[Wikimedia-l] Go away, community (from WMF wiki at least)

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Sat May 11 14:36:29 UTC 2013

Deryck Chan wrote:
>Given the foundation's recent tsunami of centralisation I'm not surprised
>by this at all. The message is clear - the community doesn't belong here.
>Go back to meta.

Yeah, I think you're right. It seems to be part of a larger pattern.

* Blog access has been restricted (as noted).
* Bugzilla adminship has been restricted to staff only.
* wikimediafoundation.org adminship is now restricted to staff and Board
* Shell access has been restricted to staff only (no more volunteer

Relatedly, the Toolserver is being slowly killed in favor of a controlled
sandbox called "Wikimedia Labs" and all Wikimedia accounts are being
unified (with forceable usurps/renames) to make it easier to track and
control users across all Wikimedia wikis.

It's very surprising that the Board has been so quiet about all of this.
Generally, a few staff members (notably Philippe and his team) have tried
to create "tiers" in which paid staff are above volunteers. Even the most
trusted volunteers are no longer allowed to hold positions of trust within
the Wikimedia community. This is very bad. Are there ways to address this?

But to blame this on Gayle is kind of insane. It seems clear to me that
she's being used as a pawn here. There are very few indications that this
has anything to do with her, aside from a few log entries (from...
Philippe) inexplicably pointing to her name. And the curt e-mail she sent
out to affected users. Her involvement with the wiki would charitably be
described as negligible.

The director of _community advocacy_ (Philippe) is stripping nearly every
community member of user rights. And yet there's still no provided
rationale for the change in policy, other than it being based on a series
of private discussions. Meanwhile, the home page of
wikimediafoundation.org stresses how transparent the organization is.

This is a pretty disappointing day. I'd be interested to hear what Gayle,
Philippe, or the Board has to say.


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