In the last e-mail a few hours ago I made a mistake concerning the start of
the diversity dialogue hangout:
It is* 5 pm +1 GMT* - not as stated before 6pm +1 GMT.
If you want to avoid confusion with the dfferent time zones I can send you
a google calender invite as I offered in the first e-mail.
Please excuse my mistake.
Merle von Wittich
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. +49 30 219158 26-0
Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/681/51985.
On Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 1:50 AM, Pine W <wiki.pine(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Moriel and others,
> Do you have a list of "realistic changes" in mind for the community?
> I hear almost no one say that the typical state of (in)civility on wiki or
> on Wikimedia-l is good enough or that people are being hypersensitive, so I
> get the sense that there's a lot of agreement that we have a cultural
> problem. Ideas for solutions seem to be in short supply, so any "realistic
> changes" that you can suggest would be good to hear, either on this list or
> in IdeaLab.
The problem on en.wiki at least is that a vocal minority effectively
prevent any enforcement of the civility policy. This includes a significant
group of admins that are willing to overturn blocks for all but the most
blatant violations of the policy. And because of the wheel warring loophole
(undoing a block is allowed, but reinstating a block is wheel warring,
which is prohibited), there is nothing that anyone can do about it. ArbCom
(or the community) could close this loophole, but so far have not shown
interest in doing so. The single action that I think would be most useful
on en.wiki would be for someone to shepherd an RfC to create a policy
statement that "unilaterally overturning a block is wheel-warring". I know
this sounds very far removed from the issue of making en.wiki more civil,
but I actually think such a change is realistically possible and would go a
long way towards shifting the balance of power away from the trolls and
Alternately, the board or ArbCom could step up and declare that civility is
not to be treated as a second-class policy, but I doubt that would ever
There is a tendency of men to disregard women's discussion of issues
that affect them so, yes, men on a list like this can undermine its
On Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:26 AM, Risker <risker.wp(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm sorry Derric, but I think the topic of this thread is the notion that
> many men, including those in administrator roles (e.g. list moderators)
> simply don't even recognize misogyny, and don't recognize the importance of
> providing systems by which women (and others, for that matter) can easily
> limit the ability of people who have caused them problems from continuing to
> communicate with them.
> The focus on technology here is very important. Right now, there is no way
> for Wikimedians to control from whom they receive "email this user" emails,
> or pings through the notification system. We know that both have been, and
> continue to be, vectors for harassment and trolling. There's never, to my
> knowledge, been any consideration given to including these features. We
> keep being told we're going to get this wonderful new communication system
> called "Flow" to replace talk pages. Features that allow users to control
> who posts to their "page", or even to let non-admin users remove individual
> threads or posts from their "stream", aren't included - and I'm not sure
> they're even under consideration.
> And I'm going to be honest - I've seen more people blocked for "homophobic"
> comments than "misogynistic" ones.
> Nemo, your "Hm, we've discussed that author before... oh well." is really
> unhelpful and dismissive - and is pretty much exactly the kind of statement
> that Violet Blue is talking about in her article. It comes across as "She
> wrote something I didn't agree with in the past, so there's no reason to
> ever pay attention to her again". I am really hoping you didn't intend that.
> And Carol has a point. There are now more men posting to this thread than
> there are women. And most of you have missed the point entirely. Heaven
> help us from those who see themselves as our saviours.
> On 23 June 2014 09:57, Derric Atzrott <datzrott(a)alizeepathology.com> wrote:
>> >> Carol Moore dc, 23/06/2014 06:34:
>> >> A lot of women used to be outspoken about all this here when this email
>> >> list started, but that stopped after a bunch of guys joined and started
>> >> hassling them about it.
>> >> SURPRISE!!
>> > By looking at this directory, I can tell that I mostly stopped reading
>> > this list in January 2012, one week after a fight between two vocal
>> > women.
>> > Nemo
>> Nemo and Carol both, I really don't like the direction that this
>> discussion is
>> going. Can we please steer it back on topic and remember why we are all
>> From the Mailing list signup page:
>> "Addressing gender equity and exploring ways to increase the participation
>> women within Wikimedia projects.
>> Wikimedia Foundation surveys show that the participation of women in
>> and related projects are between 9 and 13 percent. This mailing list is
>> provided by the Wikimedia Foundation as a communication tool to
>> address the realities of the gender gap within our projects. We are
>> on discussing solutions and exploring opportunities that may serve as a
>> starting point to improve gender equity, increase the participation of
>> and trans women, and reduce the impact of the gender gap within Wikipedia,
>> Wikimedia Commons, and the 'free knowledge movement'. We want to encourage
>> to engage with others in this effort. Your thoughts and opinions in this
>> regard matter to us and to the community."
>> Thank you,
>> Derric Atzrott
>> Gendergap mailing list
> Gendergap mailing list
I've now read and reread your message (quoted below) several times, and
want to thank you for putting this important concept in such clear and
I have just one thing to add:
It seems to me that this points to a broader issue that's deeply connected
with the social dynamics of collaborative communities that value public
communication, and is not restricted to gender-related topics. In the
Wikimedia world, we have lots of people who are willing, even eager, to
offer help and advise in a wide variety of areas, but that don't feel any
special *responsibility* to meet specific expectations for help and advice.
So frequently, we encounter frustrations when people seeking help
(analogous to your example of men with poor social skills -- but I'm trying
to look at it broadly, as "people lacking XYZ skills") encounter some kind
of resistance on our projects, and assume that the people around them will
take the time to educate them.
This dynamic can lead to all kinds of discord, but in many cases, it isn't
really any one person's fault.
I think this is something worthy of some careful thought, and probably
research. It would be great if we could think through how expectations of
assistance play out throughout our projects; I suspect that we would start
to see some ways to improve not only the gender gap, but perhaps some other
general negative dynamics in the movement.
On Wed, Jul 2, 2014 at 3:33 PM, Valerie Aurora <valerie(a)adainitiative.org>
> Hi Phoebe,
> Thanks for your thoughtful and carefully explained comment! The
> perspective I am coming from here is over 13 years of experience with
> spaces for supporting women in open tech/culture, starting with
> LinuxChix in 2002.
> A pattern that groups like this have found over and over again is that
> a spaces designed to support women in these areas inevitably attract
> men with poor social skills, who then ask the group for (unpaid) help
> improving their social skills. In most open tech/culture groups, such
> requests would be unthinkable, but we are often socialized to expect
> women to provide emotional support and help to others (especially men
> and children) on request, without consideration for the value of their
> time and energy.
> The result is that, without a strong awareness and guarding of the
> original purpose of the group, the group dedicates an ever-larger
> portion of its time to teaching men social skills. Many of the people
> who are interested in the original purpose of the group tend to lose
> interest and depart. This is exactly what happened to LinuxChix - our
> IRC channel became primarily about counseling various men who had
> found a welcoming and supportive environment, and our mailing lists
> were more enjoyable and fulfilling for men looking for emotional
> boosts than for women looking for a supportive environment where they
> could talk about Linux.
> In short, I agree with you that there is some potential benefit to
> providing free social skills counseling to men who are interested in
> supporting women in open tech/culture. In my experience, the cost is
> much greater: the time and emotional energy of many women that could
> be used much more effectively on other projects.
> Valerie Aurora
> Executive Director
> You can help increase the participation of women in open technology and
> Donate today at http://adainitiative.org/donate/
> Gendergap mailing list
Hi all -
Currently, Gendergap-l only has two active moderators - in the past, we've
usually had at least three. After talking with Liz, we'd both like to bring
on at least one additional active moderator. Please drop us a note if you'd
be interested in taking on such a role. It's worth knowing ahead of time
that at times moderating the list can involve significant emotional labor;
that said, moderating the list also allows you the chance to more actively
help make positive change in the environment of the list.
In the past, many productive discussions have occurred on this list, but
over time the number of such discussions has fallen greatly, and a lot of
valuable contributors now either contribute far less frequently than they
used to, or have just outright unsubscribed. We think that a lot of this
is related to how the list has been (or rather, mostly how it has barely
been) moderated in the past. Historically, there's been a lot of reluctance
among mods, both past and present, to take aggressive mod actions - this is
a Wikimedia list, and the background that comes with that generally
stigmatizes the idea of significant moderation.
We feel like the reluctance on the part of Gendergap mods to strongly
actively moderate in a way that tries to ensure that the list is a safe
space for contributors has been a significant error - a balance has to be
maintained between liberty and hospitality (to borrow some terminology from
Sumana's keynote at WikiConference USA ,) and we don't feel like we've
gotten that balance right in the past. To be clear, since I'm the longest
standing gendergap mod (besides for Sue, who generally doesn't take part in
moderation discussions,) a lot of what I mean in the former sentence is
that I have personally made significant errors that have contributed
substantially to the general feeling that this list is not a safe space for
Moving forward, we'd like to change how we moderate the list in order to
try to make it a list where contributors consistently feel safe in
contributing. Over the next few days, the mods will be having an internal
discussion about how we think we can best go about doing this, and we'd
also like to start a discussion on the broader list about how we can best
go about ensuring that this is a safe and productive list while staying in
line with the general values of the Wikimedia movement.
This email is intentionally sparse on details - mostly because we haven't
talked amongst ourselves enough to have a solid grasp of what the details
will look like, and also because we don't feel we can fully form a new
moderation policy without feedback from list members. There are a couple
things we're already more or less sure of. The moderation won't be
draconian; we understand that everyone makes mistakes and think that most
mistakes represent learning opportunities - we aren't looking for reasons
to kick people off the list. At the same time, members whose behavior
consistently (or in some circumstances, presence) on the list makes other
members feel unsafe or we feel are inhibitory to open, safe, productive
discussion occurring will not remain on the list. As list mods, we haven't
followed the list as closely as we should have in the past; we will be in
And, as a major change, we will also be adopting an explicit set of
community guidelines, which we haven't had in the past. Within the pretty
immediate future, we'll be posting a starting set of guidelines on an
appropriate wiki that will incorporate our thoughts, the thoughts of list
members, and best practices adopted from other groups (likely including
significant content from Geek Feminism's example statement of purpose for
communities including men - .) Once we have draft guidelines up, we'll
be inviting all list members to contribute to them, although the mod team
(including any new mods we recruit) will have the final say over their
contents. They'll also only be guidelines - we won't take action over
everything that violates their letter, and equally, we may take action on
some things that aren't included in the guidelines as they come up - we
just intend them to serve as a basic template for moving forward.
For the moderators