusion for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Drumgo's four stages of diversity maturity are:
  • Foundational: Workforce and leadership has a fundamental understanding of diversity and inclusion. However, it is not expected that behaviors and practices in the organization reflect diversity and inclusion best practices.
  • Enlightened: Workforce may have some understanding of the business case for diversity and inclusion. However, there is not a strategic alignment of diversity and inclusion goals, which holds leaders accountable for measurable outcomes.
  • Integrated: Firm has a viable diversity and inclusion strategy. Diversity and inclusion practices and behaviors are embedded and seen as a part of daily work and as adding value.
  • Optimized: Organization has a diversity and inclusion strategy that is fully aligned, tracks and measures progress and holds leaders accountable for key outcomes tied to the overall organizational strategy.[1]
This, of course, misses the whole point of CMMI. It omits the initial, poorly controlled phase (unlike CMMI, CDMLM lets you decide what phase you are at, and nobody chooses anything lower than "Workforce and leadership has a fundamental understanding of diversity and inclusion.") it also ends with a perfect workplace that has nowhere to go, whereas CMMI ends up with an organization that is continually improving. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:51, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Start againEdit

This needs to be re-written, because it is largely incomprehensible. Examples:

  • "it is possible to locate the concepts/points of view that represent them so that we can assess the gaps and coverage of these". To what do "them" and "these" refer?
  • "The complementation between events and tools that provide stats and guidelines is the best strategy." Put bluntly, "The complementation between events and tools that provide stats and guidelines" is not a strategy.
  • "seeking content empowerment". What's that?
  • "At the same time, this may increase in higher quality of content." This makes no sense. 'may increase in content of higher quality'? 'may result in higher quality content'?
  • "Having top priority content about any group of people, nation,... is in this direction." What? EddieHugh (talk) 19:55, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
Agree - there are ungrammatical sentences (Prior to analyze content it is necessary to define diversity types.). Also, what does "transveral" mean in this context? Casliber (talk) 04:25, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Please don't use punctuation this wayEdit

Don't write ‘universal knowledge’ when putting a quote in a quote.

Instead, please write 'universal knowledge'. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:24, 10 August 2019 (UTC)


Some editors might not agree on the need of content diversity and continue deleting articles based on notability reasoning and tensions might emerge. (your words) WE..WE..WAIT a moment... Are you say that bad articles should be kept, even if they are the worst and most unnotable ones, because they are about to decrease a gap, and other articles that have the same problems, because they are not reducing a gap, must be deleted? Enivak (talk) 22:08, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Also: The classic notion of an encyclopaedia and ‘universal knowledge’ needs to be discarded. Having top priority content about any group of people, nation,... is in this direction. The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic. What is a “universal knowledge”? Who gets to decide what is “universal”? We need to focus on moving from a single center to multiple ones.

(again your words) This is completely pointless. It is supposed that the Wikimedia projects (especially wikipedia) are trying to maintain a neutral point of view. The most articles have not neutrality problems, and these problems, when occur, are usually fixed quickly. The idea of encyclopedic knowledge IS IN FACT' the <<neutral point of view>>, i don't see the reason why to label it as problematic. Universal knowledge IS (again)IN FACT the knowledge all people agree to, so AGAIN THE NPOV! Sorry to say that, but my opinion is that it is indeed problematic to strive to get a neutral point of view when you already have it! Wikimedia is already welcoming to all genders, tribes, religions etc.. This thing you provided about Diversity is pointless, we already have these things. Enivak (talk) 22:20, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

Related: en:Wikipedia:Community response to the Wikimedia Foundation's ban of Fram#"The classic notion of an encyclopaedia and 'universal knowledge' needs to be discarded". --Guy Macon (talk) 23:05, 10 August 2019 (UTC)

The quotes above demonstrate that this proposal is entirely without merit, and demonstrates nothing but contempt and ignorance for what Wikipedia strives to be - a place for reliable, encyclopedic information. Should I stop deleting and banning spammers because the spam is about a Nigerian subject? MER-C (talk) 18:57, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

  • To assert that the "classic notion of an encyclopaedia and ‘universal knowledge’ needs to be discarded" is so fundamentally at odds with what the WMF projects are about, that it simply cannot be accepted as having any validity. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:34, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
that exactly, to seems these guys who wrote these <<suggestions>> seem to want to create trouble when there is no trouble. Eni vak (speak) 22:09, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
They're too late, Everipedia already exists - that's what they seeming to be aiming for. Nthep (talk) 14:44, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I suspect it's going to end up more like a bizarro-world left wing echo of Conservapedia. Reyk (talk) 19:54, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • @MER-C, Guy Macon, and Tryptofish:, The classic notion of an encyclopaedia and ‘universal knowledge’ needs to be discarded: I cannot for the life of me believe that a WMF staffer can write something so fundamentally wrong - or am I now at 70 so old I'm missing something or suffering from dementia already? Is this really what the donations generated by our volunteer work pays the salaries for?
According to this SGrabarczuk (WMF) apparently doesn't exist. Tar Lócesilion is Vice-Chair of Wikimedia Polska, so he already has a CoI WMF vs Volunteers communities. I can only hope his comment is an innocent faux pas due to his use of English. All this serves to confuse us even more and demonstrate yet again the lack of transparency. Kudpung (talk) 04:19, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
@Kudpung: -- WMF did not write this; these bunch of people did, among whom I spot one active contributor from en-wiki. Also, you might wish to see Grabarczuk's note over my t/p. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 04:51, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • Who wrote this proposal? Please come forward? Swarm (talk) 05:43, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
    @Afifa Afrin, Aaharoni-WMF, Amire80, Astrid Carlsen (WMNO), Astrid Carlsen, Camelia.boban, Theklan, Imacat, JVargas (WMF), SusunW, Jamie Tubers, ProtoplasmaKid, and Marcmiquel: -- Per above and for engagement with the feedback, recieved. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 06:21, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
    @James Heilman: - Please lead us to your co-trustee Esra'a Al Shafei, who does not seem to have a Wikimedia-account. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 06:21, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
  • You seem to be under the impression that torpedoing the notability policy will cause more articles on women scientists, prominent people from underrepresented nations, and obscure localities in the non English speaking world, to be written. You actually seem to believe that these are the articles getting deleted under the current notability requirements. It's not. It's articles on shit internet memes, CVs of American middle management people, pseudoscience, advertising brochures, shrines to English dudes who played one game of cricket in 1831, and unceasing lists of fictional characters. I 100% guarantee that doing away with notability is going to make the coverage disparity worse instead of better. Why? Because this won't cause people to start writing about the topics you want them to. It will only give the green light to every paid marketer, crackpot, and tireless fanboy to load the encyclopedia up with stuff that is A) white guy centric, and B) bullshit. The topics you want to see promoted will end up buried under a mountain of sewage. Do not do this. Reyk (talk) 19:47, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

continue deleting articles based on notability reasoning, yes, thats the way to write an enyclopdia. Nobody is interested in the grocery shop at the corner. And no scientist is getting more importent, just because she is not white or not heterosexual. And yes, most rulers were men in the last centuries, Wikifoundation strategies will not rectify this. -- 22:21, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

"The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic"Edit

It never did to me. Quite the contrary, the idea of encyclopedic knowledge was the motivation of my work in the project. Did I spend my time for the wrong idea? Or is someone else (who? in which legitimation? what is the WMFs position to that?) planning now, to change the idea and discard with the "classic notion of an encyclopaedia" everything, for what I spent my time in the past? --Magiers (talk) 14:15, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Sounds like classical SJW crap to me. “Unrepresented concepts” might be “unrepresented” because they are ignored and/or are regarded plain nonsense by those who have true experience in the field? These recommendations, not only #2 but the other ones too, appear to have emerged from the notion that Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects should have the same rules as the free and open western societies. This surely is a noble idea. However, it won’t work, because the purpose and the scope of the Wikimedia projects is different from those of a society. These recommendations would fundamentally change the nature of the Wikimedia projects and especially that of Wikipedia, which, in turn would almost surely lead to 1) a lowering of the average content quality (which btw is not-so-very-high already) and 2) a renunciation of their projects by large parts of the project communities... --Gretarsson (talk) 15:57, 12 August 2019 (UTC); subsequently modified 16:08, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

+1 to Gretarsson and Magiers. I came here to help writing an encyclopedia. And, looking at the success of the projects it seems that most people came because of this encyclopedia-thing? Shutting down the moist successful project? - but maybe its because I don't get Q1 - what does this mean? No notability required anymore? ...Sicherlich Post 16:55, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
"[...] the idea of encyclopedic knowledge was the motivation of my work in the project [...]" Same here! What the heck is "problematic" about contributing to encyclopedic knowledge? Fact-based and neutral instead of ideology-ridden? Honestly, I am both utterly surprised and deeply concerned about those "recommendations". What is more, I don't really get the point you (as the working-group diversity) are trying to make. Maybe some examples would help to understand what you actually mean and how this would affect our activities. Thanks a lot and cheers, --Mangomix (talk) 17:26, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Because of my love of encyclopedias and free knowledge i ended up in wikipedia. --Ghilt (talk) 22:21, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

I find the statement The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic very strange. Isn't it exactly this idea which made Wikipedia successful - because people perceive it as as a trustworthy source of encyclopedic knowledge in a sea of conflicting information on the net? In any case, Wikipedia is the community's project. The Wikimedia Foundation is hosting it, but it is not their role to tell us what we write, and how we write it (they simply can't), so the whole discussion seems a bit moot. Maybe it is another example of some WMF people spending a little bit too much time in an ivory tower. I bet that most of the active Wikipedia contributors very much care for the "idea of encyclopedic knowledge", that this is an important motivation for them, and you can't now suddenly tell them "oh, that was a bad idea, do something completely different, yes"? Gestumblindi (talk) 17:48, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

  • I started editing Wikipedia because I wanted to contribute to encyclopedic knowledge. In 14 years of editing, that never once felt "problematic" to me. The only times it ever did feel problematic is when the encyclopedia seemed to be turning away from its core requirements of verifiability and due weight. Reyk (talk) 19:29, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

+1 --MGChecker (talk) 03:00, 13 August 2019 (UTC) + 1 Ziko (talk) 20:53, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Honestly, the more I read from these working groups, the more they feel problematic, not "the idea of encyclopedic knowledge" which drew almost everyone who has invested time, expertise and often money to these projects and made them what they are, myself included. This whole thing seems to be a completely misguided attempt to fix something that isn't broken, or at least not in the way members of these workings groups make it out to be. This is very confusing. --Millbart (talk) 19:02, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

"The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic" is also something that definitely came up in the original discussions last year. However, discarding one thing just because it has a problem is likely not very constructive. Challenge it, sure. Find other and newer ways and how to link those, sure. discarding however seems needlessly divisive. As I stated on Facebook: “the form of an encyclopedia, esp, wikipedia, is a barrier to reaching the sum of all knowledge of all people. Therefor, we should consider changing the form, adding more forms and/or letting go of forms all together”. With form referring to writing style, and wikipedia being a specific writing style as we currently use it, and emphasising how our movement is more than just english wikipedia. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:28, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

  • This is an argument that goes back almost as far as Wikipedia does. Wikipedia's sourcing policies do not allow me to write this thing I know to be True™, therefore Wikipedia's content policies are wrong. Note that it also has parallels in the current debate about social media "censorship" - social media is "censoring conservative voices" because a disproportionate number of bigots who fail ToS happen to be right wing. Changing your policies because you're not getting the outcome you want has the potential to cause profound and highly undesirable effects. JzG (talk) 09:02, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

What is the actual recommendation?Edit

"Q 1 What is your Recommendation?

That all communities and stakeholders be able to access and receive statistics, tools and guidelines on the current diversity of content.

This would guide and help them cover the unrepresented concepts and points of view, whether they are related to gender, countries, LGBT+, culture, historically marginalized communities, among others."

Hello, on the other pages I usually see a set of concrete recommendations as Q1, and then the other sections motivate the recommendations. But here, the other sections introduce a lot of ideas that are not directly linked to Q1. So, for example, if that other sections says that the "classic notion" of an encyclopedia should be discarded, to what actual recommendation is that idea linked to? What would be the consequence of "discarding" the notion of encyclopedia? Ziko (talk) 16:30, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Potential hazards to editors from repressive countriesEdit

The proposals here seem to include a lot of data collection about personal characteristics of people who contribute to Wikimedia projects. I want to point out a potential hazard of doing so. Obviously, we should all want to enable and welcome contributions from people who live in repressive countries or cultures, and we want them to be able to contribute freely. It has always been an essential expectation that anyone is free to contribute under complete anonymity. Therefore, it is essential that any data collection not endanger that anonymity, even the implied danger that comes with saying that certain editors are exempt from data collection. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:33, 12 August 2019 (UTC)

Types of diversityEdit

I like the ideas put forth in this recommendation. It currently lists some of the types of diversity that should be present in Wikimedia content as "Gender, Geographical, LGTB+, Cultural, Indigenous people, Religion groups and Ethnic groups". These tend to be controversial topics on Wikipedia projects only because they pop up often in AfD lists for tending to fall outside of the coverage usual in what we call "reliable sources". I think that diversity is much broader than that, and should include coverage well within what is usual in our list of "most used reliable sources". For example, under "gender" I would include historical definitions in both religious and anthropological writing, and under "geographical" I would include "fictional places formerly considered to be real", and "former human settlements abandoned for various reasons". The others aside, the biggest one I am missing is the overal "content timeline" where you have coverage for each subject, by era, over time, in the written record but also in daily life by region. Our gaps are not only those considered to be controversial! We also still have many gaps in our written record (due to archival wipeouts, wars, deliberate rewrites, etc). Is there any place where these "diversity types" are being kept and tracked? Jane023 (talk) 08:34, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Signing proposalsEdit

When reading proposals like this it's not clear to me why I have to go through multiple links to read who's responsible for the recommendation. Why doesn't every proposal finish with a list of people who made the proposal and who are accountable for it? ChristianKl❫ 08:43, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Diversity types are a bad ideaEdit

The idea of diversity types assumes that there are some knowledge communities that aren't in the mainstream that deserve added protections and others that don't. This list for example would suggest that the Young Earth Creationism community deserves special protection because it is a Religious group while the General Semantics knowledge community deserves no special protection because it's not in the list of what counts as a knowledge community worthy of special protection.

Having this dual standard of knowledge communities that are worthy and one's that aren't would mean that we don't have equal standards anymore about how to deal with notability and sourcing of claims. Instead of trying to get that way, we should focus on having good rules that can be applied all over the board. That would be the only way to get real diversity where also knowledge communities that aren't in the focus of left-wing activists get a fair space.

Bismark is quoted as having said 'Laws are Like Sausages. Better Not to See Them Being Made' but if we actually want better policies we need to look at the place where policy gets made. That's various RfCs. This is the venue where policies can influenced and we might task professionals to comment on the RfCs. We might have a WMF payed person who's job it is to provide constructive input towards RfC's but who doesn't have voting rights for RfCs. ChristianKl❫ 09:50, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

No universal knowledge?Edit

I strongly disagree with that recommendation in the generality it is presented. That e.g. Paris is the capital of France is universal knowledge. It isn't questioned seriously by anyone relevant. If we abandon that concept then how can we determine what we can write in articles? If someone claims France does not exist, is their "knowledge" valid and should be respected in the article en:France? Clearly not. So why does the recommendation sound like this? We already struggle enough to keep absurd fringe claims out of the Wikipedia, especially in science. There is no shortage of people who want to add claims that have been proven wrong over and over again. They would certainly use such a recommendation as argument for adding more nonsense. --mfb (talk) 08:06, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Agreed with editor. Eni vak (speak) 16:45, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Is this an attempt to “right great wrongs”?Edit

Could you comment on how the policy at enWP that says “Wikipedia is not the place to Right Great Wrongs” might impact these recommendations (and on how these recommendations might impact that policy). Thanks. Blueboar (talk) 13:11, 21 August 2019 (UTC)

Guidelines ?Edit

That all communities and stakeholders be able to access and receive statistics, tools and guidelines on the current diversity of content.

Strongly support access to more detailed and focused stats, and the development of tools to give more autonomy to the communities and leverage to action groups.
However, more than hesitant with regards to guidelines. First because those are likely to be quite vague and poorly adapted to the diversity of development of our projects (eg, guidelines to a well developed project is unlikely to fit a less developed language). Second because I believe editors should be able to draw their own conclusions and have their own guidelines developed. If they are not sufficiently aware, then what ought to be done is more awareness. Not guidelines. Let the groups build their own path. At best, we can show examples of existing guidelines in other projects. Anthere (talk)


"The idea of encyclopedic knowledge feels problematic."

Who wrote this and how quickly can they be fired? GMGtalk 21:43, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

List of authors is at Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Working_Groups/Diversity#Members. None of them were hired to write this, IIUC. --Yair rand (talk) 22:09, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
You don't need to hire someone to fire them. Volunteers get fired all of the time. To fire the authors of this recommendation, simply tell them "Thank you for your service. Your recommendations are being evaluated. If you have any further recommendations, please post them on your user talk page." --Guy Macon (talk) 13:52, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
It is not requisite that we abandon common sense in order to value and encourage diversity. Now, I've climbed this soap box before. I'll be first in line to say that we need much better metrics of diversity, well beyond merely the gender gap. We have broader and better quality content when the pool of contributors is more diverse in every measure. Unqualified. Full stop. So fostering diversity is a major component of the core mission to make more knowledge more free for more people.
If we want to look for low hanging fruit, with a straightforward solution, we should set a mid- to long-term goal of normalizing Wikipedia to fill core content gaps across languages, and bring every project up to a minimum level of the basic coverage you would expect in a paper encyclopedia. People use our projects because they are useful, and being used is our number one recruiting tool. All of the edit-a-thons in the world are never going to make up for the organic recruitment we get by simply being indispensable. That is a positive feedback loop that works very well for larger projects, and against which smaller projects can struggle indefinitely, in order to reach the critical mass to achieve self-sustaining growth.
By "normalizing" I mean we work to transfer core featured content on larger projects 1-to-1 where it is entirely missing on smaller projects. Imagine we find that the article for turpentine is promoted (reviewed and fact-checked in a formal community process) on the German Wikipedia (purely hypothetical). We find that this article is entirely missing on four smaller language projects. Find a company that offers translation services, and simply pay them to translate it to (hypothetically) Thai. They're not writing anything. They're not changing anything. They're simply taking a community evaluated bit of high-quality crowd sourced content and transferring it.
Once it's on the Thai Wikipedia, it's their baby. They have to update it, and revert vandalism, and so forth. It's a one-shot infusion of content aimed at bringing the project closer to critical mass. If they already have an article, any article, then we do nothing. We're not imposing editorial uniformity across languages; we're just trying to add missing core content.
If this transfers a German-centric perspective, then what we want is for some Thai undergrad to update it for their context, to slowly replace non-native language sources, and make it into a uniquely Thai article. But they now have the much easier task of updating, adjusting, and maintaining, rather than having to create an entire article from scratch, which is a much higher barrier-to-entry, especially for new users.
The article for it:Fobos (astronomia) is featured in Italian, and is currently present on 105 language Wikipedias. That's a major astronomical body that is entirely missing from around two thirds of our encyclopedias. es:Mesoamérica is featured in Spanish, but only exists in 71 editions. We can play this numbers game all day long. When a project is missing core essential content, it's not going to be the indispensable resource for access to free knowledge. If it isn't useful then it isn't going to be used, and if it isn't used then it's not going to organically generate a growing and self-sustaining community in the near term.
If we want to test the theory then it's easy enough. Pull out the check-book, pick a small project, and infuse core content. Check back over time, compare it to a control project of similar size and activity, and see if you don't see community growth in an underrepresented language group.
We can tip-toe around high-minded hand-waving all we want and it's not going to do anybody any good for all our fretting. If we want to see real progress in our time then we need to leverage the financial power of the Foundation, brute-force incubate budding projects, and directly influence our goal of being the essential irreplaceable resource for access to free knowledge. We can do committees and working groups until we're blue in the face, or we can make a Marshall Plan for free knowledge. There's absolutely no reason we should settle for the former. GMGtalk 14:55, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
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