Following on from Talk:Code of Conduct/Archive 4#Flowify?, and because there's been no active conversation here for several months, I've converted the page to use Structured Discussions.
Talk:Code of Conduct
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Recommendation to modify the appeals process
Hi, the Technical Collaboration’s Community Health group wants to share some thoughts about the appeal process that we are currently handling. The text describing the appeal process itself is fine. The problematic part is to have an appeals team other than the CoC Committee itself without defining the relationship and governance between both teams.
The core of the problem is that it is not defined who has the ultimate decision on the resolution of an appeal. This is fine when both teams agree on a resolution, but what if they don’t? The options are
- They have to keep discussing until there is consensus. This would put both teams on equal foot, which is fine but needs to be documented.
- The Committee has the last word. This means that the Appeals team has an advisory function, which is fine but needs to be documented.
- The Appeals team has the last word. This might even be the default expectation (?), but it is actually the most problematic one because it means that the Appeals team has more power than the Committee itself.
If we want to go for the third option anyway, then that Appeals body cannot be a team like we have now, formed by Wikimedia Foundation members by design. There were good reasons to make this choice (leaving tough situations to paid professionals, saving some trouble to volunteers), but having a team of WMF employees having more power than the Committee is a setup that we don’t want to have.
Can you link to the pages for each of these two committees or teams? I want to see a page for each, listing who the members are, and stating how anyone comes to be on these teams.
Based on what you say here and my browsing around I cannot quickly come to understand the differences in the nature of these two teams.
Can the auxiliary members of the CoC be the Appeals team? In which case I think option 1 above makes the most sense.
An additional factor to be considered. The Technical Collaboration team doesn't exist as such anymore. The people who form the Community Health group are all active, so if we receive a new appeal we can still handle it. However, we would welcome a decision on our proposal.
Tracked: task T199086
Code of conduct committee call for new members
It's coming close to time for annual appointments of community members to serve on the Code of Conduct (CoC) committee. The Code of Conduct Committee is a team of five trusted individuals plus five auxiliary members with diverse affiliations responsible for general enforcement of the Code of conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces. Committee members are in charge of processing complaints, discussing with the parties affected, agreeing on resolutions, and following up on their enforcement. For more on their duties and roles, see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Code_of_Conduct/Committee
This is a call for community members interested in volunteering for appointment to this committee. Volunteers serving in this role should be experienced Wikimedians or have had experience serving in a similar position before.
The current committee is doing the selection and will research and discuss candidates. Six weeks before the beginning of the next Committee term, meaning 8th of April 2018, they will publish their candidate slate (a list of candidates) on-wiki. The community can provide feedback on these candidates, via private email to the group choosing the next Committee. The feedback period will be two weeks. The current Committee will then either finalize the slate, or update the candidate slate in response to concerns raised. If the candidate slate changes, there will be another two week feedback period covering the newly proposed members. After the selections are finalized, there will be a training period, after which the new Committee is appointed. The current Committee continues to serve until the feedback, selection, and training process is complete.
If you are interested in serving on this committee or like to nominate a candidate, please write an email to techconductcandidates AT wikimedia.org with details of your experience on the projects, your thoughts on the code of conduct and the committee and what you hope to bring to the role and whether you have a preference in being auxiliary or constant member of the committee. The committee consists of five members plus five auxiliary members and they will serve for six months; all applications are appreciated and will be carefully considered. The deadline for applications is end of day on 5th of April, 2018.
Please feel free to pass this invitation along to any users who you think may be qualified and interested.
Best, Amir on behalf of the CoC committee
For reference, the list has been posted to Code of Conduct/Committee/Candidates/2018-I.
Proposal amendment: Make WMDE receive a notification when targets of reports are WMDE employees
In Code of Conduct/Committee#Confidentiality we report to WMF HR and their managers when target of the report is an employee of WMF and since WMDE is the only other organization that has software engineering department, it makes sense to have a similar policy.
I cannot say how to execute this but thanks for posting the note.
I cannot say how often it happens, but it seems like having an affiliation with a Wiki organization makes people more likely to be the targets of reports. I know that this process is for software engineering but I appreciate the precedent and foundation of discussion that this process is setting.
Previous discussion about the requirement about reporting to WMF HR: Talk:Code of Conduct/Archive 2#Confidentiality
If you re-read that section, I think you'll find nearly everyone in opposition to it, except that it was forced in by WMF Legal.
I suggest we reject this proposal and instead propose an amendment that completely removes that sentence.
I went back through the archive and I found a couple relevant points made by WMF Legal:
"The Wikimedia Foundation has an interest in being informed of potential misconduct by its employees and contractors in the workspace and faces legal risks if HR is not informed about matters related to employee/contractor harassment in its workspaces. These workspaces include not only physical but also virtual spaces. The Wikimedia Foundation has this interest uniquely as a host of the website whose employees are using these technical spaces as their workspace."
"This section isn't us trying to say that having a WMF reporting exception makes this CoC policy better in the ideal. Rather, it's that we looked at the policy, at how the technical spaces are used (in particular the combination of lots of WMF employees and WMF as the host of the space) and concluded that the legal risk under HR law is too high for the WMF to do this without having the reporting exception."
So, in my non-lawyer understanding: because of its unique position as the host of these technical spaces, the WMF has a unique legal obligation to its employees and contractors who participate in these sites. Even the WMF Legal department sees the downsides of this obligation, but that doesn't change the legal position.
To me, that explains why the provision applies to the WMF only and why it's not something that we the technical community can change. Obviously, you're free to disagree—but we should keep in mind that none of us are lawyers.
As far as I know, there's no legal obstacle to us adding a similar provision regarding WMDE. But I think that would have all the downsides of the WMF provision (the potential to break confidentiality against the reporter's wishes), but without the legal requirement to force its inclusion.
Proposal amendment: Committee should serve for one year
In the hackathon we (Committee members) are talking about having the term extended to one year because it takes a rather a long time for the committee to learn how to work together and thus makes sense to work together for a longer period of time.
Even a year seems short to me. If the term is one year then I hope that it happens that people stay longer if their committee service is working.
+1 from me for terms of 1-2 years. My only fear in longer terms is the extra stress placed on the committee members.