Talk:Wikipedia & Education User Group/Members

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User Group Application InformationEdit

I signed up to be a member of the User Group and now it appears we need a second sign-up. This may be fine, though I am puzzled as to why I am being asked for my address, phone number, date of birth, and other information that is not required by any other Wikimedia Groups. Can you please clarify why this information is needed Esh77 or WikiTatik? --- FULBERT (talk) 21:37, 10 November 2018 (UTC)

I neglected pinging Dungodung on this question as well. Can you clarify this? Thanks. ---FULBERT (talk) 12:37, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Signing up that you did last year was just support for the creation of the user group. Now that we have a user group formally created, we need actual members -- people who have expressed their support about a year and a half ago might not want to be members now, so we didn't want to automatically treat them as members. Also, we require all this information because we aspire to become a legal entity in the future and when we do become that, we'd need all those pieces of information anyway. Besides, that data will be kept private and is accessible only by two people (currently Shani and me). --FiliP ██ 14:35, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
I want to join and become an active member as I believe in the work that Wikipedia & Education has been approved to do by the Affiliations Committee, yet I feel asking for the personal information that you are requiring for membership of a user group, including legal name, year of birth, gender, email, residential address, and phone number, is beyond the scope of what is needed. This information is not required by any other User groups I have seen, nor by the Wikimedia Foundation itself. Perhaps if this information were optional that would be fine, though requiring it for membership seems to me to be in conflict with the Privacy Policy. Again, pinging Esh77 WikiTatik Dungodung for clarification and response. --- FULBERT (talk) 18:16, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Hi FULBERT. First, thanks for your willingness to become an active member - looking forward to working more closely with you! Also, thanks for your feedback. We appreciate it and the opportunity to explain things that might be very clear to us, but not necessarily to others, who did not participate in our internal debate, so please keep raising issues that aren't clear. To your question, the main reason to ask for personal details has to do with our long-term vision and a desire to keep our options open in case we decide to register as a charity outside the Wikimedia Movement. Such has been the case for a variety of chapters, as well as for the thematic user group "WikiProject Medicine Foundation" (which is most similar to us in activity than any other UG). When going through such process, there is often a requirement to submit a "registry of members", which include details such as real name, address and phone number (requirements change depending on the place in the world). We thought it would make sense to ask for these details now, rather than try to get them later from members, as collecting such information always requires work. As the board is composed of only volunteers, we're trying to be efficient in what we do and think ahead, based on our accumulated governance experience. Another reason why we thought it would be helpful to have some more details about our members is that we intend the group to continue to be an entry point for newcomers, and provide a network of Wikimedians & professionals working together. As such, some of our work would be simply "match making", i.e. connecting the right people to the right people, based on place in the world, skills, interests, etc. So asking our members various questions regarding their experience and education, even gender, will help us when deciding whom it would be best to connect to whom in a given scenario / situation. I do want to stress that we take privacy very seriously and this personal information is strictly inaccessible to most people, including the board, with the exception of 2 individuals: the membership admin (which is Filip), and the chair (which is me). To sum up, there are some precedents in our movement to asking for more details from members and I hope I've provided enough context to why we have decided to ask that from our members. That said, if this is an issue for many, we could re-discuss; but before we do that, I'm interested to know if the context I've laid above has been helpful in assuring you that the information will remain private and will be used only for the good. I'd also be interested in knowing if others share this concern, or whether it is a singular case. Best, Shani Evenstein. 20:19, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Shani Evenstein for your response, which is helpful. As a life-long educator and capacity builder, I am personally almost fixated on issues of online privacy and how information is gathered and used, though am still not clear why this information is needed given the topic is promoting education. Given the challenges with fair and reliable information around the world, it would seem that adding more requirements for membership of a brand new user group would be more of a hurdle for engagement, and not really helpful. I have worked with the services and collaboration of the WikiEducation Foundation now for two years and have never been asked for this information, and I do all this with my own students here in Wikipedia. I see WikiProject Medicine as a different case, in that the content those folks work with is used around the world for life and death situations, and as a result there needs to be more insightful management of who is contributing what. I think requiring any personal information on Wikipedia, without first having established a history of contribution and the trust that comes with it, should be minimized. Come to think of it, as I am very interested in this work and am already involved in multiple other projects on Wikipedia, I am happy to volunteer to help anything on the back-end, now or in the future, if an extra set of hands would be useful to lighten the load, promote the work, and enable this effort to proceed with less requirements just so it gets started and without additional steps. Happy to discuss if there is anything I can do to support this, something I was not otherwise able to offer given I cannot get through this initial privacy step. --- FULBERT (talk) 12:42, 12 November 2018 (UTC)
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