Community “capture” is a real and present threat. For years, the movement has been widely aware of challenges in the Croatian Wikipedia, with documentation going back nearly a decade. The Foundation recently set up a disinformation team, which is still finding its footing and assessing the problem, but which began by contracting an external researcher to review that project and the challenges and help us understand potential causes and solutions for such situations.
Dear Maggie - thank you for writing this, but I fear it can be wrongly interpreted *(already did to a few people who got in touch) as it was worded in a non/explicit way. I would like to point that:
#1 both WMF and Wikimedians were aware of issues with HR Wikipedia and nothing has been done for a decade, aside from handful last year to remove 4 of right-wing admins*(Wiktionary and Wikisource, are still with rightwing admin control)...
WMF actions are sadly post-festum and with a very limited scope.
#2 HR was not abducted by some well organized and resourced entity, but by handful of extreme rightwingers (one unmerried couple + their closest neo-nazi friend and 3 submissive mediocrats...including 40+ proven but likely 60+ sock puppets) with silent and passive conservative 'center' majority of woters.
#3 an external researcher contractor was not really reviewing the full project, but mainly content *(very little on social dynamics and capacities) and in doing so failed to understand the challenges of under-resourced and asocial 'community'... This is why solutions suggested in findings included impossible language and project merges, rather than anything that would enable self-governance, expansion of the pool of contributors and sustainable and ambitious work *(like in Serbia for example).
Hope with these distinctions it is more obvious the difference between the two and if /how/when/where the learning is applicable or not...
Thank you for your professional work.
Best Z. Blace