Wikimedia Foundation elections/2024/Questions for candidates

This page contains details about questions for the candidates of 2024 Wikimedia Foundation Board election.

Mechanism

edit

In each selection process, the community has the opportunity to submit questions for the Board of Trustees candidates to answer. The Election Committee selects questions from the list developed by the community for the candidates to answer. Candidates are only required to answer these selected questions. This year, the Election Committee will select five (5) questions for the candidates to answer. The selected questions may be a combination of what’s been submitted from the community, if they’re alike or related.

Once selected, each question is broken into a subpage to help with readability.

The Call for Questions in this 2024 selection process started on May 8, 2024 and ended on June 12, 2024. The Elections Committee reviewed only the questions submitted by 23:59 UTC, June 12, 2024.

Selected questions

edit

The Elections Committee selected the following questions for the candidates to answer. Click on each questions to see the candidates' answers.

  1. Question 1: "The creation and implementation of a Universal Code of Conduct has been a Board priority since 2020. The original timeline for the implementation of the UCoC was wildly unrealistic, the UCoC was implemented by the Board without community ratification, and the first Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee was recently elected without a sufficient number of members to form a quorum. What lessons should the Board take from the UCoC process, especially about how the Board interacts with volunteers?"
  2. Question 2: "There has been some trend towards devolving or sharing the governance of the Wikimedia movement, including having a separate board for the Wikimedia Endowment and the proposed Global Council in the Movement Charter. What do you see as the positives and negatives of these trends, and what is your overall assessment of the work so far?"
  3. Question 3: "In the 2024-25 draft Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan, there is a statement that Wikimedia content is becoming less visible as part of the Internet's essential infrastructure, because an increasingly closed and artificial intelligence-mediated internet doesn't attribute the source of the facts, or even link back to the Wikimedia projects. What responsibility does the Board and the Wikimedia Foundation have in enforcing the CC-by-SA licensing of the content from all projects by AI or other digital media information formats that do not respect the copyright law?"
  4. Question 4: "Wikimedia Foundation's Annual Plan recognizes multiple trends negative to the Wikimedia movement: decreasing visibility, audiences moving to a novel competition such as artificial intelligence solutions and Internet influencers, increasing information warfare and erosion of trust, necessary technical investments while the revenue growth was flattening. At the same time, the movement's products and processes change very, very slowly. Which bold steps would you recommend to the Wikimedia Foundation?"
  5. Question 5: "What are your thoughts about systemic bias on Wikimedia projects, both in their content and their demographics, and including identity-based, language-based, economic/resource-based, ideological/worldview-based, and other forms of system bias? What measures or initiatives do you think the Board can appropriately take to address systemic bias?"

Candidates have until July 1, 2024 at 23:59 UTC to answer the questions at the respective pages.

Proposed questions from community members

edit
  1. What would you hope to achieve such that a year (or two) later, you'll consider your work as a Board member a success? Leaderboard (talk) 17:03, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  2. How do you tend to carry along all Wikimedians by ensuring inclusivity in employment opportunities? 787IYO (talk) 09:45, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Bold 145.224.73.53 19:52, 21 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    what's the context on this one? Tonymetz (talk) 20:46, 21 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  3. WMF fundraising has grown by 275% over the last 10 years, and 50% compared to the last 5. In your opinion, when should our Fundraising campaigns slim down? Could you name one WMF program or venture from the last year or two that did not work out as expected? Soni (talk) 12:28, 11 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  4. There has been some trend towards devolving or sharing the governance of the movement, including having a separate endowment board and the proposed global council and movement charter. What do you see as the positives and negatives of this and is your overall assessment of this work so far? Barkeep49 (talk) 14:22, 30 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Over the last 10 years Wikimedians have been focused on the carbon footprint of travel as part of the movements activities including holding events like Wikimania, and regional conferences. With the growing use of AI and the ever expanding data centres all of which demand large quantities of power to support the movements capacity to share knowledge. When we add in the exploitation of finite mineral resources with significant quantiities being sourced from places with no environmental protects. What steps to do see the WMF Board can take now to ensure the movement is operating both as a sustainable and ethical source of knowledge? Gnangarra (talk) 06:17, 31 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  6. With the divergence of WMF employees away from so-called first-world countries with developed employment rights, to employing in lower economic countries what practical steps do you see the WMF Board implementing to ensure equality of employment conditions and opportunities? Gnangarra (talk) 06:17, 31 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  7. What are your thoughts about systemic bias on WMF projects, both in their content and their demographics, and including identity-based, language-based, economic/resource-based, ideological/worldview-based, and other forms of system bias? In addition, what measures or initiatives do you think the Board can appropriately take to address systemic bias? Pecopteris (talk) 05:48, 4 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  8. The Wikimedia Foundation is a large organization, with 600+ employees and a budget of almost US$200 million. What professional experience, if any, do you have with managing employees and budgets? (If this seems unclear or difficult to translate, see User:WhatamIdoing/Board candidates for more context; contact me if a re-write would help.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:43, 4 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Working on a Board of Trustees requires collaborating with other Board members, persuading them to support your vision, and compromising to reach a decision that everyone can agree with. Uncollegial behavior, such as inappropriate criticism, encouraging public pressure campaigns on other Board members, or posting information about active internal discussions, usually makes a Board member ineffective. However, there are always a few voters who believe that publicly working against the Board is desirable. If you join the Board, do you think you will be able to effectively work with the other people on the Board? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:17, 4 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Board members at all US 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organizations are legally required to support the Wikimedia Foundation's charitable purpose above all other considerations and interests, including getting re-elected. If you join the Board, do you think you will be able to effectively fulfill your fiduciary duty to serve the mission, or will other competing interests, such as serving the people and groups who supported your election, sometimes be more important to you? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:17, 4 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Disinformation has been a major theme running through political and economic discourse over the last decade, and even in scientific discourse (e.g. climate change, the pandemic, evolution). Wikipedia has adopted some new policies to maintain the integrity of our content. How well do you think that has worked? Do we need to continue adapting as bad actors modify their methods? Or perhaps we might consider taking even stronger methods to stay at least one step ahead? Smallbones (talk) 02:28, 10 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Conversely, "disinformation" is merely a label, or in particular an ideograph. "Bad actors" are more likely those who stand to gain materially from exploiting Wikipedia than the ideologically motivated. For example the pharmaceutical industry would profit considerably from using Wikipedia to influence public opinion. Cui bono? AP295 (talk) 23:30, 10 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  12. The creation and implementation of a Universal Code of Conduct has been a Board priority since 2020. The original timeline for the implementation of the UCoC was wildly unrealistic, the UCoC was implemented by the Board without community ratification, and the first Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee was recently elected without a sufficient number of members to form a quorum. What lessons should the Board take from the UCoC process, especially about how Board interacts with volunteers? --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 18:51, 10 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Should Board candidates respond to all questions posed by community members during the election process? --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 18:53, 10 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  14. What should WMF do to help improve trust in Wikipedia within the USA? Tonymetz (talk) 23:13, 10 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Reading the Annual plan for 2024/25 I note the statement Wikimedia content is becoming less visible as part of the internet's essential infrastructure because an increasingly closed and AI-mediated internet doesn't attribute the source of the facts, or even link back to Wikipedia. As an incoming board member what responsibility does the Board and the WMF have in enforcing the CC-by-SA licensing of the content from all projects by AI or other digital media information formats that dont respect copyright. Gnangarra (talk) 03:40, 11 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  16. How will the WMF ensure admin/functionary accountability and address abuses of power, per the UCoC? AP295 (talk) 05:40, 11 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    can you share context on this one? Tonymetz (talk) 17:53, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The UCoC prohibits "Abuse of power, privilege, or influence". The enforcement guidelines state "Enforcement structures will set standards for accepting and considering appeals based on relevant contextual information and mitigating factors. These factors include, but are not limited to: verifiability of the accusations, the length and effect of the sanction, and whether there is a suspicion of abuse of power or other systemic issues, and the likelihood of further violations. The acceptance of an appeal is not guaranteed." This is nonspecific and the section (3.3.3 Appeals) does not seem to recommend any concrete standards or procedures. Overall the section is vague; sentences like "enforcement structures should seek informed perspectives on cases in order to establish a basis to grant or decline an appeal" are meaningless. The bullet points seem to presume that a blocked user has committed a violation, which is not always true. Obviously the language should not reflect a presumption of guilt. AP295 (talk) 20:10, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Context Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 20:34, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Do you support a Global Council according to the Movement Charter draft? Denis Barthel (talk) 08:59, 11 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Do you believe that the Wikimedia movement's primary focus should be the work happening directly on the projects or the values the projects represent, and why? Giraffer (talk) 17:30, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    can you elaborate on this? it seems like a false choice at first glance. for example, much of the "work happening directly..." is in alignment with the values. Perhaps some isn't? Tonymetz (talk) 17:56, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The work on the projects is aligned with the values, but not everything done to further those values happens on the projects -- my question is about whether we should focus on outreach to further our values (e.g. growing access to free knowledge through conferences/workshops/grants), or to focus more narrowly on running the projects. Giraffer (talk) 12:09, 13 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I see and thanks for explaining that. Good question. Tonymetz (talk) 16:24, 13 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  19. During last years (and possibly still), AffCom have been / is undercapacitated to the point that it needed several months of targeted capacity development to reasonably answer an elementary school level question, if it managed to answer it at all, and have been spreading false information privately and publicly. This enabled and is still enabling continuations of conflicts and created new conflicts in affiliations, between affiliations and community activists, in the movement, and is damaging the reputation of WMF and the Wikimedia movement. AffCom's Board Liasons are well informed about this for years with no significant improvement of the situation. What would you, as a new Trustee, do to improve the capacity situation of AffCom? --KuboF Hromoslav (talk) 18:17, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  20. Would you support allocation of enough resources of WMF to make it clear what are the currently valid behavioral requirements of various movement actors? --KuboF Hromoslav (talk) 18:17, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  21. Considering three-year terms on the WMF BoT, please name your three biggest accomplishments in the past three years, be it on the WMF Board of the Trustees (for incumbents), or relevant to this position. aegis maelstrom δ 21:32, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  22. WMF own annual plan recognizes multiple trends negative to the Wikimedia Movement: decreasing visibility, audiences moving to a novel competition including AI solutions and Internet influencers, increasing information warfare and trust erosion, needed technical investments while the revenue growth was flattening. In the same time, our products and processes change very, very slowly. Which bold steps would you recommend to the WMF? aegis maelstrom δ 21:54, 12 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  23. When is U4C going to be implemented? Dronebogus (talk) 22:11, 15 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  24. Would you support unification of the Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Serbo-Croatian into the one large project? Do you concider that as a better solution for the neutral point of view?--Fenikals (talk) 11:36, 22 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Second this Dronebogus (talk) 14:34, 22 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]