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> Whose Money Is It Anyway?
jayvdb
post Fri 17th February 2012, 9:54am
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 17th February 2012, 8:34am) *

I think that is a sound point. The trouble is that I think that there are likely to be two types involved in the chapters, the committed Wikipedian who believes in the mission, and the leeches. ...
I dont disagree that this is possible, and a natural progression. However the current situation is that most of the chapters (if they participated in the annual fundraiser) would receive very little at all, so this isnt a significant problem for the majority of chapters.

See for e.g. the 2010 fundraiser results for countries (sort by amount, and look at the list in $ asc order to better see my point below).

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising...directly_to_WMF
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fundraising....27_fundraising

Of the countries which donated to the WMF directly, Poland is #10 with $60,651.

Of the countries which donated to the chapter directly, Israel is #10 with $80,021. Because of the fundraising agreement at the time, WMIL (Israel) only keeps half ($40,000) and half went to the WMF.

That annual income does not allow for a very large organisations; they couldn't employ staff full time on that amount of money. It is going to be hard to leech from an organisation that size without the corruption being very blatant.

Your point is very important with regards to the chapters which receive very large amounts of money via the fundraiser. However the chapters which have been permitted to continue to be part of the annual fundraiser in 2011 are the same ones you are worried about: the very large ones (DE, FR, GB,...). It is all the small chapters and small countries which have been excluded from the fundraiser.
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dogbiscuit
post Fri 17th February 2012, 10:01am
Post #22


Could you run through Verifiability not Truth once more?
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 9:35am) *

QUOTE(Peter Damian @ Fri 17th February 2012, 8:34am) *


QUOTE

The chapters would rather that the money goes to an organisation in the same country as the donor, as that gives the donor the greatest ability to ensure their donor information and donation is used appropriately, according to local laws.


Quite the reverse. Philippe’s research showed, and common sense suggests, that people donate to Wikipedia to support Wikipedia, not these dubious self-elected characters working in the ‘Chapters’.

QUOTE

The chapters would rather that we have strong member based organisations in each country, so there isn't a single point of decision making and/or failure, and it also means that problems can be addressed by voting out the board members, or by complaints to the local authorities.


The process of election for board members has many obstacles attached, notably objections about ‘harassment’. Complaints to local authorities may work, of course.

Why do you say self-elected? I assume you are referring to WMUK. Did they report on how many votes were cast in the trustee election?

For the last WMAU committee election, WMAU had 47 members. 19 members were involved in nominating people to be on the next board, with a total of 70 nominations. (i.e. each of those 19 members nominated people for 3.6 of the 6 available seats.) 18 members then voted in the election. I don't consider that to be a great turn out, but it isnt 'self-selecting'. p.s. I don't think WMAU has ever refused membership to anyone (yet), and the existing board has no influence over who can nominated or elected to be on the board.

I think that the process of how the Wikimedia UK was set up was to a certain extent self-selecting, so I'd agree with Peter. A small number of people wanted to sort it out - the previous clique which included David Gerard had failed to make a go of it. Only a handful of people ever involved themselves. At the AGM 30 people were involved electing 8 out of 9 candidates, so it was self-selecting for all practical purposes. 30 people hardly represents either the editorship of Wikipedia (many thousands presumably), or the UK users of Wikipedia (many millions). Edit: Perhaps the true electorate should be the donators - how many of the 30 were donators to Wikimedia UK and how many were friends or relations of the candidate committee members?

One of the issues is that in the UK, the editors are geographically diverse, but as is often the case, Wikimedia UK is London based. The physical location and the lack of interest in bureaucracy and the fact that on a day to day basis nobody would interact with Wikimedia UK so they are a hidden organisation in practice even though they are not hiding means that they simply are not practically accountable as there is no meaningful electorate.

That doesn't mean that there are not well-meaning individuals trying to run Wikimedia UK, but it does mean that there is no real accountability. Then when you consider that Peter has attempted to hold them to account and the instant reaction is to bar him from their meetings, they have fallen at the first hurdle.
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jayvdb
post Fri 17th February 2012, 11:02am
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QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 17th February 2012, 10:01am) *

I think that the process of how the Wikimedia UK was set up was to a certain extent self-selecting, so I'd agree with Peter. A small number of people wanted to sort it out - the previous clique which included David Gerard had failed to make a go of it. Only a handful of people ever involved themselves. At the AGM 30 people were involved electing 8 out of 9 candidates, so it was self-selecting for all practical purposes. 30 people hardly represents either the editorship of Wikipedia (many thousands presumably), or the UK users of Wikipedia (many millions). Edit: Perhaps the true electorate should be the donators - how many of the 30 were donators to Wikimedia UK and how many were friends or relations of the candidate committee members?

The number of candidates may not be the only measure. Was there a nomination round?

QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 17th February 2012, 10:01am) *

One of the issues is that in the UK, the editors are geographically diverse, but as is often the case, Wikimedia UK is London based...

Was there IRC or teleconference participation in the AGM? Did they accept proxy votes?

QUOTE(dogbiscuit @ Fri 17th February 2012, 10:01am) *

That doesn't mean that there are not well-meaning individuals trying to run Wikimedia UK, but it does mean that there is no real accountability. Then when you consider that Peter has attempted to hold them to account and the instant reaction is to bar him from their meetings, they have fallen at the first hurdle.

What questions has Peter asked?

Did he become a member first?

According to the meta page, they have ~220 members
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_chapters

As a member organisation, it usually takes ~5% of the membership to force a general meeting and a motion, which means getting about 10 members to agree. Surely if there is a problem, 10 members will agree and start issuing demands of the board.
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SB_Johnny
post Fri 17th February 2012, 11:11am
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 6:02am) *

What questions has Peter asked?

See this very long thread for a good bit of it.

I was actually going to ask you if you felt that the WMUK's shenanigans were going to have a negative affect on the ozzie chapter. I'm vaguely familiar with your work down there because Wikiversity is mostly populated by your members lately, and it seems to be a far more positive and ethical organization compared to what we hear about the UK org.
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jayvdb
post Fri 17th February 2012, 2:51pm
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Fri 17th February 2012, 11:11am) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 6:02am) *

What questions has Peter asked?

See this very long thread for a good bit of it.

I was actually going to ask you if you felt that the WMUK's shenanigans were going to have a negative affect on the ozzie chapter. I'm vaguely familiar with your work down there because Wikiversity is mostly populated by your members lately, and it seems to be a far more positive and ethical organization compared to what we hear about the UK org.

Ugh. I got as far as reading this and
a) MediaWiki_talk:Spam-blacklist#logicmuseum.com.
b) puked at
QUOTE
Examiner: So where is the Wikimedia UK money going?
Buckner: That's what I would like to know. The problem is that Wikipedia got completely taken over by a small group of people who are fanatical about 'open production' of knowledge. That's a way of working based on 'open source' software, where it is open to anyone to contribute. Most of the money you contribute to Wikipedia is going towards a sort of marketing campaign or movement to promote 'open production'. Think of Scientology, but with an Encyclopedia instead of E-meters.


Save me from reading the rest...
Did WMUK provide the requested documents, or has a FOI request been lodged?
I'd really like to know whether any of you have joined and asked for these documents as a paid up member; you'll have a lot more rights as a member of the organisation.

I think that Wikimedia chapters can/should be eligible to be charitable as I believe the Wikimedia projects are a public service which is very beneficial to the public (it has problems, of course..), and the chapters can and should be providing organisational support to prevent failures of WP processes affecting living people.(better support for volunteers who can find & fix these problem; better communication processes for WP subjects to use to seek resolution; etc) The German and UK chapters have been providing training for OTRS volunteers. I haven't yet seen a good reason to believe that Wiki UK shouldn't have been approved as a charity (provided they were honest to the authorities; see question above about the FOI request..).

Here in Australia we could immediately become a charity if we only supported Wikisource ;-) We're unlikely to easily obtain tax-deductible status otherwise, as the regulators of the current system will be evaluating the impact of the organisation rather than the impact of the Wikimedia projects .. i.e. we need to show a direct relation between chapter activities and improvements to Wikimedia content / system.

To answer your question, if the UK chapter is delisted as a charity, it would hurt the WMAU chances of being declared charitable, even if we were a very different organisation undertaking different types of activities..
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Peter Damian
post Fri 17th February 2012, 4:05pm
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 2:51pm) *

Did WMUK provide the requested documents, or has a FOI request been lodged?


After obtaining one document from the Charity Commission under FOI and threatening to embarrass WMUK by getting the rest via that route – thus forcing an organisation committed to ‘open knowledge’ to concede that state-controlled institutions are actually much more open, WMUK relented and published all the correspondence here http://uk.wikimedia.org/wiki/Charity_status/Correspondence . Of particular relevance is their final submission,
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/uk/f..._Commission.pdf especially section 13.

My submission to UK Charity Commission (UKCC) focused on section 13. UKCC required that Wikipedia have certain controls over content in order for WMUK to support it under the charity umbrella. WMUK made all sorts of claims in their section 13 that are in my view a gross misrepresentation verging on the fraudulent. Read it yourself. For example, claims that malicious editing can no longer be made to BLPs (I cited at least 3 current examples in my submission to UKCC), that 144,000 editors have articles on their watchlist, that there are 1,500 administrators on enWP, and so on.

After I questioned whether WMUK had misrepresented information, I was blocked from the WMUK wiki. Shortly after that I was banned from attending any public event hosted by WMUK, thus my name was removed from the guest list at the visit to Royal Collection of manuscripts at the British Library, despite my reasonably extensive knowledge of and interest in this collection.
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SB_Johnny
post Fri 17th February 2012, 8:47pm
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 9:51am) *
Here in Australia we could immediately become a charity if we only supported Wikisource ;-) We're unlikely to easily obtain tax-deductible status otherwise, as the regulators of the current system will be evaluating the impact of the organisation rather than the impact of the Wikimedia projects .. i.e. we need to show a direct relation between chapter activities and improvements to Wikimedia content / system.
That actually makes a lot more sense than whatever their purpose is supposed to be in the UK. I know there have been some Australian conferences and get-togethers announced on WV related to "open source learning" and such that sounded interesting and productive, though tbh I don't recall if they actually had anything to do with WMAU. Organizing for transcription or even updates of older (and now open source) texts is an entirely different thing from getting together at the pub to talk about the popculturepedia.
QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 9:51am) *
To answer your question, if the UK chapter is delisted as a charity, it would hurt the WMAU chances of being declared charitable, even if we were a very different organisation undertaking different types of activities..
That's my guess too, and it could certainly be a problem for any of the US chapters if they tried to incorporate (though the non-profit laws are a bit looser here than they seem to be in the UK).
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jayvdb
post Fri 17th February 2012, 11:30pm
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QUOTE(SB_Johnny @ Fri 17th February 2012, 8:47pm) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 9:51am) *
Here in Australia we could immediately become a charity if we only supported Wikisource ;-) We're unlikely to easily obtain tax-deductible status otherwise, as the regulators of the current system will be evaluating the impact of the organisation rather than the impact of the Wikimedia projects .. i.e. we need to show a direct relation between chapter activities and improvements to Wikimedia content / system.
That actually makes a lot more sense than whatever their purpose is supposed to be in the UK. I know there have been some Australian conferences and get-togethers announced on WV related to "open source learning" and such that sounded interesting and productive, though tbh I don't recall if they actually had anything to do with WMAU. Organizing for transcription or even updates of older (and now open source) texts is an entirely different thing from getting together at the pub to talk about the popculturepedia.
WMAU has supported the last two RecentChangesCamps with travel grants.
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/University_...anberra/RCC2011
https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/University_...anberra/RCC2012
The 2011 RCC had a strong education theme, with lots of academics. Unfortunately the 2012 RCC was less productive as it had more Wikipedians than academics and professionals from other sectors. We'll need to be more careful about how WMAU awards travel grants to the next RCC, so we dont create an imbalance like that again.
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Kelly Martin
post Fri 17th February 2012, 11:57pm
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 5:30pm) *
Unfortunately the 2012 RCC was less productive as it had more Wikipedians than academics and professionals from other sectors. We'll need to be more careful about how WMAU awards travel grants to the next RCC, so we dont create an imbalance like that again.
It amuses me that having too many Wikipedians at a Wikipedia-related conference is counterproductive. Says a lot about Wikipedians, I think.
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EricBarbour
post Sat 18th February 2012, 12:55am
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It disgusts me that "Wikipedian", and "academic" / "professional", are mutually exclusive.

This post has been edited by EricBarbour: Sat 18th February 2012, 12:56am
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jayvdb
post Sat 18th February 2012, 2:09am
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QUOTE(Kelly Martin @ Fri 17th February 2012, 11:57pm) *

QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 5:30pm) *
Unfortunately the 2012 RCC was less productive as it had more Wikipedians than academics and professionals from other sectors. We'll need to be more careful about how WMAU awards travel grants to the next RCC, so we dont create an imbalance like that again.
It amuses me that having too many Wikipedians at a Wikipedia-related conference is counterproductive. Says a lot about Wikipedians, I think.
Well, umm, not disagreeing with you, but RecentChangesCamp is intended to be a much broader unconference. We achieved a really good mix in 2011, but the recent 2012 conference was too Wikipedia centric for my liking, and I suspect it will have put off a few attendees that were expecting a repeat of the 2011 unconference. The recent RCC was good, including a few really interesting sessions that had no relation to Wikipedia, and most of the non Wikipedians attending have since joined WMAU, and I know of one new project (unrelated to Wikimedia) that has been initiated. However many of the sessions ended up focused on English Wikipedia, as English Wikipedians tend to think only of English Wikipedia unless they are moderated to stay on topic, and moderation at an unconference is a bit antithetical. So in future the WMAU committee will need to be more careful about ensuring that our support doesnt skew the RCC attendence in a way that means the unconference doesnt stay true to the RCC concept.
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jayvdb
post Sat 18th February 2012, 2:18am
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Sat 18th February 2012, 12:55am) *

It disgusts me that "Wikipedian", and "academic" / "professional", are mutually exclusive.
That isn't true, and I didnt even imply that. WMAU is largely comprised of 'Wikipedians' who are "academic" / "professional", or retirees who fit that bill. We do have some members that are still on their path to being either, and a very small number that WRers would consider to be basement dwellers. High membership fees tend to put off that sort of person. My limited knowledge of the other chapters is that they also have a high proportion of academics and professionals in their membership, but I could not comment on what proportion.
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Peter Damian
post Sat 18th February 2012, 9:26am
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QUOTE(jayvdb @ Fri 17th February 2012, 2:51pm) *

Ugh. I got as far as reading this and
a) MediaWiki_talk:Spam-blacklist#logicmuseum.com.
b) puked at
QUOTE
Examiner: So where is the Wikimedia UK money going?
Buckner: That's what I would like to know. The problem is that Wikipedia got completely taken over by a small group of people who are fanatical about 'open production' of knowledge. That's a way of working based on 'open source' software, where it is open to anyone to contribute. Most of the money you contribute to Wikipedia is going towards a sort of marketing campaign or movement to promote 'open production'. Think of Scientology, but with an Encyclopedia instead of E-meters.


Save me from reading the rest...


We need to distinguish between 'free source', which is Stallman's idea which I broadly endorse. That's making quality content free under some form of license that incorporates the 'four freedoms'. And 'open source' which is not Stallman, and which is the idea that anyone can get involved. It's the latter idea that has ruined Wikipedia.

John, you have just kindly got involved to remove the block on outward bound links to Logic Museum. You say "The Logic Museum is scholarly work (kindly hosted by Wikipedia Review), of exceptional quality and utility to Wikipedia, and moreover it was and is free content and as such is no different to http://en.wikisource.org/ (see www.logicmuseum.com/wiki/The_Logic_Museum:Copyrights) and shouldnt be treated any differently from any other website which provides scholarly work. "

And look at the reply that Mr Katz is giving you. Your intervention is pointless when there are people like him running Wikipedia. He does not care about material that is of "exceptional quality and utility to Wikipedia". That's because he does not understand what the material is. He is a change patroller.

If you allow 'anyone to edit', you need people like Katz. If you allow people like him to dominate the project, you will get absurd results like the ban on Logic Museum. All he understands is that I am a banned user, that I operate a site outside Wikipedia, and that therefore all links to that site must be blocked. The block on this content is a direct result of the 'anyone can edit' policy. Why can't you see that?

I predict your intervention will go absolutely nowhere. Katz and those like him run the project now, not people like you.

This post has been edited by Peter Damian: Sat 18th February 2012, 9:28am
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Eppur si muove
post Sat 18th February 2012, 6:46pm
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QUOTE(EricBarbour @ Sat 18th February 2012, 12:55am) *

It disgusts me that "Wikipedian", and "academic" / "professional", are mutually exclusive.


What I find disgusting is the type of content jayvdb was trying to get deleted from multiple projects earlier this week. This makes him a lot more acceptable as a front man for WMAU than certain people who give evidence to parliament on behalf of WMUK. I doubt he would ever describe a picture of prostitutes in the Reeperbahn as educational or claim that Commons need more out of focus penises than Nelson's Columns.
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