On 05/07/2014 10:47 PM, Tyler Romeo wrote:
> One interesting idea might be what Reddit does:
> For a moderator of a subreddit, whenever they make a post it just appears
> normally. However, after posting they can choose to "officiate" it. All
> that does is highlight their username a different color and indicates they
> are acting in their position as moderator rather than a regular user.
> This idea could be applied to edits in core, and maybe posts in Flow. WMF
> employees in a special user group could make an edit, and then press a
> button on the history page to highlight that as an "official" edit.
A similar proposal for per-edit affiliation selection came up recently in
Zürich. It does sound more usable than having to log in using different
In our context it might make more sense to let the user select the
affiliation at save time though, rather than making it an extra step after save.
Hi all -
This is a slightly unusual email for me, in that I'm wearing more hats than
I usually do. I'm writing as a community member, but also as someone
currently employed by one of the best public universities in the world in a
department that is, at least in decent part, aimed at ensuring that
injustices of the past do not go forgotten. This email represents my own
opinions alone, mostly because I don't want to go through the process of
getting approval for any sort of formal statement, and also don't view
doing so as necessary, but it does highlight my views as someone actively
employed by a major university, and not just as an editor.
Today, Common's front page highlighted a video taken shortly after the
liberation of Buchenwald, one of the largest concentration camps to operate
on German soil during the second world war, where more than 50,000 people
lost their lives. (Since Commons apparently uses UTC, it's already changed
to a different piece of media.) For reasons that baffle me a bit, the
video screenshot displayed on Commons' frontpage is that of a stack of
corpses, taken from a five minute long video (that is primarily not stacks
of corpses.) To make things worse: because Commons only supports open
video formats, an overwhelming majority of people who look at the Commons
frontpage in any one day are not using a browser that can view the actual
video - so they would've only been able to see a photo of stacked up
corpses, with no accompanying video (and no accompanying explanation if
they didn't speak english or one of four other languages.) The caption of
the video does hyperlink to the English Wikipedia's article about
Buchenwald, but displays only after the graphic image and video link.
I want to be clear: I'm not objecting in any way whatsoever to the fact
that the Wikimedia Commons contains a video of Buchenwald. I would be
disturbed if we /didn't/ have a video like this on Commons. It is of great
historical significance, and it's a video that absolutely needs to be on
Commons. In fact, it's a video that I think should probably have appeared
on Commons frontpage sooner or later... just not like this. The same video
is played in multiple classes at UC Berkeley, after the context behind the
video is given and people are warned about the nature of what they're about
to see. Even in that setting, I've pretty regularly seen people burst into
tears upon watching the video that Commons links today. Such video
evidence of the atrocities committed by Hitler's regime plays an incredibly
important role in understanding the past, but what differentiates an effort
to understand the past and a shock site can pretty much be summed up as
contextualisation. A video with explanation of its context and some degree
of warning before a pile of corpses is displayed is a large part of the
difference between a shock site and documenting history. Common's front
page today leans a lot more towards the "shock site" aspect than the
"documenting history" one.
This isn't the first time that Commons frontpage has featured content that,
while often appropriate material to be hosted by Commons, has been framed
in an inappropriate way likely to cause dismay, upset, or scandal to the
average Wikimedia Commons viewer. It flies in the face of the WMF-board
endorsed principle of least astonishment -  - no one expects to click on
Commons homepage to see a still image of a stack of corpses at Buchenwald.
This is not the first time that Commons administrators and bureaucrats
have drastically abrogated the principle of least astonishment, and the
continued tendency of those in charge of Commons to ignore such a principle
makes me hesitate to recommend the Wikimedia Commons to my students or my
colleagues. In fact - if there was an easy way to completely bypass
Commons - at this point I would suggest to my students and colleagues that
they do so. I don't want to (and given another option will not) recommend
using Wikimedia Commons to professional edu or GLAM colleagues knowing that
when they show up at it's front page they may happen upon bad anime porn or
a completely uncontextualised stack of corpses. I can think of absolutely
no legitimate reason why anyone thought it was a good idea to highlight a
video of Buchenwald on Common's main page by using a freezeframe of a stack
of corpses from a broader video.
If we want to gain truly mainstream acceptance in the education and GLAM
world (and thus greatly improve our acceptance among the general public as
a side effect,) Commons cannot keep doing stuff like this. I know that
project content decisions are normally left up to the individual project,
but as Commons is a project that by its nature effects all other projects,
I don't think discussion of this issue should be limited to those who
frequent commons. Because of that, and because I'm not sure that meaningful
change cannot come from the current Commons administration without outside
pressure, I'm starting a discussion here. I will mention this discussion
on Commons' mainpage talkpage, so that Commonites who desire to comment can
do so here.
For those curious to see the media now that it's off the front page, here's
a snapshot of what was on Commons' frontpage for a day - warning, it is,
well, corpses -
Is there anyone who thinks that it doesn't violate the principle of least
astonishment to open commons's frontpage and see a stack of corpses?
Can anyone articulate a valid reason why the freezeframe from the video
posted on the frontpage was just about the most graphic still possible from
American Cultures Program
The Affiliations Committee has requested comments on proposed best
practices for Wikimedia user group logos.
The committee will seek community input until Saturday, May 24, 2014. After
considering the community's input, the Affiliations Committee will publish
on Meta-Wiki guidelines for Wikimedia user group logos.
There is already a standard format used by chapters, and that format is
being applied to thematic organizations as well. Chapters and thematic
organizations have also worked with Wikimedia Foundation legal in the past
on custom logos.
Wikimedia user groups may also create custom logos, and the new trademark
policy allows for logos to be based off the community or Wikimedia
Foundation logos. However, there remains a question of the best practice
for standard user group logos.
Please make any comments or ask any questions on-wiki.
-greg aka varnent
Wikimedia Affiliations Committee
Philippe Beaudette wrote:
>... asking which of those things people support
> *in a vacuum* [is] not the question at hand....
That is true. A community survey leading to revision of strategic
goals should be asked of actual contributors, i.e., by selecting
editors from wikis' recent changes around the clock in proportion to
the volume of edits each hour, and asking them "which do you think
would help editors the most, _A_, or _B_?" Ideally their total number
of contributions should be noted along with their pairwise preference
so that it is possible to produce an unweighted ranking and rankings
where the number of contributions is given greater weight.
Then the resulting rankings should be submitted to the ED and Board to
mull over as to what would be spreading work too thin, where various
opportunities and roadblocks are for the top ranking preferences, etc.
Step one, collect the data. Because of the nature of such a survey,
most people can do that themselves. Ideally the Foundation would want
to be at the forefront of collecting and publishing the underlying
I just returned from Wikimedia Hackathon in Zürich and I would say thank
you to all fantastic people I have meet and to all developers and IT
guys (volunteers or staff) and to Lila Tretikov, who has been a really
Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Association pour l’avancement des connaissances libre
Associazione per il sostegno alla conoscenza libera
Switzerland - 8008 Zürich
Perhaps ....and that is the sum-total of it. That is what we want!!! And
yet, some of us will die defeding its existence", while others will "die
proving it never existed"
Advocacy, Human Rights, Media and Language Work Consultant
Bridge to Angola - Angola Liaison Consultant
Mobile Number in South Africa +27 74 425 4186
Número de Telemóvel na África do Sul +27 74 425 4186
On Wed, May 7, 2014 at 1:22 PM, Jared Zimmerman <
> Affiliations change, and user names are quite difficult to change, this
> sounds like something that would be good for a structured profile, not for
> a user name.
Indeed, or in the user preferences so that it could be accessed natively.