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

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Sat May 11 18:19:12 UTC 2013

On Sat, May 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM, Sue Gardner <sgardner at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> My understanding is that administrator rights have been removed from a
> small number of volunteers, but that those people still have basic editing
> rights.

Far more than basic, actually. The WMF wiki is unusual in that it
allows insertion of raw HTML by any registered user (this is because
the donation forms used to be hosted there; they're now developed on a
dedicated site). Regular users also have permission to edit the
MediaWiki: namespace, which helps with translation. This means that
regular users can add arbitrary code that will be executed in the
reader's browser, something that only admins can do on most of our
other wikis. There are >600 registered users on the WMF wiki.

While I understand the frustration with admin access being restricted,
volunteers on this particular wiki are still trusted with
extraordinary rights (without prejudice as to whether that
configuration should be broadened or narrowed in future). I asked
Philippe yesterday, and he said that account requests from Meta would
continue to be processed (by JamesA and himself going forward). As Sue
says, having the overall governance responsibilities on the wiki
clarified is a normal step. Sorry for the rocky transition; no
disrespect was intended.

The original text on
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia:Welcome (written in
2004 when there was no WMF staff) with regard to the Board resolving
all disputes should indeed be updated; the Board delegates day-to-day
operational responsibilities to the organizational staff, and while
the sentence is technically true, it was written at a time when that
delegation was not possible. Nonetheless, it was clear from the very
beginning that the WMF wiki was not operated according to the
community governance practices established in other wikis because it
serves a distinct purpose.

Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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