Board candidacy process posted, editors protest WMF privacy measure, sweet meetups: And three new admins!
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Board candidacy process posted, editors protest WMF privacy measure, sweet meetups

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By Andreas Kolbe, Bri, JPxG, Smallbones, and HaeB


Candidacy process for 2024 board elections posted on Meta-Wiki

The Wikimedia Foundation's RamzyM (WMF) last month posted the proposed candidacy process for the 2024 Wikimedia Foundation board election on Meta-Wiki.

Shortlisting candidates (if necessary)

The benchmark is a shortlist of 12 candidates (since there are 4 open seats). After the confirmation of the candidates’ eligibility, the following process would take place.

  • If there are more than 15 candidates, trigger an affiliate process that will help to shortlist the candidates using the qualification criteria. This would be how affiliates are involved in a process for “community-and-affiliate seats.” Elections Committee and Affiliates to design the process, and the support team will be responsible for managing and implementing the process.
    • PROPOSAL: Iterate the process we used in 2022 for the affiliate process: request 1 representative for each affiliate to provide endorsements (or alternatively, the default contact point from each affiliate can provide endorsements); they could endorse a maximum of 12 candidates and at the end. The top 12 candidates with the most endorsements from affiliates would make up the shortlisted candidates.
  • Note: the reason the proposal uses the threshold of 15 candidates to trigger this shortlisting process even though the ideal number is 12 candidates is because the 1-3 candidates that are removed might feel ostracized and it would be a lot of work for affiliates to carry out to only eliminate 1-3 candidates from the candidate list.
Community questions for candidates
  • The Elections Committee can select from the community questions for the candidates to answer (suggested number of questions should be 5-7 total to ensure equity).
    • Note: in 2022, there were two separate sets of questions: one from the affiliates, one from the community. In this proposal, there would only be one call for questions (to be shared alongside the call for candidates) whereby anyone – from communities, projects, affiliates, etc. – can suggest questions to ask the candidates.
  • The Elections Committee will finalize the list of questions, which will be shared with the shortlisted candidates.

Candidates will provide written responses in English within a specific timeframe. Support staff will coordinate the translation of these responses and upload the English and translated responses to Meta at a designated time.

“Meet the Candidates” Panel
  • Host a panel interview with all shortlisted candidates. This panel will be available virtually with interpretation; and recorded for those who can’t attend live.
  • To ensure equity, the questions will be shared with candidates ahead of time so they can prepare. Support staff will facilitate to make sure there is equal airtime for every candidate.

This shortlist method is similar to the procedure used in 2022 to fill two seats that were historically "affiliate seats" (the difference is that the shortlist will now be longer than in 2022). The four seats up for grabs in 2024, however, were historically "community seats" before the Wikimedia Foundation board abolished the distinction between the two types of seats. If the proposed shortlist method is implemented, this will mark the first time that "community seats" will not be subject to a free vote by the volunteer community. – AK

The key to a successful adminship is a lowercase "x", or perhaps ...

Administrator's workstation for JPxG and 0xDeadbeef
Disclosure: JPxG is the editor-in-chief of this publication. He did not participate in this writeup.

Not quite 3,735,928,559 votes were cast for two recent admin candidates, JPxG and 0xDeadbeef but attendance at the requests was sufficient for both to be listed now at Wikipedia:Times that 200 Wikipedians supported an RFX.

Both nominations had a certain amount of attention on their technical qualifications: both do advanced technical Wiki-stuff such as operating bots, creating edit filters, or script wrangling. And, of course, they both have "x" in their user names.

But Ganesha811 passed his RfA on November 3, breaking the "x" trend and only getting 153 supports (that's a 99% support ratio). They may have also created a new trend. Along with JPxG he is a Signposter, having contributed over a dozen articles to this newspaper before this year. Don't worry, we don't expect this trend to continue – but who knows?

The Signpost congratulates and welcomes the English Wikipedia's three newest administrators.

BS

Editors of Russian Wikipedia protest Foundation's privacy measure intended to protect them

WikiStats is hiding the number of Russian, Belorussian, and Kazakh contributors by policy because WMF does not release aggregations of sensitive data in countries identified by independent organizations as potentially dangerous for journalists or internet freedom. In an RfC on Meta, many editors from the affected region objected to this "protection" by a count of 30 to 2:

We, ruwiki contributors, believe that this policy does a lot of harm and no good: Russian Internet users tend to believe that ruwiki is an alien resource, and Russia/Belarus/Kazakhstan has so many ruwiki contributors that it's impossible to get any information about certain user from that generalized statistics.

Remarkably, the first !vote in favor of rescinding the policy reads "Support. Statistics were not needed to put me in prison," by Pessimist2006 (for context, see this Wikipedia article and our own previous coverage). The issue had already been raised back back in May by another editor who related how they frequently "had to explain to my opponents, who showed me this, that no, the Russian Wikipedia is not written only by foreign authors" - apparently without a reaction by the Foundation.

On October 21, WMF Trustee Victoria Doronina (herself a longtime member of the Russian Wikipedia community) stated that "The WMF staff is aware of the RfC and is working on a reply. I know that it doesn't solve the problem, but in the meantime here's some data for Russia in 2022 - 23."

Until around 2013 or 2014, the Foundation regularly published data on the number of edits (rather than editors) by country for each language Wikipedia, but these statistics are no longer being updated.

SH

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