Resolution talk:Commissioning Recommendations from the Executive Director

    From the Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki


    This was the most controversial resolution passed in a few quarters. It was difficult to ask for a balanced assessment of how other organizations handle collection and presentation of controversial materials, since there are varying views on what organizations are 'similar' to Wikimedia. Schools, libraries, museums, publishing houses, and individual Wikimedia Project instances each have a certain bias towards how to resolve these issues -- but they do not agree. (Different language Wikipedias will have different takes on the matter, for instance.)

    The general idea of having outside research done, to inform and improve the community discussion, was unanimously supported. So was the idea of following the recent excellent public discussions through to a conclusion. Organizations such as the ALA have spent decades developing guidelines for dealing with the full spectrum of audiences and audience needs, and some younger Internet bodies have been dealing with it for 20 years; we could learn more methodically from their work. Moreover, there have been many arguments made on the basis of anecdotal evidence, which could be improved or removed with more detailed knowledge.

    A few specifics of the language were controversial. Some found the focus on children too much emphasis on that particular audience, while others felt it was the primary motivation to prioritize the matter. It takes a stand on the relationship between children, parents, and teachers - something that may not be appropriate for the Foundation, which generally avoids position advocacy. And after commissioning research, it asks for recommendations to be developed "for the Board," which is ambiguous. Any recommendations about editorial policy or presentation guidelines would be most accurately presented to the [community] policy-makers. On the other hand, one might still say that work done pursuant to a resolution was done "for the Board."

    We need to clarify the next steps -- something I hope we can do with the outside researchers. I expect the research will be done publicly, and shared as it develops; it would be good to have this confirmed. And discussions around this, including followups to the Commons policy debates in May, should continue steadily over the summer, rather than in a burst in the Fall. Sj 11:48, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

    Counting to 10

    I voted to support this resolution at first. Discussion continued and led me to change my vote, to move for language that would have unanimous consensus. In the meantime an internal deadline we set to resolve the matter had passed. As of that deadline, the resolution had 9 supports and 1 abstention. Sj 02:44, 8 July 2010 (UTC)