Illustration by Heinrich Vogeler
Working together on the problem of online harassment
As reported on the Wikimedia blog in a post titled "Working together on the problem of online harassment in Wikimedia communities", the Wikimedia Foundation is currently conducting the first community-wide harassment consultation, asking community members to contribute their ideas:
|What thoughts do you have on the issue of harassment on our projects? Subjects might include:
- Observations about current approaches on our projects or elsewhere—what works, what doesn't;
- Potential new or modified solutions or approaches to resolving issues on our projects.
- Thoughts on the impact, if any, harassment has on Wikimedia projects and contributors.
All thoughts are welcome. We hope, eventually, to craft together actionable movement-wide resources for assisting with these issues.
At the time of this writing, the page contains 22 proposals from community members.
The consultation follows last month's harassment survey conducted in 16 languages.
|We hope that this work will lead towards a better understanding of how misanthropy in all its forms—misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and the many other types of hatred some humans harbor for others—manifests in our movement, and how it can be countered.
This problem is not something the Wikimedia movement can fight on its own, though we are very lucky to have a community of dedicated volunteers who care deeply about this issue. Together they are leading efforts to address and reform our culture, but the problem of internet harassment is not limited to our sites and cannot be solved without changes in the world around us.
An online harassment resource guide focusing on scholarly literature and reports by organizations is available on Meta, offering a broad overview and starting point to scholars, advocates, and practitioners working to understand and respond to online harassment.
High voter turnout at ArbCom elections
This year's Arbitration Committee elections are seeing substantially higher voter turnout than in previous years, a reflection of the use of mass messaging to notify volunteers eligible to vote. SecurePoll's voters' list shows 2,778 votes cast at the time of this writing (including some repeat votes from users who changed their votes). Last year's ArbCom elections, by comparison, attracted just 593 valid votes.
The population of voters taking part also appears to shape up very differently from past years. According to an analysis by Opabinia regalis, herself a candidate in the election, the percentage of voters with relatively few contributions (150–5,000 edits) is markedly higher this year. However, early fears that the mass messaging would attract large numbers of voters who had not edited the English Wikipedia in years and were consequently out of touch with the project seem to have been disconfirmed. According to a post by Opabinia regalis on 1 December 2015, based on data available at the time, only 162 voters would have been filtered out by a "must have edited Wikipedia in the last three months before the election" eligibility criterion.
The elections are scheduled to close at 23:59 (UTC) on Sunday, December 6, 2015.