[Wikimedia-l] Thoughts on Admin Rights on WMF Wiki (and other things)

Steve Zhang cro0016 at gmail.com
Sun May 26 06:42:37 UTC 2013

On 26 May 2013 07:35, ENWP Pine <deyntestiss at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Gayle, I am going to be frank. I think I know a little more about you and
> your work than the average member of this list does. I appreciate your
> explanations and apologies, but I'm continuing to have a hard time with
> this situation. With your many years of leadership experience, and in your
> position as Chief Culture and Talent Officer, it's shocking that you would
> implement such a significant change in the unprofessional way that you did,
> and of all people I would have expected you and Philippe (Director of
> Community Advocacy) to be acutely aware of our consensus-based culture
> and how to implement changes in a diplomatic and professional way. This
> situation has been a disaster for WMF-Community relations, and I'm sorry
> to say that my feeling is that the credibility of you and Philippe has been
> harmed beyond repair. Do you think you should continue to be WMF's
> Chief Culture and Talent Officer? I have a hard time believing that you
> should continue in that role after this disaster, but I want to hear your
> point of view.
I've thought long and hard about whether to reply here, and I have decided
that I will. Our mailing lists too often become an ugly place where the
worst of us comes out for all to see. I feel that regarding this matter,
some here have stepped over the line. Having your own opinion is fine, as
is providing criticism, but attacking others (or in general, saying things
that make them feel like crap) is not. As one who has worked to resolve the
disputes of others (both on-wiki and in real life) I think it needs to be
said that the current tension that has been created needs to dissipate.
Now, the removal of adminship of volunteer editors on the WMF wiki (among
other changes) happened for a reason, and I'm not going to comment on
whether I think it was the right decision to make or not - I'm not
qualified to do that. I do think that it could have been carried out in a
better fashion, and that if the community was given more notice of the
changes, with an explanation of the reasons for making them, then the
response from the community would not have been as dramatic. But that said,
Gayle has offered her apologies. And I accept them. I think we all should.
We have all made mistakes within our time, and we should not be remembered
solely by our errors. We need to move on.

Remember, we are all working towards the same goal - a world in which every
single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. I would
invite all reading this mailing list thread to reflect on what has
happened, and the actions you have taken. Think about what you can take
away from this, and how you can use the experience to improve yourself. And
most importantly, remember that when you send someone an email, a text, a
tweet, a talk page message, that there is a real person on the receiving
end, and what you say impacts them. If you wouldn't like to be on the
receiving end of what you say, consider whether there's a better way to say
it, or say nothing at all. I think if we all did this in our day to day
lives, they would be much more happy and pleasant ones.

*Steven Zhang*
*cro0016 at gmail.com*

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