Wikimedia Stewards User Group/Reports/2021

Report of the Wikimedia Stewards User Group for activities since October 2020 until December 2021.

Governance edit

Membership to the User Group is open to anyone interested in steward recruitment, tool development, or any of the other topics included in the user group mandate. Voting membership is restricted to current and former stewards in good standing. In the first quarter of 2021, the annual steward elections within the global Wikimedia community took place, resulting in 5 new stewards. 3 stewards resigned during the annual confirmations, 1 was removed by community and steward consensus without good standing. 3 more stewards resigned since the last report, 1 was removed on request by WMF Legal due to a adjustment of the access to nonpublic personal data policy. The user group did not develop formal hierarchical structures but remained consensus-driven among members. Co-contacts remain Base and DerHexer.

Communications edit

Due to the nature of our members who work in security-related fields, an internal wiki was used where experiences about global abuse was shared (documentation of cases, processes, etc.). We also used a private mailing list (steward-l) where Wikimedia Stewards discussed various cases in more than 900 emails in the reported period. Wikimedia Stewards handled more than 9,500 tickets sent to the VRT stewards queue in the reported period, mostly queries about previous actions of Wikimedia Stewards. That's almost twice as much as in the last reported period (5,500)!

The change from a bi-monthly hour-long calls with WMF departments to a monthly base in the last reported period was a good decision. Within the reported period, Wikimedia Stewards advised WMF on several topics and joined additional calls, e.g. about IP masking and Apple iCloud Private Relay. However, still not many stewards attend it because it lacked attendance of high-level staff at the Wikimedia Foundation. This topic was raised at the Wikimedia Foundation and now Maggie Dennis, Vice President, Community Resilience & Sustainability at the Wikimedia Foundation, joins the calls on a non-regular basis. The technical needs of Wikimedia Stewards were once again collected, new calls with the departments in charge took place. Due to limited time at the departments, most activities had to be postponed but another meeting is planned for early 2022. In the reported period, Wikimedia Stewards attended several calls for functionaries to give feedback on all steps of the Universal Code of Conduct process (functionaries consultations, roundtable discussions, etc.) as well as the Strategic Wikimedia Affiliates Network meetings.

Online activities edit

Most standard onwiki activities of Wikimedia stewards are visible on a statistics page: Stewards/statistics. For editcounts of the user group please also have a look at these statistics (more than 1,100,000 edits and log actions). Furthermore, Wikimedia Stewards helped out as scrutineers for several elections, including 2021 English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee, the 2021 WMF Board Election, the Movement Charter/Drafting Committee election and others. Besides that we completed annual activities like the admin activity review/2020 for administrators on small wikis and helped out with other global activities, like CentralNotice.

Offline activities edit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we couldn't hold our annual gatherings at the Wikimedia Summit or Wikimania. The last in-person meeting with the WMF happened in 2015; another one was under discussion but put on hold due to the pandemic. Other in-person meetings did not happen due to the scattering of its members around the world.

Publications edit

A Wikimedia Steward was invited to a podcast which was streamed more than 13,000 times on YouTube. Due to the lack of public events, Wikimedia Stewards couldn't held as many presentations as in previous years. However, some of them attended the first-ever virtual Wikimania and shared thoughts about banner campaigns and other topics.