Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard

This page is for discussions related to the Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard page.

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header edit

hmm....hould we consider merging this with WMF_Board_portal? their purpose seems similar. Maybe we can transclude one with the other as a template? Theo10011 (talk) 12:47, 5 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I don't really think that the purpose is similar (here is the place to leave notes for the board, there is the place to find information about the board). But if you have an idea how to make the best out of both, please try. --Alice Wiegand (talk) 12:32, 6 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Should perhaps be merged to a "contact us" page with info on the OTRS queue, this doesn't seem used and I doubt board is looking at it (usual vicious circle). --Nemo 10:09, 1 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
Not sure if I understand your idea. Indeed, the OTRS queue is not much used (and yes, still primarily it's spam) but it is not unused and it's not unseen. But does that proof anything? Alice Wiegand (talk) 14:20, 1 May 2013 (UTC)Reply
I wonder if this page could simply serve as the talk page for the WMF Board Portal? -- phoebe | talk 20:17, 17 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Off-topic discussion edit

I know that this is not exactly "on topic", but I want to take this opportunity to ask that while we're analyzing the termination of a mid-level employee for paid conflicts of interest, might we look at the numerous other questionable cases of money being transfered (or paid employees making undisclosed COI edits) in association with Wikipedia content, that have involved Wikimedia Foundation staff, trustees, or affiliates? Some recent examples, though not an exhaustive list:
  • Ting Chen, Jimmy Wales, and Rauan Kenzhekhanuly link
  • Amazon, Wikimedia Foundation, and Wikia link
  • Dr. Bertalan Meskó, who was told "In practice, there is no 'bright line rule'." Albeit, no direct link to WMF here, except that Meskó was never reprimanded for formally recommending to pharmaceutical companies that they hire paid Wikipedia editors. link
  • User:Wifione - Again, no direct link to WMF, but highly suspicious pro-corporate POV editing by an admin, never reprimanded for his misdeeds, other than Jimmy Wales saying "certainly very poor edits, and they certainly do not meet my expectations of what Admin editing behavior should be like". Wifione remains an administrator on Wikipedia. link
  • Europeana, Wiki Loves Monuments. Note how Jimmy Wales said, "I recommend that you... complain directly to the people involved...", suggesting that the WMF trustee wasn't interested in pursuing a reprimand of Europeana's COI employee editing. link
  • Hi @Thekohser — since I was heavily involed with Wiki Loves Monuments, I'll take the liberty to respond and clarify this matter for you. Wiki Loves Monuments has never been a Wikimedia Foundation project; it was always led by the community and organized by various national chapters; the only involvement from the WMF is that they supported WLM in matters of PR, and delegated a small team of engineers/programmers to work on a mobile app for Wiki Loves Monuments (and some smaller tasks, too), and awarded small grants to the various national chapters (and, last year, to the international facilitating team). If you see any COI editing done by Europeana, it should therefore be handled by the community and Europeana themselves, without involving the WMF. odder (talk) 10:38, 11 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
  • Erlend Bjørtvedt, Telenor, and Wikimedia Norway link
-Interesting side note on that one, when my name was mentioned to Jimmy Wales by another user, Wales said, "Let him know that if I see him, I'll call the police." Seems like criticism of the Wikimedia Foundation is a crime now, maybe?
  • Cooley LLP. When the WMF's lawfirm sent a cease-and-desist letter to a paid editing firm, a week later, it was discovered that Cooley LLP employees had been removing sourced negative content from their own Wikipedia article, for years. link and link
-- Thekohser (talk) 17:02, 9 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Could the Wikimedia Foundation board please post a commitment to comply with the 1964 Civil Rights act that protects women from discrimination in employment by giving teeth to the community to punish harassers who go after female contributors' employment? Could the WMF also investigate whether Sue Gardner and Jimmy Wales violated Sarah's rights under the 1964 Civil Rights act by supporting harassment on the part of male contributors that ultimately led to her termination[?] The preceding unsigned comment was added by ArtistBettyAnne (talk • contribs) .
I doubt that the WMF board can pass a resolution that might make the organization liable to legal action. -- (talk) 17:57, 9 January 2014 (UTC)Reply
Fæ, we could pass a resolution strengthening our commitment to non-discrimination. That would not make us any more liable to legal action, afaics. However the WMF 's current non discrimination policy is quite broad and actively enforced: we strongly support diversity and empowerment across the gender spectrum. Our Board is 50% female; as is half of our executive team, including the ED. ArtistBA, I appreciate your concern, but it is not warranted. I removed part of your comment: please don't use the full names of staff who wished to leave the organization quietly, nor challenge the employment status of others. SJ talk  20:29, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Future of this Noticeboard edit

It will not have escaped the assisuous reader that engagement by members of the Board here has been at a rather low level. In a discussion on this topic, the Vice-Chair of the Board opined I honestly disagree that "additional effort" is an realistic opportunity. My personal opinion is that if something does not work the way you expect, it doesn't help just do do more of it. You need to do it differently to make a shift. [1]. If the Baord is currently unable or unwilling to engage further, and indeed sees this Board as not working the way we expect, perhaps the time has come to close it and consider other options for engagement between the Board and the Community -- "do it differently" -- bearing in mind, of course, that whatever replaces this page will not be able to claim more than the very small proportion of their time that the Board are currently able to devote to engagement here. Any suggestions? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:34, 19 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

I think it would be an accurate representation of the Board's attitude towards the community to simply replace the page with this. -- 01:14, 26 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

Has any Board member ever edited the page?!? EllenCT (talk) 20:47, 31 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

@EllenCT: Certainly, and I'm pretty sure several read it regularly, even if they don't comment as often. Pundit, Doc James, and Raystorm have all participated in discussions on this board at times. Guy Macon did a poll two years ago to find out how many follow the page. --Yair rand (talk) 20:57, 31 October 2019 (UTC)Reply
Thank goodness! EllenCT (talk) 20:59, 31 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Request for help in voting a new Wiki Project edit

Hello, I invite you to vote for the approval of a new Wiki project for answer to all the questions that people have on "why" things are or happen. This is the proposal page Wikiwhy, thanks to everyone! --Agnese93 (talk) 12:49, 19 June 2020 (UTC)Agnese93Reply

Updated test to see how many of the current board members have this noticeboard on their watchlists. edit

I am repeating my test from 2017 to see how many of the current board members have this noticeboard on their watchlists.

Please respond (a simple "here" will do) so that we know that you read this noticeboard.

Also, please do not inform any other board member about this test; that would be cheating.

The test will be concluded and a count taken in two weeks, on Wednesday, July 8th, 2020.

--Guy Macon (talk) 00:06, 25 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

Here. Shani (WMF) (talk) 12:03, 25 June 2020 (UTC)Reply
It has been two weeks. Conclusion: Exactly board member regularly reads the Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard.
Question: what is the procedure on Meta that is the equivalent of an English Wikipedia en:WP:MfD? --Guy Macon (talk) 00:33, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
(I think you accidentally a word.)
Deletion requests would go at Meta:Requests for deletion, but I'd recommend against it. We don't currently have a better alternative available, even if participation on the noticeboard is somewhat rare. So long as at least one trustee is generally around, the noticeboard has value.
Also note that Raystorm might well have seen this thread, but not responded due to an expressed objection on principal to answering such polls/tests. --Yair rand (talk) 01:17, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
Also, even if trustees don't follow the noticeboard, it's a useful place for them to communicate to the community, at least. --Yair rand (talk) 01:20, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
That's a fair comment about them communicating with the community. Perhaps a banner at the top warning people that they don't read their own noticeboard?
As for Raystorm, I don't buy it. He objects to being asked to type four letters once every three or four years because that would be too much of a burden? Pull the other one. It has bells on it. I think he just wants to hide the fact that the board doesn't care about what the community thinks enough to read their own noticeboard. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:39, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
Just FYI, that's "she". --Yair rand (talk) 03:24, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
Not a board member, but I object on principle to these "tests" myself. Even if board members aren't checking their Meta watchlist every day (or even week!), this page has value for flagging issues for trustee review. Every time an important issue has been posted here, it has been communicated to the board. That's good enough. – Ajraddatz (talk) 01:21, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
I disagree. Refusing to engage in a dialog with the community`they are supposed to serve is not "good enough". And I consider the section above about "questionable cases of money being transferred and paid employees making undisclosed COI edits that have involved Wikimedia Foundation staff, trustees, or affiliates" to be an important issue that one of the board members should have responded to in the six years it has been on this page. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:44, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
And I wholeheartedly agree with their refusal to engage in your ridiculous gotcha test. The board as an entity can, should, and does engage with the community in a variety of ways, not all of which include responding to every loud and angry voice in the room. – Ajraddatz (talk) 01:47, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
Personally, I think checking makes a certain amount of sense, but it might be better to refrain from it if some trustees are bothered by it. (I'm not actually sure whether or not that's the case; I don't think I really understood the original objection.) Discussion on whether the poll is a good idea also happened in 2017, with some pretty sharp disagreements. Pretty sure this particular thread of discussion isn't going to go anywhere productive, and would recommend discontinuing it. --Yair rand (talk) 03:24, 9 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
We know that most Board members read at least some discussion on Meta. We know that this plays some role in Board discussions. We know there is no formal method for 'the community' to put an issue, suggestion or document on the Board's agenda. None of these issues are affected by whether Board members respond to one community member's message this talk page, so maybe we could stop it with these 'tests'? Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 22:03, 10 July 2020 (UTC)Reply
No. It is not unreasonable to ask whether anyone on the Wikimedia Foundation Board reads the Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:11, 29 July 2020 (UTC)Reply

Board election - voter eligibility criteria edit

In determining individual eligibility to vote, why wouldn't donorship also be among the criteria? Individuals who make occasional edits, but are long-standing monthly donors, and regular users have surely exhibited a commitment to, interest in and stake in the direction and governance of the foundation.

There should certainly be other accompanying criteria, such as having an active account for a year minimum or such. We certainly wouldn't want people to be able to just create an account, drop in a donation and vote. But, certainly established accounts who make occasional edits and regular donations have at least as much interest in the organization's direction and governance. Makesart (talk) 04:51, 26 August 2021 (UTC)Reply

And how would you connect those two things? Accounts are anonymous, and donations are made by known people, those two things don't fit together. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 04:59, 26 August 2021 (UTC)Reply

How is it that I get thank you notices on wiki sites when I log on to my normal user account? Makesart (talk) 20:19, 26 August 2021 (UTC)Reply

Call for Feedback about the Board of Trustees elections is now open edit

The Call for Feedback: Board of Trustees elections is now open and will close on 16 February 2022.

With this Call for Feedback, the Movement Strategy and Governance team is taking a different approach. This approach incorporates community feedback from 2021. Instead of leading with proposals, the Call is framed around key questions from the Board of Trustees. The key questions came from the feedback about the 2021 Board of Trustees election. The intention is to inspire collective conversation and collaborative proposal development about these key questions.

There are three questions that will be asked during this Call for Feedback:

What is the best way to ensure more diverse representation among elected candidates? The Board of Trustees noted the importance of selecting candidates who represent the full diversity of the Wikimedia movement. The current processes have favored volunteers from North America and Europe. What are the expectations for the candidates during the election? Board candidates have traditionally completed applications and answered community questions. How can an election provide appropriate insight into candidates while also appreciating candidates’ status as volunteers? How should affiliates participate in elections? Affiliates are an important part of the Wikimedia movement. Two seats of the Board of Trustees due to be filled this year were filled in 2019 through the Affiliate-selected Board seats process. A change in the Bylaws removed the distinction between community and affiliate seats. This leaves the important question: How should affiliates be involved in the selection of new seats?

Join the conversation.


Movement Strategy and Governance --Mervat (WMF) (talk) 19:10, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

Leadership Development Task Force: Your feedback is appreciated! edit

(Read this message in other languages on Meta: ‎العربية • Deutsch • español • français • Русский • 中文 • हिन्दी • বাংলা • Bahasa Indonesia •日本語 • 한국어 • Yorùbá • Polski • Português bosanski • hrvatski • српски / srpski)


The Community Development team at the Wikimedia Foundation is supporting the creation of a global, community-driven Leadership Development Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to advise leadership development work.

The team is looking for feedback about the responsibilities of the Leadership Development Task Force. This Meta page shares the proposal for a Leadership Development Task Force and how you can help. Feedback on the proposal will be collected from 7 to 25 February 2022.

Thank you, --Mervat (WMF) (talk) 12:07, 11 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Is the document recommending the BoT election process on Meta somewhere? edit

The Recommendation for BoT election 2022 overview the Board published in April, which is the basis for this year's election process, provides excellent context. I haven't seen it linked from pages on Meta -- is there a version of it that was posted here? Pinging @MLee (WMF): who posted it on the wmf wiki :) –SJ talk  16:50, 20 May 2022 (UTC)Reply

@Sj, sorry for this late reply. The recommendation that you link to wasn't posted as a wiki page on Meta. It was linked from the first paragraph on the related announcement at Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/April 2022 Board Election process in 2022. Qgil-WMF (talk) 19:36, 27 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

Open letter to the board from the English Wikipedia community edit

Hi, We have posted an open letter to the Foundation and Board of Trustees. It concerns the development of MediaWiki extensions and needs the personal attention of all concerned developers, managers, and board members. Please see it at:

Open letter from English Wikipedia New Page Reviewers


NPP coordination

Your comments are welcome. Many thanks.

Kind regards, On behalf of the English Wikipedia Community Kudpung (talk) 01:51, 22 September 2022 (UTC)Reply

Replied on relevant pages on Meta & EnWiki. Best, Shani (WMF) (talk) 19:39, 13 October 2022 (UTC)Reply

Compensation of Key Employees and Executives at the Wikimedia Foundation edit

I heard that the Wikimedia Foundation is going to reduce the number of employees by around five percent. From my point of view it is in such a situation important that the compensation of the Key Employees and Executives of the Wikimedia Foundation will not grow and to make sure there will be no kind of bonus payments for this fiscal year. From my point of view it would be great if there will be a limitation of annual compensation to for example at maximum 150,000 Dollars a year. This is a topic I want to discuss during the Annual Plan Conversations. I wish that you as the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation talk to the Key Employees and Executives of the Wikimedia Foundation if they are willing to reduce their own compensation if you have not done it yet. If there will be Key Employees who are willing to reduce their compensation this would be an important signal to the public that the Executives act responsible after the layoff of Employees. From my point of view it is necessary to reduce the compensation of high compensated employees before reducing the number of employees. Otehrwise it can happen that it will cause a bad image in the public. If I hear from a shortage in staff at an organization or company I look to the public availabe reports like the Form 990 at Non-Profit-Organisations in the US and inside it the Key Employess and Executives with their compensation are listed.--Hogü-456 (talk) 19:03, 19 April 2023 (UTC)Reply

We also have Wikimedia Foundation salaries. Nemo 06:00, 20 April 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Hogü-456:, thank you for this comment, I am aware that you posted a similar note to the CEO when she started. Maryana responded at the time diff to encourage you to speak to the Board about the CEO’s salary. Since the CEO does not determine their own salary, I am now formally responding on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, which sets executive compensation levels and determines the compensation of the CEO.
The draft of the Foundation’s annual plan was published, and I encourage you to read it, paying attention to several relevant points there that respond to your concerns:
First, it discusses the real and difficult tradeoffs that resulted in needing to reduce the expenses of the Foundation. As Maryana noted in her message introducing the annual plan: “Given the revenue shortfall from the December English fundraising campaign, as well as an uncertain global economic outlook, the Foundation is projecting reduced expenses and slower growth than in past years. Over the past month, we have made internal budget cuts, prioritising non-personnel expenses but also reducing staffing by 5 percent. These difficult decisions were made to support a more sustainable trajectory in expenses for the coming few years, and also to maintain our overall funding levels to movement partners (including more funding in all regions while prioritising proportionally larger growth in underrepresented regions).” The process of reducing the Foundation’s expenses were impacted by many factors, and have included decisions to restructure some teams, to continue hiring for key roles where the skills do not exist in the current staff (e.g., director of security), and to set an expectation that change is a constant in dealing with both organisational and external uncertainties.
Second, the plan provides much more granular information about the operations of the Foundation. This includes the Foundation’s principles for setting compensation, and the many factors that are taken into account in setting salaries at all levels. This section of the annual plan also shares newly established practices to increase pay visibility for all roles.
Third, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with voluntary pay reduction requests of staff, including those at the Wikimedia Foundation. This can lead to equity concerns about which individuals decide to reduce their salaries, and which do not. For a variety of reasons, it is not a practice that is encouraged to deal with long-term budget challenges or expense reductions. That said, you will see in the annual plan that the Foundation’s senior staff have devised a short-term, opt-in program to defer their salary increases this year to fund one-time inflationary increases for lower paid staff.
Finally, you make a number of assumptions about the Form 990 that need to be corrected. The salary of the current CEO will not be included in this year’s Form 990 as it reports compensation for calendar year 2021, so before she was hired. Furthermore, the Form 990 reports compensation for a specific period of time, it does not list annualised salaries. Nonetheless, to increase accountability and visibility, the Foundation has proactively disclosed the salaries of newly hired executives, including the CEO, in this year’s annual plan. As is noted, these salaries are set at a midpoint/50th percentile using third-party, external benchmarking data.
The Board ultimately determines compensation levels for senior roles at the Wikimedia Foundation, including the CEO, and we have satisfied ourselves that the pay level for our current executives is at the appropriate level.
I understand these answers may not convince you. If that is the case, we will have to disagree. Going forward, please direct any further questions about CEO pay to the Board, and not to the CEO, who does not set their own salary --NTymkiv (WMF) (talk) 17:55, 20 April 2023 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for correcting me. I wrote a wrong information. I will look into the annual plan to see the expected compensations for next year. I have another point of view how to compensate people. So in this part I disagree and still have another vision how to compensate people at a Non-Profit-Organisation and I read the [principles] in the annual plan. After I read your response and the Compensation principles I understand now better your point of view.--Hogü-456 (talk) 18:30, 20 April 2023 (UTC)Reply
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