Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2021-02-28/Opinion
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- It's strange how people who one would individually respect can get together and create a monster. All the best: Rich Farmbrough 21:38, 28 February 2021 (UTC).
- It would have been a good idea to include links in this piece, both as references and for explanatory context. Quickly dumping a few here, starting with the Signpost's own coverage:
- "Board composition discussion" (October 2020 issue)
- "WMF Board considering the removal of Jimmy Wales' trustee position amid controversy over future of community elections" (November 2020 issue)
- "Foundation removes community elections from bylaws, calls for feedback on future process for 'community-and-affiliate-selected' trustees
- The April 2020 board announcement that the bylaws-mandated voting process was being postponed ("We do not want to delay the trustee selection process any longer than we have to [... ] It does not currently seem likely that the process will resume before August 2020, but we are committed to completing it before the end of June 2021"). As Ad mentions, the stated rationale were the hardships of the pandemic - especially "the negative impact it would have on community members’ ability to participate". (As research has since made abundantly clear, people's ability to participate in Wikimedia projects actually increased due to COVID-19. But that's of course not true for everyone, e.g. an election at the anticipated time would presumably have been difficult for the board chair who might have needed to take time out of maternity leave to run for reelection.)
- Playing devil's advocate for a moment, the board has certain legal duties (under American law, since the WMF is incorporated in the United States) to ensure the organisation is properly run and the money is going where it's supposed to go. This makes sure things happen like the staff get paid and the servers stay on. Being a good or popular Wikipedia editor or being able to win an election is not necessarily the same skill set. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:45, 28 February 2021 (UTC)
- What kind of diversity? Gender and ethnicity diversity? Diversity of wikis (i.e. have a lot of people on the board from small wikis)? My first thought is that the composition of the board should be proportional to the composition of Wikipedia users, both in terms of gender/ethnicity and of size of Wiki. For example, en-wiki has 41 million users, and all Wikipedias summed together have 94 million users, so one idea would be to give en-Wikipedians 44% of the seats. Fair? Yes. Diverse enough? Dunno. Guess that's for the people to decide. –Novem Linguae (talk) 08:23, 1 March 2021 (UTC)
- This piece is fair criticism. I've said for a long time that Wikipedia desperately needs actual leadership, in place of the ignore all rules "consensus" process that serves to continue a status-quo of endless fighting where the most persistent win, regardless of supposed policy. However the expansion of non-community board seats in combination with a Universal Code of Conduct that has been approved by the board, but which I'm sure a large proportion of the community will not approve in its current form, has me concerned. It seems to me that this, especially in light of their metastasized budget, looks more like a takeover by corporate bureaucracy than actual leadership, let alone leadership the community wants to follow. There's already talk about the worst case, where the community forks the project and runs it on their own servers... ··gracefool 💬 10:17, 1 March 2021 (UTC)