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

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Mon May 13 18:08:04 UTC 2013

On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 9:39 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <darekj at alk.edu.pl> wrote:

> I think I'm quite neutral to the decision itself. If it is a WMF wiki, and
> if indeed there were some problems with staff being overridden by
> volunteers, I think it may perhaps make some sense to leave it to WMF.
> However, the way this change was introduced was definitely poorly planned,
> badly communicated (and not announced ahead of time), occasionally harsh,
>  quite insensitive. Also, clearly, some discussion ahead of time would be
> good - both to let people know, but also to let the community think about
> addressing the problems related to it, too.
> I believe that especially Gayle, but also Philippe, have expressed their
> sincere apologies for the way things turned out, and for their
> unthoughtfulness prior to going through with the plan. Gayle also promised
> to reflect more on the issue once she gets back to the office. I think that
> this is quite a good way to deal with the problem.

Thanks, Dariusz. Yes, Gayle has indeed apologized - both here on the
list and individually on the talk pages of the affected users [1] -
for the rash way in which this was done. She's also in touch by direct
email with people who've reached out to her.

I think we're all in agreement that when such clarifications in
governance are made, we need to be extra careful to not make long-time
volunteers feel like their work isn't recognized or appreciated. We do
owe that to folks like Casey and Thehelpfulone but also early
Wikimedia veterans like Daniel Mayer (Wikimedia's volunteer CFO in the
early years) and everyone else who's helped maintain WMF wiki over the

In turn, the staff of WMF also appreciates patience and forgiveness
when things like this happen. When conflict occurs, abusive language
is sometimes directed at staff, and we also appreciate when such
language is called out and not tolerated.


[1] e.g. https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/User_talk:Thehelpfulone#Apology_for_removal_of_admin_rights
; some of her notes are on Meta as well
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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