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What we've got here is failure to communicate (some mobile editors you just can't reach)[edit]

Summary of overall issues: User:Suffusion of Yellow/Mobile communication bugs ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 03:08, 21 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Over a year ago, I reported two problems to the WMF:

(1) Logged-in mobile web editors are not given a very strong indication that they have new messages. There's just a little number in a red circle. It's similar to what many other sites use for "Exciting! New! Offers!" and other garbage. There's nothing to say "A human being wants to talk to you."

(2) Mobile web IP editors are given no indication at all that they have new messages. Nothing. Every template warning, every carefully thought out personal message, and everything else just disappears into a black hole, unless the user stumbles across their talk page by accident, or switches to the desktop interface.

But I get it. Bugs happen. They can be fixed. Instead both problems were marked as a "low" priority.

This is baffling. Problem 1 is a serious issue. Problem 2 is utterly unacceptable.

We are yelling at users (or even dragging them to WP:ANI) for "ignoring" our messages that they have no idea exist. We are expecting them learn without any communication all sorts of rules from WP:V to WP:3RR to WP:MOS that don't even apply to most other sites on the web.

Until they get blocked, of course. What a terrible experience. How are we supposed to gain new users when their very first interaction with a human is being told to f--- off, for "ignoring" a message they didn't even know about?

WMF, please explain to this community why this is a "low" priority. One year is long enough. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 22:55, 16 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'll just note that a majority of our users are accessing us on mobile so this isn't a niche problem either. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 23:26, 16 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wow. Neglected high-priority phabricator tickets are nothing new, but this is another level. Jimbo Wales, this deserves your attention. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 08:11, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would like to point out that the majority of messages left to IPs will never reach the user in question anyways, ESPECIALLY on mobile connections. Due to shared ips, the chance of someone else viewing the message before the person you are trying to reach is probably about 50/50. I realise that sometimes leaving a message is effective, but there are serious questions about all the cases where it is simply leaving a very confusing and often aggressively toned message to a completely different user just randomly reading an article at the busstop a month later. What we really need is a completely new way to leave messages to anonymous users. Possibly with some sort of very short lived session or something. But as ip users are more or less stateless (the software concept) right now, that is probably hard to implement. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 09:26, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TheDJ: I would have no objection to expiring the OBOD if the talk page isn't clicked in a few days. Many messages come only a few minutes after the user makes the edit; most mobile carriers aren't that dynamic. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 17:14, 23 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Equally baffling is that mobile app users do not see any notifications, including no talk page notifications, logged in or out. The link to talk is buried within the settings. Official mobile apps! They don't even see block messages! See T263943 and others. This block review and also this discussion where an editor also tested block messages. The editor was blocked multiple times for something that was not their fault but that of a poorly thought out app. They are not alone. Quote from phab task: Conclusion: Using the app is like being inside a bubble, without contacts with the exterior. It's no wonder there's so much people complaining here that using the app caused their Wikipedia account to be blocked, for reasons they don't understand. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 09:33, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have filed T275117 and T275118. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 10:22, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm always surprised that anyone manages to edit with the mobile interface. As another example, if you're not logged in, there is no way to access the talk page of an article, or even any indication that it exists. If an unregistered user makes an edit and is reverted with a common summary like "see talk", I imagine many will have no idea what's going on. – Joe (talk) 09:39, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Joe Roe: Sorry if this is not the right place, but I'm trying to find out why you can't access an article talk page if you're not logged in (on mobile). This was the only mention I could find. Do you know if this issue is being addressed anywhere? Cheers, Fredlesaltique (talk) 07:50, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Fredlesaltique: AFAICT the talk page link is a feature of mw:Reading/Web/Advanced mobile contributions (see § January 14, 2019 - Getting started with Talk page links), which is currently only available to logged in editors (I don't know why, though). See also phab:T54165, though that doesn't seem very active. – Rummskartoffel 11:30, 18 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The mobile web, and mobile apps, appear to be designed for readers and not writers. Having used mobile web occasionally, I think it's usable for logged in editing, but I do have to switch to desktop every now and then. I've used the iOS app only for a test - it is not usable for editing imo. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 09:55, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The number of edits I have made with the mobile web or app interface is most likely less than 50 (out of 13,000). Even for reading, the mobile interface is borderline unusable. I do frequently edit from my 4-inch cell phone screen (in fact, I'm doing that right now)... but I use the desktop version. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 14:04, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Joe and have always found Cullen328 to be a bit of a superhero for being who he is on a mobile device. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 18:19, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the kind words, Barkeep49, but I simply use the fully functional desktop site on my Android smartphone. It's easy. If I was the king of the Wikimedia Foundation, I would shut down the mobile site and apps, because they are an ongoing impediment to serious editing. RoySmith, there is no need to invest more effort (money) on a good editing interface for mobile, because that interface already exists - the desktop site. Just change its name from desktop to universal or something, and the problem will be solved.Cullen328 Let's discuss it 18:34, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • In some parts of the world, laptops and desktops are common, and people's phones are their second screen. In an environment like that, yes, it makes sense for mobile devices to be thought of as a read-mostly interface. On the other hand, in other parts of the world (particularly India in the context of English language users), mobile is how people access the internet.[1] There's no doubt that building a good editing interface for mobile is a hard thing, but we should be investing more effort there. Poor mobile editing tools disenfranchises a large segment of the world's population. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:41, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Suffusion of Yellow: Thank you for basically expressing exactly the same problem I wanted to. I have blocked a few editors who seem to be editing in good faith but just don't communicate, which eventually end up at ANI and after much agonising, get hit with as friendly a WP:ICANTHEARYOU block as we can muster. In the last instance, Mdd97 (talk · contribs), I specifically made a custom block template that said "CLICK HERE TO READ YOUR MESSAGES" in a way that they surely couldn't miss .... but again, following the block they've not edited again. We have to get to the bottom of this; if it's got to the stage where I've got to block people and the root cause is a software fault, it needs to be fixed. Surely the WMF can't be happy that I've needed to issue blocks on good-faith editors in this manner. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:10, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • To address a reaction some might have, yes, the vast majority of users on mobile are readers, not editors, and no, I wouldn't want the community totally in charge of redesigning the mobile interface, since we'd end up with the phenomenon we have at desktop where e.g. the tools section of the sidebar is visible to every user on every page despite it being of zero use to 99.9% of them. But this request is not just editor-centrism; it applies to users who have already edited and who badly need a notification to help them not get lost. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 18:55, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree 100 % with the your 99.9 % comment. ( :-)). The user interface is editor-centric, is an example ofConway's law to extremes and [[Design_by_committee]]. To add to the list, the bottom part of the [[Main_Page]] and worse of all all the uncollapsed header tags on Talk and Article such [[WP:NPOV]], which emphasis Editing or reading. To continue the Cool Hand Luke topic name reference, we are making readers eat too many boiled eggs of information Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 00:48, 9 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think the mw:Talk pages project, especially now that they are beginning to work on subscribing to notifications for talk page sections, could be interested in this discussion. Pinging User:PPelberg (WMF) and User:Whatamidoing (WMF). It also touches on UCoC Enforcement, highlighting that there needs to be funding for software dev. in addition to other measures. Pinging User:SPoore (WMF) and User:BChoo (WMF) for want of knowing who to contact regarding Phase 2. Pelagicmessages ) – (09:51 Sat 20, AEDT) 22:51, 19 February 2021 (UTC) ... Adding User:Xeno (WMF) after seeing section above. Pelagicmessages ) – (09:55 Sat 20, AEDT) 22:55, 19 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Pelagic: Thank you for the ping and highlighting how this is a related need for my current project. I've been following this thread and will be including the comments (and phabricator links - thank you for those!) in my work categorized under important requests for additional human or technical resources to assist with on-wiki workflows. Xeno (WMF) (talk) 15:02, 14 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question - Is this something that could be cured by bringing back the "Orange Bar of Death"? Mjroots (talk) 16:31, 22 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Mjroots: the orange bar of death never went away. Last I check, it's still there for non mobile IP editors. That's why they get an indication of new messages. AFAIK, it was never there for the mobile web editor, that's probably part of the problem. Nil Einne (talk) 03:06, 23 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What no one has ever told me is why it was left out in the first place. Was it a simple oversight? Did someone have such a little understanding of how the sites work that they thought communication was unnecessary? Some other reason, that I'm not thinking of? This is the most confusing part. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 17:14, 23 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wish it could be brought back for all editors. Looks like bringing it in for IPs on mobiles could be the cure here. Mjroots (talk) 18:40, 23 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe WMF cares more about the app's aesthetics than they do its functionality (hence why they made dark mode the default even though it ruins tables by making their text blend in with the background, and why the mobile wikitext editor is missing features as basic as template insertion so it can fit on the screen). ☢️Plutonical☢️ᶜᵒᵐᵐᵘⁿᶦᶜᵃᵗᶦᵒⁿˢ 20:33, 13 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is alarming but not surprising. Since I do a lot of question answering at the Teahouse, I'll point out a random IP's post from yesterday, in the same vein as some of the sentiments noted above: "Also, why don’t they get rid of the mobile view? So terrible!".--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 00:29, 24 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Does anyone with a (WMF) account plan on commenting in this thread? Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 17:21, 8 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Don't hold your breath. For most WMF employees, commenting on Wikipedia using a WMF account is a quick way to get yourself fired. You might, if you make enough noise, get a department head to respond by saying that mobile users are very important to us and we will do everything we can to address this, up to but not including doing anything differently that we are doing them now. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:39, 8 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Guy Macon: When they did the same thing with desktop IPs, it was fixed within hours of being pointed out. Serious, not rhetorical question: what's changed about WMF culture since 2013? Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 17:58, 8 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When you spend three times as much money without the actual job you were hired to do changing, you start to focus more on spending all of that money instead of on doing your job. When you hire a boatload of new employees when the current bunch are more that enough to do the job, those new employees find something to do, whether that something needs doing or not. I'm just saying. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:31, 8 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • User:Suffusion of Yellow broadly you have two factors. Firstly there is little incentive for WMF people engage people here were they will get a bunch of people shouting that them (which is not fun). Secondly there has been a longstanding unwritten understanding that mobile is the WMF's turf while the community has more ownership of the desktop.©Geni (talk) 11:21, 11 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Well, imagine this. Someone is standing on your foot. You politely ask them to move off of it. They don't. You repeat your request more loudly. They continue to ignore you. It still hurts. At some point, does shouting and shoving come into play?
    If WMF doesn't like being shouted at, well—certainly, no one does. But people do not like being ignored either, and doing so is an excellent way to get them started shouting just to be heard at all. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:42, 14 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Action from the WMF! One two three new mobile bugs I discovered while investigating this have been triaged as "low" priority, and a fourth was lowered to "medium", after a volunteer developer had raised it to "high". All without a word of explanation. The first (unparsed spam blacklist messages) isn't a huge deal I'll agree. But why is not telling users why they're blocked or falsely telling registered users that they're blocked personally not a major concern? That's how we lose people. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 22:55, 22 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Can we locally block these apps from editing English Wikipedia? That would force the WMF to fix them. Fences&Windows 00:02, 26 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      @Fences and windows: Yes, this can be done with the edit filter. It could even be limited to users with no confirmed email address. But there's a catch. The apps don't properly display custom edit filter warnings, either! The iOS app just displays the title of the page where the message is stored. And the Android app doesn't display custom messages at all. The mobile web editor does display messages properly, however. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 00:10, 26 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      If this were a lower-priority issue, I would say we should come back in a month and see if the WMF fixed it. But this is such a glaring oversight that I feel this may be the only option if we want to fix this. Question: would this apply to just the app, or to the mobile site as well? —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 15:06, 29 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      It's app only (the user_app variable in the edit filter). ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 15:12, 29 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Thanks, ProcrastinatingReader. If we prepare an RfC, where would it be held? It would need advertising on cent. Fences&Windows 23:47, 29 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Fences and windows: Any RFC will need some very careful drafting first. If it fails (for any reason) the WMF could interpret the failure as "see the community doesn't really care about this issue". Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 23:51, 29 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    We might want to move this thread to WP:VPT; this noticeboard is not widely watched. –xenotalk 23:54, 29 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I really don't want to rush into an RFC, though. There are many questions. Should we also disallow mobile IP web editors? Should we disallow edits from users with a confirmed email address? Which bugs, exactly, do we want fixed? How long do we give the WMF to fix them? This is a nuclear option. It should not be taken lightly.
    But please don't move the whole thread to VPT. It's here so it doesn't get buried in the archives. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 00:33, 30 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    (edit conflict) Two-question RfC maybe? Initial brainstorm - Question 1: consensus 'letter' to WMF requesting resources be allocated to promptly fix the issues. Question 2: if not done within 90 days, mobile apps blocked from editing enwiki by edit filter. Best to move this particular matter to VPI. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 00:36, 30 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It has to be noted though that disallowing edits, if it comes to it, is really not great and rather bitey, as the editors will hardly have any clue what's going on due to EF messages being iffy. Maybe bugging Jimbo and/or Doc James to contact someone in engineering is a viable option? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 00:43, 30 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    As I said. Nuclear. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 01:09, 30 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, IDEALAB is the best place (for a new thread). That will discourage any supporting and opposing until we figure just what we're asking for. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 01:09, 30 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This needs caution—an overly enthusiastic RfC or proposal at WP:VPI is bound to be voted down and that would cause a lot of people to automatically vote down any future proposals of a similar nature. I'm thinking of masked IPs—any proposal to impede or block such users could easily fail if it appeared to be similar to an earlier idea to block "good faith" users who were unaware that communication was even possible, let alone required. Johnuniq (talk) 08:34, 30 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I wish I could say I was surprised by any of this but I've long assumed that something like this was the cause of numerous editors I've come across who display quite clearly that they have never seen their IP/user talk page, and simply have no idea why their edits "aren't going through" (because a human editor keeps undoing them). A thorough waste of thousands of hours of volunteer time, on both ends. There are some countries or regions in which accessing the internet is only financially possible for the everyday person via a mobile phone, so the WMF's inaction here is another built-in systemic bias which prevents some cultures from effectively contributing their knowledge and skills to Wikipedia. — Bilorv (talk) 06:51, 29 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • User:Suffusion of Yellow/Mobile communication bugs seems to be an excellent overview but it would get more attention if it were on phab. I have tried to roughly copy it to which can probably be used as a parent task for all these issues. – SD0001 (talk) 15:04, 30 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi everyone, thanks for raising these issues, and documenting the problems so thoroughly. We're going to get a group of people from the Product department together next week to talk about these problems, and see what we can do about it. I'll let you know what we figure out. I appreciate you all bringing it up. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 22:17, 7 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you, Danny! I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 19:55, 9 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

26 April update[edit]

Hi everyone, we talked in the Product department about the issues that are being raised in this conversation.

We're currently showing notifications to logged-in editors on mobile web, which appear as a number in a red circle at the top of the page. It's the standard design on mobile that indicates that there are messages for you.

We've been reluctant to do that for IP editors on mobile web, because mobile IPs shift around so much. Desktop IPs can change as well, so there's some risk of not reaching the right person on desktop, but the risk is a lot greater for mobile. People walk around with their phones and move from one wifi or cell tower to another. We haven't wanted to show a message bar to a mobile reader who happens to be picking up the same cell tower or wifi access point as someone who made an edit a year ago.

On the apps, the Android team has released improvements to the talk page experience in February and March. Echo notifications currently exist in the Android app, and user talk pages are also discoverable through the watchlist. Users can access article talk using a dropdown menu at the top right; you can see how this works in this walkthrough gif. There are some further improvements planned, including enabling in-line replies, and building onboarding features to help people discover both the watchlist and talk pages. You can learn more, and ask the team questions, on their Android communication project page.

The iOS team is also looking at improving the talk experience on their app. They're currently in the initial design and technical planning phase for enabling Echo notifications on iOS. Later this year, they're planning to fill in some of the missing collaboration features on the app, including making editing tools and talk pages more prominent.

There are some different things to discuss here, and I'd like to know what you think. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 26 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What are we doing about the block notification messages and the other edit screen notices?? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:02, 26 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF):
  • About IP users: As myself and others have suggested, there's a solution to the "random unrelated reader" problem: Don't show the alert if the new message is over X days old. Or (if the privacy policy permits) set a cookie anytime they click "publish", and only show any new message alert to people who have edited in the past X days. Or even both. I think most people already understand that messages sent to IP users are not guaranteed to reach the user. But we do expect that when edits Foo, we leave them a message, and then an hour later edits Foo again, that they've seen our message. That's the disconnect between expectations and reality that's been bothering us. You're also making the assumption that users on mobile devices are also on mobile connections. What about the phone user on their home WiFi? That could be stable for months.
  • About logged in users: No, the red circle is not (only) the standard "you have new messages" alert. It's also the standard "we have some spammy garbage we'd like to sell you" alert. Of course experienced users know Wikipedia doesn't do that, but inexperienced ones are the people we're trying to reach. As matter of habit, I ignore similar-looking notices on unfamiliar websites.
  • About the Android app: Again, what about spam-weary users who have turned off push notifications. With no in-app alert, how are they supposed to know that there is an urgent message on their talk page?
  • About the iOS app: If users are currently in a total bubble, why enable editing at all? Why not wait until basic communication features are implemented, and keep the app read-only in the meantime?
I'm really getting the impression that the WMF thinks that user communication is an afterthought. Y'all didn't just forget one communication-related feature, you forgot most communication-related features. How did this happen in the first place? Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 20:15, 26 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF): Thank you for your time working on and responding to this. I recognize the difficulties in developing a good software product for the diverse projects that rely on MediaWiki software. However, I am deeply frustrated that this has been allowed to occur. Ensuring that existing community mechanisms for communicating with other editors, especially new editors, continue to function is a bare-bones requirement for any Wikimedia minimum viable product. To paraphrase Risker's related thoughts on Wikimedia software development in a different area: the intention behind a lot of this has been good, but sometimes I think engineers have no idea how our projects actually function and how significant some of these problems are. Frankly, if logged-out mobile editors don't have an interface to see messages, then the logged-out mobile interface should not contain editing functionality. Otherwise, this software is wasting many many hours a day of volunteer time tracking down and reverting and warning (not that they'll see the warnings) and blocking good faith IP users who are oblivious to community norms and this software is wasting just as much time spent by new editors trying to help out but unable to access any feedback about their editing. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 10:01, 28 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me make more explicit a position that I suspect a broad swath of the English Wikipedia community may support: If the Foundation feels that it is impractical to build a communication system to communicate with logged-out mobile editors, then logged-out mobile users should be required to log in to edit. Wikipedia is a collaborative project; we simply cannot allow users to edit without being able to communicate with them effectively. KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 10:05, 28 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Absolutely, thank you for the clear description of the situation. I was thinking of going rogue and just blocking any uncommunicative user/IP after a single warning. That would avoid mega-frustration and wasted time and would focus minds on fixing the problem rather than ticking boxes for the number of new edits from new users. Johnuniq (talk) 10:23, 28 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@L235 " the difficulties in developing a good software product for the diverse projects that rely on MediaWiki software." Mediawiki is way past it's use by date, and would be implemented very differently today. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:44, 23 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF): If fixing all the issues is going to take some time, and you don't want to disable editing entirely, can you break the Android app a bit more? See this. Using that hack a message can be conveyed to iOS users but the same can't be done for Android. It shouldn't take long to make the tweak, which would at least allow a custom mechanism to communicate a message to Android editors. Perhaps directing them to login via their browser app, for example. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 03:16, 30 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF) In 2020 Portugal stopped anonymous editing. Can you advise the outcome? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 08:52, 23 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp: Sure, here are the reports for the Portuguese trial and the subsequent trial on Farsi Wikipedia. DannyH (WMF) (talk) 21:19, 23 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF) Thank-you for this. It looks like it went very well with Pt, but not as well with Farsi. The dashboard is great. Is there an update? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 12:01, 24 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi everyone, thanks for posting more thoughts. As usual, there's lots to respond to here.

It's true that the apps are late to including talk page features. That's partly because we didn't have a clear strategy for how we could improve talk pages sitewide — we knew that we wanted to improve the usability of talk pages, but the Flow project was not successful, and we knew that we needed to find a new direction. We determined that new direction with the Talk Pages Consultation in mid-2019, and then the Editing team started their Talk pages project to build tools for replying, starting new discussions and being notified when people comment in specific talk page sections. (If you haven't yet, you can turn on the new tools for replying and starting new discussions in the Beta preferences tab.)

As part of that project, the Editing team has developed the ability to break down wikitext conversations into individual comments, and all of that work is now informing the work that both the Android and iOS teams are doing to improve the talk page experience on the apps as well.

Now, one of the things that we do when a product team is working on a feature is to look at both the usage numbers and the revert rate for edits that are made using the feature. If the revert rate is higher than average, then clearly there's a problem with the feature that we need to fix.

Comparing the revert rates across desktop, mobile and apps, we see a similar pattern with both logged-in and logged-out editors. Looking at the last 30 days on English Wikipedia, mobile web edits have a higher revert rate compared to desktop edits. That's true for both logged-in users (10.2% revert on mobile web to 3.7% revert on desktop) and IP editors (35% revert on mobile web to 22% revert on desktop). Edits made through the apps are closer to the desktop revert rate. For logged-in app users, about 6.5% of app edits are reverted, compared to 3.7% on desktop. For IP app users, it's around 24% app edits reverted vs 22% IP edits on desktop. So while every single revert is a waste of time for somebody, we don't see app editing causing significantly more problems than desktop editing, especially compared to mobile web.

As I said earlier, the Android team has recently released improvements for talk pages just last month, and has plans to continue work on it, and iOS will be working on communication features later this year. So while those teams had a late start on these features, they are currently getting attention.

Some more specific points: Suffusion of Yellow, your suggestion about offering a time-limited message is interesting, and started a conversation in a couple of teams, so thanks for bringing that up. For your question about the assumption that mobile devices are used on the go: yes, there are definitely people who use mobile devices on stable IPs. However, it's a lot more likely that any given mobile device will be on an inconsistent IP than a desktop device.

Regarding people who ignore red circles and turn off push notifications, it's true that banner blindness is very strong, and that's a problem for web designers in general. However, we've found that when someone takes a specific step like turning off push notifications, responding with larger and more insistent notifications is not likely to help.

I'm happy to keep talking, if folks have more questions or suggestions. DannyH (WMF) (talk) 18:47, 30 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Danny, I'm intrigued and puzzled by your statement here. You have people here (and in many previous conversations) expressing frustrations at an inability to communicate with users. Some prior discussions have been about specific editors who have a mixture of constructive and troubling edits which are the kind of editors who can frequently be helped to stop the troubling edits. Your response, if I'm understanding it correctly, is that because there is no difference in revert rates for these editors compared to those on other platforms that the lack of communication doesn't matter. This might be true but would be a radical shift in culture in terms of how we handle disruptive editing and would be at odds with other foundation sponsored initiatives, including obligations to help new users in the UCoC. Can you help me either understand where I am failing to get what you're saying or if I do understand what you're saying how we, as an enwiki community, can square this circle. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 19:17, 30 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Barkeep49: What I shared about the revert rate was in response to a couple of things. First, Johnuniq commented on the fact that I'd only talked about edits from app users, and didn't acknowledge the impact on the editor community who have to clean up a mess. (The part about "ticking boxes for the number of new edits from new users.") It was also a response to the suggestion made in a few places that the apps shouldn't allow editing if the communication features aren't up to desktop standard. My point is that we do try to take the impact on the community into account, by making sure that features that we build don't result in a mess that's noticeably bigger than the mess that already exists.
But yes, this conversation is mostly about reaching specific editors who might be helped to stop making troubling edits. I agree that the communication features are important, and both apps teams have been and will continue to work on communication features. Some of the problems that we're talking about have already been addressed on Android; I think that in the case mentioned in the thread on Jimbo's talk page, they would have received talk page notifications as of March 30th — but that was sadly too late to reach that user. These conversations have inspired us to talk more about the communication features as a product team, and I appreciate the folks who have brought it up here. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 20:37, 3 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
DannyH (WMF), the desktop site is fully functional on modern mobile devices. The solution to this problem to shut down all apps and sites that are not fully functional, and redirect all users to the desktop site, which should be renamed the "fully functional site". That would save enormous amounts of money and draw a gigantic worldwide pool of new editors into the WMF free knowledge websites. Right now, we are erecting barriers to collaboration with people editing with mobile devices, and that is terribly sad. I speak as an editor who has been editing and more recently administrating with Android smartphones for ten years. 99+% of my edits are on smartphones. The WMF is spending buckets of money on a problem that does not exist, and making matters worse in the process. Cullen328 Let's discuss it
While this may have been a hypothetical, I would personally oppose such a proposal, solely because while the desktop site is functional on mobile, the text is still really small. The probably-crazy solution that immediately comes to mind is to switch the site skin to the new Responsive MonoBook, because that would display the content at a reasonable size on mobile while presumably allowing IPs to see the Orange Bar of Doom. (I haven't tested this, but I assume it works because unlike Minerva, MonoBook is maintained by the editing community.) Also, there are some plans to make Vector responsive too, but I don't know anything about that. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 22:19, 5 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
At least a couple of us have disagreed with your view a few times, Cullen. The desktop site is not at all well optimised, and the apps are better for reading already. The solution is not to delete everything, rather than fix the issues. It's such an overly simplistic view anyway; compare this to this in terms of page size. I mean, the suggestion just isn't considerate of all the language projects and global users, and is just so unlikely to happen that it distracts from real solutions, which really is to disable editing in the interim / provide a roadmap, or at least allow the community to do that if it wishes to by consensus. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 01:36, 6 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
hear hear. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 08:35, 6 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that just nuking mobile and forcing everyone to use desktop is the wrong solution. What many people don't quite grasp is that not everyone is like them. They assume that because they have a large screen smartphone and a fast connection, then of course everyone does, and if a desktop website works for them then of course it works fine for for everyone else.
In the real world some people access Wikipedia on old flip phones, satellite phones with huge packet delays, rugged industrial phones with tiny screens, and ancient computers using modems.
I recently finished a preliminary design for a major toy manufacturer that includes a very low performance web browser with a really cheap display. That one got cancelled (90% of toys that make it to prototype do) but sooner or later you are going to see something similar in the toy aisle at Wal-mart for $29.95 USD. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:02, 6 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF): is this a joke or am I misunderstanding? You're saying that it's a deliberate design choice that mobile app editors are not seeing the messages being left for them? How do you suggest that we contact CejeroC, or does it not matter that thousands of volunteers' time (both newbie and experienced) are being wasted? — Bilorv (talk) 23:33, 29 May 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi @Bilorv: I think that you're misunderstanding slightly. It's a deliberate design choice not to show notifications for IP editors on mobile web, because there's a higher chance that we'll show the notification to the wrong person. It's more likely that a mobile web edit was made by someone who's moving around, so the notification would appear for a random reader who happens to be picking up the same cell tower or wifi access. We are showing notifications for logged-in editors on mobile web, and both logged-in and logged-out editors on the Android and iOS apps.
CejeroC was an editor on the Android app, which added talk page notifications in some changes made in February-March 2021. This was too late for the people trying to contact CejeroC, unfortunately, but it should be easier to contact Android app editors from now on. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 18:35, 4 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the reply, DannyH (WMF). I'm glad that I was misunderstanding, as the other option was deeply undesirable. My new questions are as follows: you're saying that it's a deliberate design choice that unregistered mobile web editors are not seeing the messages being left for them? Where can I see the WMF's data on the percentage of IP talk page messages that would have been seen by someone who was not the intended target, versus the percentage that would have been seen by the intended target? And how should a volunteer attempt to get in contact with an IP editor tagged as making mobile web edits, particularly when the IP has clearly been static for a non-trivial amount of time (based on the length of the editor's contributions)? — Bilorv (talk) 18:57, 4 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Bilorv: I wish we could get data on who sees which notifications; it would make life easier. Unfortunately, we don't know. (There are a lot of stats that are typically collected by other big websites that we don't collect out of respect for users' privacy.) The judgment call that we're making right now is based on our understanding that a large number of IPs move around and are unreachable even on desktop, and that problem is obviously magnified for mobile IPs. For the question of how a volunteer could get in contact with a stable mobile IP editor, one potential workaround would be to leave them a message on the IP's talk page, and then when you revert one of their edits, you put a link to their talk page in the edit summary. That's obviously a hack, but IP editors having a talk page at all is kind of a hack. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 20:58, 8 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't believe that the users I'm thinking of are aware that there's a page history—in fact, I often see behaviour that makes me think they are going "my edit didn't go through, why is it not there when I look again a few hours later?" after a revert (and I don't think the layout makes the page history obvious). I need to send a big fuck-off banner saying "SOMEONE IS TRYING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE EDIT YOU DID" in order to engage attention. Unfortunately, no such functionality exists. I do appreciate the privacy afforded to readers and editors, but you're making a judgement call based on not very much—certainly not what the community wants—and using a 2001 IP-based system is not the solid foundation for communication that I need. (I understand the WMF is planning to anonymise IPs but not change them as the method of tracking unregistered contributors.) I don't necessarily want us to start tracking people with cookies, so I know every solution comes with a disadvantage, but this situation is honestly ridiculous. So much of my time is wasted with sending out messages to people who will never see it, and the alternative is just undoing what they did without explanation (what message is that to send to a newcomer? How can we get new editors involved by doing that?). — Bilorv (talk) 21:25, 8 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Bilorv: As you say, the 2001 IP-based communication system is very flawed. The big f'off banner doesn't even work for desktop IP editors all too often, because IPs shift around, or just because the person who's making the edits doesn't understand or doesn't respond to talk page messages. For mobile IP editors, you're even less likely to make a connection. I think that if the folks who created MediaWiki twenty years ago were creating it today, they probably wouldn't use IP addresses as the foundation for communication, but this is the legacy system that we have.
I do think that the work that the Anti-Harassment Tools team is doing on "IP masking" will help with this, especially if we use cookies on mobile devices to associate the device with an auto-generated user name. There's a lot of planning and discussion left to do on the IP masking project, and figuring out how to communicate with "masked" IP editors will be one of many things to figure out. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 22:42, 9 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF): We are showing notifications for ... both logged-in and logged-out editors on the Android and iOS apps. Can you link me to the phab task where the the lack of iOS notifications was fixed? I don't have an iOS device handy and phab:T274404 and its subtasks suggest work is just getting started. Also, the Android app still isn't showing me any alerts for logged-out talk page messages. And least no one has responded to my simple question at phab:T95396. So what have I missed? Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 19:37, 6 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Suffusion of Yellow: Sorry, you're correct about iOS. I just checked my own post at the top of the section and realized that I made a mistake when I replied to Bilorv. Android has already made the changes; iOS is getting started on that work. I looked at your question on that ticket, which I think was not the correct ticket for that bug report — it looks like that ticket was closed in May 2020, and may not have been the right ticket anyway. I just asked the PM to take a look at it, and tell me where that report should go; I'll let you know when I get an answer. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 21:06, 8 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, I see that you've already made that connection on phab:T276147. At least, I think so. Let me know if I'm not correct. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 21:22, 8 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF): So I understand there is still a subset of logged-out mobile editors not getting talk page notifications, yet they are still editing? This is unacceptable.
As has been stated above, if an interface does not have basic communication capabilities, then the interface should not have editing capabilities. --DB1729 (talk) 02:17, 8 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DB1729: I understand your dismay; I agree that communication is essential for productive wiki collaboration. I think that at the root, this is actually a flaw in the concept of allowing people to edit without an account on Wikipedia. Twenty years ago, it may have been roughly accurate to assume that IP addresses were mostly stable, because everybody had a desktop and mostly a dial-up connection, so if you posted a message for a particular IP address then you were likely to reach the same person. Today, the use of laptops at wifi hotspots and phones and tablets using cell service has basically broken that model. A few years ago, we reached the point when mobile pageviews hit 50% of our traffic, and by now the majority of Wikipedia readers are accessing our site with a mobile device.
I think that your suggestion of restricting IP editing on mobile is an interesting one, and it's possible to argue that that should apply to desktop as well as mobile. But that's a much bigger conversation, and I don't think we'd be able to settle it here. — DannyH (WMF) (talk) 21:19, 8 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't have the data, but edits I make using my phone usually come from the same IP (my home or work wifi) that my desktop edits come from. (I use responsive monobook, so my phone edits count as "desktop"). What's inhibiting communication with some mobile editors is not that their IP changes, it is that the software they use is not fit for purpose. Do you know any of the people who can fix the software? —Kusma (talk) 08:28, 10 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DannyH (WMF): Speaking of notifications Danny, for some reason I never got that ping from your last reply.(ironic) Did you get a confirmation it was sent? Thank you for the reply and for sharing your thoughts. In the meantime, yes I understand the dynamic IP problem, but these users are notified (I hope) when their IP addresses are blocked, are they not? Presumably when they open an edit window? Similarly, a talk page notification could be displayed only when there is an attempt to edit. It could then time-out or become invisible after a set duration, much like I assume a block notice will disappear once the block expires. DB1729 (talk) 15:48, 12 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

#suggestededit-add 1.0[edit]

I think it would be a good idea to also bring up what I think is the related issue of the #suggestededit-add 1.0 process, as this seems to a mobile idea. See for example Jomart Allaguliyev (talk · contribs), a new mobile user who has made over 1000 edits exclusively through this process. Most are fine, but some are wrong, and some are almost nonsensical. Sometimes they re-do and worsen their own better work! [2] [3]. They've also a few times made the same edit twice after being reverted [4][5], which feels like something popped up and they simply repeated the action? The only documentation seems to be on Wikidata, so it is unclear how exactly these are happening or where they're happening from. There is an old Phab task (T227623) closed suggesting the process is working as intended. CMD (talk) 02:42, 22 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm confused about how this is a suggestedit issue. That editor was given exactly one warning, as far as I can tell. If an editor is editing disruptively, the first step is to notify them on their talk page, isn't it? (Also, I have fixed your broken link above.) – Jonesey95 (talk) 04:26, 22 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the fix. The user is not editing disruptively, on the whole. The point is, this user's edits are being solely guided by some program out there providing editing suggestions to new users, provided by WMF, of which there seems to be little documentation. How is it not a suggested edit issue, when any potential disruptiveness would presumably be due to this feature? It would be nice to have documentation. If the edit summaries are automatically generated, why don't they include a wikilink to such documentation? The Mediawiki FAQ states only that it is to "Add short descriptions to articles that are missing descriptions", which is clearly not the case given these are edits to existing short descriptions. CMD (talk) 09:14, 22 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As an update here, the page Wikipedia:Suggestededit-add 1.0 has been created by Guy Macon, but I'm still seeing edits like these ones which add the short description "Overview of the topic", and am no less enlightened as to whether these somewhat meaningless descriptions are being suggested by Wikimedia software. CMD (talk) 05:21, 13 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another block. Any progress?[edit]

[6] Didn't seem like there was any other option. Any progress on resolving these issues? As I requested somewhere, any chance we can break the Android app some more so we can use a hack like Filter 1139 (for iOS) for Android users as well? That hack works due to the fact that iOS edit filter disallows do not parse the page but just display the page title instead. Android unfortunately uses a hardcoded vandalism warning, so this does not work there. It should be trivial for WMF engineers to make Android behave the same as iOS while they do proper fixes. @DannyH (WMF)? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 14:19, 15 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@ProcrastinatingReader: It looks like the fix for edit filter messages on Android has made it to the official (app store) release. So it should be possible to "communicate" with Android users through the filter now. However, links in the edit filter message will open in the browser. And if they're viewing a wiki that isn't their default language, the links will go the wrong language wiki. e.g., if we (on enwiki) send them to Special:MyTalk or WP:EF/FP/R, they might end up at fr:Special:MyTalk or de:WP:EF/FP/R. I don't know if that bug is being actively worked on, but we're getting somewhere. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 23:34, 17 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Suffusion of Yellow I don't know a lot about edit filter, but I (maybe) have an idea for a work around. Can we redefine all edit filter links as fully defined [external links] and explicitly point them to ? Alsee (talk) 12:34, 18 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Alsee: Tested here. That seems to work. The first link (Foo) opens at frwiki (because that's the first language in my settings), but both testwiki:Foo and open at testwiki. That should work for a filter like 1139 (hist · log) but I don't think we should "fix" the dozens of other messages to work around this bug. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 20:06, 18 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some progress - see the latest update at mw:Wikimedia Apps/Team/Android/Communication. Nthep (talk) 21:00, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some progress: logged-out web[edit]

From T284642: Add yellow talk page message banner to non-main namespace pages on mobile, they (Reading product team?) have created an alert bar for logged-out mobile web users. It is displayed when the user taps edit or visits a non-mainspace page. ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 22:10, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

P.S. For reference, T278838: Mobile user communication issues (WP:THEYCANTHEARYOU) appears to be the master task, it has a good long list of sub-tasks. ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 22:10, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, this was deployed a while ago but because of a caching bug it only worked some of the time. The caching bug has supposedly just been fixed, but I haven't tested this recently. I would not assume that all mobile IPs can "hear us" without extensive testing. But some certainly can. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 04:57, 15 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


m:Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Mobile and apps/Better warning display for mobile users ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 22:00, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Drop everything and focus on the collaborative issues![edit]

While the apps may be works-in-progress, this project is a collaborative one, and an app that allows you to edit but does not allow collaborating means a lot of good-faith editors who would be competent if editing with a browser are getting blocked for reasons they don't even understand. WMF added dark mode to their app before they allowed IOS users to access the talk namespace. I say, if you want the app to be decent, drop cosmetics, drop the rare (or even somewhat common) bugs, and get this issue over with. While users may have issues viewing certain pages, or their eyes may be strained looking at certain layouts, or it isn't quite ergonomic enough, that's small potatoes compared to the inability to see other editors' warnings. And then AN/I is not viewable on Android. The version shown starts with a thread from 2020 about the BLM protests. All of this means that editors who edit on mobile are not able to collaborate properly.

A proposed roadmap would be

  • Drop everything until the issue is dealt with
  • Direct all resources to creating a way for mobile users to collaborate in the same way desktop users can (Especially IOS users, who are worse off than their android companions)
  • Fix the bug affecting AN/I, as it is one of the most important pages for dealing with certain editors or issues
  • Unblock any users who were blocked for CIR or refusal to communicate on mobile.
  • Return to whatever you were dealing with before.

Of course, you should take everything I say with a fifty-gallon drum of salt given that I have no background in web engineering and have no idea what issues WMF is facing. If someone more qualified than me steps up and says that this is not feasible, I will gladly retract it. ☢️Plutonical☢️ᶜᵒᵐᵐᵘⁿᶦᶜᵃᵗᶦᵒⁿˢ 15:54, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mobile device users[edit]

In some parts of the world, laptops and desktops are common, and people's phones are their second screen. In an environment like that, yes, it makes sense for mobile devices to be thought of as a read-mostly interface. On the other hand, in other parts of the world (particularly India in the context of English language users), mobile is how people access the internet.

That post was 18 months ago on the top of this thread. I wonder how much RoySmith realises that a similar statement in a current appeal to the WMF from NPP (thanks for your support, Roy) for more software support met with pushback from a couple of users who as a consequence refused to sign the appeal. Roy means well, and I concur with him entirely, but there are people who take PC to ridiculous extremes and will look under every rock to see if there are the slightest grounds to make a big brouhaha and undermine serious efforts to get the the WMF to finally do something. In deference to them the text of the appeal was changed slightly but it doesn't make the work more pleasant for people like Roy and hundreds of others who just want the best for Wikipedia. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:59, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

new resource for movement discussions.[edit]

There is a whole new set of forums being utilized now, which are available for discussion of any and every topic that pertains to Wikipedia, and our community and the Wikimedia movement. please feel free to go there and sign up for an account, and participate as often as you may wish. I hope you will click the link below to do so. we would welcome your input. thanks!!

thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:25, 29 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why are discussions about Wikipedia being held at another site? We have talk pages here. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 21:34, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The domain registrant for claims to be Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., so this appears to be yet another Meta. We already have too many other WMF sites that few Wikipedians ever visit trying to control us; let's hope the latest diversion dies quickly. Certes (talk) 22:47, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hear hear. We have meta for that. We don't need yet another external site. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 22:50, 4 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I appreciate the replies above. In reply, I would note that we do already have multiple platforms that are external and off-wiki. if you prefer to not use those platforms, or if you find them counter-productive, then of course that is fine, and one is fully entitled to one's own opinion on that. however, there is no objective basis for precluding the existence of an individual off-wiki platform, in view of the context of multiple other platforms being in existence and fully accepted, prior to this.

the off-wiki platforms that are already fully active, and used regularly, include: Telegram, Discord, IRC, Slack app, (such as the slack channel listed at this page).... et cetera. this is not a full or definitive list. please note that, just as one example, the usage of the app "Telegram" includes multiple groups (i.e. threads) there. the thread on Telegram that is labeled as being for the "Wikimedia movement" as a whole, has over 700 members, and is fully active. in addtion, on Telegram alone, there are additional active threads for Wikimania, for Wikimedia Hackathon, for WikiVibrance, etc. and several other active topics as well.

So Telegram is clearly an existing active external platform. not only is it not on any Wikimedia site, it is clearly an app that is not under control of WMF in any way. the main difference with the MS Forums is that they are indeed fully designed by Wikimedia itself. so in that sense, they are a resource that is much more focused on the WMF community itself. I hope that is helpful. --Sm8900 (talk) 17:31, 5 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Not only is this yet another demonstration the WMF's pathological hatred of their own Wiki platform,
  • not only does this perpetuate the WMF's disastrous pattern of cooking up plans off-wiki which end up in hot conflict with actual community consensus,
  • community members are prohibited from the site if they declined to register an e-mail address on their wiki account.
    • According to WMF figures I came across, somewhere between 20% and 45% of users decline to provide an email, and an outright majority do not have a verified email.
Note that Wikimedia Foundation Privacy Policy says Because we believe that you shouldn’t have to provide personal information to participate in the free knowledge movement, you may:
  • Read, edit, or use any Wikimedia Site without registering an account.
  • Register for an account without providing an email address or real name.[7] Alsee (talk) 01:44, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A bad idea doesn't cease to be a bad idea just because someone else has already done it. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 14:43, 7 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
true true. perhaps go to the threads onTelegram, and address these thoughts to them? I didn't know that alternative processes for open and free expression would attract such opposition here. perhaps you should go to the Telegram thread, and tell all 700 people to discontinue all discussion? if you're right that such interchanges is a bad idea.,how then can we address those errant individuals who seem to persist in this practice? perhaps wikipedia has some articles on some historical methods for pummeling such practitioners of untrammeled discourse? I'm deleting my own tongue-in-cheek remarks. I guess I'm trying to say, in a large, diverse, dynamic and vibrant community such as the wikipedia world community, isn't it good to have some diverse methods and platforms for discussion? it seems to me to have some obvious benefits. Sm8900 (talk) 13:54, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just a note that anyone can anonymously create an email address at protonmail aka —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:50, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Sm8900: Could you clarify whether you're inviting us on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation, and what particular benefits beyond the wiki interface this forum brings? Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 18:28, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
hi. no, I am simply an ordinary editor. as far as the benefits of this forum, it is basically that threads there are serving as semi-permanent communication threads, to reach out to communities that are less-represented, and to enable the wikimedia movement to be more inclusive. for one thing, one good feature there is that it can translate mutliple languages easily. Sm8900 (talk) 19:28, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's important to distinguish between "official" platforms set up by the Foundation and unofficial platforms created by a group of volunteers. For an official platform, decisions can be made that will apply to a broader community, and there may be an expectations that those who wish to talk about, say, movement strategy are aware of the discussions taking place on the platform. In contrast, I don't think there's any expectation that Wikipedians need to follow what's said on Telegram, Discord, IRC, etc., in large part because the guardrails we have in place ensure that no big decisions can be made there that will affect the broader Wikipedia community. They're for more casual chat and collaboration, or for working on wiki-adjacent projects like planning edit-a-thons or coordinating with museums.

That said, let's be real: MediaWiki stinks for trying to work in multiple languages at the same time. Good for encyclopedia that anyone can edit, bad for multilingual discussion forum. This looks like interesting software that may make it easier to do just that. I'm all for a trial run to see how it might fit in and/or what it might replace. But if you're going to tackle an important, consequential process like movement strategy with that trial, I'd hope the WMF is clear that it's unofficial and optional -- that Meta is still the primary site where decisions are documented and decided. Perhaps a staffer can clarify this (or perhaps Sm8900 knows the answer?). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 19:39, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Rhododendrites, thiose are all very good and valid points. I can absolutely attest that the MS Forums are not to replace any official processes, any currently-existing forums generally accepted by the community, such as Village Pump, or any and all internal decision-making processes in any way. none.
this is purely meant as a way to give a forum and a voice to communities and to groups who have previously been under-represented here. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 20:35, 8 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Sm8900: However, there is no objective basis for precluding the existence of an individual off-wiki platform.
Actually there is plenty of reasons.
  1. We have established workflows and tools for discussions. We have WP:RFCs, with centralized discussions etc... We have our watchlists, which lets us easily monitor these discussions, or at least the hubs in which these discussions occurs. They are integrated with WP:AALERTS, which are monitored by thousands of editors. We have RFC bots which advertises those discussions. We have cross-wiki ping notices. I have email notices setup too.
  2. Whatever other external site exists, I don't check it every time I log in Wikipedia (which is several times a day) and doesn't have this level of integration
  3. And lastly it's a damned hassle and splits discussion and the userbase for no reason. All of what could be achieve on an external site can be achieved here already. SO USE WHAT WE HAVE and stop making external sites. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:56, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
by the way, creating external platforms does not split the user base, actually. in actuality, it expands the user base, by reaching additional people and groups, who might be more interested in that external platform as a resource. Sm8900 (talk) 21:29, 15 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I appreciate your reply. You make some highly valid points. I would suggest just one small thought on this.
Obviously not everything that an external platform can do could be replicated here, simply due to the technical features themselves. I simply mean no platform is equivalent to another, just like email, WhatsApp and telegram all have different features. --Sm8900 (talk) 12:33, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had a look, and the inline Google Translate feature is awesome! Is that an add-in? Could the Foundation develop something similar for MediaWiki? (Sure, wiki talk pages will never have all the features of Discourse, without building something like Flow. But if people are saying MediaWiki sucks for such-and-such purpose, then invest in work to make it suck less.) @Rhododendrites@Sm8900 ⁓ Pelagicmessages ) 21:33, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Google Translate is indeed awesome but might raise concerns if built into MediaWiki. For example, not all editors would be happy giving Google such an easy way to link their wiki account to an IP address. Certes (talk) 22:56, 18 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You could proxy the requests through Wikimedia servers, so that Google never sees the end user's IP. That's how the Content translation tool does it when machine translation is used. the wub "?!" 08:49, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's pretty costly though. I doubt if we were to do this for all discussions, google would let us have that for free. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:03, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can easily do this on the user side by using Google Chrome, which has translation built in. I think Safari and other browsers also do the same. It does not need doing on the server side... Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 13:05, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
the translation services provided at the MS Forums are highly useful, and outweigh the beneffits of doing so via the browser. Sm8900 (talk) 15:50, 24 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Pelagic, how about coming by MS Forums, to discuss your ideas for Wikipedia add-ins? Sm8900 (talk) 00:41, 7 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should the WMF have rules or policies for when banned users apply for or are part of the team that administers grants?[edit]

Last week, a discussion at the Administrators Noticeboard was opened concerning a global image-adding contest. In the course of the discussion, it was raised that a $7,000 WMF grant was awarded to help run this contest last year, and that one of last year's contest organizers (the "Project Manager & Coordinator", in fact) responsible for administering said grant was in fact ArbCom banned from English Wikipedia several years ago (still in effect). Among the findings of fact for that Arb case were that the user had used sockpuppets, introduced potential BLP violations, engaged in COI editing, and repeatedly uploaded copyright violating photos (the user had their account renamed, so don't be confused by that). Admins attempting to address issues the contest introduced into English Wikipedia pointed out that the fact the photo-adding contest organizer was Arb banned (in part to mishandling of photos, no less) made it difficult to coordinate fixes. There was also general dismay at a banned user being entrusted with WMF money. One admin in the discussion pointed out that another banned user has also received WMF grants, despite the fact that their bans on two projects were apparently related to misrepresenting how they were going to use the grant.

A lot of this is a year-old stuff, but in general, users banned from one or more WMF projects receiving grants raises a number of issues:

  • The WMF is essentially getting less for what its paying than if it awarded the grant to a non-banned/non-blocked user, since a blocked user is restricted in what they can actually do
  • Awarding a grant or any other trust to a banned user (especially if the grant is related to activity for which the user was banned) creates mistrust among the community from which the user was restricted in some way
  • The grant may be in-effect funding undesirable behavior by an untrustworthy recipient.

I think the WMF, if it doesn't already, needs a policy (or perhaps UCOC provision?) governing when a banned or blocked user applies for a grant (including topic bans). I think this could maybe be presented in the form of a question on the application which says "Are you under any active sanctions on any Wikimedia projects? If so, please provide diffs of what led to them and explain the circumstances of the restriction being placed against you, and why you do not think this will adversely affect the administering of the grant." The WMF should then scrutinize the answers to determine whether or not: a) this person can even be trusted; b) this person is the most effective grant recipient; c) this would look terrible to the community and strain community-WMF relations. Gross or willful misrepresentations of one's own restrictions should be grounds for that user automatically failing the grant application.

I look forward to other comments. @I JethroBT (WMF): as I was informed you were likely the best onWiki WMF person to know about grant administration and be the best person to let know about this discussion. -Indy beetle (talk) 00:30, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks, Indy beetle for opening this. It's a worthwhile discussion. It does seem worth distinguishing between (a) a general analysis of risk when considering a grant, which would include the trustworthiness of the grantee, any on-wiki issues which may impede the execution of the grant, and mitigation strategies to ensure it can be carried out smoothly; and (b) the generally bad feelings parts of the community will understandably feel about the foundation giving money to someone who was considered harmful enough to the project to indefinitely block/ban. I'm going to guess the former is something grant officers already look at. In this case, for example, there are a lot of people involved who could pick up the slack on any wiki one or more organizers could not edit, just like you'd get other people to cover projects in a language an organizer didn't speak (for most international projects, it's unreasonable to expect a single person to be able to oversee it in every language). That makes me think the issue is primarily (b), and if that's the case, how can lines be drawn? If someone were banned from, say, the Croatian Wikipedia or Chinese Wikipedia, or any of the small Wikipedias where it may be hard to overturn a single admin's decision, would they be disqualified from any grant? (I know this is not what you're proposing, necessarily, Indy beetle, though the idea that an enwp ban should be disqualifying seems to underlie some of the comments at AN). Some tricky mixing of money, community relations, and governance here. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:02, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The issue of potential admin/community abuse (or say a really old trivial ban that's been forgotten about) is why I'm suggesting diffs and that the applicant explain their side of things, so WMF can review it. After all, based on the stories, being banned from Croat Wikipedia is essentially a badge of honor and decency. With regards to a general analysis of risk when considering a grant [...] I'm going to guess the former is something grant officers already look at: Yes I'm sure they do that, but does that include block/ban history? I don't know, and I don't know to what degree WMF examines a user's behavioral history on the site. -Indy beetle (talk) 07:32, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is worth noting that as part of the Wikicology case, I JethroBT (WMF) stated,
Our team recognizes that Wikicology has contributed extensively to the Nigerian User Group, and has made good-faith efforts to plan grant proposals supporting their community. That said, Community Resources requires that grantees and committee members remain in good community standing while participating in our programs. Recent AN/I discussions ([8], [9]) highlight several concerns about Wikicology’s contributions, including copyright infringement, contributing content unsupported by citations, providing false citations, and repeated creation of autobiographical content. Persistent inappropriate editing behavior, in spite of community warnings, is inconsistent with good ambassadorship for the projects in outreach and off-wiki work. In light of these concerns, we have communicated to Wikicology that the following conditions will remain in place until these issues have been resolved:
  • Status changed to inactive on the Individual Engagement Grants Committee,
  • Removal from accounts for WMF-funded activities, and
  • Removal from primary leadership, coordination, and training roles in WMF-funded activities.
We continue to welcome Wikicology’s participation in our programs through support roles not dependent on those skills called into question by the current discussions. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:02, 20 April 2016 (UTC) Reply[reply]
This was the last the community knew about this. There have been no updates to the case page since then regarding this aspect. If the issues raised then were resolved, how and when were they resolved, and where was the community informed? Andreas JN466 07:35, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For reference, user pages on the Foundation wiki:
FloNight, you commented on the case at the time, saying, "Wikicology's future roles will be partially determined by whether and when he retrieves mentoring on Wikipedia English." Did you follow events further after the ArbCom case concluded? Andreas JN466 08:06, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @I JethroBT (WMF): I second Andreas' points and have some additional questions:
    • Does the WMF regularly screen for grant applicants' standing, or did this happen in the Wikicology case because attention was brought to it by the fact of it being an ARBCOM case?
    • How does Community Resources ascertain "good community standing", when it is lost or regained? -Indy beetle (talk) 08:21, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've filed an amendment request at WP:RfAr proposing a temporary lifting of T_Cells' site ban so that he can participate in this discussion about his role if he wishes to do so. Andreas JN466 08:45, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Indy beetle and Jayen466: Thanks for your questions around these circumstances, and I can understand why there would be concerns here. For those not aware, I'm a program officer with the Wikimedia Foundation's Community Resources team, where I help manage some of the funding programs we maintain. A number of people on my team, including myself, were involved with decisions around Wikicology's eligibility for funding, both during 2016 when the ArbCom discussion was taking place and more recently. I'll do my best to respond to questions below:
I think the WMF, if it doesn't already, needs a policy (or perhaps UCOC provision?) governing when a banned or blocked user applies for a grant (including topic bans).
  • The Community Resources team maintains a set of behavioral policies when evaluating a proposal and the applicants involved with it. (Topic bans would also be a relevant consideration affecting eligibility and our evaluation of an applicant's community standing, though in my experience, they haven't come up that often in proposals I've reviewed.)
Does the WMF regularly screen for grant applicants' standing, or did this happen in the Wikicology case because attention was brought to it by the fact of it being an ARBCOM case?
How does Community Resources ascertain "good community standing", when it is lost or regained?
  • We evaluate a number of factors, including active blocks, block histories, community warnings on talk pages (even if they are removed), and will try to look at applicant behavior in spaces related to the block (e.g. user talk pages, article talk pages, relevant articles, admin discussion spaces, etc.) In more serious or systemic matters, we will consult with the Trust & Safety team.
  • Blocks and bans are always an important indicator of community standing, but there are other considerations as well. A user who is not blocked, for example, may still have a long history of persistent, disruptive conduct (through frequent warnings on their talk page), and may have never been blocked at all. Conversely, just because someone is blocked or banned on a project doesn't mean they will always be incapable of constructive work on other Wikimedia projects. Importantly, we require that applicant with an active block or ban to demonstrate learning and understanding as to the cause of the block or ban by directly corresponding with them about the circumstances, and gauging what they will do to prevent that conduct in the future. This means that applicants with a block or ban cannot casually ignore the block and jump to another Wikimedia project and get funding without addressing the original block with that community and our team.
  • We also evaluate whether that applicant has demonstrated evidence of constructive work on other Wikimedia projects, especially any contributions related to the reasons for the block on another Wikimedia project.
  • Finally, we also ask that applicants make a good-faith effort to complete an unblock or unban request through relevant community processes. If the request is not approved, the applicant is not eligible for funding if the proposal requires them to contribute to the Wikimedia project they are blocked on (which would clearly not be possible anyway).
I hope this provides some clarity to the questions above about our procedures in cases where there is a block or ban. I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 03:33, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@I JethroBT (WMF): Thanks – may I ask for a little further clarity? You said at the ArbCom case (my emphases), Community Resources requires that grantees and committee members remain in good community standing while participating in our programs. Recent AN/I discussions ([10], [11]) highlight several concerns about Wikicology’s contributions, including copyright infringement, contributing content unsupported by citations, providing false citations, and repeated creation of autobiographical content. Persistent inappropriate editing behavior, in spite of community warnings, is inconsistent with good ambassadorship for the projects in outreach and off-wiki work. In light of these concerns, we have communicated to Wikicology that the following conditions will remain in place until these issues have been resolved:
  • Status changed to inactive on the Individual Engagement Grants Committee,
  • Removal from accounts for WMF-funded activities, and
  • Removal from primary leadership, coordination, and training roles in WMF-funded activities.
So (1) how and when were these issues resolved, and (2) was the community notified of Wikicology's change in status?
Also, given the history of misrepresentation that was brought up in the ArbCom case, could you (3) please confirm that T_Cells is indeed one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader nominees, as it says on his Wikimedia Foundation user page? I tried to verify this online and all I found was T_Cells' own statements to this effect. In the past, he falsely claimed to be a university lecturer (and subsequently apologised to the community for that). I'll be happy to congratulate him if he was so nominated, but if he wasn't, then this indicates that the same problems that led to his site ban here are in fact continuing. Best, Andreas JN466 09:31, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
^This. Also, with regards to the 2021 contest, if you can answer, how exactly did he get put on the team for that with grant funding? From one point of view, leading the team at the helm of a grant-supported contest which will greatly effect a project from which one has been's like funding editing by proxy! Unless there was some stipulation that all enwiki matters were to be strictly handled by other contest leaders. -Indy beetle (talk) 14:19, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@I JethroBT (WMF): What is happening – could you give us an update please? Andreas JN466 07:45, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've reminded I Jethro that there are outstanding questions. --Andreas JN466 10:58, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment - Enwiki ban is what it is, a ban from the English language Wikipedia. It is not a ban from all languages Wikipedia. If a user is site-banned from the English Wikipedia, the WMF may not fund a grant request from them for projects that are related to the English Wikipedia. BUT if they are in good standing in other languages Wikipedia, and the WMF is convinced that the user(s) could implement the project in that language, they may be funded regardless of our ban on enwiki. SuperSwift (talk) 19:53, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But if I'm banned from the main wiki I edit for, say, bullying (a somewhat universal behavioral thing), do I get to turn around and apply for a grant while saying I'm a user on another language wiki? -Indy beetle (talk) 21:09, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, there's a lot of small wikis out there with dubious governance. If you get banned by a bunch of rogue penguins on aqwiki, that shouldn't automatically disqualify you from getting a WMF grant. -- RoySmith (talk) 20:00, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No one is arguing for that. -Indy beetle (talk) 21:09, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But if a user banned from the English Wikipedia gets a grant for organising a competition that involves edits to the English Wikipedia that is a problem. In this particular case the WMF could not be convinced that the project could be implemented without concerning the English Wikipedia because no attempt was made to do so. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:16, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment. I think the issue starts at the user group level here. Affilates and projects are pretty seperated and independent from each other right now. You can be banned from one while being allowed to participate in the other (which is how it works for different projects). That's the status quo, and it should be examined more here. –MJLTalk 23:32, 28 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment "Persistent inappropriate editing behavior, in spite of community warnings, is inconsistent with good ambassadorship for the projects in outreach and off-wiki work. In light of these concerns, we have communicated to Wikicology that the following conditions will remain in place until these issues have been resolved" (from 2016). I remember this case as being particularly egregious. When were these issues resolved, and how? Peter Damian (talk) 20:36, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment Size of grant matters. I would not be concerned to learn that someone with a sockpuppetry block on one project had received a $40 grant for reference books on another project without some assessment of their block. A more substantial grant is a different matter. Time is also a factor, especially if in the intervening time they have been behaving well on other projects. More troubling would be if the grant meant a return to the areas or activities where the past problems arose. ϢereSpielChequers 21:50, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I don't think a single project block or ban should disqualify people from grants related to different projects, but no users banned from a project should be involved (even tangentially) in grants that affect that project. —Kusma (talk) 10:15, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment Are we talking about a White-collar crime or a mistrust? But for me as a Wikipedian, what look terrible to the global community is : NO ONE CHECKS WHY A USER GOT BANNED. I believe there is a lot of missue of access in many projects, so we better to stop judging users based on their block-log. Access-holders are not the [elite .Therefore, for this reason, it is better to talk about the banning of users. I don't know about the user/users mentioned by Indy beetle. But I know about jealousy among users in small projects. --Ruwaym (talk) 01:25, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment: @I JethroBT (WMF), Indy beetle, and Peter Damian: For reference, all it takes to make someone a nominee of the "Young Global Leaders" programme of the World Economic Forum is to go on the website and nominate them.

As the website points out, "Due to the large number of nominations received, the Forum of Young Global Leaders only contacts successful candidates. Some candidates may be contacted as part of the due diligence process."

I am happy to tell you that all three of you can now add "Nominee, Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum" to your Wikimedia user pages, as I've just nominated all three of you. Just kidding. But I do think the WMF should hold its grantees and potential grantees to certain standards of personal conduct, and perform related assessments as part of its due diligence before awarding a grant. --Andreas JN466 08:51, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

ABorba (WMF) blocked[edit]

I have blocked ABorba (WMF) (talk · contribs) for operating ([12]) the account Scungiliman with contributions such as [13] and [14]. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 21:53, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since they didn't edit after being warned, what's the point of the block? Levivich 22:04, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Preventing further disruption from someone who needs a warning to not add "fuck shit" as the short description of biographical articles perhaps. I didn't check the warning's timestamp closely, though; I thought they had continued after a warning. Anyway, if these edits have been paid by the WMF, I'd first like to see a statement from someone else than the blocked user that this has been seen by their employer. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 22:11, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's not a valid use of the block tool. Levivich 22:23, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Preventing disruption is a valid use of the block tool. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 22:25, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes but these blocks obviously were not needed to prevent disruption because there were no bad edits made after the warnings. The disruption had already stopped by the time you arrived at the scene, TBF, so there was no need for a block to stop it. I get you may not have realized the timeline when you made the blocks, but now that you know, you should unblock. Levivich 22:29, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have just read their UTRS appeal and remain convinced they should stay blocked for now. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 22:34, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regardless of whether the block was too quick or hasty (or even unnecessary), I can understand why, in the heat of the situation, one would be inclined to block. What else would your reaction be if you saw a WMF account (or an account that looked like a WMF account) operating sock accounts for vandalism? If it's an actual vandal impersonating WMF, then problem solved; if it's a legitimate account, things can be clarified and the block can be removed later. But in the heat of the situation, seeing a seemingly-legitimate account vandalizing raises a lot of suspicions, and a block is absolutely on the table for stopping disruption, especially if the account really was a privileged account. I've been threatened for blocking an "unblockable" for vandalizing project pages which is not a good look: admins shouldn't hesitate to use their tools to exercise their judgement if they believe the project is in danger. —k6ka 🍁 (Talk · Contributions) 13:35, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This block might have been too quick, and probably would have been better to see if the warnings to knock it off worked. This has the appearance of dumb and careless user interface testing rather than vandalism, and blocking all 3 accounts with no warning seems overkill. *All* warnings were given after the last edit: last edit --> warning 1 --> warning 2 --> block. If it were up to me, I'd unblock now, but if the block remains, I at least think that "making sure their employer knows" is not a valid reason to keep the block; they should be unblocked, at the latest, as soon as there is an assurance that such "testing" won't recur. --Floquenbeam (talk) 22:27, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
concur with Floquenbeam, this block seems premature. Andre🚐 22:31, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It took me a while after the first block to notice that a WMF account is behind this, and even when I saw that an WMF account's userspace was involved, I first thought I'm dealing with impersonation. There needs to be, at very least, proper disclosure of the account ownership for all involved accounts. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 22:31, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Looks like it's going to be handled thru UTRS: link. And I'd agree proper disclosure is need; not as a condition for unblocking, but as soon as they're unblocked. --Floquenbeam (talk) 22:33, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From my side, it won't be handled through UTRS. On-wiki disruption paid by the WMF, on-wiki block appeal. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 22:35, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. My assumption was impersonation. -- Deepfriedokra (talk) 16:26, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@ToBeFree At the minimum they appear to also be using/have used:
plus Pineappleupsidedown (talk · contribs), though you've already blocked that one. How many testing accounts does one person need? (talk) 09:23, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • There's a lot of issues here, but right now I want to narrowly comment on I'd first like to see a statement from someone else than the blocked user that this has been seen by their employer. This concerns me. I recognize that we have a unique relationship with the WMF, but the general case of requiring input from an editor's employer on an unblock request is pretty strange. -- RoySmith (talk) 22:49, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yeah, using the term "employer" there as a way to avoid repeating "WMF" had the undesired effect of making it seem like a general attitude. This is WMF-specific. If the WMF pays people to disrupt Wikipedia, that seems problematic enough to make me desire the WMF knowing about the disruption done in its name on its wiki, and that's what I've meant. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 22:55, 30 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I have exchanged e-mails with T&S, with the matter to be handled "internally." -- Deepfriedokra (talk) 16:27, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Good block. Policy is 100% clear that maintaining an alternative, vandalism-only account is unacceptable, and we don't usually follow the three-escalating-warnings process when socking is involved. The fact that he's employed by the WMF only serves to the remove the "sorry I didn't know" excuse – someone who's worked in WMF QA for five years should know that we don't 'test' things by vandalising live wikis. – Joe (talk) 08:26, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I wouldn't describe an account that vandalises and then clears up the vandalism the next minute as "vandalism only". That said, testing in mainspace is always going to be problematic, not just because you might get blocked, but because we have lots and lots of real vandalism to train tools on, "fake vandalism" is not required and won't necessarily look enough like the real thing. Given past precedent, I would suggest that if the unblock request can't be public it would be better to make it to Arbcom rather than UTRS, as Arbcom are elected by the community, to make tough calls and negotiate terms for people's return. They also made the call when a WMF employee was desysopped but not blocked. ϢereSpielChequers 09:08, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I've looked into this a bit more since my first comment. It's clear that ABorba (WMF) showed poor judgement by using non-declared alternate accounts. And even worse judgement by doing testing on a production system; that's what test wikis and unit tests are for. Or at least do it in your sandbox, not in mainspace. But I don't see this as anything beyond poor judgement. As for ToBeFree's block, I think it was a mistake, but in the heat of battle, mistakes happen. I could easily see myself making the same mistake if I saw an edit like Special:Diff/1107597956. But, once the full explanation comes out, mistakes need to be corrected. WP:BLOCKP makes it clear that the block is not needed and the accounts should be unblocked. There is no credible reason to believe unblocking these accounts will lead to "continuing damage and disruption". -- RoySmith (talk) 11:39, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    "that's what test wikis and unit tests are for" I don't fully agree with that btw. I test things on production all the time. Both in and outside of Wikimedia. Sometimes it's just easier, sometimes there is no test system for it, but most of all there is just no system that can mirror what provides (activity wise, editable, all the filters, the link with the apps etc etc). I mean if you want to do a quick test on if the abusefilter for profanity by auto confirmed users triggers a notice that is displayed in the official Wikipedia App for English Wikipedia when you use the short description editor of the app.... this is about how you would test it. There is never going to a testcase for that scenario. However generally you should declare that you are testing something and you should make sure that the test is undone if it has any effects (which they did) and you should do it on the proper account etc etc —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:58, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've never looked at how the mobile apps are architected, but certainly in mobile development I've done, the app will have some way to configure which back end it's talking to. If I wanted to test "if the abusefilter for profanity by auto confirmed users triggers a notice that is displayed in the official Wikipedia App for English Wikipedia when you use the short description editor of the app", I would stand up a test wiki (more likely if my job was QA, I'd have one already), configure my phone to use that as a backend, and do my test that way. A big (and sometimes painful) part of scale-up is designing in testability like this. Wikipedia is a top-10 website, the engineering processes should be mature enough by now to support these things.
    For sure, there are some things you can't test in the engineering environment. But those are mostly looking for edge cases that you haven't thought of and verifying that things work properly at scale. "Does an alert get displayed when an autoconfirmed user puts a profane word in the short description" is something that can and should be tested in the dev environment. -- RoySmith (talk) 12:32, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In fact, there is no Wikipedia App for English Wikipedia – the fact that it is multilingual should provide even more of an opportunity to reconfigure it for a test wiki. 1234qwer1234qwer4 22:40, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Have you read ABorba's UTRS appeal? It gives every reason to believe that he would continue these disruptive edits if unblocked. – Joe (talk) 12:07, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I do not have UTRS access, but if there's something in there which makes one think they will continue to be disruptive, then yes, the block should be maintained. That would be shocking. I'm not saying it can't be true, but it would indeed be shocking. -- RoySmith (talk) 12:34, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Based on the UTRS reason given I would not be comfortable unblocking without a clear commitment to not use enwiki as a QA testing ground in this way. Dreamy Jazz talk to me | my contributions 13:27, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Toby said the same thing and like Roy I find that just shocking but, yeah, if that's the case, then I agree, leave the accounts blocked. Levivich 13:46, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Self-trout: Well, it turns out I do have UTRS access after all (see my talk page). I looked at the ticket (and the follow up on User talk:ABorba (WMF). I still think this didn't need to end up with a block, but, for sure, this method of testing is inappropriate. All we need is for ABora to say, "I'll find a better way to run tests and I'll declare my socks" and then we can unblock, and this could all be over before I've even had my second cup of tea this morning. -- RoySmith (talk) 13:53, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    And just to clarify how long I expect this really should take to sort out, I'm literally on my way downstairs to put up another kettle of water as soon as I hit the the reply button on this. -- RoySmith (talk) 13:55, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • WereSpielChequers, "if the unblock request can't be public it would be better to make it to Arbcom". All the evidence is on-wiki. This case is not within ArbCom's remit.
This looks like another case of an employee who needs The Talk with management about on-wiki conduct & use of WMF accounts. Cabayi (talk) 13:32, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They are making an appeal via UTRS so not everything is public. If the appeal is not going to be public I would rather it be handled by Arbcom than by UTRS. No offence, but Arbcom is elected. ϢereSpielChequers 14:30, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(Non-administrator comment) I do not think ARBCOM is meant to be a political solution for the admin corps to hide behind. You have expressed your opinion about this twice and reiterating does not make it any more valid. Chris Troutman (talk) 14:34, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Once I realized this really is A WMF employee, I closed the UTRS ticket. Had they proven not to be a WMF employee, the actions I would have taken would have been more than a redirect to the user talk. -- Deepfriedokra (talk) 16:21, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WereSpielChequers, repeating public information in a private forum does not make it private information. There's nothing in UTRS appeal #62492 which is not already known on-wiki on one WMF project or another. The UTRS appeal was redirected to the user's talk page. Any appeal to ArbCom would be bounced in the same way. Cabayi (talk) 17:05, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
UTRS is not really a private forum. Just the place those w/o TPA can go to request unblock. While I signed the Confidentiality agreement, I believe all admins now have access to UTRS. -- Deepfriedokra (talk) 17:24, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What an unfortunate situation. Just a couple things: (a) there might be times when something needs to be tested on-wiki. If it'll be disruptive, it should be clearly announced, open to comment, and justified as to why it can't happen on a test wiki. If/when that happens and the justification seems reasonable, we should be open to allowing it. (b) If the account is being used as part of ABomba's work duties, it should be declared. If it's being used for reasons that would otherwise be seen as disruptive, it needs to be declared. I do just want to carve out that it should be permissible under WP:LEGITSOCK for a WMF staffer to have a volunteer account that isn't formally linked for privacy reasons (ideally disclosed to arbcom, at least, but not absolutely required). Of course, accidentally editing your other account's userpage kind of ruins it, so this case isn't a great example. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:53, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I wonder why they can't do it in a sandbox or user subpage. Unless the test edit must be done in mainspace? OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:23, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I assume they didn't consider the possibility of us setting up a test filter for them. Which is not a good look. SubjectiveNotability a GN franchise (talk to the boss) 16:38, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Noting for those without UTRS access that Deepfriedokra has declined the UTRS appeal stating that the appeal should be done on-wiki. I was going to the appeal to do this action, so I (as an individual administrator) support that decision. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:18, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • As noted in unblock discussion at user talk:ABorba (WMF), a little communication would have gone a long way. Apparently, this just one more example of a disconnect between the Foundation and the Community.-- Deepfriedokra (talk) 16:18, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Noting what a horrendous time-sink this was at UTRS and other venues. SMDH. -- Deepfriedokra (talk) 16:23, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section break 2[edit]

  • Why is this being discussed here, rather than at WP:ANI? AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:20, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Because the account being blocked was a WMF staffer. If they weren't, than ToBeFree would probably have hit the block button and posted nowhere, like happens with most other vandal accounts. * Pppery * it has begun... 18:25, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Not sure I see the logic of that. If the vandalism by ABorba (WMF) needs more discussion than a simple block, it needs discussion as vandalism, in the places where such behaviour is normally discussed, rather than on an obscure village pump page not remotely intended for such purposes (see the notice at the top of this page), with less than 300 page watchers. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:40, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I hoped for the WMF to see and comment on this, so I created the thread, noticed that the header still says "Wikimedia Foundation currently does not consider this page to be a communication venue" and sent an e-mail to info@ requesting a statement regarding this thread. As the page is about "matters of significance to both the community and the foundation", it seemed to be an appropriate venue. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:45, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, but if it is a matter of significance to the community, the community needs to know be aware of it. Discussing it here seems an odd choice, and one might well ask whether doing so, rather than at a place where vandalism is normally discussed, might be perceived as preferential treatment. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:05, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'd rather have expected a complaint about this thread being an unnecessary pillory than one about it not being enough of it. 🙂 ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:20, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Please feel free to post a notice to AN and ANI. -- Deepfriedokra (talk) 19:20, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Done. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:27, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If a Foundation employee wants to play with filters, there are numerous proper ways to do it, and this wasn't one of those. So the real question is, do we believe him? Not naming names, but this isn't the first employee to do stupid things. Dennis Brown - 19:36, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Their editing history through this does not make me inclined to think that this is vandalism, and is indeed poorly designed testing. Or, at a minimum, poorly handled testing without suitable notification, agreement, and aftermath cleanup. An unblock should be conditional on both individual and WMF rapidly coming to a better methodology. Or, on the individual side, they could just agree not to do any more testing and I'd back an unblock, notwithstanding info to the contrary. Nosebagbear (talk) 20:02, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I definitely believe that ABorba is a WMF employee in quality assurance - you can't have a (WMF) username without it being made for you and TheresNoTime who is a foundation employee in addition to being an enwiki functionary has also verified that this is a real employee. I also believe that ABorba edited as Scungiliman because they admitted as much to ToBeFree. I further believe that a WMF QA employee would have reasons to test abuse filters. And, sadly, I also believe that a WMF QA employee would not understand the right way to do this testing and that that they can't just test abuse filters on enwiki, even if they immediately revert their testing. We've definitely had foundation employees do stupid things but I'm not aware of anyone going rogue so mark me down as completely believing what happened here. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 20:03, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    So, "Never ascribe to malice, that which can be adequately explained by incompetence?" I feel much better now. Dennis Brown - 20:20, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    incompetence is as valid a reason for a block as is malice. Wikipedia best practice does not draw a distinction. --Jayron32 13:08, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Just wanted to say, simply as a member of our community, (re the comment immediately above, and other comments similar to this one), I'm very glad to see the ideals of full discussion, full benefit of the doubt, due process, etc etc, being followed so ardently here. I appreciate and applaud those trying to provide real clarity, fairness, and thoughtful judgment on this. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 22:08, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Let me add, the fact that an employee never had the idea of dropping off a note at WP:AN to say he was going to test, at a minimum, demonstrates once again that the Foundation sees itself as the rightful owners of Wikipedia, and that the actual community is just a necessary nuisance, tolerated but looked down upon. It's not all his fault, but he is an employee of that system. Dennis Brown - 20:23, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    ACAB. MrOllie (talk) 20:28, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No most aren't, but the system is broken. Being an admin, I'm not prone to being anti-authority, I'm just not for authoritarianism and the like. Dennis Brown - 20:33, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Dennis Brown sticking with your "incompetence, not malice" scenario, how many Foundation employees are aware of how the communities work? If you're employed to do a technical role, how much do you learn or are taught about how the people who use the product, use it? Nthep (talk) 20:40, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That's a very good question. If it was important to the Foundation, they would have a protocol for doing live software testing that could be written down in a paragraph or two. So either it isn't important to them, or he didn't follow it. That would be the case for any IT dept, in any company. Dennis Brown - 20:47, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    the actual community is just a necessary nuisance, tolerated but looked down upon and ignored until we make ourselves an intolerable nuisance. Levivich, an intolerable nuisance 20:56, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Anecdotally, I remember years ago, I want to say Jimbo or someone, making small vandalism as a demo to show how it got reverted immediately, and understandably people were annoyed by this lack of empathy for the humans behind that seemingly magical reversion. So, I'm inclined to say this isn't necessarily indicative of any major position or viewpoint. It's just a stupid and foolish mistake. We all make them from time to time. As long as we can learn and grow, that's what matters most, right? Andre🚐 21:00, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don't have a lot to say or a lot of comments to make on this, but I wanted to simply say that I think that @Andrevan above shows a commendable effort to try to seek some type of positive approach and resolution, if possible. I agree that this matter is highly worthy of concern. I agree with the editors above who have taken an active approach to truly address this, as a problem, and also those who sought active communication with WMF. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 22:03, 31 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I support the block. Sockpuppeting to insert vandalism into live articles is not an appropriate method of testing anything, especially for a Foundation employee. In fact, under these circumstances we should consider a community ban. The Foundation exists to support Wikipedia, not to vandalize it. Sandstein 08:52, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The following accounts are  Confirmed by checkuser:

The amount of password resets that I see on Pineappleupsidedown makes me think it may be shared. --Guerillero Parlez Moi 12:54, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I've been following this for a few days before making my feelings public. Here is the real crux of the issue: I am fine blocking all of the sock accounts; but what we need to decide is "Do we, going forward, believe there is likely to be continuing abuse from the person running the main account?" If AND ONLY IF we believe the answer to that question is a clear "yes" do we need to maintain a block on the ABorba (WMF). I am willing to be convinced by Aborba that they have learned their lesson, and believe them if they say unambiguously that they will no longer do this anymore. I don't see the need to maintain such a block if Aborba understands the problem that led to the block, and agrees to stop the problematic behavior. A condition of the unblocking should be a clear 1-account restriction as well. --Jayron32 13:12, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    A QA tester with a one-account restriction? Srsly? Levivich 15:51, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Well, maybe they should have done their job properly. The consequences of fantastic incompetence are not negligible. There are 100 ways a QA tester could have done this, up to and including publicly telling everyone exactly what they were doing, having clearly identified QA accounts, perhaps with a clearly identifiable naming scheme and where such accounts are listed at their main account explaining what they are and what they are doing, etc. If a person behaves in a manner indistinguishable from a vandal or a troll, there is no reason for them not to expect to be treated that way. Legitimate quality control tests are welcome. Covert breaching experiments are not. --Jayron32 15:47, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If a person behaves in a manner indistinguishable from a vandal or a troll, there is no reason for them not to expect to be treated that way. So like if they use the word "shit" in mainspace edit summaries, we should treat them as a vandal or a troll?
    Are you familiar with WP:TECHALT and WP:TESTALT? TESTALT says (bold added) The second account should be clearly linked to the main account, except where doing so would interfere with testing or training. That line was added in 2013--that's how long we have officially recognized that sometimes, disclosing test alts would interfere with testing or training.
    Covert breaching experiments are not welcome, actually, it's not covert -- just because we don't know about it doesn't make it covert, the WMF knew about it. But also, red team testing is not a breaching experiment. Yes, most testing should be done in testing environments, and in-prod testing should usually be done with disclosed alts and with testing programs announced and test edits marked, but there is absolutely a necessary place in QA testing for intentionally vandalizing mainspace with undisclosed alts making unmarked test edits. It doesn't need to be done with the particular text string that was used here (IMO), and I'm not sure if this was that type of testing, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that one reason someone might want to vandalize a short description is to test whether and how that vandalism propagates to other places that copy enwiki article short descriptions, even if or even after the vandalism on enwiki is removed: e.g., does reverting the short desc vandalism on enwiki also clear up the vandalism that was copied elsewhere? Like I said, I don't know if that's what they were doing here, but it doesn't take a lot of Assume Good Foundation to imagine that this was legit testing.
    This was not "fantastic incompetence", it was a simple mistake. The person who made this mistake did not act like a vandal or a troll, and it's a WP:PA to suggest such, and they certainly shouldn't expect to be treated by the rest of us as such, not after identifying themselves, which, let's remember, they did 6 minutes after they were asked.
    You've personally used more profanity in your mainspace edit summaries than this user has. Your outrage is unwarranted. Levivich 18:25, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Good block. Very good. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:48, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I disagree and I fear this is turning into a witch hunt. WP:BLOCKP is clear that blocks are "to prevent imminent or continuing damage and disruption to Wikipedia". Many of these accounts have either zero edits or haven't edited in almost a year. There's no evidence that there is any "imminent or continuing damage or disruption". Accounts like that are regularly left unblocked at SPI.
    I also object to the use of the term "vandalism" regarding the edits made by these accounts. WP:Vandalism (which ranks as policy) makes it clear that vandalism is editing ... deliberately intended to obstruct or defeat the project's purpose. That's clearly not what was going on here. Poor judgement, sure. Contrary to best devops practices? IMHO yes. But certainly a good faith attempt at testing the software, and as the policy says, any good faith effort to improve the encyclopedia is not vandalism. -- RoySmith (talk) 14:57, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Agree with RoySmith. Andre🚐 15:00, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    My views partially align with RoySmith here; I think so long as assurances are made explicitly that the behavior that led to the fully justified block are going to cease, I see no problem with unblocking. The block was fully justified, but that doesn't mean it continues to be justified forever. --Jayron32 15:07, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree with RoySmith. Sm8900 (talk) 15:17, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Me too. Levivich 15:50, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I concur. I feel like this is a collective effort of Reichstag-climbing, motivated by general collective dislike of the WMF. I also believe the block was justified, but these further condemnations are unnecessary. 🌈WaltCip-(talk) 16:41, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @WaltCip, agreed. Sm8900 (talk) 18:55, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Concur with Roy Smith. This went from "Hey, we might have a WMF staffer vandalizing on a sock, we need to block them(valid block reason)" to "Well, we know it was testing, but we now demand answers from WMF before we unblock this staff member(not a valid block reason)". The answers can come, but the block needs tochanged for clarityFrederalBacon (talk) 17:30, 1 September 2022 (UTC) could go. FrederalBacon (talk) 16:53, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You have not read their e-mail request to the Unblock Ticket Request System. There are multiple voices above for keeping up the block for now because of text you have not read. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 17:11, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There's nothing particular wrong with the unblock request, it's just not developed. Let's not pretend it concluded with, "I'm going to vandalise regardless of what you think". In reply to FrederalBacon, we don't need to hear from the WMF, however (note to ABorba (WMF)), we do need to hear from ABorba (WMF) to ensure we don't have a repeat. This is standard procedure. Until ABorba engages in any discussion, even an unblock request, they're not going to get unblocked, and any other live testing or editing is not going to go down at all well. For the record I don't think it was a great block. This could probably have been resolved with a cordial chat. -- zzuuzz (talk) 17:17, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree with everything you said regarding hearing from the editor (obviously). I'm just saying that some of the voices above also appear to be voicing more frustration with the foundation than with the testing.
    And to TBF, I know I have not read it, nor will I, obviously, I'm not an admin. I'm just saying that, from where I sit, it appears as though the block, while legitimate when placed, could be lifted without any further disruption to the wiki, and I think that's a growing sentiment. FrederalBacon (talk) 17:23, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Zzuuzz that's somewhat disingenuous. They did try to engage in discussion. They filed a UTRS ticket. We shut them down by closing the ticket a little over an hour later. -- RoySmith (talk) 18:08, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree with some of that. They were clearly directed to their talk page, which I think is probably appropriate, and we've heard nothing from them since. Nothing, that is, except another test edit. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:17, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    He was asked, quite appropriately, to continue the unblock discussion on-wiki. That is not being "shut down". – Joe (talk) 18:40, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This could probably have been resolved with a cordial chat. Is the key take-away from this episode. The thing that sticks out is that when ABorba (WMF) was asked a question, he answered in 6 minutes and the next thing that happens is he gets blocked, and now we've blocked all his test accounts. That was unnecessarily harsh. I don't know what he wrote on UTRS but if it were me, I'd have written "FU guys I'm trying to do my job here WTF". ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Levivich 18:08, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Levivich He wrote something far more polite and professional. -- RoySmith (talk) 18:11, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Albeit amounting to basically the same thing. – Joe (talk) 18:39, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Levivich, @RoySmith, those are very good points. @Joe Roe, with all respect, what he chose to write in actuality does not amount to the "same thing" as the hypothetical phrase imagined in an earlier comment above. I hope you don't mind my saying that. I respect your views and concerns fully on this. thanks. Sm8900 (talk) 18:42, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    How do you know? UTRS can only be accessed by admins, can't it? – Joe (talk) 18:46, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Joe Roe, thanks for replying and engaging here. I was making a much simpler, and abstract point; namely if a comment is phrased politely, then it does not amount to the "same" thing as a comment that is noiticeably less polite. I was simply noting that as a general principle. i hope you don't mind my own small comment, which is meant to simply reflect and cogitate, as it were, upon this small aspect of this topic. Sm8900 (talk) 18:49, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yeah same like always. Just angry ppl trying to torch the foundation any chance they get —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:11, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Well, to be fair, Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is pretty horribly corrupt and bad. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:54, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm glad this was resolved, however, I'm curious why my username showed up with checkuser? If there was any activity that led to it being flagged, or there is anything I need to change about my testing. I don't make any changes to articles except on testwiki or my sandbox, or my own test user talk pages. Please advise. EdTestCommons02 (talk) 21:13, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@EdTestCommons02: Emailed -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 21:19, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

section break 3[edit]

  • WP:NOTLAB is policy, not "best practices". —Kusma (talk) 19:36, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    NOTLAB says Wikipedia is not a public laboratory and talks about research projects and researchers. QA testing is not that. Let's not lose sight of who User:ABorba (WMF) is and what he was doing: he is our employee, testing our website for us because we pay him to. He is not some third-party researcher. The WMF is not some third-party organization. The money that pays him comes from the donations that are made by donors who are donating to support the community, and it's spent by trustees who we elect (btw everyone go vote if you haven't already). The testing is for our benefit (readers and editors). Yes, he was "doing it wrong", but he's not a vandal, or a sockpuppeteer, or a researcher, or a WP:PAID editor--all of which he's been accused of. Levivich 19:47, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I don't see a huge difference between "researching" Wikipedia software and doing QA "testing" if the resulting edits are the same. —Kusma (talk) 20:08, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    When your doctor pokes a hole in you and drains out 10cc of blood for analysis, that's "testing". When a random stranger comes up to you on the street, pokes a hole in you and drains out 10cc of blood because they're curious what will happen, that's "assault". -- RoySmith (talk) 20:27, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes, I'd rather have tests done by someone I know to be my doctor (who tells me that they are doing a test) than by a random stranger (who doesn't tell me). Which gets us back on topic: tests and test accounts need to be properly declared. —Kusma (talk) 20:30, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I hope a constructive outcome to all of this will be the requirement for all WMF accounts (and by extension, their test accounts) to be properly identified — a couple of lines of who/what/why is all that's needed... I dare say that would have prevented a lot (if not all) of this — TheresNoTime (talk • she/her) 20:32, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree but isn't that already a requirement and the issue here is the WMF's (or a particular team's?) compliance with those requirements? Levivich 20:33, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That commitment came eight years ago. Sdrqaz (talk) 20:41, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Sdrqaz and Levivich: ah, quite right, thank you — everyone (new) just seems to do it as an onboarding step now Face-smile.svgTheresNoTime (talk • she/her) 20:44, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TNT: but I agree about coming to a constructive outcome here, I just sort of think the need for policy changes or clarification is more on the WMF's side rather than the enwiki side. Maybe an email should be sent out to testers reminding them of the rules about disclosure of alt accounts, etc., and asking them to make sure all their test accounts are in compliance. (cc JBranaa (WMF)) I share another concern that AndyTheGrump raised at ANI which is that I don't quite see why QA testing would require the use of the test text string "fuck shit" in mainspace rather than some other text string that would be less disruptive, and that sort of makes me question whether the WMF should review the parameters of exactly how they test in production in mainspace on the largest wiki that millions of children read (for example have they considered testing on noindex'd test articles). Levivich 20:56, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Agree, 1) do automated and manual testing first in lower environments like integration and staging, 2) if you must test in production, all test accounts must be labeled and known to admins, 3) if you have to test abuse filters, surely there's a less disruptive way Andre🚐 21:13, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @TNT, acknowledged. We will be working to better align our processes with what we've learned here. JBranaa (WMF) (talk) 18:44, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    To go with this analogy, while our initial reaction may have been understandable, now that we know that the person who poked us who we thought was a random stranger was in fact our doctor, we should let go of his collar. Levivich 20:35, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Please. The community complains of aches and pains and is ignored by said "doctor" whom we did not hire. The "doctor" lives the high life from our hard work but you find it important to bend your knee for this malpractice? Chris Troutman (talk) 20:43, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Going with the whole doctor thing, your doctor made a surprise house call to give you a colonoscopy... I mean, let's not pretend it was OK. It was a bad idea. But apologize, stop doing it, salt the earth and move on. Right? Andre🚐 20:46, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    You're right, going with the analogy was a bad idea. Levivich 20:50, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have a better analogy. Would you be willing to tell your Congressman (or Congresswoman) about the trends of property values on the block where you live? ok, now how about a random stranger? ok, now how about if a random stranger started asking you some pesky questions, and when you waved them away, you then found out that the erson was your local congressman? you'd run after him to have a friendly chat, right?
ok, so think of WMF as your local Congressman, or any local politician. almost everyone finds politicians annoying in some way; however, when a politician takes an actual interest in some local item, usually people prefer to cooperate.
I see the WMF as dirrectly analogous to one's local elected officials; in general, we would probably find them annoying, however, most people would agree that they still serve some useful purpose. I hope no one minds my small excursion into analogies here; however, I have used this analogy to explain the WMF quite a bit, and when the topic of general irritation with WMF comes up, this is one way that I like to view this whole topic, and this whole issue in general. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 21:05, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree in general. I think though like any good politician, WMF needs to understand and cater to some public sensitivities. Admit the "mistakes were made" and put in place protocols and plans to avoid it in the future. It's a PR problem. Andre🚐 21:14, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Here's another one User talk:EdTestCommons02-- Deepfriedokra (talk) 19:11, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Unblocked. Let's cut this out now — these obviously aren't vandals, the project is not in imminent danger, so you're all able to slow down and engage in discussion. — TheresNoTime (talk • she/her) 19:52, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm not convinced that was appropriate; as an employee of the WMF, you are WP:INVOLVED. BilledMammal (talk) 09:30, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I've been a volunteer much much longer than a member of staff, will always be a volunteer first and foremost and try to use this dual-role to vocalise community concerns internally. With my volunteer hat on I'm an admin, a local functionary and a global steward, whereas my staff hat only consists of the ability to write software for y'all — I'm more than capable of separating my thought process between software development and administrative actions, and although I'm very careful to hold myself to an overly restrictive definition of "involved", unblocking one account after chewing them out a little just ain't it Face-smile.svg you'll note I'm fairly unimpressed by all of this, on both sides, so it's not like I'm here to bang the Foundation drum. Hopefully this goes some way to reassure you, but please feel free to follow up on my talk page (or WP:AN I suppose!) if not — TheresNoTime (talk • she/her) 00:27, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Aside from the account issues, testing on real wikis is yet another symptom of the WMF not properly resourcing the existing test environment that we already have. The "code stewardship request" for the Beta Cluster illustrates multiple volunteer and WMF developers explaining why it's useful and why it needs more support, and nothing from WMF upper management. Legoktm (talk) 19:45, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Absolutely. It isn't like the WMF doesn't have the budget to set up a proper mirroring test environment, including capacity to simulate traffic if that is what these tests require. It seems clear to me that this is a management problem. This is a consequence of bad practices required by ABorba's superiors. MrOllie (talk) 20:51, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Agreed, he is just a worker, not the architect of this flawed test strategy. Andre🚐 21:15, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

At a minimum, all of these test accounts need to disclose:

  1. That they are running tests on behalf of the WMF
  2. Who owns them

To comply with WP:SOCKLEGIT. The owner needs to have an unlocked WMF account with a name and contact information. --Guerillero Parlez Moi 20:35, 1 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(Non-administrator comment) Unless the project is about edit summaries and the testing needs to take over the entire edit summary field in order to have a valid test result, I would expect any such live testing to use the edit summary field to clearly label it (maybe with a bit of shouting) AS A TEST, and to include a link to a page on mw or meta or wherever the case may be, where one could find a project page describing the particular testing going on. The project page should also list previous project testing on, and why stopping there wasn't sufficient, and it had to be continued live. Presumably, it would be accompanied by a Project talk page, where any Wikipedia editors who were discommoded or had other comments could register their thoughts and get feedback. Mathglot (talk) 03:40, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • That is exactly correct. In a normal world, the WMF employee would simply drop a note at WP:AN with their WMF account saying "I'm about to test the profanity filter using account User:WMFtestguy, so these edits will probably need RevDel afterwards." Maybe even add "I will be testing on the article Richard Hurtz" or "I will be testing several articles/pages". Then in the edit summary, start with "WMF test - (other text if they want to test the filter in edit summaries)". This is just so simple, so common sense, and really doesn't require extended conversation ahead of time. This is why I say they have no respect for the community. It doesn't even dawn on them to communicate with the unwashed masses called "the community". They just dump their garbage on our lawn and walk away. Dennis Brown - 11:45, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Statement from Jan (WMF)[edit]

Moin. First, many thanks to @Guerillero:, who notified T&S. Let me briefly share an update on where we are at and to be transparent about my email reply to him earlier today, too:

  • The community did the right thing being initially cautious, especially given that the accounts in question did not have the traditional features of a Foundation work account (WMF-name and disclosures on the user pages about the purpose).
  • The problem is both one of Foundation's long-standing work account naming policy (the features are mandatory for staff and contractor accounts working on community wikis) and of reasonable community expectations about being notified beforehand. On Wednesday, T&S will join the call of the team the accounts belong to, Quality and Test Engineering, to help the team resolve the issues. They have been very responsive, and ahead of the meeting, my initial take is that the incident mainly occurred because folks weren't fully aware of the account naming policy, its history, and related expectations.
  • The team has agreed to not conduct further tests until both these issues have been resolved.

I also promised Guerillero to circle back with an update after the upcoming meeting. I am happy to share that follow up here, too, if there is an interest. Best regards,--Jan (WMF) (talk) 17:06, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi JEissfeldt (WMF), Thank you very much! In addition to account naming and notifications, I'd hope for an agreement not to insert obscene references to copulation or similar vandalism simulations into mainspace articles at all. There are surely less disruptive ways to test edit filters, and there's no reason to believe that the community would deny or object to the creation of a test filter for a custom keyword such as "WMFTESTFILTERBLOCK". As the team has agreed not to conduct further tests until the issues have been resolved, I'll remove the three blocks I have placed for now lacking a preventative need. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 17:38, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, ToBeFree, your proposal strikes me as very sensible and I will raise it on Wednesday. The team has done lots of good work helping to improve software before it reaches the community wikis. That wasn't always the case at the WMF before this team was created. So we should be able to work out a way for them to do their work without unnecessary disruptions, especially in the main space. Best regards, --Jan (WMF) (talk) 17:57, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed, and maybe the QA team needs to publish their test plans 24h or 48h in advance and allow experienced admins to object. And maybe they shouldn't do this kind of testing on prod at all but make a test environment. Andre🚐 17:58, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@JEissfeldt (WMF): I think you're missing an important element here, which is that, putting all the issues with accounts and lack of disclosure aside, enwiki has a longstanding policy that says making disruptive edits for research or testing purposes isn't acceptable; see WP:NOTLAB. We're a real encyclopaedia on the real life internet and we don't want our readers to open up a biography and see "fuck shit" under the heading, even if it's only for a few minutes. As several editors who work in tech have said above, running tests on your production environment is unprofessional. – Joe (talk) 07:29, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
re I also promised Guerillero to circle back with an update after the upcoming meeting. I am happy to share that follow up here, too, if there is an interest. – I would personally be grateful for that update after the meeting. Best, KevinL (aka L235 · t · c) 12:13, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@L235: Noted :)
@Joe Roe: We agree on both points. I have never met anyone in my nearly two decades here who thinks testing in production is a good pathway. That the testwikis themselves sit in the production cluster, too, just illustrates the larger problem of technical debt (of which our testing infrastructure itself is basically part). If you are interested in my personal views on the latter, I outlined them - including the caveat that I naturally don't speak for Product and Technology - during the Board's community office hour in April (the relevant community question gets read out at 1:00:22). Best regards, --Jan (WMF) (talk) 06:13, 5 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moin, @L235, Joe Roe, Andrevan, Guerillero, and ToBeFree: thank you for your patience while I discussed your concerns with the Quality & Test Engineering team. They were very interested in your proposals how to improve their work here and agreed to:

  • Rename their test accounts to align with other staff accounts, making them easily identify-able for the community (T&S will help with that next week).
  • Publish disclaimers explaining the staff accounts purpose on the related user pages (same, T&S will help implement that change).
  • Explore publishing the rules under which they conduct tests that they need to do on this wiki. They would like to invite your feedback on two questions:
  • Would the technical village pump be an acceptable home for brief announcements for local tests?
  • Would you be interested in joining them in a call to discuss the rules - and the technical limitations they work under that are forcing them to conduct some tests in production - before they take effect?

T&S can help put a call together if you are interested in the conversation. Best regards, -–Jan (WMF) (talk) 07:25, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's good enough for me as a step in the right direction, I'll let others chime in. No need to join the call, I already have enough on my plate to manage on my actual job. Andre🚐 15:12, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From my point of view the technical pump makes sense as an announcement place. But I think there needs to be broader onwiki documentation about why production testing is sometimes necessary rather than just discussing it on a call. This could live here, on meta, or mediawiki, and then linked to as appropriate. If a call does end up being organized I would be interested in joining. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:29, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not completely sure how this became a T&S issue, but yes, I'd be happy to be on a call to discuss this sort of testing. -- RoySmith (talk) 15:36, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks again 🙂 The upcoming renames and userpage disclosures are probably the most important step; I'm happy to see them on a tangible timeline supported by the T&S team. Regarding the announcements/explanations/discussions, I guess as much as possible of them should be held on-wiki (too), where I'd happily participate. I'm also happy to see Barkeep49 and RoySmith, both of whom have programmed userscripts implying noticeable technical competence, joining the call if there is one. I'm thankful for the kind invitation, but I'll stick to written English. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 18:34, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@JEissfeldt (WMF); I would be more than happy to jump on a call with you and them to workshop a proposal -- Guerillero Parlez Moi 07:03, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hey folks, circling back on this with an update. Anthony has provided a list of 10 test accounts to the T&S team. We have just renamed to have them standardized and dropped a disclaimer on each of their userpage. The accounts are User:QTE-Test1-WMF,...and User:QTE-Test10-WMF. We will send out a doddle to Barkeep49, RoySmith, Guerillero and folks who are interested to the call together with Jean-Rene Branaa, Engineering Manager for the Quality and Test Engineering team and Jan from the T&S to discus the rules and where to post. Thank you.--Wikimedia Foundation office (talk) 11:33, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for that. Are these logins for individuals, or role accounts? Certes (talk) 11:45, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The disclosures on their user page say they are "role accounts", so I would presume the latter. Dreamy Jazz talk to me | my contributions 13:53, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment by a Community Member[edit]

I have a few comments. First, in looking over the election materials, I think that there is some insight into what is wrong with the Foundation's attitude. They ask the candidates what radical changes should be made to the Foundation or the Movement. Some of us didn't sign on to a Movement. Some of us think that the Foundation is the corporate structure for managing a large data center in support of various stakeholders. Maybe the fact that the Foundation thinks that it is the vanguard of a Movement is part of the problem.

Second, it appears that, perhaps because it thinks that there is a Movement that will change the world, the Foundation hasn't tried to stay in touch with its stakeholders. Each of the wikis has at least two communities of stakeholders, the readers and the editors. We are the largest and most active community of editors, and we might be similar to some of the other communities of editors and might also be able to provide insight into the largest community of readers. The live English Wikipedia is on servers that belong to the Foundation, but the encyclopedia belongs to its communities. (So go and test somewhere else.)

Third, you aren't showing that you have a clue as to how to change the world if you don't know how to manage your own data center, but are in the data center business. (So go and test somewhere else.) Robert McClenon (talk) 05:33, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the general thrust of the comments by Robert McClenon. The monetary value of the Wikimedia Movement has been created entirely by the volunteer editors, especially the diligent, long term editors who contribute to Wikipedia in English. German, French. Japanese. Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese and Italian. Not to criticize the editors who contribute in other languages, but the editors working in these languages I have mentioned contribute the vast majority of the useful content, and the English version in paricular is heavily viewed in countless countries worldwide, since English is consided the lingua franca of business and academia in countless countries. To summarize, the volunteers who are actually creating the monetary value are solely responsible for the financial clout that enables the WMF staffers to receive their generous San Francisco based salary and fringe benefit packages. If the staffers were responsible for creating excellent encyclopedic content, the entire project would fail in short order, because the majority of the staffers have shown little interest and less expertise in actually creating encyclopedic content in multiple languages. That would be OK if the WMF staffers showed respect for the people who volunteer (in part) to allow them to receive their generous salary and fringe benefit packages. Based on my 13 years of trying to interact with WMF staffers, my experience is that the more cash that the WMF hoards, the less interested the WMF staffers are in meaningful collaboration with the various volunteer communities, and the more inclined they are to focus on interaction with fake community representatives who are all about grant programs instead of genuine support for the broad communities of editors. It is really sad to see how badly WMF money is misallocated, and what poor results there are for their paid outreach efforts. The bottom line is that financial incentives attract careerists, not genuine encyclopedia editors. Cullen328 (talk) 06:37, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree in general. The more money there is, brought in by fundraising campaigns widely thought to be misleading, the more it becomes the glue that keeps the movement (!) together, and the priorities and ethics and mindsets change beyond recognition.
The availability of "easy money" earned in large part off the work of others has a corrupting influence all round. The other day I compared the top salaries in the Wikimedia Foundation's 2018 Form 990 versus the 2020 Form 990. I found (please check ...) that from 2018 to 2020 –
  • the CEO's total compensation incl. benefits increased by 7% (to $423,318),
  • the DGC's and GC's by 10%,
  • the CFO's by 11%,
  • the CTO's by 17%,
  • the CAO's by 22%,
  • the CCO's by 25%,
  • the CT/CO's by 28%, and
  • the CPO's by 32%
– all over a two-year period when the annual US inflation rate was reportedly at 2%. All but three (the GC, CTO and CT/CO) were the same person in 2020 as in 2018. I'm pretty sure those are better raises than most donors got – including this pensioner last year with $18 to his name, who promised he'd donate as soon as his social security check would clear. Andreas JN466 07:05, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The questions for the videos were proposed and voted for by community members here: m:Wikimedia Foundation elections/2022/Community Voting/Questions for Candidates#Proposed Questions. So the phrasing in this case was down to a volunteer. This said, I'm not sure who first started speaking of a "movement". I'm not overly fond of the term. People used to refer to the "project(s)"; that seems to have become less common as references to a "movement" have increased. Andreas JN466 06:47, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Robert McClenon: Is this supposed to be under the thread about ABorba? – Joe (talk) 07:33, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
User:Joe Roe - Yes. I put it here on purpose. It was brought by their testing on the live English Wikipedia, which is why I told them to go and test somewhere else. Yes. That test is indicative of a grandiose attitude by the WMF. Robert McClenon (talk) 07:49, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Robert McClenon: I'm a little confused for how the board election and the idea of a Wikimedia Movement(TM) relate to the attitudes of the staff members on the Quality and Test Engineering team. I mean, they all feel like very separate issues? –MJLTalk 05:24, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This has a high degree of pot calling out elitism of kettle. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:29, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's nice to finally see Cullen328, Robert McClenon, and others now using the very argument I've used a hundred times over the past 4 years that goes something like: "The WMF is more interested in its pursuits of becoming a socio-political movement than supporting its volunteers with necessary software that makes the whole thing work. It's not what I signed up for" Be careful what y'all say though about these WMFers on their celebrity salaries and junkets, it was my repeating a totally innocent but extremely accurate comment of Cullen's that was 40% of what led to me being desysopped. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:31, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Many of the WMF's socio-political goals are reasonable ones which I share, but diverting readers' donations to them is as immoral as lining their own pockets. The WMF continues to grab so much power from the communities, one inch at a time, that it can dictate whatever terms and conditions it likes. Our only recourse is to stop editing. At least Wikipedia is safe in one way: The WMF can now afford to hire paid editors to replace the volunteers it seems hellbent on driving away. Certes (talk) 19:05, 3 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did you vote in the WMF Board Election? Voting closes September 6[edit]

While people are paying attention to this page, I want to remind everyone that voting in the WMF Board Election is open for a few more days. Regardless of our opinions of the WMF, it plays a key role in the operation of Wikipedia and this is one of the few ways that community members can have a significant impact on how the WMF operates. A lot of people have not voted yet - this year the English Wikipedia has a turnout rate of 5.852%, last year it was 7.947% (about 500 votes).

I encourage you to:

Legoktm (talk) 15:07, 2 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • The drop in response to the election is probably due to the community being resigned to 'Plus ça change.'
Some current board members have possibly implied that the needs of individual Wikipedias' volunteer editors communities are not only not a priority, but are not within the board's remit, suggesting also for example, that the volunteers should do technical MediaWiki repairs themselves. Support from a genuinely motivated board would obviate the need for heavily subscribed appeals such as these, and fundraising based on stark misinformation. The current situation does not instill trust in the BoT.
I wonder just how many voters have actually bothered to read these short videos.
With only 2 seats directly elected by the community from a pre-selected short list, and the rest of the members 'appointed', a Board of any kind will only ever be a mere semblance of a system of checks and balances on the Foundation. The electoral system itself should be a top priority for radical change and kept as simple as possible while primarily representing the communities and not just the WMF and the affiliates.
There is a common misunderstanding that salaried staff (and affiliates) are more qualified and competent than people among the hundreds of editors whose voluntary content work is the source of the funds that maintains the WMF and the BoT. It seems fair that these volunteers without whom the entire movement would grind to a standstill should have the majority influence in the candidate nomination and electoral processes, and it should be reasonable to let them.. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 05:14, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Obviously your work has zero value, or you would be getting paid for it, right? Dennis Brown - 12:13, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kudpung: I agree with your critique of the election system and composition of the Board (though I would clarify that more these 2 seats are community voted, e.g. last year we elected 4 people to the board), but regardless I hope people will vote in spite of how flawed the system is, while continuing to lobby and push to make it better.
For everyone else, if you don't want to watch the videos, you can also read transcripts of the candidates' responses. Legoktm (talk) 12:43, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The system is indeed flawed. The volunteers have a right to know who gets on the board, how they get there, and to be directly part of the selection making. Rightly or wrongly, I have always had the impression that the BoT simply rubber-stamps the intentions of the WMF who will do what they want anyway. I'm sure that plenty of Wikipedians share the same opinion and would like to be convinced otherwise.
As Dennis possibly implies, in the eyes of the WMF, it's volunteers are an unwashed mob of expendable galley slaves. If catastrophe is to be avoided, this year's composition is going to be crucial in the way the encyclopedias will continue to be supported in the future. Unlike in the past, it is going to be essential for the Board to intervene to stave off the WMF's next series of faux pas; "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." 1867 John Stuart Mill, 1867, British philosopher.
That is not to say of course, that the WMF is especially 'bad' per se, but they have lost sight of Wikipedia grassroots and embark upon goals that have little to do with what the tens of thousands of unpaid editors and maintenance workers signed up for and what new editors are completely unaware of until they later become involved in Wiki politics. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:02, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The videos are important. They may provide insights on the candidates' sincerity and goals that cannot be conveyed on paper. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 14:02, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When the voting compass talks about the WIkipedia community, does that include editors, or everybody but editors? Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 09:09, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wakelamp the (s)election system is such an unholy complex mess (nearly as complex as US presidential elections, but even less democratic), I doubt very much if anyone even bothered to consult the compass. I know I didn't and I haven;'t a clue what it is. It didn't prevent me from knowing exactly who I should vote for. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:28, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please vote for those you prefer by midnight UTC, and consider consulting the compass first. It confirmed my opinion of the candidate I'd already picked as a clear number one, and helped me rank the others. Their views on the WMF's role vary, and the right choices can make an important difference to our future. Certes (talk) 10:40, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kudpung the ideas that the wmf is out of touch with the average editor and that the average editor shouldn't vote seems like a really bad combination. For people upset with the direction of the foundation I think one of the best things they can do is vote. Same with people who are happy with it. Both kinds of candidates can be found in this election. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 11:00, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Barkeep49, sorry, pardon? I think you just pinged the wrong user. Things happen when we're busy ;) Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 11:03, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Kudpung no I meant you Face-smile.svg. You had said it was less democratic than US presidential elections and that it has lost sight of Wikipedia grassroots. I was suggesting that voting was a way to remedy that problem rather than just bemoaning undemocratic elements. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:45, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Barkeep49, beats me how you can construe this as a call to not vote: The volunteers have a right to know who gets on the board, how they get there, and to be directly part of the selection making. If you check my edits you'll see I been going round the site encouraging people to vote! Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 19:10, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wakelamp: "community" generally refers to people who edit and contribute to the wikis. Different people have different opinions on how broad or narrow the definition should be. The Wikipedia Community is one essay that I quickly found that explains the different ways of looking at it. Legoktm (talk) 14:45, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Reminder, voting closes in about 21 hours at 23:59 UTC today. The statistics show that turnout rate has gone up to ~7.6%, but we are behind other large Wikipedias, like German and French, which are both at ~10% (we're also behind Spanish, Italian and Commons). English Wikipedia makes up 35% of the electorate but only 32.7% of voters. Please vote, it's important that the English Wikipedia's opinions are appropriately reflected in the results. Legoktm (talk) 02:43, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Now that it's all over bar the shouting, I've had a look at the compass and lo and behold it matched the way I voted 100%. The compass clearly demonstrated which candidates are on the side of the volunteers and which ones are firmly in the WMF camp. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:48, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    With regard just to the first sentence, that's an interesting method I should have tried - decide who to vote for, then take a look at the EC. Not such a concern here, but more so for elections where I'm not so well researched, good way of trying to mitigate confirmation and anchoring biases Nosebagbear (talk) 14:32, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, Nosebagbear, I wanted to make sure that it would no longer be possible to change my vote after looking. Some of the candidates may not have been as familiar to me as others but I have the advantage of having been around long enough to know what's afoot in the covert corners of the Foundation. It was therefore not difficult based on their backgrounds and statements to assess which ones would best represent the interests of the WMF's main asset: the volunteers who provide and maintain the content for free while the the staff enjoy their celebrity salaries and junkets on the proceeds of that free work.
My main concern is the amount of effort (and probably money again) spent on researching for and producing the compass for an election for just two preselected candidates out of a total of 11 seats. The entire system of (s)election of the board members makes a mockery of the meaning of 'democracy'. I'm sure even Barkeep49 can understand my opinion even if he doesn't share it. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:56, 8 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While the EC, I believe, uses a free platform that someone found during the MCDC elections (though obviously any staff time in setting up does have a fiscal opportunity cost), I can absolutely agree as to the preselection of candidates aspect Nosebagbear (talk) 10:44, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Back in April, there was considerably more fuss about this year's (s)election method in German Wikipedia than here. :/ The interesting question is what (s)election method the WMF will stipulate next year.
This said, I am happy that two or three decent candidates made it through the affiliate selection process this year. But without changing the board composition, community representatives will always have a hard time trying to change the WMF's course. It doesn't help that they are not allowed to voice disagreement with any board decision (see the odious section 9). Andreas JN466 13:40, 9 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Names of WMF Senior Management[edit]

There is no current list of names. Any help appreciated. Wakelamp d[@-@]b (talk) 00:16, 10 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is not sufficient? * Pppery * it has begun... 00:19, 10 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]