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Policy talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Archive 2

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Latest comment: 3 years ago by Adamant.pwn in topic Doxing


If I'm not wrong, a "code of conduct" works on a voluntary base, so nobody is really obliged to follow the rules. But then demanding a "binding set of ethical guidelines" is contradictory.--Sinuhe20 (talk) 13:13, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

#An oxymoron: binding guidelines --Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 14:34, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
A "code of conduct" explains how to do cooperation on a voluntary base. Note: a scientific review of cooperation does not exsist, so no one has a guideline. The Council of Europe was asked to wright a review for its own sakes but has not answered yet. -- 08:50, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Community Insights Report Statistic

Per User:Aron Manning's revert of my edit: The source is the same as the source of the 40% statistic, used in that same line. It's Community Insights report (2018), the SS08 chart, the line on policies. In the same way that the the "Quite a bit" and "A lot" statistics were added together to achieve 40%, it makes sense to add "None" and "A little" together to get 48%. The presentation of the 40% rather than the 48% felt misleading, hence why I added the larger statistic, and I'm reverting the revert. 22:30, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

@ Thanks for the explanation! —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 03:56, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

Is this teaching tolerance toward cultures or just mere dos and don'ts?

I've been thinking especially after reading feedback, most of them negative. Is the Code intended to teach users how to tolerate diverse cultures, give them a lot of respect, promote cultural relativism, or just a mere set of dos and don'ts without sufficiently explaining why the Code should exist in the first place? If neither, then what else does the Code intend? George Ho (talk) 20:47, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

@George Ho: This is a very good point. There's an example in the stackexchange CoC of such dos and don'ts: [1]. Imo such guidance should be an explanatory supplement to the CoC: my assumption (and real-life experience) is that the primary purpose of a CoC is to reinforce community values about civility and give behavioral guidelines, which would benefit from such explanations. —AronM🍂 edits🌾 01:48, 8 February 2020 (UTC)
@George Ho: from what I've read, it seems that all the objection stem from that fact that no matter what anyone proposes, it is unenforceable. Mostly that's because such a code of conduct is prescriptive, rather than descriptive. If we found a way to articulate existing consensus (express what we already all agree to) it would be much less charged. And of course there is one thing that we all agree on (on Wikipedia at least): Anything that disrupts the creation and maintenance of the encyclopedia is forbidden. Don't harass the people who write and maintain it. Maybe that's all it ought to say. Adopt a clear definition of harassment, like the Ontario Human Rights Code does: engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome. Vexations (talk) 18:06, 8 February 2020 (UTC)

Discuss Space

I thought the plan was to freeze Discuss Space by March 31 2020. Does is still make sense to list it in Universal_Code_of_Conduct#An evolving process? Vexations (talk)

Had anyone advanced a draft over there? I'm not on Spaces. EllenCT (talk) 18:08, 10 March 2020 (UTC)
I haven't seen a draft for a Code of Conduct there. The use of Discourse itself may be relevant though, as it has some features that facilitate civil conversation. They sort of have it built-in. See https://blog.discourse.org/2013/03/the-universal-rules-of-civilized-discourse/ for more info.

What is it good for? What is insufficient presently?

I write from experience in Swahili wikipedia (and as an observer of African language wikipedias). This debate looks not really clear to me. What is it supposed to change? I see the 2015 report on harassment with some examples of insults. Could those wikipedia communities not handle it? From my experiences of 13 years as admin I do not remember anything of this type in swwiki. Of course it has to do with small or very small communities.

I can actually not see what a global code is to change. Who outside a given community is to decide if a certain expression in Swahili, Malegassy, Somali or Tigrinya is beyond the tolerable? Looks like a huge bureaucratic exercise with unclear parameters. Kipala (talk) 17:17, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

Proposal: this Code should be developed independent of the Foundation

I propose that the Foundation be given no control, influence, sway, or any other ability to determine the outcome of Code of Conduct determinations, and all such determinations be placed under the control of neutral third parties, because of the Foundation and Foundation staff's inability to demonstrate freedom from conflicts of interest. EllenCT (talk) 09:59, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

The main page discusses mainly about wikiquette, safe space and personal conflicts. But a code of conduct must include other aspects, such as conflict of interests as EllenCT says. Cntributing to the Wikimedia project while having conflicts of interest should be considered inappropriate conduct.
However, the Foundation's past and current behavior is not the only reason to support EllenCT's proposal. We are a movement, and major issues such as creating a code of conduct should be decided by the community as a whole, not by a few Foundation people. --NaBUru38 (talk) 22:51, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
Catch 22: who appoints 'neutral third party' and pays for their time and effort? isn't it the Foundation? Retired electrician (talk) 22:44, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
@Retired electrician: No, of course not. The Wikimedia community is capable of organizing these things for themselves. The WMF are paid administrators who are outsiders to the Wikimedia community and its culture. The Wikimedia community can represent itself. The normal process is
  1. The Wikimedia Foundation publicly announces the budget for Code of Conduct Development, including investment of staff time
  2. some reasonable portion of that budget goes to empowering the Wikimedia community to better represent itself
  3. The Wikimedia community, who are stakeholders in the Code of Conduct, participates in the discussion with power at minimum equal to the WMF, and ideally with power and resources beyond the WMF
A code of conduct comes from an empowered and resourced community. To have it come from outsiders or consultants is an error. Blue Rasberry (talk) 00:31, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

Enforcement, not code

We already have the WMF terms of use. A universal code of conduct is not really needed.

Neither the WMF nor stewards currently have the capacity to handle escalations of debates that local communities could resolve. That sentiment may have arisen from the various times WMF attempted to intervene in English Wikipedia matters; every time the community rebuffs.

But many small wikis don't have a robust community that takes due account of the vocal opinions editors who don't have advanced privileges. Azerbaijani Wikipedia was a recent example of local dispute resolution failure. Now we have the Russian Wikipedia wanting to escalate to WMF level. More broadly, we also have interwiki disputes, such as those relating to tools deployment, Wikidata integration, and Commons integration. At the moment, it seems that whichever of English Wikipedia or German Wikipedia wants to exert themselves more will win by default, without any real guiding principle of dispute resolution.

What we really need is a WMF appeals court for disputes that the local community cannot resolve. It ought to hear disputes for which local community discussions have got to a dead end, whether the dispute concerns only one wiki or is an interwiki disagreement. Most of the time this appeals court will feel like an RfC or Arbitration case on the English Wikipedia, because small wikis have fewer layers of dispute resolution. But other times it'll function as a super-appeals court that has authority. Deryck C. 12:48, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

When the new strategy would look for more inclusivity, this discussion is exclusive

Sorry but I figured out about this discussion because I follow international discussions and I am active in several communities but I can assure that some communities did not know about it. Surely the Italian community is ignoring that there is a discussion about an Universal Code of Conduct and we are speaking about one of the biggest community. I assume that this is included in the new reccomendations of the new strategy but these reccomandations also say that the movement must be more inclusive. My feeling is that this discussion is quite exclusive and it's a pity that a discussion about a Code of Conduct starts with a limited group of communities. I suggest to extend the translations and open it to more communities. --Ilario (talk) 10:37, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

@Ilario: Barely anyone knows about this, but it doesn't really matter because it's already clear that the proposal is practically unanimously opposed. The WMF is starting discussions in a bunch of languages, and they'll get some more walls of opposes, and either the WMF will keep pushing or they won't. There's not much point in trying to pull more attention to this, at least for now. --Yair rand (talk) 18:21, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Surveys in progress March 2020

User surveys are in progress. I wish that the Wikimedia community could get notice of when the WMF does surveys and how the WMF will report results. How many communities are invited into this survey?

I am anxious that the WMF has originated some odd ideas in the Code of Conduct which did not come from the Wikimedia community and would be controversial in the wiki community. Why do surveys without disclosing the fact of the survey?

There are so many points of universal agreement. I hope no one risks the likely consensus and delays the advancement of discussion by failing to include the Wikimedia community in the development of any code of conduct. Blue Rasberry (talk) 00:36, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

WMF please fund Wikimedia communities to organize local discussions on this

The path to a universal code of conduct includes the WMF giving money to Wikimedia community groups who organize themselves to discuss Wikimedia community conduct without any pressure, guidance, or direction from Wikimedia Foundation staff and consultants. There are lots of Wikimedia community groups who have discussed this already. With money to support the administration of grassroots research, notetaking, and documentation, the Wikimedia community is capable of building some consensus among itself.

I am going to guess and estimate that the money that the Wikimedia Foundation has spent in staff time, consultants, researchers, and administrative support on developing a Universal Code of Conduct is about US$400,000. The WMF can report for itself what budget has gone into this and also the specific amount of money which it has granted to the community for the same purpose.

There is so much expertise in this space in the Wikimedia community from so many different perspectives. It is completely impossible for the WMF to go this alone without the community.

Please WMF include the Wikimedia community in the normal conventional routine and sane way. Please do not plan any code of conduct discussion in the repeatedly attempted rollout model of superprotect / image viewer / FRAM / rebranding / fundraising weirdness / Knowledge Engine. Please make sure that multiple Wikimedia community volunteers are at the forefront of this proposal. Any investment that the WMF made in proposing and documenting a model for growing Wikimedia community consensus would be a great investment aspect of the Code of Conduct project. Any passable code of conduct is going to include a rule that says "the only person fit to speak for a community group is a volunteer member who has the support of that group to speak", and no WMF staffer will ever fit that description any more than any corporation or empowered entity can represent consumers or the common person. The Wikimedia community does not need anyone to speak or advocate for it, but does appreciate Wikimedia Foundation support - money - to sponsor the administrative base from which common people can empower themselves and organize their own discussions.

If anyone with power wants to make this code of conduct have community support in the future then they ought to financially sponsor the necessary global community-based discussions for this sooner. The Wikimedia Foundation has enough money at this point that a frank and forward discussion about money should come right at the front of any intersection of WMF proposals and community consensus seeking. Blue Rasberry (talk) 00:53, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

If they spent anywhere near $400,000 it's a dramatic waste of money considering the only passable version of a UCoC would be one which does not currently interfere with local conduct policies on any projects, which anyone knowledgeable of Wikimedia communities could write up in under two hours. In regard to paying contributors for local discussions, that seems a bit overboard. It'd be a lot easier, and cheaper, to place messages on local noticeboards with MMS and request that the various projects create organized project-space pages for local discussion and connect it to a Wikidata item for WMF staffers to later review. Vermont (talk) 01:33, 19 April 2020 (UTC)
@Vermont: There are some things which grassroots community volunteers do and some things which come from the administration of a nonprofit organization. It is a fantasy and an error to imagine that volunteers can do for free the things which come from staffed organizations. For any given task, we need to be able to determine when we need volunteer labor and when we need staff labor.
You say when the WMF spends money "it's a dramatic waste" and also that giving wiki community groups money "seems a bit overboard". I get it, I hear lots of wiki people say exactly this, but these wishes are incompatible with each other. The Wikimedia Movement pulls in US$100 million a year and every part gets spent every year. The finance options for addressing any challenge are (1) money directed by WMF staff (2) money directed by community stakeholders (3) money for neither and instead to be spent for some other challenge. The default solution to every challenge in the wiki movement is always either 1 or 3, and never 2 until and unless the Wiki community exerts itself greatly.
You say anyone can synthesize the text in two hours - here are the 1000 pages of text to condense:
I disagree that a knowledgeable Wikipedian can write a passable code of conduct. Instead, I believe that any knowledgeable Wikipedian can easily identify major problems with any text already in existence, including all the codes of conduct for other online communities. Writing a widely acceptable code of conduct might be impossible. I still am not sure.
I also find you very quick to accept that giving all data and community feedback to "WMF staffers to later review" is the solution to this or any arbitrary challenge. Sometimes that works, or sometimes we could go with community partnerships. I would love to be able to reroute the money from WMF staffers to fund research analysis and partnerships to university groups in underserved countries, for example. We could have options. I think it is unfortunate that when money goes to volunteer groups people complain, when it goes to grants people critique the process, when money goes to consultants it is a scandal, but when the WMF hires yet more people then that is silent and unobservable so that is the least negative and most acceptable option.
I advocate for an empowered wiki community in the development of community policy. I see no reason to believe we will increase community empowerment by continuing the status quo. After code of conduct we will have new issues every year. What do you think should happen perpetually when comparable challenges repeatedly arise?
I very much appreciate your responding to me and welcome your wildest proposals of what to do. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:41, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for your response. My main issue regarding the cost would be that, when implemented, regardless of how good or bad the final product is, there is going to be community dissent. The more the UCoC removes responsibilities from local volunteer communities, the more dissent there would be, and I'd hate to see a lot of money spent on developing a program that is eventually scrapped due to push-back. There are many possibilities less likely to cause problems, such as creating a group of people, staff or not, to enforce a set code in mediating institutional problems on Wikimedia projects, filling the gap that Stewards have been working on of late, such as with azwiki, hrwiki, and a few others. In regard to the "2 hours" comment I made, I meant that many multiple-project community members could formulate a decent proposal for a UCoC in a short amount of time; I was not referring to the extensive research done of currently existing policies. The difference between my comment and your interpretation is, where I used "anyone knowledgeable of Wikimedia communities", you used "Wikipedian". I'd think most global sysops, admins on multiple projects, and stewards are capable of coming up with passable proposals, but I agree that your average editor on a single Wikipedia would not. However, we both seem to agree that most active editors, regardless of project, would be able to identify problems in proposals and voice legitimate opinions on their impact. In reading that collated list of projects and policies over again, I'm a bit intrigued that they left out the Simple English Wikipedia, but that's just my own curiosity and nothing to do with this process. For my "WMF staffers to later review" bit, that's because in the hypothetical situation of sending a mass message to communities, WMF staffers would collate the community responses into one consensus-developed UCoC. In nearly any course of action, there will be multiple points at which WMF staffers would be tasked with judging community consensus and response, and the goal with such a MMS would be to gather community responses for staffers to look through. I hope that is cleared up, and I'm not sure what you refer to by "community partnerships". With regard to community empowerment, it's seemingly become evident that the future holds a continually growing Wikimedia Foundation that, over time, siphons power and responsibilities from local communities while feeling a lessening need to permit community processes to function without WMF involvement. In my view, this is not necessarily bad, but it very well could be. In regard to my proposals, I don't have much so far, but I have some thoughts. Given the niche that I edit in and the experiences I've had, I often don't share the same views of most single-project editors, and any UCoC ideas I conceive would be centered around mediating institutional problems on projects that experience continually permitted admin abuse, copyright violations, racism/intolerance, etc. Multiple projects currently experience or have experienced problems in that regard, and T&S has helped out to some degree, as have stewards and global RfCs, but it's all a bit ambiguous. If there's to be a global code of conduct to hold every project to, I would think it should interfere with community processes as little as possible except when those processes are harmed by institutional issues. As such, the issue isn't what projects do or don't have certain policies, it's a question of what projects enforce them fairly and without extensive bias, which would need some sort of outside force (UCoC committee, like recently proposed?) to manage it. The pages of research don't seem useful to me in that regard; all that is necessary, in my view, is a set of requirements that a project would need to uphold listing basic conduct policies, involved administrator policies (when there's over a set number of administrators), and anti-discrimination policies. For example, a hypothetical UCoC would have come in handy with Til Eulenspiegel rather than a global ban discussion. Take a look at the list of recent global RfCs, and see how many of them focus on issues in a certain wiki where the local establishment is not able to handle whatever issues there are or is the alleged source of the problem. Seems to me about half. Many of these RfC's go weeks or months without coming to a conclusion, some have no discussion and are closed, but for those who do have lengthy discourse at the end there's always questions of jurisdiction, precedent, the ability to enforce a result, etc., and the closer is bound to get hate from whichever side isn't given a positive result. If there is to be a UCoC, let it fill that gap. I know I've answered your last question a bit more broadly than expected, but I hope it gives insight into the lenses through which I view this issue. Thank you, Vermont (talk) 22:25, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, forgot to ping, see above. Also, oy vey, sorry for the wall of text. I just kept typing... Vermont (talk) 22:26, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
@Vermont: Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it all. I am unable to reply fully for a while and will reflect, thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:45, 21 April 2020 (UTC)
WMF employees do not determine consensus. They need to consider it, when it comes to a decision WMF needs to make, and report accurately to the decision maker (for instance the board). If the relevant community has not explicitly determined and summarised the consensus, WMF employees can and should summarise at the best of their abilities. Nemo 05:03, 21 April 2020 (UTC)
I second the sentiment, but there's also the issue that paying someone to do this kind of work is in effect a bribe to local communities, sometimes very small, to promote the WMF's desired outcome. (But the price usually WMF pays to compliant people is not only financial; it can also come in the form of access to future benefits.) In the worst case, you end up having an army of editors on WMF's payroll capturing millions of users who just don't have the energies to fight for what would work best for their projects.
The WMF grants have sometimes explored ways to avoid this conflict of interest, for instance by focusing on the reimbursement of costs incurred for community work rather than wages. The typical way is to throw some thousands of dollars to an in-person event on a subject WMF likes, but that's not an option now. I agree that alternatives can be found, if there is the will. For instance at some point I was thinking of running in-person reading groups after sending a copy of a book on online abuse that has been recently published in Italian. Such an initiative could happen online too, would have some costs for physical goods and may benefit from a professional facilitator from outside the community without an issue of consensus determination.
I don't necessarily agree that a volunteer cannot write proper policy for our very diverse communities. In fact, if it's possible at all, only volunteers can; while the WMF employees are certain to be unable to do it, not because of how they are but because of how WMF works. It's true however that it takes a lot of work, and some incentives, for the projects to discuss extensively on something that they usually don't feel like discussing, and WMF needs to think how to avoid overloading the community with extra work. Nemo 05:03, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

Draft proposals

Hello, I added a section for proposals at Universal Code of Conduct#Proposals. I put a draft proposal from me there.

Although I think that my proposal would be good in many ways, a difficult issue is how to support diversity of expressions and opinions, even when those expressions or opinions may offend others, while also supporting civility. At this point, I think that civility policies are best left to local communities.

I welcome others' opinions, including alternate proposals. Thank you, ↠Pine () 03:41, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

  • I have not marked my proposal for translation because I do not want to request the valuable time of volunteer translators if there are early indications that my proposal will not be approved. However, if others feel that the proposal is good, please feel free to mark it for translation.
  • I tried to avoid breaking any of the existing translation markers. I would appreciate any corrections to errors that I made. Thanks, ↠Pine () 03:49, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
  1. This seems like a reasonable first approximation. I have not seen anything that would be an obvious problem, but I am fairly sure that there will have to be some changes, as there are likely to be things that are not sufficiently clear to some people.
  2. Why 7 members? Will this be enough? there will be cases where one or more members will want to or have to recuse. How many members would be considered a quorum?
  3. How will they handle language problems, and lack of familiarity with the customs and policies of the various projects? In what language will cases be investigated? How will transparency of process be ensured? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:38, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

Instead, PLEASE help us deal with rogue wikis

This initiative clearly has good intentions, but it is also clear it isn't going well. The biggest problem we have are routine squabbles over content. There is little chance of the Foundation doing anything constructive about those squabbles, and even less chance that Foundation efforts would be welcome. When it comes to things like threats, I believe we already know to escalate such issues to be handled by the Foundation. Again, not much chance for the Foundation to do anything new and constructive.

One area that really is a problem is dealing with small wikis that go off the rails. AzWiki and HrWiki come to mind. In some countries we have leaders of government, and academics, and major newspapers all publicly condemning Wikipedia for Holocaust denial and radical propaganda, because that's what's in Wikipedia in that language. That's what Wikipedia contains because the wingnut admins write it that way. Those admins threaten, abuse, run-off, or ban anyone who tries to fix it. Small wikis are get launched with very little vetting of the initial admins. A wiki can turn into a hell-hole if its dominated by abusive admins. Holocaust deniers, rabid-nationalists, historical revisionists, racicists, homophobes, theocrats, whatever. Our process sucks for dealing with that sort of thing. We need a better defined process, but more importantly, that is where we need Foundation help. Right now basically the only option we have is to revoke the bad-admins and dump the wiki into the lap of stewards to manage. Stewards don't want to take the responsibility, the language barrier is a huge problem, and that language is left to fester.

If the Foundation wants "equity" for under-served languages, if the Foundation wants to help users who are being harassed and abused, if the Foundation wants to protect the reputation of Wikipedia as a trusted source for neutral and reliable information, then THIS is where you need to put your efforts. Cleaning up small dysfunctional wikis.

Leave it to the global community to evaluate when it is necessary and appropriate to intervene in a wiki. Once the broader community has made that decision, please oh PLEASE step in and help clean up the mess. Launch an initiative /consultation to write global policies for evaluating and re-booting a wiki. Help set up communication channels for community review of a wiki. If a wiki does need to be rebooted, help us find experienced and responsible editors who can speak the language. If necessary pay them to admin for a year. Maybe hire translators to translate a set of model-policies or other educational-materials into the language. In particular, one of the few things that I find actually effective is when editors are firmly informed: "Wikipedia does not contain Truth. Arguing Truth doesn't work here. Arguing Truth is disruptive. Wikipedia is an accurate summary of what Reliable Sources say." Anyone who is unwilling or unable to put that ahead of their personal beliefs can't be an admin. Alsee (talk) 09:25, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

Ping NNair (WMF) to (hopefully) take this issue to the team for consideration. Alsee (talk) 09:31, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

I'd assume that any Universal Code of Conduct would include ways to deal with systematic issues on projects, like those on azwiki, hrwiki, and others; in fact, it's probably one of the only parts of a prospective Universal Code of Conduct that I'd support, and depending on the implementation, strongly so. At the moment, the global RfC system is severely inefficient and there's been very little recourse for people wronged by systematic problems with local administrators. Vermont (talk) 14:03, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

This will be enacted 30 August 2020

"Develop and introduce a universal code of conduct (UCoC) that will be a binding minimum set of standards across all Wikimedia projects. The first phase, covering policies for in-person and virtual events, technical spaces, and all Wikimedia projects and wikis, and developed in collaboration with the international Wikimedia communities, will be presented to the Board for ratification by August 30, 2020."

Blue Rasberry (talk) 00:13, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

Not a surprise – the decision was made a long time ago and the 'consultations' were a facade. We'll soon find out what the "close consultation with volunteer contributor communities" means. EddieHugh (talk) 11:42, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
Typical. Proclamations just for the sake of publicity, with no regard to substance. Nemo 13:16, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
It appears to me this was also decided beforehand. I very much support the idea of contributing in a civil and healthy atmosphere where abuse and harassment ain't tolerated, and I condemn abusive behaviour as it is repugnant to the values I stand for. However I'd have prefered this idea came from the communities instead. I also feel what this UCoC is attempting to do is already covered in Section 4 of the current Terms of Use (cfr. #Redundant with Terms of Use?) and the civility-related policies built and maintained by the Wikimedia communities. The WMF already has the authority for, and does not need an UCoC to ban anyone for violating their policies or its Terms of Use though. Section 12 of said Terms explicity allows the WMF to suspend or end the services at any time, with or without cause, and with or without notice (sic). I guess an UCoC for projects that do not have such policies or ain't operative might be a good idea, just so it is evident and "universal" that we do not tolerate such behaviour. I'd however be cautious about the whole creation and enactment process for this document so this doesn't turn into another train wreck like superprotect and, more recently, WP:FRAM. I hope the "close consultation with volunteer contributor communities" mentioned in the Board statement is real, community feedback is taken seriously and not cherry-picked in favour of an already foreordained outcome. I also feel anything that tries to go beyond "binding minimum set of standards across all Wikimedia projects" as stated won't be well received and should be avoided. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 17:30, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
For me it looks like they want to do the same what they did at WP:FRAM, and this time use the UCoC as the reason for their actions. I don't think implementing this in Top-Down will raise acceptance, it will more likely increase a "community vs. WMF" mindset. Luke081515 13:51, 24 May 2020 (UTC)
The WMF is trying to get rid of the unloved and unwanted old communities with all the means at its disposal. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 11:24, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
In our community we look forward to this UCoC as it will lead us in modifying our existing Policies and recommendations, in order to give us a framework to be less tolerant to incivility.Yger (talk) 12:33, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
It will be very silent on sv:WP afterwards very soon, when the burocracy starts to decide, what fits the definition and what not. But OK, I know, that sv:WP don't need an active community, since the articles there were already written by Bots. This was the first step for telling the active, writing community, that they is unwanted. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 13:17, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
Is this comment an declaration you do beleive the policy on enwp Argue facts, not personalities is irrelevant and should not be a base for a converation among wikimedians?Yger (talk) 14:05, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
@Yger: Huh? If your community wants the policy, why does it need it forced upon them by an external authority? --Yair rand (talk) 17:14, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
There will be debates in our community when we modify our policy. To have a UcoC will help in this discussion. And we do not see it forced upon us. It is the good people from all over the Movement who has participated in the making of these recommendations that show it is a broad consensus we now really needs to get a better climate, (also applicable in our community) .Yger (talk) 18:37, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
That's a tricky topic, especially when local dispute resolution bodies cannot solve the dispute or when multiple projects are involved. At the moment, there is in fact a lack of such body and of course it should be transparent, composed of multi-diverse community members who are trained and supported by professional mediation, etc. as pointed out. Currently, stewards like me are quite often approached with such topics but this user group is more focused on technical stuff like userrights. A former steward fellow and I discussed this topic at the Safety Space at Wikimania. Due to the nature of the space, the discussion have not been documented but you can find the presentation with backgrounds of the situation and open questions on Commons. Maybe it can give some ideas how to proceed with this. I doubt that the new statement meant that it's a WMF-only body which sanctions. —DerHexer (Talk) 13:17, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
Assuming WPedians are like other people, there are likely to be some communities in the movement that need to be pushed a little to actually articulate their rules, and possibly some that have some ways of working that do not actually fit into what the broader group of` Wikipedians would consider acceptable. Whether the WMF or any group it establishes will have the tact to deal with them would seem a little more more questionable. DGG (talk) 17:46, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, there are some really messed up Wikimedia communities (Croatian Wikipedia is probably the worst example) but I think WMF will focus on enwiki and maybe dewiki and commons, push the new Code of Conduct there, and completely ignore all the other wikis. --Rschen7754 18:35, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
Languages known to at least one T&S member: en, de, es, el, hi, pl-3, sco-3, ml-3, fr-1, it-1, and several dead languages. (Probably a few more, as a couple don't have Babel boxes.)
Yeah, sounds about right. --Yair rand (talk) 18:56, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
Why would the WMF actively need to enter any version? It could be implemented by all versions will need to be a certified version (as org gets quality approval). And that all work is done by the community and an external body (why WMF?, why not someone else?) review policies etc and if OK give the certification approval.Yger (talk) 18:49, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
@Yger: They already said that the WMF would be implementing/enforcing it. --Yair rand (talk) 18:56, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
Where is it stated they will go in actively into different communities? That they develop the process is another thing.Yger (talk) 19:12, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
@Yger: See here. The resolution specifically mentions enforcement by Wikimedia Foundation staff. --Yair rand (talk) 19:17, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
You are right. Unwise of the Board to put it in that way.Yger (talk) 19:26, 25 May 2020 (UTC)
And there's a specific mention of retroactive application, so the focus of the resolution is on users and wikis which were already hit by WMF in the past. The English Wikipedia, German Wikipedia and Commons are certainly among them; hardly the small wikis. It's delusional to think the WMF will do anything to help the smaller wikis, they only want to assert power on the big cash cows. Nemo 06:58, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
I would suggest assume Good faith and let see what comes out of this. We need to address uncivil behavior and there is a lot of competent and good people at WMF.Yger (talk) 09:07, 26 May 2020 (UTC)

AGF in regard of those people, who initiated en:WP:FRAM, de:WP:Superschutz, Flow, the current renaming procedure and other desasters? Sorry, that sounds a wee bit naiv in my ears. The WMF has destroyed very much of its AGF with their many deeds against the communities. I see this as the next part of an illegitimate power grab by the janitors, that sare just employed by the communities to fulfill their wishes, not the other way around. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:10, 26 May 2020 (UTC)

AGF is applied before someone has expressed certain intentions, not after. Nemo 12:07, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
Even if some parts of their actions were a bit clumsy, it does not contradict they are competent and good people. Myself I know firsthand one of them and can certify that persons good intention and integrity. And talking of naivety. Do you really think entries like these will make The Board retract their resolution of May 22? Just when several hundred individuals from different stakeholders in the movement have endorsed the strategy and its Recommendation Provide for Safety and Inclusion. And knowing this has been a key issue for the Board for at least two years? I beleive it is much more rewarding for securing an acceptable implemenation to work together with T&S with a positive beleif something good can come out of this. And act with both respect and Good fatih.Yger (talk) 13:23, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
The current head of T&S is the implementor of Superschutz, the declaration of a all-out nuclear war by some wacko WMFers against the communities. How should this anyhow create even just a glimmer of good faith and respect? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:36, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
Sänger, that's aquestion of culture: The German WP community neverever will be as obedient as the Svedish community. Yger obviously does not understand why the UCoC is an issue for the German community, why it is an issue at all. On the other hand, the Svedish on't have the same bad experiences as the German have gone through twice in the 20th century. What is the reason why obedience isn't popular in the German culture. --Matthiasb (talk) 05:59, 27 May 2020 (UTC)
Make no mistake: this UCoC is the mechanism for a Stalinist purge. Taking a page out of the Chinese Communist Party's playbook, WMF will have nebulous rules about community harmony and anyone who would violate it is un-personed. Look at the language of it. There's no talk about using technical means to finally unmask the LTAs that continue to disrupt the wikis and harass our editors. There's no intimation of legal action against the paid editors and advertising firms that have been spamming us for years. The measures WMF discusses are aimed towards current contributors with an eye to kicking some of us off the platform. Chris Troutman (talk) 00:54, 29 May 2020 (UTC)
I would like nothing more than to be able to say that this is just some kind of crazy talk, but anymore I cannot say that with a straight face. This "strategy" is starting to look more and more like a hostile takeover attempt, and given how cagey WMF is being about what its actual intentions are, well, that doesn't help. Given that, I think we should start preparing for the eventuality by standing up a MediaWiki instance with the latest database dump, getting mailing lists set up, figuring out who might want to move over, etc., for a fork. That wouldn't have to be public at first, and I certainly hope it will never be needed at all, but I can no longer say there's not a real chance it will be. It's long been said that the only true rights on Wikimedia are the right to fork and the right to leave, and we may be coming to the time to exercise the both of them. Seraphimblade (talk) 01:46, 29 May 2020 (UTC)

Code and pillar

On the French Wiki we have a notion of hierarchy of norms, stated here: we distinguish founding principles, rules (policies) and recommendations (guidelines). Our consensus is founding principles are "non negotiable" and have a precedence over rules and guidelines; rules are binding and decided by formal voting; recommendations are less binding and are either an effect of the sedimentation of consensus over time or confirmed by polls (less formal than votes). I suggest

  • Such a distinction is useful when trying to apprehend the content of the UCoC. This code is very close to a set of founding behavioural principles. It should include what is widely considered as policies, not mere recommendations.
  • The behavioural "pillar", in English en:5P4, "Wikipedia's editors should treat each other with respect and civility" (including currently 5 policies and 4 guidelines), which is part of the so called "five pillars", found on nearly 120 projects , is the closest thing we have from the contemplated UCoC.
  • The very differences between the various formulations of this behavioural "pillar" between projects and over time are giving us some precious indications on the variety of approaches of and the issues at stake in the UCoC.

In a nutshell, we do already have a universal behavioural quasi-code, except that it is not as universal as it claims to be, and this should probably be clarified and analysed to help make progress with the UCoC. Some considerations (in French) on this issue can be found here. If other contributors to the discussion would be interested to discuss the matter, here or on a separate page, I would be happy to join them. — Racconish💬 20:22, 3 June 2020 (UTC)


Where is the draft? If there isn't a draft yet, can we please create a page to hold one? EllenCT (talk) 17:11, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hello User:EllenCT At the moment, the discussion is focussed upon collecting feedback on how the community feels about a code of conduct for the movement. Before drafting the code, it is essential to have structured dialogues with diverse communities and take their inputs. We don't want to produce something hastily without conferring with stakeholders in many languages. Therefore, the next step is to launch mini-consultations for a range of language communities on the subject. Contractors to support this work will be onboarded soon. Thus, the question of drafting the CoC will not surface until those consultations with community are completed and their input has been documented, and reviewed.--NNair (WMF) (talk) 06:33, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Hello Nnair, thank you for the explanation. Could this be stated on the content page itself? Ziko (talk) 10:22, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@NNair (WMF): do you think it is possible to ask the community how they feel about the abstract idea of a movement code of conduct without specifying a concrete example? Isn't anyone likely to be undecided going to say, "it depends on what's in it?" Isn't it better to advance a specific proposal and ask people what they like and don't like about it, than ask them to endorse the idea of a Code without any specific text? Can we start with the mw:Code of Conduct and the wmf:Friendly space policy? EllenCT (talk) 14:16, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@EllenCT: Personal opinion: You make a good point that the "abstract idea" is hard to sell to those, who have no experience of a Code of Conduct. As I have that experience from real-life (meatspace) volunteering and open-source projects, the answer to the question of a CoC for me is an obvious "yes and let's start discussing it's contents".
I was baffled by all the drama in reaction to this proposal. I believe the good-faith response would be to support discussing a CoC, not to reject it without investing as little as to search the internet to see what's a CoC, how wide-spread it's use is (100K+ projects for the most common Contributor Covenant) and what its purpose is (more resources.) These should help editors understand what to expect. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 00:10, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, have no good faith left. My experience with any kind of codes of conduct is pretty bad. They are invariably used to get rid of people that are unpopular, that are deemed to be disturbers, destructive, and so on. They do literally nothing to give voice to the underprivileged and oppressed. On the contrary, they constitute a kind of "shadow law" that is not subjected to the normatives of transparency and rule of law. The underprivileged and oppressed are not enabled to take part in a discourse and to voice their own interests and ideas (which obviously would be a very good thing). On the contrary, they are used as a legitimation resource in a power struggle. It's always them who are the first victims of a "code of conduct" because there is no reason why they should be more friendly, positive and nice than other human beings, but they more often lack the resources to hide behind a civil surface. "Protective spaces" for people who are afraid to go out in the open (and may have very good reasons to be afraid) are a very good idea that I support by all means. But you cannot turn the "movement" as a whole into a protective space. This means silencing the voices we need, rather than giving them their own personal voice. We need "politics in the first person", not politics by advocates "for" others. We need an atmosphere where "it is safe to be unpopular" (en:Adlai Stevenson II). What happens here is the exact opposite, and that is very sad in my opinion.Mautpreller (talk) 09:14, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
In addition: That is a mistake that has been so often made in so many movements. Invoking the victims of capitalism, of sexism, of racism, of harrassment, "for" the ideas of the movement. There is no doubt that these power structures exist and that they have victimized many people. They also exist in the Wikimedia projects, that's clear. It is a good thing to fight against them. But that must not mean that these groups are used as an "invocation object". They will have to stand in for themselves (and get all support they need). It's a bad idea to replace their voices by the voices of advocates who "know" what is best for them.Mautpreller (talk) 09:36, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@Mautpreller: Thanks for this deep response. You've described perfectly what I experience on the English Wikipedia, without the use of any CoC. I'm not sure a CoC would address those issues directly, but I have some suggestions for that too. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 15:39, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't like the good-faith-argument, when it is about a powerful organisation at one side and pretty powerless users at the other side, and the consequences of new implemented rules are potentially the latter being excluded by the first. This kind of "we all want the same good, we are all in the same boat, so have good faith, we will do the best" is used here far too often to cover the different interests and different point of views, and exactly this can be a problem with a CoC, that is made in the "best interest of us all" but only from the side, that has the power to define these best interests. Like Mautpreller often demands, a user policy should implement rights for the users. Only then it is a good foundation for a communication between organisation and users at eye level. And only when this communication is at eye level, really good things will come out of it. --Magiers (talk) 12:35, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@Magiers: This powerless users versus the monster WMF is a made-up illusion that creates discord in the community. I see zero credibility in it: the biggest communities have more power than the WMF to the extent, that the WMF cannot do anything about violations of global policies and the Terms of Use by contributors in high positions. On the other part about user rights being declared I agree: rules and rights should be in balance. The lack of due processes and right to appeal in all governance processes is very unhealthy, causing injustice and abuse. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 15:53, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I did not speak of "monster" and I object to the accusation, that I "create discord" just because I argue a different opinion. I spoke about power, that is not bad in intself, but is unequally distributed, when one side is legislative and potentially judiciary and executive in union. Then to demand, the single users shall have good faith, is not convincing. I expect proofs that things are aiming in the right direction. So let's start with a draft, what the COC aims in detail. Otherwhise I cannot give a carte blanche to nebulous or undisclosed plans. --Magiers (talk) 08:35, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
@Magiers: I'm certainly not accusing you with anything, don't worry. This is not a forum to make accusations, but to engage in civil discourse. I was highlighting the fact that the WMF is treated as a "monster" in certain vocal circles. I do not imply that it's something to be "accused" of. Everybody has their right to their opinion.
What I'd like to point out is that "WMF" is an umbrella term for many smaller organizations and hundreds of people, including many volunteers, not just employees. Treating all of them negatively because of grievances - both valid and over-exaggerated -, towards some members is a gross generalization and hurtful towards those, who invest months of work into projects. It creates a counterproductive, unhealthy environment, that I called "discord". This effect is not a conscious intention, but an effect nonetheless, which I wanted to raise awareness of. Blaming any particular person for this would be as wrong and misguided as blaming a vaguely-defined umbrella organization for all the troubles, when some members of the communities directly contribute to the uncivil behaviors, that a CoC would denounce.
To see what a draft might look like please see The Contributor Covenant CoC and understand that this consultation is not about the exact wording of a CoC, but – in my opinion – to gather feedback from the community of what's expected from a CoC, so that a future draft can be written with the community's feedback taken into account. I hope I helped to clarify the purpose. Thank you for this discussion. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 10:03, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Without a draft, it's impossible to know if a CoC has the potential to be used as a way of tone policing so that anyone who seems to be an irritating dissenter will be silenced, or whether it will be ineffective at handing people who casually throw in "f**k you" just to be hostile because they want to demonstrate how great they are at "free speech", or whether it just means that there will be an effective secret police force with non-transparent reporting and assessment processes that perma-bans people without any chance of appeal.
All these things already happen on our projects, but formalizing them in a CoC for all projects and events is unlikely to be a crowd pleaser. -- (talk) 09:56, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Mautpreller for pinging me on this. I can see you have had bad experiences with CoCs in the past. That doesn’t mean our CoC needs to be one of those. Aron Man made some good points. Many other communities have CoCs and it’s rather odd for such a large community to not have one. I have seen them work both well and poorly. It largely depended on how the CoC was implemented by leadership (For poor examples, see any subreddit without distributed and diverse leadership). Usually situations of silencing and other bad implementations of CoCs had directly to do with the leadership. Right now, this is just proposing having a universal CoC. Could you maybe look at some examples of where CoCs are going well? There is even the CoC for technical spaces that happened a few years back. There was loads of discussion and it was a slow process, but it was successful. Let me know if you want me to share some other examples and I’ll gladly do so. Best, Jackiekoerner (talk) 15:42, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
There is no "leadership" in or above a Wikipedia project and this is good and not bad. "Leadership" by any "Movement body" or WMF organization over autonomous projects is a) not legitimate, b) not to be trusted. There is already some experience with the "Trust & Safety" team attempts which is very bad. There are no clear procedures, minimal requirements of a fair process are not fulfilled. No, I don't accept that.--Mautpreller (talk) 16:01, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
+1. Also, FWIW, the Technical spaces CoC was edit-warred into place by the WMF without consensus, and people let it sit because it was just too exhausting to keep fighting off the WMF. (It set in place a WMF-appointed dictatorship with no accountability, able to do more-or-less whatever they wanted.)
In general, setting conduct policy on the projects is none of the WMF's business, and setting French Wikipedia conduct policy is none of English Wikipedia's business. --Yair rand (talk) 17:58, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
I can imagine situations, where laissez-faire towards some projects might not be warranted, iirc one of the Balkan language WP was once taken over by nationalistic racist admins who harassed NPOV authors, and was it Azebaijan, where the dictator took over the WP? In such extreme circumstances I could imagine some intervention by legal, but usually you are right, of course. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:47, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
@Mautpreller: Every project has its leadership and established power structures, just like the WMF has it's governance structures. The only difference is that it's undeclared, that it's only visible if you follow the events. In this form this is less transparent than declared statuses and responsibilities, leading to the lack of accountability in the projects, which leads to injustice and abuse. Fortunately, that's not an everyday event, but happens too often and creates an unhealthy editing environment, where fear of abuse negatively affect the way editors edit and interact. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 16:05, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
Certainly, every project has its power structure (but not leadership, that's not correct). But these powers are limited. The "Code of conduct" attempt, however, introduces unlimited and, more important, uncontrolled power. I could see this very well in several actions of the Trust&Safety team. It's easy to see: there is no way to defend yourself if a "leader" says you are guilty of any transgression. For two reasons: because it is not clearly defined what exactly is a transgression and because there is no fair trial with formalized procedures. The main problem is that all Coc's you are using as examples are highlighting lofty values and "pledges". Almost each and every action might be defined as a transgression against such values and "pledges" because they are so lofty. A well-proven maxim for any kind of diciplinary measures is to exactly define negative behaviour that may entail sanctions, but not positive values because they are open to different interpretations and the danger is enormous that these vague global confessions are made use of for highly problematic interests. Even more important is the "fair trial" issue. You absolutely and always need clear procedures for notification, defence, and appeal. There are examples for this in admin actions in the Wikipedias (sometimes they fall short of this requirement but on the whole it is at least acknowledged as important). In the Contributor Covenant CoC the opposite is the case: There is no concern of procedures, fair trials, appeals, and so on. The T&S "trials" did not even notify the persons they sanctioned, did not state the transgressions sanctioned, did not permit any defence and no appeal. I could say they failed to do so, but this is not correct, they did it on purpose. - These forms of sanctions and proecesses are fundamentally unacceptable. They lead to kafka-like situations. They fail to comply with fundamental requirements of fair process. If you try to push through with them, you will provoke a degree of "discord" you didn't dream of before. And rightly so. No emancipatory project should be allowed to fall back behind these requirements that were the achievements of hard and long-standing fights of the civil rights movements. Mautpreller (talk) 22:25, 26 January 2020 (UTC)
@Mautpreller: Many replies, sorry.
Certainly, every project has its power structure [...] But these powers are limited.
Indefinite unilateral blocks are within that power. An admin has the right to de-platform an editor with less edits than the admin, if they choose to do so. This does happen (not giving names). That's about as much damage as can be done. A very high limit, I would say.
[CoC] introduces unlimited and, more important, uncontrolled power
The CoC is not the proposal of the feared / distrusted T&S. 1) It's an open-source industry standard in the last 5 years and 2) it's proposed by the working groups to address conduct issues with an industry-proven practice.
If the power to sanction based on the CoC would be given only to the T&S (in its current form), then I would agree with you. I've strongly advocated transparency and accountability for T&S, with no effect. There are 2 reasons why I don't worry about this, though:
  1. The T&S does not have the capacity to handle all reports about user conduct. It's practically impossible to concentrate that power in a small team. The obvious solution to handle reports is to create a team of volunteers and - hopefully - some employed professionals trained in dispute resolution (mediation / arbitration) to handle reports. This means the evaluation and decision-making will be in the hand of volunteers or the communities, if the report is addressed to one of the dramaboards, just like now. It would be unfeasible to give this "power" solely to the T&S. I find such ideas unrealistic and lacking the effort to think about how this can be implemented. These thoughts are important to be addressed, but if repeated in overwhelming quantity then this dramatic presumptions of bad faith distract from the true purpose and benefits of a CoC. I also note that there are editors who maybe don't want to adjust their conduct according to a CoC. I assume they also voted to oppose.
  2. The Principle of Accountability is introduced with the recommendations. At the present and in the past there were no checks and balances to ensure accountability. en:WP:ADMINACCT is ca. 10 lines compared to hundreds of pages that govern editor actions and conduct. Even that 10 lines is generally ignored and unactionable. This is a movement-wide issue, T&S is not the only group that needs to improve in this regard, but all the communities.
It is within the purview of the recommendations to develop processes to ensure accountability. The best and most important process to start implementing accountability is the user reporting process, that would handle complaints about CoC violations. I've explored how this can be done and drafted a design proposal for the planned tool to transparently and accountably handle reports and the discussions in the evaluation process (with "notification, defense, and appeal"). Preventing the abuse that many editors fear depends on properly designed processes with fairness guarantees, not the CoC.
It's easy to see: there is no way to defend yourself if a "leader" says you are guilty of any transgression.
As I've said above, this does happen in the communities. You can call them "admins in high regard", if you wish. They word the policies and also apply those, therefore I've used the shorter "leaders".
For two reasons: because it is not clearly defined what exactly is a transgression and because there is no fair trial with formalized procedures.
The two most vague and widely interpreted policies are en:wp:nothere (not even a policy, but used as such) and en:wp:disrupt. An admin opining that any of these apply is enough justification for an indefinite block, which is practically not appealable, thus usually becomes a "de facto ban". There is no procedure required for such decision, no warning, no community review necessary. It can happen out of the blue and it does occasionally. The current situation in the communities is not an ounce better than what you assume. This power is there and used just like you describe it: unlimited and uncontrolled.
Even more important is the "fair trial" issue.
I strongly agree on that as you can see in the contributions I've linked. Trials are not the concern of the CoC. The linked resources have propositions for handling of cases mostly in the context of events (in meatspace). Online the requirements are very different. In person we are more truthful, more accountable and more empathic. Online it's much easier to hide or misinterpret facts or ignore the consequences of our actions and the pain caused to others. Online tools and procedures have to address these with transparency and procedural constraints ensured by the tools (implemented by the software). The current policies and guidelines lack such constraints, giving a very wide range of actions to handle specific incidents. This results in preferential treatment and undue application of rules. All these procedures need to be developed further to ensure fair trials in any case, including cases regarding the CoC.
No emancipatory project should be allowed to fall back behind these requirements that were the achievements of hard and long-standing fights of the civil rights movements.
I agree. So why did we allow Wikipedia's reality to be the opposite of civil rights? Why are bullied new users told they have no rights, the exit is thataway (literally)? I can't empathize with these presumptions of a power grab because the power grab is already a reality, just in different hands. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 09:34, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that there are examples of blatant power abuse in the communities. However, there are at least procedures to control and limit this. In de.wp, there is the de:Wikipedia:Sperrprüfung ("block review") and the de:Wikipedia:Administratoren/Probleme ("review of admin action problems"), as well as the ArbCom (de:Wikipedia:Schiedsgericht. I certainly don't want to idealize these mechanisms and criticized them often and sometimes violently because they are not good enough. But they are at least there and they have some consequences (e.g. that it is common understanding that any blocked user has the right to open a "block review" and has to be unblocked to do so). How should we decide whether another kind to deal with "conduct problems" would be better? For my part, I only see one possibility: does this kind of "problem dealing" offer better ways to limit and control power? But the suggestion of a "Universal Code of Conduct" does, as far as I can see, nothing in this direction. The Contributor Covenant CoC, highlighted as an "industrial standard", certainly does not do it. In this situation, I think mistrust is fully justified. The danger of a change to the worse is overwhelming and I don't see any guarantees that this will not be so. I appreciate your attempts to ensure some fundamental rights in these processes and to give more weight to mediation and professional help rather than sanction and exclusion, but this is not part of the suggestion, only your approach to it. As long as the suggestion itself does not contain any thoughts about "checks and balances", limitation and control, I shall remain a staunch opponent to a Universal Code of Conduct.Mautpreller (talk) 10:46, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
In addition: I wrote myself a kind of recommendation on the German Wikipedia which is by now more than ten years old. This is de:Wikipedia:Kritik-Knigge, might be translated as "recommendations for criticism in article reviews". However, this is not a "code of conduct" and it does not specify any rules to be enforced. It rather intends to set an example for a change of perspectives. How can criticism, even fundamental criticism, be voiced so that it is acceptable? It relies on experience from professional real-life editing work, and it tries to show that it is important to consider the author's perspective rather than purely insisting on rules. But this kind of recommendation can only work if it refrains from any kind of enforcement. It is certainly not the only way to a better discussion (sometimes you will need enforcement) but it is one way among others. It relies on argument, persuasion and conviction instead of hard and fast rules. In my evaluation, even the existence of such a recommendation helps sometimes. But I don't see anything that could be compared with this idea in the present UCoC discussion.Mautpreller (talk) 11:30, 27 January 2020 (UTC)
@Mautpreller:: Thank you for linking the German Wikipedia's processes. In the first round of the consultation we have discussed those in detail and I was impressed by those processes. Later that year the community desysop RfC on enwiki listed more big communities that have similar processes. Of course each process is only as effective as those who operate it, but the German WP at least has processes. The English WP has nothing: no block review, no admin review, no "admin problems" and no community desysop. As in game theory, the rules/systems determine how the 'game' is played. Without rules it's free-for-all. That's enwiki at the present.
A CoC, however, has nothing to do with abuse, preferential treatment and other governance issues. That's the matter of transparency (presenting the evidence for decisions) and accountability (the enforcement of rules for the enforcers). Ensuring these is a target on its own, parallel to the CoC. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 13:48, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
The fundamental design flaw of Wiki*edia is: merging judicial and executive power. This image (off-wiki) demonstrates the issue with that. That's the reason why the governance structures fail and toxicity is rampant. To resolve this issue these roles (rights) have to be separated and both kept accountable to the other and the community. Resolving that issue has nothing to do with the CoC. —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 14:06, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I don't quite believe it. Why is it impossible to get a clear response to the question whether the CoC is something to be enforced? I'm afraid it will be so. If so, the questions of accountability, transparency and fair trial are vital in the CoC. And the question is also crucial who will enforce it. Above, the CoC for technical spaces and for RL gatherings were highlighted as examples of successful implementation. Well, I don't agree. The Romaine case and the MZMcBride are very telling examples.--Mautpreller (talk) 19:06, 31 January 2020 (UTC)
  • @Jackiekoerner: - two things with one of your earlier statements. One is that the larger communities do have COCs, though there's differing levels of summarisation into a single document "code" - as very few users are cross-wiki (and those that are bluntly not really in need of a standardised UCOC), there isn't much to be gained by a standard document. If the WMF would like each community to come up with a single document summation of key rules, which then linked out to the full documents, that would be a completely different discussion which I'd happily support. The leaders aspect is something that makes experience in successful implementation not especially transferable - projects don't have leaders, whether that be a local community or the entire Wikimedia set of projects. Almost all decisions would be implemented by a general consensus. The WMF is specifically refuted as holding any leadership position over the communities (perhaps a good analogy might be how the UN Sec-Gen is the Chief administrative officer of the UN, not their CEO). I've only talked to a handful of active mediawiki editors, so it could be sample bias, but 3/4 them say they were unhappy with the COC that they, even now, both feel was de facto forced upon the community. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:08, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: I'm unaware of any kind of CoC on enwiki - our wiki -, despite my extensive knowledge of policies. If you mean that those policies already include some points usually found in CoCs, then consider how many editors (especially casual or new editors) are aware of those policies, have read them (all the hundreds of pages) and know how to reference them. One of the benefits of a CoC is concision and focus: collecting the most fundamental expectations regarding conduct. The next benefit is to reinforce the importance of these policies, like en:WP:CIV. As you might be aware, the civility policy - despite being one of the 5 pillars - is mostly ignored and not actionable. How do you propose communities should counter the everyday bullying and the quite common harassment, if those values were not reinforced? This is the question the Movement is trying to answer with the introduction of a CoC, that benefited most (100K+) and biggest of the open-source projects in this regard. What would be your solution? —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 18:42, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
I'd want to know what a UCOC could include and how it would solve current issue(s) on en-wiki that the current set-up (or a summarisation of the current setup) couldn't, and do so without causing any significant new problem. An example doesn't have to be the one ultimately opted for, but it has to be a viable possibility to consider supporting the concept. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:46, 24 January 2020 (UTC)
@Nosebagbear: what a UCOC could include: See the most common Contributor Covenant CoC. how it would solve current issue(s): Doing some research will help you with that. I wouldn't assume that this will be explained individually to every editor. In every big project participants need to be prepared on their own volition, otherwise the project falls apart. Did you want to answer my previous question "What would be your solution?" —Aron Man.🍂 edits🌾 10:16, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
For informational purposes: The above user, User:Aron_Manning, was banned from the English Wikipedia project in June, for violating the project's conduct policies. I wouldn't ordinarily bring this up, but the repeated use of misleading wording like "our wiki" and the arguing specifically against the guidelines under which the user was banned, indicate to me that this user is not here to participate productively. --Yair rand (talk) 03:40, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
For informational purposes: the mentioned user, User:Aron_Manning was unilaterally indeffed - not community banned - without warning, evidence and any kind of process by a recently admonished checkuser. It's a living example of how the governance processes fail. User:Yair rand I believe you've missed some facts and substituted those with prejudgment. I'll also clarify I'm arguing specifically FOR a code-of-conduct, not against any guideline, I can't imagine how my words could be read the way you represented. If you are sure about that, then I apologize for my bad English and please point to the sentence that's misleading, so I can correct it. I hope this clears up the misunderstanding and you'll consider an apology and/or correcting the above comment. —AronM🍂 edits🌾 20:27, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Next steps

Hello all. I wanted to let you know where this is as we are preparing to move forward under the Board’s mandate. I’m the manager of the policy team within Trust & Safety; my team is taking lead on this work.

First, I want to be clear what the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) is meant to be. Some people are asking if it will override local policies. The answer to this is probably not. The actual content of the code will be shaped by a community input period, but it is a baseline of acceptable behavior. I’d be surprised if that baseline is stronger than the well-developed codes already in existence, although local communities will be asked to review their policies to see how their policies comply. We already, of course, do have the baseline of the Terms of Use, but one thing we hear often is that the Terms of Use is not always specific enough to guide behavior. It forbids, for instance, “harassment,” but people who reach out to us have very different ideas of what harassment means. Personally, I don’t think it’s fair to hold people responsible for behavioral standards that they may not understand. I think clarity of language is important to protect both those who may be victims and those who may infringe.

We know it will be a challenge to establish a baseline that bridges so many cultures and contexts, but we believe that an effort focused on the question “which behaviours encourage collaboration, and which behaviours do not?” is a good grounding to find common values across the movement as a whole.

In terms of understanding what the communities want, we started with a workshop at Wikimania in Sweden. We’ve completed a movement policy review project. And contractors from within our communities gathered information through 19 local language consultations. The results of this work will be published very soon.

This information gathering will continue - with affiliate outreach, work with arbitration committees, and with wide notifications to as many active communities as possible to invite them to provide input in the specific language of the UCoC document which must be presented to the Board on August 30th.

Our intention is to request volunteer support in drafting a base document based on the Contributor Covenant identified in the detailed movement strategy volunteer working group recommendations. We acknowledge that the Covenant and related best practices have already served the movement’s various technical discussion spaces very well for years as the basis upon which the Technical Spaces Code of Conduct was built.

We’ll be putting a call for applications from community soon, specifically looking for diversity in language, geography, gender, age, and sizes of home wikis; looking for experience in dealing with harassment such as found in stewards and arbcoms as well as other functionaries; and for experience in policy drafting and online collaboration. We’re working on a timeline for this and for other milestones before the August 30th deadline that we’ll be publishing very soon.

The question of how to enforce the UCoC will be addressed in phase 2, after baseline behavioral expectations are established.

We’re pretty busy getting ready for launching this first phase, so I don’t have a lot of time to engage on the talk page, but I will try to come in with updates, detailed timelines, and to answer major questions. Also, the Vice President who oversees all of the work of Trust & Safety will be hosting an office hour on June 4th at 1800 UTC. She will be taking questions submitted over IRC as well as Telegram. You can read more about how to participate in that here. Patrick Earley (WMF) (talk) 19:21, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

I really don't like the idea of having a specifically selected group for support, or the idea of having anyone at the WMF write a conduct policy (breaking with all established practice throughout Wikimedia's history, and probably killing any chance this may have had of legitimacy). But if this is insisted upon, I don't suppose you could establish a precise formula for selecting from applicants in advance, or have some other team or individual do the selecting, or use any system other than the one that further increases the value of pull with the Trust and Safety team? Due to their role, they are basically the last group in Wikimedia you would want to put in that situation. Corruption must be avoided by deliberate and careful action. --Yair rand (talk) 04:07, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, unless WMF wants a final product similar to the 2030 document that does not have the support of a large portion of the community. --Rschen7754 06:53, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
  1. "Some people are asking if it will override local policies. The answer to this is probably not." That sounds encouraging considering T&S history with regards to local policies. And yes, this is sarcasm.
  2. "The actual content of the code will be shaped by a community input period, but it is a baseline of acceptable behavior. I’d be surprised if that baseline is stronger than the well-developed codes already in existence, although local communities will be asked to review their policies to see how their policies comply. [...] It forbids, for instance, “harassment,” but people who reach out to us have very different ideas of what harassment means." Who are those "people who reach out to" you? Are they part of the existing communities? Can you give reference for problems that have manifested due to a lack of understanding that would justify a UCoC?
  3. "We know it will be a challenge to establish a baseline that bridges so many cultures and contexts, but we believe that an effort focused on the question “which behaviours encourage collaboration, and which behaviours do not?” is a good grounding to find common values across the movement as a whole." You and the WMF may not have noticed, but many users from all sorts of WM communities have expressed discomfort with the idea of a UoC as developed by the WMF or any of its delegates and do not share your optimism, in fact object to the endeavour in its entirety. If local communities reject the UCoC as part of their respective established decision making processes, how do you and the WMF expect to enforce the UCoC?
  4. "In terms of understanding what the communities want, we started with a workshop at Wikimania in Sweden." Given that we are talking about online projects, do you expect these kind of workshops to be the proper foundation and wide acceptance throughout all of the communities?
  5. "This information gathering will continue - with affiliate outreach, work with arbitration committees, and with wide notifications to as many active communities as possible to invite them to provide input in the specific language of the UCoC document which must be presented to the Board on August 30th." Why the rush? Do you see any pressure from the major stakeholders, the communities, to have a UCoC as quickly as possible?
  6. "We’ll be putting a call for applications from community soon, specifically looking for diversity in language, geography, gender, age, and sizes of home wikis; looking for experience in dealing with harassment such as found in stewards and arbcoms as well as other functionaries; and for experience in policy drafting and online collaboration. We’re working on a timeline for this and for other milestones before the August 30th deadline that we’ll be publishing very soon." Again, you state that there is a lot of work to be done, and let's be honest the WMF isn't particularly known for getting things successfully done quickly. Why the close deadline? It doesn't make any sense if the foundation is interested in a good UCoC that suits the communities and enjoys wide acceptance.
  7. "The question of how to enforce the UCoC will be addressed in phase 2, after baseline behavioral expectations are established." Do you ever read what you have written? At some point it would be nice if you and the foundation were to recognise that this isn't a large socio-psychological experiment to most users constributing to the various projects, making them what they are today.
  8. "We’re pretty busy getting ready for launching this first phase, so I don’t have a lot of time to engage on the talk page..." Thank you for being upfront with the lack of communication that many of us have come to expect from the foundation. It's refreshingly honest. (Yes, sarcasm.)
I seriously suggest that the WMF reconsider this endeavour, as it appears now it is headed for a major disaster. --Millbart (talk) 10:33, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
I hope to see you Thursday. Information on how to participate, even if you can't attend (hard to find a time that works for everybody!), is here. We'll be posting notes on Meta for those who can't attend. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:33, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
Excuse me?! Are you expecting to be taken seriously and can you explain why you a) move discussion about this topic from this page to another forum and b) announce the event a mere two days before it actually happens on a mailing list that few people subscribe to? You have been an active member of these projects for a very long time and yet you feel the need to move a discussion off-wiki. Have you lost base completely or is it WMF policy to obfuscate this whole process as much as possible? I am sorry if this sounds like I am assuming a whole lot of bad faith, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do otherwise given the history outlined on this talk page. Please, if you want your project, and it's difficult to view the UCoC as anything other than a WMF rather than a community driven project, to have minimal chance of gaining community acceptance, you should engage on-wiki, in a language that is precise, easy to understand, actually answers the questions asked and notify communities on their respective notice boards. Thank you! --Millbart (talk) 11:49, 5 June 2020 (UTC)


"She will be taking questions submitted over IRC as well as Telegram."
@Patrick Earley (WMF): If I may give one strong piece of advice considering Trust & Safety, it would be to get rid of the 'official' Wikipedia IRC-channels as soon as possible, because they are potential ánd actual hotbeds for very unsafe conduct. Around the Dutch Wikipedia IRC I have witnessed the very troubling development and conservation of favoritism / nepotism, where Wikipedia users by way of acting like the 'popular guy', creating a 'cosy' atmosphere of 'joking', manipulate other users, and mostly younger users at that, in order to recruit allies, even among moderators and bureaucrats. I got alerted to that, when I kept failing to grasp how an outright problem user somehow always kept an air of untouchability and indeed always appeared protected by certain moderators, which divided the total group of moderators completely – entering IRC for the first time, I observed right away (as if it was meant to be) how that user entered IRC, started complaining about the latest article of a well respected senior contributor and right away others joined to burn down what was nothing but a decent article. When I confronted the IRC'ers with their behavior I was immediately blocked from IRC, by a moderator who is also a bureaucrat on the Dutch Wikipedia. When I complained about this on Wikipedia (the struggles over which, with the IRC'ers, got me blocked there once again also, because it is not allowed to share information from IRC...), that bureaucrat eventually apologized for his behavior. Others have also witnessed, before and after, that IRC'ers tend to 'group attack' users or their products, no doubt after heating themselves up on IRC. I can hardly think of anything more unsafe than those kind of practices, yet they have continued for years. And it's exactly that IRC where new and unexperienced users are officialy guided to get advise... Now I can of course not object to people sharing thoughts and having a 'good time' in any place they choose, but why must this be recommended by Wikipedia? Not to mention that there are no official rules or guidelines concerning for example challenging a IRC-block, the biggest problem is of course the complete lack of a log (the chat's history). One poignant, recent example was an alleged death threat by a Wikipedia user on IRC: the user denied ever having made such a threat, but was nevertheless blocked on Wikipedia for months by an IRC- and Wikipedia-moderator – such judgments are shady as hell. While I may have given extreme (but real!) examples, it must become clear to Trust & Safety, that an external IRC-channel with no rules and no logs should have no future in the Wikimedia projects. I urge you to abandon those IRCs as soon as possible and to develop an internal, transparant alternative (I assume WMF has the knowledge, the people and the means to do this). I'd appreciate your reaction. Greeting, Eissink (talk) 19:26, 3 June 2020 (UTC).

We don't need this

Can we just stop it all together before it (the process of developing UCoC) begins for real? It's just a pure waste of time. tufor (talk) 23:11, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

@Tufor: why? --Wargo (talk) 11:53, 8 June 2020 (UTC)
@Wargo: because we have our own rules and ways to deal with harrasment/conflicts/etc. that we have developed and polished over the long long years of discussions and dealing with problematic users/situations. When talking specifically about the conduct we have fourth pillar which explicitly states: Wikipedia's editors should treat each other with respect and civility. If the UCoC contains everything wikis already have then there's no point in having it. If the UCoC is stricter than the rules developed by the communities, then the entire notion that 1) wikis are self-governed and 2) rules/changes in rules (obviously except for ToU) are agreed upon by communities via consensus can be thrown into the trash. Sorry for my bad English. tufor (talk) 12:36, 8 June 2020 (UTC)

What's an "official proposal" in a grassroot movement?

The WMF is not the government of the Wikiversum, but more or less it's janitors, the body, that the sovereign of the movement, the community, delegated certain tasks to organise itself. So the WMF has as much the authority to propose some CoC as anybody else in the community, no more, no less. The last word is with the community, and the WMF has to follow.
So why was the proposal by Pine just removed from the other side, with the strange sentence about some kind of officialdom for any proposal by the WMF. They don't have this kind of officialdom, they are not more equal than others. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:33, 15 June 2020 (UTC)

T&S team is working to create a UCoC. Consultations are being held with different communities for this and a concrete proposal will be submitted by the end of the whole process. Specific individuals may also submit proposals in this regard. But all proposals cannot be on the main page of the Code, as this introduces people’s misconceptions and they think that these proposals have already been published and it comes from the WMF. Today's my edits are aimed at eliminating these misunderstandings. Thanks, --Mehman (WMF) (talk) 18:49, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
By which process has T&S been elected by the community, thus has any authority, that can only come from the community? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 19:05, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
There are also potentially misunderstandings that can be caused by the "official proposal" wording. I've changed the sentence to "Below, these proposals are not from the Wikimedia Foundation.", which should be sufficiently clear, I think. --Yair rand (talk) 19:18, 15 June 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Yair rand, it more accurately describes. --Mehman (WMF) (talk) 20:02, 15 June 2020 (UTC)

Übersetzungen / Vertaalingen

Es gibt riesige Abschnitte auf der Umseite, die nicht übersetzt werden können, weil da irgendwelche Syntax fehlt, da müsste sich mal wer mit entsprechenden Kenntnissen drum kümmern, z.B. diejenigen, die dieses Unterfangen hier von oben herab betreiben. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 05:29, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

Aggressive Höflichkeit vs. hart dargestellte Fakten

Ich bekomme des Öfteren mit, dass das primäre Anliegen des UCoC augenscheinlich oberflächliche Höflichkeit ist, egal was mit den pro forma höflichen Texten dem Gegenüber gesagt wird. Wenn also mit ausgesucht höflichen Worten klar und deutlich gesagt wird: Du Ars***gesicht, verp*** Dich, Deiner Argumente interessieren mich nicht, ich mache nur das, was ich will!, dann würde das völlig in Ordnung sein, wenn jemand mit nur schlechten Kenntnissen in Englisch sich sehr direkt ausdrückt, und selbiges genau so schreibt, dann würde er gesperrt. Das erinnert mich an so, einen selten dämlichen Aggressionsdetektor, der hier mal lief, bis er als rassistisch und homophob entlarvt wurde, und dann auch ein paar Monate später tatsächlich abgestellt wurde (ich finde den Link gerade nicht, aber die von T&S müssen wissen, worum es ging). Wenn also jemand, wie aktuell bei dem Umbenennungsprojekt, eine komplett unbrauchbare Befragung startet, die wegen dem eingebauten Bias und der extrem tendenziösen Fragestellung beyond repair ist, und dies mit verschwiemelter Marketinglingo darstellt als sei es was brauchbares, dann wäre das, trotz dem aggressiven Pushen des persönlichen Vorhabens gegen die Neutralität, vermutlich aufgrund der verwendeten Sprache in Ordnung, während die aufgebrachten BenutzerInnen, die diesen Betrugsversuch anprangern, und dabei deutliche Worte verlieren, wegen Meta:Civility angemacht werden. Während die Leute, die mit SuperProtect die größtmögliche Incivility angerichtet haben, haben sich afaik noch nicht mal für diese extreme Aggression entschuldigt, wurde Fram wegen seines Auftretens gegen die WMF geschasst.
Mit anderen Worten: Solange Du Queens English benutzt, kannst Du ein aggressives und egoistisches Arschloch sein, wenn Du Cockney sprichst, fliegst Du achtkantig raus. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:18, 1 July 2020 (UTC)

Ich habe das misogyne, homophobe, unbrauchbare Tool gerade gefunden: Research:Detox. Es ist ein wunderbares Beispiel dafür, wie so etwas definitiv nicht gemacht werden soll. Es ging allein um irgendwelche als böse definierten Worte oder Wortbestandteile, unabhängig vom Kontext. Mit oberflächlicher Höflichkeit getarnte Aggression wurde nicht erkannt, harmloses benutzen von in manchen kulturellen Umgebungen als unfein geltenden Worten hingegen aufgeblasen. Beispiele gibt es z.B. hier in der enWP. Dieses imho inakzeptable Vorgehen darf nicht die Norm werden, d.h. aufgesetzte Höflichkeit ist nicht etwas erstrebenswertes. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 14:19, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
It is extremely difficult to figure out what is foul language. In Norway you are in general prosecuted for using foul language against the police, still if you come from northern parts of Norway you are allowed to call a police man a “h-æ-s-t-k-u-k” (“d-i-c-k of a horse”). What's more, in those parts of Norway profanity can be constructed in a lot different ways, and it is completely accepted to use such profanity.
Some years back I tried to build a simple profanity-detector. It had a few hundred terms (about 7–800 terms). I was really proud and about to try it out when I found that someone had created a list of profanity from norther part of Norway. The list was incomplete, yet contained nearly 7000 entries. So much for my neat little idea. From time to time I have tried to resurrect the idea, and now I have an idea how it might be handled, but it is far from easy. (For those interested; profanity is a type of generative clause over limited sets of words, but are both dependent on context and geographic area.)
Still this only work for blunt hostility. If someone tells you that you are an “h-æ-s-t-k-u-k” in very civil terms, then a profanity-detector would not be able to detect it.
In short: The assumption that there exist a universal code of conduct is not correct, at least when it comes to profanity. 21:56, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

Drafting committee

According to the timeline the drafting committee should have been selected by July 17, however there is nothing on the committee page yet. Has the committee been selected? If so why is there no public announcement? If not how does that affect the timeline? --Count Count (talk) 09:52, 26 July 2020 (UTC)

It's here: Universal Code of Conduct/Drafting committee, since yesterday. A wee bit after schedule, but there you are. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:12, 31 July 2020 (UTC)

Update - Timeline extended by two weeks

The Universal Code of Conduct Drafting Committee is hard at work drafting the global policy that will set basic minimum standards for conduct in the Wikimedia movement. They have been reviewing the results of community conversations, previous research, and surveys about harassment in the movement, and analysing policies from other online communities and platforms.

This work has been challenged by the Covid-19 crisis - both our volunteers and staff on the committee, and many of the community members and affiliates we need to involve in the process, have struggled to find time and focus to work on this difficult project. While the committee feels good about progress so far, they need a little more time to condense and produce a draft ready for comment. As a document that will be used in hundreds of languages and communities, the UCoC needs to be concise and translatable.

They have asked for two more weeks to prepare this draft for the month-long community review period on Meta. This means we will be asking for community comment from September 7 to October 6, which will push the delivery of the policy to the Board from September 30 to October 13. Full updated timeline is on the main page.

Of course, we will inform everyone when the review period is open. --Patrick Earley (WMF) (talk) 18:23, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

Legibility of images

There are graphs which have text too small to read and cannot be expanded as the highest resolution is illegible. Please fix. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:23, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Hi Peter, thank you for your feedback. Are you referring to the image showing policies distribution? If yes, have you tried clicking on the image to see it in the original resolution? Please let me know if this image is still not clear enough to read. Mehran (WMF) (talk) 07:14, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
I did that for a few. The original resolution was too small to read, and on a laptop, I do not know of a way to zoom in higher than full resolution. Making it necessary to use special software to be able to read the text in an image is poor practice. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:04, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Why not use Template:Graph:Chart or Template:Graph:PieChart for such simple graphs? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:19, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

 Done Mehran (WMF) (talk) 22:05, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Why I oppose this idea

This whole idea smells of colonialism. What happens when one has a worldwide set of rules is that the policing of those rules will, inevitably, be dictated by the larger players. I have seen on English Wikipedia talk pages how the English, Spanish and French users' gang together to oppress and abuse indigenous minorities whenever questions of Welsh, Catalan, Breton etc identity arise. Their abuse and derision of the minorities is always cloaked with Wiki policy legalese. A Universal Code of Conduct will be used as another stick that our abusers use to beat us with. AlwynapHuw (talk) 14:26, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Or perhaps it could be used to prevent smaller projects from being themselves abusers, which is not an uncommon occurrence. It all depends on how it’s written. Vermont (talk) 15:54, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for making my point Vermont, when a 100,000 article Wiki disagrees with a 5 million article Wiki it's always the 100,000 that is seen as the bad guy AlwynapHuw (talk) 03:08, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Alwyn, and would prefer decentralising power in a positive and organic way. When we question the conduct of editors on a wiki project, we should nurture and educate and help them to regulate themselves, not silence debates or unwelcomed opinions (User:Pine's suggested Code of Conduct). As User:Pine says elsewhere: local administrators and functionaries who have good knowledge of a project's policies, guidelines, and language(s) are best placed to address these disputes.
Alwyn's right. I don't know of a single smaller language wiki with a Steward, and according to the draft UCoC mentioned, the Committee would have 7 Stewards empowered to dictate what's 'anarchic' and what's not, or whether an editor has violated the Terms of use or not! Most reasonable people would agree that holding an election to decide the destiny of a nation or people falls within the human right of true democracy. Spain, on the other hand jails those people. What is seen as democracatic right on the one hand is seen as anarchy by Spain. If governments can not agree, how can the 'universal' 'we'? The easy option is to centralise the power of WMF; the best option is to nurture, educate and respect the rich diversity of all our individual, unique projects. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 06:57, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
I think you're confusing a personal proposal with the official one. Pine's proposal was their personal non-binding proposal. It mentioned 7 users (not 7 stewards) whose homewikis could be any and that would be elected by community vote. However and as announced in Universal Code of Conduct/Drafting committee the Foundation has decided that the text of the Code will be instead based on the Contributor Covenant. The drafting committee is comprised of 6 volunteers and 3 staff members of different backgrounds. We'll see what text they come with, and we'll see if there'll be any Committee charged with enforcing it or not and how that liaises with local project autonomy and dispute resolution. I'd say to wait for the final draft and comment on it. I am pesimistic but I've always been the pesimistic type. What I am not sure about is how bringing politics or nationalism is relevant to this discussion. In fact many disfunctional projects or "projects in crisis" are or were so because of politics, nationalism or religion, and recent examples can be seen here or here out of many others, and I suspect the Code would, rightly, need to address these conducts as problematic. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 14:39, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
This objection is understandable and a goal of an organic decentralized means of interpreting or legislating the UCOC is one worth pursuing. Minority points of view should not be accidentally suppressed by project communities through the unthinking enforcement of the UCOC, even when there may be substantial complaints about "bad behaviour", or even allegations of harassment from those with minority or "anarchic" views.
However, getting the balance right seems impossibly difficult if we do want the UCOC to be sufficiently well and robustly enforced to stop the effective reverse happening (as we have seen in past abuse cases that resulted in de-sysops on small-ish projects) where minority groups such as contributors wanting to create or improve LGBT+ topic areas get abused or even blocked from contributing, on made-up charges because the topics are unwelcome by the dominant community voices on those projects.
The diafol will be in the details, and I seriously doubt this can be right first time. -- (talk) 12:51, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
I do see why small and minority language communities might feel threatened by such a proposal. In other areas of the Wiki-verse there have been issues around the one size fits all approach to notability, language and terminology which does often seem to work against smaller language, social or ethnic groups. However this is about everyone agreeing to a clear code of conduct - about standing by a set of shared values. It is about behavior and not policy, and certainly not politics. In some ways smaller communities need this more than larger ones. A couple of prominent and opinionated admin on a very small project could easily unfairly target a user, or treat them unfairly without any clear mechanism for flagging and resolving the dispute. IF this code of conduct is written and implemented properly then it can and should act as a safety net for those who feel marginalized and unfairly treated in communities of all sizes. Jason.nlw (talk) 09:40, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
Mae'n ddrwg geni Jason.nlw ond ail bobiad o'r ddadl bod Cymru yn rhy fach, rhy, dlawd, rhy dwp i wneud penderfyniadau heb oruchwyliaeth yr ymerodraeth yw'r uchod. Os nad oes gennym ffydd bod Wicipedia yn gallu bod yn annibynnol a theg heb angen goruchwyliaeth allanol iddi, gwaeth inni rhoi'r gorau i'r prosiect. AlwynapHuw (talk) 03:20, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
The opposite could also happen, Jason, whereby the (hypothetical) admin is using recognised, unique and acceptable local guidelines and good practice. However, the new prominent and opinionated incomer only knows global wiki guidelines and thinks he can do what he likes, without understanding or respecting local practices. As he has the right connections he targets and flags up the hard-working Admin to the the global UCC committee, who can only see things through global rose-tinted eyes, and bans the Admin. The question here is really who is the best judge of an editor or admin within a local language wiki? This isn't a political question, it shouldn't be a political issue, but in the hands of bullies, can become a tool to push your own pov. My answer is to empower the local community to sort it out rather than imposed an outside one-size-fits-all, "solution", which usually does more harm than good. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 05:35, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
If anything this just reinforces my point. The risk in smaller communities, as i see it, is that prominent or influential editors, admin or not, could potentially make life very difficult for other editors leaving them feeling isolated and defenseless. And with no mechanism for monitoring or investigating such behavior outside of that very small community, it is very difficult to ensure fairness, transparency and equality for all. Having one agreed code of conduct simply reinforces what behavior is acceptable and what is not and gives all editors the confidence to call out poor conduct. A code of conduct should avoid the need for anyone to be judged on anything other than the way the conduct themselves in a public forum. The sad fact is, we all see things through our rose tinted spectacles from times to time, which is exactly why we need a standard code of conduct which applies equally to all. Of course this would still be open to interpretation and i'm sure implementation wouldn't be without its challenges however on balance i think it would be the right thing to do. Remember this is only about conduct and nothing to do with editorial guidelines, which should rightly be decided by individual Wiki communities.Jason.nlw (talk) 15:21, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Nothing wrong with having a UCoC as long as it's not interpreted and implemented by a foreign, global group of quasi judges and prosecutors. This to me is the not right thing to do. I have complete faith in minorities, so let's agree to differ. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 04:29, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

Even worse would be a UCoC interpreted and enforced by a California based group of quasi judges and prosecutors, though there are also much worse options. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:28, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Alwyn on the above grounds, and oppose strongly any unifying strategies such as this. Cell Danwydd (talk) 18:36, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

The problem of the "untouchable" 'jester'

It is to be hoped that the Universal Code of Conduct also somehow provides the possibility to tackle the problem of the "untouchable" 'jester' – editors who know how not to cross the guidelines, yet are annoying to many up to the point of being a serial harasser, but who are nonetheless praised for their humor by many others (an example here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents#EEng_at_ANI). Greeting, Eissink (talk) 10:33, 23 August 2020 (UTC).

+1 This is frequently used on our projects to gaslight targets as self-victimizers who have no sense of humour. It's never funny to take the piss out of anyone's identity, or go out of your way to cause offence, for being genderqueer, homosexual, Jewish or Black, even if you claim the same thing. Let's not leave "jokers" an easy way to harass people they don't like. -- (talk) 12:04, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
On the other hand, there are some editors (including the OP) who do cross the guidelines [2] and then come over to Meta to forum-shop when they don't get their way. The term 'gaslighting' can be more accurately applied to this latter example. Lepricavark (talk) 23:23, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
-1 I don't understand the OP's beef with EEng, and this isn't the place to discuss it, but I believe it is massively inappropriate for an editor to describe another editor as being "annoying... ...to the point of being a serial harasser", on this or any other project, without some very clearcut evidence to back it up. To me, the above statement looks more like harassment than anything I saw reported at the linked ANI thread. I have a great deal of regard for as an editor, and have been the recipient of their assistance in the past for which I remain grateful, but I am concerned about the way they have framed their comment - it seems like an accusation that EEng intends to harass people based on their identity, which is a very long way from the truth, as I understand it to be. GirthSummit (blether) 00:45, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
That's a stretch. I have not read whatever apparent cage fight has been happening at ANI. I have not accused anyone of anything. My response was to the generic words opening this thread, not the "example" link. Let's stick to evidence of actual words used. -- (talk) 12:42, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
with respect, and I mean that, if you write '+1' after a comment that singles out an individual person for criticism, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to infer that you are agreeing with that criticism. If you haven't read the thread, and have no view on the specifics, may I suggest that you might try to be more precise in your comments, and take care to say that you agree with the general point without saying anything about the individual case? I too read your comment as saying that EEng was guilty of disparaging people based on their identity. GirthSummit (blether) 21:31, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
+1 I agree with the general notion of this concern. No one on the wikimedia projects should feel untouchable. No matter how many people find them humorous. Wikipedia's universal code of conduct needs to provide a more conducive editing environment. Also it helps to show to the world that Wikipedia is serious about correcting some clearly documented systemic problems. Fortunately, or unfortunately, everything we do is recorded and timestamped for all the world to see. --Guest2625 (talk) 03:09, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
We can all agree in general terms that no one should feel untouchable; the OP has made this about a specific person though, who has feelings of their own, and who, I am certain, does not feel untouchable. Wikipedia's universal code of conduct should not be used as a stick to beat someone with; indeed, it should be written in such as way as to prevent people from using it in such a manner. GirthSummit (blether) 08:30, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Fae, all due respect, that's some pretty serious stuff you're implying. Valereee (talk) 11:07, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
You may be inferring, rather than me implying. The words I used are correct and realistic, nor are they about any specific person. As I have zero idea about the OP's recent activities, I have nothing to say about them, if that's the inference.
"Jokes" and "jokers" should never be a rationale for a free pass for abuse, or even making our fellow contributors feel unwelcome on our projects. As an en.wp admin, it's likely that you are aware of these tactics being used which turn our projects into hostile environments for volunteers and new contributors who may otherwise have fresh voices to add to our evolved accidental gestalt of values or norms. -- (talk) 12:35, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
My mistake, then. You were responding to a post referencing a particular person, and I interpreted it as continuing that thread. I agree that we need to make contributors, both established and new, feel welcome. Valereee (talk) 17:21, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

Template:Od This thread looks toxic. If anyone wants to discuss the valid generic issue and could positively address how the pending UCoC may or may not be able to help, a carefully worded fresh statement is necessary, preferably by a new OP without the likelihood of rabbit-hole tangents getting thrown in. -- (talk) 13:06, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

  • OP here. I agree. I added the example, 1. because for me it was the occasion that triggered my awareness of a more general problem (and I do think it is a problem), and 2. because it does provide exactly the eternal stalemate dialogue between those who acknowledge the problem (not only me in this case, but some four others too) and those who persistently advocate "it's just good ol' UserXxx, you guys don't understand a joke", both sides including sysops. (And it is clear that there will always be individuals or groups who find this or that example is an exception.) I am aware that I have acted bold in the example discussion, but I did not have the intention to continue that discussion here, nor to particularly target the user involved. When 'locked up' in an existing set of norms or just in bad habit, every attempt to try to break out – or rather overcome – such status quo will meet opposition and incomprehension, but I saw no other way of addressing what I perceive as a problem, as a form of injustice for those affected, than to lift the problem to the larger context of the broader project's UCoC, even though I believe it can be tackled on the individual projects (otherwise the request here would be in vain). My far from fluent English makes me not the person to further expand the discussion of this issue. Thanks everyone for your replies. Eissink (talk) 13:56, 24 August 2020 (UTC).
  • There are often problems when a person labels someone else as something they do not personally identify as, and which is not clearly defined, without adequate evidence. This may not be recognised as offensive by the labeler, but it often is. Unfortunately humour often involves this sort of thing, tongue in cheek or not, and humour often does not translate well or reliably between cultures, even when they use the same language. If we are stuck with a choice between avoiding humour or avoiding giving offense, which will we choose, and why? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:17, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
  • It amazes me that the OP makes (with impunity) clear personal attacks about a well-liked and prolifically constructive user who, at his worst, is annoying. Perhaps if OP had made such attacks against a less annoying user, they'd have been blocked by now. There is always great hue and cry against the uneven handling of incivility and personal attacks. So, ehre we are. OP's campaign against EEng transcends egregious incivility and rises to the level of harassment. A less calm user, possessed of a generosity of spirit, without an ounce of guile, would be up at harms EEng has dealt with OP's campaign of harassment far better than I would have were I in EEng's shoes.Deepfriedokra (talk) 17:05, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
    With all due respect to , that is not what EEng does, has done, will do.Deepfriedokra (talk) 17:09, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I hope the UCoC will address things like users calling other users a "serial harasser" without evidence, as well as users who indicate agreement with such libelous accusations. Levivich (talk) 21:52, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
  • What are we to do about these terrible people who know how not to cross the line? The terrible, clever jesters with darkness in their hearts and lightness on their tongues? Those who audaciously demonstrate “a better understanding of what the community tolerates and accepts”? We can label them as harrassers, toxic unblockables, or members of the cabal, or whatever is the bogeyman du jour, and hope for an uncritical pile-on. But that's not enough, if they’re funny and have friends. Maybe once we have the great saving UCoC we can denounce them for Wrongthink and Doublespeak, and the authorities will punish them for us, in spite of what the community thinks is “socially acceptable”. Oh happy day! when the purge may begin. Pinging Barkeep49, EEng, Eissink, , Lepricavark, Girth_Summit, Guest2625, Valereee, Pbsouthwood, Deepfriedokra, Levivich. —Pelagic (talk) 14:09, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
The words I used are correct and realistic, nor are they about any specific person. As I have zero idea about the OP's recent activities, I have nothing to say about them, if that's the inference. "Jokes" and "jokers" should never be a rationale for a free pass for abuse, or even making our fellow contributors feel unwelcome on our projects.
Don't ping me until you can be bothered to read the words already written rather than taking cheap shots and making cheap sarcastic jokes. Thanks in advance. -- (talk) 14:38, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
a) I did read what you wrote, and I did “discuss the valid generic issue”.
b) I agree with you that jokes and jokers should not be a free pass for abuse. But the threshold of what is or isn’t abusive is not always clear: in any particular case people will differ about "ok, s/he went too far that time". This discussion is specifically about “editors who know how not to cross the guidelines, yet are annoying to many”.
c) Is this about me writing “uncritical pile-on”? You did not pile-on. I wasn’t intending that as a cheap shot at you, and I apologise. If I'm misreading the situation, then please be more specific about how I caused you offence.
d) Labels such as "serial harasser" and descriptions "like Soandso tends to double down when challenged" do stick, and do feature as part of the pile-ons at AN/I, Arbcom, etc. The people piling on may be characterizing in good faith how they perceive their own grievances, but then others read those descriptions without digging into the evidence to assess for themselves. I wasn't saying that a pile-on is happening here, but that it does happen when someone gets dragged to the drama boards, and probably will happen when there is a UCoC enforcement body.
e) I'm fine with not pinging you. Next time I mention you without pinging, and someone calls me out on it, can I point back to this post? Pelagic (talk) 21:43, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
  • @Pelagic Or we can just try to acknowledge that W. is not a personal blog and not a comedy contest and not a contest in any other form. Of course the young ones always will try and boast and never loose their energy and be savvy and be heroic and be the best editor to ever have done W. the honour to participate, but in boring discussions on boring articles they can be just a nuisance when continuously trying to punch down serious contributors. I'm sorry you have apparently not been able to grasp even what is said in this very short discussion section, and I'm even more sorry that you don't seem to have any idea what an UCoC is. By the way, I love "lightness on tongues" (if it weren't a poorly worded platitude), but it is rare, very rare, and unfortunately often confused with secondhand 'jokes'. Eissink (talk) 14:54, 5 September 2020 (UTC).
    @Eissink: We may have to "agree to disagree" (another platitude?) about the value and appropriateness of humour and "friendly banter [don't block]" in our boring discussions.
    You yourself started this discussion with “It is to be hoped that the Universal Code of Conduct also somehow provides the possibility to tackle the problem of ... editors who know how not to cross the guidelines”. I responded with “What are we to do about these terrible people who know how not to cross the line?” I don’t see how this demonstrates an inability to grasp the conversation, or having no idea what a UCoC is, at least on my part.
    English Wikipedia (among many other projects) already has long-standing policies and guidelines about acceptable behaviour. I think the UCoC itself won't cause an immediate change in what those communities consider problematic. Your ability to tackle untouchable jesters through mechanisms on w:en probably won’t change. Though there is a good chance of conflict and much argumentation if the UCoC definitions of harassment and abuse, drafted by a select handful of people, diverge from the current ones that have evolved over time through an imperfect "consensus" process.
    What will change is that the Foundation, or some body created by them, will start enforcing the UCoC. Any complaints process is open to potential abuse. Will the new measures have robust protections against ill-founded complaints? We'll see. But there is a very real danger that the new enforcers will be misused by individuals or organised groups to take down those they dislike or who don't conform to their ideology.
    Does that explanation conform to your “idea what an UCoC is”? Pelagic (talk) 20:41, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. Eissink (talk) 20:54, 9 September 2020 (UTC).
Maybe if some of us started taking other people more seriously and ourselves less seriously we would have less of a problem. I think Kruger and Dunning might feel a twinge of deja vu reading through this discussion, but don't we all? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:01, 5 September 2020 (UTC)


I support existence of this. I don't think it is a risk for communities. It would help where there are problems with lack of local guidelines or problems that communities can't deal with. On wikis, where are proper processes it may just be a confirmation. --Wargo (talk) 20:03, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

How should Scunthorpe effects be addressed?

How does the drafting committee intend to review their proposal for Scunthorpe issues? James Salsman (talk) 23:13, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

Sending money to Snøhetta and calling it Mission Accomplished. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 01:51, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
@James Salsman: Do you think the draft (or its translations) will have pattern matches for rude words? Or do I misunderstand the gist of question?
Aside: is UCoC pronounced like “you-cock” by Anglophones? Will I put myself in the crosshairs if I mention le coq? Pelagic (talk) 09:06, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Blatantly, you are trolling this page and harassing other contributors who actually want to have a discussion. Go away please. -- (talk) 09:15, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Irreverent and flippant, sure. Harassing, hardly. Being told to "go away" on a CoC page, priceless. Pelagic (talk) 05:56, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
You are trolling. Locker-room penis jokes show this is a macho men only space, and anyone that finds it unacceptably hostile to be derided with penis jokes is then attacked as creating the problem if they complain.
You are creating the problem here. Your behaviour is unacceptable. You are demonstrating the "untouchable jester" problem which has eroded our communities across projects, ensuring that anyone that does not fall in with the locker-room white man culture is subject to a drip, drip of abuse until they are driven off. -- (talk) 07:42, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
It's not a joke, I was thinking of text-to-speech. Did you not read what I wrote below? Pelagic (talk) 06:30, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
I asked something in this direction as well here, the project Detox was something in this completely useless direction. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:44, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
@Pelagic: I've heard it pronounced as spelled out ("you see oh see"). --Yair rand (talk) 19:28, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
I haven't tried running our UCoC pages through any text-to-speech programs, Yair rand, but as far as I know they do tend to spell out most acronyms regardless of whether they could be phonetically pronounced. I guess some like NATO would have specific pronunciation entries (so that you get "nay-tow" rather than "en-ay-tee-oh")? JS is somewhat of an expert in this area, so it did cross my mind whether that was the Scunthorpe issue he was referring to, or something else. Pelagic (talk) 05:56, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

I was thinking more along the lines of not getting in trouble for editing articles about prohibited things. It doesn't have to be sexuality. Suppose some insane king published a book entitled, "Citing this book is Treason," and because of the king's insanity, passed actual laws to make citing the book punishable by the king's elite overseas death squads. Would citing the source be a legal threat? That's a contrived example, but we know that small wording choices in laws can have widespread social impacts. James Salsman (talk) 21:35, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure I completely follow your example, James, but concerns about overly broad or ambiguous definitions in the draft have been raised by several people. I hope the review process will result in good wording, but it can never be perfect. My own worry is more about people and groups who will use "the letter of the law" to hound their perceived opponents off the projects, or to stifle discussion, rather than articles about prohibited things. Pelagic (talk) 06:30, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

A small FAQ about UCoC

Hello, all. :) I’m the Vice President of Community Resilience & Sustainability. Trust & Safety report up to me. The Trust & Safety policy team have let me know that there are a few "meta" type questions about the UCoC and the Foundation’s approach to it. In the spirit of the conversation begun and documented here, I’m going to respond to some of these, anonymized and aggregated. I also note that I committed back then to doing more IRC office hours and haven’t gotten around to it yet. I need to get one of those on the books as soon as possible and will hope to have more information about that in a few weeks. I regret that my work doesn’t give me time to follow conversations on Meta, but if you have more questions you can email them to ca@wikimedia.org, with [CRS] in the subject line, and I will either aggregate and post them here or bring them to said office hour, when they’ll be posted as part of that transcript! You can also attend that office hour and ask me yourself. (I do still have the following conditions: (1) I can’t and won’t discuss specific Trust & Safety cases. Instead, I can discuss Trust & Safety protocols and practices and approaches as well as some of the mistakes we’ve made, some of the things I’m proud of, and some of the things we’re hoping to do. (2) I will not respond to comments or questions that are disrespectful to me, to my colleagues, or to anyone in our communities. I can talk civilly about our work even if you disagree with me or I disagree with you. I won’t compromise on this.) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 20:11, 24 September 2020 (UTC)


1. How can the team that conducts behavior investigations guide policy? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

Answer: While I could debate the philosophy behind this question (which to me is somewhat akin to saying that administrators shouldn’t be part of creating administrative policies), it’s really not necessary because the team leading this work isn’t the team that does behavior investigations. The Trust & Safety policy team is a separate unit, under separate management. (They all report up through the Global Lead to me.) Policy focuses on supporting policy and supporting the anti-harassment tools team. They do help provide on the ground trust & safety support at events sometimes, but only because the Operations team is too small to attend every event. They are not involved in investigations or follow ups, and they are not involved in Office Actions that impact users.

2. Has the Board decided that there WILL be a UCoC? If so, why? What is the business case? And why isn’t this more obvious in the UCoC discussion pages?

Answer: Yes.
Beginning in 2016, the broader Wikimedia movement began grappling with an update to its strategic direction. There was substantial research conducted into the challenges faced by communities and into potential solutions, involving volunteers, staff, and outside experts. As best as I recall, preliminary recommendations began appearing in 2018, very vaguely formed, and their final recommendations that include a UCoC are published here. Some of the material that informed their thinking can be found here. There’s a wealth of information within that Meta space.
Based on the movement strategy recommendations it adopted last February, the Board has decided that there will be a UCoC. You can see their most recent statement on the matter here.
I’ll ask the Policy team to review how they can make that link and directive more prominent so that community members from across the world reviewing these conversations understand where this is coming from and why. :)

3. Did the WMF and/or Board decide there would be (or almost certainly would be) a UCOC before the strategic recommendation consultations began?

Answer: No. The movement strategy conversations began in 2016. I was chief of Community Engagement at that time, involved in both executive meetings and Board meetings. Before the recommendations began to coalesce to include a UCoC, I am aware of no conversations at all around such a document. It was not even mentioned in the 2016 board directive, by which our 2017 work was defined. We were focused at that point on supporting the Technical Spaces Code of Conduct and other anti-harassment practices that we detailed here, in January 2017.
The rest of this answer is going to get long. :)
Conversations about a UCoC and how we could support began when a review of the draft recommendations made it clear that this was going to be among them. The first such conversations I personally recall took place in early 2019 around the time the movement strategy working group published its scoping document that mentioned “universal basic rules for behavior”, but my memory is not perfect. :) At that point, we were looking towards future planning of the Foundation’s Thriving Movement Medium Term Plan, and we were still speaking in terms of “codes” (plural).
Given our awareness of the draft recommendations, though, we committed to do preliminary work to understand what might be important factors to consider in such a document, and we committed to providing a draft for the Board to review and approve at the end of last fiscal year, so by July 1 2020. This was based on our expectations that the movement strategy was going to be reviewed by the Board and ratified earlier than it was, and also with the understanding that if the UCoC was not approved by the Board, the research we were doing would feed into community input for individual project consideration. (We were given early access to Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 2/Community Health, since the Medium Term Plan adopted in 2019 was a five year plan, but we were also told very firmly by executive staff and the Board that we would need to modify that plan in accordance with the outcomes of Movement Strategy. That, in fact, remains our guidance, as a new phase of Movement Strategy is beginning.)
The UCoC research launched on schedule, but the plan to work towards a draft was not launched until the Board directive, which was entirely based on the Movement Strategy. In fact, even the approach we are taking to UCoC is not what we thought it would be at this time last year. Until the Board had fully considered the recommendation, for instance, we had not even thought of the second phase. It was Trust & Safety’s expectation that it would solely be supporting the development of a basic code of expectations.

4. What if the communities don’t like the UCoC that is proposed?

Answer: The Board will be reviewing the draft along with the response of communities to it, so they should be able to review the pain points with an understanding of whether or not the draft will work. As I said in my last office hour, I hope the Board will not ratify it if it’s not a good code. Also, the code has to be iterative to be of any real use. If it proves ineffective, it will need to be updated or replaced. Even the Terms of Use are subject to change. :)

5. Should the comment period have waited for the perfection of translations and for the completion of translations in more languages?

Answer: We have never conducted a policy review where we have had the liberty of doing this. I myself facilitated the last major Terms of Use update, and while we paid for translation into many languages, we have never had the budget to translate into all 300+ languages in which projects are published. We have also never found a method of translation that did not invite dispute about the quality of translation - not with professional translators, and not with volunteer translators. Translation is an art - two reasonable people can disagree on the ideal translation for a given term. Refining and improving translations of the final draft will be a priority in the coming months. Importantly, like the Terms of Use, a Universal Code of Conduct is not written in stone, and future iterations are quite likely.

6. Was this universal code targeted at any specific project? Is there one project that needs it most?

Answer: No. As I understand it, the recommendation of the Movement Strategy working group was based on a sense of inconsistency across multiple projects. With this inconsistency, some projects have well developed policies and others have none. Also, behavior that is acceptable on one project is not acceptable on others, which causes confusion to users moving between spaces. It also causes confusion to newcomers, who aren’t sure what behaviors are permitted and what aren’t, both in how they treat others and how others treat them. Any rhetoric claiming that the UCoC is meant to target any given community is at best misguided.

Subsidiarity principle

Hi! I've posted some things on the draft talk page there which contain some comments on the draft (therefore i posted there) but also some questions regarding the implementation of the UCoC, which is why i posted the link on this page. All the best, --Ghilt (talk) 21:36, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for the link. :) I probably would have missed it, since I'm not taking part in the UCoC consultations, but I'll see what I can clarify. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 22:50, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

Scientific racism

File:Race clusters of Eastern Eurasia.jpg
Example of user created promotion of scientific racism. This diagram is derived from Figure 2 of "Craniometrics Reveal “Two Layers” of Prehistoric Human Dispersal in Eastern Eurasia", Template:DOI, 2019. "Mongoloid" and "Australoid" have been added, falsely making it appear that the research promotes scientific racism.
Systemic promotion of
scientific racism

Modern scientific racism is the promotion of genetic theories1 that 'Negroids', 'Australoids', 'Aryans', 'Caucasiods' are distinct races of humans and that these can be confirmed using genetic markers. This is frequently muddied with race theories of language and conflation with terms used for cultures and national traditions. Despite the WMF CEO stating "I support the community revising its policies to eliminate racist, misogynist, transphobic, and other forms of discriminatory content" after I put some examples of current misuse of our projects to promote race theories back in June 2020, there has been no action to do anything about it. Consequences of waiting indefinitely is that Google, Alexa and other search engines use our multi-language Wikipedias as the "truth" when anyone asks what the "races of humans" are. When they get Coon's 1930s White Race theory as the reply, this is taken as fact, and in that moment the Wikimedia Foundation's funds and reputation for countering fake news, becomes an engine that promotes racist bias.

In addition to kind words of general support against non-educational racist content, will the UCoC and the WMF's commitment to implementing it, make any measurable difference and result in the deletion of fake user created fantasy maps promoting scientific racism, seeing the use of bad sources promoting scientific racism being removed from articles or the promotion of "Negroid race" and similar being visibly marked as historic concepts in all languages? Or will it be business as usual, where zero consequence sock farms are free to continue lobbying and introducing scientific racism2 so our projects remain their forum for posting and justifying extremist race theories and alt-right race politics?


  1. Including user created pseudo-scientific maps, of which there are currently many on Wikimedia Commons.
  2. Example of some of the user created scientific racism hosted on Commons

Thanks! -- (talk) 10:53, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

It's been a month since I raised this question. The silence is profound.
The tacit answer, based on off-wiki discussions, is no. The UCoC will do nothing of itself, or as a result of its enforcement, to address the deliberate promotion of Scientific Racism across our projects.
I'm tired, looking at the disgusting misuse of our projects to promote bigoted race theories, and trying to take baby steps to correct examples and being knocked back and resisted most of the time, is incredibly depressing, compounded by the lack of any recognition that this is a systemic problem for Wikimedia. -- (talk) 07:46, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

WMF (and Wikimedia-affiliated) individuals vs non-WMF individuals in future processes

I see that Phase II (Enforcement and Application) will arrive in a couple or few weeks. What will make WMF- and Wikimedia-affiliated individuals recognize that their opinions would be different from opinions of existing and newly non-WMF individuals (and those unaffiliated with Wikimedia)? How would the future processes, including the Enforcement Phase, recognize such differences? Furthermore, should the Board of Trustees' decision to implement and enforce UCoC override local projects' decisions (like enwiki's and dewiki's) to ignore the UCoC? George Ho (talk) 03:46, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Almost forgot. Should WMF individuals' and Wikimedia individuals' opinions matter more than non-WMF ones? George Ho (talk) 03:55, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Nor will we distinguish based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement.

the critique remains. Of course we distinguish by accomplishments. That's what a meritocracy does. And Wikimedia is defined at least in part as meritocracy: Wikimedia power structure#Meritocracy. As all projects are open to anonymous and pseudonymous contributions and real life credentials do not count, quality of edits is the most important factor of standing. And standing is paramount in interactions. Otherwise elections for functions would not exist. I strongly object to this clause in whole and suggest to remove it. --h-stt !? 15:28, 14 October 2020 (UTC)

I fully subscribe to that. Of course we are an meritocracy, and that's just fine. Why sould we change that? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:28, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
I agree. The UCoC says (emphasis added by me): "In all Wikimedia projects, spaces and events, behaviour will be founded in respect, civility, collegiality, solidarity and good citizenship. This applies to all contributors and participants in their interaction with all contributors and participants, without distinction based on age, [...] sex or career field. Nor will we distinguish based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement." I guess the intention is that we should treat everyone with respect, and that's commendable. But: Of course I'll distinguish based on standing. For example, when I revert an IP edit, I often don't add a comment (they probably won't read it anyway), but when I revert an established editor, I almost always add a comment. And of course I distinguish based on standing when I communicate with others, e.g. I'm less polite towards editors who have been impolite or annoying themselves. The current wording of the UCoC is quite sloppy and/or based on a severe lack of experience and understanding of volunteer work on WP. -- Chrisahn (talk) 09:22, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Quoting Wikimedia power structure#Meritocracy is slightly taking it out of context. Wikipedia also has elements of a bureaucracy, but you wouldn't just link the section whenever referencing a pro-buro view. There is a limited domain of validity to each section of that page. And I suspect the UCOC's usage of "standing/skills/accomplishments" is referring to this part, from your own link:
If meritocracy is understood as a community where merits can be accumulated in a power status that afterwards is rendered untouchable whatever the quality of further contributions (or deletions), then Wikimedia is not a meritocracy: the quality of every separate contribution is, in this respect, considered in its own right, and for example, "votes for deletion" take little or no account of the persons that contributed to the questioned content, neither does any wikipedian's vote have more or less weight according to "merit" in such case.
I think the point is: no editor's views are inherently more valid than another's. And if that's indeed what it means, that's an important clause to have. Many in the community are inviting, but there exists a minority who are not, particularly to newer editors, or editors who move from one area to another. Such ideology is exclusionary and elitist, and it prevailing would mean this 'movement' has no future. I also don't think this statement is in conflict with the realities such as having to show merit and interest, over a period of time, to take up certain permissions. That could be viewed as an element of meritocracy, but it isn't in conflict with the statement at all, it's mostly a technical difference. I agree the current wording isn't great, which should be tidied up, but I think the point it is trying to make is valid. "The correct ideology" prevails by argument, not by identity. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 15:12, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
I, too, think that there is a problem with asserting that accomplishments and contributions do not matter. As I see it, there are times when those things ought to be taken into account, such as when considering what kind of sanctions should be applied to a user who has done something wrong, but has also done a lot of good - as opposed to someone who shows up just to do something contrary to community norms. I think that ProcrastinatingReader, just above me, has hit upon a key point: I suggest changing "Nor will we distinguish based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement." to "Nor will we value standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement more highly than cooperative and reasoned argument." --Tryptofish (talk) 18:00, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Past contribution history may not, in principle, matter in achieving consensus in individual discussions, where the weight of an argument is supposed to be more important than who said it, or in contributions to articles, where the weight of reliable sources and the quality of the prose should be more important than who wrote it. HOWEVER, we do "distinguish by accomplishments" when we hand out access rights, from bureaucrat, arbitrator, administrator down to page-mover, patroller, article creator, or confirmed. We also distinguish by accomplishments when we hand out barnstars or otherwise recognize contributors for their contributions. And we distinguish by (negative) accomplishments when we block vandals for vandalism or sockpuppets for sockpuppetry, or otherwise sanction long-term patterns of misbehavior. A code of conduct that outlaws that kind of distinction is a code of conduct with a problem. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:40, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm really concerned about including "skills" in this statement of nondiscrimination. Skills include the ability to communicate clearly in writing, the ability to recognize what constitutes a reliable source, the ability to analyze, the ability to work collaboratively. This seems to be saying competence is not required. Valereee (talk) 13:23, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
    I think it's just a poorly worded statement where (now) half a dozen different people have (quite reasonably) interpreted it in half a dozen different ways. I think most likely the message it's trying to send is the most sensible interpretation I try to expand on above, but it may well be the case they meant something else. Based on context, I think it's meant in a negative discriminatory way (eg, people aren't put down based on global standing, but instead on merit of argument; a 'correct' argument by a newcomer shouldn't be ignored solely because someone with standing disagrees). It's something where I think the underlying meaning is true, but the wording could do with some improvement. I certainly don't think it's trying to say that bad arguments or disruption are okay. Just that good arguments cannot be disregarded simply because the poster is an IP. It also seemingly denounces the idea of "unblockables". ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 13:43, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

JupyterCon/numFOCUS CoC case

I would like to note that there has been a CoC case at JupyterCon with the keynote speaker Jeremy Howard. The case was handled by NumFOCUS. It has created a stir in the community. I maybe worth that we follow the case and learn from it. Some background links are here:

  • JupyterCon's CoC [3]
  • "I violated a code of conduct" post by Jeremy Howard [4]
  • NumFOCUS tweet [5] (I expect a response from them)
  • Joel Grus' tweet [6]
  • Valerie Aurora's slides [7]

I am no expert on CoC and haven't read much about it. I note that Jeremy Howard states 'CoC experts recommend avoiding requirements of politeness or other forms of “proper” behavior, but should focus on a specific list of unacceptable behaviors. The JupyterCon CoC, however, is nearly entirely a list of “proper” behaviors (such as “Be welcoming”, “Be considerate”, and “Be friendly”) that are vaguely defined'. I see no citation for "CoC experts recommend avoiding requirements of politeness", but it may be worth examining further. I note that Aurora write 'Do not require politeness or other forms of "proper" behavior (e.g., don't ban interrupting)' on the slides, but that the Ada Initiative points to the Django Code of Conduct [8] as a good examples and that Django's CoC has "Be welcoming" — Finn Årup Nielsen (fnielsen) (talk) 20:35, 29 October 2020 (UTC)

Where is Phase 2?

The Phase 2 was supposed to happen between September and December of this year. We're reaching the end of the year, so what is happening to Phase 2? George Ho (talk) 06:09, 17 November 2020 (UTC)

Well hopefully the UCoC gets cancelled, since the only response that anyone seems to be interested in giving to serious concerns that "communities might be downtrodden or oppressed" by this forced Universal Code of Conduct is "B-b-but if this Code isn't forced upon every Wikimedia project, the reverse might happen!" So... what does that mean exactly? Is it the Wikimedia Foundation's contention that oppressing and/or treading down on communities is acceptable, because it will supposedly prevent certain communities from potentially oppressing and/or treading down on certain individual Wikimedians?
What kind of justification is that? Sounds suspiciously close to an argument of "two wrongs make a right" to me.
Incidentally, people are discussing this Universal Code of Conduct as if all Wikimedia projects have agreed upon it. They have not. Not even close. And that is precisely why there is criticism. Perhaps some folks have the mistaken notion that if some poobah (or poobahs) declare(s) something obligatory, then the thing in question is suddenly "agreed upon" and "has consensus". That is incorrect. Unless the communities a͟c͟t͟u͟a͟l͟l͟y͟ a͟g͟r͟e͟e͟ on acceptance of the Universal Code of Conduct, then all that it is is an arbitrary bunch of commands forced upon projects by the Wikimedia Foundation under threat of site bans, project closure, etc.
If Wikipedia (because that is what most of this is about, let us be honest here) is so far gone that it does not even care much about consensus any longer unless consensus sides with the desires of a group of ivory tower overseers, then it might be best that a totally unrelated community project that actually respects people (of numerous different views and beliefs [some strongly conflicting and at odds!], not just those of a contemporary orthodoxy) pops up and replaces it. I do not know how that would happen nowadays, given that Wikipedia is so large and influential. But if this Universal Code of Conduct is forcibly implemented Wikimedia-project-wide, and/or if the approach taken with the Universal Code of Conduct here is to be taken as a sign of how things are going to progress and how decisions are going to be made from here on in, I sincerely hope that Wikipedia loses its standing in the minds of the public, and a more worthy project replaces it. Unlikely, but it would certainly be poetic justice if it occurred.
If there is one thing that I have learnt, though, it is that me saying any of this does not matter in the slightest to the Wikimedia Foundation. That is why I have ignored the Wikimedia surveys that ask me for my opinion, and I will continue to ignore them in the future. It would be a pointless waste of time for me to fill them out. The Wikimedia Foundation does not care about me nor anyone else who disagrees with them or (some of) their decisions. It really is that simple. That is why I gave up on any attempt at serious contribution to Wikipedia years ago, and instead retreated to the Wikimedia projects that I was already contributing to that were less... stiff and uptight; projects that I actually enjoy contributing to and can contribute to comfortably without feeling like I have to walk on eggshells all of the time.
Well, I have said my piece. I know that it does not matter to you, and that my plea that you reconsider this kind of approach shall fall on deaf ears, but at least this dissent is out there publicly. That way, on the off chance that the Wikimedia projects somehow fall into the hands of those who actually respect the approaches and policies of individual Wikimedia projects, it will be there on the record that there was most certainly opposition to attempts at totalitarian-esque 'solutions' to problems that end up proving more problematic than the original problems were. Tharthan (talk) 02:40, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

UCoC as an initiative of a Movement priority

For those who have commented on the UCoC, please feel free to input at "Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Discuss/Provide for Safety and Inclusion". George Ho (talk) 06:58, 24 November 2020 (UTC)

UCoC main page updated

I have updated the Universal Code of Conduct page in preparation for Phase 2 of the project. Dates are in flux, as Phase 2 must be planned in concert with other movement discussions. I will update the page as soon as additional details are available. BChoo (WMF) (talk) 22:21, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

Wary about assumption of good faith and mutual respect

EnWiki's AGF (assume good faith) guideline has never been "policy", and it will never be. Making "Assume good faith" an example of UCoC's "Mutual respect" would be a very long struggle to enforce and a very long road to go. In other words, the difference between UCoC's version of AGF and enwiki's AGF is either still unclear or not explicitly explained.

However, submitted draft version of UCoC has made definition of AGF too broad, IMO. Also, the relationship between "Mutual respect" and AGF is neither clear nor well explained. Either the relationships between "Mutual respect" and AGF and between AGF and UCoC must be clarified or explained, or the AGF must be eliminated from the UCoC. If AGF is eliminated, then the "Mutual respect" rule would be meaningless to this date and, for better enforcement, must be changed/altered and clearer. Otherwise, "Mutual respect" would be too weak to enforce. (Realizing AGF may matter but not as much as "mutual respect" itself) George Ho (talk) 11:34, 22 December 2020 (UTC); mostly struck, 02:29, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

I'm confused. Why the emphasis on "not a policy"? It's a behavioural guideline, like many other things which are obviously problematic. I suspect the idea is that it's a corollary to the policy. Nevertheless, "assume good faith" is also a section in en:Wikipedia:Civility (which is a policy).
Is there anything within the "Mutual respect" section which you actually think is a bad principle? Or are you just concerned it'll be poorly enforced in a lawyerly manner, like how civility enforcement is sometimes done on enwiki? If the latter, I think this is an issue for the 'enforcement' stage of UCOC. In my opinion, most of the things in "mutual respect" are sound principles for a constructive collaborative environment. Bullet #3 may be slightly iffy w.r.t. cultural honourifics (for example), but like much of this UCOC (imo) the principles are good, the specific wording is eh. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 00:59, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Speaking of enwiki, I see too many enwiki people here. I know we probably have (one of) the most developed PAG rulebooks of any project, but I'm still a bit concerned the enwiki-centric views could lead to skewed opinions. Are the rest of the wider community participating somewhere else, or? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 01:01, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Ist das nicht das normale Vorgehen hier? Die monolingualen Anglozentriker bestimmen alles, und der Rest hat gefälligst Englisch zu lernen, und am Besten auch noch das ganze Regelkonvolut der enWP zu verinnerlichen, als ob die der Nabel der Welt wären. Imho sollten alle, die nur Erfahrungen in der enWP haben, und nur eine Sprache sprechen, von solche Diskussionen wegen mangelnder Erfahrung ausgeschlossen werden. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 01:43, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Why the emphasis on "not a policy"? I was basing on w:WP:PAG#Role. BTW, I either forgot or didn't know about Civility policy referencing AGF.

Is there anything within the "Mutual respect" section which you actually think is a bad principle? What about "Respect the way that contributors name and describe themselves" as well? It contrasts w:Wikipedia:Username policy, especially "Disruptive or offensive usernames" and "Promotional names" sections. Furthermore, examples don't ease my concerns; rather I found respecting usernames less practical than it sounds.

Also, "Practice empathy" would conflict with or prevent accurate criticisms, especially reasonable, well-sounded, and well-constructed ones, toward cultures and different backgrounds, including ones that hold controversial values and implement values in weirder or controversial ways. Furthermore, as I fear, those from one culture may try empathy with those from another culture that would not do empathy. How one culture views other cultures wouldn't be prevented by practicing empathy, would it be? George Ho (talk) 02:02, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

Ein weiteres Zeichen der Verachtung für andere Sprachen ist die Benutzung von :w: um auf :en: zu zeigen, auch wenn ich als Sprache in meinem Konto DE ausgewählt habe. Die enWP ist nicht der Nabel des Wikiversums, nicht mal im Ansatz, sie ist nur ein Projekt unter vielen und verdient keinerlei Sonderstellung. Die Bentzung von :w: als Adresse für ein willkürliches Projekt ist ein Schlag in die Fresse aller anderen Sprachen, es zeugt von der völligen Gedankenlosigkeit und dem Egomanismus der monolingiualen Anglozentriker.
A further sign of the disdain for other languages is the use of :w: to link to :en:, even if I've declared DE as my language in my profile. The enWP is not the navel of the Wikiverse, not even remotely, it's just one project among a lot others that doesn't deserve any specieal treatment. The use of :w: for a random project is a slap in the face for every other language, it's a clear sign of the thoughtlesness and egomania of the monolingual anglocentics.
Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:53, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Since you're concerned about anglocentrism (as well as the other party), what about your thoughts on German colonial empire (of the past) and past and present prevalence of German language outside Europe? The Germans colonized parts of Africa and part(s) of present-day Papua New Guinea during colonial days. According to the article, the German language was given to those cultures, yet the language hasn't been practiced much outside German-prevalent (is that the right term?) areas to this date. Well, German language in Namibia lost its "official language" status, but it's still prevalent there... somewhat? (More at w:German language#Geographical distribution) George Ho (talk) 19:32, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Schon mal was von Whataboutismus gehört? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 22:35, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Ich denke, es ging um einen vermeintlichen Mangel an Respekt für andere Sprachen als Englisch, der in der Software implizit vorhanden ist. Um das anzusprechen, könnten wir einen sogenannten "MediaWiki internationalization task" bei https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/maniphest/task/edit/form/1/?projects=MediaWiki-Internationalization einreichen (auf Englisch, natürlich). Vexations (talk) 20:55, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Now I'm becoming worried that (any kind of) criticism of practicality of existing languages would conflict with the proposed "Mutual respect". Are there other languages that are still practical, global, prevalent, and influential besides English? What about Spanish nowadays? George Ho (talk) 21:29, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
French, Arabic, Portuguese, Swahili and Russian come to mind. I'm not sure what you're trying to say though. Criticism is not lack of respect, but a systemic preference for English, built into the software/platform, is disrespectful to people who don't speak English. Vexations (talk) 22:22, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
I apologize for being less clear. I just replied in a frenzy because you were communicating in German, which I don't understand without using a translator tool. Actually, I don't know how practical, global, and influential German language is nowadays within and outside Europe. AFAICS, communication in German language wouldn't most likely attract much attention from non-German people, would it? George Ho (talk) 23:03, 23 December 2020 (UTC); amended, 23:08, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
Multilingualität ist das Schlüsselwort. Bevor so etwas wichtiges wie ein UCoC nicht in mindestens einem Dutzend Sprachen vorliegt, braucht die Diskussion darüber gar nicht erst zu starten. Englisch ist nur eine Sprache von vielen, und nicht die Lingua Franca, die sich die monolingualen Anglozentriker gerne wünschen würdfen. What do they know of England, who only England know.
Leider ist schon durch die Ansiedelung der WMF im völlig überteuerten und anglophonen Silicon-Valley-Umfeld eine unschöne Weichenstellung erfolgt, warum zieht die nicht um in eine günstigere und anderssprachige Gegend? Am besten gleich in ein multilinguales Land. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 22:35, 23 December 2020 (UTC)
No clue what German colonial history has to do with things. But if a UCOC is being made that affects so many projects, all of which will likely have stronger non-local UCOC enforcement mechanisms than enwiki will, I think it's only fair they should have as great an input in what they think about this. atm, at least here, it's mostly our voices filling up the discussion. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 23:18, 23 December 2020 (UTC)

If I want to say something negative about an existing language, how do I also not want to violate the proposed "mutual respect" rule? George Ho (talk) 03:53, 28 December 2020 (UTC)

I can't imagine why you would want to do that, but it seems to me that you can't be both denigrating and respectful at the same time. Vexations (talk) 15:26, 28 December 2020 (UTC)
Anyone would hopefully agree that running any process in multiple languages is difficult even with the best intentions. The EU and UN handle it with an armada of translators. And even that only applies to formal events and documents, while most informal discussions happen in some work language, usually English. With that in mind, and AGF in sight, I don't believe it's fair to accuse the English-speaking community, and Foundation staff especially, of harbouring any hostility towards other languages. Where comments are made in languages other than English, or where they contain errors because the author isn't a native speaker, they seem to be given just as much weight as other comments, and I cannot remember any rude comments or really any comments mentioning the language barrier in such cases (It's slightly unfortunate that George's comment, above, can be misread as flirting with Godwin's law).
English has been a compulsory subject in German schools for decades, and the vast majority of people should be able to participate in a discussion such as this. Some people will be excluded, yes. But there is no reason to consider that exclusion different than others, such as a lack of technology. It might be interesting to see language statistics for people who do not speak English, as either first or second language. Maybe the goal of inclusion would be efficiently served by running such processes in some other language as well. I doubt that German would be a leading candidate, however.
Finally, I can't help but notice that while global Wikipedia leadership has managed to expand the franchise to hundreds of languages, right-to-left scripts, and untold numbers of other cultural quirks that stood in the way of becoming truly global, dewiki isn't even willing stop mislabeling actresses as actors (and so on–all such labels are gendered in German) even though they are regularly being called out for it, and the 90/10 gender disparity that is both cause for and effect of it, every time the reputable media they otherwise cites as sources mentions them. --Matthias Winkelmann (talk) 23:20, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
2,1 percent of Germans speak english perfectly, see also English Proficiency Index 2020 (deutsch); English Proficiency Index (english). Cheers --Christoph Jackel (WMDE) 12:22, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
I wonder how many native English speakers speak English "perfectly".Vexations (talk) 14:09, 19 January 2021 (UTC)


It seems to me that doxing clause basically forbids public paid editing investigations of any kind. It was like that on English Wikipedia for significant amount of time, but not all projects agree with such baseline. Also, per foundation:Privacy policy it is allowed for Wikimedia staff or "particular users with certain administrative rights" to "share your Personal Information if it is reasonably believed to be necessary to enforce or investigate potential violations of our Terms of Use, this Privacy Policy, or any Wikimedia Foundation or user community-based policies". Undisclosed paid editing is a violation of Wikimedia terms of use, so Privacy policy allows forced disclosure in such cases while current UCoC draft does not. I think it's a serious flaw and should be amended in the UCoC. Another unclear point here is when an editor is a subject of an article and there is a reliable source confirming that this person is a specific Wikipedia editor, but editor himself hasn't consent to publishing this information in-wiki. Does the UCoC forbid to use this source in an article about this person? Adamant.pwn (talk) 12:26, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Another flaw in the total prohibition of "doxing" is where EditorA causes EditorB so much harm that EditorB sees fit to sue EditorA in a court of law where he can obtain financial compensation for the harm done. (Wikimedia can permanently block EditorA, but is almost powerless to prevent EditorA spawning sockpuppets and certainly cannot award EditorB damages. In order to go to court, it is necessary for EditorB to give the court EditorA's name and address which, according to Wikimedia's rules, is prohibited (See for example the fictitious example given in en:Wikipedia:Don't overlook legal threats). Martinvl (talk) 22:17, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
In my understanding the prohibition of "Disclosure of personal data" AKA "Doxing" primarily prohibits edits and creation of new pages with contents like "Ashley Example, 11 years old, phone 001 987 1234567, attends class 4e at Closed School in Nowherebourg TX, and is very gay." I have deleted or hidden a large amount of such edits at SV wiktionary, so this is a real problem. Taylor 49 (talk) 17:34, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
@Taylor 49: That may well be the case, but the letter of CoC goes a lot further. I am pointing out a possible unintended consequence of such a general prohibition without a caveat regarding the process of law, bearing in mind that the Wikimedia Foundation is subject to the Law of the United States and the Law of the State of California. Furthermore, there are many moves in both the UK and the EU to clamp down on the social media giants (and under their definition, Wikipedia is regarded as "social media") and depending on what they come up with, Jimbo, who lives in London, could potentially find himself in the firing line. Martinvl (talk) 22:49, 17 January 2021 (UTC)
Basically users are being held responsible for their actions on Wikimedia Projects, not the WMF (ToU). @Martinvl: The WMF UCoC does not have a higher status than local law, so generally speaking a person has to tell private details when that is necessary for the courtcase and permitted by local laws. WMF doesn't accept responsibility for the content in their projects, according to their official legal POV. On the other hand the WMF encourages and uses volunteers / content-creators to enforce their ToU and Policies. Encourages volunteers to delete content where private information of users or others is being published, like @Taylor 49: did. So in day-to-day practice, WMF does take responsibility for content as well. When a German child is being doxed on German Wikipedia and WMF didn't act properly, and the parents go into a German court, it doesn't seem impossible at all that a German judge will find enough touchpoints to form the legal opinion, the case can be brought for a German court, German law is applicable, and WMF is to be hold co-responsible. WMF than can as a next step sue the user. @Martinvl: As for the EU, it probably will not take another 20 years before the first EU based court will decide, normal users with the status of consumer can go into court in their home-region against an Internet platform with it's company seat and server-structure in the US (or China). JustB EU (talk) 19:58, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
So, there is an editor, who attends wiki-meetups but decides to keep their identity private and objects to publication of his personal data. The problem here is that he's also a notable person and has an article on Russian Wikipedia about himself. Article has a picture which is categorized on commons with his real name. And there are some pictures of him taken in meetups, categorized with his Wikimedia user name. Would it violate UCoC to merge these two categories? Or to mention them alongside each other? Adamant.pwn (talk) 19:41, 10 April 2021 (UTC)
And another issue is that UCoC applies to "private, public and semi-public interactions". So, does it mean that even telling someone in private correspondence about other editor's identity is now a severe violation? Adamant.pwn (talk) 13:08, 29 April 2021 (UTC)