Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-04-24/News and notes

Double trouble: The second case of Wikipedian persecution.

Second case of persecution of Wikipedians in Belarus

The detention of Pavel Pernikaŭ is the second confirmed case of persecution of Wikipedians in Belarus (the first one was the detention of Mark Bernstein which The Signpost reported on in this column last month). On March 28, the office of the Prosecutor General of Belarus stated that its regional office in Brest sent the case of a "30-years old resident of Brest" to the court accusing him of "committing acts that discredit the Republic of Belarus" on several websites, including the "Internet sites of the foreign organization 'Wikimedia Foundation Inc.' (USA)" (links in Russian: Official site — possibly unavailable from outside Belarus; Official Telegram account). The prosecutor's office reported that the user distributed "deliberately false information about the activities of law enforcement and state bodies of the Republic of Belarus", but it seems that he tried to resist the propaganda in Belarus. The user can be sentenced up to four years of prison, although non-prison options are also possible. He seems to have been arrested before the war in Ukraine began, and the known charges are connected with the politics of Belarus. Interested readers can see a related article at In focus. – H

Voting results for ratification of Code of Conduct

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English ballot for UCoC Enforcement Guidelines Ratification vote

On 5 April a representative from the Wikimedia Foundation's Trust and Safety team reported results to the Wikimedia-l mailing list from the community vote on recommending the proposed Enforcement Guidelines for the Universal Code of Conduct to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for ratification. 59% of community members voted to adopt; 41% voted against adoption. A total of 2,283 votes were collected. The ballots included an option to comment on the reasoning behind their decision. The Wikimedia Foundation is holding those ballots, and staff may use those community comments to revise the text. The election was designed to inform the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, who have expressed that they will make the decision whether to ratify the code. The Community Affairs Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has shared that a drafting committee will revise the UCoC further based on community feedback. Interested editors can read more on Meta. – Blu, E

New WMF Board selection process

The WMF has changed the Board selection process for 2022. Affiliates will now pre-select candidates before the community vote. The rationale for the change is described as follows on Meta: "The Board of Trustees wants to improve the set of skills and the diversity contributed by newly selected trustees. For this reason, the Board has approved a new process to select two community-and-affiliate trustees this year. The objective is to have two trustees confirmed by October 1st. Affiliates will vote to pre-select 6 candidates. A community vote will decide who from these 6 candidates will be recommended for the two seats." For more information see Meta. – AK

See also related earlier coverage:

Wikimedia community requests the WMF to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations

The logo of Bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency

GorillaWarfare launched a Request for Comment on Meta on 17 January 2022 regarding whether the Wikimedia Foundation should stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. The WMF currently accepts cryptocurrency donations through BitPay. Arguments supporting a ban included that accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes an endorsement of Bitcoin and its environmentally unsustainable operations, and the risk to the movement's reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies. Arguments opposing a ban included the existence of potentially less energy-intensive "proof-of-stake" cryptocurrencies, that cryptocurrencies provide safer ways to donate and engage in finance for people in oppressive countries, and that government-controlled currencies also have issues with environmental sustainability. This RfC was open to community input between January 10 and April 12. Almost 400 users participated in the !voting and discussion. Excluding new accounts and unregistered users, the tally at closing time was 232 to 94, or 71.17% in support of the ban. On April 12 Vermont, a steward and administrator on Meta closed the RfC finding community consensus to request that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations.[a]E

Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan draft announced

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An illustration created for the Movement Strategy process, the focus of this year's Wikimedia Foundation Draft Annual Plan.

The Wikimedia Foundation is soliciting feedback for the draft 2022-2023 WMF Annual Plan. The Foundation proposes that the annual plan this year be anchored on Movement Strategy, centering on the goals of knowledge equity and knowledge as a service. The planning process began late last year with a listening tour trying to understand what the world and the movement need now. The Wikimedia Foundation decided that the Plan this year would be how they do their work, rather than a list of initiatives and projects. This led to the creation of four draft goals. Editors are encouraged to share their feedback on Meta. – E

Requested moves backlog growing

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Number of active requested moves over time
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Number of active requested moves over time, colored by age

Analysis of the requested moves backlog appears to show growth over time by as much as 113 percent. Although the data are spiky, plotting shows a general trend of an increasing number of active discussions over time. The current record of 299 active discussions was set earlier this month. In parallel, the number of old discussions is increasing at a disproportionate rate. Example statistics are compared with a day 5 years ago:

  • Number of RMs less than 1 week old: 115 today vs. 54 5 years ago
  • 1-2 weeks old: 46 vs. 26
  • 2-3 weeks: 48 vs. 8
  • 3-4 weeks: 29 vs. 3
  • >4 weeks: 39 vs. 2

The cause of this trend is unclear. More details are available on the requested moves talk page. – CM, E

Brief notes

Affiliations Committee logo black.svg
The logo of the Affiliations Committee.
  • New Affliations Committee members: Joy Agyepong and Benoît Prieur have been appointed to the Affiliations Committee on April 9 as new members. In addition, incumbent member Mehman Ibragimov has been re-appointed for an additional term.
  • Wiki Loves Africa: The Wiki Loves Africa 2022 deadline has been extended until 30 April 2022. Help contribute free media about Africa!
  • URFA Q1 report: The unreviewed featured articles 2020 working group has published their report for Quarter 1 of 2022. In total 245 featured articles (FAs) were delisted since the group's creation, 184 were deemed satisfactory, and the number of FAs needing reviews was reduced by 10%.
  • Ombuds Commission removes 2 CUs: On the recommendation of the Ombuds Commission, the Trust & Safety Team of the Wikimedia Foundation on direction of the General Counsel has revoked Alraunenstern's and আফতাবুজ্জামান's access to nonpublic personal data and requested that stewards remove their CheckUser permissions on the German and Bengali Wikipedias respectively. Alraunenstern's revocation is for a period of 1 year, after which she may re-request the permission from the local community, but আফতাবুজ্জামান's is permanent.
  • New administrator: The Signpost welcomes the English Wikipedia's newest administrator, Colin M, selected through unopposed !voting.
  • Milestones: The following Wikimedia projects reached milestones this week: Luxembourgish Wiktionary (100,000 page edits), Russian Wikisource (1,000,000 total pages and 10,000 uploaded files), Western Armenian Wikipedia (10,000 articles), and Saraiki Wikipedia (5,000 articles).
  • Articles for Improvement: This week's Article for Improvement is Astrid Lindgren. Please be bold in helping improve this article!
  • New Vector (2022): The Web team working on the new interface Vector 2022 is going to test the sticky table of contents on early adopter wikis. This is the second to last improvement of the project. Join the open meeting with the team on Friday April 29th to talk about the new interface.


  1. ^ Disclosure: The author of this segment !voted support in this discussion.