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Double trouble

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By Andreas Kolbe, Bri, Lane Rasberry, Colin M, EpicPupper, and Homoatrox

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

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

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

Number of active requested moves over time
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:

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

Brief notes

The logo of the Affiliations Committee.


  1. ^ Disclosure: The author of this segment !voted support in this discussion.
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New WMF Board selection process


  • The answer to the question "why has this backlog skyrocketed recently?" is usually "one extremely prolific volunteer burned out, has less free time or moved onto a different backlog". In the case of RM specifically, I would hazard a guess that it's multiple volunteers deciding to spend less time in the area because of how much energy it takes to make good closes in complex cases, and then deal with the fallout by somebody who is self-righteously furious (however you close it). — Bilorv (talk) 09:04, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Agree with Bilorv above. While buidhe is correct that non-admins can close RMs, doing so can be a pain without some kind of page mover permissions. Asking WP:RMT (technical move requests) for help on a couple of moves works—asking for more feels awkward. That said, shoutout to the attentive watchers of WP:RMT. You folks rock. Rotideypoc41352 (talk · contribs) 14:07, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • Speaking only for myself, I find the process at RM to be about as stimulating as an isolation tank. I don't know if there's a way to make it more engaging, but between the discussions being all over the place instead of an obvious location, the tedium of having to close the discussions (which isn't as technically easy as an AfD or similar), the utter triviality of even the most contentious ones, and the minefields it's all too easy to walk into (who knew that -, –, —, ~, and ^ could get people to foam at the mouth for years at a time?), I can't force myself to even try. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:01, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
    Does a requested-move-bot exist? Would that help make the process smoother for both nominators and closers? Ganesha811 (talk) 00:14, 28 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


Thanks for adding information about the working group's report. I have a correction to the Signpost's reporting: the article says, "In total 245 featured articles (FAs) were delisted during this period," However, the 245 delisted FAs are the number of articles delisted since the working group's creation. Thanks, Z1720 (talk) 13:36, 25 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks, corrected. 🐶 EpicPupper (he/him | talk) 16:57, 27 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


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