[Wikimedia-l] The new narrowed focus by WMF: conflicts of interest

ENWP Pine deyntestiss at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 27 17:32:16 UTC 2012

I agree with Denny’s point about COIs in this discussion, and I believe that the same issue has been raised regarding the FDC. 

I find it helpful when people who have financial interests or other potential COIs disclose that information in their statements on that Meta page and/or in Wikimedia-l depending on where they make their comments, and I would be in favor of a policy requiring that potential conflicts of interest be disclosed in a situation like this. These potential COIs include being a staff member of WMF whose budget or employment would be affected positively or negatively by these proposed changes.

In my own case, I'm not a fellow or aspiring fellow, chapter executive, paid researcher, or WMF staff person whose department would be affected by these proposed changes, so I believe that as far as my own comments are concerned, I can speak without a financial interest in the outcome of the discussion.

If we operate by consensus instead of by mere vote-counting, and if editors and WMF staff participate in good faith, then hopefully there will be enough balancing and give-and-take negotiation among those with COIs for a supermajority consensus to solidify. The other option is to ask for people who don’t have potential COIs to make a decision based on the opinions and information provided by others. However, this may all be a moot issue since it appears to me that Sue, a few of her chosen associates, and the Board apparently intend to make decisions themselves, so the community discussion on that Meta talk page will be used for discussion but not for finalizing a decision. Someone please correct me if I’m mistaken.


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