[Wikimedia-l] ombudsmen commission
thogol at googlemail.com
Mon Apr 23 10:06:17 UTC 2012
> * How many cases were brought to your attention?
around 30, give or take
> * How many of those did you consider serious enough to warrant
> investigation beyond direct dismissal?
around 10, I'd say
> * How many cases did you take on *proactively* (without a solid complaint)?
none that I would remember
> * In how many cases in total did the committee take action (or advise the
> WMF to take action)?
we requested user rights changes for the committee or asked for
further information we were not able to obtain ourselves several times
(thanks to Philippe for helping us all the time with this!), but we
never asked/recommended the Board to remove CU/steward rights from
> * How many emails did you exchange over the past year on your mailing list?
I'd say at least 500. Could also be 1000 or more, I really can't tell
you any exact numbers and I won't count it.
> * Were you able to send a confirmation with the outcome of the case to
> every complainor?
Except for the cases still under investigation, I guess so. We now
usually also send a confirmation when we receive a request (we didn't
do that in the beginning).
> * Was the person complained about informed every time of the fact they were
> under investigation?
If someone did not make any mistake we do not tell them that someone
complained about them. We contacted them only if we had questions to
them or if we deemed it necessary to explain something to them.
> * Is the process accurately described on meta?
Which process do you mean?
> * Do you have steps in place to ensure every single request gets the follow
> up it needs, if not will that be improved?
We are working on developing a better way of keeping track of the
requests at the moment. However, the technical possibilities are
limited, for security and privacy reasons.
> * How many formal complaints were received about the functioning of the
I don't know, ask Philippe. ;) I guess some people were not happy
about the time it took to get to a result (I'm not, either.), or about
the result itself. But there is always a way to improve things.
> This information could probably be summarized in a few paragraphs. I
> suspect that the Board already receives such summary (the committee reports
> directly to the board according to the meta
> so an extract from that would probably be easiest. Even if that is not the
> case I have the feeling it should be doable to create these numbers
> afterwards for 2011. That is not only a big win for transparancy, but also
> for future candidate members - they would know what they are getting into.
> Finally, it allows people to evaluate if they trust the committee enough to
> send their complaints to. I know several people who in the past (before the
> current committee probably) have sent complaints but felt it was a black
> box and have no idea what happened to them. That can be quite damaging for
> the image and should be avoided.
Sorry if someone gets the impression of a black box, but as we are
investigating privacy violations, we have to be very careful which
information to share and we prefer to share as little as possible. The
committee works very simple, we receive a complaint, which we confirm
to the complainor, then we discuss if a privacy violation can even be
involved. If not, we decline the request and - if possible - we try to
tell the complainor where they can get help for their problem. If
indeed a privacy violation is possible we investigate on this and then
we have a result whether or not there was a breach of the policy and
we give that result to the complainor, explaining them why we think
there was (or not) a breach of the policy. If we do find a breach of
privacy we would have to discuss what we do about it. But as I said,
we never recommended to the Board to remove any rights from a CU or
steward. I hope that such a recommendation will never be necessary,
but of course we are ready for this, *if* it becomes necessary. :)
This whole investigation process can take a while and can involve
contacting the person about whom the complaint was, if we need to ask
them for clarification on the issue, or if we need to tell them how to
avoid such issues in the future. It can also involve us doing checks
on users ourselves to double-check CU results (of course, in such
cases we inform the local CUs why they see us in the log).
However, when we will finally have set up our technical aids to keep
better track of the cases, we will be able to improve on all this.
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