It seems the WMF is going through another crisis of institutional
memory, with the T&S team taking center stage. It's not really
important what they did wrong, it's minor compared with other faux-pas
they did in the past.
I was wondering though if the organization as a whole has learned
anything from major crisis in the past and if there is a formal way of
passing to newcomers information such as when and how to contact
communities, what's the difference between a wiki, a community and an
The Wikimedia Foundation has submitted our annual Form 990 for the Fiscal
Year 2018-19 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 IRS 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.
Here are a few key highlights on this year’s Form 990:
- The Wikimedia Foundation's total revenue for fiscal year
2018-2019 was US $118.6 million. Our total expenses during this period were
US $90.1 million and our total net assets at the end of the fiscal year
were US $165.6 million.
- At the end of our fiscal year 2018-2019, our revenue exceeded our
expenses by US $28.5 million, which increased our operating reserve to
$166.5 million, or the equivalent of 17-18 months of expenses per the
fiscal year 2019-2020 annual plan
As reported under our prior Form 990, we have been maintaining the
operating reserve at 17-18 months. Our goal is to have sufficient reserve
funds to conservatively provide at least 12-18 months of operating expenses
in order to mitigate against unforeseen risk, secure operational stability,
and ensure the overall financial health of the organization. This principle
is consistent with many other financially stable, non-profit organizations
that are rated by Charity Navigator <https://www.charitynavigator.org/>.
With a stable and secure reserve, we have the ability to fund specific
Wikimedia Movement investment opportunities that may arise.
- During the fiscal year 2018-2019, we continued to experience
growth in our fundraising revenue and success that was attributed to our
- We continue to invest in programmatic activities and evaluate to
ensure that our allocation percentage is at or above the standard benchmark
of 65%. During the fiscal year 2018-2019, we invested 74% in programmatic
activities, 14% in Management & General activities, and 12% in fundraising
activities. For fiscal year 2019-2020, we continued to maintain our
commitment to our programmatic activities and invested approximately 76% of
our total spending.
- Our expenses increased due to the investment to support our
strategic direction with the focus on knowledge equity and knowledge as a
service, that is outlined in the Annual Plan
The major programmatic areas are to evolve our systems and structures and
to grow new contributors and content.
- Our Governance, Management, and Disclosure practices are
committed to maintaining best practices for non-profit charitable
organizations, we’ve achieved a score of 100% from Charity Navigator for
our accountability and transparency and meet the IRS requirements as
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 post your questions on the discussion page
should you have any.
Thank you to the Foundation's Audit Committee for their oversight and our
Staff for their work in developing this year's Form 990 and related
communications for filing and public disclosure.
Best Regards and Be Well,
 - https://wikimediafoundation.org/about/financial-reports/
Chief Financial Officer
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
*Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.Donate.
Wikimedia is participating in the winter edition of this year's Outreachy <
https://www.outreachy.org/>  (December 2020–February 2021) and plans to
mentor ~6 interns! The deadline to submit projects on the Outreachy website
is September 24th, 2020.
This round will be a bit different for Wikimedia–we are considering keeping
the focus of projects on data science and engineering. We hope that with a
particular theme, interns will have more opportunities to interact with and
support each other, and in turn, they will have a more fulfilling
experience! For example, a project could be to analyze publicly available
Wikimedia datasets to create valuable tools that can help perform vital
tasks or generate insights that help make data-informed decisions. A
project's nature could be coding or non-coding (documentation, design,
research, outreach, translation, etc.). Though we plan to prefer the
projects related to the theme, we still encourage you to reach out if you
have other ideas.
If you would like to share an idea for a project that you would like to
mentor or you are not familiar with the program and want to learn anything
more about it, feel free to reply to this email or leave a note on <
About the Outreachy program:
Outreachy offers three-month internships to work remotely in Free and Open
Source Software (FOSS), coding and non-coding projects with experienced
mentors. These internships run twice a year–from May to August and December
to March. Interns are paid a stipend of USD 5,500 for the three months of
work. They also have a USD 500 stipend to travel to conferences and events.
Interns often find employment after their internship with Outreachy
sponsors or jobs that use the skills they learned during their internship.
This program is open to both students and non-students. Outreachy expressly
invites the following people to apply:
- Women (both cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people.
- Anyone who faces under-representation, systematic bias, or
discrimination in the technology industry in their country of residence.
- Residents and nationals of the United States of any gender who are
Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American/American Indian,
Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.
See a blog post highlighting one of our intern's experience participating
in Outreachy program with Wikimedia <
Some tips for mentors for proposing projects:
- Follow this task description template when you propose a project in
Add #Outreachy (Round 21) tag to it.
- Remember, the project should require an experienced developer ~15 days
to complete and a newcomer ~3 months.
- Each project should have at least two mentors, and one of them should
hold a technical background.
- When it comes to picking a project, you could propose one that is:
- Relevant for your language community or brings impact to the
Wikimedia ecosystem in the future.
- Welcoming and newcomer-friendly and has a moderate learning curve.
- A new idea you are passionate about, there are no deadlines
attached to it; you always wanted to see it happen but couldn't
due to lack
of resources help!
- About developing a standalone tool (possibly hosted on Wikimedia
Toolforge), with fewer dependencies on Wikimedia's core
doesn't necessarily require a specific programming language.
- See roles and responsibilities of an Outreachy mentor <
We look forward to your participation!
Wikimedia organization admins for Outreachy
(Pavithra, Gopa, and Srishti)
Senior Developer Advocate
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
This is an announcement about a new installment of the Language Showcase, a
series of presentations about various aspects of language diversity and its
connection to Wikimedia Projects.
This next installment will deal with the Translatable modules project—a
proposal to make a framework that will make the localization of Scribunto
Lua modules as convenient as the localization of MediaWiki and extensions.
Everyone is welcome, especially developers of modules and templates in all
This session is going to be broadcast over Zoom, and a recording will be
published for later viewing.
Please read below for the event details, including local time, joining
links and do let us know if you have any questions.
Past Language showcases:
== Details ==
# Event: Language Showcase #7
# When: August 26, 2020 (Wednesday) at 12:00 UTC
check local time:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 961 8509 8382
Translatable modules project—a proposal to make a framework that will make
the localization of Scribunto Lua modules as convenient as the localization
of MediaWiki and extensions.
I don't see any messages about the Desktop Improvements to wikimedia-l, so
I've decided to forward one from wikitech-l.
If I understand correctly, Desktop Improvements are changes to the desktop
version of the Vector skin, which are to be built throughout the next year,
features being added one by one. Several wikis already enjoy them by
default, and users of other wikis can find a respective tick in their
preferences to make new Vector visible.
Current features are said to not be permanent anyway but wouldn't it be
good for more people to see them while they are still work in progress?
See email text and links below.
*Vira Motorko // Віра Моторко*
mobile: +380667740499 | facebook: vira.motorko
<https://www.facebook.com/vira.motorko> | wikipedia: Ата
---------- Forwarded message ---------
Від: Olga Vasileva <ovasileva(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: ср, 5 серп. 2020 о 15:33
Subject: [Wikitech-l] First desktop improvements features now available on
early adopter wikis
We’re happy to announce that the first two of many changes focused on
improving the desktop experience of the Vector skin  have been released
as a user preference to all projects and as default on a set of early
adopter wikis: Basque, Farsi, French, and Hebrew Wikipedias, French
Wiktionary, and Portuguese Wikiversity.
Since its introduction in 2009, the Vector skin has changed little, while
the needs of our readers and editors have shifted significantly, as have
their expectations for a quality reading experience that focuses on the
content itself. Over the next year, the readers web team  will be
researching and building out improvements to the desktop experience based
on research and existing tools built by our communities.
Our goal is to create a more welcoming reading and editing experience -
something that feels familiar yet makes it easier and quicker to read,
edit, and perform common functionality.
Our first change, a collapsible sidebar, allows users to collapse the
lengthy menu on the left side of the page. We believe this change improves
usability by allowing people to focus on the content itself - on reading,
editing, or moderating.
Our second change introduces a maximum line width to our content on pages
such as article pages and discussion pages. Studies have shown that
limiting the width can lead to better retention of content, as well as a
decrease in eye strain
You can opt into these features by unchecking “legacy vector” from the
appearance tab of your user preferences.
We’d also like to note that these are the first of a series of changes and,
as such, their visual characteristics are not permanent. Also - there might
be bugs. If you notice an issue or would like to learn more about the
project itself - please head to our project page .
*Olga Vasileva* // Senior Product Manager // Web
*Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment. Donate
Wikitech-l mailing list
I have been advised by the WMF that if anyone is concerned about being sexually harassed they must report this to AN/I and there are no private mechanisms to report this sort of thing.
Is this for real?
Sent from my iPhone
Yesterday some questions were raised in this channel about Trust & Safety’s
response to an issue of harassment reported via our emergency email
address. The director of that team reports to me, as I am the Vice
President of Community Resilience & Sustainability, so I wanted to speak to
that, to clarify our approaches in the hopes of avoiding unnecessary
confusion and distress to individuals in the future. I also wanted to give
you an update on the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) drafting committee. :)
Apologies in advance for the length of this!
Let’s start with the UCoC. As a brief recap, there is a drafting
committee working on a global policy that will set basic minimum standards
for conduct in the Wikimedia movement. The committee is making good
progress, but time challenges in part around the current global health
crisis has led them to ask for two more weeks to prepare this draft for the
month-long community review period on Meta. This means we will be asking
for community comment from September 7 to October 6, which will push the
delivery of the policy to the Board from September 30 to October 13. The
full timeline is on the main Meta page.
In terms of the Foundation’s Trust & Safety team and how and when to reach
out to them, Trust & Safety’s team handles several key workflows with
different addresses according to urgency.
Our emergency@ channel is set up to deal with threats of physical harm -
ranging from terrorism to suicide - which the team triages and escalates as
appropriate to law enforcement and other emergency services for them to
handle. (“As appropriate” is under an escalation protocol defined for the
Foundation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who helped build this
multinational crisis line.) The team’s sole role here is to act as a
switchboard putting these threats into the hands of professionals trained
to handle them, around the world. This channel is staffed 24 hours a day, 7
days a week, and the team has strong direction not to handle other matters
through this channel. In order for it to function effectively, it deals
with nothing else. (See the Meta page on this process - .) Other
matters, including behavioral investigation requests, should be sent to
Trust & Safety via the email address ca(a)wikimedia.org.
I’d like to acknowledge that it is not unusual for the Trust & Safety team
to encounter problems caused by lack of clarity as to what constitutes
harassment and what to do about it when it is encountered. There are
differences in how different projects define and handle issues, including
how many resources they have to dedicate to investigating and responding to
these and where and when concerns should be raised. This is one of the
reasons that the Movement Strategy working groups recommended the Universal
Code of Conduct to begin with, with clear escalation mechanisms. We are
working with communities on this, with an expectation that over the next
few months international conversations will help everyone better understand
what behavior is acceptable in the movement and better navigate and choose
where to report their concerns to find effective help.
How the Foundation will support communities in these governance issues is
important, with an essential balance of giving targets of harassment the
care they need while also respecting that communities are better positioned
to self-govern. Our role is and should remain to assist with issues that
are beyond the capacity of communities to handle. Our goal should be to
empower communities to handle as much as they can.
The Trust & Safety team has a small division of people who review
behavioral investigation requests they receive. Their first task is to
assess whether the issue is for some reason not solvable through community
self-governance mechanisms. This is most often because the situation
crosses a threshold of legal responsibility, but sometimes because it falls
into an area where community self-governance processes are lacking:
sometimes this is cross-wiki abuse; other times this is because the
projects where the issues are happening lack robust self-governance;
sometimes this is because the situations reported may involve the
individuals usually tasked with self-governance. If they determine a case
does not require Foundation involvement but is instead better suited for
self-governance, they will direct the individual to local processes. We
have committed not to intervene in cases that community self-governance can
reasonably handle. Sometimes even when a case does rise to the level of
Foundation involvement, they will advise the person who reached out of
appropriate community self-governance processes as a more rapid solution
while they complete their investigation, including the essential legal
review, before they are able to take sanctions. This is important because
those investigations and legal reviews are generally not quick. It’s not
uncommon for the Foundation to issue sanctions against a person who has
been locally blocked, and we regard this as a healthy functioning of the
system, at least until the Universal Code of Conduct can be created to
potentially streamline the process.
I would like to encourage people to take part in the Universal Code of
Conduct conversations as they happen. The distress conflict causes people
in our movement is real. Helping to find the best way to minimize this
distress and to guide conflict in healthy directions will serve us all.
Vice President, Community Resilience & Sustainability
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.