Yes, it may well be easier to try experiments on smaller Wikipedias where there isn't
an immovable dominant culture that would strenuously resist the experiments. I understand
the new on-boarding experiments are happening (or will happen soon) on Czech and South
Korean Wikipedia, so there is an example.
German Wikipedia (of its own choice) decided to experiment with making the Visual Editor
the default for new users a couple of years ago and were happy with the result:
So I don't see a problem conducting gender experiments on other Wikipedia. I guess
they have to have a documented gender imbalance in the first place.
From: Wiki-research-l [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, 28 September 2018 4:03 PM
To: Research into Wikimedia content and communities
Subject: Re: [Wiki-research-l] Results from 2018 global Wikimedia survey are published!
To move the needle on English Wikipedia, the numbers involved are huge. So at best things
change incrementally. What fails most of the research is that it only considers English
WIkipedia whereas changes are much easier on the smaller projects.
I do go as far that in order to become more inclusive we should stop focusing on English
Wikipedia both in attention, spending and research and by English. Then again there are
too many systemic impediments.
On Fri, 21 Sep 2018 at 02:44, Jonathan Morgan <jmorgan(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
(Re: Jonathan's 'Chilling Effect' theory
and Kerry's call for
experiments to increase gender diversity)
Kerry: In a magic world, where I could experiment with anything I
wanted to without having to get permission from communities, I would
experiment with enforceable codes of conduct that covered a wider
range of harassing and hostile behavior, coupled with robust &
confidential incident reporting and review tools. But that's not
really an 'experiment', that's a whole new social/software system.
I actually think we're beyond 'experiments' when it comes to
increasing gender diversity. There are too many systemic factors
working against increasing non-male participation. In order to do that
you would need to increase newcomer retention dramatically, and we can
barely move the needle there on EnWiki, for both social and technical
reasons. But one non-technical intervention might be carefully
revising and re-scope policies like WP:NOTSOCIAL that are often used
to arbitrarily and aggressively shut down modes of communication,
self-expression, and collaboration that don't fit so-and-so's idea of
what it means to be Wikipedian.
Initiatives that start off wiki, like women-oriented edit-a-thons and
outreach campaigns, are vitally important and could certainly be
supported better in terms of maintaining a sense of community among
participants once the event is over and they find they're now stuck
alone in hostile wiki-territory. But I'm not sure what the best
strategy is there, and these kind of initiatives are not large-scale
enough to make a large overall impact on active editor numbers on
their own, though they set important precedents, create
infrastructure, change the conversation, and do lead to new editors.
The Community Health
team just hired a new researcher who has lots of experience in the
online harassment space. I don't feel comfortable announcing their
name yet, since they hasn't officially started, but I'll make sure
they subscribe to this list, and will point out this thread.
Jonathan: This study <https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2145265> is
the one I cite. There's a more recent--paywalled!--follow up
(expansion?) that I haven't read yet, but which may provide new
insights. And this short but powerful enthnographic study
<https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2702514>. And this lab study
on the gendered perceptions of feedback and anonymity. And
the--ancient, by now--former contributors survey
s>, which IIRC shows that conflict fatigue is a significant reason
people leave. And of course there's a mountain of credible evidence at
this point that antisocial behaviors drive away newcomers,
irrespective of gender.
Thanks for raising these questions,
On Wed, Sep 19, 2018 at 3:21 AM, Jonathan Cardy <
In case I didn’t make it clear, I am very much of the camp that IP
is our lifeline, the way we recruit new members.
If someone isn’t
happy with Citizendium et al as tests of that proposition then feel
free to propose tests. I am open to being proved wrong if someone
doesn’t mind wasting their time checking what seems obvious to me.
Just please if you do so make sure you test for the babies that I
fear would be thrown out with the bathwater, i.e the goodfaith newbies.
I am not short of promising lines of enquiry, and more productive
uses of my time. My choice for my time available for such things is
lines of enquiry to follow, and banning IPs isn’t
one if them.
One where we might have more agreement is over the default four
warnings and a block for vandalism. I think it bonkers that we block
edit warrers for a first offence but usually don’t block vandals
till a fifth
know that the four warnings and a block approach
dates back to some
earliest years on Wiki, but I am willing to bet
that it wasn’t very
scientifically arrived at, and that a study of the various
we treat this way would probably conclude that we
could reduce the
number of warnings for vandals, whilst we might want a longer
dialogue with non neutral editors, copy pasters and those who add unsourced material.
Afterall, many of our editors started without getting issues like
neutrality, and whilst the few former vandals who we have don’t
generally have a grudge that their early vandalism lead to a block,
the same isn't always true of others.
The other issue that could really use some research is on the
chilling effect theory. Here the community is divided, some honestly
believe that the high quality work of certain individuals justifies
a certain level of snark, even to the point of harassment. Others,
including myself, believe that tolerance of bad behaviour drives
away some good editors and fails
improve the behaviour of some who would comply
civility enforcement. It would be really useful to have a study one
could point to when that argument next recurs.
Get Outlook for iOS<https://aka.ms/o0ukef>
From: Wiki-research-l <wiki-research-l-bounces(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
on behalf of Pine W <wiki.pine(a)gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 8:29:32 AM
To: Wiki Research-l
Subject: Re: [Wiki-research-l] Results from 2018 global Wikimedia
survey are published!
I'm going to respond to Kerry and Jonathan in two parts of one email.
Hi Kerry, I did not say that transparency should be a free-for-all,
and it's important to keep in mind that transparency from my
perspective is intended to ensure due process for everyone involved.
That includes ensuring that people who are adjudicating cases are
not callously dismissing complaints, mistreating people who have
been victimized, neglecting evidence, or rushing to conclusions. I
would oppose, for example, people who are adjudicating a case
deciding to engage in questioning that is completely unnecessary for
dealing with the relevant allegations.
On a related issue, I don't trust WMF to adjudicate cases or involve
directly in deciding who gets to be on Wikimedia
sites or attend
events; WMF is not the same thing as Wikimedia
and I remain deeply
with some of WMF's choices over the years and
its lack of apology
choices. I would be more trusting of a somewhat
process for adjudicating off-wiki problems if it was led by people
from the community, similar to English Wikipedia
Committee elections. Arbcom is far from perfect, but I have modestly
more faith in Arbcom than I do in WMF. On the other hand,
arbitrators are volunteers,
over the years I have seen more than one instance
to be stressed; volunteers with high skill levels
precious resource, and if one of the outcomes of
a move toward having a global Arbitration
Committee then one of the
difficult questions will be how to get an adequate supply of highly
people with good intentions to volunteer. On a
related note, I
prefer to avoid identity politics when deciding who should be on
arbitration committees; I feel that identity politics are often
poisonous and make it very difficult to have civil dialogue. How to
balance the virtue of diversity with the virtue of avoiding identity
politics is an issue that
haven't worked out.
We're getting off of the topic of research and into more of a policy
discussion, so if you'd like to continue in this topic then I
so on Wikimedia-l or on Meta.
Hi Jonathan, I'd be supportive of running small experiments about
all IP editors on ENWP and mid-sized Wikipedias
to see whether that
is a net positive. As you noted, the research would be somewhat
keeping in mind that the researchers would want
to check for
positive and negative side effects, but I think that it would be
worth doing. Would
like to make a proposal in IdeaLab?
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Jonathan T. Morgan
Senior Design Researcher
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