Talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Charter

This page is for discussions related to Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Charter.

  Please remember to:

  Discussion navigation:

UCoC monitoring


I believe this is the critical section, as it tells what the U4c will actually do. I also think it is a bit vague and it is understandable as time will learn of the best way of performing the monitoring. You already have in the following section indicating this charter will/can be amended. I therefor think it would be clarifying that you in the top of this section explicitly write this will be expanded/elaborated upon as experience grow from real cases making more clear descriptions possible. Otherwise I see this charter clear and good Anders Wennersten (talk) 06:31, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply

@Anders Wennersten I want to make sure I understand your idea. You are suggesting more detail is neededed in the monitoring section, but that this detail could be placed in what I think of as the U4C procedures rather than the U4C charter (what's presented here). Is that correct? Barkeep49 (talk) 20:45, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
No, more details wanted in the Monitor section, but that this detailing could wait until the charter has been in use for a while Yger (talk) 23:30, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply

Suggestions for the charter


Ping @U4CBC members: Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and hard work the U4CBC has put into this draft charter. I am currently in my third year as an English Wikipedia arbitrator and entering my sixth year as an English Wikipedia administrator and, drawing on that experience, would like to share a few thoughts and suggestions.

  • Thank you for explicitly laying out the community buy-in needed for amendments to the charter and to the enforcement guidelines. Keeping this will be crucial in my vote to ratify this charter.
  • Thank you also for explicitly noting that the enforcement guidelines contemplate the U4C taking action on projects with effective high-level decision making bodies only when there are severe systemic issues with UCoC enforcement on those projects. This provision will also be crucial when I consider my vote on ratifying this charter.
  • The charter should contemplate the establishment by the U4C of advisory groups. The English Wikipedia has an advisory group of functionaries (current/former arbitrators and current/former holders of CUOS permissions) and an NDA'd mailing list for this group where sensitive information can be discussed. This advisory group is very helpful for me as an arbitrator, and I think the U4C — as a new body — could find such a structure even more helpful.
    • Recommendation: The U4C charter should contemplate the establishment of an advisory body, composed of members of high-level decision making bodies and former U4C and U4CBC members, who will have an NDA'd mailing list where sensitive information can be discussed.
  • I am worried about the workload that the U4C will face. I think the only practical way for the U4C to manage its workload will be to delegate its functions in most ordinary cases, including most appeals by blocked users. English Wikipedia ArbCom's workload is already very heavy, and I worry that the U4C will take on a much higher case load than that.
    • I am glad that the charter explicitly contemplates the U4C delegating its final decisionmaking authority in appropriate cases.
    • Recommendation: I suggest making explicit that these delegations may be either to U4C members and non-members in the appropriate circumstances. Delegations to U4C members could be by designating panels, subcommittees, or hearing officers. Delegations to non-U4C members could mean appointing non-members onto U4C subcommittees, or to entire groups of editors (e.g. functionaries or Stewards).
    • Recommendation: I suggest adding a note that the charter contemplates making delegations on a categorical (not just case-by-case) basis. For example, the U4C could adopt a decision providing that all disputes arising from certain wikis should be heard by a specific subcommittee or panel.
  • Managing the administrative burden is one of the biggest problems I have experienced at ArbCom, and I have ideas for how the U4C could avoid as much of that burden. Although enwiki ArbCom has a panel of clerks, the clerks are not privy to the ArbCom's private docket, which in many months is even more work than the on-wiki docket.
    • This is important because managing administrative burden is important to ensuring the diversity of the committee. English Wikipedia arbitrators spend many hours a week on just their ArbCom roles, which limits the opportunity to serve on ArbCom to people who have many disposable hours each week and limits the diversity of background and viewpoint on the committee. I expect the U4C's caseload to be greater, and for this problem to be worse, unless the U4C is much more effective at managing and delegating its caseload.
    • I am glad that "Wikimedia Foundation may appoint up to two non-voting members and provide a facilitator to support the Committee". However, I think this provision may be insufficient for ensuring the right level of administrative support.
    • Recommendation: Mail for the U4C should first go through a screening and organization process before directly going into the inbox of the U4C members. I recommend delegating the task of sorting mail, assigning internal tracking numbers, linking related mail, holding cases until they are ripe for decision before they go into U4C members' inboxes, etc., to trusted non-members or administrative support staff.
    • Recommendation: The U4C should explicitly be allowed to appoint trusted users to provide secretarial and clerical support for the U4C, and grant access to such private information as is necessary for the function of their roles.
  • What will the relationship between the U4C and the proposed Global Council be?
  • I am concerned about the choice of regions for the election process. Do we have any data on the regional residence of our editing and administrative community? I firmly recommend loosening the regional restrictions.
    • Recommendation: State an explicit justification for the choice of the eight regions.
    • Recommendation: Instead of having both a minimum and maximum of two members from each region, I recommend a more flexible approach where the size of the U4C remains 16, but each region may elect up to, e.g., four members. Alternatively, keep one seat reserved for each region, and establish a pool of several additional "at-large" seats open to the worldwide editing community. Under that model, we could have a 15-member committee: one from each region, and seven at-large seats.
  • Minor recommendation: change the word "sanctions" to "remedies". Sanctions sound uniquely scary, and I have advocated for dramatically reducing the usage of that term on the English Wikipedia (see w:en:User:L235/sanctions verbiage).

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback. I am ready to brainstorm these ideas further and to answer any questions or share any insights that might be helpful. KevinL (aka L235 · t) 20:32, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for your feedback Kevin. Lots of good things to think about and several recommendations I look forward to discsusing with my fellow committee members.
Re:Recommendation 1 (advisory body) there is nothing that would stop the U4C from doing so and agree with your idea that it's a good one. But does this need to be in the charter rather than a more flexible procedure? Enwiki ArbCom has it in procedures and that flexibility is useful when ArbCom wants to make adjustments. I'd like to give the U4C the flexibility to decide what meets their needs.
Re: Recommendation 4 (screening): I'm very opposed to enshining in the charter the idea that all emails and correspondence aren't available to all committee members. I do think, as a fresh committee, that the U4C can and should learn from other bdoies like enwiki ArbCom and look at having sustainable systems in place early on for managing their email workflow that goes beyond an email service. Some kind of formal CRM feels required/necessary.
Thanks again for your feedback, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:42, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Barkeep49: Thank you for your consideration. Regarding Recommendation 4 (screening), I apologize for the unclarity. I agree that every U4C member should have access to all U4C correspondence at any point. My suggestion is in more detail below, and is relatively more detail-oriented, but experience tells me that these details are very important to the functioning of a committee like the U4C:

For the sake of their inboxes, there should be a conceptual separation between (1) material for the U4C's action and (2) correspondence with the U4C Here's one very bare-bones example I would adopt, with additional CRM or structure as appropriate:

  • Establish at least two email addresses, e.g., and All mail to both addresses is accessible by all U4C members, but in general, U4C members will only need to read Perhaps u4c@wikimedia could be a CRM or VRTS queue or something.
  • Discussion among U4C members happens at
  • Correspondence from the public (e.g. an appeal that must be heard off-wiki) goes to Upon receipt, mail will be assigned a tracking/case number. If it requires action, the U4C secretary or interested members can acquire information relevant to the appeal. For example, in the event of a block appeal, the user could be sent a standard questionnaire and the blocking administrator could be invited to provide their thoughts, both to u4c@wikimedia. Only once all relevant information is received will the appeal be considered ripe for decision.
  • Once a matter is ripe for decision by the U4C, the matter is forwarded to u4c-internal, with all of the relevant information attached to the one email.
Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 20:54, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
  • A few initial thoughs/questions:
    1. Regional Distribution: is this the proportion of distribution of contributors? If not suggest change to 1 per, and the other half be at-large area.
    2. Conflict of Intetest: While U4C may not require such resignations, local projects may - perhaps clarify that.
    3. Voting Process: Is this open or secret ballot? What are the voter suffrage requirements?
    • xaosflux Talk 23:48, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
      • It certainly doesn't align with population. More importantly, it makes little sense to distribute the members like this as it doesn't reflect the structure of our projects and is likely to leave some projects underrepresented. Specifically, large mono-regional projects, such as the German Wikipedia and the Japanese Wikipedia, will be underrepresented, but it is also likely to leave the English Wikipedia underrepresented.
      I suggest that instead half the delegates are assigned to a specific project based on the number of contributors on that project (limited, of course, to those projects that have signed onto the code through an enabling act or other provision), and the other half are at-large. BilledMammal (talk) 00:18, 8 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
      That might make conflict-of-interest problems worse. The U4C is supposed to investigate systemic failures to enforce the UCOC by local projects. What if most "assigned" members get assigned to a large wiki, and most unassigned members also come from that same wiki? That would give one wiki a lot of power over the U4C. They may not vote to investigate their own wiki even if they should. The current wording of the Charter has a similar problem, but at least it tries to minimize ethnic/racial bias. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 15:50, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Suggestions from conversation hours


To ensure this doesn't get lost to etherpad, I'd like to memorialize two suggestions I made during the 12 September Conversation Hours. Both of these suggestions are intended to implement the Enforcement Guidelines' provision that the U4C "will be a co-equal body with other high-level decision making bodies (e.g. ArbComs and AffCom)".

First, for the U4C to find "systemic issues" is a much more grave decision than pretty much anything else it can do, because those "systemic issues" are the only time when it can overrule and take over an NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body — and the U4C is supposed to be co-equal to those bodies. Therefore, I would recommend increasing the vote threshold for such an action to two-thirds of the U4C. Suggested draft language: "The U4C may only find that systemic issues exist on projects with an NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body by a two-thirds vote of unrecused active U4C members." Alternatively, the existing sentence could be modified as follows: "Except in instances ofwhen it finds systemic issues by a two-thirds vote, the U4C will not have jurisdiction when a NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body exists, warranting effective self-governance."

Second, because high-level decision-making bodies are co-equal to the U4C, those bodies also have the responsibility for applying, interpreting, and enforcing the UCoC. Therefore, I recommend adding language to clarify that good faith disagreements about the interpretation or application of the UCoC between high-level decision-making bodies and the U4C do not constitute "systemic issues" allowing the U4C to impose its will on a local community. In other words, the U4C should find systemic issues only when it finds that the other high-level decision-making body is acting in bad faith. Suggested language: "The existence of good faith disagreements between the U4C and an NDA-signed high-level decision-making body about the application or interpretation of the UCoC does not mean that there has been a systemic issue or failure to enforce the UCoC."

Both suggestions, but especially the second, are informed by some concerns raised at the English Wikipedia village pump (referenced below) about the clarity of the term "systemic issues" and worry that the U4C might supplant local governance institutions on a wiki with effective self-governance and robust conduct policy enforcement.

Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 14:56, 21 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Both your suggestions would cripple the ability of the U4C to fix problems caused by systemic issues. First, what happens if half the U4C spend most of their time on one wiki, and then members of that wiki have to be investigated? Requiring a 2/3 majority vote would allow a minority within the U4C to prevent investigations into members of their primary wiki. Second, proving bad faith is insanely difficult. People who act in bad faith can find ways to hide it. Furthermore, even good-faith refusal to enforce the UCOC can lead to systemic issues. Tagging @Olugold and @Nitesh Gill. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 21:16, 29 October 2023 (UTC)Reply

Recommend name change


U4C is not at all a helpful acronym or abbreviation because it doesn't tell the user anything, and the "4[Letter]" abbreviation, while common in spoken language, normally has the letters spelled out (ex. NAACP spoken N-double-A-C-P; NCAA; spoke N-C-double-A.) This is just not a common way to name a group of people and is likely to lead to confusion by people less experienced with our jargon, and in some cases people who are familiar with our jargon. UCCC or the like would work (you don't need both Cs of UCoC for the committee.) Just a thought.

I'm aware that for those who are within the bubble, this has become second-nature, but as someone who has been very active on Wikimedia, is on private mailing lists, is a functionary, etc. I didn't know what this was even though it had been mentioned on lists I am on. Part of that is obviously my fault, but it isn't very intuitive and ideally for something like this you want people to know it is a group of people and not a computer adapter (which is what it sounds like now.) TonyBallioni (talk) 23:53, 28 August 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hi TonyBallioni, Thank you for your comment about the acronym. This comment has been added to the digest of comments, which has been shared with the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee Building Committee. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:18, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Feedback on section 3.3 (Conflict of Interest)


§3.3, p3 currently reads "Individual voting members of the U4C do not have to resign from other positions (eg. local administrator (sysop), member of ArbCom, event safety coordinator) [...]" — although I agree that the vast majority of "other positions" do not pose a potential conflict on interest, I would have hoped that the apparent conflict of interest in members of the U4C also serving on local arbitration committees (committees which would potentially be investigated for, e.g., "Refusal of local self-governance structures and teams to enforce the UCoC", as per the defined scope of the U4C) would have been clear. Recusal is always an option of course, but this relies on a case-by-case determination (whether called for by an external party within the limits described, or internally decided) which serves to slow down what will likely already be a large caseload.

I therefore propose that membership of a local project's "NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body" (e.g. an Arbitration Committee) should constitute a conflict of interest and require the candidate in question to resign that role prior. — TheresNoTime (talk • they/them) 18:34, 29 August 2023 (UTC)Reply

Personally I can't imagine being on English ArbCom, or any of the other more active ArbComs, and the U4C but, the U4C is supposed to be a peer to high-level decision-making bodies and only in exceptional circumstances would its jurisdiction extend to them and create this conflict of interest. In such a situation, recusal would of course be expected. Addditionally, NDA-signed ArbComs are not the only high level decision making bodies. Stewards are also considered a high-level decision-making body under the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines (AffCom and the technical code of conduct are the other two I know are named at some point in the EG off the top of my head). I would have a hard time coming up with a reason that ArbComs but not these other groups would have a COI so for me it's either all high-level decision making bodies or none. Is there a different reason for you that ArbComs should be treated differently? Barkeep49 (talk) 02:44, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
I too can't imagine someone being silly brave enough to both be on the English ArbCom and the U4C — the caseload both parties (do/will) face is staggering and deserves our admiration and thanks. While thinking about this, I did consider if stewards would be considered "high-level decision-making bod[ies]", but arrived at the conclusion that while an Arbitration Committee arbitrates and makes decisions internally based on evidence, stewards rather pointedly do not, and instead act on public consensus, with very little leeway for internal decision-making. That being said, I agree that either all high-level decision making bodies should constitute a conflict of interest, or none. — TheresNoTime (talk • they/them) 11:49, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
I think I have two main thoughts here...
  1. The question of who can run is, in my view, a question of who we should allow the community to vote for. The majority of community processes are very relaxed about this, generally only creating criteria to prevent people who would be a waste of community time to run (blocked users, users with few/no edits, etc.). This should be as relaxed as possible.
  2. Secondly...the term "high-level decision-making body" is not intended to be used for this. It was created with a different scope and different purpose by a committee who did not know it might be used for this. There is no benefit, and imo significant harm, to prevent stewards from running for semantic reasons. Stewardship, like local adminship, is a role and not a position/seat: it's a new set of buttons where actions are made by individuals, not a formal committee with a case load. Users can go years without making any actual decisions on controversial cases, and there is rarely a problem with conflicts of interest. Fundamentally, the majority of people heavily involved in and experienced with global conduct moderation are stewards, and preventing those users from participating in the U4C would be to the detriment of its ability to handle global cases.
Also, in terms of recusals...I would hope anyone trusted enough to be elected to a body of this sort would know when to recuse, and if not, would have enough other people on the U4C to ensure they do. It works fine on the Ombuds Commission, at least in my experience. Best, Vermont (🐿️🏳️‍🌈) 13:18, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
I wholeheartedly agree with Vermont's thoughts here. KevinL (aka L235 · t) 00:54, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply
@TheresNoTime: I know the commenting period is closed, but I want to say I agree with your feedback. It's fairly surprising that local arbitrators would be allowed to sit on the U4C while still being arbitrators. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 23:45, 4 November 2023 (UTC)Reply

Much more translations needed


We now have approximately three weeks to review the draft charter. As you know, one of the primary approaches of the Wikimedia Movement is to reach more communities and thus provide a collaborative working environment by ensuring the participation of more people. On the other hand, for now, I see that the draft charter has been fully translated into only 9 languages other than English. This does not align with our Movement's goal of reaching wider communities. At this stage, I find it more appropriate to have the charter translated into more languages and then open for review. Thanks. --justinianus | talk 10:51, 2 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

As an addition, I did not have any notification about this draft charter as a translator. That's why I have to say that more announcements need to be made as well as more translations. With my best, --justinianus | talk 10:55, 2 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Hi justinianus, Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. You're right, the movement's goal is reaching wider communities and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts as a translator help to make that happen. Let me share your comment with the team who supports the translation work on this project. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:24, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Summary of a discussion of the German-speaking community in the Kurier.


On August 28, 2023, following the publication of a post on the U4C draft presented by the U4CBC, a discussion on the drafts started on the talkpage of the Kurier (the Kurier is similar to the Signpost of the English Wikipedia and a central forum of the German-speaking community). Since then, 15 people participated in the discussion and posted 35 comments. For the full course of the discussion, see here:

This is a summary, provided in good faith to share the results. Disclaimer: the summary is not a representative collaborative text. It has been compiled by a member of the U4CBC. If you participated in the discussion, please feel free to edit, add to or clarify this post.

One persons very extensive contribution has not been included here, but will be translated in full instead.

On language and style


While the availability of a translation was positively remarked, many comments complained and mocked the language of the text as highly bureaucratic and unnecessary hard to follow. Translational problems were discussed too. Some comments stated that the language stopped them from reading the draft in full.

It was criticized that some of the drafts elements are way to detailed (i.e. imposing sections of pages to comment).

Legacy problems


The fact that the UCoC itself has never been subject to a vote has been brought up various times, stating that every following step has a clear legitimacy problem as consequence.

On diversity


Some comments discussed diversity matters. While the regional approach found approval, the lack of a female quota was criticized. It was suggested that there should be at best a 50% female quota with a conversational guideline to warrant them to be heard but at least a female quota of 20% should be implemented (representing the actual female participants in the movement). Another suggestion was to regionalize only half of the seats and to have an open pool of candidates with a female quota in the other half.

Best regards, Denis Barthel (talk) 07:54, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

An extensive review from a member of the German-speaking community


As part of the discussion summarized above Sandra_FGM contributed a very extensive review in two parts, [1] and [2]. To share it with the whole U4CBC, I have translated it here roughly:

  • Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee/Charter#Purpose_and_Scope
    • Observing the state of UCoC enforcement across all Wikimedia online and offline spaces, as ratified by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2020.
      • Sounds like the 2020 state should be reviewed, even if there have been revisions in the meantime.
    • It may suggest suitable changes to UCoC and the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines for the Wikimedia Foundation and the community to consider as part of the annual review the U4C organizes, but may not change either document on its own.
      • Weird choice of words: Anyone may make suggestions. I guess what is meant is that they shall make proposals.
    • When requested, the U4C will assist the Wikimedia Foundation and other stakeholders in handling cases under their jurisdiction, as requested.
      • So the U4C will assist the WMF whenever they want. OK, but who are these other undefined "stakeholders"? One could define them. Everybody who donated a Euro is a stakeholder and if he gets into a private dispute, he could ask for help?
    • Handles complaints and appeals in the circumstances as outlined in the Enforcement Guidelines, including but not limited to:
      • The following points are thus duplicated in both documents. This bears the risk that if one is changed, the other is forgotten. Better would be simply a link to the corresponding section in the other document.
    • The U4C may delegate its final decision making authority except in instances of severe systemic issues.
      • Wait, they can just delegate their decision-making authority to anyone else? If the point is that the panel may be overworked, I would suggest a model where other people can handle requests and make decision "suggestions", but the final decision remains with the panel. (That is, they always have to nod off in the end and are responsible themselves).
    • Not been blocked in any Wikimedia project or have an event ban the past 1 year.
      • As for the wording: it says you are ineligible if you are blocked anywhere unless you have an event ban. What is probably meant is n'or, meaning "neither...nor".

The rule is supposed to prevent trolls and vandals from running for office, but it can be used for manipulation. If I don't like a candidate, I can simply block him on Testwiki as a "test" and he is out of the election. Just to remind you: There are some very dubious projects, sometimes you get blocked if you have "queer" in your username. A user named "Subbass" (in German a part of an organ) was blocked in the (sv?)Wikipedia, because this is something obscene in their language. (See Wikipedia:Administrators/Requests/Archive/2021/February#Banned_on_the_Swedish_Wikipedia)

      • A middle ground would be to force candidates to declare all blocks. Then voters can decide.
    • To ensure the U4C represents diversity of the movement, two representatives from each region will be elected. According to the Wikimedia Foundation's regional approach the regional distribution will be as follows:

There were certainly very long discussions about this. This method ensures that each region is represented, but most requests would probably come from the large projects, which would then be underrepresented. I don't think there is a perfect solution, but one could consider voting for only half of the candidates by region and the other half from a general pool of candidates.

    • Individual voting members of the U4C do not have to resign from other positions (eg. local administrator (sysop), member of ArbCom, event safety coordinator) but cannot be employed as staff or contractors by the Wikimedia Foundation nor participate on its Board of Trustees, nor on the boards or as staff and contractors of Foundation-affiliated organizations while participating on the U4C.
      • The whole thing under the heading of "conflict of interest". Why are people excluded from the Foundation and chapters because of conflict of interest, when the U4C is not supposed to control the Foundation but the compliance with the UCOC? Admins on the other hand who actually have a conflict of interest when their admin decisions are reviewed are not excluded. Examples: DerHexer and DCB are not allowed to run because employed by WMDE.
- --Sandra FGM (Discussion) 15:14, 4 Sep 2023 (CEST)
    • Annual elections, overseen and coordinated by the U4C itself,.... Further up, however, in the conditions for candidates Each candidate must: [...] Meet any other eligibility requirements determined during the election process.
      • So the people who are in the U4C can determine who can get in. Not a good idea.
    • After the inaugural election, the expiring seats (8 out of 16 per year) and appointed seats by vacancy will be subject to election for a two year term.
      • Reminds me very much of the de-ArbCom/CU/OS rules that have stood the test of time. Special cases are unresolved: what if for a region both people drop out (resign) and then both have to be reappointed? There is currently nothing in the rules about this.
      • What can also happen is that there are not enough (elected) candidates for a region. After this draft, the seats would then remain unfilled, although there would probably be further candidates from other regions. It would be better to fill up until the next election.
      • For the actual election, 60% pro is required, but only 50% for backfillers. Why is that? Effectively, this means that if you have a choice between a vacant seat and a candidate with 55%, then the seat should remain vacant because you want at least 60%. I would lower that to 50% in general.
      • Can a candidate actually belong to more than one region? For example, a German who lives in the USA and is also involved in de- and en-language versions. Can one then also run for several regions and be elected? I'm sure there are a few dozen more related questions for which I lack the imagination right now.
    • What is the best way to troll and vandalize? At its sole discretion, the U4C can also share the best practices of UCoC violations and related matters and offer quality assurance.
  • Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee/Charter#Internal_ProceduresUniversal_Code_of_Conduct/Coordinating_Committee/Charter#Internal_Procedures
    • The U4C Building Committee suggests that at least two subcommittees are created within the U4C at the time of formation. One subcommittee for the prevention, training and reports pertaining to the U4C work and the second subcommittee for the review and handling of cases.
      • When the German Bundesverfassungsgericht was founded, two senates were established: One for constitutional complaints (from citizens) and one for disputes between organs (when, for example, parliament and government or federal president disagree). De facto, one of the two senates was completely overworked, while the other had hardly anything to do.
--Sandra FGM (Discussion) 18:40, 4 Sep 2023 (CEST)

translation by Denis Barthel (talk) 08:14, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply


@Taylor 49, L235, Vinny kitenge, Diane bora, Mamman AA, Aliyu shaba, Olugold, Viva33, Onwuka Glory, Llatpic, Edward ambele, Shahadusadik, and Awinebotima: hi all, I've sent the Zoom link for tomorrow's call to your email. Please let me know if somehow you do not receive it. Looking forward to see you. Best, RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 13:00, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

I received your email Aliyu shaba]]Talk 13:05, 6 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

@Tiputini, Paula (WDU), and L235: hi all, I've sent the Zoom link for tomorrow's call to your email. Please let me know if somehow you do not receive it. Looking forward to see you. Best, RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 06:09, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Thank you, @RamzyM (WMF). See you tomorrow, Paula (WDU) (talk) 15:21, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

"Glossary" section needs to be moved onto the top


I think that the "Glossary" section should be placed at the beginning of the Charter, because important concepts in the Charter are defined here and it will be helpful for readers to know these concepts before reading the Charter. --justinianus | talk 10:45, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hey again, justinianus! Thanks for this comment on the section organization of the Charter. You are right - these terms might be most helpful at the start of the document to help readers with collective understanding. Your comment will be shared with the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee Building Committee. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 20:27, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Is this really worth my time, or should I just disregard it?


How can I know that the U4C won't do as the LDWG, configured of 15 community members from different regions and backgrounds, recently did, namely realize that conduct-review in the movement "exists", and basically fold up their tent, hoping that "community members across the Wikimedia movement, will join us in developing behavioral-review initiatives -- small and large, in the different spaces and roles we occupy." Wbm1058 (talk) 11:31, 11 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Because the LDWG was never set up to be a permanent body? Because the U4C will have been approved by the community twice before it exists and then elects its members (rather than has appointments)? Because the needs of projects who lack the ability to enforce the UCoC is not some twelve month fix? There are probably others but those are what first came to mind. Barkeep49 (talk) 02:51, 13 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Issues with Jurisdiction


To put it briefly, this section gives me concern. My first concern is that the term of "systemic issues". This term is also seen in other sections, notably in the "Relationship with other movement government structures" and "Purpose and Scope" section. From my limited reading, it seems like the U4C will happily delegate issues to the "local government" if there are no "systemic issue". The problem is that "systemic issue" is not well defined. Who defines what is "systemic issue" and what is not? If U4C could arbitrarily defines an issue as systemic without a clear guidelines, U4C would just be a power grab over the local wikis, as U4C could be used to wrestle control anytime from the local government. As an extreme example, "treason" or "disloyalty to the state" are being used by many countries to arrest political dissidents.

Also, the use of term such as "full range of measures, up to and including the closure of wikis." is threatening, it is showing that U4C is the one "ruling" the wikis, not the local government. Giving a nuclear option to annihilate the whole wiki because of issues that are unclear is a power grab move.

To put it briefly, the terms of "systemic issue" have to be made clear. A line has to be clearly defined, such as "75% of admin supported genocide" or "95% of the editors has expressed support for Hitler" instead of obscure things such as "deemed by <insert organization here>". I didn't have much energy to debate Wikipedia politics, but I have to say my piece. Have a great day. ✠ SunDawn ✠ (contact) 04:14, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

@SunDawn there is a definition of system failure in the Enforcemnet Guidelines (which are "above" the Charter): "An issue for which there is a pattern of failing to follow the Universal Code of Conduct with participation of several people, particularly those with advanced rights." That's certainly not my ideal (though it's not the worst version of it I've seen either) but wanted to make sure you knew it existed. There is a suggestion above ot have the glossary be more prominent which this could help with. The definition of systemic failure could also be addressed in the first review of the UCoC and UCoC EG that is scheduled to happen following the establishment of the U4C. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:56, 15 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Is this really necessary?

  • "Monitoring reports of UCoC breaches." Go ahead. Good to have someone keeping an eye on those.
  • "At which point, the U4C may conduct additional investigations and take actions where appropriate." I oppose this kind of ability from a WMF committee. Let the wikis manage themselves with their own consensus.
  • "[The] Wikimedia Foundation may appoint up to two non-voting members and provide a facilitator to support the Committee." Why? If this does go ahead, let's at least keep it 100% community members, so it's community managing community.
  • "Provides a final interpretation of the UCoC Enforcement Guidelines and the UCoC if the need arises, in collaboration with community members enforcement structures;" This and many other aspects seem unnecessary. Let the community institutions do what they do, without interference.

I also agree with SunDawn above. On the whole, this is a lot better than it could have been, but, unless I'm missing something, I don't really see the need for this. It feels like – and this is an oft-repeated phrase on oppose !votes at the village pump – a solution in search of a problem. Just my two cents. Cheers, Edward-Woodrow (talk) 11:52, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

@Edward-Woodrow basically all of the things you object to come directly from the Universal Code of Conduct/Enforcement guidelines which was approved by 75% of over 3000 participants. Changing the enforcement guidelines goes beyond what the Building Committee can do. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:54, 15 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
Several months later, I still feel like this is needless bureaucracy. There's no strong reason for me to oppose (since as Barkeep pointed out, the objectionable things have already been voted for) but there's no reason to support either. 🌺 Cremastra (talk) 01:28, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Copy editing needed for clarity and consistency


Significant copy editing is needed before this document can be commented on. For example, there are broken grammatical constructions and lack of parallel structure following "The U4C supports the following functions", "The U4C has the following responsibilities", "Each member must", "After this qualification", "Preceding the annual review, the U4C will complete the following", and more. Clauses and phrases like "A knowledge from the actual state of research about our movement and Internet in general" do not have clear meaning, so it is not possible to provide feedback. The serial comma is used, or not used, inconsistently, leading to potential confusion. The following sentence is not grammatical: "Any party to the case may ask the U4C to reconsider or amend a ruling, which the U4C may accept or decline at its discretion."

The English Wikipedia has a Guild of Copy Editors, some of whom would be happy to help with draft documents like this before they are published. Providing drafts that use clear language will help the WMF get better feedback. Jonesey95 (talk) 16:32, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

After I wrote the above, I remembered that I had posted similar feedback in 2021, 2022, and early 2023. The latter detailed comments have not been followed up on, despite 20 edits since I tried to help. These documents appear to be mired in some sort of bureaucracy that prevents them from going through even the most basic of corrections. It seems to me that it will be difficult to enforce or carry out the processes in these documents, let alone translate them to other languages, when parts of them simply do not make sense as written. Jonesey95 (talk) 22:24, 16 September 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Jonesey95: Seems like the people proposing this have ignored your comments. Just a minor point, "Any party to the case may ask the U4C to reconsider or amend a ruling, which the U4C may accept or decline at its discretion" is grammatically correct, but semantically nonsense if read literally. The second clause literally says that the U4C may accept or decline a ruling; there's nothing grammatically wrong about that. The intended meaning is that the U4C may accept or decline a request to reconsider or amend a ruling. The odd thing about the lack of responses and fixes here is that this seems to keep happening repeatedly: the people who should be keeping an eye on a wiki talk page on mediawiki for a document subject to a wide community vote give the impression that they have no idea what a wiki is and very little respect for the community. Or the people who organise things feel no obligation to respond to comments by us plebs.
A few other random bits that are poorly written:
  • and it’s required when a conflict of interest arises
  • including the members elected In the Regional part distribution group as well
  • the Wikimedia Foundations Legal Department (of the WMFs as a plural? both the First and Second WMFoundation?)
I guess the positive side of these errors is that one interpretation is that there's a diverse participation of people involved in the drafting who are not from en.Wikipedia, and who are too busy or lack the experience to have thought of asking help from the English Wikipedia Guild of Copy Editors to tidy things up before the editing freeze.
Boud (talk) 23:18, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
I would suggest changing 'and it's required' to 'and must'.
This would change "A U4C member may recuse themselves from any work, or from any aspect of the work, with or without explanation, and it’s required when a conflict of interest arises" to "A U4C member may recuse themselves from any work, or from any aspect of the work, with or without explanation, and must when a conflict of interest arises". (Bolding and italics mine).
TypistMonkey (talk) 13:31, 3 May 2024 (UTC)Reply

Some observations

  • "Purpose and Scope" -- language and verb form must be unified
  • "Regional Distribution" -- replace "Middle East" by a less eurocentric term
  • "Conflict of Interest" -- IMHO members of the U4C should NOT have high roles such as ArbCom member, Steward or member of the Board (but local sysop could be OK)
  • "Voting Process" -- it must say clearly whether open voting or secret voting applies
  • "Tools" -- clarify that the U4C will need:
    • privileged tools Special:ListGroupRights
      • investigation tools (deletedhistory, checkuser, oversighter)
      • responsive/repressive tools (protect, block, delete, massdelete)
    • other tools:
      • suitable communication tool, preferably only one (mailing list, private wiki)
    • also clarify that other users having privileged tools have a duty to help to put the verdict in place (if a person blocked by the U4C creates a new account, then ey can and should be reblocked by any local or global sysop with no further discussion once it's proven that it is the same person)

Taylor 49 (talk) 17:48, 17 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

@Taylor 49: Most of your suggestions are pretty good, and I agree with them. I think your idea about a mailing list and private wiki was already implemented. :) Adrianmn1110 (talk) 23:27, 4 November 2023 (UTC)Reply

Summary of points made in discussion from English Wikipedia Village Pump


Editors at the English Wikipedia's Village Pump (discussion, permalink), one of the principal discussion forums on the English Wikipedia, recently discussed the draft Charter. My summary of the points made in the discussion follows; in writing this summary, I seek to be faithful to the intent of the participants without discussing whether I agree or disagree with the points made.

  • By far the most common feedback centered around the UCoC's lack of ratification by the global community and/or the individual projects. This is the largest sticking point for many participants.
  • A number of participants especially noted that the English Wikipedia community has not adopted or ratified the UCoC or an "enabling act" allowing the UCoC to take effect on the English Wikipedia.
  • Process-wise, some participants also objected to the separation of the Enforcement Guidelines and the Charter and the notion that "once discussion was "closed" on a piece it wasn't allowed to be revisited", both for the original UCoC and the U4C Charter.
  • Participants stated that the failure to ratify the UCoC is an ongoing mistake.
  • Two participants believe that "systemic issue" should be given a more specific and operationalized definition, out of worry that without a more specific definition, the U4C's jurisdiction over systemic issues would allow it to unjustifiably "assert control over the wikis".

Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 03:18, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Many thanks for this very useful summary, Kevin :) Cheers, RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 12:10, 18 September 2023 (UTC)Reply



I unfortunately haven't had the time to provide thorough feedback, but here are some thoughts:

  • The section on "Transparency and Confidentiality" implies that the U4C would be handling breaches of confidentiality agreements internally, with no mention of the Ombuds Commission. Breaches of the confidentiality agreement, privacy policy, etc. are not in the scope of the UCOC and are handled by the Ombuds Commission. Of course, any enforcement body can investigate and remove members suspected of misconduct in the area of confidentiality, but an internal U4C investigation does not preclude Ombuds Commission investigation, which could have a different result. At the very least, the committee should be sending these cases to the OC, not the WMF, if they believe it warrants removal on ANPDP/N.
  • I am very happy with the focus given to monitoring, reports, evaluations, etc. This is something I pushed for on the Phase 2 and Revisions work, and I hope it can be implemented effectively.
  • Regarding diversity quotas...imo, these should not be applied to all seats. Maybe half regional seats, half at-large. I do not think that regional requirements are a way to accurately reflect the diversity of the movement. Voters would optimally prioritize a diversity of backgrounds, skills, and perspectives, including much more than region. If we are to mandate a single one of these categories rather than leaving it to voters, that should only be to a limited extent. In other words...region is part of it, but I don't think it's useful to segment all of the committee's seats on that category.
  • For elections...60% is a low bar, but given this is more arbcom-y than admin-y, I think it makes sense. Limited seats means strategic voting.
  • Regarding might be better to give U4C members a group somewhat like the current Ombuds one, providing all rights necessary to view relevant material (deleted, suppressed, checkuser logs, etc.) and possibly some other relevant rights (checkuser, ability to lock an account, etc). Other actions should probably be requested on a case-by-case basis from the processes who usually handle those actions, to not interfere with those processes.

Vermont (🐿️🏳️‍🌈) 20:30, 22 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

I strongly agree with Vermont's point about regional quotas, and would support a U4C with half of its seats reserved for regional balance and half open at-large. Regarding user rights, I agree that it may be worth it to be somewhat more specific about the user rights that the U4C may receive and delegate. I don't have suggestions for the specifics, though. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 18:13, 24 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

Thank you for your feedback


I appreciate everyone who participated in the community comment period for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) Charter. The comment period is now closed. Finalizing the U4C Charter is the next step in the UCoC process and we would not have gotten to this point in the process without such great community participation. Expect a summary of the comments and next steps on the U4CBC project page soon. Keegan (WMF) (talk) on behalf of the Drafting Committee 18:51, 25 September 2023 (UTC)Reply

1.3 Membership


I understand that the community comment period is now closed, but I do think that there's a word missing in Section 1.3. The section currently reads:

The U4C will consist of 16 community voting members and up to two non-voting members appointed by the Wikimedia Foundation. Each voting member fulfills a two-year term, except the inaugural election (see 3.2). The Wikimedia Foundation may appoint up to two non-voting members and select additional support staff as requested by the U4C.

The first sentence in that section should probably have something along the lines of The U4C will consist of 16 community-elected voting members, and up to two non-voting members appointed by the Wikimedia Foundation. "Community voting members" is a bit ambiguous, and it might be read that the WMF appoints them rather than they be elected by the community absent the comma. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 02:08, 18 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

Good point. Sometimes, it's the little things that matter. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 08:31, 18 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Coming up here with exactly the same point. Some words should be added: The U4C will consist of 16 community voting members, choosen by ..... in the ..... procedure and up to two non-voting members appointed by the Wikimedia Foundation. VanArtevelde (talk) 09:16, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply Requesting adjudication review


Requests for adjudication review must be presented in the manner designated by the U4C. The U4C may accept or decline any matter at its sole discretion; it will take into account, but will not be bound by the views of the parties to the request and other informed users.

Aren't we missing a comma there?

it will take into account, but will not be bound by, the views of the parties to the request and other informed users.

Kind regards.--SRuizR   06:31, 27 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

Charter copyedit


This is quite long, and has some internal inconsistencies and sections that could be clearer.

I edited for clarity and then reverted, as these are significant changes to most sections.

Main elements to clear up:

  • Is the annual review optional, at the discretion of the committee?
  • Abbreviate Wikimedia Foundation to WMF to make the whole more readable
  • standardize uses of will vs shall, Affiliate vs affiliate
  • standardize parts of speech for the entries in bulleted lists
  • clear up the whole conflict-of-interest section (are "works" the same as "cases" or something more general?)
  • reduce duplicated sentences (tools)
  • use simpler language and sentence-structure where possible for clarity
  • don't overspecify details that can be flexible, particularly in a charter doc
  • don't use "North America" to refer to the combination of United States and Canada (even if the WMF uses that shorthand elsewhere); the continent is a well-defined concept.

Thanks and cheers, –SJ talk  20:15, 10 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

To address some of your points: annual review is supposed to happen annually, the will/shall uses were (hopefully) all intentionally chosen, there was a real balance in how much specificity to give in the charter and while a lot of time was spent on it, I'm sure it could have been better, and the decision was made to try and use terms already in use elsewhere even if (as in North America) the way it's used isn't ideal. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:34, 17 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Barkeep49: Hm, do will and shall have different meanings here? The opening paragraph includes overseeing the annual review, but the section describing it goes out of its way to lower expectations when it says "the U4C will organize at its sole discretion the annual review" which sets a rather different tone. Considering that "regular updates and review of suggestions" has been a stumbling block for other policies, this seems intentional (so no one argues they are violating the charter if a review is late?) but somewhat surprising. –SJ talk  18:07, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply



Section 1.3 stipulates 16 voting members

Section 3.4 states "The U4C can seat with any number of members, but no decision or vote can be taken by the Committee unless the quorum of 50% (4 members) of the voting members (8 members) is attained."

Should this read "The U4C can seat with any number of members, but no decision or vote can be taken by the Committee unless the quorum of 50% (8 members) of the voting members (16 members) is attained."? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:45, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

It should either say a percentage or a number of members but not both. What if there are only 14 Members, (because two resigned or only 14 were elected). Is it then still 8 members or 50 % of the remaining 14, so 7 members? Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 20:37, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
The language that existed when the charter committee finished its work was "The U4C can seat with any number of members, but no decision or vote can be taken by the Committee unless the quorum of 50% of the voting members (8 members) of the Committee is attained. When there is not a quorum, the U4C may only work on calling a special election on matters where no vote is needed." This 4 member business is a substantive change that was introduced in "copyediting". Barkeep49 (talk) 19:02, 17 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Der-Wir-Ing and @Pbsouthwood thanks for raising this issue. This is going to be fixed before voting starts. Barkeep49 (talk) 15:30, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
When 'fixing' this rule, please also bring in:
  • a definition of how the quorum can be attained. Must voting members by online, logged in, have been signed in for presence etc. Must the members being present, be for at least 50% of the regional seats and 50% of the global seats?
  • a rule, up to whom it is, to control and decide whether the quorum has been established according to the given criteria. For instance the chair(wo)man or secretary of the committee.
- VanArtevelde (talk) 10:18, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hi Van. These suggestions will have to wait for revisions, either because the charter fails or as part of the required annual review if the charter passes. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:49, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

3.5 Subcomittees


Section 3.5 states "One subcommittee for the prevention, training and reports pertaining to the U4C work and the second subcommittee for the review and handling of cases."

Prevention of what? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 12:00, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

I assume of UCoC violations. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t) 16:26, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
This refers to Policy:Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Enforcement_guidelines#2._Preventive_work Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 20:32, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Needs clarification on the charter page. Current text is ungrammatical and confusing. Not even ambiguous. I could not find any mention of "Preventative work" at the linked page. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:36, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Strange, the links works incorrectly. Here is a link with full URL: Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 16:20, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Ah, my first link looks for the Policy namespace here on meta and redirects then to But the actual policy is on Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 16:22, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
The correct link helps a lot, but during voting it is likely that some people will have the same question, and will not support if they do not know what is meant, so some form of clarification might prevent opposition for that reason. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:52, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Cross-reference typo


It looks like in section 1.3, the internal cross-reference on initial terms should be to 2.3, not 3.2. -- Beland (talk) 02:08, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

While I'm mentioning typos, there's a missing space in section 3: "scope.There" and an inappropriately capitalized "In" in the last sentence of section 5. -- Beland (talk) 02:20, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

"Twoweek community"


The proposal is not implemented, nor does it leave space, in line with the idea of "Twoweek community" (Slovak: "Dvojtýždeň komunity"). Dušan Kreheľ (talk) 04:31, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

2.1. Member Eligibility


From experiences made at Wikimedia projects it seems of utter importance to consider, that the inaugural Committee sets up minimum requirements for membership:

  • in the field of law - for at least half of the members of the committee should be experienced in the application of law outside of Wikimedia projects, both common and continental law, perhaps also religious law;
  • as for a certain level of education and/or working experience outside of wikimedia projects or other online projects.

- VanArtevelde (talk) 09:56, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Voting process within the Committee: how should decisions be made to be valid?


There are no rules on the voting process within the committee - the only words on voting are "the U4C may resolve the dispute by a vote" in Thus one of the most essential rules for a judging body is missing: how are decisions being made by the committee to be valid? Common possibilities for the voting process:

  • normal majority
  • qualified majority, if, what than should be the qualification?
  • unanimously
  • will there be members with a veto right?
  • can members abstain from voting? if, how many?
  • will the Wikimedia Foundation have a veto right?
  • are Committee members free to vote like they think is right or do they have to consult their regional community or do they have to follow certain rules?
  • what is the quorum for decisionmaking in disputes?

FYI @Mdennis (WMF) - VanArtevelde (talk) 12:17, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Great thoughts. I would expect the committee to be able to decide this for themselves rather having it be part of the charter (which by design is meant to operate at a higher level and be harder to change). Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:51, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
I disagree. If it's not spelled out, the process is vulnerable to domineering personalities, misunderstood cultural differences, and power struggles, and people with business before the U4C won't know where they stand. This is the committee of highest jurisdiction concerning the UCoC, and it has to be precise and predictable in its just operation. People who have cases before this committee should know what to expect. Knowing the U4C's (mandated) processes can allow them to more effectively represent their case. Should they tailor their arguments to appeal to the member they think is strongest? Will they be confident they will get a fair hearing if they don't? I would feel more confident if I knew I needed a simple majority than I would if I didn't know what my burden was. The way this charter is written, the U4C could use different voting standards for each case. I don't think that's acceptable. Standards for a valid decision should not be changed except by a popular vote. Fundamental principles belong in a charter, not in the minds of the committee members. Dcs002 (talk) 05:30, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Applicable rules


In the Wikimedia Foundation Universal Code of Conduct no rules are being given for enforcement. Their subjects are the user (via the WF Terms of Use). Do moderators and stewards have an obligation to enforce the rules given in the Wikimedia Foundation Code of Conduct and Terms of Use? When not, the questions raises what rules the Committee should enforce, and who their subjects are. In other words, what kind of rules should the Committee apply when preparing a decision in disputes and who can bring up a case, against who?- Should a single user bring up a case against a moderator or steward? FYI @Mdennis (WMF) - VanArtevelde (talk) 13:06, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply



i vote no because this distribution is too broad. it should be split into at least "east asia" and "southeast asia and oceania".

europe with 750 mil is split in two. why is southeast asia bundled with east asia??!!! RZuo (talk) 19:18, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

an amendment that i would support, is SEA be a group by itself and gets 2 votes. RZuo (talk) 19:25, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hello @RZuo, this Regional Distribution is based on the WMF eight regional Grant areas.
Should this Regional distribution change, the U4C will have the possibility to modify and adapt the Regional distribution of the seats of the U4C.
Notice also that, following the comments made in the community consultation of last september, there are now 8 Regionally distributed seats + 8 Community at large seats open to vote. Waltercolor (talk) 10:28, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
why is that so? is there a causal correlation between "grant area" and "Conduct Coordinating Committee"? how is wmf money handler related to user conduct body?
and that should be a reason to justify that SEA is discriminated against while europe is favoured? RZuo (talk) 12:20, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
I would like to note that ESEAP this regional distribution is not only used in the WMF grant, it is commonly used in the Wikimedia movement (e.g. ESEAP Hub, ESEAP Conference). Thanks. SCP-2000 12:57, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
@RZuo - if you would like to see this changed, you might bring it up in the next annual revision, where the U4C will collect proposals for changes to be voted about then by the community. Denis Barthel (talk) 17:17, 22 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
You said, "Should this Regional distribution change, the U4C will have the possibility to modify and adapt the Regional distribution of the seats of the U4C." I think that sort of thing should be in this charter. That would give people of Asia and Oceania reassurance that they will always have a voice. If it's not in the charter, all we have is the possibility and good intentions.
You also mentioned "the community consultation of last september." I received an email yesterday regarding this vote, which is the first I've heard of this process. Was that consultation publicized? There are a lot of issues here (I have 4 of them) that might have been helpful during that process, before this was put to a vote, but I only got notice of the vote, and only 10 days after voting began. Dcs002 (talk) 05:05, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
The community consultation was publicized (from August 28 until September 22, 2023) and there was a discussion on English Wikipedia during the consultation period fyi. Thanks. SCP-2000 03:35, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Phrasing of the jurisdiction statement


As I'm reading this more closely, I wanted to point out this language that throws me off a bit: " Except in instances of systemic failures, the U4C will not have jurisdiction when a NDA-signed, high-level decision-making body exists (Arbitration Committees, Affiliations Committee, Global Council, Elections Committee, Technical Code of Conduct committee, stewards), warranting effective self-governance." Above there's already some discussion about systemic failures, which is not my concern. For simplicity I'll call these bodies 'qualified body'. My concern is that 'exists' is really vague. I think we understand what it means (when a qualified body claims has already jurisdiction over the issue?) but a few details will need to be ironed out over time. First of all, who decides that a qualified body has jurisdiction? I presume that would be the qualified body itself, and eventually the U4C, but it would be nice if that could be clarified in a future version (I'm assuming that even if this gets approved, it will eventually be amended). The other aspect I'm a little confused about, is that cases could span multiple jurisdictions. I'm assuming here that if that is the case, we may not want to cut the case into small pieces and distribute it across qualified bodies, with a tiny fraction left for the U4C. It may be more helpful in some cases to simply assign it to a single body. Finally, one body in particular is ill-defined: the "stewards". Are they expected to act as a single body, or are we considering each individual steward as a qualified body here (elsewhere in the text they are referred to as functionaries, in the same list as arbcom members - so I'm presuming the former. But are the stewards set up for that these days?)? Just curious if I'm missing something elsewhere in the text where this is already answered! Thanks, Effeietsanders (talk) 19:33, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Tough stuff.  
  • who decides that a qualified body has jurisdiction - This depends very much on the qualified body in question. The jurisdiction of the Global Council will be defined by the MCDC (ratified by the movement finally). The jurisdiction of the AffCom and the Election Committee is defined by the WMF, that of ArbComs by local communities etc. Inbetween these might be some vagueness as you mentioned, as these bodies were never logically planned and defined before they started to exist, but have grown over time. Possible problems with responsibilities though are regulated by two important principles in the text, namely firstly whether a body "ensures effective self-governance" and secondly the primacy of decisions to be made as local as possible.
  • cases could span multiple jurisdictions - Please check the Enforcement Guidelines 3.1.2: UCoC violations that happen across multiple wikis [are] handled by global sysops and stewards and the bodies that handle single-wiki UCoC violations or handled by the U4C where they do not conflict with these guidelines.
  • ill-defined: the "stewards" - Stewards act as individuals, this charter does not intend to change this.
I hope these answers help? Best, Denis Barthel (talk) 17:14, 22 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
It's a good starting point, I think. Thanks for giving it a shot, these are indeed no easy questions! I'm not sure I'm fully satisfied with the answers though...
  • Who decides that a qualified body has jurisdiction: I still think this would really benefit from a clear answer. The simplest answers are among three: the qualified body decides whether it has jurisdiction (i.e. can always tell the U4C to back off), the U4C decides (this would make the most sense to me - as this would create a clear chain and allows for delegation) or a third party decides (e.g. ombudsperson etc). In many cases it will be clear, but I think the interaction with spanning multiple jurisdictions is easily mixed up in this.
  • Multiple jurisdictions: I see, so you suggest that the U4C is never qualified for cross-wiki cases/multiple jurisdictions, as this would always fall under the stewards?
  • The stewards: Stewards act as individuals. But are "the stewards" a qualified body? Is each steward a qualified body? Under the definition cited above, I could see how the entire body of stewards, if they act in concert, would meet the definition of a "high-level decision making body" if they happen to find themselves in such a situation, but I fail to see how to read an individual steward into that definition. A person is usually not referred to as a 'body', but especially the 'high-level decision-making' part would feel at odds.
Anyway, I'm not sure myself, and still pondering about this one :) Effeietsanders (talk) 19:55, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Every qualified body (the full list: Arbitration Committees, Affiliations Committee, Global Council, Elections Committee, Technical Code of Conduct committee, stewards) has in my eyes a sufficiently clear job description by their originators/founders/voters (communities, WMF, movement). If there is anything wrong within their areas (with the exception of major systemic failures), they are the ones to handle it. This is supported by the subsidiarity principle. The U4C is taking care of the rest only, where there is no co-equal body. If a body requests support, the U4C is supposed to help, but not allowed to act on it's own. Making the U4C to decide about this would actually contradict the subsidiarity pinciple and the idea of co-equality. Having a third party deciding would create a nightmarish bureaucracy and a path to sure failures, and would take away a lot of the respective body.
  • Well, it is not in the hands of stewards alone. As quoted above further possible bodies are "the bodies that handle single-wiki UCoC violations or [...] the U4C where they do not conflict with these guidelines". Regardless of that, you have a point here. There is a certain vagueness in it. While I assume it will work for now, it should be monitored and if necessary, be revised in the annual reviews.
  • Yes, a steward (a person as much as the existing and further developing function) is a "body" in the sense above. If this sounds odd, it should be fixed for sure.
Denis Barthel (talk) 14:44, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

One poor wording


"A member of the U4C may comply with the request to recuse themselves or a vote of the membership of the U4C will happen, excluding the affected member or members." This borders on incomprehensible; I had to read it several times to have even a strong guess at to what it means, because the referent of "excluding" (what is excluded from what) was so unclear. Presumably, the latter part of this should be something like "or the U4C membership (excluding the affected member or members) will vote on whether the recusal in this case is mandatory."

Also, two related questions: (1) what would happen if someone were to demand that the whole board recuse themselves? Who would be left to vote on this? Or, a Machiavellian thought: what if someone were the subject of a complaint, thought one member of the board would be sympathetic to them, and requested that everybody else recuse themselves? It seems this would leave that one person to decide singlehandedly whether to makee a mandatory recusal of everyone else. Perhaps there needs to be a limitation on how many members a party to a complaint or investigation can ask to recuse themselves. - Jmabel (talk) 00:19, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Also, "themselves" does not match the singular "member". It should be "themself". This text really needs to be cleaned up for voting to be valid. Jonesey95 (talk) 01:13, 30 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
  • Agreed that "themself" should be used instead of "themselves". This document appears to be written in US English, and in the region of the US where I've lived for 53 years (Minnesota and Wisconsin), "themself" has always been used as the reflexive pronoun for a person of unspecified gender. If it's a regional usage, I don't know, but from my perspective the singular should be used.
Can such minor changes with no real bearing on the content of the charter be made after ratification? It's a linguistic issue, not a substantive one. Dcs002 (talk) 02:14, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Copy edits needed to unreadable sentence


My copy edits to an unreadable sentence were reverted. Whatever process happens here to fix broken wording should be implemented for that sentence. Jonesey95 (talk) 05:11, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

I just received an e-mail message asking me to vote on this draft charter. Why are we being asked to vote on a draft charter that has not been proofread and corrected? Jonesey95 (talk) 01:06, 30 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
I've had the same concerns and voted no, then later my vote was invalidated, because I should not have been able to vote. But after the vote was over, I was told I would be allowed to vote, just not with this account. Paradise Chronicle (talk) 07:18, 25 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

Spelling mistake in the Charter?


It contains the following phrase:

It contains a section for any community member to report matters about how the U4C, the EG and the UCoC work as enforced.

I suggest to adapt it to

It contains a section for any community member to report matters about how the U4C, the EG and the UCoC work was enforced.

Best regards,

Paradise Chronicle Paradise Chronicle (talk) 20:59, 20 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Or maybe:
It contains a section for any community member to report matters about how the U4C, the EG and the UCoC work is enforced? Paradise Chronicle (talk) 00:43, 21 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
I was reading it as: "It contains a section for any community member to report matters about how the U4C, the EG and the UCoC work out, in the way it/they is/are being enforced" (which would not be a typo). But your alternatives also sound very reasonable, and I don't think they really contradict each other. Good to clarify though. Effeietsanders (talk) 02:07, 21 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Missing space in the 3. Internal Procedures section


There is a missing space in the 3. Internal Procedures section between the first and second sentence. Dreamy Jazz talk to me | enwiki 23:09, 22 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Southern Europe representation for eligibility?


In the 2.2. Distribution of Seats / 2.2.1. Regional Distribution section, I noticed that Southern Europe isn't mentioned in any of the 8 Regions.
I am just wondering if that is intentional, accidental or if Southern / Mediterranean Europe has been amalgamated into Central Europe or another Region? Danny Benjafield (WMDE) (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Grants:Regions Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 16:19, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
i'm excited to see the vote results and that central asia becomes officially unrepresented. lmao. RZuo (talk) 12:02, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Danny Benjafield (WMDE) - Southern Europe is somewhat divided. While countries from Portugal to Italy are part of North and Western Europe, all countries east of Italy are part of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA). @RZuo Central Asia is a part of the CEECA region, too. The link DWI posted above works indeed. Denis Barthel (talk) 14:56, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Election Cycle


Perhaps I missed where this is covered, but I'm assuming there will be yearly elections with the goal of electing roughly half the members each election so the committee maintains a good mix of new and seasoned people (since the terms are two years). The mix could get off balance over time without more specific guidelines about replacing people who leave early. Semper Fi! FieldMarine (talk) 03:47, 30 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

In one election, all of the at-large seats are up for election, and the next year, the regional seats will be up. (The first at-large terms are only one year, then 2 years thereafter.) So, each year there will be an election for at-large seats or for regional seats.
You probably read that section 2.6 says, in case of vacancies, "the U4C may leave the seat empty and temporarily fill it during the next election, or the U4C may call a special election. An additional option in the case of resignation or removal is that the U4C may appoint a member who ran within the most recent election and received at least 60% support."
I think there is an advantage in allowing the U4C to decide how badly they need to fill vacancies based on their caseload, which I imagine will be immense. I think there's a case to be made for immediately replacing regional representatives though, for continuity of representation. MAD respect for US Marines! Dcs002 (talk) 04:30, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Too many problems - unspecified voting procedures, provision for ties, lack of transparency, dissent, late notice


My issues with the proposed charter are: 1) It is not specified whether U4C decisions are to be made by simple majority of members present, of all members, or by some other supermajority or consensus process. Something so fundamental to the function of such a powerful body should not be implied. The U4C will be the final arbiter of the most important cases, and we can't have them making decisions about our rights and privileges by making assumptions. 2) The U4C membership is an even number (16), inviting tie votes, with no specified procedure for dealing with tie votes. 3) There is no provision indicating which members voted for or against any decision. I think their votes should be on the public record (for accountability and to inform voters during re-election). 4) I think dissenting opinions should also be included in decisions described in section, added as item (v), if a dissenting member of the U4C believes an explanation of their dissent might be helpful to Wikimedians. I think it would help us understand how they interpret the UCoC.

The lack of these provisions is a lack of transparency, which is exactly the opposite of the intentions of those who drafted it. It is also an invitation for power struggles, as the authority for decision-making is not specified. I think these most basic issues need to be addressed now, before this charter is ratified. I also think the process for drafting this charter was flawed (see below).

Therefore, I intend to vote NO.

Like many, I received notice of this proposed charter by email on January 29, giving me 4 days to review it and vote. I've mentioned four issues I have with the proposed charter, but it seems I missed the opportunity to provide input already (if that opportunity actually was available to me), even though I just got the notice yesterday, and I believe I am commenting in a timely manner. All Wikimedians should have a chance to review such a fundamental document during its drafting, when input can be meaningful. That's when comments should be solicited, not 4 days before the voting deadline (and ten days after voting has begun). As things stand, people like me are being asked by email to vote on something fundamental without having been asked in the same way to participate in its development. That means there is a built-in ignorance in the voting population. I accept the possibility that there might have been some other form of notice here in Wikimedia, and maybe I missed it. If so, I doubt I'm the only one. But the call to vote came by email. Email reaches a broad audience, even people like me who spend most of our time on our home Wikis and don't see notices here. Again, that guarantees a certain amount of built-in ignorance among people who vote on this issue. I believe an electorate that can participate in matters before they come up for a vote is more informed and more invested in their outcome. Dcs002 (talk) 03:26, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Dcs002: I'm also annoyed that I only received an email about this on 29 January 2024, and that there were no warnings (see below) on the several language Wikipedias that I edit or read or Wikidata or Wiktionary. And the text itself has many minor ambiguities. All the same, I tend to see this vote in the context of rough consensus and WP:NORULES. The intention is positive, I see no signs of bad faith, and developing a first rough approximation to a UCOC coordinating committee, within the context of wiki culture that is highly likely to respond to any abuses of power, seems worth it to me. I only have a limited amount of time to make a judgment - I tend to think that I'll vote 'yes'. Keep in mind the difficulties we've had in creating effective, representative global groups (committees, organisations) over the past century; many of the bodies created with careful legal wording have turned out to be a lot less effective than we might have hoped. Boud (talk) 23:47, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
There are a banner at the top of the page (you may have disabled it in your perference) and a notice at the local Village Pump, which was displayed/sent at the beginning of the voting period. Although I personally agree the email notification can be sent earlier. Thanks. SCP-2000 03:28, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
@SCP-2000: I've kept banners enabled. So I admit that I probably saw the banner, got annoyed by it suddenly appearing where a tab like "edit" or "history" was a moment earlier, and forgot :). I do have a vague memory of seeing some sort of a banner like that ... Thanks for the correction; I've struck out some of my words above. Boud (talk) 11:33, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
@SCP-2000: That's not the problem I have. It's not about having 4 days vs. 14 days to vote. It's being told there's a vote now for something very complicated and important that I know nothing about, and didn't know it was in development. It's about having that process open to public comment, and by public I mean all Wikimedians, not just those who visit their Village Pump or this space regularly. Some people will look at the charter and see how nice it looks and vote yes, feeling good to make their voice known and to support the hard work of the people who authored it (whose work we should support), but what does a yes or no vote really mean on such a complex and fundamental document that to a significant number of us came out of nowhere? What's the history behind this charter? People who don't read banners and don't look for notices at the Village Pump are being invited now to vote. Adding that noise and ignorance (myself included) to the pool of voters is a large confound to add to the election data.
If notice to vote is given by email, the same process should be used to solicit community input before it's finalized and put to a vote. That way we don't all come to the vote without knowing what's actually at stake or why this is even an issue.
A lot of comments and suggestions for revision have been submitted here, and I'm sure there are plenty more with the ballots. That tells me that some people think this is the time to be revising the document, not ratifying it, and that a lot of people would like to give their input to make it a better charter. As this is the actual charter being voted on, a document of governance, not a draft, and I don't think community input was effectively sought as part of the process of creating it (no blame attached, clearly this process reflects a lot of work by good people, but a key step just wasn't effective), I can't support it. Dcs002 (talk) 11:55, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

What does 'temporarily fill it during the next election' mean?



2.6 Vacancies If there is an empty seat, whether because of resignations, removals, or no candidate was chosen for a regional seat in an election, the U4C may leave the seat empty and temporarily fill it during the next election, or the U4C may call a special election

(bold added by me), what does temporarily fill it during the next election mean?

If the seat is "fill[ed] during the next election", then in what way is that "temporary" (except in the usual sense where none of the seats are permanent)?

In other words, if the word "temporarily" is removed, would there be any change in meaning? If yes, then what is the change in meaning? If no, then the word should be removed after the end of the vote, for clarity. Boud (talk) 22:39, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

copy-editing note


Can the charter define "U4CBC", preferably before it is used? isaacl (talk) 02:40, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

I eventually found it: in 3.5 "The U4C Building Committee", without the abbreviation shown next to it. The first occurrence seems to be in 2.4. Boud (talk) 11:38, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I have seen this mention that follows the first occurrence but without defining the abbreviation. Perhaps it can just be referred to by its full name. isaacl (talk) 16:53, 1 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
I've added the definition within it's first usage, the way / place it should have been from the beginning (bit late for the change, but better late than never...). Can't see no reason, why it could not be referred to by its abbreviation - more so, since it had been done more than once already. If somebody likes full names only, that would then be Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee Building Committee ;-) Eragon Shadeslayer (talk) 21:17, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
Everything can of course be referred to by abbreviations. It's just a tradeoff: when there are only two mentions of the building committee, there isn't much benefit to replacing one of them with an abbreviation, and it imposes an additional burden on the reader to remember what the abbreviation in question stands for. I know those who have been working on this matter for years are comfortable with the various abbreviations, but I think a charter should be written for a broad audience. isaacl (talk) 22:28, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Votes will be cast by community members with > 60% or > 66% approval


so is it 60 or 66? what kind of charter is this, to have explicitly written ambiguity? a vote of 62% will be approval or disapproval? RZuo (talk) 12:06, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Where do you have the results? Could you link to it? Looking for the results since quite a while, but can't find them. Paradise Chronicle (talk) 15:54, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Paradise Chronicle: RZuo questioned the rule "Votes will be cast by community members with > 60% or > 66% approval" within the chapter, rather than the result of the most recent vote. The result of the vote will be announced after up to 2 weeks (ref. Voter information page). Thanks. SCP-2000 15:57, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Central Asia officially unrepresented


👏 RZuo (talk) 19:11, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Wrong translation into German


The candidates were translated to German into "Kandidierende". This is not according in accordance to the rules of the German language. The right translation is "Kandidaten" (this includes all persons). Unfortunately, I can't translate it correctly. Holger1974 (talk) 19:05, 7 April 2024 (UTC)Reply

„Kandidierende“ ist perfectly fine, just like similar words as „Studierende“ are admissible (it's not just used by the de:Duden [3], but also by the de:Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung [4]). Please don't force your own idea of „correct“ German on other users. And please consider de:WP:KORR – you are allowed to use „Kandidaten“ in you own translations, but please don't change other users correct translations if you don't contribute to the translations on a content level. Johannnes89 (talk) 19:25, 7 April 2024 (UTC)Reply
Return to "Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Charter" page.