Policy talk:Universal Code of Conduct/Enforcement guidelines

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Copy edits needed

I posted this in 2021 at Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki and was just now directed to post it here:

1. The first text in section 3.3, "Content vandalism and abuse of the projects", is not a sentence, but it should be in order to maintain parallel structure and be a grammatical continuation of the second clause in the lead of section 3.

2. The phrase "People who identify with a certain sexual orientation or gender identity using distinct names or pronouns" lacks parallel structure with the sentences around it. Jonesey95 (talk) 05:23, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments on the content of the proposed UCoC Enforcement Guidelines

A few further copy editing comments after reading the proposal on this page:
  • This sentence from section 2.1 is not parseable: "The UCoC applies to everyone who interacts and contributes to Wikimedia projects." What does "interacts to Wikimedia projects" mean?
  • Section 2.1.1 has at least one parallel structure error. What does this mean? "In order to improve awareness, a link to the UCoC will be accessible on or at prominently communicated at in-person, remote, and hybrid events".
  • Section 2.2 uses the abbreviation "T&S", which is not explained on the page. Should "legal" be capitalized like the other terms in this section? Also in that section, the word "it" before "deems" has an unclear antecedent. Farther down, "Modules C" is an error of some sort. The phrase "members and applicants, and community-elected functionaries" is incorrect, perhaps missing the word "to" before "community". It is unclear to which part of the sentence the clause "who have signed" applies.
  • Section 3.1: grammar fixes are needed for these sentences: "Resources for translation must be provided by the Wikimedia Foundation when reports are provided in languages that designated individuals are not proficient" "Cases shall be resolved within a consistent time frame, with timely updates provided to participants if it is prolonged" "This section details a non-complete list of the different types of violations, along with the potential enforcement mechanism pertaining to it."
I skimmed the rest. At some point, someone who cares about the integrity of this document should get a skilled copy editor to review it carefully. Jonesey95 (talk) 06:44, 13 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clarifying "direct involvement" in section 4.2

Current text:

Individual members of the U4C do not have to resign from other positions (eg. local sysop, member of ArbCom, event safety coordinator). However they may not participate in processing cases they have been directly involved in as a result of their other positions.

Apologies for the late question. Does declining to warn or sanction an offender count as direct involvement in a case? Does it depend on how they decline? Tagging MJL and CLo since they're on the Revisions Committee. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 05:40, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi @Adrianmn1110 don't know if you got an answer privately from the revisions comm people (I would have hoped so), but as a non-member, this type of clarity is likely something to be resolved by a mix of the Building Committee and the 1st U4C to face the question.
For example, an arb that hears a full case and ultimately decided on a "not sanctionable behaviour" outcome has by any reasonable standard become involved. An admin that is asked to take a look and declining to engage is presumably not. Everything in between...is in between. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:45, 16 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

U4C Building Committee

I think it is important that there is a election of the members of the U4C Building Committe. Please change the section 4.5 of the draft. If there is a voting after my experience it is possible to find good candidates and there is enough diversity in the selected candidates. A alternative sentence could be: "Members will be selected by a community vote." I like a Ranked voting as the preferred method for elections. It is important to discuss the guidelines of the committe here on Metawiki. So the committe is from my point of view a way to think about it in a structured way and not the decision making body. Decisions should be made where ever possible by a wider range of people.--Hogü-456 (talk) 22:12, 6 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What do you think about that. I wonder that I have not received an answer yet. I expected that it is an important point for more people. What is the reason that you worte in section 4.5 that " Members will be selected by the Vice President of Community Resilience and Sustainability of the Wikimedia Foundation".--Hogü-456 (talk) 20:04, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


> If any difference arises in the meaning between the English version and a translation, decisions will be based on the English version.
Did I understand correctly that if the WMF incorrectly translates the Code into another language and a user who does not know English violates something without knowing the original, will he be punished for the WMF's mistake? Iniquity (talk) 07:00, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So what's your idea for that situation? Der-Wir-Ing ("DWI") talk 14:24, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Delete chapter 1.1. And bring the text of the code in accordance with Basic English and Learning English which has been asked for about two years now. Iniquity (talk) 19:50, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(wearing my volunteer hat) No, that's not a correct understanding. This is called "choice of language clause", which is pretty standard in almost all international contracts. If you look at our Terms of Use, there is a similar provision: "These Terms of Use were written in English (U.S.). While we hope that translations of these Terms of Use are accurate, in the event of any differences in meaning between the original English version and a translation, the original English version takes precedence." RamzyM (talk) 00:48, 19 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems to me that this is not quite suitable for documents that the cross-language community should implement. And even more so, as far as I understand, this is not a legal document? Iniquity (talk) 10:24, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, #2.1 recommends the UCoC to be added to the Terms of Use, which is a legal document. RamzyM (talk) 10:43, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is, I understand correctly that ethical standards are imposed on the community, but the ethical standards themselves are written in complex English and those who do not know it have no chance to understand these ethical standards? Iniquity (talk) 10:46, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Definitely agree that a community document should be written in the most simple English possible. I think the glossary on this guideline is a step in good direction. That could be combined with support from the fruition of the Foundation's plan to ramp up its translation/interpretation services, hopefully with better readability and translatability review of these kind of documents. (I'd like to point out that from a simple skim of their profiles, non-native speakers outnumbers the native English speaker members of both the Drafting Committee and Revisions Committee.)
I'm intrigued by your suggestion to completely delete 1.1, since it seems like you only have problem with the last sentence. What are the other problems in this provision that you propose to completely get rid of it? RamzyM (talk) 10:59, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
> I think the glossary on this guideline is a step in good direction.
Why do you need a glossary when you can rewrite the text?
> I'm intrigued by your suggestion to completely delete 1.1, since it seems like you only have problem with the last sentence. What are the other problems in this provision that you propose to completely get rid of it?
I have problems in general with trying to get attached to the English language, because half of the world's population does not know it. And unlike the terms of use, which no one reads, UCoC directly affects the behavior of users on the site/events etc. And if you try to explain to users what not to do in an unfamiliar language, then this will only repel them and create unnecessary errors in their behavior. Iniquity (talk) 11:09, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I understand where you are coming from; I'm not a native English speaker either. But ultimately, the body/ies that will enforce the UCoC in the future will have to rely on the same version of text in order to help them interpret the provisions of the code. Usually that text would be in English, as is the practice in the international legal ecosystem (although, I remember that the international treaty that governs global treaty-making procedure did say that its "Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic"). But then we have Wikipedia projects in 329 languages; do we want to have all movement documents translated to all these languages, or certain language only (and then, where do we draw the line?). [This discussion also reminded me of this excellent Wikimania session (YouTube), featuring Anna, ProtoplasmaKid, Celio and Anasuya, all of them would have more authority to speak about this topic :)]. RamzyM (talk) 11:24, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See, I don't mind the English text as the default for languages that the Wikimedia Foundation hasn't translated into. If the Foundation made a translation for a certain language, then referring to English is somehow strange.
Second, if we accept that the Foundation will not translate into 300 languages, then we need to simplify the English text as much as possible. Remove completely incomprehensible terms like "doxing", "good citizenship" etc. If these terms are needed for the English community, then make a separate document for them. Something like this:
Main Document - written in as simple English (as possible)
Document for the English community - written in complicated English
Now it turns out that the document is written in a complicated way and the Wikimedia Foundation disclaims any responsibility for the language barrier.
> This discussion also reminded me of this excellent Wikimania session (YouTube),
Thanks for the link, I'll definitely take a look! Iniquity (talk) 11:50, 20 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Recommendation for the tool are a bit vague

The tool currently speaks about Privacy being important but not about in what way complaints are private. A straightforward reading would suggest that groups not mentioned in "Enforcement by type of violations" won't have access to the information. Practically, that means the Trust & Safety team doesn't have access to complaints for those caes where it doesn't have jurisdiction.

Given the Trust & Safety teams track record of destroying existing processes Wikidata had when people wanted to report privacy violations in Wikidata, I think it would be good to be clear about how the data is handeled and not allow the Trust & Safety to exert power that wasn't directed toward it. ChristianKl❫ 13:45, 17 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fatal dependency on Wikimedia Foundation staff

This point has been made multiple times but it seems it needs reiterating. This policy has a fatal weakness: it doesn't provide any way to redress mistakes by the Wikimedia Foundation, yet at every step it relies on the Wikimedia Foundation, and particularly on its employees. Therefore it cannot provide any reassurance that it would help achieve its stated goals.

Don't tell me that we can improve the section "Enforcement by type of violations": first, many of those bodies are appointed by or subordinated to WMF staff; second, given there are so many options, it's clear that forum shopping will be a prime trick to pre-determine the outcomes of any process. The process to handle "Systemic failure to follow the UCoC" cannot help, because the "Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C)" is itself subject to the Wikimedia Foundation staff, as the section "Selection, membership, and roles" gives Wikimedia Foundation staff at least 3 ways to unilaterally exclude anyone they wish, even without using the "any other eligibility requirements" wildcard. Nemo 19:19, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Freedom of Information and Right to be Forgotten?

I might have missed it. Please help me understand. But when we are going to create actual "case files" about individuals, after how many years will these be deleted? And what's the process for an individual to get access to the information stored about them? Which jurisdiction will apply? US law? Or will it depend on the individuals citizenship? It worries me that this is barely mentioned. The minimum is – in my opinion – a maximum number of years of inactivity after which a record must be deleted.

There is this sentence: "Accused individuals shall have access to the particulars of the alleged violation made against them unless such access would risk danger or likely harm to the reporter or others’ safety". While this is part of what I ask for it's limited to the currently active case and does not include what's recorded in an individuals case file at this point in time.

To clarify: I'm not talking about false allegations. What I ask for is a chance for every individual – including the accused one – to learn and become better. TMg 19:29, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@RamzyM (WMF): Sorry to bother you, but I see you responding on the comparison page. I wonder if there is a reason that nobody here gets any response from WMF staff? Should we better stop the voting if this is on auto-play and nobody feels responsible any more? --TMg 07:38, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi, the project team is actively monitoring this page (as well as with the members of the drafting committee(s), I assume). Alongside the result of the vote and materials from the written feedback columns attached to it on SecurePoll, questions and comments from Wikimedians on this page (including your particular inquiry) would be part of the feedback evaluated by the Board of Trustees in deciding whether to ratify the Enforcement Guidelines. RamzyM (WMF) (talk) 09:19, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't understand. Why do they need to wait for the voting results to respond to a question? Does this imply that people won't get answers in case the voting ends with the guidelines being accepted as they are? --TMg 20:59, 27 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that more attention should be spent on answering questions before the vote closes, as the responses could influence the vote (and rightly so). — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 02:03, 30 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This document uses the abbreviations "U4C" and "T&S" before they are defined. AxelBoldt (talk) 19:22, 23 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@AxelBoldt: Yes I agree. Jargons and abbreviations can be a problem. I tried to help with a minor edit but I was reverted: diff by @DBarthel (WMF):. I honestly have not a strong opinion about this, but I just replaced "T&S" with a link to "Trust & Safety" and I've done my best to have the link pointing to the multi-language page, to adopt the Meta-wiki common pratices. Feel free to restore my change or raise a concrete concern so I can better help proposing something else (?) Valerio Bozzolan (talk) 12:53, 8 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Valerio Bozzolan - Sorry for the revert, no offense meant. Just to clarify: the revert was not at all about the content and is not an objection of your concern, but a sheer formal one (as stated in the edit summary). Expressing your concern here is the best way to deal with it. Thanks for your understanding, DBarthel (WMF) (talk) 13:07, 8 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opt Out? Seriously

Any website that forces you to opt-out of unsolicited e-mails can go screw itself. What is this, 2001? Change this process immediately and stop bothering people who DO NOT CARE. This account is retired anyway. Shadow2 (talk) 00:22, 24 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Voting results are in

This message is only for people who forgot to add the voting information page to their watchlist. Voting results for the UCOC Enforcement Guidelines have been published. 76% support, 24% oppose. Personally, I'm satisfied with the results. Adrianmn1110 (talk) 20:59, 14 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am surprised that there is 24% oppose. We should analyze deeply what things make them say NO with the UCoC.  A l p h a m a  Talk 10:01, 20 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is the content of the training and is it public ?

I am a bit lost regarding the concrete nature of the training. Is there or will there be some material (like online documents, videos, etc.) that will somehow fix the content of the training. Would that material be public ? Dominic Mayers (talk) 00:11, 5 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, I just realized that the training is not yet elaborated. It is something planned. In my view, this is the most important part. Dominic Mayers (talk) 12:08, 11 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]