On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 6:59 AM, Marc A. Pelletier <marc(a)uberbox.org> wrote:
On 03/22/2014 02:45 PM, Russavia wrote:
It's already been established that there is
massive copyvio in there,
and I think it is absolutely unacceptable for a copyvio to still be in
this article under the circumstances.
It's unacceptable under /any/ circumstances, but I don't see an obvious
copyright violation, nor can I find a place where you pointed out one?
Where was that established?
Responding to your second email first, a search for "copyright
violation" on all emails on this list will lead you right to the
relevant post, by Russavia.
Or search for copyright violations in the following page
And in the email you quoted Russavia gave the diff where it can be found.
On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 8:46 PM, Marc A. Pelletier <marc(a)uberbox.org> wrote:
First, I write here in my capacity as a volunteer and a member of the
community you claim to speak on behalf of, clearly not as a staffer of
the Foundation (not that engineering has anything to do with programs
like this anyways).
On 03/22/2014 09:00 AM, Russavia wrote:
I understand this is a difficult time for the
WMF, but many in the
community (the number one stakeholder in our projects) will not be happy
with simply getting a few reports from Sandole
Whether or not you have a point about that position having been badly
considered or having a been a waste of money -- and I'd be inclined to
think that it was at least a little of both -- you've squarely crossed
the line between "asking legitimate questions" and "pointless
You have selectively quoted Russavia. His email wasnt pointless harassment.
The email was primarily Russavia asking:
"Can you please provide the original JDF so the rest of the community
has the opportunity to look at it."
That is a legitimate question in the circumstances, given this was a
document that appears to have been revised after publication and it is
being discussed on this list without it being public.
The tone of Russavia's email around that request had some rough edges,
but so does your email. Credit where it is due : Russavia appears to
have put quite a lot of time into this in the last few days, and
shared an analysis that at least fairly conclusively points towards a
I'm not expecting Erik to make it his primary task on Monday morning
to find and publish this, and do appreciate that he has been
personally answering questions and publishing relevant documents
already, but it is a pretty simple request and he has staff who can do
Honestly this type of information should be publicly accessible from the get go.
Why wasnt the JDF published on wiki? And discussed on wiki?
It is surprising that quite a few people have known about this, and
said nothing until now. It is also surprising that (afaik) the WMF
didnt announce the person selected for this position to the community,
to facilitate continual review of the ongoing program and its
contributions, and hasnt undertaken a program evaluation of this
already - one half of the Belfer position should have fallen directly
in the scope of the Editing Workshops evaluation.
Even if Timothy has been highly disruptive rather than
very inefficient (which he wasn't),
promotional paid editing, inserting pro-U.S. POV and
copyvio/plagiarism into English Wikipedia may not be 'highly
disruptive', especially as there were so few edits involved, but it is
far from 'just apparently very inefficient'.
or if it has been donors' money that
had been spent (which it wasn't),
It is appropriate to distinguish between general public unrestricted
donations vs 'the donor of the restricted money telling WMF what to do
with it', however focusing on what was 'spent' is not appropriate.
There are direct costs which may be larger than the granted amount;
there are indirect costs, and there are opportunity costs. From what
I have seen, I think it is fair to conclude that general public
unrestricted donations will suffer from this broadly speaking.
There may be quite a bit of direct costs that arnt covered by the
Stanton grant per se, including selection process, onboarding,
reviewing their work, and now handling the fallout of a failed project
(e.g. Erik's time and I presume Jay is also working overtime). The
Stanton grant quite probably included an amount for normal overheads
related to the position (selection, onboarding, monitoring), but those
costs could have blown out and/or the WMF decided to absorb the costs
given the size of the restricted grant for program activity.
However it is the indirect costs which will hurt.
As the WMF considers spending donor money on clamping down on paid
editing to be money well spent, a whole lot more of that donor money
needs to be spent achieving that goal when month after month there are
revelations of the WMF staff (which Timothy Sandole was, roughly
speaking) engaging in this type of editing, or the initial investment
of donor dollars has been wasted if the concept of WMF policing paid
editing needs to be abandoned as it has lost the high ground.
There is reputational damage to the WiR concept, WMF, and Wikimedia
generally, which will be felt across the movement. While the WMF may
not be going to run this type of program again, affiliates do run
these types of programs. Affiliate staff and volunteer time will be
spent rebuilding the WiR brand. IMO it is also a shame that this will
mean more resistance to content rather than community-focused WiR. I
know many people feel very strongly that a WiR should act as an
enabler for the community rather than fill the gaps themselves, but in
practise a lot of WiR end up writing content to some degree, and I
think there are scenarios when a WiR should be more of a contributor
rather than collaborator, especially in topical areas that are
under-represented in major languages and in wikis in their early
stages needing a major content boost rather than a minor, and maybe
shortlived, boost to the number of contributors that a WiR might be
able to achieve. But the community, GAC and FDC will be more shy of
content-heavy WiR type programs since Belfer.
Then there is the potential for this to cause Stanton to stop giving
grants to WMF, which means donor money needs to fill the void or
programs need to be cut (and staff may need to be laid off.)
I cant even guess the opportunity costs, except that these types of
'special interest' projects can be headaches for pushing through large
structural changes like Sue's "Narrowing the focus" which was launched
in October 2012.
or if you had /actually/ been
appointed to speak for "the number one stakeholder in our projects"
(which you haven't);
Eh? No appointments necessary.
it wouldn't justify your continuing harangue when
you have been clearly told that no further substantive information would
come until Sue returns next week.
Who said that there would be no further substantive information until
You've made your point and raised the issue, and
now the information for
informed judgment is being published. How about you let the /rest/ of
the community examine it and reach its own conclusions? Because, right
now, you seem more interested in stoking the fires of your vendetta by
harping on what you /want/ that conclusion to be than any actual
interest in figuring out what happened and how to prevent it from
happening again if it was a problem.
Which vendetta are you referring to?
Russavia was asking for more information, presumably in order to
figure out what happened.