[Foundation-l] 2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content
thepmaccount at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 09:02:44 UTC 2010
I thought I'd note for those interested in the latest from the
community side of the 'controversial content' discussions - the
Commons 'Sexual Content' proposal has just gone into a polling stage
for the second time;
Hard to tell at this early stage how it's going to go, but I find the
general level of quality of comment at the poll to be a little wanting
in some ways (oh well).
I hope Phoebe doesn't mind me copying her in on this email, but I'd
also like to follow up an enquiry about the working group she
mentioned last month - it's here;
On Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 3:46 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 2:55 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen466 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> The "controversial content" study by Robert Harris and Dory Carr-Harris was
>> completed a few weeks ago.
>> What is the board's view of the recommendations that resulted from the study?
> Dear Andreas, and all,
> I'm sorry we've been soooo slow to answer this -- it's a busy time. We
> have been planning to post an update about the current status of the
> controversial content discussion anyway, so thank you for asking the
> Here is what happened at the last board meeting regarding
> controversial content, and our planned next steps.
> At the last in-person Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees meeting
> in October, Robert and Dory Harris presented the study and its 11
> recommendations to the Board. The Board expressed appreciation for the
> thorough report and thanked them warmly for their work and for
> soliciting community input throughout the process. Three hours of the
> meeting agenda was devoted to this topic, and there was a lot of
> discussion, with every board member expressing their reactions before
> moving to open discussion.
> For those who don't know what the recommendations are, the 11
> recommendations made are listed in Part II of the study. The
> recommendations fall into three types: recommendations involving
> statements of principle (including the background principles),
> recommendations requiring technical and Foundation support as well as
> community support (such as those to code image show/hide functions),
> and recommendations requiring community action (such as those to
> review content).
> In detail, Robert and Dory recommended that no changes be made to the
> manner in which text-based “controversial” content is handled in the
> Wikimedia projects, because the definitions and procedures currently
> in place to deal with this content are working. They also made a
> number of recommendations for action that falls within the bailiwick
> of the Wikimedia community, including recommending that Wikimedia
> consider development of a Wikijunior project and that Commons admins
> consider how to improve implementation of some policies and how they
> are applied. And they recommended that the Wikimedia Foundation staff
> begin developing a new feature to allow Wikimedia project users to opt
> into a system that would allow them to easily hide classes of images
> from their own view.
> In general, the Board welcomed many of these recommendations and the
> care taken with this report, particularly the highlighting of some of
> the fundamental unresolved questions about Commons mission, scope, and
> growth rate.
> ==Next steps==
> Here are the next steps the Board is taking:
> The Board did not pass a resolution on controversial content or take
> other action on the suggested recommendations at this meeting.
> However, the Board has formed a working group around controversial
> content, led by Board members Jan-Bart (as group Chair), Phoebe and
> Kat, to work with Robert and Dory to identify next steps.
> The working group will be examining the recommendations more closely,
> soliciting Board member feedback on each of the recommendations to a
> greater degree than there was time for in the in-person meeting,
> working with the community and finally making a report to the full
> Board. The working group is expected to recommend next steps,
> including providing fuller analysis of the recommendations, which
> recommendations (if any) there is consensus to move forward on and
> noting what would be required to put them into practice.
> Right now the working group is getting Board member feedback to see
> what Board consensus exists around the resolutions, and after
> finishing this process will probably move on to analysis. We realize
> that some of the recommendations are much more controversial than
> others, and some are much more technically difficult than others.
> ==How to help==
> We recognize that this issue has been discussed to death in many
> forums over a long time. And the Board has been reading those
> discussions :) However, we need further support. Please join us in:
> * summarizing -- for those who are feeling ambitious, summaries of
> discussions so far (from the lists and the wiki, particularly
> summaries of discussions related to the specific recommendations)
> would be amazing. There is a section added to the talk page of Part II
> to summarize thoughts related to each recommendation:
> * analyzing -- further analysis of the recommendations would also be
> great. Feasibility analysis (both social and technical) would be
> wonderful as well as analysis of underlying principles and ideas.
> Please put analysis on the wiki above (and let's refactor if it gets
> * working on the process -- is there a better way to come to community
> consensus and to develop the best possible outcome, both practically
> and philosophically, on this issue? Please share your thoughts.
> * joining the group -- especially if you are interested in
> facilitating these discussions, or in the above process question, join
> the working group! Please write Jan-Bart, Phoebe or Kat if you are
> interested. If you are interested but don't have much time,
> participating in one of the above ways would be great.
> These recommendations are made, ultimately, to the community -- so
> please help decide what to do with them.
> Let me/us know if you have questions.
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