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Universal Code of Conduct News – Issue 1Edit

Universal Code of Conduct News
Issue 1, June 2021Read the full newsletter


Welcome to the first issue of Universal Code of Conduct News! This newsletter will help Wikimedians stay involved with the development of the new code, and will distribute relevant news, research, and upcoming events related to the UCoC.

Please note, this is the first issue of UCoC Newsletter which is delivered to all subscribers and projects as an announcement of the initiative. If you want the future issues delivered to your talk page, village pumps, or any specific pages you find appropriate, you need to subscribe here.

You can help us by translating the newsletter issues in your languages to spread the news and create awareness of the new conduct to keep our beloved community safe for all of us. Please add your name here if you want to be informed of the draft issue to translate beforehand. Your participation is valued and appreciated.

  • Affiliate consultations – Wikimedia affiliates of all sizes and types were invited to participate in the UCoC affiliate consultation throughout March and April 2021. (continue reading)
  • 2021 key consultations – The Wikimedia Foundation held enforcement key questions consultations in April and May 2021 to request input about UCoC enforcement from the broader Wikimedia community. (continue reading)
  • Roundtable discussions – The UCoC facilitation team hosted two 90-minute-long public roundtable discussions in May 2021 to discuss UCoC key enforcement questions. More conversations are scheduled. (continue reading)
  • Phase 2 drafting committee – The drafting committee for the phase 2 of the UCoC started their work on 12 May 2021. Read more about their work. (continue reading)
  • Diff blogs – The UCoC facilitators wrote several blog posts based on interesting findings and insights from each community during local project consultation that took place in the 1st quarter of 2021. (continue reading)

Is deletionism exempt?Edit

Re: "The repeated arbitrary or unmotivated removal of any content without appropriate discussion or providing explanation" I think this reads that if your motive is deletionism you don't need to provide an explanation. I hope that wasn't what was intended. I'm not 100% sure that this was meant to be taken literally. But the word unmotivated could cause some issues here. WereSpielChequers (talk) 12:49, 25 November 2021 (UTC)

Unmotivated removal of content without appropriate discussion or providing explanation is permitted per en:Wikipedia:No_personal_attacks ("Derogatory comments about other editors may be removed by any editor") and en:Wikipedia:Vandalism ("Upon discovering vandalism, revert such edits...") Vexations (talk) 15:39, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
and per en:WP:BLPRS "contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced should be removed immediately and without discussion".(emphasis mine) Vexations (talk) 16:43, 12 December 2021 (UTC)
Nominating something for deletion through a project's appropriate process is neither arbitrary nor unmotivated and does not, in my eyes, seem like any kind of UCoC violation. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:46, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
I wonder why we need to put this in UCoC. And how many people will interpret "[when] without appropriate discussion or providing explanation" as "[when] I don't like the explanation". Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:34, 10 December 2021 (UTC)

I suspect that this is trying to get at vandalism where people just randomly blank stuff (paragraphs, sections, headers, footers, and such), seemingly on a whim and for nothing but amusement value, but as written it's a terrible description of that, to the extent that it doesn't describe it at all. Uncle G (talk) 14:46, 18 February 2022 (UTC)

How to handle typosEdit

To go along with the substantive content issues, the lack of community ratification, and unclear wording, is there a preferred mechanism for fixing the various typos?

Normally I'd just be BOLD - anywhere else on Wikipedia, but since that has been Board "ratified", does that still hold up? Nosebagbear (talk) 13:08, 15 December 2021 (UTC)

@RamzyM (WMF) and Xeno (WMF): - could either of you shed some light? Otherwise I'll just assume that BRD applies until community ratification occurs Nosebagbear (talk) 21:28, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
Nosebagbear: Is it typos on the board-ratified text? Are the typos already mentioned on this page or in archives? Xeno (WMF) (talk) 22:03, 16 January 2022 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF): assuming that the text on UCOC page is the "ratified" document, then yes. I don't know if they've been discussed on this page. There's a few different categories, such as the bullet points being all over the place with what they use to end (nothing, semicolons, full stops, etc) Nosebagbear (talk) 22:14, 16 January 2022 (UTC)

"The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "race" and "ethnicity" as meaningful distinctions among people"Edit

'While 'race' as a meaningful distinction has fortunately (in academia at least) at last been recognised as the self-serving pseudoscientific hogwash it always was, and clearly shouldn't be endorsed, I can't help thinking that whoever decided to include 'ethnicity' in the same statement not only doesn't understand what ethnicity is, but hasn't read the rest of the document, since it uses the terms 'ethnic and cultural background' and 'ethnic groups' in contexts where not recognising the terms as meaningful would be utterly nonsensical. AndyTheGrump (talk) 22:38, 17 February 2022 (UTC)

While the intention behind this declaration might be honorable, it can have some unforseen side-effects. If you google "diabetes south asian uk" you will see that "The risk of developing diabetes is between two to six times higher in SA [the South Asian community] when compared with white Europeans in the UK". Google goes on to list many studies in which this has been demonstrated. As a result Diabetes UK takes pains to ensure that the South Asian community is properly targeted in any publicity campaigns. How does the Wikimedia movement plan to handle this fact? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Martinvl (talk)
That is a perfectly valid point, though not the one I was trying to address, which is a much broader concern. Even as a social construct (which is what it is in most contexts), ethnicity is a real part of people's sense of self-identity, and of people's lives. Lumping it in with 'race' and suggesting it isn't 'meaningful' borders on being offensive. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:49, 17 February 2022 (UTC)
Agree. Kaicarver (talk) 10:49, 18 March 2022 (UTC)
Conversations with racial or ethnic supremacists, people who honestly think their group is better than other people, go "You know [division] isn't real, right? [Evidence]". This is a conversation supremacists usually only have with people they perceive as being in their in-group of "superior" people. On the other hand, in conversations among people who regularly face racial and ethnic discrimination, no-one says "not real" or "not meaningful". Suffering systemic discrimination is a real experience, and it means serious constraints on one's life.
As mentioned, systemic discrimination, and cultural differences that correlate with "race" and "ethnicity", create real, statistically verifiable differences between groups. For instance, Black Americans smoke way more menthol cigarettes than other Americans; this is because tobacco companies marketed menthol cigarettes specifically to Black Americans, even giving them away to schoolchildren in Black neighbourhoods (we have the documents). Menthol cigarettes are harder to quit. Arbitrary racial discrimination by tobacco companies causes real health disparities.
The phrasing of this UCC statement is characteristic of wWhite Americans used to talking mostly with other wWhite Americans, and repeatedly explaining to some of them that their racism is stupid and ill-founded. There are still people who believe that their supremacism is scientific and based in biological fact, and it's important to refute them. But it's also important not to deny systemic discrimination. Words like "arbitrary" and "socially-constructed" might do this better. HLHJ (talk) 01:41, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

I think that this sentence is unnecessary and cruel, likely offensive to many people that this code is intended to protect. As a gay person, if this said "The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "sexual orientation" as a meaningful distinction among people," I would be furious. It absolutely is a meaningful distinction, and has shaped much of my life. I understand the idea that race is a social construction, but that construction is very meaningful. Why do "race" and "ethnicity" need to be deconstructed in the middle of a code of conduct policy? — Toughpigs (talk) 19:05, 28 March 2022 (UTC)

If I remember correctly, it was introduced to solve the problem that you cannot prohibit something that you cannot name. The text was introduced in [1] by User:PEarley (WMF). What the writers were trying to do, I think, was saying something like: "Discrimination of the basis of race is prohibited." Then they must have realized that race is incredibly problematic, so they added something to say: "By the way, we don't think race is a valid scientific concept". Well, duh... but it's a lived reality for people who suffer the harm that racism causes. The simplest way to solve this would be to say that discrimination on the basis of a trait or characteristic that is not relevant to one's ability to contribute constructively is not allowed. Vexations (talk) 20:26, 28 March 2022 (UTC)
I can follow the train of thought there, but I agree that it's not coming across well, especially for someone coming to the policy without knowing the context of previous discussions. It feels like a tone-deaf "all lives matter" erasure of people's lived experience, and suggests that (for example) anyone identifying themselves as Black will be asked to not mention their racial identity, because it's not a meaningful distinction between people. I hope that there's still time to remove that note before it's officially approved as Wikimedia policy. – Toughpigs (talk) 20:58, 29 March 2022 (UTC)
@Toughpigs I'm afraid it's too late for that. The UCoC was approved by the Board of Trustees on December 9, 2020. Vexations (talk) 21:22, 29 March 2022 (UTC)

Place to discuss violations and processesEdit

I have a question: will there be a place on meta to discuss potential UCoC violations, and how these should be addressed across various language wikis? I think this would be very useful for getting answers to questions, exchanging views, getting advice, establishing actual practice based on use cases, etc. In fact, I have what I believe to be a UCoC violation right now, which I believe would be useful to discuss as an example Thhhommmasss (talk) 19:38, 18 February 2022 (UTC)

Japanese consultation report in 2020Edit

I left questions at Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Initial 2020 Consultations/Japanese and would like to get answers from someone familiar with how the report was made. whym (talk) 10:46, 19 February 2022 (UTC)

these rulesEdit

nobody cares about these rules, in fact bully admins never followed any rules. reporting unacceptable behaviours of admins only bring to more harassments and abuses. despite many proofs a bunch of them keep denying everything. Harzakc (talk) 17:29, 20 February 2022 (UTC)

Indeed—I can't speak for anyone else, but when I see hand-wringing on such a scale here, I'm amazed that anything gets done. There must be a balance, somewhere, between editorial chaos and obsessive emotional over-investment in, you know, a website. WP is terrific—but it's a website, guys, not the future of humanity. Get a grip, eh? – AndyFielding (talk) 11:12, 21 March 2022 (UTC)
Erm, overinvestment doesn't have a hyphen. For some reason, the mobile version of WP's editor doesn't let us edit our own posts 🤷‍♂️ [shrug]. I wanted you to know I was paying attention—just not fast enough. – AndyFielding (talk) 11:16, 21 March 2022 (UTC)
andy you care more for grammar than for admins ruling over wikis like bullies, I've yet seen many other users stay quiet about this argument just to don't be punished or admins cover their buddies's misconduct. your reply "it's a website" is like what they write "just humans, we can be wrong" but they act above the rules, they know it and never get punished or blamed for it, just useless rules that admin bullies never follow. they don't need and don't deserve your or anyone defence. Harzakc (talk) 09:51, 20 April 2022 (UTC)

Freedom of speech: Vandalism or criticismEdit

Which are Our Values (we accept no less than civility), WMDE–Werte (Wikimedia Deutschland versteht respektvolle Zusammenarbeit als den offenen, partnerschaftlichen und solidarischen Umgang aller Beteiligten miteinander)?

It is inadmissible that - in democratic states - Wikipedia represents a space/an organization beyond the law (Rechtsfreier Raum) where the Fundamental Rights as Freedom of expression (Article 11), Equality before the law (Article 20), Due process of law/Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial (Article 47), No penalty without law (Article 49) and Right not to be tried or punished twice (Article 50) are not respected.

Freedom of expression and criticism of the officials is an essential element of democracy. No control of power means authoritarianism and dictatorship (see Russia, North Korea or China).

I also miss (as User:Harzakc and Thhhommmasss) a committee of independent and impartial members with no special functions in the Wikipedia Communities, nor in the National Chapters nor in Wikimedia Foundation, with competence to decide in respect of the Wikipedia principles and rules and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. This committee should be able to overrule all decisions in case of violation of the Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines.

The allegations of Wikipedia:Vandalism or Wikipedia:No personal attacks are very often misused by administrators as a pretext to eliminate critical authors by ban or block. Also Wikipedia:Page blanking and Wikipedia:Content removal are often applied without reasonable arguments disregarding any rules and misused as censorship. For every decision - also for the decisions of the Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee - users should have the possibility to appeal to an independent and impartial committee.--GF (talk) 13:37, 22 February 2022 (UTC)

UCoCの草稿を読んで、文化格差を感じる部分Edit

from Japan (one comment, four points)

A.

参加するグローバルなコミュニティで偏向と偏見を認めないこと。 Do not allow bias and prejudice in the participating global community.

「この偏向と偏見を認めないこと」という項目には危惧を感じます。『偏見と偏向』は、いったい誰から見た偏見と偏向なのでしょうか。

I am worried about the item "Do not admit this bias and prejudice". From whose perspective is this "prejudice and bias"?

わかりやすい例として日本の太地町のイルカ漁と、それに反対する欧米の人たちをあげます。 私はなぜ、欧米人があれほど、小さな漁村で昔からイルカ漁をやっている太地町の町民を非難するのか、わかりませんでした。英語圏の人と、機械翻訳をつかって議論したこともあります。まったく話が噛み合いませんでした。

An easy-to-understand example is dolphin fishing in Taiji, Japan, and the Western people who oppose it. I didn't understand why Westerners blame the townspeople of Taiji, who have been fishing dolphins for a long time in such a small fishing village. I have had discussions with English-speaking people using machine translation. The story didn't mesh at all. After reading a book by a Japanese literary researcher, I finally understood it. ("Animal protection as pleasure", by Asako Nobuoka)

日本人の文学研究者が書いた本を読んで、ようやく腑に落ちました。以下の本です。

「快楽としての動物保護 『シートン動物記』から『ザ・コーヴ』へ (講談社選書メチエ) 」信岡朝子 https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B08KQ645MZ/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_K2S4C7M8PCQBNJS35N27 @amazonJP

上記の本による、 野生動物を殺すことに関しての欧米人の価値観。1.から3.にいくにつれて『悪』または『野蛮』とされるそうですが、本当でしょうか? 

1.紳士のスポーツとしての狩猟(今は違うのかもしれません) 2.人間の生活を守るための駆逐 3.食べるための狩猟(=野蛮)

これは私には非常な驚きでした。 日本人の私とにとっては、まったく逆だったからです。(1.から3.にいくにつれて『酷い』)

1.食べるための狩猟(=必要。また殺した動物に対して敬意を持つ。殺さざるを得なかったから、無駄なく食べる) 2.人間の生活を守るための駆逐 3.スポーツとしての狩猟(悪い意味での遊戯。ペットの犬や猫を切り刻んで遊ぶ人のイメージに近い。もちろん、私は犬食文化や猫食文化を持つ人たちを否定しません)

According to this book, Western values ​​regarding killing wild animals were ordered from least to most "evil" or "barbaric", 1. to 3. Is this true? The order was: 1. Hunting as a gentleman's sport (maybe different now) 2. Destroying to protect human life 3. Hunting to eat (= barbaric). This was a great surprise to me.
For me, a Japanese person, it was exactly the opposite. Most "terrible", from 1. to 3.: 1. Hunting to eat (= necessary. Respect for killed animals. Eat without waste because I had to kill) 2. Destroying to protect human life 3. Hunting as a sport (Bad, playing in a sense. Close to the image of a pet dog or a person playing by chopping up a cat. Of course, I do not deny people who may have a dog-eating culture or a cat-eating culture.)

B.

投稿者自身がどう名乗り、どのように自己を紹介するか尊重します。 Respect the way that contributors name and describe themselves.

人々は一定の性的指向もしくは性別を示す独得の名称や代名詞を使うことがあります。 People may use distinct names or pronouns that indicate a certain sexual orientation or gender.

これは理解できます。ただ、性自認によって変化する代名詞は、英語話者(印欧語話者)以外には、ますます英語の理解が難しくなります。 そこをご配慮ください。

This is understandable. However, pronouns that change due to gender identity make it more difficult for anyone other than English speakers (Indo-European speakers) to understand. Please consider that.

C.

記:ここで言う用語「人種」と「民族」人を特徴づける方法として禁じるため加えてあります。ウィキメディア運動は人の特徴付けを禁じます。ウィキメディア運動はこれら用語を人々の峻別に有効なものとして承認せず、個人攻撃の基盤として用いることを禁じるほかの使用はしてはならないと信じます。)

(The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "race" and "ethnicity" as meaningful distinctions among people. Their inclusion here is to mark that they are prohibited in use against others as the basis for personal attacks. --> NB: did not translate well into Japanese.)

民族紛争などの状況を考えて、おっしゃっているのでしょうか? 『ある人物の文化的背景』を知るために、民族が重要になる場合も多いと考えます。

Is this talking about situations such as ethnic conflict? I think ethnic groups are often important in order to know the "cultural background" of a person.

D.まとめ 「欧米的、キリスト教的価値観」は、良いものをたくさん含んでいるでしょうし、私たちの価値観にも共通する部分が数多くあります。 ただ、日本人の多くは 「自分の価値観を押し付けるのは良くない」という価値観を持っています。伝道師はうさんくさい人と見られます。 この草稿はあまりにも自分たちの「正しさ」を確信しているように思えます。Kizhiya (talk) 23:11, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

In summary, "Western and Christian values" may contain a lot of good things, and there are many things in common with our values. However, many Japanese people have the [additional] value that it is not good to impose their own values. Evangelists are seen as ugly people. This draft seems too convinced of its own "correctness".
@Kizhiya: これらの思慮深いコメントをありがとう。 特に最後。 Thank you for these thoughtful comments; particularly the last. –SJ talk  22:38, 9 April 2022 (UTC)

Psychological manipulationEdit

The UCoC's definition of "psychological manipulation" is "Psychological manipulation: Maliciously causing someone to doubt their own perceptions, senses, or understanding with the objective to win an argument or force someone to behave the way you want."

What if someone genuinely and honestly subscribes to fringe beliefs, or is genuinely unaware they lack competence in the area they've chosen to work in (think Scots Wikipedia)? Surely they will encounter plenty of volunteers who will try to "cause them to doubt their own perceptions, sense, or understanding with the objective to win an argument" ... and "force" them to stop inserting poor material into articles. Is that a bad thing?

As written, this UCoC passage about psychological manipulation can be read to criminalise ordinary debate ... but debate is how the Wikipedia sausage is made. As worded now, this UCoC passage is likely to multiply accusations of "gate-keeping" lobbed against volunteers. There are enough such accusations already, often unjustified; there's no need to provide extra encouragement.

Moreover, the word "maliciously" makes the entire passage completely subjective. Think of Russian Wikipedia in the present circumstances ... you will have people (dis)believing Russian state media and people (dis)believing Western media, each accusing the other of "maliciously" trying to make them "doubt their own perceptions, senses, or understanding". A passage like this, which every partisan can interpret in the way that suits them best, is not fit for purpose. --Andreas JN466 13:47, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

@Andreas: Thanks for adding this!
As you may know, I was involved with Scots Wikipedia at the time of the controversy broke out (was even quoted in the linked article). The passage in question seems to focus on issues involving a term more commonly known as gaslighting. I won't go into too much detail as to why I think gaslighting is bad, but I can elaborate if you want.
Wikipedia is an open project, and many things we do on this site are openly logged for the public record. It's pretty transparent and simple to figure out who said what in a conversation. However, that has not stopped people from straight out lying about the contents of diffs or what a source said in order to win an argument. People doing that kind of thing is not something we want to see in this movement.
Using the Scots Wikipedia thing, if someone told AG that they were wrong on specific grammar rules regarding Scots, that wouldn't be malicious in the slightest. I know for the Scots Wikipedia example, AG was not the type of person to block individuals for pointing out they were wrong.
However, as you said, maliciousness is subjective. It requires a certain amount of intent on the part of the bad actor. Well, the ideal of this section is more likely than not meant to avoid restricting good faith debate and discussion (you can't be both in good faith and acting maliciously). There isn't anything to suggest otherwise unless you feel the wiki process is somehow inherently malicious (which I would find doubtful given my above point regarding its transparency).
Could we possibly see this section of the UCoC abused to censor users in projects like Russian/Ukrainian Wikipedia? Yeah, they could very well claim someone on the opposite side was trying to gaslight them about their experiences happening right now during the invasion. Still, they never needed the UCoC to do that. What the UCoC does is set as a baseline that gaslighting is not okay. It doesn't grant anyone any additional rights that they already didn't have.
It's for that reason, I don't think the section is at all harmful. –MJLTalk 19:32, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Can anyone provide an example of a case where someone was accused of and sanctioned for gaslighting? I have been tracking forms of undesirable behaviour approximately since the conversations about the conversation about the UCoC started and have never seen it. Is this a real problem? Vexations (talk) 19:50, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
The section is a solution in search of a problem. Moreover, it creates a new problem simply by existing – because, going back to the imagined Russian scenario, people will then argue about who is malicious and who is gaslighting whom (I always associate this clause with Framgate ...), rather than talking about content quality and how to neutrally summarise sources. There are perfectly good mechanisms now for sanctioning editors that lie or misrepresent sources, without a "law" that criminalises and further personalises the process whereby people try to change each other's minds. --Andreas JN466 20:17, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
It's important that we recognize that, in order to address gaslighting, we would need to establish that the behaviour was motivated by malice. That is an significant hurdle, because you'd need to prove intent. I propose that we avoid or remove any and all direct or implied references to intent, and instead focus on the effect that behaviour has. Simply put, it doesn't matter what you -meant- to do, it matters what harm your actions caused. That approach has the benefit of being value-neutral, which makes it easier for offenders to improve their behaviour and reintegrate into the community. Consider for example the difference between being a racist and saying something that was perceived as racist. Vexations (talk) 20:58, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
@Vexations: Gaslighting is an incredibly intimate and personal form of psychological abuse. I would be very hard pressed to think of an example of it occurring publically on-wiki. Maybe if this violation was phrased in terms of misrepresentation it would more clearly delineate who would and would not be violating it while also covering gaslighting? I know people have definitely misrepresented facts, events, histories, etc. and that is something I don't think anyone would agree to. However, I could also see that being used against transgender individuals by transphobic/bad actors if the language was not precise enough. –MJLTalk 00:19, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Right, so we have a clause that addresses a non-problem on Wikimedia projects, that can easily be abused to go after completely legitimate actions by good faith editors. But we're keeping it anyway because we have to trust that the people who are going to enforce it are not going to take it literally, but will interpret it correctly, which requires training that nobody has seen yet? That is reckless. Vexations (talk) 15:02, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
I mean enforcement would generally be handled by the people who handle local policies right now, and no training has been actually developed yet.
Regardless, I will point out that the Phase 2 drafting committee did not write the UCoC itself. Our scope was with creating enforcement guidelines which are the only thing up for ratification right now. –MJLTalk 19:33, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
It's fairly obvious that there is a serious disconnect between the drafters of the UCoC and the drafters of the enforcement guidelines if the latter are so reluctant to clearly and unambiguously say what the UCoC means. Regarding the inclusion of gaslighting in the UCoC, the old adage that "hard cases make bad law" comes to mind. It is a terrible idea to use extremely rare problems to create rules that can be enacted against common practices. Vexations (talk) 21:30, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it a serious disconnect. My peers and I just weren't involved with drafting the UCoC is all. The only reason I am reluctant to definitively comment on what different provisions of the UCoC mean is because I don't want people thinking I have some higher authority on the matter. I know as much about the UCoC as you all do, and that's basically what was put forward to the public. –MJLTalk 03:02, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
I credit @MJL: for being careful not to issue binding declarations on UCOC#1 meanings - would you prefer MJL guess? A better pair of questions regarding clarity would be 1) do you think phase 1 and/or phase 2 have clarity issues (that is, are any of the clarity-asking qs valid?) and 2) Is it wise to vote to ratify policy text that is unclear where if it turns out you defined it wrong, it'll be a year until you can fix it? Nosebagbear (talk) 09:46, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: Are those questions for me? You pinged me, but you seem to be responding to Vexations here. –MJLTalk 04:02, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
Hi @MJL:, I pinged you because I was mentioning you (when I'm off someone's home wiki I try to default to pinging someone, as I at least check my meta watchlist more rarely, and I don't want to risk a "talk behind their back" position). The questions are more general, although you would be one of the key individuals I'd love to know your answers to them (I assume you back the general content, but I know you're aware of differing interpretations on some key points). Nosebagbear (talk) 09:05, 17 March 2022 (UTC)

I am just sort of barging in here but I want to mention this quickly. I know Andreas but don't think poorly of him for knowing someone like me. First, consider removing the word "punishment" from the UCOC and uses a less frightening synonym if that hasn't been done already. Secondly, regarding the gaslighting, I strenuously agree with what Vexations said on 15:02, 9 March 2022 (UTC) and what Jayen466 said on 20:17, 7 March 2022 (UTC). This entire UCOC thing is so nebulous (especially given that the training of enforcers hasn't been worked out yet) that I am afraid it will be used to bludgeon dissent. Dissent of any sort! In the external, non-wiki world, there is an awful lot of that now. Please be careful not to let it enter here. I think that an example of gaslighting might be what I experienced on the English Wikipedia discussion of making the entry for God use an in-universe character infobox. I was repeatedly rebuked while having Abraham referred to as 'Abie' which could be a sort of gaslighting to make me question or doubt my Jewish faith. While I found it extremely rude and obnoxious, I have chosen not to consider it to be psychological manipulation. I don't like the behavior of the three editors who tag teamed me, and it was humiliating and embarrassing to be belittled, but that situation is something that ANI could handle without needing anything additional from this or any other form of a UCOC. I'd rather have arrogant and abrasive editors SHOUT at me (which they did) than stifle dissent with enforcement.--FeralOink (talk) 14:55, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

@FeralOink: I'd love to respond to this in full, but first things first... the word "punishment" isn't in the UCoC. It was in the code enforcement guidelines for a hot second, but that was fixed almost immediately after it was pointed out.
It's really important not to mix the two documents up. One of them is being decided for ratification right now by the community (the enforcement guidelines), and the other (the UCoC itself) has not been opened up for community review (and has never been voted on by the community). –MJLTalk 16:05, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
@MJL: I apologize. I am confused about all of this. I shouldn't even be here on Meta Wiki (and making comments) prior to having a better understanding of the difference between the UCoC and the "enforcement guidelines". I didn't realize that they were two separate documents.--FeralOink (talk) 13:12, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
@FeralOink: All good, and don't let that stop you from making comments.  MJLTalk 14:33, 23 March 2022 (UTC)

I agree with the discussion on "psychological manipulation." I agree that it would be better to evaluate users based on their actual behavior instead of making assumptions about their intentions. Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 17:44, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

@Rachel Helps (BYU)Should the UCoC be amended to make that change? Vexations (talk) 20:28, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
@Vexations Yes. Instead of "Psychological manipulation: Maliciously causing someone to doubt their own perceptions, senses, or understanding with the objective to win an argument or force someone to behave the way you want", we could continue the parallel structure of the previous points and state something like "Abuse of knowledge: Overwhelming another user with jargon and overstating the surety of one's arguments" (with the objective to win an argument or force someone to behave the way you want). Sometimes people have terrible, incorrect ideas and other users should use all of their rhetorical tools to persuade them to relinquish those views. But even if someone tenaciously holds to an idea we deem incorrect, it's still more polite (and more persuasive) to avoid infodumping on them. I also think that "Maliciously causing someone to doubt[...]" is far too vague. What kind of behavior, exactly, are we trying to prevent with this? Rachel Helps (BYU) (talk) 20:47, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
I don't think we have ever created or published a good taxonomy of which behaviours the community finds problematic, which harms they cause, their frequency and severity as well as a definition, and the policies that prevent and remedy problematic behaviour. I think that having such a thing is requirement for any discussion about the UCoC. Let's start over and build that first. Vexations (talk) 21:14, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
@Vexations: I mean... There's nothing saying we couldn't try to build such a list ourselves. –MJLTalk 16:05, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
I have been trying to build one over the last year or so, tracking cases of inappropriate behaviour that I see. What I have is probably a bit too casual, and more for my own insight, but my suggestion would be to take a similar approach; record incidents, where it was reported, how it was remedied, what type of problem it was, what type of harm it caused, etc. Make sure each behaviour has a definition, a link to an applicable policy and a specific reference to a paragraph in the UCoC. Group the behaviours by class and subclass. Then run a query on the database to see which classes of behaviours are both frequent and serious enough to be addressed. Vexations (talk) 20:29, 17 March 2022 (UTC)

Oops, my mistake—that should be en:Gaslight (1940 film). (For some reason, the mobile version of WP's editor doesn't let us edit our own posts.) AndyFielding (talk) 10:39, 21 March 2022 (UTC)

Sigh—the correct WP page actually is "Gaslight (1944 film)"—which I'm putting in quotes this time, as embedded links to it apparently don't work [shrug]. – AndyFielding (talk) 10:42, 21 March 2022 (UTC)
de:Gaslicht (1940) would a well be fine, for an international, not just english, community as here probably d:Q5526486 would be the best, as there are seven language versions. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:50, 21 March 2022 (UTC)

Am I misreading this?Edit

To me, the doxing section implies that I cannot even share information about another editor with ARBCOM without said editor's consent. I really hope that's not what's meant here. Vanamonde93 (talk) 20:36, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

Why do you think that you need to share with Arbocom strictly personal data of a user. Arbcom is qualified to make decisions about users behaviours or point of views, not age, religion, email, personal name...--Pierpao (talk) 20:49, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Depends on what you mean by strictly personal data. DOB, religion, address, or ethnicity, I can't ever see a reason to share. Name, IDs on other platforms, websites not linked from Wikipedia, evidence of employment, and so many other less personal but still private information is often used when examining disruptive behavior. Twitter, for instance, is frequently used to spur disruptive editing. Dealing with it requires sharing some information. On en.wiki, that's often sent to ARBCOM or some other group with advanced permissions via email. Is that being prohibited here? It isn't clear to me. Vanamonde93 (talk) 22:08, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
It's indeed what the letter of the UCoC says. It also forbids people from discussing another person's edits on Twitter, Facebook's Wikipedia Weekly group, Wikipediocracy, your local pub, with your husband or wife ... anywhere really. I suspect that may not have been the intention – perhaps they meant to forbid people from tweeting "User:WikipediaStar is really called Joe Bloggs, and he edits the article on Topic X" – but what they ended up doing was forbidding any off-project discussion of anyone's Wikipedia edits altogether. (That includes you, User:MJL, talking to the Guardian about another contributor's Wikimedia activity ... I hope you obtained his consent first!) --Andreas JN466 11:49, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Just one day before the opening of this new section the archive bot archived this one, that asked the same questions, and as well got no meaningful answer of one of those who push this.
I don't expect any answer by any (WMF)er about this, they just want more power over the communities, that's the main reason for the UCoC, and especially the enforcement of it, that is planned in a star chamber style without a meaningful process of open resolutions. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:40, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
High quality aggregation and generalisation there, Sanger, I can't imagine why anyone would be reticent to engage in discourse Nosebagbear (talk) 13:49, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
So why don't they answer any of those questions? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:54, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I can't imagine it either, but the people who wrote the UCoC have been almost entirely absent from the discussions. They appear completely unaccountable. I find that really problematic. I bet that most people don't even know who they are. Vexations (talk) 18:46, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I sure don't know who they are...I just edit stuff and the notice I saw today was the first I had heard about any of this "UCoC". So who did write this document/law again?... Shearonink (talk) 00:42, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
The drafters of the UCoC are listed at Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Drafting_committee. Vexations (talk) 14:54, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
I think User:MJL, who commented in the section above, actually was part of the drafting committee (and should be commended for showing their head above the parapet!!). Maybe they'll weigh in further. --Andreas JN466 19:04, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
I've only been able to communicate with 3 of the phase 2 members, including MJL, Vermont, and BK49. We've not had any panel attendance in the last 3 meetings about the UCOC. In this case, however, we want a member of the phase 1 team Nosebagbear (talk) 20:22, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, I've been wary of commenting publicly on UCoC document itself since I don't have any special insight into it. #Psychological manipulation was the first time I posted here, and that was because the post mentioned a specific point in the history of Scots Wikipedia which I felt compelled to talk about seeing as I was an admin there at the time. –MJLTalk 00:04, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
It should be possible for a Wikimedian to say "yes it is fine to use that photograph from Wikimedia Commons in your magazine, but you need to credit the photographer commons:user:WereSpielChequers and licence that image as CC-BY-SA". The UCOC should be changed to prohibit doxxing of Wikimedians, not discussion of Wikimedians. WereSpielChequers (talk) 08:07, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
Um, yes. I've done that (though not, I think, for WereSpielChequers). HLHJ (talk) 02:02, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
Taken literally, a prohibition on "sharing information concerning [another contributor's] Wikimedia activity outside the projects" would ban sharing it even with their explicit permission. It would prevent a lot of the conversation at Wikimania conferences, including questions and discussion for a lot of the public talks. It would prevent off-wiki discussion of, say, Rémi Mathis's run-in with French intelligence, which was a perfectly legitimate thing for the French news media to cover and other contributors to talk to the media about (the publicity was indeed what got him out of that nasty situation). If a journalist, or a friend, asks me what has been happening on Wikipedia relative to the recent changes in Russian law, do I really need to say say that I am obliged not to comment on that because I edit Wikipedia? I've had to deal with assorted lobbyists on Wikipedia, including some paid editors from Phillip Morris; am I to be prohibited from mentioning that to anyone off-wiki? If a fellow contributor dies and I am sad, do I need to refuse to tell my family why? We should to qualify this ban more. Sharing publicly-available information in good faith, with no reason to think that sharing it would be objectionable, or with a legitimate public interest in the information, need not be doxing. It may sometimes be necessary to protect contributors, and the project. HLHJ (talk) 02:02, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
Psychological manipulation: Maliciously causing someone to doubt their own perceptions, senses, or understanding with the objective to win an argument or force someone to behave the way you want.

Just as an historical/semantic note, this describes what was in the 20th century referred to as gaslighting—see Gaslight (1944 film). – AndyFielding (talk) 10:35, 21 March 2022 (UTC)

This ain't the enWP, enWP is just one of many projects, and anything but the navel of the Wikiverse, it's far too much represented here, as unfortunately with English as the most used language here the users from over there are usually quite dominating, without any merit for this. Of course you have to first tell those links, in what language version the article is written, here perhaps de:Gaslicht (1940), there is of course no article about movies here on Meta. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:09, 21 March 2022 (UTC)

Updates on Inputs Received regarding the Universal Code of Conduct and the Enforcement OutlineEdit

Hello Everyone!

We continue to thank all those who are engaging in the UCoC policy conversations in different locations and forums. These conversations are important because they help communities, and individuals, to discuss and gain a deeper understanding of the contents of the policy, and the enforcement pathways.

At this time, the Foundation is not facilitating discussions on the policy itself as we are focused on supporting the community review and vote of the Enforcement Guidelines. However, we will be happy to support more conversations about the policy through a facilitated policy review process one year after the enforcement guidelines have been ratified. This does not mean that the community conversations taking place should stop; rather, they will form a strong base for the discussions that will take place when the policy review period commences.

We appreciate the interest in hearing the thoughts and opinions of the drafters on certain elements and clauses. While this is reasonable and we certainly do not discourage the drafters from joining as they please, our focus in the next phase will be on the impact of the passages, how to refine certain areas, and how to continue developing the policy. Towards this, the input of each and every one of us, especially on the enforcement pathways, is extremely crucial. This will help us to highlight the areas of concern which can then be addressed after the conclusion of the voting period.

To avoid discussions from being archived prematurely, we have disabled the auto-archiving on this page. The project team will formally collate discussions here, and in the archives, to launch an informed review process in the future.

Best,

Stella Ng


Senior Manager, Trust and Safety Policy

SNg (WMF) (talk) 17:08, 14 March 2022 (UTC)


  • I should note here, that we were notified that the UCOC would have its review discussion period one year after the UCOC was ratified - which the BOT states it did some months back. Changing it to after the EG is ratified is a fairly substantial unilateral decision beyond the remit of anyone short of agreement between both Community and WMF. Were it not having any appreciable aspects warranting change or clarity identified, then it would indeed make more sense to wait until it had had a chance to be seen in action. However, without that being the case, we should make use of the opportunity to improve it - waiting arbitrary units of time when a flaw is identified before working to excise or improve it is counter to the Wiki Way.
While both the BOT and U4C can submit amendments (and, when in existence, the latter certainly should and indeed is tasked to do so), it's not a requirement - anyone can do so, as no amendment prohibitions are included in either document, although in practical terms I'd suggest having at least three dozen signatories or a local project RfC as the minimum demonstration of support to kick it into the area. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:33, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
Kind of disturbing to be asked to ratify something and then wait for a year before any discussion or improvements to it are allowed. Seems autocratic, which Wikipedia is not. In other words, agree with Nosebagbear.--FeralOink (talk) 15:05, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
@FeralOink: You are not being asked to ratify the UCoC; just the enforcement guidelines. The confusion is understandable, though. –MJLTalk 04:05, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
It's a distinction without a difference as the community was never given a chance to ratify or not ratify the UCoC itself, separately from the Enforcement Guidelines, and voting for the latter makes the former actionable. For this reason I actually think Feral's assessment is more clear-eyed than yours. Andreas JN466 07:29, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm not making an assessment of the situation; I'm just clarifying what the ratification vote is for. –MJLTalk 15:47, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
+1. Please imagine any politician or political party doing this: unilaterally formulating a bad law, and then saying that the law can only be changed one year after the people vote in favour of guidelines defining how that bad law will be enforced on them. In which kind of state would this sort of thing fly, do you think? Or put another way, which Western democracy would this fly in? It's kafkaesque. I am reminded of a w:Tony Benn quote: ‘In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person, ask them five questions: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.’ (For reference, Tony Benn was a British Labour (centre-left) politician ... the nearest equivalent in the States might perhaps be someone like Bernie Sanders.) In this spirit: How can we get rid of you? --Andreas JN466 16:54, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
Very good question. Taking into account that Trust & Safety looks back upon a long history of wrong decisions, is there any chance that we can get rid of this team? To be sure, we need a team for Community Issues but certainly not a team acting like Trust & Safety.-- Mautpreller (talk) 09:02, 21 March 2022 (UTC)
@SNg (WMF) Perhaps you can answer this question then: Is the WMF aware that there are people who categorically oppose any form of Universal Code of Conduct, and is there any scenario in which not having one is a possible outcome? Vexations (talk) 21:41, 24 March 2022 (UTC)

Thanks, Stella. I find the debate + anxiety about what it means to have staggered {draft - implement - review - redraft} cycles interesting, as it is a very common practice in most forms of governance. It highlights how effectively we've managed some sorts of continuous-update processes [better than traditional models] and also how in other areas community processes stop being modifiable at all. MJL + @Nosebagbear:: I don't see any reason not to develop specific changes as soon as they arise. The slowness of the current era of multilingual all-project RFCs means that takes a few months, minimum. Easy enough to plan for those to be done at a fixed time (at least those few months but no more than a year out), and in the interim to have a page on "implementation notes + feedback" covering broadly supported changes, clarifications, notes of ambiguities currently left to the discretion of implementers but that might be disambiguated, the inverse (things overspecified that might want contextual leeway), &c. –SJ talk  16:00, 24 March 2022 (UTC)

You're right in that the way the UCoC has come about is a very common practice in most forms of governance, and exactly the opposite of what volunteering in a wiki world has been about for the past two deacades. Giving a drafting job like this to a committee and then saying to the volunteer community 'That's it, folks' is like someone disinvented the wiki revolution and dragged us back into the last millennium. Can you imagine a world in which every important Wikipedia policy is written by a WMF-appointed committee? I shudder to think what Wikipedia would look like today if that approach had been taken from the start. Andreas JN466 14:05, 26 March 2022 (UTC)
Alright, let's do this. Let's write a new UcoC the wiki way. Where can we start one where it can be edited by everyone concerned/affected/involved? Can we create Universal Code of Conduct (wiki version)? Vexations (talk) 16:50, 26 March 2022 (UTC)
@Vexations: I'd recommend: 1. Starting it after the results of the vote are posted (assuming that it was rejected). 2. Calling it something different. "Global conduct policy", perhaps? 3. Try to make the wiki editing multilingual, with drafting going on in multiple languages simultaneously, and 4. Ramp up advertising over the course of it being collaboratively written. --Yair rand (talk) 19:47, 27 March 2022 (UTC)
Escribir un nuevo código de conducta en varios idiomas a la vez es una excelente sugerencia, pero lamentablemente no sé cómo configurar una página para hacer tal cosa. ¿Alguien tiene alguna sugerencia?
Einen neuen Verhaltenskodex in mehreren Sprachen gleichzeitig zu verfassen, ist ein ausgezeichneter Vorschlag, aber leider weiß ich nicht, wie ich eine Seite dafür einrichten soll. Hat da jemand eine idee wie mann das macht?
Writing a new code of conduct in several languages at once is an excellent suggestion, but unfortunately I don't know how to set up a page to do this. Does anyone have any suggestions? Vexations (talk) 14:43, 28 March 2022 (UTC)
The text of Universal Code of Conduct should match what the community is enforcing or planning to eventually enforce, so as to prevent confusion caused by having it be a version that doesn't match actual practice. If the current version is needed, it'll always be in the history. TomDotGov (talk) 15:06, 28 March 2022 (UTC)

Language FluencyEdit

Just as an example of what seems to me a breach of this code, the WMF currently has a job ad that includes the phrase "Fluency in at least one other language in addition to mandatory professional competency in English." In my view language skils are things we should encourage and welcome, and the code would be better if it differentiated between multi lingual projects like commons where we don't want discrimination by language fluency and we want to be open to all, regardlesss of which language(s) they know; But enabled our those of our projects that are language specific, such as the 300 or so language versions of Wikipedia, to require fluency in the language of that project to fully participate in that project. Remember what happened to the Scots Wikipedia when it had insufficient speakers of Scots? But "The Universal Code of Conduct applies equally to all Wikimedians without any exceptions" and language fluency, like age and career path, is one of those things that we are likely to want to discriminate about. I've given the example of job ads, but steward elections are another area where our normal and in my view sensible practice is to prefer candidates who are legal adults. As well as being either multilingual or having skills in languages that we most need Stewards and global sysops for. I've voted against the current version of the code because of the mistake in treating skills such as language fluency in the same category as people's gender, sexual orientation, class or ethnicity. WereSpielChequers (talk) 12:43, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

Geht es bei dem Jobangebot nur um Veranstaltungen in englischsprachigen Ländern? Ein halbwegs gutes Englisch sollte natürlich vorhanden sein, das ist es aber heutzutage in fast allen Ländern. Viel wichtiger als Englisch ist, insbesondere bei einem Veranstaltungsmanagement, allerdings mindestens zwei bis drei weitere Sprachen, professionelles Englisch ist definitiv nicht notwendig. Nur Englisch ist allerdings ein glasklares Ausschlusskriterium, derartig sprachliche Schmalspurleute sind in unserem Wikiversum nicht wirklich sinnvoll.
Englisch ist viel zu zentral im Wikiversum, vollkommen überbewertet und von viel zu vielen als viel zu selbstverständlich vorausgesetzt, Englisch ist nur eine Sprache unter vielen, mehr nicht. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:22, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
I see this as a side effect of our over corporate centralised structure. The more we devolve to language based communities the less important English would be. But as long as the WMF has a strategy of running the organisation in a hierarchical and over centralised way, one side effect will be that English dominates. At the heart of the problem is the clash between the decentralised nature of the volunteer side of things, with a different wiki for each language in most projects, and the WMF vision. I see the UCOC as part of a centralisation project by the WMF, centralising on a set of values that largely acccords with my own. I suspect that it would be less toxic if it was combined with a move to decentralise the movement. WereSpielChequers (talk) 09:38, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
Agree with WereSpielChequers and include religion in the list, i.e. "treating skills such as language fluency in the same category as people's gender, sexual orientation, class or ethnicity" or religion.--FeralOink (talk) 15:02, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
Religious opinion is an awkward issue, but I think it should be in the code. However, For over a decade the English language Wikipedia had restrictions on editing by one particular religion after a particular Arbcom case after proponents of that religion had tried to control what Wikipedia says about their religion. Our right to cover religions from a perspective outside of that religion needs to be defended. That said, I'm perfectly OK with not serving pork at a multicultural inclusive event, or at least having multiple non pork options (about a decade ago I was at a Wikimania where there were multiple pork choices to eat, which was lovely for me but very limiting for many others). I'm even OK with trying to schedule events so that we don't always clash with particular religious holidays. But I don't think it practical to try and schedule Wikimania so as never to clash with any religion's major festivals - I doubt there is a date that works for everyone, and we need to be able to pick dates that work for the vast majority of attendees. Similarly if you employed someone as "community liaison" in the UK and I suspect some other countries, it would be difficult if they weren't prepared to attend an event where some others were drinking alcohol. A few jobs in the movement will require attendance on some Saturdays and Sundays, and it should not be a breach of our protection of religious opinion policy to recruit people who can take such jobs. So we need a paragraph or two to say what is or is not allowed here. We obviously can't have something as simple as the Freemason's "no discussion of religion or politics" because Wikipedia covers such areas, and not from the perspective of the organisation's concerned. So that makes things difficult, and I see the code as merely acknowledging that this is, and will continue to be, a complicated area for the movement. If the code were still a draft, and if the WMF had responded better to past years of criticisms of the UCOC, then I wouldn't be voting oppose at this stage. WereSpielChequers (talk) 09:17, 17 March 2022 (UTC)
This is just another example of how poorly written the UCoC is. The relevant paragraph is In all Wikimedia projects [..] behaviour will be founded in respect[..]. This applies to all contributors [..] without expectations based on [..] language fluency [..]. It doesn't say anything about protecting some classes of people against discrimination, it just vaguely hints at the fact that you may be sanctioned if you point out that I ought to limit my contributions to areas where I am competent, in a language that I speak. The authors of the UCoC probably meant something else, but I have given up all hope that they might reappear to provide clarification. Vexations (talk) 15:06, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

Phase 1 members need to provide clarity, urgentlyEdit

As there are a number of clarity issues that have been asked since phase 1 concluded, but especially over the last 8 weeks, I'm pinging the volunteer members of the phase 1 committee @Civvi, ProtoplasmaKid, RachelWex, Sami Mlouhi, and Uzoma Ozurumba: - please take a look at this talk page and the enforcement guideline talk page to see which questions you can help clarify (the latter has some phase 1 specific queries) Nosebagbear (talk) 15:43, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

I think you meant to ping @Civvì: in stead of Civvi. Vexations (talk) 15:58, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
Of course, apologies to both! Nosebagbear (talk) 16:09, 16 March 2022 (UTC)
Hi @Nosebagbear: is it worth compiling the unanswered Qs that remain? –SJ talk  18:04, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
Hi @Sj it could be, as well as some relevant procedural ones.
I assume adding a "/" to my name was accidental, even though it gives a nice piratical "Nosebag-be/arrrgghh" vibe Nosebagbear (talk) 09:17, 24 March 2022 (UTC)
😂 yes. keyboard quirkiness. I'm not clear on what's addressed and not so far. How about a persistent section here to keep track, one line per Q, that we try not to archive? Starting one below as a subsection; feel free to move up a level + fill out. I don't think it needs to include rhetorical or fringe Qs. Answered Qs can move to the FAQ if persistently useful. –SJ talk  15:43, 24 March 2022 (UTC)

Open QuestionsEdit

Phase 1 Qs

Procedural Qs

Qs about the future

EtiquetteEdit

What's wrong with The Universal Etiquette and The English Wikipedia's Etiquette? Will they be replaced with the Universal Code of Conduct or will all of them be enforced at the same time? Wouldn't it be better to discuss and vote separately adding/ removing/ modifying particular Etiquette's principles? Grillofrances (talk) 16:48, 19 March 2022 (UTC)

Voting rulesEdit

How will it be determined whether the Universal Code of Conduct should be ratified? Will it need a majority (excluding neutral votes) or a larger margin e.g. 60%? Will it also require something like a majority in 80% of all the projects and/or a majority in all of the 10 most popular projects? I mean to avoid a situation when English+ Spanish+ French+ German (+ something) Wikipedia users dictate rules which will apply to all of the projects e.g. Silesian Wikipedia, and Finnish WikiNews, and Czech WikiSpecies etc. Grillofrances (talk) 17:33, 19 March 2022 (UTC)

@Grillofrances: - the WMF, I believe (though am not certain) the T&S policy team, decided that it's a 50%+1 vote.
To me, and others, this was unwise, as a very clear majority of editors uses either consensus or supermajority voting for significant policy changes. A few do use 50%+1, but it's uncommon. It's also a pure majority of voting editors, rather than project bases. Other options had been proposed, such as a majority of editors, home projects, and affiliates, but I believe the system was selected on the basis of system simplicity. Nosebagbear (talk) 17:44, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
@Grillofrances: The UCoC has already been ratified, by the WMF board. The community is only able to ratify the Enforcement Guidelines; it can neither ratify, reject nor change the UCoC itself. Moreover, if you read Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Enforcement_guidelines/Voter_information#How_will_the_voting_outcome_be_determined?, you'll find that a "no" vote here does not mean what you may think it means. If the "no" votes exceed 50%, then the enforcement guidelines are reworded and the vote is held again and again until the guidelines pass. And note that only the enforcement guidelines will be reworded; the UCoC itself is cast in stone for at least another year, with the next UCoC wording review only allowed to take place at least one year after the community ratifies the enforcement guidelines. (To be clear, I consider this a perverse situation and have voted "no".) --Andreas JN466 10:40, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

"Practice empathy"Edit

How can we verify whether a given user practices empathy? Will we hire a psychologist or will we use a lie detector? What if somebody thinks that he/she practices empathy but in fact, he/she doesn't? Or what if that person in fact practices empathy but at the same time, other people consider that person's behavior as a lack of empathy? And how to practice empathy towards a bot which itself doesn't have any feelings? Grillofrances (talk) 17:41, 19 March 2022 (UTC)

"Sexual harassment"Edit

Is it a sexual harassment when a user proposes a date to another user? I mean only a proposal, with neither any threat (towards the proposee or the proposee's relatives or the proposer - meaning a self-harm) nor stocking (but just a one-time offer) nor when the proposer is an adult while the proposee is a child. Though on the other hand, such a proposal might be with a large age difference (e.g. 20 years old towards an 80 years old or vice versa), or contrary to the proposee's sexual orientation (e.g. a homosexual man proposing to a straight man or a straight man proposing to a lesbian or a straight man proposing to an asexual woman), or when the proposee has already a partner (and doesn't practice polyamory), or when the proposee has promised to live in celibacy, or when the proposer is excluded by any proposee's norms (e.g. regarding religion, or political views, or job, or financial status, or physical appearance). What if the proposer thinks that he/she proposes to another adult but the proposee is a child (because the proposee's account is fully anonymous)? What if the proposal isn't about any type of sexual relation or even dating (which only includes a possibility of sexual relations but not necessarily) but only a casual meeting to get know each other, maybe even to discuss about something wiki-related in a real place and/or edit wiki together? What if an experienced user arranges a workshop in a real place, where he/she wants to invite junior wiki users? Grillofrances (talk) 18:08, 19 March 2022 (UTC)

You are massively overthinking this. –MJLTalk 16:57, 22 March 2022 (UTC)

How can I log in and vote?Edit

On the https://vote.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:SecurePoll/vote/1341 page, I'm logged out. I'm not able to log in, even typing correct credentials (no matter whether I use "Grillofrances" or "grillofrances" - both with the password which works correctly for various wiki projects). Even trying to reset password there doesn't work - I haven't received any email (I've checked spam). As I remember, I did have a similar problem when voting to WMF Board of Trustees, and I don't remember exactly how I resolved that problem (probably I did some magic, logging in and out multiple times for various wiki projects).Grillofrances (talk) 18:57, 19 March 2022 (UTC)

The previous time this happened was w:Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 192#cannot log in to Wikimedia. Does the solution from there not work? * Pppery * it has begun 19:06, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
Grillofrances: By design no need to be logged on there, please try to jump to votewiki while logged into any local wiki. Here is the jump page from Meta-wiki: m:special:SecurePoll/vote/391. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 19:16, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
Thanks Xeno. Now, every time, it works. However, previously, when I tried to vote at https://vote.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:SecurePoll/vote/1341, it showed me that I need to log in in order to vote, if I remember correctly. Grillofrances (talk) 19:27, 19 March 2022 (UTC)
Grillofrances: That makes sense - there's some kind of "handshake" that has to happen first from the jump page. Just FYI, only the very last vote and comment you leave will go into the tally and be viewable. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 22:19, 19 March 2022 (UTC)

TLDR NeededEdit

I just want to know before voting how this actually changes anything. At least on en.wiki, I thought we have had standards of civility in place at least since back when I edited regularly from 2005-2009. Does this really change anything? Unschool (talk) 04:20, 20 March 2022 (UTC)

@Unschool: Hello, FYI: Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Enforcement_guidelines#Enforcement_guidelines_summary and Universal_Code_of_Conduct/FAQ. SCP-2000 08:17, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
@Unschool: The UCoC (which was never ratified by the community) is formulated in such a sweeping and/or subjective way that, as written, it criminalises completely normal forms of behaviour (see above, e.g.). Laws that criminalise normal behaviour, so anyone can be argued to be guilty of something, are a great enabler of corruption in autocratic regimes, leading to double standards and arbitrary punishments at the discretion of those in charge. --Andreas JN466 10:25, 20 March 2022 (UTC)
I'm sorry there seems to be such a pressing need for something like a UCoC here. Personally, I come here to enjoy making common-sense, helpful-seeming suggestions (e.g. for plainer language, avoiding ambiguity, conformity with widely applied style) out of a desire to freely share my copyediting experience without seeking approval or approbation (though I did enjoy receiving a Barnstar™ a while back), and to help make WP more consistent and comprehensible for everyone. I don't read comments on my edits, or am otherwise egotistically invested in them, which would contradict my reasons for being here. If only more of us could take this sort of constructive, stimulating, non-defensive, other-focused approach, and not take it quite so seriously (and, I'm guessing, maybe get out into the non-virtual world a bit more…?), perhaps such serpentine interdiction wouldn't be necessary. Cheers, AndyFielding (talk) 11:05, 21 March 2022 (UTC)

I couldn't add the link of result pageEdit

Hey. I am a Japanese Wikipedian and I have voted.

However, I didn't know how to see the results. The reason was the unableness of translating the message "The ratification voting process for the revised enforcement guidelines of the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) has now concluded. Results will be posted here when they are available.". Thus, Japanese people can't reach to the result page.

Is there anyone who can manage this problem? --Sethemhat (talk) 09:19, 23 March 2022 (UTC)

Sethemhat: Thank you for notifying me. Is it because Template:Universal Code of Conduct/Header needs to be updated? (@User:YShibata (WMF)) Xeno (WMF) (talk) 11:28, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
thanks @Xeno (WMF) for letting me notice. @Sethemhat, you read the ja, "投票結果発表(3月31日まで精査)" I poste at Wikipedia:お知らせ here has the links to "投票の報告" & "投票結果発表(3月31日まで精査)" YShibata (WMF) (talk) 12:10, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF), the situation was exactly what you said. The problem was the untranslated announcements.
But this time, I confirmed that YShibata (WMF)-san has translated the announcement into Japanese. If I knew what was the problem, I could have translated it. The translating system was a bit confusing to me. I couldn't reach the page of Template:Universal Code of Conduct/Header by pushing "Translate" button...
Anyway, Japanese people became able to check the results. Thank you.--Sethemhat (talk) 14:00, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
@Sethemhat, thank you for trying to translate it.I try to update things in time, but sometimes I can't catch up, sorry. YShibata (WMF) (talk) 14:23, 23 March 2022 (UTC)

Open Letter on negating race and ethnicity as "meaningful distinctions"Edit

Tl;dr Urgent need to address the note denying race and ethnicity as “meaningful distinctions among people” in the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC). The current wording is highly problematic and can result in endorsing systemic and individual discrimination and violence on the basis of race and ethnicity, rather than preventing it.

Dear Wikimedians,

We are writing this letter as the Whose Knowledge? user group, both to Wikimedia-l, as well as adding it to the talk page for the UCoC. We endorsed the UCoC in the community voting process because we are committed to its principles and intentions (indeed, some of us have been expressly working towards it within the movement for a very long time, in multiple ways).

However, we continue to be deeply concerned about the current wording of a specific note in the UCoC: under Section 3.1 about Harassment, the note under Insults states that “The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "race" and "ethnicity" as meaningful distinctions among people. Their inclusion here is to mark that they are prohibited in use against others as the basis for personal attacks." (emphasis ours)

This is both manifestly incorrect and entirely against what we believe to be the principles and intentions of the UCoC. Other Wikimedians have already pointed out the deeply contradictory nature of this statement, including WJBScribe on the talk page in May 2021, but their comments appear not to have been considered yet.

By stating that “The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "race" and "ethnicity" as meaningful distinctions among people,” those responsible for this text do not seem to fully grasp that:

  • Even though the concept of ‘race’ as a biological distinction has been refuted, ‘race’ as a social construct has been fully accepted by modern scholars. Even more importantly, we know historically that the concept of ‘race’ was created and developed to serve and justify European colonialism in its quest to enslave, marginalize, oppress, dominate and exterminate black, brown and indigenous peoples in the lands they colonized. This form of “racial science” was also responsible for the genocide of Europeans who would otherwise be racialized as white outside of Europe, in particular during World War II. Since then the concept of ‘race’ has been used to develop and create some of the most wide ranging systems of power and privilege that currently marginalize and oppress the majority of the world.
  • By denying or not ‘endorsing’ the existence of race as a “meaningful distinction among people”, the Wikimedia movement is not doing non-white people any favors or helping to end racism or racist demonstrations, such as insults based on race. As we've said before, being silent about racism doesn't make it go away. It only creates the perfect environment for the continued existence of the deep structural powers and privileges that created it in the first place.
  • Additionally, it is equally manifestly important to acknowledge the ways in which the concept of ‘ethnicity’ is used to create “meaningful” - including violently discriminatory - “distinctions” amongst people, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism as two obvious examples. It is equally obvious that the concepts of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ are not equivalent and/or interchangeable, and cannot be used so.
  • By including such a problematic statement, the UCoC contradicts the movement’s commitment to knowledge equity, clearly stated and approved as part of our Wikimedia Movement Strategy for 2030. The Universal Code of Conduct of a movement that doesn’t “see” race or ethnicity or acknowledge the historical and current effects of our racialized and ethnically-driven world, cannot and will not be able to “focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege.”
  • Leaving this wording in, also negates the ongoing efforts by individuals and organizations across the movement who work with passion and commitment towards knowledge equity in different ways, including through challenging racist and ethnically discriminatory behavior in our projects.

As long-time members of our movement, we assume good faith, and recognize that this current wording may have happened through honest intentions gone badly wrong. As Wikimedians who believe in shared improvements through collective editing, we hope that this mistake too will be immediately acknowledged and removed from the UCoC. We are not entirely sure who is ultimately responsible for this change, but if the Wikimedia Foundation Board is in charge of reviewing the policy, we believe it is incumbent upon the Board to share with us what possible next steps they will take, towards this.

We look forward to a UCoC that lives up to its principles and intentions, and we commit to its practice as Wikimedians.

With love, respect, and solidarity, Adele and Anasuya with the Whose Knowledge? team, advisors, and friends

Aadele (talk) 17:28, 8 April 2022 (UTC)

Thank you Aadele and Whose Knowledge? for taking the time to compose this letter. For the benefit of readers here: the letter was also posted to wikimedia-l and Maggie Dennis (VP of CR&S) has replied here. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 22:52, 8 April 2022 (UTC)
She has replied, but there is still no sign of any willingness on the part of the Foundation to change anything in the UCoC, despite the multiple glaring shortcomings identified by now, both here and on the Enforcement Guidelines talk page. Nor is there even a credible, organised and visible effort on behalf of the Foundation to collate and evaluate this valuable feedback anywhere on Meta. The drafting committees and board members have completely absented themselves from these discussions. As User:Fanchb29 said on the Enforcement Guidelines talk page, it is like talking in a vacuum. The whole basis of wiki projects is that they self-organise, and that their policies are subject to discussion and editing by the community; why then not the UCoC? --Andreas JN466 12:24, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
Le code de conduite est au final l'incarnation de la communication publicitaire vers une minorité "la plus militante" du mouvement, en ne tenant compte que de manière secondaire des autres problèmes que pourrait avoir le mouvement.
Par exemple, il est totalement illégal en France de classer une personne par rapport à la couleur de peau, la religion, la sexualité ou encore les opinions politiques.
Pourtant par ses propos, la fondation invite les contributeurs à dévoiler de telles informations.
Oui il y a besoin d'intégrer de nouvelles informations et de nouveaux contributeurs. Mais pas en maltraitant les contributeurs actuels et en niant leur travail.
Il est regrettable que la fondation soit encore incapable aujourd'hui de communiquer autrement qu'en anglais dans toute sa communication officielle, en prétendant dans le même temps travailler sur l'inclusion... Qu'il faille à chaque fois espérer qu'un traducteur passe par là pour que le message soit transmis. Tout autant qu'oublier que le mouvement a pour but la transmission du savoir, pas de s'impliquer dans les questions sociales et sociétales... Fanchb29 (talk) 13:00, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
I'm glad to see the Board could consider removing that sentence altogether. Still processing the rest of the reply. –MJLTalk 17:09, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
Doesn't changing the UCoC immediately after the vote invalidate the ratification process? This wouldn't be a big deal if the UCoC was developed using a normal process, where we could go back and forth here to come up with a wording that receives consensus. But the UCoC was developed using a WRONG (WMF-Run, Off-wiki, Novel Governance) process, with the vote to start enforcement the only ratification it had.
The change doesn't seem too objectionable, but there should be a better process for it than "The WMF can change things however it wants." TomDotGov (talk) 22:19, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
I support the statement made by @Aadele and @Anasuyas on behalf of Whose Knowledge? While, race and ethnicity are cultural and scientific fictions which have no scientific basis in biology or genetics, they do exist as a social construction, and racism is the historical impact of this fiction.[1] These social constructions and historical impacts are real, as are the harms they cause to individuals and society; attempts to avoid acknowledging or discussing race under the pretense that society should be color blind (e.g “I don’t see color” or "acknowledging race is a form of racism") makes the problem worse by ignoring systemic racism, and leaving people without the experience and language to understand and examine their own relationship to race and bias.[2]
[1] Audrey Smedley and Brian D. Smedley, “Race as Biology Is Fiction, Racism as a Social Problem Is Real: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on the Social Construction of Race.,” American Psychologist 60, no. 1 (2005): 16–26, https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.60.1.16.
[2] Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America, Fourth edition (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc, 2014). Theredproject (talk) 22:33, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
All this because we're trying too hard to make a comprehensive list of (quasi-) protected classes. The current UCoC says that Insults may refer to perceived characteristics like intelligence, appearance, ethnicity, race, religion (or lack thereof), culture, caste, sexual orientation, gender, sex, disability, age, nationality, political affiliation, or other characteristics. Enumerating all the groups that people are not supposed to insult is unnecessary. Simply say that insulting people for any reason is not OK. I mean, it also wouldn't be OK to insult members of group that are not listed, right? Vexations (talk) 22:47, 9 April 2022 (UTC)
@Vexations: I don't think the list is the problem (lists like that are pretty common in most anti-discrimination policies I've read). The issue most people have is with the subsequent note which follows it. –MJLTalk 04:58, 10 April 2022 (UTC)
That's why I called it (quasi-) protected classes. They're not really protected. If you're going to do that, fine. I'd like that. I just don't expect the kind of strong anti-discrimination legislation I like to see to be universally agreed upon. There are counties that penalize things I'd like to see protected. Of course, we could just tell Wikipedians who want to uphold their countries' discriminatory laws to agree to our values or lose their funding, affiliate status, etc. Or we could perhaps try to come to terms with the fact that there are very few values that are universally shared.
In anti-discrimination law, these protections actually mean something, and they have complicated exceptions. You can, and sometimes have to, exclude certain groups from participating based on a shared trait. But our UCoC does not protect these groups against discrimination, just against insults, something that can be applied categorically. Vexations (talk) 10:44, 10 April 2022 (UTC)
they are prohibited in use against others as the basis for personal attacks Where is the list of things that I should use as basis for personal attacks? </Irony> Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 22:10, 10 April 2022 (UTC)
I write on behalf of the Art+Feminism leadership to strongly support this open letter’s call to remove language that denies race and ethnicity as “meaningful distinctions among people” in the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC). Thank you to the thoughtful leadership and community of Whose Knowledge? for clearly outlining how problematic this wording is. We are hopeful for quick action in removing this harmful language. --Kiraface (talk) 16:44, 13 April 2022 (UTC)

Second response from Whose Knowledge?

Hi everyone, thank you for your responses here and on Wikimedia-l, particularly those who've added your strong support for our original request. I'm adding the text of our response on Wikimedia-l below, for transparency and any further comments, if useful.
Thanks for reading and responding to our concerns, including with thoughtful questions and comments. We’re writing with a brief response to the different messages, with the two key aspects that have been raised.
What we propose: In case it wasn’t already super clear, we confirm that the change in the UCoC we are suggesting is to remove the note to the Insults section entirely: “(Note: The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "race" and "ethnicity" as meaningful distinctions among people. Their inclusion here is to mark that they are prohibited in use against others as the basis for personal attacks.)”
We believe that this change would not diminish the effectiveness of the UCoC or its further application. On the contrary, it would be in line with its real spirit and honest intentions. As the wording currently stands, it causes (and will cause) more harm than any possible good, and certainly far too much confusion around intention. It particularly makes no sense to pull out race and ethnicity in this fashion.
Timeline and process: Maggie's response is very useful in clarifying that there could be a rapid review process to address this issue. We welcome that, and it would be helpful to have a clear timeline and detailed process for us to understand how this might unfold, and who might be responsible for it.
Thank you to everyone again for your attention and care.
With love, respect, and solidarity,
Anasuya and the Whose Knowledge? team, advisors and friends

Anasuyas (talk) 17:48, 13 April 2022 (UTC)

Open issues, with proposed changesEdit

This is an incomplete list of open proposals for updating the CoC and guidelines, w/ alternative text where provided. Please add to it.
Following earlier discussions, in a few languages, about the need for faster iteration + an overview of unresolved suggestions.SJ talk  20:42, 13 April 2022 (UTC)
Language improvements
  • "The Wikimedia movement does not endorse "race" and "ethnicity" as meaningful distinctions among people". Proposal: strike this sentence. (open letter from Whose Knowledge, earlier thread)
  • General cleanup:
change "system [issues]" and "systematic" to "systemic";
"accused" instead of accusee
  • Update translations across the board for consistency. (see specific comments on the ja translation).
Balance
  • Affirm the right to be heard. Proposed language from WMDE: "In the case of matters that are not open to public scrutiny, the accused should have a right to be heard, unless there are good reasons not to do so." (discussion)
  • Balance transparency with privacy. Confirm victims have the option to remain anonymous and case handling may be confidential.
Support + maintenance
  • Make explicit how the U4C committee will be supported; make sure it is sufficient to the task, so this policy does not lead to burnout. (WMDE comment)
  • Identify a community group or page for compiling feedback + translation. support community translators, not contractors who may soon stop being available.
  • Redirect all comments to a single discussion page (avoid fragmenting across languages + iterations)
  • Translate comments promptly (proposal:the harder it is to make community-driven revisions, the more attentive all should be to feedback)
  • Add an explicit wiki draft for continuous feedback, in parallel to any annual review, w/ a summary list of open issues (like this one)
Moderation
  • Offer + encourage training (and support local development of training in local context), don't require it.
  • State expectations of different community groups, don't require a pledge. (just as there is none for other core policies or the TOS)
  • Provide for rehabilitation of those sanctioned, and a right to be forgotten for those wrongly suspected [in public]. (WMDE comment)

Open ended concerns, w/o proposed changesEdit

Vague or open-ended definitions (which can lead to FUD or abuse by trolls)

  • "psychological manipulation" – what does this mean in practice?
  • doxing / "sharing information concerning [activity] outside the projects" – how does this affect people addressing undisclosed paid editing or organized attacks on the projects? (Note how often similar arguments are used to troll already) –SJ talk  20:42, 13 April 2022 (UTC)

requested rewording of section 1.1: Why we have a Universal Code of ConductEdit

Change: "We believe in empowering as many people as possible to actively participate in Wikimedia projects and spaces, to reach our vision of a world in which everyone can share in the sum of all human knowledge."
To: "We want to foster a culture that welcomes as many people as possible to participate in Wikimedia projects".
Rationale: "Reaching a vision" is nonsense. You have a vision, accomplish a mission, and reach a goal. There is no need to repeat what the vision or mission is, just link to it. Vexations (talk) 12:02, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "We believe our communities of contributors should be as diverse, inclusive, and accessible as possible."
To: "We believe that there should be no barriers to entry for people who want to contribute".
Rationale: "diverse" is a fraught term, code for "a person who is not WEIRD (White, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic)", "accessible community" is technical jargon for not having barriers to entry (for people who have a physical limitation, for example). This is a bit of a problem by the way: our use of captchas makes it harder for people with visual impairments to participate. Using buzzwords like diverse and inclusive is exclusionary. Not everybody will be able to fully understand what they mean, especially when they are not North-American. Vexations (talk) 12:32, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "We want these communities to be positive, safe and healthy environments for anyone who joins (and wants to join) them."
To: "Joining us should be a positive experience. The health and safety of the members of our communities shall not be compromised."
Rationale: "(wants to join)" suggests that there are people who would join us, but can't or won't, because they perceive our communities as unwelcome. Stop pushing that narrative. Also: firmly commit to keeping people safe instead of waffling about what we would like. We will keep you safe. No compromises. Vexations (talk) 13:34, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

  • @Vexations: Hm, I'd want to avoid potentially implying that we're committing to the safety of editors outside the context of things relating to participation. (See eg the #freebassel campaign, where a Wikipedian was threatened for reasons unrelated to his WP activity, and some contributors thought we had a responsibility to protect him.) I don't think the UCoC should generally commit to participants' safety, outside community-relevant contexts. Also, I think we should avoid the term "members" when referring to contributors/participants, because of potential ambiguity. --Yair rand (talk) 04:20, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
    I don't know enough about Bassel Khartabil's case to comment on whether the Wikimedia community has somehow failed him. But his death does reinforce my belief that there are governments who pose a lethal threat to the safety of our communities that is insufficiently addressed by the vague hints at "safe spaces". Safety is not have a place where everyone is nice to you. For some people, it is a matter of life and death. A firm commitment to an inviolable right to anonymity is an essential component of any policy designed to keep people safe. Vexations (talk) 14:31, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "We are committed to ensuring that it remains so, including by embracing this Code of Conduct and revisiting for updates as needed."
To: "We will review this code of conduct in the first two weeks of March each year, and revise it per the consensus established at this talk page".
Rationale: "We are committed to ensuring that it remains so, " should be removed, because it is unclear what "it" refers to. I don't particularly care when we review the UCoC, but we need something that is more explicit than what we have now, which appears to be that the WMF wants to use the current text with the now sanctioned enforcement guidelines for a a year to see how that goes and then maybe revise it. Vexations (talk) 13:44, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "Also, we wish to protect our projects against those who damage or distort the content."
To: ""
Rationale: Unacceptable behaviour causes harm to people, processes and content. We should address all of them. But "damage" is not a problem. We're running a wiki. We break things all the time. Mistakes are easily fixed, and we fully expect new editors to make mistakes and learn from them. We shall not penalize people for making mistakes. Vexations (talk) 13:57, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "In line with the Wikimedia mission, all who participate in Wikimedia projects and spaces will: "
To: "In line with the Wikimedia mission, all who participate in Wikimedia projects shall:"
Rationale: Link to the mission statement. Remove "space", because participating in a space is not a thing. If you're going to tell people they must do something, use the less ambiguous "shall" in stead of "will". Vexations (talk) 14:21, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

  • @Vexations: I assume the "spaces" thing is to include eg the supporting organizations who don't directly work on the projects themselves, but I agree the wording is problematic. (+1 to the rest.) --Yair rand (talk) 04:20, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Help create a world in which everyone can freely share in the sum of all knowledge". Rationale: We're volunteers, we cannot be required to "help create a world". If all someone wants to do is fix typos or revert vandalism, that's still fine. Vexations (talk) 14:36, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Be part of a global community that will avoid bias and prejudice, and Strive towards accuracy and verifiability in all its work"
Rationale: This is trying to be one sentence, but does it poorly. "its" refers to "a global community". The complete sentence would have been something like: "When you join, you become a member of a community that avoids bias, aims for accuracy and requires verifiability." What appears to be expected is some sort of affirmation: "I will strive to be accurate". But this phrasing doesn't do that. Just get rid of it. Vexations (talk) 14:58, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "This Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) defines a minimum set of guidelines of expected and unacceptable behaviour. " To: "This Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) is a behavioural policy. It sets expectations and defines and prohibits behaviour that the communities find unacceptable." Rationale: Guidelines are distinct from policy. This is policy, not a guideline. Singular, not plural. Also, "defines a minimum set of guidelines" doesn't make any sense. Perhaps minimal or minimalistic, in stead of minimum. Neither does "guidelines of expected and unacceptable behaviour" make sense. What on earth is a guideline of behaviour? Say "guideline for", not "of". But a guideline for unacceptable behaviour, what is that? A how-to-vandalize-Wikipedia? Vexations (talk) 14:58, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "It applies to everyone who interacts and contributes to online and offline Wikimedia projects and spaces."
To: "This Universal Code of Conduct applies to all participants in Wikimedia projects and events"
Rationale: Interacts is too broad. Someone who merely reads something on a Wikipedia project should not be subject to Wikimedia behavioural policy in addition to the Terms of Use. The "spaces" thing is confusing. I have no idea what a Wikimedia space is. Just say event. Vexations (talk) 15:07, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "This includes new and experienced contributors, functionaries within the projects, event organizers and participants, employees and board members of affiliates and employees and board members of the Wikimedia Foundation." Rationale: We just said "everyone", and then make a completely unnecessary distinction between new and experienced editors. "Everyone" obviates the need to enumerate. The use of "this" is confusing, lacks a referent. Vexations (talk) 15:14, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "It applies to all Wikimedia projects, technical spaces, in-person and virtual events, as well as the following instances: To: "This Universal Code of Conduct will be enforced at all Wikipedia projects and events". Rationale: Avoid using "it". Confusing use of "applies": First we said it applies to people, now we say it applies to things. Are the those things required to follow a behavioural policy? Of course not. The first use "applies to people" means that a rule or policy has relevance to people, and they must follow that rule. The second use "applies to spaces" means a rule will be enforced in that space. So make that distinction clear. Vexations (talk) 15:23, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Private, public and semi-public interactions" Rationale: "Private interactions" should not be categorically subject to possible sanctions. It is one thing to prohibit unwelcome sexual advances in the elevator of the hotel at Wikimania (of course that's reason to be thrown out), but this wording is too broad, because it includes everything anyone ever says about a Wikimedia community member, anywhere, even if no harm is done. Vexations (talk) 15:31, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Discussions of disagreement and expression of solidarity across community members" Rationale: It is unclear what an "expression of solidarity across community members" is, and why it should be subject to a behavioural policy. Is expressing solidarity <with> other community members required? If it is, it shouldn't be. Vexations (talk) 15:40, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Issues of technical development". Rational: I suspect this refers to the Code of Conduct for code of conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces. Since this policy already exists, the UCoC should only provide the minimum or baseline for that policy. If the code of conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces is not meeting that minimum, it should be amended, but not overruled by the UCoC. Vexations (talk) 15:46, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Aspects of content contribution" Rationale: This is too vague. WHICH aspects? We're trying to say the the UCoC applies to people who edit Wikimedia projects, and also while editing? Vexations (talk) 15:50, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Cases of representing affiliates/communities with external partners" Rationale: There is nobody who "represents communities with external partners", and whoever they are (board members of affiliates?, members of the hypothetical global council?) they are already subject to the UCoC. Vexations (talk) 16:04, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

That's it for the introduction. You may have noticed that I think that every single sentence in the introduction needs to be revised or removed, but I didn't point out yet that the title of the intro also needs a rewrite because it says: "Why we have a Universal Code of Conduct", but doesn't explain that at all. The explanation should probably be something like this: "We have difficulties attracting new editors because the culture is so toxic and dominated by a certain demographic that people from under-represented groups either leave quickly or don't join at all. If only we had a way to get rid those toxic editors, then we would live up to our full potential." Vexations (talk) 16:04, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Hey, I like it already. Better grammar, less jargon, fewer buzzwords. --Andreas JN466 17:54, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

requested rewording of section 1.2: IntroductionEdit

Change: "The Universal Code of Conduct provides a baseline of behaviour for collaboration on Wikimedia projects worldwide."
To: "This Universal Code of Conduct is a conduct policy that requires and prohibits certain behaviours. These are listed below as either expected or unacceptable. Expected behaviours are desired, but not required. Unacceptable behaviours are prohibited."
Rationale: "a baseline of behaviour for collaboration" is not something an enthusiastic 13-year old of above-average intelligence can parse. What we meant was probably something like: "You need to at least exhibit (some) expected behaviours, and not (any) undesirable behaviours". Vexations (talk) 21:08, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "Communities may add to this to develop policies that take account of local and cultural context, while maintaining the criteria listed here as a minimum standard."
To: "Communities are encouraged to set their own (local) behavioural policies. Local policies take precedence over the UCoC. Where the local and universal behavioural policies disagree, the local policy shall prevail".
Rationale: The UCoC was (supposedly) created to help smaller communities that lack the resources to develop their own policies.[citation needed] If those communities can create policies that serve their needs better than the UCoC, then they should use their own policies per the principle of subsidiarity. If there is anything in the UCoC hat goes beyond what they need, the UCoC is not a proper minimum universal standard, and -it- should be amended, not the local policy. Note: this is more than a rewrite, this is a radically different approach. Vexations (talk) 21:08, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "The Universal Code of Conduct applies equally to all Wikimedians without any exceptions."
Rationale: We're repeating what we said above, but now we say the UCoC applies to "all Wikimedians", without defining what a Wikimedian is. Is it "new and experienced contributors, functionaries within the projects, event organizers and participants, employees and board members of affiliates and employees and board members of the Wikimedia Foundation"? Vexations (talk) 21:08, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "Actions that contradict the Universal Code of Conduct can result in sanctions".
To: "The UCoC will be enforced by helping people avoid, improve and remediate unacceptable behaviour."
Rationale: Do not threaten people with punishment if you want them to join your group. I don't want to be a member of a club that wants to punish me. Note: in stead of "remediate", we could say (provide a) remedy (for). Vexations (talk) 21:08, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

So when you insult someone and I block you as a consequence, then I "helped you avoid unacceptable behaviour". Maybe you'll find a less euphemistic wording. Also, the Board wants a more simplified language, so everyone can understand it. Words like "remediate" don't help much for this. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 08:43, 17 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "These may be imposed by designated functionaries (as appropriate in their local context) and/or by the Wikimedia Foundation as the legal owner of the platforms".
Rationale: See above. Do not punish people. If we are going to punish people, then at least change it to "Sanctions may be imposed ...", so we know what "these" refers to. Explain what functionaries are and who does the designating. Specify WHO at the WMF can do these things: Any WMF employee? Trust & Safety? Paid 3rd party moderators? Vexations (talk) 21:08, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

requested rewording of section 1.3 2 – Expected behaviourEdit

Change: "Every Wikimedian, whether they are a new or experienced editor, a community functionary, an affiliate or Wikimedia Foundation board member or employee, is responsible for their own behaviour."
To: "You are responsible for your own behaviour".
Rationale: That still sounds like a cliché from an evangelical self-help book, but at least it avoids enumerating what "every" is. Vexations (talk) 21:54, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Change "In all Wikimedia projects, spaces and events, behaviour will be founded in respect, civility, collegiality, solidarity and good citizenship".
To: "Don't be an asshole." or, if we can't do that, to: "Leave people with their dignity intact. Respect your differences. Try to work together. Accept consensus."
Rationale: The foundation of behaviour is probably biology. It is not "founded" in respect. "Good citizenship" is an incredibly loaded (and classist) term. Avoid it. Solidarity is not required. We don't all have the same objectives. Vexations (talk) 21:54, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Good points in this and the preceding rationale. I find the present wording so aspirational as to be completely unrealistic. The result is oppressively preachy ... and at worst a lie, as it paints a picture that is far removed from reality. Realities aren't created just by writing that they exist already. --Andreas JN466 15:35, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
This is a big improvement, but it could still use some work. I'd be hesitant to include "Accept consensus" in a conduct document which binds people in certain positions who sometimes need to specifically not listen to consensus. Could lead to unproductive arguments. (Also, the UCoC should probably avoid getting into the mud of Wikimedia's somewhat idiosyncratic use of the word "consensus".) --Yair rand (talk) 04:30, 27 April 2022 (UTC)
Good point, and consensus can change. I think what we're trying to get at here is that working with other people becomes very difficult if you think everyone else is wrong. A battleground attitude is not conducive to collaboration. Sometimes we need to accept that not everything is exactly the way that we would prefer it, but acceptable. If you think about consensus that way, then to say that we should accept consensus is tautological. Scrap that last bit. Vexations (talk) 14:53, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "This applies to all contributors and participants in their interaction with all contributors and participants, without expectations based on age, mental or physical disabilities, physical appearance, national, religious, ethnic and cultural background, caste, social class, language fluency, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex or career field".
Rationale: First we say "all", and then we enumerate what "all" includes. That invites people to find exceptions: "But, you didn't mention hair colour". Don't open it up to ambiguities. Vexations (talk) 21:54, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "Nor will we make exceptions based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement."
Rationale: We do this all the time! We HAVE to make exceptions. We limit access to some tools to people who are competent and trusted. That is making exceptions based on skill and standing. If we leave this in anyone could demand that they be given templateeditor or edit filter manager or interface administrator rights. Vexations (talk) 21:54, 14 April 2022 (UTC)

requested rewording of section 1.3.1 2.1 – Mutual respectEdit

Change: "We expect all Wikimedians to show respect for others. In communicating with people, whether in online or offline Wikimedia environments, we will treat each other with mutual respect."
To: "Avoid making people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. If someone asks you to stop what you're doing to them, stop."
Rationale: To respect someone can mean a lot of different things to different people. It can mean to have esteem, consider someone to be worthy of high regard. That's bound to elicit the retort that respect needs to be earned. But to respect someone also means to agree to not do anything to that makes them uncomfortable, such as not touching them when they did not ask to be touched. In the context of conduct, the first meaning is useless, but the second is useful. It is that sense of "respecting someone's boundaries" that we can find practical advice. To respect someone then means to refrain from interfering with them in a way that makes them uncomfortable. Don't suggesting that we should all to consider everyone worthy of high regard, because we don't actually do that. Vexations (talk) 20:11, 15 April 2022 (UTC)

So what if you find out I create articles with a lot of copyright problems and you start checking my older articles. I ask you to stopp this, because it makes me "feel uncomfortable" and then you have to stop that? What about some recently created accounts who start vandalizing and I block them: I made them "feel unwelcome". I think the respect-version is better. Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 09:03, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
Yeah, this is for the "could you stop pinging me" or "please stop posting on my talk page" type issues. We need to recognize that there are cases where there are good reasons, supported by policy, where you may make someone feel unwelcome, because they really aren't welcome: Undisclosed paid editors, vandals, POV pushers, spammers, trolls, disinformation agents. In my experience it is completely unproductive to continue to try to "talk" to those people though. The best approach is to stop trying and take it to a noticeboard instead. I will try to make that distinction clearer and word it better. Happy to take suggestions. Vexations (talk) 16:21, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
@Vexations: Would it be possible to have the current and proposed versions side by side—say, in a table or 2-column format? It'll be easier to see how things flow. Thank you for all your work on this. --Andreas JN466 15:28, 17 April 2022 (UTC)
I would, but I don't think w:Template:Column works on Meta. {{left}} and {{right}} do, but they don't work with the reply tool. Suggestions? Vexations (talk) 15:51, 17 April 2022 (UTC)

Remove: "This includes but is not limited to: "
Rationale: "This" has no referent. The items listed are not instances of showing respect. Vexations (talk) 20:11, 15 April 2022 (UTC)

+1. --Yair rand (talk) 04:31, 27 April 2022 (UTC)

Change: "Practice empathy. Listen and try to understand what Wikimedians of different backgrounds want to tell you. Be ready to challenge and adapt your own understanding, expectations and behaviour as a Wikimedian."
To: Listen and try to understand what people tell you. Adjust your behaviour accordingly.
Rationale: We cannot require that people practice empathy. Not everybody is able to vicariously experience the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another person without having those feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. Vexations (talk) 20:11, 15 April 2022 (UTC)

Agreed, some people struggle with empathy through no fault of their own. The WMF wording is insensitive and patronising. Zindor (talk) 03:16, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Change: "Assume good faith, and engage in constructive edits; your contributions should improve the quality of the project or work.
To: Assume that people contribute to to Wikimedia projects to make them better.
Rationale: The meaning of "Good faith" is not universally understood or unambiguous. This is clearer.

Change: "Provide and receive feedback kindly and in good faith.
To: Assume that contributions that are not improvements are well-intended. Assume that criticism of your contributions is intended to help you.
Rationale: Avoid use of "good faith". You cannot "receive feedback in good faith".Vexations (talk) 12:41, 16 April 2022 (UTC)

'Good faith' is a well-understood term on en-wiki, is it not a concept on other projects? I agree totally however that receiving feedback in any faith is a non-concept. Having bad or good faith when providing feedback is vague without specifics. I'd have to disagree that criticism should be assumed to be helping the editor, it could in good-faith be assumed to be for the benefit of the encyclopedia. Zindor (talk) 03:16, 4 May 2022 (UTC)

Change: "Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner".
To: Tell people how they can do better in stead of telling them that they doing something wrong.
Rationale: This is simpler.Vexations (talk) 12:41, 16 April 2022 (UTC)

To tell would be to speak from a superior position. Would 'politely express to' be more fitting? Zindor (talk) 03:16, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
Good point. How about "suggest" instead of "tell"? Vexations (talk) 11:51, 4 May 2022 (UTC)
'Suggest' is accurate, although i'm concerned the proposed text realms into advice rather than defining conduct. The beauty of the UCoC wording is that it is a catch-all for all insensitive and unconstructive criticism. If extra clarity is needed i suppose something could be appended onto the original like so: "Criticism should be delivered in a sensitive and constructive manner, such as through suggesting improvements instead of highlighting failures." What do you think? Zindor (talk) 22:33, 4 May 2022 (UTC)


Change: "All Wikimedians should assume unless evidence otherwise exists that others are here to collaboratively improve the projects, but this should not be used to justify statements with a harmful impact."
To: Good intentions are not a valid excuse for harmful content.
Rationale: This is simpler. Vexations (talk) 12:41, 16 April 2022 (UTC)

requested rewording of section 1.4 3 – Unacceptable behaviourEdit

Change: The Universal Code of Conduct aims to help community members identify situations of bad behaviour. To: The Universal Code of Conduct is designed to help community members prevent, identify, and remedy unacceptable behaviour. Rationale: The code itself doesn't aim. You cannot say that a text "wants to do something". Its authors do. It was created (designed) to make something easier: Identifying certain behaviours. To use "situations of" when referring to bad behaviour is unnecessary. Replace bad with unacceptable. Vexations (talk) 19:41, 10 May 2022 (UTC)

requested rewording of section 1.4.1 3.1 – HarassmentEdit

Change: This includes any behaviour intended primarily to intimidate, outrage or upset a person, or any behaviour where this would reasonably be considered the most likely main outcome. To: Harassment is conduct that is directed at and offensive to another person that is, or ought reasonably to be, known to cause offence or harm. Rationale: We shouldn't have to consider whether a harasser intended to upset someone. They could argue that they didn't mean to upset anyone. (using the "just joking" defence). The "reasonable person" is normative in this case. Vexations (talk) 19:41, 10 May 2022 (UTC)

Two way streetEdit

Clarify "Respect the way that contributors name and describe themselves. People may use specific terms to describe themselves. As a sign of respect, use these terms when communicating with or about these people, where linguistically or technically feasible."

Rationale: There will be instances where someone's religious or cultural beliefs prevent them from referring to someone how that individual may want to be referred to. There are alternative legitimate beliefs that should also be respected which lie outside of the very liberal view which the UCoC defines.

The current text provides no leeway at all. If a contributor wanted to use gender neutral pronouns to refer to someone whose preferences were known they couldn't as the UCoC is so strictly worded. If this hand-tying for instance causes a conservative christian to no longer contribute, then that isn't very inclusive.

It would seem the way to address this problem is to define what 'technically' means. Does 'technically' refer to writing or language problems, or does the meaning include (or could be expanded to include) other 'technicalities' such as religious or cultural? (With published specific remedies, such as gender neutrality. to avoid using religion as a broad defence)

Addressing the cultural point. An individual may go by a name that another individual finds offensive. The current UCoC text again has no leeway or remedy, forcing the contributor to use the term they find offensive.

If reworded too specifically or not specific enough, this could become a Pandora's box. I believe that it's feasible to achieve some more clarity, leeway and inclusivity without risk to the inclusivity the text currently protects Zindor (talk) 00:12, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

The obvious alternative however is to just leave the ambiguity in the UCoC and let those responsible for moderation deal with exceptional circumstances as they arise. This however offers no protection to potential affected users, and bestows de facto power on this matter to administrators, instead of that authority being drawn from the UCoC. Zindor (talk) 00:37, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

A religious or cultural belief is not an issue of technically feasibility. "Technically feasible" may refer to something like the inability to use the {{pronoun|Zindor|sub}} template to refer to Zindor's preferred pronoun on Meta. It exists on enwiki, but not Meta. Here, it is not possible for me to determine if Zindor prefers he, or she or they. I could reasonably assume it's "they" based on the how that template would render on enwiki, but it may be that they simply didn't set a value for "Gender used in messages" in [2]. It is therefore not technically feasible to refer to Zindor by their preferred pronoun. Vexations (talk) 11:44, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
As normally defined, 'technically' could refer to anything involving technique or method, the discourse of religion is a method, ergo the disruption of it through inhibiting an aspect of it is a technical issue. If 'technically' was intended to be more closely aligned with 'technologically' then that should be clear in the UCoC. As it happens, Vexations touches upon an important point, to what lengths is a user reasonably expected to go to ascertain a user's pronouns? Is a lack of mention on a user page enough to defend incorrect usage? Zindor (talk) 16:16, 5 May 2022 (UTC)
In stead of saying something like "technically" when you mean "strictly speaking" and are not referring to technology, you could say: "In accordance with a literal interpretation of the dogmas of my religion, I am required to address you in a way that you find offensive, insulting and degrading". Vexations (talk) 18:30, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

What's happening?Edit

I just undid the edits by PEarley, at least I thought that I just did so. I as well wrote a long summary in which I explained it. The non-approval of the UCoC by the community was ditched from the note, which I consider as a try to sweep this missing consensus under the carpet. I asked for showing up here to reach a consensus about this info box.
But....
I obviously as well deleted some translation syntax as a kind of collateral damage. I tried to get them back just now, again with an elaborate summary, but alas, nothing changed at all, and nothing showed up either in the revision history nor in my own edit list. Why can't I do this? Where is my summary? How can we getr those missing translation tags back? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 06:42, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

OK, Jdx somehow managed to undo the fault by the system with the translation syntax, but I still like to know, what went wrong there? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 06:44, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
Same error has happened before, with the same tags. I both times just used the undo link, and didn't bother too much about the real changes, but this seems to be a real bug in the code. And I have not the faintest idea what went wrong. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 06:49, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
Did you use the standard "undo" link(s) or an external tool, e.g. TwinkleGlobal? External tools may have bugs (and actually have!). You may try to perform a simple test – change something on the page and then undo your change. --jdx Re: 07:00, 25 May 2022 (UTC)
I just clicked on the rückgängig machen link in the headline from the diff, like here: Version vom 25. Mai 2022, 06:22:04 Uhr (Bearbeiten) (rückgängig machen). I didn't notice the changes in the tags in the opening window, as they were not marked in any way. I definitely used the summary with a long explanation. And I don't use any external tools, at least not to my knowledge. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 07:32, 25 May 2022 (UTC)

New page for revision discussionsEdit

See mailing list post by Stella Ng. --Andreas JN466 07:49, 26 May 2022 (UTC)

For revisions of the enforcement guidelines, see Universal Code of Conduct/Enforcement guidelines/Revision discussions Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 15:13, 26 May 2022 (UTC)
Return to "Universal Code of Conduct" page.