Based on the limited information that I have, it seems to me that there are already numerous contribtors who are paid to engage in promotional activity on Wikipedia, whether declared or undeclared, and the community does not have adequate human resources to patrol and investigate all of these. I expect that the problem will continue to get worse unless WMF gets more energetic about investigating TOS violations involving undeclared COI and WMF becomes predictable about extracting financial penalties that are severe enough to deter most of the undeclared COI contributors. Unfortunately, as far as I know, WMF has been largely passive about the problem of undeclared COI and has not announced any plans to become more aggressive.
As nice as it would be if everyone could afford and was willing to work for free, this is not the case. If it was then we could safely eliminate the salaries of the entire WMF staff. However, I think that financial support makes sense for some paid staff to handle activities like network operations, interface design, legal defense, and responses to safety problems.
Some types of Wikimedia activities are better suited to volunteer work than others. I encourage volunteers to avoid burning themselves out; there are some activities that I did in the past that I would not do again as a volunteer. Better to be an occasional and long-term contributor than to get burned out.
I have some ideas about how to pay people to do certain types of work that, so far, WMF has not funded. Unfortunately these are merely ideas and not likely to become reality in the short term. Perhaps later this year or in the next few years I will have specific proposals with reasonable chances for sustainable success.
I share the concern that paid participants in the Wikiverse, like staff of WMF and affiliates, WMF grantees, and potentially like the paid contributors that I have in mind, may become so numerous that they can drown out the consensus of the volunteers. Unfortunately I do not have easy solutions for this issue. We could prohibit all paid contributors from participating in RFCs and related decision processes, but we would be largely relying on people to self-disclose their paid status, which seems unlikely to be adequate.
Perhaps the issues that we are discussing in this conversation should be included in the Structures and Systems prong of the WMF strategy process. I am pinging Nicole to ask for her input about that idea. However, keep in mind that the strategy process is financially sponsored by WMF, and it is not free of potential conflicts with the interests of WMF.
I wish that I could be more optimistic. These are difficult topics.
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
Benjamin Lees wrote: "No, French Christians are just tagged with
subcategories of Category:French Christians. The "requiring diffusion"
category that you complain of is in fact a way to tell editors that
pages in the category should really be in subcategories instead."
Aha! You're right, I had not realized that "diffuse" (disseminate/spread
widely) was being used as specialized en-wiki-jargon for
"subcategorize". It might be wise to give that hidden category a more
I looked into one of the many BLP entries with an unscourced
Category:French Jews tag, and found a review of a book they wrote. In
that book, the person stated that while they had a Jewish mother, they
did not consider themselves Jewish.
Given that the category French Jews contains more members than the
category French Roman Catholics, and that there are living people
included in both categories... I seriously wonder what it is that
motivates folks to anonymously tag others in this way (i.e. whether they
want to be tagged or not).
The Library of Congress, the BNF, Wikidata, etc. don't label people
according to religion, unless their notability is due specifically to
their religion (e.g. Alfred Dreyfus, Maimonides, etc.). On en.wp people
being labeled as Jewish/Catholic, etc. tend to be industrialists,
politicians, journalists, bankers etc. I don't think this is "best
practice" and I'm afraid I do not agree that en.wp is mostly "getting it
right" with regard to this specific question. Fr.WP and Wikidata are
doing much better.
The relevant section on "data subject" privacy rights in the GDPR (in
English) is based on the 1978 French law I cited earlier (though it has
become more restrictive since -- see below). As David Gerard noted, it
is quite likely that this affects not only Wikipedians (who can petition
to have libel/slander concerning their *online identity* (cf. definition
of data subject) removed from (inter alia) block logs), but also the
*content* of biographies of living people in the encyclopedia.
== GDPR (Article 9)==
*Processing* of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin,
political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union
membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the
purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health
or data concerning a natural person's sex life or sexual orientation
shall be prohibited.
As one who has contributed to the projects since 2006, I am posting this
here not because I wish to sow dissent, but because I think some quick
thinking and corrective action is needed.
*---- Sending on behalf of Jaime Villagomez ----Hello Everyone, The
Wikimedia Foundation has submitted our annual Form 990 to the US Internal
Revenue Service <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_Revenue_Service>
(IRS) and posted on-wiki. The Form 990 is the annual financial
reporting, known as an “information return,” which the federal government
requires nonprofit organizations in the United States to file. In addition
to posting the Form 990 on-wiki, we have also posted an accompanying page
with answers to frequently asked questions related to the form and
information we reported. Almost all financial reports by their very
nature can be confusing, so to add clarity here is a simple breakdown of
key disclosures this form covers. We have previously explained that the
applicable dates for information disclosed on our financial reports can be
confusing, given that our July 1 fiscal year is different from the January
1 calendar year. For example, this "2016 Form 990" covers the financial
activities of the Wikimedia Foundation for our 2016-2017 fiscal year,
which ran from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. However, the calendar year
applies to disclosure of compensation of our officers, key employees,
highest paid staff and independent contractors. Those disclosures are
based on payments made during the 2016 calendar year -- in other words,
compensation paid from January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2106. The
compensation paid to individuals that is disclosed therefore spans part of
Foundation’s 2015-2016 fiscal year and part of its 2016-2017 fiscal
year. The Wikimedia Foundation's total revenue in our fiscal year
2016-2017 was US $89,973,967. Our total expenses during this period were
US $69,076,192 and our total net assets at the end of the fiscal year were
US $113,330,197.The Form 990 also includes information about compensation
paid to the Wikimedia Foundation's five highest paid employees. The
salaries for all paid positions are set according to salary bands which are
determined bi-annually based on independent third party survey data.
Executive salaries are subject to this same standard. All executive
salaries, with the exception of the Executive Director's salary, are set by
the Executive Director, using the survey data, and in discussion with the
Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees also uses the independent third
party survey data, as well as comparative data from other nonprofit
organizations, to set the salary of the Executive Director, and to assess
and advise on other executive salaries. This is not only a best practice,
but is a process that is required under applicable law.In addition to
salary information, the report includes other payments made to certain of
the highest employees upon their departure from the organization -- even
where those departures may have occurred in 2016, but prior to the
Foundation’s fiscal year. Following our regular practice for staff
departures, these severance amounts are set on a case-by-case based on a
person's tenure with the organization. We recognize that people have an
interest in this topic, and that there will be some questions. However, as
an employer we are limited in what we can discuss publicly, both because of
legal requirements, as well as respect for employees’ confidentiality. We
are very transparent about executive payments, while ensuring that our
transparency is consistent with a respectful work environment that does not
violate the confidential personnel information of our staff.Through reports
and discussions like these, the Wikimedia Foundation will continue to
strive to provide a responsible level of transparency and accountability. I
imagine there are other questions, and I invite you to review the on-wiki
FAQ, or email me if your question is not answered there.Thank you to the
Foundation's Talent & Culture, Legal, Advancement and Communications
departments for their assistance with developing this year's Form 990 and
related communications. A very big thank you to our Finance and
Administration department for their hard work preparing this important
public filing. Jaime VillagomezChief Financial Officer* * Link to PDF
* Link to FAQ
Ph: 415-839-6885 ext 6749
*We've moved! **Our new address:*
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