Talk:Universal Code of Conduct

Active discussions
This page is for discussions related to the Universal Code of Conduct.

  Please remember to:


  Discussion navigation:

Filing cabinet icon.svg
SpBot archives all sections tagged with {{Section resolved|1=~~~~}} after 3 days and sections whose most recent comment is older than 90 days.

Archives of this page


DoxingEdit

It seems to me that doxing clause basically forbids public paid editing investigations of any kind. It was like that on English Wikipedia for significant amount of time, but not all projects agree with such baseline. Also, per foundation:Privacy policy it is allowed for Wikimedia staff or "particular users with certain administrative rights" to "share your Personal Information if it is reasonably believed to be necessary to enforce or investigate potential violations of our Terms of Use, this Privacy Policy, or any Wikimedia Foundation or user community-based policies". Undisclosed paid editing is a violation of Wikimedia terms of use, so Privacy policy allows forced disclosure in such cases while current UCoC draft does not. I think it's a serious flaw and should be amended in the UCoC. Another unclear point here is when an editor is a subject of an article and there is a reliable source confirming that this person is a specific Wikipedia editor, but editor himself hasn't consent to publishing this information in-wiki. Does the UCoC forbid to use this source in an article about this person? Adamant.pwn (talk) 12:26, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Another flaw in the total prohibition of "doxing" is where EditorA causes EditorB so much harm that EditorB sees fit to sue EditorA in a court of law where he can obtain financial compensation for the harm done. (Wikimedia can permanently block EditorA, but is almost powerless to prevent EditorA spawning sockpuppets and certainly cannot award EditorB damages. In order to go to court, it is necessary for EditorB to give the court EditorA's name and address which, according to Wikimedia's rules, is prohibited (See for example the fictitious example given in en:Wikipedia:Don't overlook legal threats). Martinvl (talk) 22:17, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
In my understanding the prohibition of "Disclosure of personal data" AKA "Doxing" primarily prohibits edits and creation of new pages with contents like "Ashley Example, 11 years old, phone 001 987 1234567, attends class 4e at Closed School in Nowherebourg TX, and is very gay." I have deleted or hidden a large amount of such edits at SV wiktionary, so this is a real problem. Taylor 49 (talk) 17:34, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
@Taylor 49: That may well be the case, but the letter of CoC goes a lot further. I am pointing out a possible unintended consequence of such a general prohibition without a caveat regarding the process of law, bearing in mind that the Wikimedia Foundation is subject to the Law of the United States and the Law of the State of California. Furthermore, there are many moves in both the UK and the EU to clamp down on the social media giants (and under their definition, Wikipedia is regarded as "social media") and depending on what they come up with, Jimbo, who lives in London, could potentially find himself in the firing line. Martinvl (talk) 22:49, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Basically users are being held responsible for their actions on Wikimedia Projects, not the WMF (ToU). @Martinvl: The WMF UCoC does not have a higher status than local law, so generally speaking a person has to tell private details when that is necessary for the courtcase and permitted by local laws. WMF doesn't accept responsibility for the content in their projects, according to their official legal POV. On the other hand the WMF encourages and uses volunteers / content-creators to enforce their ToU and Policies. Encourages volunteers to delete content where private information of users or others is being published, like @Taylor 49: did. So in day-to-day practice, WMF does take responsibility for content as well. When a German child is being doxed on German Wikipedia and WMF didn't act properly, and the parents go into a German court, it doesn't seem impossible at all that a German judge will find enough touchpoints to form the legal opinion, the case can be brought for a German court, German law is applicable, and WMF is to be hold co-responsible. WMF than can as a next step sue the user. @Martinvl: As for the EU, it probably will not take another 20 years before the first EU based court will decide, normal users with the status of consumer can go into court in their home-region against an Internet platform with it's company seat and server-structure in the US (or China). JustB EU (talk) 19:58, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
So, there is an editor, who attends wiki-meetups but decides to keep their identity private and objects to publication of his personal data. The problem here is that he's also a notable person and has an article on Russian Wikipedia about himself. Article has a picture which is categorized on commons with his real name. And there are some pictures of him taken in meetups, categorized with his Wikimedia user name. Would it violate UCoC to merge these two categories? Or to mention them alongside each other? Adamant.pwn (talk) 19:41, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

Language Fluency and skillsEdit

While I agree that our multi lingual wikis such as Meta and Wikimedia Commons need to be open for people regardless of language fluency. It is an issue on other projects. I'm always careful when I edit on a Wiki where I don't speak the language, and I don't expect to be treated the same as on a wiki where I do speak the relevant language. I'm sure we have deleted people's contributions and probably also blocked people on the English language Wikipedia because either their skills or the language fluency wasn't sufficient for them to be a net positive to the project. On at least one language version of Wikipedia we have a real problem with lack of sufficiently skilled native speakers to maintain quality. The Foundation in hindsight would also have a problem complying with this language fluency policy. Most years it hosts wikimania with one or two host languages and a clear policy that only proficient speakers of a host language will qualify for scholarship grants. I agree we need to think about linguistic equity, and probably host more meetings where the required language is not the usual English. But we also need to retain the ability to require certain minimum skill levels in issues such as language when we are running projects to write encyclopaedias and other crowd sourced works. This part of the code needs to differentiate between things like gender and ethnicity where we don't allow discrimination. Things like age where we sometimes have to put a legal minimum. And things like skill level and language fluency where we do need to discriminate.

We also need to think very carefully how we handle language fluency issues that are really linguistic disputes. Several Wikipedia versions have chosen to standardise on particular versions of a language - I think Portuguese at one stage had a situation where some Wikipedians based in Portugal were unhappy with having Brazilian Portuguese as the standard for the Portuguese Wikipedia. English doesn't have this problem as we standardise spelling at the article level not the project level. But I wonder if standardising a language version of Wikipedia on one particular dialect would be considered to be secrminitaing discriminating against people who speak other dialects of that language? WereSpielChequers (talk) 15:41, 27 November 2020 (UTC)

We don't want to do anything that smacks of secrminitaing. EEng (talk) 16:44, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
I’ve learned enough lovely and interesting words from contributors that I've no shame in admitting I tried to look this up, EEng (seemed like a cromulent word to me =).
The Universal Code of Conduct is meant to remain subject to appropriate context. If a contributor lacking in fluency or competency persists in making unsuitable changes to a project, administrative intervention may be necessary to prevent those unsuitable changes in this context.
In Phase 2 participants may identify ways the UCoC seems to conflict with local policies in general, or in the specific context of a particular community.
Ideally, enforcement outside issues of a legal nature would generally be handled by local communities according to their existing community culture, policy, and practice. Where this is not possible, or where local policy and the draft universal policy diverge, please mention this in the consultations.
The drafting committee writing the enforcement section will take these concerns into account, and will be able to recommend improvements to the currently ratified document.
Thank you for the feedback WereSpielChequers! It will be useful for the drafting committee. Feel free to let me know if you have any other ideas. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 16:55, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Xeno. Given the ongoing greying of the pedia, I think we can anticipate in future decades having a lot of admins who need to have the tools gently prized away from them, much as a very diplomatic pair of policemen persuaded my mother to stop driving after her last car was written off by a malicious lamppost. I'm not sure whether that counts as age discrimination or discrimination against those who suffer from the diseases of ageing. But we will need to do this, and we can't assume that every admin will just hand in the tools when they start getting dementia. Perhaps what is needed is a mechanism whereby the community can agree to some exceptions that apply to the UCOC. WereSpielChequers (talk) 17:24, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Wary about assumption of good faith and mutual respectEdit

EnWiki's AGF (assume good faith) guideline has never been "policy", and it will never be. Making "Assume good faith" an example of UCoC's "Mutual respect" would be a very long struggle to enforce and a very long road to go. In other words, the difference between UCoC's version of AGF and enwiki's AGF is either still unclear or not explicitly explained.

However, submitted draft version of UCoC has made definition of AGF too broad, IMO. Also, the relationship between "Mutual respect" and AGF is neither clear nor well explained. Either the relationships between "Mutual respect" and AGF and between AGF and UCoC must be clarified or explained, or the AGF must be eliminated from the UCoC. If AGF is eliminated, then the "Mutual respect" rule would be meaningless to this date and, for better enforcement, must be changed/altered and clearer. Otherwise, "Mutual respect" would be too weak to enforce. (Realizing AGF may matter but not as much as "mutual respect" itself) George Ho (talk) 11:34, 22 December 2020 (UTC); mostly struck, 02:29, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

I'm confused. Why the emphasis on "not a policy"? It's a behavioural guideline, like many other things which are obviously problematic. I suspect the idea is that it's a corollary to the policy. Nevertheless, "assume good faith" is also a section in en:Wikipedia:Civility (which is a policy).
Is there anything within the "Mutual respect" section which you actually think is a bad principle? Or are you just concerned it'll be poorly enforced in a lawyerly manner, like how civility enforcement is sometimes done on enwiki? If the latter, I think this is an issue for the 'enforcement' stage of UCOC. In my opinion, most of the things in "mutual respect" are sound principles for a constructive collaborative environment. Bullet #3 may be slightly iffy w.r.t. cultural honourifics (for example), but like much of this UCOC (imo) the principles are good, the specific wording is eh. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 00:59, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Speaking of enwiki, I see too many enwiki people here. I know we probably have (one of) the most developed PAG rulebooks of any project, but I'm still a bit concerned the enwiki-centric views could lead to skewed opinions. Are the rest of the wider community participating somewhere else, or? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 01:01, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Ist das nicht das normale Vorgehen hier? Die monolingualen Anglozentriker bestimmen alles, und der Rest hat gefälligst Englisch zu lernen, und am Besten auch noch das ganze Regelkonvolut der enWP zu verinnerlichen, als ob die der Nabel der Welt wären. Imho sollten alle, die nur Erfahrungen in der enWP haben, und nur eine Sprache sprechen, von solche Diskussionen wegen mangelnder Erfahrung ausgeschlossen werden. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 01:43, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Why the emphasis on "not a policy"? I was basing on w:WP:PAG#Role. BTW, I either forgot or didn't know about Civility policy referencing AGF.

Is there anything within the "Mutual respect" section which you actually think is a bad principle? What about "Respect the way that contributors name and describe themselves" as well? It contrasts w:Wikipedia:Username policy, especially "Disruptive or offensive usernames" and "Promotional names" sections. Furthermore, examples don't ease my concerns; rather I found respecting usernames less practical than it sounds.

Also, "Practice empathy" would conflict with or prevent accurate criticisms, especially reasonable, well-sounded, and well-constructed ones, toward cultures and different backgrounds, including ones that hold controversial values and implement values in weirder or controversial ways. Furthermore, as I fear, those from one culture may try empathy with those from another culture that would not do empathy. How one culture views other cultures wouldn't be prevented by practicing empathy, would it be? George Ho (talk) 02:02, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Ein weiteres Zeichen der Verachtung für andere Sprachen ist die Benutzung von :w: um auf :en: zu zeigen, auch wenn ich als Sprache in meinem Konto DE ausgewählt habe. Die enWP ist nicht der Nabel des Wikiversums, nicht mal im Ansatz, sie ist nur ein Projekt unter vielen und verdient keinerlei Sonderstellung. Die Bentzung von :w: als Adresse für ein willkürliches Projekt ist ein Schlag in die Fresse aller anderen Sprachen, es zeugt von der völligen Gedankenlosigkeit und dem Egomanismus der monolingiualen Anglozentriker.
A further sign of the disdain for other languages is the use of :w: to link to :en:, even if I've declared DE as my language in my profile. The enWP is not the navel of the Wikiverse, not even remotely, it's just one project among a lot others that doesn't deserve any specieal treatment. The use of :w: for a random project is a slap in the face for every other language, it's a clear sign of the thoughtlesness and egomania of the monolingual anglocentics.
Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:53, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Since you're concerned about anglocentrism (as well as the other party), what about your thoughts on German colonial empire (of the past) and past and present prevalence of German language outside Europe? The Germans colonized parts of Africa and part(s) of present-day Papua New Guinea during colonial days. According to the article, the German language was given to those cultures, yet the language hasn't been practiced much outside German-prevalent (is that the right term?) areas to this date. Well, German language in Namibia lost its "official language" status, but it's still prevalent there... somewhat? (More at w:German language#Geographical distribution) George Ho (talk) 19:32, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Schon mal was von Whataboutismus gehört? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 22:35, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Ich denke, es ging um einen vermeintlichen Mangel an Respekt für andere Sprachen als Englisch, der in der Software implizit vorhanden ist. Um das anzusprechen, könnten wir einen sogenannten "MediaWiki internationalization task" bei https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/maniphest/task/edit/form/1/?projects=MediaWiki-Internationalization einreichen (auf Englisch, natürlich). Vexations (talk) 20:55, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Now I'm becoming worried that (any kind of) criticism of practicality of existing languages would conflict with the proposed "Mutual respect". Are there other languages that are still practical, global, prevalent, and influential besides English? What about Spanish nowadays? George Ho (talk) 21:29, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
French, Arabic, Portuguese, Swahili and Russian come to mind. I'm not sure what you're trying to say though. Criticism is not lack of respect, but a systemic preference for English, built into the software/platform, is disrespectful to people who don't speak English. Vexations (talk) 22:22, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
I apologize for being less clear. I just replied in a frenzy because you were communicating in German, which I don't understand without using a translator tool. Actually, I don't know how practical, global, and influential German language is nowadays within and outside Europe. AFAICS, communication in German language wouldn't most likely attract much attention from non-German people, would it? George Ho (talk) 23:03, 23 December 2020 (UTC); amended, 23:08, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Multilingualität ist das Schlüsselwort. Bevor so etwas wichtiges wie ein UCoC nicht in mindestens einem Dutzend Sprachen vorliegt, braucht die Diskussion darüber gar nicht erst zu starten. Englisch ist nur eine Sprache von vielen, und nicht die Lingua Franca, die sich die monolingualen Anglozentriker gerne wünschen würdfen. What do they know of England, who only England know.
Leider ist schon durch die Ansiedelung der WMF im völlig überteuerten und anglophonen Silicon-Valley-Umfeld eine unschöne Weichenstellung erfolgt, warum zieht die nicht um in eine günstigere und anderssprachige Gegend? Am besten gleich in ein multilinguales Land. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 22:35, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
No clue what German colonial history has to do with things. But if a UCOC is being made that affects so many projects, all of which will likely have stronger non-local UCOC enforcement mechanisms than enwiki will, I think it's only fair they should have as great an input in what they think about this. atm, at least here, it's mostly our voices filling up the discussion. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 23:18, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

┌───────────────────┘
If I want to say something negative about an existing language, how do I also not want to violate the proposed "mutual respect" rule? George Ho (talk) 03:53, 28 December 2020 (UTC)

I can't imagine why you would want to do that, but it seems to me that you can't be both denigrating and respectful at the same time. Vexations (talk) 15:26, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
Anyone would hopefully agree that running any process in multiple languages is difficult even with the best intentions. The EU and UN handle it with an armada of translators. And even that only applies to formal events and documents, while most informal discussions happen in some work language, usually English. With that in mind, and AGF in sight, I don't believe it's fair to accuse the English-speaking community, and Foundation staff especially, of harbouring any hostility towards other languages. Where comments are made in languages other than English, or where they contain errors because the author isn't a native speaker, they seem to be given just as much weight as other comments, and I cannot remember any rude comments or really any comments mentioning the language barrier in such cases (It's slightly unfortunate that George's comment, above, can be misread as flirting with Godwin's law).
English has been a compulsory subject in German schools for decades, and the vast majority of people should be able to participate in a discussion such as this. Some people will be excluded, yes. But there is no reason to consider that exclusion different than others, such as a lack of technology. It might be interesting to see language statistics for people who do not speak English, as either first or second language. Maybe the goal of inclusion would be efficiently served by running such processes in some other language as well. I doubt that German would be a leading candidate, however.
Finally, I can't help but notice that while global Wikipedia leadership has managed to expand the franchise to hundreds of languages, right-to-left scripts, and untold numbers of other cultural quirks that stood in the way of becoming truly global, dewiki isn't even willing stop mislabeling actresses as actors (and so on–all such labels are gendered in German) even though they are regularly being called out for it, and the 90/10 gender disparity that is both cause for and effect of it, every time the reputable media they otherwise cites as sources mentions them. --Matthias Winkelmann (talk) 23:20, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
2,1 percent of Germans speak english perfectly, see also English Proficiency Index 2020 (deutsch); English Proficiency Index (english). Cheers --Christoph Jackel (WMDE) 12:22, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
I wonder how many native English speakers speak English "perfectly".Vexations (talk) 14:09, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Section 3.1 -- HarassmentEdit

From Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Draft_review#3.1_–_Harassment

> (Note: The terms “race” and “ethnicity” are included here as prohibited ways
> to distinguish people. The Wikimedia movement does not endorse these terms
> as meaningful distinctions among people and believes that they should not be
> used outside of prohibiting them as the basis for personal attacks).

This is good wording indeed ... but a detail is missing. I would enhance the note to:

(Note: The terms “race” and “ethnicity” and “sex” are included here as prohibited ways
to distinguish people. The Wikimedia movement does not endorse these terms
as meaningful distinctions among people and believes that they should not be
used outside of prohibiting them as the basis for personal attacks).

Taylor 49 (talk) 14:54, 15 January 2021 (UTC)

We could simply say that we don't care how someone identifies instead of contradicting ourselves. Vexations (talk) 21:20, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Vexations WE is very vague and it is more complicated than just stating we do not care... Zblace (talk) 11:34, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
I could have said "all of us" instead. Instead of "do not care", "are indifferent to" or "find it without interest or concern". Or just "what you are is none of our business". Yes, it is a bit more complicated than that, because it isn't necessarily our consensus. Some of us insist that the projects ought to be "colourblind", others find that that not-racism perpetuates the status quo that inflicts injustices upon racialized minorities, and we should be actively anti-racist. I try to be that in my personal life, but I'm afraid not everyone is quite on board with that yet.
What I meant in my response though, was that in stead of saying that it is forbidden to call someone a "something", because "something" is a bad concept, even though we have to use it to describe what it is that we can't say, we say it's wrong to differentiate on any kind of identity. Vexations (talk) 12:51, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

What's supposed to happen now?Edit

BChoo (WMF) what is supposed to happen during Phase 2? Tetizeraz (talk) 21:02, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

@Tetizeraz: Phase 2 will involve community conversations regarding how the UCoC will be enforced. We will have much more information in the next few weeks, which I will post on meta as soon as I am able to. BChoo (WMF) (talk) 22:18, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
BChoo (WMF) Per Universal_Code_of_Conduct#Current_news wasn't the board supposed to review and approve it first? Is that review still ongoing? Vexations (talk) 23:24, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
@Vexations: We hope to hear word on this soon. BChoo (WMF) (talk) 18:00, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
@Vexations: The final text as drafted by the Drafting Committee has been approved by the Board after some changes, per the 9th of December 2020. (WMF Board, Resolution: Approval Universal Code of Conduct).

UCoC enforcementEdit

@BChoo (WMF): & @Xeno (WMF): From the official WMF Board Resolution can be learned that the UCoC is an enforceable policy as of December 9th 2020 (see: WMF Board, Resolution: Approval Universal Code of Conduct). You mention community conversations in phase 2 regarding how UCoC will be enforced. What are the fields of unclearity here? How shall local Wikipedia volunteer enforcers act today when a user comes up with a serious and motivated enforcement-request regarding behaviour that's being described as Unacceptable in the UCoC but not being mentioned in the ToU? Thanks, keep up! FYI: Tetizeraz & Vexations ? JustB EU (talk) 15:15, 22 February 2021 (UTC)

Thank you for the engaging question JustB EU. The approach in that situation would have to depend on the type of problem being reported. I hope the responding user - if they felt available and capable to do so - would take steps to support the user, consider their situation, connect with their perspective, and respond in a way intended to reduce harm.
"I understand why that is troubling, and I'm sorry you're experiencing this. You made the right decision in reaching out and I want to help you with this situation. If you are able and comfortable to do so, could you email your concern to (e.g. local admins / Arbitration Committee / Stewards / other supporting pathways )? This group is well-equipped to respond to situations such as the one you described. If you are unable to do so, I can contact them on your behalf."
In a serious situation where a contributor is feeling harassed or unsafe, there are existing reporting methods to engage responders who have experience helping users experiencing distress and in addressing novel situations not previously covered by policy or practice. FYI: Tetizeraz & Vexations: pinged earlier. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 20:20, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF): I contribute mainly on English Wikipedia and Portuguese Wikipedia, and Wikidata and the Commons. If I, or someone else in those projects, feel they need help because of something the UCOC mentions, who and where they should contact? Tetizeraz (talk) 20:47, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
{{ping|@Xeno (WMF): pinging again because my last ping missed one ). Tetizeraz (talk) 20:48, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
Thanks @Xeno (WMF): for your feedback. Not experiencing heavy harassment but knowing of situations where moderators did tend to act against complaintives or play down complaints, from the POV there are no local rules. Too often people simply leave the project after such an experience. Clear universal rules could be of help to broaden editing communities, therewith diversifying content and attract broader reader groups. In some communities, voices can be heard, expressing not being happy with the UCoC-"lawmaking procedure" and tending not to support the WMF in policing and enforcing the UCoC. So more generally speaking the question is, does the WMF have ideas about dealing with a possible UCoC policing black hole? As long as there is unclearity about who is policing and enforcing the UCoC, maybe the WMF could enable something like a UCoC complaint-handling-center? Or make clear, like Tetizeraz is asking, where users can go for help. Thanks, Keep up! JustB EU (talk) 11:53, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

StructureEdit

The balance between positive behaviours to strive for and negative behaviours that will not be tolerated is a good way to structure these things from what I've seen. The CoC that a user group I'm involved with followsa similar organisation v:WikiJournal_User_Group/Code_of_conduct/Draft. In case it's useful, there's also a section at the bottom of that page with some other useful inspirations. Some possible things to consider including:

  • Have examples in collapsed sections for each item (currently included for 'Respect the way that contributors name and describe themselves')
    • Indeed, different communities could contain different examples to illustrate the concepts in a locally relevant way.
  • Have a final section of 'possible responses that may be taken' so that people understand that there are a spectrum of response measures

T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:33, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

Forbidding talking about Conflict of Interests is badEdit

Some of the vandalism on Wikidata is due to users wanting to advocate for a particular interest. In conflict between different ethnicities it frequently happens that users who are involved in the conflict because they belong to one of the ethnicities engage in non-neutral editing of pages that are relevant for the content. Being able to say that those users engage in conflict of interest edits is valuable for the goal of having a neutral Wikipedia and currently it seems the draft intends to forbid speaking about ethnicities. When Arbcom takes cases about Jerusalem where Arabian Wikipedia's are in a conflict with Jewish Wikipedians it's important to be able to have a discussion about whether certain members should recuse themselves because they belong in either of those ethic groups. Fordidding to distinguish based on ethnicity would forbid such discussions. ChristianKl❫ 22:22, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

If enacted, your suggestion could mean that we ought to identify and exclude all "Americans" from participating in discussing topics related to all pages related to post-1992 politics of the United States and closely related people, broadly construed. I much prefer a situation where it is not allowed to exclude editors on the basis of a group characteristic. Ethicity does not constitute a conflict of interest. Vexations (talk) 22:47, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
@Vexations: My suggestion is not that all people who have any conflict of interest should automatically recuse themselves or be blocked from doing anything. My claim is that discussion about whether or not in an individual case is strong enough should be allowed.
My claim is that allowing discussions is good and decision about banning certain behavior should be able to happen in individual Wikimedia project. ChristianKl❫ 16:24, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Let me give an example: Saying "I propose that X should be blocked from editing Antisemitism because she has been edit warring to insert unsourced fringe views" is fine. Saying "I propose that X should be blocked from editing Antisemitism because she is a jew" is not. It is fine to discuss X's edits, whether they are indeed fringe etc. But it is absolutely not OK to block X because they are Jewish or even to suggest that her behavior has a causal relationship to her Jewishness. That would be endorsing the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to ethnicity. You don't want to advocate for that, I hope. Vexations (talk) 16:58, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Belonging to an ethnic group is not a conflict of interest. --Yair rand (talk) 00:15, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
This could create the situation where User:Y1 and User:Y2, both of whom are rabid Palestinians, propose that User:X, be blocked from editing Antisemitism because she is a Jew. This is also called "mob justice".Martinvl (talk) 21:28, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I think the example would have worked better if you'd avoided "Palestinians". We ought not attribute a single viewpoint to an ethnonational group. Vexations (talk) 23:24, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
@Martinvl: A code of conduct doesn't create situations like that. It just prevents certain situations from arising. I don't think that the code of conduct is necessary to prevent such a situation. In the Wikimedia projects that I know, two users who tried that likely will find out that they don't get what they want. In many cases it means that more experienced users will take a look at the situation and thing about how the content dispute should be handeled. ChristianKl❫ 13:30, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
On a daily basis, I am called "Russian" on the English Wikipedia by disruptive users who are unhappy with my administrative actions and imply I should not have taken them because I apparently am biased. (This is also factually incorrect, I am not Russian). Whereas I do not find this amusing, I do not think UCoC should deal with these situations, the community if perfectly capable of taking care of them.--Ymblanter (talk) 22:23, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Unusual ideaEdit

Lets throw away safety and inclusion together with divercity and transgenderism from Wiki and concentrate on writing Enciclopedia, not left ideas--1Goldberg2 (talk) 16:30, 22 January 2021 (UTC)

No summary report yet?Edit

The summary report on feedback is supposed to be released this month. Now we're closer to February, and I've not yet seen the report to this date. George Ho (talk) 05:40, 30 January 2021 (UTC)

George Ho: Thank you for your query; the summary report can be found here. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 15:36, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
That is an astonishingly one-sided summary. I have followed those discussions closely on several projects in multiple languages and I don't recognize them in the summary at all. Some citations would be in order. What I find most disturbing is that the WMF now has adopted the absolute lowest behavioral standards (the UCoC is a miminum baseline after all) for itself. That is hasn't occurred to anyone at the WMF that they should adopt a code of conduct that requires the highest standards instead is, well, telling. Vexations (talk) 15:58, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

Interactions outside the projectsEdit

"It applies to all Wikimedia projects, technical spaces, in-person and virtual events, as well as the following instances:

  • private, public and semi-public interactions
  • discussions of disagreement and expression of solidarity across community members
  • issues of technical development
  • aspects of content contribution
  • cases of representing affiliates/communities with external partners."

What exactly does "private, public and semi-public interactions" include? Because, worded like that, it seems like the idea would be to apply a Wikimedia code to non-Wikimedia spaces, and that would be a big problem. For example, if two editors insult each other in a pub, or on Twitter, for whatever reason and I get to know about it, should I then ban them from Wikipedia because of its anti-harassment policy? The only element of that bullet-point list that has any sense, in my opinion, is "cases of representing affiliates/communities with external partners". All the other ones are too vague and open to interpretation and abuse.--L2212 (talk) 21:55, 30 January 2021 (UTC)

Allow me to add an "expression of solidarity across community members". I don't understand it either. Vexations (talk) 23:12, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
What alarms me is that by making this statement Wikimedia appears to put itself above courts of law. If User:A libels User:B on Wikimedia pages with the result that User:B incurs a financial loss, then User:B is entitled in most countries to sue User:A through the law courts (assuming that User:B knows User:A's contact details) to make good that loss. Does Wikimedia really put itself above the law courts or had it just not foreseen this possibility? Martinvl (talk) 14:21, 13 April 2021 (UTC)

Updated Universal Code of Conduct draft ratified by Board of Trustees (February 2021)Edit

Hello all,

Today the Board of Trustees announced that they have ratified an updated draft of the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC). The update makes changes to four sections, adding clarifying language and reinforcing concepts in the October 2020 draft. These changes can be seen in the change log.

With this announcement, the project moves into Phase 2. The main page has an updated timeline that includes the major engagements ongoing and over the next few months. There is also an updated Frequently Asked Questions page with information on next steps, the current status of the UCoC, and more.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 18:00, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

As I understand it, phase 2 will end in July, right? Sincerely. --NANöR (talk) 13:31, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for your question, NANöR. The Board resolution states the second phase ("outlining clear enforcement pathways") "should be completed by the end of ... July 2021". This is reflected in the current timeline (added link above). Similar to Phase 1, the draft being submitted to the Board of Trustees is currently the final event in this phase. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 18:10, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
Thank you Xeno. I'll try to follow the second phase. --NANöR (talk) 20:01, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

What version of the text published on this meta.wikimedia page has been ratified by the Board?Edit

From the official foundation.wikimedia page is not clear, what version of the text published here, has been ratified and made enforceable by the Board. Shall we use the last WMF edit before the day the Board did ratify (December 9th): UCoC version 20:07 26 October 2020, an edit by CSteigenberger (WMF) ? The version where the Board ratification change log links to: UCoC version 10:44, 28 October 2020, is an edit by MarcoAurelio, a normal user, not a WMF Staffer, so that could be a mistake. Or is it the first WMF edit after the day of the Board Resolution: UCoC version 22:51, 15 December 2020 an edit by BChoo (WMF)? Or the update Xeno refers to: UCoC version 10:59, 2 February 2021 an edit by PEarley (WMF)? The Board ratification change log refers to the editable text as "Board-ratified text": editable version, which would be an interesting rulemaking experiment, but probably is a mistake. Can Christel Steigenberger or Patrick Early please answer this question? And write two (non editable) links on the meta.wikimedia "UCoC Policy text page of 1. the draft from the Drafting Committee 2. the ratified version? Think this is of interest for all communities worldwide, for all people putting efforts in translations, or trying to adapt the text in their cultural and local context. Thanks beforehand for taking care JustB EU (talk) 13:26, 13 March 2021 (UTC)

JustB EU: Thank you for your queries on this topic. The page currently hosted at Universal Code of Conduct/Policy text is serving a dual purpose in 1) providing a platform for interlingual (cross-wiki) and international coordination to discuss and perform translations of this specific version of the code; and 2) mirroring a specific English version of the code from the Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki. The page itself remains editable for community coordination (for example, there is a community-editable information box) while everything below the Level 1 heading "Universal Code of Conduct" up to the navigation box should be an exact English copy of the policy text found at Foundation:Universal Code of Conduct. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 19:33, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Xeno: Thank you for the feedback. Keep up! JustB EU (talk) 20:25, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

Hate speech clauseEdit

In Section 3.3, third bullet, I would suggest to replace "Hate speech in any form, or discriminatory" with "Any deliberate use of".

Reason: A term like "Hate speech" already carries deeply ingrained definitions which may differ from the one intended here. The rest of the bullet point ("language aimed at...") gives an excellent definition of the prohibited behavior, so it is best to shift the focus to that definition.

Eldar (talk) 01:02, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

That makes sense. Eissink (talk) 07:42, 3 February 2021 (UTC).
Thank you both for your comments about s3.3 of current Policy text: I have included the suggested change for consideration. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 16:20, 4 February 2021 (UTC)

AppreciationEdit

This expresses all my thoughts and wishes (as a Wikimedia editor) regarding what should be in place as UCoC. I truly appreciate everyone’s efforts and commitments in drafting this recommendations to adopt. I suggest! A UCoC section be added in the sidebar of every Wikimedia projects in order to give direct access for everyone. Thank you for taking time out of your personal time to help the world be a better place for all of us. Em-mustapha User | talk 15:07, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Em-mustapha: Thank you for your comments! I will forward your idea to include a sidebar link at all Wikimedia projects providing access to the policy. Feel free to let me know if you have any more ideas! Xeno (WMF) (talk) 16:16, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks Xeno (WMF)! I will, whenever I have one. Em-mustapha User | talk 20:10, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

Changes to the main pageEdit

Yair rand: I appreciate your attention to the main page text and understand the motivation behind those copy edits. As the originally submitted text was sent for translation to support the Phase 2 community consultations efforts, would you be willing to restore the previous version of the English text copy to avoid confusion between projects?

The change in Special:Diff/21050573 adds a statement of expectation that is contingent on the results of upcoming consultations, and should be amended or restored to the original for clarity.

The change in Special:Diff/21051464 appears to link to a discussion about holding Wikimedia Foundation accountable to a new concept that has not yet been enacted. The phrase you added ("have rejected any WMF-imposed code of conduct") does not seem to accurately describe the outcome of that link.

This consultation involves all language communities, and a stable, translated description of the project is needed. Due to the way the translation work is structured, it would be best if revisions were proposed on talk before major changes are made.

I look forward to hearing more about your thoughts on the project. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 16:00, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Xeno (WMF) Wouldn't it be best to let this page stabilize, and then send it off for retranslation? If the page has been improved, then the translations should be improved to match it, not the page reverted.
I'll also say that I believe that the unanimous consensus at the link added by Special:Diff/21051464 does include 'It will not attempt to impose their notions of civility upon the communities with very diverse cultural backgrounds in the form of a central "code of conduct".', and it's hard to understand why that wouldn't be considered a rejection by the community that's at worthy of mention, at least until consensus changes. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 17:32, 3 February 2021 (UTC)
Ideally yes; however, the local language consultations are underway - so there is a need to have stable text and a uniform document across languages. Yair rand hasn’t had an opportunity to respond, so I’d like to resolve the two issues identified above while incorporating some of their changes.
There have been many community discussions held on Meta and at local projects about the Universal Code of Conduct, so including a link to one particular Meta strategy talk page section does not seem to be a representative way of showing the views present in the many communities in the movement.
Perhaps a better option would be to link to a page cataloging past discussions about the Universal Code of Conduct (including the one currently linked), so readers can make their own determination about community acceptance or rejection of the project’s objectives. TomDotGov: Please let me know what you think. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 16:09, 4 February 2021 (UTC)
Given that the idea that pages can change is at the very heart of the **wiki** movement, it seems that a consultation procedure that assumes stable text is misguided. I'd suggest updating the procedures to match reality, rather than expecting people to stop editing pages. That's especially true now that the one of the recommendations of the strategy process is that we manage internal knowledge - adding relevant information to pages is something that needs to be encouraged.
I think it makes sense to link to as much on-wiki discussion as possible. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 00:06, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF): The one linked is the only large multi-project discussion I'm aware of on whether to accept a WMF-pushed code of conduct, and it's a good representation of responses globally. Locally, there have also been, IIRC, discussions on the Russian and English Wikipedias with similar results, and another shorter discussion here on Meta. The WMF tried to push various consultations along the lines of "Once we do this, how should it be done?", and I don't think one could reasonably consider those to be discussions of the basic issue of whether to let the WMF do it at all. (There are also the wildly-misrepresentative WMF reports on "consultations", which I assume none of us want to get into.) In any case, the link target can be changed without causing translation difficulties, correct? So if is to be altered (perhaps to a new page outlining discussions and results), the link target is not time-sensitive from the perspective of translations.
Re Special:Diff/21050573, I don't understand what you're referring to. Could you be more specific? Thanks. --Yair rand (talk) 00:31, 5 February 2021 (UTC)
To help explain, I've amended it in an edit meant to incorporate the spirit of your changes while allowing the English text to more closely reflect the version that was previously used for translation with the originally-submitted text.
SPoore (WMF) is coordinating the translation efforts and can explain further about that process and the need to collaborate on changes on the talk page before implementing them to ensure consistent translations and support the goal of a useful consultation.
Thanks again for your suggestions to improve the main page and providing sources of community comments about the UCoC, now being collected at Universal Code of Conduct/Discussions. Links like this will be useful in gathering a wide and diverse range of views to deliver useful feedback regarding the community's thoughts about the potential for a UCoC to be implemented. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 21:03, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Let's talk translation!!!Edit

Hello all,

I’m the staff person who is coordinating the work to translate the UCoC and other related pages. Our goal is for people who do not read English to have access to the material soon after it is posted to Meta in English. Currently, we have around 10 languages with most of the content translated and next week plan on doing a larger call for volunteers to translate. You can track the progress on the Translation guidance page.

The Foundation’s team members working on the project welcome suggestions about all aspects of the content (concepts and word choice.) Hopefully this is obvious since we plan do consultations near non stop from now to July. :-)

In order for people who read languages besides English to participate in reviewing the concepts and wording, we need for there to be a stable version that everyone is commenting on at the same time. We plan to make improvements at regular intervals as needed and then provide change logs so translators can make updates. While not a lightweight “iterative process”, we designed the process to provide for feedback loops that should allow for improvements over time.

Phase 2 will have several points in time where it will be important to have a stable version. So going forward, I’m asking for suggestions to be made on the talk page and not made directly to the page.

Thank you to all staff and volunteers who are translating these pages. It is essential work that makes the Wikimedia movement more accessible and inclusive. Warm regards, SPoore (WMF) Senior Strategist, Trust & Safety (talk) 22:01, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

  • There's no need to shout. And as a main point - if all the legal, corporate talk in UCoC is supposed to determine who is getting banned and when - why are you relying on volunteers? Why translation of a legal text cannot be done with the powers of WMF? Remember that the basis in every language is supposed to have the same power as in English. Do you really want to rely on volunteers to commit to that? Lukasz Lukomski (talk) 23:45, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
I translated much or most of the Dutch version but I would not want to be held accountable for any errors. The English text is very ambiguous. I provided a faithful translation, but there are many occasions where the translated version does not make sense or can be interpreted in several ways. There are two reasons for that: The original sometimes does not make sense. The original relies on concepts that do not exist in the target language's culture. My effort is deeply flawed and nobody should use the translation for anything other than as an aid to reading. Under no circumstances should it be enforceable. Vexations (talk) 13:24, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
I think, that's something for most languages. The text is rather vague und ambiguous, such either not enforceable for anything legitimately, or for enforceable for anything illegitimately. Some is just corporate mumbo-jumbo without proper meaning, i.e. bullshit-bingo-stuff, some is plain matter of courses, all reeks of pining the jelly to the wall. If you codify such stuff, the Wikilawyers will run amuck and destroy all sensible cooperation. Nobody with any corporate or business consultant background must be inbvolved in such stuff, they can't get anything right and reasonable. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 14:59, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

Hello, I’m replying to several of your posts together because they are related. I’m seeing two related but distinct issues that I want to address.

  • Discrepancies in translation text: Despite the good work of agencies, staff, and volunteers, I’m sure that discrepancies exist in these different language versions. Prior to posting the agency translations, the text was reviewed by Wikimedians and in many instances improved to reflect the Wikimedia context. But errors happen.  And more frequently, people will disagree about the best word choice.
    • Communities are encouraged to help us identify and correct the discrepancies. Local translators often discuss wording on the talk page of translations. For questions about topics that might be relevant to the broader content, I encourage you to use the Translation guidance talk page to share questions and ideas about ways to improve the wording.
    • Discussions about enforcement of text will happen during Phase 2 and will include discussion about how volunteer administrators and functionaries will interpret the UCoC.
  • Cultural differences between Wikimedia projects: The UCoC is not meant to replace existing, effective behavioral standards. Rather, the UCoC will work as a basic standard for all projects, particularly those projects that have few or no existing behavioral standards. Local policies or practices that seem to be in contravention of the UCoC can be examined and resolved taking into account relevant cultural context.

Does it make sense that we are handling these two aspects(Discrepancies vs. cultural difference.) differently? SPoore (WMF) Senior Strategist, Trust & Safety (talk) 14:54, 9 February 2021 (UTC)

@SPoore (WMF), take a look at the policy talk page, please. Iniquity (talk) 10:44, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
Thank you, Iniquity. I'll take a look. SPoore (WMF) Senior Strategist, Trust & Safety (talk) 14:54, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
That's not how it supposed to work at all. There's a weight of responsibility (and WMF afer producing UCoC is avoiding it) on translation and usually it is borne by specified, trained and qualified professionals. Shifting it onto volunteers and communities to deal with the outcome of less than professional translation is more than disappointing. On the second element - Phase 2 involves discussions over a text that's not yet translated. There's no discussion over viability in terms of use of it only about hypothetical enforcement. Whoever trained those facilitators, didn't do a very good job (besides their ability to use corporate speak) Lukasz Lukomski (talk) 15:16, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
SPoore_(WMF) Does it make sense that we are handling these differently? I'm confused. What does "these" refer to? Vexations (talk) 16:13, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
Two aspects that I addressed in my post. Discrepancies vs. cultural difference. I tweaked the wording to make more clear. SPoore (WMF) Senior Strategist, Trust & Safety (talk) 16:20, 9 February 2021 (UTC)

Let's talk translation responsibility, @SPoore (WMF):Edit

The users above do all mention serious concerns, which I do share, they ask specific questions, which I also do have and they have sound proposals, which I do support. Their focus is not on translating free-created Wikimedia Project content from one language into another. The focus is on transferring a piece of legal code designed under responsibility of the WMF for the US jurisdiction, into pieces of code that have to function alike in other jurisdictions all over the world. This is not an issue that can be solved in Phase 2. Local volunteers all first need a reliable piece of legal code that functions in their jurisdiction, approved by the WMF. Than it must be examined, by experts, whether local policies and/or practices are in contravention of the UCoC. After that is clear, it's up to the volunteers to decide, whether they want to police that piece of WMF legal code within their communities. (All written as imho). Thanks for your attention. JustB EU (talk) 17:00, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

You really want to have forced use of special gender pronouns in the UCoC?Edit

Moved from Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Policy text#You really want to have forced use of special gender pronouns in the UCoC?. Iniquity (talk) 12:25, 12 February 2021 (UTC)

This is a major deal and far away from a "minimal" set of rules. This is compelled speech and a very radical requirement. You know in Canada when they proposed this Bill C-16 how big of a controversy this was? Lots of reputable academics came forward to reject such a legislation, here are the arguments why this is not a good idea: [1] I think such a radical requirement should not be part of a "minimal" set of rules. Probably I am a bit too late to complain but I thought this UCoC would be a no brainer with only the bare minimum set of straightforward rules, but now as I finally read through it I realized, it's not. It is much more than that. It is a pathway to compelled speech. --TheRandomIP (talk) 12:06, 12 February 2021 (UTC)

It is only listed as an example. However by doing so it is expressing a biased political point of view. So it is better to just leave it as: treat people with respect. Eg, Deliberately choosing to use a "she" when talking about someone that likes to be termed "he" is a way to show disrespect. But there is no need to include this at that level. An out is provided by "linguistically possible". However the language depends also on who is writing, as well as in what language. In English at least grammatical gender is not a problem, and we are mostly limited to pronouns. Though there may be a few gendered nouns, like "protegée". Some other requests of users in this category may well be trolling and not genuine, that is some people are deliberately trying to cause trouble, and in that case it is another way to show disrespect for others by setting up a minefield of things to be offended about. However with trolls, they can be ignored, quietly shut down, or politely dealt with. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 04:46, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
"Deliberately choosing to use a "she" when talking about someone that likes to be termed "he" is a way to show disrespect." I agree. But the way it is formulated "People who identify with a certain sexual orientation or gender identity using distinct names or pronouns" makes quite clear that it is not about "he" or "she" but about so called "gender neutral pronouns" where there are dozens of such pronouns like "zie", "they" or whatever people come up with who feel they don't fit on the regular gender spectrum. But there is more: according to some ideologies, there is an infinite amount of genders and thus people may feel the need to develop their special pronouns to fit their personal gender, then they may force others to use this pronoun. This would be consistent with the UCoC. Thus, the UCoC already carries a certain ideology with it. This should not be the case. --TheRandomIP (talk) 09:51, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
TheRandomIP Almost four years after Bill C-16 became law, the sky has not fallen in Canada. Jordan Peterson has not been imprisoned. He has said he would use a transgender person's preferred pronouns if he was asked to do so. His objection appears to be that requiring the use some epicine pronouns (such as 'xe') results in compelled speech. Let's see how that works out here: We have no way to determine another editors gender other than what by they tell us, which is often very little. You don't know what I look look like, so you can't make a guess based on my appearance. I don't write about myself in a gendered language so you can't tell from hpw I write either. Both you and I have give no indication of our gender on our user pages. However, the Wikimedia software allows people to set a preference for gender. Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-personal provides three options: they, she and he. We both have it set to 'they'. The Gender template doesn't work on meta, but you can use the GENDER magic word. For example {{GENDER:Vexations|he|she|they}} will yield 'they'. If I check the preferred pronouns of all 118 participants to this page on meta, I see that 91 have their preference set to 'they', 23 use 'he' and 4 use 'she'. Almost nobody has a username that is clearly gendered, nor does anyone appear to have any other marked that unambiguously indicates their gender. Very few people have a photo that unambiguously shows their gender. The only obvious way that someone could possibly be in violation of the CoC in his/her/their communication with you would be a scenario in which he/she/they used 'he' or 'she', against your wishes; you would correct him/her/them; you would ask to use the pronoun that you have set in your preferences (using the template or magic word Gender or Geschlecht for example); he/she/they would refuse to comply with that request and persist in misgendering you. If he/she/they were to do such a thing, that would be harassment. If I know that Jordan identifies as male but I keep referring to him as Mrs. Peterson for example. That's not what Peterson's objection is about though: Peterson seems to have this hypothetical scenario where some trans-activist SJW wants you to use a pronoun such as 'xe' that he thinks is an expression of a belief (such as 'there are infinite genders') that he doesn't share, and he doesn't want to be compelled to express such a belief by using 'xe'. But that isn't an issue here: as long as you use the preference set by the editor in his/her/their preferences, nobody can reasonably accuse you of harassment. Vexations (talk) 16:25, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
This is, I would say, a bit weak argumentation. First of all, people could object that the wiki system was too limited for them and that they had some different kind of gender apart from male, female or neutral, and still come up with a special unique pronoun they want to force me to use. Who will decide then what's right or wrong? Some Wikimedia bureaucrats living on other side of the pond? This:
some trans-activist SJW wants you to use a pronoun such as 'xe' that he thinks is an expression of a belief (such as 'there are infinite genders') that he doesn't share, and he doesn't want to be compelled to express such a belief by using 'xe'.
is exactly my objection to this UCoC. Such a behavior would be consistent with the CoC, as there is no limitation to what gender pronouns people can force on me.
So what if I don't believe there is an infinite amount of genders? (something that has been debated by e.g. en:Debra W. Soh) There would be no way to express my disagreement as this may fall under the UCoC. This is a lock-in to some specific ideology.
Although I appreciate the goal of being more inclusive, in the end, however, it will be exclusive to those having a different opinion. --TheRandomIP (talk) 17:08, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
TheRandomIP Thanks, I think this clarifies things a bit at least. You appear to be concerned that a hypothetical radical transgender activist could come along to force you to express a belief about gender that you don't hold. This implies that you can be compelled to use a pronoun. You can't. If you refer someone as 'he' or 'she' or 'they', and that person asks you to use 'xe' instead, you can simply stop using the pronoun altogether. A pronoun is a substitute for a noun. Use the noun. It is easy to say "Vexations said" in stead of "he said". There is no compelled speech, merely incorrect descriptors that you are asked to avoid. BTW, if you check how many people actually have a userbox that says they prefer that you use 'xe' you'll find that this particular concern is indeed mostly hypothetical. Vexations (talk) 18:16, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
"If I check the preferred pronouns of all 118 participants to this page on meta, I see that 91 have their preference set to 'they', 23 use 'he' and 4 use 'she'." I am almost certain that "they" is simply the default option set by the software, so if you were trying to argue that 91 people chose "they", that is almost certainly not true. Silver hr (talk) 07:09, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
It is the default. I didn't say they chose 'they', nor was I trying to make that argument. The argument I was making was the following those preferences ought to immunize one against accusations of gender-based harassment. You cannot fault me for using they to refer to you because that is your preference. If you don't like it, you can change it. Vexations (talk) 12:17, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
Most people who make the argument that someone could request non-standard genders seems to go down a fallacious line of reasoning. Typically people only ask for he, she or they. I've never come across anyone asking for a different pronoun, though I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's uncommon. So this is really not that big of an "inconvenience". And the point, I presume, is mostly to stop people intentionally using other genders, or using "it", in a way to show contempt for a person's gender identity. I don't think anyone is going to, or should, get sanctioned for slipping up. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 21:44, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
I think TheRandomIP is right about that part of the UCoC being a problem. The fact that something rarely happened up until now doesn't justify creating the possibility for it to happen. Nowhere in the text does it specifies that "he", "she" and "they" are the only enforced and valid pronouns and that it will always be that way, therefore what he's talking about could totally create issues in the future. Also that section is very Anglocentric, since in a lot of gendered languages using something like "they" is almost, and sometimes completely, impossible. It's either masculine or feminine, unless you would like to try to force the use of asterisks or other symbols and characters that have no equivalent to the spoken language, and are often sanctioned by any recognized authority on the language (ex. the Académie Française for French, Real Academia Española for Spanish and Accademia della Crusca for Italian).--L2212 (talk) 16:29, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
You are exactly right. What some of you might miss that in other languages, there is no established or historical standard for gender neutral pronouns. (e.g. in German, my language), so whatever gender neutral pronoun is used is up to the person to decide. It is also not a nice solution to not use pronouns at all. As I said, there is a built-in ideology in this UCoC and the only way to escape is to restrict myself in the way I use language. And of course it hasn't happened until now because there was no obligation to follow such a request. But when there is, it will change the situation. It is important to realize that the idea of "nonbinary" gender is just an ideology, where some (like Debra W. Soh, and also me) just have a different point of view. People often confuse "nonbinary" with just breaking with traditional gender roles. There is no problem with breaking with traditional gender roles but it doesn't make you a completely new gender. I am a bit hesitant to use different pronouns for everyone who just does some unusual things for their gender, these are not the values I hold, not the culture in which I was born, not the way I conceptualize the world. There should also be respect for different cultures. --TheRandomIP (talk) 17:05, 14 February 2021 (UTC)
Since you can't know my gender, how would you address me in German (or French or Spanish)? Vexations (talk) 15:22, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
Another thing: It is important to realize that the idea of "nonbinary" gender is just an ideology. In Germany (and Austria), it's not "just an ideology". The third option de:Divers is law. Vexations (talk) 15:35, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
Yes, of course, it's an backward ideology that there are only two genders, but those stuck in this past don't see themselves as the hard-core ideologues they are, but proclaim, that the others, that follow law and science, are the evil ideologues. I don't know French or Spanish, but in German I usually use the Binnen-I, as I do since the 80ies of the last century, if no gender-neutral word is at hand. And I talk to others of course with Du, wich is not gendered, or with their names. Yes, Er/Sie or eineR strictly formal don't include divers, but mensch instead of man does, and, to quote Billy Wilder from Some like it hot: Nobody's perfect. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:46, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
I think in the end it is just a matter of definition. The stereotype version of male or female does not exist in real life. No one of us follows traditional gender roles all the time. So then, we are just all nonbinary? If you want to define it this way, good luck. Then there will be no feminism, no gender medicine, nothing that can be targeted to the needs of a specific gender.
It it just not a meaningful point of view. It is the "postfeminist" "infinite amount of genders" "everyone can be any gender" ideology that will cause real damage. (like for David Reimer)
I cannot approve such an ideology. A much more reasonable point of view is to abolish the stereotype of male or female gender roles altogether, allowing for greater variance within the binary categories of male and female. --TheRandomIP (talk) 17:54, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
P.S. I am not talking about transgender, who switch from one gender to the other (still only two genders involved by the way). I am talking about those e.g. "I want to have long hair and makeup" males (nothing wrong with that) who think they need to adopt the label "nonbinary" in order to do so. (here is where I disagree) --TheRandomIP (talk) 17:56, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
TheRandomIP If you wouldn't mind, could you please address the question I posted above? Regardless of what you do not want to be compelled to write, what DO you write if you don't know the gender of the person? And then as a followup, assuming that you are capable of addressing people whose gender you don't know, could you explain why it is impossible to use the exact same words for people whose gender you don't want to acknowledge? Vexations (talk) 19:24, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
First of all, it doesn't matter how often this case may occur. It is build-in ideology in this UCoC that you are going to force it on all Wikipedia users around the world - disrespecting their culture or believes. This is the worst part of all. Some Wikimedia elites just force their particular ideology onto everyone else, since everyone contributing then will have to acknowledge this UCoC and therefore indirectly approve this postfeminist "gender is a rainbow" ideology.
But speaking of how often it will occur, you know in some languages like German, there are much more gendered words. Everything is gendered in German. In English you just say "user" but in German it is either "Benutzer" (male) or "Benutzerin" (female), and then the so-called nonbinary people invented a whole new set of vocabulary, a gender neutral "user" then becomes "Benutzx" or whatever. And now lets assume you want to say something like "multiple users said". In German, again, the plural of "Benutzer" is only the masculine form, the "all inclusive" word becomes "Benutzer*in" where the "in" refers to female and the * is a placeholder for any nonbinary gender. Our language gets completely messed up with strange characters and unspeakable words. And this only to follow an irrational, dangerous, unscientific ideology of the "identity politcs" radical left.
Wikipedia needs to stay neutral. Otherwise, it will not be perceived as a trusted source anymore, but as an outpost of the radical left. --TheRandomIP (talk) 23:25, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
And if you wonder how I find out the gender of someone. Well, in german it is pretty obvious, just visit the user page and see if it is called "Benutzer:Vexations" or "Benutzerin:Vexations" (yes, in German they even changed the URL of the user page according to the gender). And female editors usually never miss the opportunity to set the correct setting, so it is quite obvious. --TheRandomIP (talk) 23:45, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
I actually wanted to know what you would do if you do not know the gender. Your reply suggests that you think you always do, and that it's always either male or female, and that you can make that determination based on a preference that has three options, not two. If I understand you correctly, we must assume that everyone is male unless they say they are female. You observe that female editors usually never miss the opportunity to set the correct setting, but apparently men -do- miss it frequently. See the 91/23/4 ratio I mentioned above, which if you're correct means 96.5% (114/4) of editors are male rather than 80.3% (23/4). Do you really believe that? I don't. Vexations (talk) 13:30, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
Of course there are ways to avoid pronouns and other gendered words (in German much harder as in English as I said), but this is not the point I wanted to make. I think I made it clear that it is not about that there was no way around it for me personally. But the general attitude of Wikimedia to integrate ideology based expectations into an universal code of conduct that they then force to every wikipedia user around the world. A small selection of users who I don't know where they come from and who they are decide which ideology takes place in Wikipedia, the main source of information for everyone. --TheRandomIP (talk) 15:30, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
For what it's worth: I think the UCoC should be rescinded or rewritten in plain language. I share your apparent dislike of newspeak, postmodernist nonsense and Americentrism. But I'll note that those are not limited to the radical left. The notion that truth is subjective has been widely embraced by broad sections of the political spectrum that no one would describe as left-wing. The urge to make it impossible to talk about ideas that challenge the established order exists on both ends of the political spectrum. I look to Wikimedia projects as a place where we can inhibit a shared reality where everyone can co-exist by treating others with respect, in spite of, or perhaps I should say, in celebration of our differences. All the best, Vexations (talk) 17:12, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
I'd just like to chime in that I agree with what you wrote here, but also point out a crucial thing: respect is subjective. In other words, what respect is can be defined to be pretty much anything. When you combine that with enforcement, that creates a dangerous potential for various extreme ideas to be enforced on a large number of people, simply by defining them as constituting respect. This is why I am wary of enforcing respect and why I think that it should be left in the domain of standard social relations, i.e. if you don't like someone or think that they're not being respectful, simply don't associate with them. Silver hr (talk) 13:46, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
Did you really create this thread based off what you "learned" from an alt-right propagandist's video? This is honestly embarrassing, and I hope you've had time to reflect on the criticisms laid out above. The WMF is making the right move here by putting their foot down against bigotry. It is very similar to what Fandom recently did during the recent Wookieepedia controversy regarding deadnaming. Wikimedia projects do not stand for hate, and I suggest you find somewhere else to edit if that's what you're looking for. Internetronic (talk) 00:17, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
We're mostly some anonymous users from the Internet. There's no way you can clearly say that the person on the other end of the screen is not a unicorn. Referring to someone with "he", "she" or "they" is completely reasonable to do in accordance with how they prefer to be referred to and for anything else there is this remark "where linguistically or technically feasible". I would say that using arbitrary non-standard gender pronouns would be linguistically infeasible in most languages. Adamant.pwn (talk) 20:23, 10 April 2021 (UTC)

At the moment I can set gender pronouns in my preferences, but with only three options:her, his and their. When I go back and read the rubric it does tell me that this is for messages, but also that "The software uses this value to address you and to mention you to others using the selected grammatical gender option. Your selection will be publicly visible to others." Aside from the issue of the foundation software forcing editors into just three gender options, which I assume is a UCOC breach; I suspect the "Will be publicly visible to others" bit is going to raise false expectations unless the software changes to make it a lot more visible than present - and as far as I can see it is about as visible as a planning application filed in a flooded basement in a filing cabinet marked "beware of the tiger". Now there are ways round this, people for whom this matters and who don't feel it obvious from their usernames are free to change their signature to include xe etc, but at the moment we risk raising false expectations. There will be people saying "I'd have preferred xe, I went for they as the closest available, and everyone ignores it as if they can't see my choice". This is me on the desktop environment, on the mobile environment it will be as invisible as talkpages. Can we at least change the wording to say "at some point in the future we will change things so that other editors know your preferred pronouns". WereSpielChequers (talk) 13:42, 11 April 2021 (UTC)

We appreciate discussion on the applicability of the policy, and have been encouraged at the ways different communities have approached the considerations of the global policy.

In particular, we noticed the French Wikipedia community engaging with the issue and discussing how to adapt to the basic expectations. The project team encourages communities to continue discussing these topics in the context of the 2021 consultations.

However, as the scope of this page is discussing the Universal Code of Conduct in general, I've collapsed some of the discussion above that have digressed from the applicability of the policy. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 18:08, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Terminology problem: corporate culture of top-down controlEdit

I've spent some time looking through the UCoC issue politically, in terms of the Wikimedia community. The current content of the page here includes near the top: "... though the community has not approved the Universal Code of Conduct. Phase 2 involves community conversations and proposal drafting on how to implement and enforce the UCoC."

The second part literally contradicts the first part. If the community has not approved UCoC, then it is politically unacceptable to say that what remains to be discussed are options for how to implement and enforce UCoC, rather than whether to implement and enforce it. We're aware that WMF members are in close contact with the corporate world, and as the WMF wikis together form one of the world's top few websites, we're aware that corporate and political pressure on WMF must be huge. I can empathise (without agreeing) with individuals finding it hard to not fall into top-down culture.

I see this as primarily a problem of WMF insensitivity to the community and difficulty in rejecting corporate culture. For the particular example I've cited here, a sufficient improvement, it seems to me, would be:

"... though the community has not approved the Universal Code of Conduct. Phase 2 involves community conversations and proposal drafting on how, if accepted by the community, UCoC would be implemented and enforced."

The actual intent and need for UCoC seems valid to me. I've noticed the practical involvement of Wikimedia communities other than the dominant en.Wikipedia community in consultations, and I assume that this is a deliberate aim to bypass our known demographic biases. This is very positive, and I'm sure that it wasn't that easy to organise. On the other hand, I don't think that the en.Wikipedia community should be de facto excluded from participating in making the decision by not making the proposal widely known.

Major grassroots international organisations doing a huge amount of good for the world like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have had their own issues of top-down decision-making, including a few well-known blunders, and they also have some in-built structural problems, but there's no particular reason to suspect that the individuals making decisions were not highly committed, long-term experienced human rights activists doing their best to make good decisions for their organisations; so it would be surprising if WMF completely escaped making a few major blunders. This particular case is not as bad as the ridiculous "branding" proposal, since in this case (UCoC), my prediction is that if the Wikimedia community is given the chance to participate in a legitimate decision-making process, then there'll be an overwhelming decision in favour of the proposal. If we're not given the chance to participate (not just "be consulted"), then a lot of energy will be wasted on a symbolic battle for power between WMF and the community.

I've also noticed that at least some code of conduct texts give the impression of a willingness to violate habeas corpus and the assumption of innocence, reversing well accepted human rights standards; I hypothesise (I may well be wrong) that some of that culture might have seeped into the idea of UCoC, which "must be enforced" even before it has been accepted as a decision.

I suggest that WMF people do a bit of editing and fix up all the Lukashenko type terminology and replace it by phrasing that shows more respect for the community, making it clear that it's the community's prerogative to have the final say in constitutional-type decision-making. Boud (talk) 00:53, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

It does appear that some is affected by American politics, but not all American "rights" are granted. But at least it can be discussed. Probably nothing will happen as a result of discussion, unless one of those "blunders" is identified. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 04:50, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Hello, I’m helping facilitate community discussions about this project, and appreciate each of your thoughts on the matter. I agree that global community approval is difficult to demonstrate especially while there are reasonable questions from reasonably-minded contributors about the practicality of the policy text, or the notion altogether. That said, the process is still ongoing and other reasonably-minded contributors hope to see the project followed through to completion so proposals can be published for community consideration (even if they don’t approve of the practicality of the policy text as it exists today).
Please note en.wiki and other larger projects are not being excluded: those local language consultations started earlier as they required more time due to the translation workflows or multilingual nature of those projects. As we move into the fact-finding consultation planned for March, project participants will have an opportunity to contribute to global discussions as well as discussions that are tailored to their project. Any community discussions (facilitated or otherwise) about the UCoC may be posted to the Discussions page, and I’ve been following along with the discussions ongoing on FrWiki and NlWiki.
To the point about the Phase 2 consultations seeming to beg the question: I’m not sure that is the case. Of course, there is a legal role that platform providers must play in setting codes of conduct for visitors, so this process can reasonably be seen as fulfilling a fiduciary duty to sustain and enhance the viability and resilience of the global platform upon which the individually self-governing projects thrive. More importantly though, the desire for such a global policy comes from the Movement Strategy discussions which was a global sourcing of input from all Wikimedia communities and stakeholders on strategic direction.
My hope is that the UCoC will serve as an overlay for the existing community policies, practices, and procedures of mature projects (see, for example, this mapping in the French Wikipedia discussion) and serve as a starter document for newer and less-developed ones. The most successful policy will be one met with wide community approval precisely because it respects the way their community operates and aligns itself with the pre-existing community governance, moderation structures, and values. It will also be one that helps create stable pathways for the community to resolve issues and work to fulfill several of the high-priority community wishlist items that have been sought such as better support for cross-wiki abuse monitoring and response, and support for users who experience or address harassment within communities (such as the WikiLearn pilot program currently ongoing).
I do wonder whether the UCoC can truly cover all cultural contexts, and it’s one of the reasons I took this role: to act as a conduit for community concerns and ensure that the points where the global policy is impractical in individual community contexts are identified and clearly highlighted to the drafting committee writing the application section. In preparing reports about input and sentiment, we won’t be diminishing any criticism, and on-wiki reports will be available for review and comment. There are still ongoing discussions in many places about the practicality, enforceability, translatability, and applicability of the policy text as we move forward, and the UCoC will be subject to periodic and as-needed reviews.
I also consider the potential in the successful creation and adoption of such a document: those same best practices that have been developed over thousands (millions?) of volunteer hours will be made available to the global communities that have not yet achieved the same level of organization. Pulling together wide and varied viewpoints from the communities to attempt to distill into simple actionable terms the types of behaviour that are acceptable in our collaborative environments globally is a monumental challenge. The policy produced must be practical for our communities: "if it doesn't make sense, then I hope the Board does not ratify it."
To your substantive concerns: these are exactly the type of issues upon which community input is being sought in the upcoming consultations. I do look forward to hearing more of your in-depth thoughts on these matters, and appreciate the time you took to express your concern about the seemingly contradictory statement in the lead. I did notice these changes have caused some confusion in other community discussions. I would like to implement the following change (which clarifies and highlights that while there is a global policy in development, the various communities are still discussing the practicality or applicability of such a policy for their community):

The Board of Trustees announced its approval of the UCoC Policy on 2 February 2021. Community discussions about the practicality and application of the UCoC are ongoing. Phase 2 involves community conversations and proposal drafting on the potential methods to enforce the UCoC contingent on implementation and adoption. It officially began in February 2021.

@Xeno: The Resolution of the Board of Trustees dates back to December 9th 2020 JustB EU (talk) 19:58, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

@Boud, Graeme Bartlett, Yair rand, Arccosecant, and TomDotGov: Please let me know if this makes sense. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
While the question of how to determine community approval - "making the decision" - is undetermined, it seems to me that algorithms that are likely to converge on a decision are feasible. There could be a weighting to give nearly equal weight to all Wikimedia communities above a certain threshold of self-sustainability and healthy community functioning. For example, all communities above the median (or 75th percentile or 25 percentile or ...) of numbers of confirmed, experienced, autopatrolled editors would get equal weight; smaller communities' weights would be tapered down to near zero for the smallest. This would make, for example, Arabic and Farsi and Indonesian Wikipedia individual users more influential (individually) than individual English Wikipedia users, while not making the result sensitive to decisions in tiny communities. So more like the UN General Assembly rather than the UNSC, where "might is right" for the permanent five. And a 2/3 majority (after weighting) for a yes/no vote would be required. This is just off the top of my head to start the ball rolling. Anyway, for the wording, I propose ALT1:

The Board of Trustees announced its approval of the UCoC Policy on 2 February 2021. Community discussions about the practicality and application of the UCoC are ongoing. Phase 2 involves community conversations and proposal drafting on the potential methods to enforce the UCoC, contingent on the community making a positive decision in favour of the UCoC. Phase 2 officially began in February 2021. The community decision will be conducted during Phase 3.

I removed "implementation" after "contingent", because if UCoC is implemented, then that means that is has been done, carried out, enforced, it seems to me. A formal declaration is not an "implementation". If the WMF Board has not yet accepted the need for a community decision, then you could omit the last sentence for the moment, but it's the elephant in the room that you (the Board) have to deal with sooner or later. Better have the community decision be made in Phase 3 than never. The word decision seems critical to me. Corporations consult with their senior staff and workers; participatory organisations have (in principle) decisions made by the participants. Boud (talk) 19:56, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF): I don't believe this is a useful change, as it implies that the Board can make arbitrary changes to policy without community support. Wikimedia isn't Google or Facebook, where they have a central board that directs the actions of the corporation. Instead, the Wikimedia Foundation is closer to a fiscal sponsor for the various projects that produce the mission's value. While I'm sure that the UCoC is binding on WMF employees like yourself, it isn't the Board or Foundation's place to exercise powers that the projects haven't delegated to it.
Fundamentally, the UCoC is an okay-ish idea, provided it's enforced in a way the community finds fair. But trying to impose it without the consent of the community is going to harm it's ability to be a movement tool. It is very important to indicate that it hasn't gone through any sort of community process, and isn't policy outside of the Foundation until it does. And what's more, by misunderstanding the status of the UCoC, the Foundation risks reducing support. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 19:58, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
@Xeno (WMF): I think such a change could be acceptable, however, it should be more explicit that a binding community approval process is required, so I propose this wording:

The Board of Trustees announced its approval of the UCoC Policy on 2 February 2021. Community discussions about the practicality and application of the UCoC are ongoing. Phase 2 involves community conversations and proposal drafting on the potential methods to enforce the UCoC, contingent on community ratification of UCoC. Phase 2 officially began in February 2021. A binding community ratification process will be conducted during Phase 3.

It needs to be made clear that the WMF is not forcibly imposing the UCoC onto the community, rather that the WMF is asking the community to implement an idea that they find beneficial. Also, I would suggest to the WMF that they hold some form of formal (i.e. with a binding vote) request for amendments to the UCoC, to ensure that community concerns are properly addressed. — csc-1 21:32, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
@Boud, Graeme Bartlett, Yair rand, Arccosecant, and TomDotGov: How should community consensus be determined? If each community has only one vote (or, as happens in US Presidential elections, each community votes as a block), then each community's vote should get a weighting to ensure fairness by ensuring that larger projects have a greater influence than smaller projects, but that this influence is not disproportionate.
One way is to use the Penrose method with the driving metric [my terminology] being the number of hits each community's project gets. Alternatively, the driving metric could be the number of articles in that community's project. In the Penrose method, the weighting factor for each vote is the square root of the number in the driving metric. The Wikipedia artcile shows how the Penrose method could work in the European Union with each country's population being the driving metric. In that example, Germany's population is 206 times that of Malta, but its vote is worth 14.3 times that of Malta's. In the case of the UCoC, this would mean that the viewpoint of the English Wikipedia (6.24 million articles) would be worth 22 times the viewpoint of the Limburghish Wikipedia (13k articles). Martinvl (talk) 22:03, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
@Martinvl: The vote should be based on approval by some super-majority threshold (perhaps 75-85%, akin to an enwiki RfB, as this sort of thing needs very broad consensus) by editors rather than projects, since people aren't tied to one specific project. This should deal with any concerns about relative size of communities. You'd want to implement that same sort of voting restrictions there are for steward/board/arbcom elections obviously. — csc-1 22:17, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
I agree that editors should be allowed only one vote, with the right to choose which wiki they want to use as their justification for voting, but with equal weights per vote, independent of which wiki community, I don't understand how this would balance between the communities. One equally weighted vote per editor would mean that enwiki dominates overwhelmingly, and, generally, a small bunch of rich-country-language wikis dominate, more or less imitating the United Nations Security Council, in terms of lack of balance. A power of 0.5 or even 0.3 would seem reasonable to me to flatten the relative power of the biggest communities. Boud (talk) 22:33, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
The issue is that people aren't just part of one community, they might be active at a bunch of different wiki's, and might not even have a "main" project. Obviously you do need to address massive enwiki influence, so I'd say the best way to do that would be to have 2 votes, one unweighted wikimedia-wide, and another per-project vote (where you can vote in all projects you're an active contributor to) weighted by pages/edits/users/something (and the weighted vote would be distributed to yes/no proportionally, no WikiElectoralCollege please). I'd imagine a good procedure could look like this:
  1. This current discussion over enforcement finishes up
  2. An window to propose amendments opens up, which would require a 65% or so margin to pass
  3. A vote is held to "Ratify" or "Reject" the UCoC, if ratified, it goes into effect
  4. If rejected, a window for discussion opens, and then another amendment window opens in order to fix it
  5. Hold another vote, if rejected again, repeat this process, but allow an amendment to kill the UCoC if it become unsalvageable.
  6. If it keeps failing, perhaps allow the community to write their own version?
This could help get a community approved UCoC passed, though it feels excessively bureaucratic. — csc-1 23:46, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Global policy decisions are made with properly internationalized (and well-advertised) RfCs or votes, with a reasonably high threshold for consensus, and with plenty of discussion. See for example the vote on establishing the Global sysops user group.
Re the text on the page: It's very important to mention explicitly that the community has not approved the UCoC. I don't know what the WMF actually plans, but we should be careful not to attribute specific intentions to them that we're not sure about. (I suspect that eventually we will (completely independent of the WMF) have an actual process for the community actually writing and approving a baseline set of global conduct rules, and the WMF will waste a lot of everyone's time before then being uncooperative and generally threatening about this.) --Yair rand (talk) 02:39, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
@Martinvl: I don't think that determining consensus for a policy is hard when the policy has consensus. We do it all the time, through the wiki process. Someone suggests a change, and people discuss it. If the change is a good one, it sticks, if not, someone will suggest an improvement, or suggest that the status quo is the best. If something is particularly thorny, then perhaps an RfC is is in order, but that should be the exception, not the rule.
The problem here is that the UCoC didn't go through the open improvement process that everything else goes through, and so it doesn't benefit from the consensus that improvement process naturally produces. I don't think that talking about voting methods and so on is really the right way to go about this - generally, when something is ready to become policy, it should be obvious to everyone that it is. If nobody can suggest a way to improve things, then we're probably in a good place.
It might be harder to develop a policy this way (though adding diverse perspectives might make things easier). It's important to facilitate things such that the changes can be discussed in multiple langanges. (I'm surprised that the WMF invests in things like branding junkets and not machine translation to make this easier.) At the end of the day, it's the way that has been proven to work, and I'm not sure that a bespoke voting process will. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 04:52, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
What I think is that the terms and conditions should not at all be controversial. They should include complying with the law. They should aim for the purposes of the Wikipedias and allied projects, but should not be overlaying American political values. They should be able to get overwhelming support, say 90% of projects support including what is there. If a project thinks something is missing, then they can add to their own local policies. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 23:19, 2 March 2021 (UTC)
I agree with the apparently unanimous concerns expressed above, regarding the text proposed by Xeno (WMF). At best the text is unclear, and at worst it indicates a problem. The text deletes the community from the the most important portion. It is unclear whether removing the community was a well-intentioned-but-excessive attempt to shorten and simplify, or whether it was intended to be a substantive deletion of the most crucial issue. The current text includes a step seeking community acceptance. We can sort out the details on that step after Xeno clarifies the Foundation position. I would suggest there are basically two paths forwards. One path is for the Foundation to affirm and collaborate on that step, focusing on the key points of critics on what is necessary to ensure and maximize community acceptance. I wold be happy to assist with that. The other path, a painful and historically repeating pattern, is for the Foundation to focus on friendly feedback, to deny/ignore a step to determine community consensus, and then the step typically happens anyway. In the latter case it would be one-or-more critics organizing a hostile RFC, an RFC focused on the strongest unaddressed flaws and criticisms. Alsee (talk) 10:59, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

← Thanks to everyone for the suggestions about the main page text; an incorporating update was made. I noticed additional good faith changes, and have concerns with the current text.

Re: Special:Diff/21181403: the discussion above demonstrates how difficult it is to measure formal approval on a global scale, so the text should reflect what can be more readily measured (the sentiment and positions of individual communities) to assist with understanding (especially by those not familiar with the structure of the Board, the Foundation, or how individual participants, communities, and groups make up the global movement).

Re: Special:Diff/21181180: many participants have asked for a code to be implemented, and much of the code is derived from established policies present in many projects. Many called for additional resources and support for contributors who are identifying and responding to problems. Many communities have a means of enforcing basic expectations by extension of the terms of use or existing policies, guidelines, and practice which already prohibit harassment, threats, stalking, spamming, or vandalism.

The text should be more clear for those not familiar with the intricacies of the projects:

"Individual communities within the global movement have not necessarily approved or adopted a means of enforcing this Code of Conduct."

I appreciate the desire for broad participatory global input into the document and this is represented in my consultation design, which continues the project focus on wide community engagement. The project team continues to review and adapt to ensure the process remains inclusive and participatory across the movement and will be posting additional details and an updated timeline soon. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 00:45, 5 March 2021 (UTC)

A problem that the WMF seems to be running into recently is the use of bespoke processes to evaluate consensus. If a policy actually has consensus, there shouldn't be any need for "consultation design" - the consensus of interested parties should be obvious. That it's not means that the policy needs to be changed, not the process.
I don't believe edits like Special:Diff/21177867 are helpful, as the WMF should not be hiding the lack of community approval from the reader. It's important that a policy like this gain community approval, so as to prevent the massive diversion of effort that happened in, for example, en:WP:FRAM. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 15:43, 5 March 2021 (UTC)
The proposed text implies something that is incorrect. The global community has not approved the UCoC. We have systems for this kind of thing, and they don't involve WMF staffers telephoning handpicked users, holding confidential conversations involving leading questions, "reporting" the results in a broadly misrepresentative manner, and claiming support. --Yair rand (talk) 14:38, 9 March 2021 (UTC)
Yair rand, the suggested text states that individual communities within the global movement have not necessarily approved or adopted a means of enforcing the code of conduct. Is that not accurate?
The description above of the process used to gauge global opinions seems unfair: to date, the UCoC project has involved many on-wiki discussions in multiple languages inviting wide input from all global users responding to calls for feedback and a comprehensive revision process.
The page text should reflect a globally-representative and inclusive view. With the restored wording, readers unfamiliar with Wikimedia projects may form the mistaken impression that basic conduct expectations are not approved or enforced by individual communities in the global movement. This is not the case, as there are existing mechanisms in place to address unacceptable behaviour. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 20:10, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
To each of your three points:
  • The sentence does not outright state any literal falsehoods, no. That's not exactly great praise. The clear implications are false. ("More-recently-established Wikimedia projects are not necessarily populated entirely by lizard people." is also technically true, while implying falsehoods.)
  • There certainly were many discussions, in various media. Most of the WMF-initiated ones clumsily avoided all the main issues, like whether the WMF should be involving itself in conduct policy, or the role of global policies in this area. After ignoring the parts of discussion they didn't like, WMF staff put together some wildly misleading reports to the Board in order to get approval for something the community opposed. Then, instead of taking a supporting role in the process per the Board's expectations, the WMF just appointed whoever they felt like to write the document, ostensibly with "community input" while generally ignoring actual community processes. And then at the end individual trustees dictated a bunch of things they felt should be in the UCoC, in what could reasonably be called abuse of power. I skipped over a lot of the bad behaviour in this summary, but I think everyone here understands the gist of how it all went. The community rejected the UCoC.
  • That's an argument against putting out a WMF press release linking to an internal page about a potentially confusing unapproved proposal, not an argument against clearly marking the proposal's status. While we have some responsibility for cleaning up the WMF's mistakes that harm Wikimedia's reputation, building mistakes around those mistakes is not sensible. The wikis make their own conduct policies reasonably clear to their own users; I'm not concerned about them thinking that those disappeared because of an unapproved UCoC. If we wanted to take the expressed risks seriously, we would put a notice at the top of the page saying something like "Wikimedia projects establish and enforce conduct policies independently. Go there if you want to find out what the policies are. This thing here is some nonsense put together by a confused support organization." (Less sarcastically, maybe.) But we don't, so we won't.
--Yair rand (talk) 21:22, 10 March 2021 (UTC)

Please replace the GAFAM survey by a survey on an ethically acceptable serverEdit

Moved from Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Policy text#Please replace the GAFAM survey by a survey on an ethically acceptable server. Iniquity (talk) 11:02, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

On one of the WMF wikis, I have just noticed an invitation to take part in an UCoC survey on a GAFAM website that will violate my privacy and that will support non-free software. Both of these are fundamentally opposed to the aims of the free knowledge movement. Google and the other components of GAFAM are centralised, secretive organisations that maximise their value on their market. WMF wikis are the (almost) complete opposite.

To whichever UCoC-related person had the crazy idea of setting up a survey on a Google server: Please look through https://switching.software to find an ethically acceptable survey software package and host for carrying out the survey. Resistance is fertile, not futile! Keep in mind that people living in the European Union have the GDPR to defend our rights and do not wish to "be the product" of Google. Thanks. Just to be clear: I'm criticising the action as hypocritical, not the person. Boud (talk) 03:43, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

That's a normal behaviour for those (WMF)ers, they don't care about our core values but go for minimum effort, not better privacy. I've told them more then just once, that Facebook, Google or anything along that lines can't produce a valid outcome, as it excludes those, eho care a bit about privacy. Using Google, Facebook, Twitter and other junk like that mus be completely off the table, at least as an input option for the community. What people do in private is their business, but the WMF , and the whole Wikiverse, has to have higher standards. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:23, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
If we're ever going to formalize the rights of Wikimedians, this ought to be one of them: No policy of any Wikimedia project shall be construed or applied so as to require a Wikimedian to reveal any personal information or require, coerce or otherwise force a Wikimedian to use non-free, non-gratis software or services. I just noticed that on Commons there is now a proposal to ban the practice Vexations (talk) 13:21, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
In short I expect something like "We used Google Form but don't do this at home: this is not a feature, this is a bug. Can you help us to adopt something Free?" and the answer is: Thank you for your work and yes, we can help you! You can start from the WMF's extraordinary technical department and the Wikimedia awesome tech volunteers, get them involved to adopt a solution respecting users' freedoms. For example I suggest LimeSurvey and QuickSurvey or nextCloud Forms. Yes, they are widely adopted. Yes, they have no limitations if you host them or if you have a serious partner. Feel free to ask me (and other people) how. --Valerio Bozzolan (talk) 23:30, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
See also Talk:Wikimania 2021/Call for participation#I want to give a contribution... but please no Google Form :( --Valerio Bozzolan (talk) 10:19, 15 February 2021 (UTC)
It looks like Phoebe has got the point over at the Wikimania 2021 link. :) Though I don't see an explicit apology. :( Someone in the Board insulted the community and saw no need to apologise. UCoC would not make apologies obligatory, but they do help. Maybe the Board ought to organise an "introduction to free knowledge and how to avoid GAFAM/BATX" one-day workshop every time there are new Board members, whether they are the appointed or elected members. It shouldn't be hard to find some Wikimedia techies willing to do that remotely over e.g. jitsi or BigBlueButton rather than through freedom-violating software that I won't name. Boud (talk) 20:55, 18 February 2021 (UTC)
Google just completely firred it ethics, they don't have an ethic any longer (officially, in reality they always were evil). See this article in the Kurier about this. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 06:43, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

Ethics in International Arbitration: Can International Institutions Resolve a Universal Code of Conduct for all Participants in the Proceeding?Edit

Interesting: https://www.jurist.org/commentary/2021/02/rose-rameau-ethics-international-arbitration/xeno 16:59, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

I also found "Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport" https://sirc.ca/safe-sport/uccms/xeno 17:10, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

Edit request | Legal status Code of ConductEdit

In an official Resolution of the Wikimedia Fuundation you can find here: Approval Universal Code of Conduct, the Code of Coduct has been approved by the Foundation as "an enforceable policy across all online and offline Wikimedia projects and spaces". Some aspects related to that purpose are not clear (yet) from the project page:

  • It would be good to make clear what legal status this Code of Conduct has / will have in the somewhat intransparent range of policy - and guideline rulings published all over the Wikipedia platform. It looks like this Code of Conduct will have a status above the local community guidelines and below the general Terms of Use.
  • Does at this moment a set of policies / guidelines exist that are enforceable across all local Wikipedia projects, comparable to this new Code of Conduct? When yes, will the Code of Conduct replace this policies?
  • Who will have the right / obligation to enforce the Code of Conduct?

Not asking to answer these quesions personally, it's feedback from the user-workfloor in Europe. Thanks. WillTim 2001:16B8:8C13:FF01:196F:BE90:43F6:9FEA 17:15, 14 February 2021 (UTC)

Hello WillTim: there is “Refraining from certain activity” in the current Terms of Use: the UCoC seeks to expanding on conduct expectations in more detail; see Universal Code of Conduct/FAQ#Redundancy with Terms of Use. The UCoC is meant to be subsidiary to the Terms of Use where currently the right or obligation to enforce depends on the type of report and the capacity of the project upon which the report is made. For example, some projects are served by global sysops, stewards, and other users who patrol globally. Other projects have well-developed local policies and conflict resolution systems. Severe cases that cannot be addressed locally are often referred to the Foundation’s Trust and Safety team. This is a key question being explored in Phase 2, so please let me know if you have any input on the subject or further questions. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 20:29, 10 March 2021 (UTC)
My two cents (see above for more careful wording): The Wikipedias' (and other WMF wikis') content is free-licensed and copyright rests with the authors. Hypothetically, we (the community) could switch from WMF-operated/funded servers to an alternative set of servers. The effort involved would be huge, and would be a huge sink (waste) of time and energy, but the possibility is there - hypothetically. WMF's terms of use are for Wikipedias hosted on WMF servers; hosting on alternative servers would require whoever is hosting those servers to take the legal responsibility and risks and declare terms of service. (I'm not a lawyer.) The bottom line is that there is a subtle political battle going on between WMF and the community about governance. It's subtle, because the community (in my prediction) is very likely to accept UCoC after sufficient corrections and changes of attitude by the WMF, while WMF knows that for the community to say "we reject UCoC" would make us look like an extreme-right community that wants to have the right to be sexist, racist and so on. As the Wikipedias are the only world-dominating web service that is community based and transparent, in contrast to GAFAM/BATX, it's unsurprising that WMF is under pressure to imitate the GAFAM corporate culture of top-down control. Anwyay, see above to see if the WMF wants to challenge the community to fork onto other servers or rather accepts to acknowledge community sovereignty in decision-making. My impression is that the answers to the specific questions depend on the community insisting on our sovereignty, not asking if we still have it. Boud (talk) 21:37, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

Update to Universal Code of Conduct TimelineEdit

Please note the Board of Trustees has published Foundation:Resolution:Update to Universal Code of Conduct Timeline, extending the timeline for the current phase of the UCoC project ("outlining clear enforcement pathways") to December 2021.

An updated timeline is available at Meta:Universal Code of Conduct#Timeline. The Foundation is seeking input from as many communities as possible. Later this month, we will have specific details about the individual on-wiki consultations starting in April and running into May 2021.. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 18:15, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Whilst three months for a draft review is an improvement over the one month we had for the original Code draft, I still have questions that reflect concerns about the process embodied in the timeline:
  1. Who was responsible for creating the detailed timeline? (Board resolution only mentions deadline, not the breakdown into separate steps.)
  2. Why do we only get one month for initial on-wiki consultation? Is that long enough?
  3. Will there be a consultation for Meta as well as the other wikis? (At (1), meta-wiki was changed to on-wiki.)
  4. Will the three-month draft review be an iterative process, with refined drafts, or do we only get one round of review like with Phase 1, just longer?
Pinging User:Xeno (WMF) (who posted above), User:BChoo (WMF) (who published the diff that I linked), and User:PEarley (WMF) (who liaised with the Community during phase 1 drafting). Pelagic (talk) 21:44, 7 April 2021 (UTC)
Pelagic: 1) Detailed project timelines are generally coordinated with other teams in the Foundation to ensure adequate space for other ongoing conversations. 2) This comment period is scheduled for one month, and input that arrives later can still be used in the process. If there are any communities that need help engaging with the core questions, please let me know. 3) Meta participants, as well as participants of any project, can now answer the key questions in the context of individual projects here; 4) the draft review process is still being finalized in the new extended timeline.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I look forward to reading further input at the now-open translingual venue. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 20:15, 14 April 2021 (UTC)

Open Letter from Arbcoms to the Board of TrusteesEdit

Since I haven't seen it linked here yet, I'll point out that there is now an Open Letter from Arbcoms to the Board of Trustees regarding the Universal Code of Conduct. It's been linked from the front page of meta since March 26th, and since then it's been signed by the arbcoms of cswiki, dewiki, enwiki, frwiki, ruwiki, and ukwiki. TomDotGov (talk) (hold the election) 19:26, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Comments from the UCoC Project team

The UCoC Project team read the Open Letter from Arbcoms to the Board of Trustees with interest. We share the belief that large projects with mature community governance systems need to have meaningful input about the application and enforcement section of the Universal Code of Conduct. While we are aware that the Board, to whom the letter was addressed, will be considering and responding after the upcoming Functionaries meeting, we wanted to share some of our own thoughts and expectations.

The current plan calls for Maggie Dennis to select the committee members, and she has confirmed that at least one person with experience as an arbitrator, or similar experience dealing with complex and difficult behavior issues, will be added as a member of the drafting committee, and at least one additional person with this experience, or experience as a Steward. However, this is naturally contingent upon qualified volunteers with the required experience applying for the role. We hope the signing members will consider applying!

The Open Letter also indicated a need for the Universal Code of Conduct to remain a living document subject to an amendment process involving meaningful input from communities and individuals. We agree and had built into the plan a review one year after implementation, following which we believe the UCoC should remain subject to periodic reviews. We understand the position that a community-involved amendment process should be formalized.

The project team wants to thank the signing members for taking the time to provide these thoughts. We would appreciate it if Arbitration Committee members who are able to attend the meetings scheduled 15:00 UTC on 10 & 11 April 2021 make time to do so. If you require language or other accommodation, please let Keegan (WMF) (talk · contribs) know.

We are inviting participants on every interested project with an Arbitration Committee, as well as any and all interested Wikimedia projects in any language to hold discussions starting 5 April 2021. Community members are invited to submit summaries of the discussion by 10 May 2021 for the drafting committee's use in designing proposals that will be brought back to the same communities for a comprehensive community review period later this year.

We will shortly be sending out an an announcement seeking input about these discussion topics (some translations pending) during global consultations. We are working to translate these pages into as many languages as possible and would appreciate any assistance. If anyone is interested in helping to organize local discussions and requires assistance, please post here.

The team is committed to a strong collaborative effort with communities as we move forward together with the Universal Code of Conduct and would like to thank all the signing members for their ongoing community building efforts. We look forward to hearing more of your thoughts in the April 2021 consultations and learning more of the Board’s thoughts in their coming response.

On behalf of the project team, Xeno (WMF) (talk) 16:01, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

Copy edits neededEdit

At https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Universal_Code_of_Conduct (and here, I guess) there are at least three minor issues.

1. When I click the "Feedback" link, I am taken to a "View Source" version of the page, not to any sort of feedback or discussion page. Please fix with a redirect or some other solution.

2. The first text in section 3.3, "Content vandalism and abuse of the projects", is not a sentence, but it should be in order to maintain parallel structure and be a grammatical continuation of the second clause in the lead of section 3.

3. The phrase "People who identify with a certain sexual orientation or gender identity using distinct names or pronouns" lacks parallel structure with the sentences around it. – Jonesey95 (talk) 05:40, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

Anchor linkEdit

@Sänger: Re the recent edit on the anchor link: Text inside the tvar tags aren't translated. The link target goes to #Timeline in all languages, pointing to an also-untranslated anchor inside the Timeline section header. --Yair rand (talk) 06:14, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

OK, danke für den Hinweis. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) Hold the election 06:20, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

Universal Code of Conduct Phase 2: m:Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/2021 consultations/DiscussionEdit

The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) provides a universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire Wikimedia movement and all its projects. The project is currently in Phase 2, outlining clear enforcement pathways. You can read more about the whole project on its project page. There are consultations ongoing at several projects about key discussion topics.

To seek input from participants of projects without individual on-wiki discussions, m:Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/2021 consultations/Discussion is accessible now in several languages and accepting input in any language.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 16:32, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

Return to "Universal Code of Conduct" page.