Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2007/Candidates/^demon/en

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User ^demon
Real name Michael "Chad" Horohoe
Location Richmond, Virginia, United States of America
Age 19
User page(s) On the English Wikipedia
Wikimedia participant since 23 February 2005 (but had been contributing as an anonymous user for some time before that, probably early 2004)
Projects in which I participate English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons for transwiki work.
Languages in which I participate English, elementary-level French
Link to user contribution pages On the English Wikipedia
My candidate statement Wikipedia is an absolutely phenomenal thing. The Wikimedia Foundation exists to support both Wikipedia and its many sister projects by providing both financial and infrastructural support. It stands to reason that we need people on the Board who understand what we're really here for--providing as much freely-licensed content to as many people as possible in their own native language. The Board of Directors should have, nay, needs to have people who are as closely aligned with this guiding principle as possible. As a board member, I would strive to play towards my individual strengths of management, technical know-how, and my ability to communicate with others. However, none of us must ever be too proud to not stop and ask for help; be it from outside help, developers, local administrators, and even the normal day-to-day contributors--both registered and anonymous. I believe many times those involved "higher-up" in the running of the Foundation can, at times, lose sight of that core policy I highlighted. This is something I promise to never do.

I believe that the Foundation is currently making a major mistake on what has recently to me become a very major issue. The WMF has long held a policy of "No Open Proxies" allowed for editing. The feeling has often been that quite a large amount of vandalism is coming from such proxies. The ability has long existed for us to be able to soft-block those proxies (in that registered users can edit, but anonymous ones cannot). For quite some time, Tor was soft-blocked. However, earlier this year, unilateral action was taken to hard block all of these proxies, preventing even valuable users from being able to contribute. When Board members were contacted, they did nothing. Rather, Jimbo encouraged discussion, which got nowhere due to a set mindset that is impossible to break. In the meantime, other users were mowed down for this same issue. Are we to allow the projects to lose highly valuable and valued contributors simply because the Foundation will not act? If I am elected, I would like to have the issue visited at a Foundation-level. While we may not see the results I would prefer, I would like to see the Foundation at least exert effort to see if this policy does in fact need revising, rather than the lack of action by anyone.

For questions, please post here Board elections/2007/Candidates/^demon/questions