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Wikipedia board manual

Not to be confused with the Wikimedia Foundation board manual
Noto Emoji Pie 1f4c4.svg This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.

This is an old (2003) proposal about the English Wikipedia; there's no such a thing as a Wikipedia board, but you may be looking for the Arbitration Committee.


The Wikipedia board manual describes how the hopefully ideal Wikipedia board goes about its business. That business includes at least:

  • WMPR = Wikimedia public relations and press release strategy
  • deciding standards for complex debates, e.g. TIPAESA type hierarchy
  • defining exact mandates of Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and other sister projects, and settling issues of which editorial applies, and how linkage between them is achieved.
  • managing transition from current informal Wikipedia Governance by Dictator, to various proposals for semi-formal governance models, if they deem appropriate.
  • managing the Wikipedia4 timeline and choosing feature priorities for Wikipedia4 - building on knowledge of problems with Wikipedia3 which will probably complete in parallel with board recruitment
  • setting the voting, meeting and any market mechanisms invoked to manage Wikipedia's processes
  • settling ethical disputes according to some explicit code which will be periodically revised with the help of the contributor base, and outside interest groups.
  • finding and approving funding - making presentations to any and all funders
  • putting limits on activities of the IP Death Squad, removing sysop powers where they deem it necessary
  • recruiting editors
  • Helping recruit members of the ideal Wikipedia board - not their own choices but those that reflect needs of the users (not the contributors!)
  • Maintaining this manual in line with actual practice (ISO 9002 type stuff, keep reality as the basis of your documents, not fantasies)
  • serving as a example of good etiquette
  • resigning when the project takes on rules or directions they can't support and can't effectively oppose from inside
  • ensuring that substantial dissent (e.g. here on meta) has the power to start a new 'pedia' to compete with Wikipedia, and that there are no structural barriers to doing so (an important part of the commitment to true open content.
  • clearly setting the processes by which a sysop is declared a sysop (in particular on small wikipedias where a sysop has an especially important power over the others, due to the very small number of them). Granting temporary sysop status, establishing conventions for taking turns as sysops or temporary regular withdrawals of sysop powers, to avoid abuse of power without appearing to judge anyone in particular (even police have their off-duty hours, remember).
  • (more)