Throughout the discussion about the appointment of Arnnon Geshuri to the
Board of Trustees, the Board has carefully listened to you and discussed
internally. Earlier today, Arnnon decided to step down from the Board. To
paraphrase his words, he doesn't want to be a distraction for the important
discussions that the community and the Foundation need to face in the times
to come. We want to thank Arnnon for his ongoing commitment and for helping
us to move forward.
The Board Governance Committee is working to improve and update our
selection processes before we fill the vacancy left by Arnnon’s departure.
We are sorry for the distress and confusion this has caused to some in our
community, and also to Arnnon.
Patricio and Alice
Chair, Board of Trustees
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
After reading an interesting related discussion on GenderGap, I have
queried the top 10 users of the thanks feature last month, on both the
English Wikipedia and Commons. Snapshot image attached and report link
Perhaps someone might think of a suitable barnstar and award these
folks for "being nice"? :-)
P.S. This is a long query to run, taking 20 to 30 minutes due to the
nature of the logging tables. However if someone wanted to make a
monthly summary on-wiki somewhere, part of an active "be nice"
campaign, I would be happy to set up an automated monthly report (if
someone discovers this is already reported somewhere, that's cool we
can use that).
The preliminary report of the results of the 2015 Harassment survey is now
available on Commons, as linked from Meta. This is the first version of
our analysis of the results, and while it is nearly completed, it will be
amended and updated within a week as we finish developing it. The data set
is large, involving sixteen languages with several free text questions, and
it has also been linked from the Meta page.
This information is an important factor in gaining a better understanding
of both the forms harassment takes and the impact it has on the Wikimedia
projects. We welcome your feedback and impressions on the Research talk
page on Meta.
We want to thank the many Wikimedia volunteers, academics, and Wikimedia
Foundation staff who helped prepare and translate the survey, and who gave
feedback on the report.
Patrick, for the Support and Safety team
(1) 415 975 1874
after a long process, today Wikimedia Italia has been officially
recognized as the Italian OpenStreetMap chapter!
OpenStreetMap is a collaborative project that shares the same value as
the Wikimedia movement. It's not based on a wiki software and it's not
in the Wikimedia family, but from many points of views, it's the project
that is more similar to the Wikimedia ones; indeed, many wikipedians are
mappers also, and viceversa.
Similarly to Wikimedia, there is an OpenStreetMap Foundation (based in
the UK) and there are national OpenStreetMap chapters. In Italy, the
OpenStreetMap community has been talking for years about the creation of
a chapter. Most people felt that it was important, but also that
founding yet another association was pointless. Associations are not
built only on projects, but also, and mainly, on common values and on a
common vision: Wikimedia and OpenStreetMap share both, and it's just
natural to work together.
Wikimedia Italy officially started the process of becoming an
OpenStreetMap chapter in 2013 . The association has supported
OpenStreetMap even before that (e.g., supporting the Italian
OpenStreetMap conference), and in the last two years, thanks also to the
work of many OpenStreetMap users that became members (and among them,
Simone Cortesi, OpenStreetMap volunteer since the beginning and WMI's
vicepresident), we have increased our efforts (as described also in
WMI's annual plan ). The recognition process has been quite long, but
today we've signed the chapters agreement, and now Italy is the second
country (after Iceland) to have an official OpenStreetMap chapter! (but
there are actually other unofficial chapters besides these two)
The 30-post soft limit for this email is not being applied. I recall
in the past that individuals were warned and even put on moderation;
ensuring that no individual overwhelms this list with their one
viewpoint. I raised this with the list moderators on 4th December, but
have yet to receive a reply.
Anyone interested can check the figures for the last two months:
* November - one person posted 39 emails to the list
* December - the same person has posted 33 times so far
Can the list administrators please make a New Year resolution to start
warning all users exceeding the 30 post limit, and to apply long term
moderation if they persist in pushing their viewpoint aggressively
If anyone thinks the 30-post limit is an unreasonable expectation,
then they are free to test the waters with a proposal to make it 40...
I am happy to announce the Board intends to fill the open community Trustee
seat at our meeting this weekend. On Saturday, María Sefidari will accept
an appointment to the Board of Trustees, stepping into the third
community-nominated seat. The appointment will last the remainder of the
two year term, until Wikimania 2017.
Many of you know María. She previously served as a community-selected
Trustee from August 2013 to July 2015. In the most recent 2015 community
elections, she received the next highest support percentage, and highest
number of support votes. She was born and lives in Madrid, Spain, and has
been a contributor to the Wikimedia projects since 2006. She was a founding
member of Spanish Wikipedia's LGBT Wikiproject, Wikimedia España, and
Wikimujeres Grupo de Usuarias. She has also served on the Affiliations and
Individual Engagement Grants committees. María is passionate about the role
of diversity in our strategic efforts to retain and increase editorship,
and improving channels for community participation in Foundation governance
We consulted with the 2015 Wikimedia Foundation Elections Committee before
deciding how to proceed in identifying a new Trustee. They offered
thoughtful feedback on the possible available options, and we’re grateful
for their considerations. (
We are certain many of you are wondering why we decided against holding
another election. We did consider the option, but the disadvantages
outweighed the benefits. The last election was well-attended, and still
quite recent. Holding a new election would take considerable time, and we
have important issues to address in the near future. It was important to us
that the community perspective is fully represented in these conversations,
without delay. We also didn’t want to distract from the affiliate Trustee
selection process, which is coming up soon.
I am excited by the dedication, compassion, and experience María brings to
the Board at a crucial time. We are confident she will serve our mission
with wisdom and grace.
Please join me in congratulating our friend María, and thanking her service
to our movement.
Yet another hugely surprising decision from the Board, I’m sorry to say.
Considering the results of the 2015 May Board elections, I think it fair to say that María’s appointment to the Board lacks any community legitimacy whatsoever. As a then-active member of the Board of Trustees, Maria stood in the elections, and lost in a vote that was equal and fair for every candidate. For the Board to now appoint María to fill in the vacancy created upon James’s removal from the Board stands in the face of that clear and unequivocal community decision.
This is particularly worrying given the high number of “oppose” votes that María received during the election — over 200 more than Dariusz, James, Denny and Mike (Taketa) each; indeed, more than any other candidate in the top 10.
What is more, the fact that María was specifically voted down from the Board by the community is a clear signal that the electorate did not want her to continue in that role. To see her return to the Board in a “community-selected” seat is just absurd.
What the Board should have done is organise a by-election. If María wants to be a community-selected Trustee, she should earn the seat. Let her run, and convince the community that the reasons she was not re-elected in May are no longer valid. Let her answer questions openly and transparently, and discuss issues with her rivals – the way that by-elections everywhere are run.
Of course, not organising a by-election avoids these highly unpleasant obligations.
But then, maybe that’s the point.
In the medicine, genetics and bioinformatics areas, there are a number of
initiatives under way, mostly efforts to get experts engaged in editing and
reviewing Wikimedia content, aimed at improving reliability. Would the
board of trustees please consider formally recognising reliability as a
serious problem on Wikimedia projects, and mandating the funds
dissemination committee and the WMF to support realistic initiatives
Input would be appreciated from board members and others interested at
I fully subscribe to that notion. The board has to be equipped with
members, who are primarily selected for their adherence with the core
values of the Wikiverse, the five pillars. The WMF is not, and should
never be, anything like a corporation, it's an educational charitable
"Member of the board" is not just a job but but a trusted position based
primarily on virtue, credibility and values.
Outside advise should be fetched either ad hoc or with some kind of
standard procedure from experts, like an advisory board.
> Andreas Kolbe schrieb:
> I've never understood why corporate appointees like Guy Kawasaki or the
> just-departed Arnnon Geshuri are voting board members, instead of being on
> the Advisory Board.
> The board structure needs to be revised, and brought in line with basic
> democratic principles.