[Foundation-l] Letter to the community on Controversial Content

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Sun Oct 9 17:05:16 UTC 2011

On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM, Risker <risker.wp at gmail.com> wrote:
> Two board members are selected by chaptersl however, the board has certain
> rights to refuse the selected candidates.  Chapter-selected candidates will
> be appointed in 2012.
> The WMF-wide community holds an election in odd-numbered years to nominate
> three candidates. Again, the board has certain rights to refuse the
> candidates with the most votes.
> The remainder of the board members are selected for their expertise, with
> the exception of the "Founder" seat which is approved on a regular basis.
> The primary responsibility of Board members is to the Foundation, not to the
> community or the chapters or to any other external agent.
> This is all available for review in the Bylaws.[1]
> Risker/Anne


To your last point; that's of course true for any corporation. Yet, it
seems clear and obvious in this case that the Board can't serve the
Foundation without also serving the Wikimedia community. If the Board
loses the support of the community, not only will that have election
repercussions (despite the ability of the Board to determine its own
membership), it will also be strongly detrimental to the interests of
the corporation.

I'm sure the Board understands that you can't please the readers at
the expense of the editors, particularly when we're at a point in
project development where editors are not so easy to replace. Just
like editorial decisions happen in the real world and have real world
consequences, so also will Board decisions have consequences.

Now all this is not to say that the Board has already lost the
confidence of the community, or that any specific members should be
turned out or anything like that. But it's worth remembering, for
folks on both sides of this issue, that there are methods of
addressing any truly schismatic decisions on the part of the Board in
the hopefully very unlikely case that any are taken.


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