Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Candidates/Victoria Doronina
|statement (Not more than 450 words)||I am originally from Belarus, a former part of the USSR and now the last dictatorship in Europe. I graduated from the Belarusian State University and did my PhD in Molecular Biology in Edinburgh (UK). I currently work as a Technical Officer at the Faculty of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).
I have started contributing to the Russian Wikipedia in 2006 and quickly became an active admin. I served twice on the Arbitration Committee and a mediator in Armenian-Azerbajani and LGBTQ+ topics. In fact, I was one of the initiators of the mediation system that is still relevant. I have been making minor contributions to English Wikipedia, Wikidata, Commons, Russian Wiktionary.
I know the editors from Ukrainian, Polish, and Belarusian (both of them) Wikies. I took part in setting up the Russian Chapter of WMF (Wikimedia RU), although I don’t have any formal role because I am a foreign citizen. I was a recipient of the Wikimedia Community Fellowship, writing a history of Russian Wikipedia, and served on the Grants Committee.
When in 2019 Putin threatened to replace Russian Wikipedia with a pro-Government encyclopedia, I gave an interview to an opposition TV channel. I predicted that nothing would come out of it, just some money plundered. And the Russian Wikipedia with its 1,7 million articles is still accessible to all Russian-speaking people.
The current Board is doing a good job maintaining the existing infrastructure and improving the editor experience. However, as with any mature movement, there’s a problem with attracting and retaining new editors, especially if they belong to minority groups.
Wikimedia movement had been a disruptor, successfully challenging and triumphing over the old gatekeepers such as traditional encyclopedias and Academia. Unfortunately, the disruptors have become the new gatekeepers. The new gatekeepers are almost exclusively older men from the Global North. I have experience helping the new editors, primarily women, and LGBTQ, that the online community is hostile to the newbies, demanding perfection from the first edit.
I think there are ways to help these new editors. Projects like GLAM and Wikmedian-in- residence are great for the established editors. Still, the existing projects should be supplemented with medium-term programs for the new editors beyond the one-day hackathons. We all know it’s as impossible to contribute to the content after one day as impossible to speak a foreign language after an “immersive course”.
I believe that if elected I can be a positive force in the WMF.
|Top 3 Board priorities||Provide independent oversight of the existing activities.
Develop a long-term evolution and regeneration movement strategy.
Promote Wikimedia Movement in Global South and among the minority groups.
|Top 3 Movement Strategy priorities||Maintain high quality of the existing content and expand it.
Find new ways of retaining the existing editors and attracting new ones.
Think of the future such as expanding the movement into the new media.
|Verification||Verification performed by elections committee or Wikimedia Foundation staff.|
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 20:41, 1 July 2021 (UTC)
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 18:13, 29 June 2021 (UTC)
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