[Archived] Discussion about Movement Strategy Forum moderation and administration

(Moderation note: these posts have been moved from Movement Strategy Forum moderation and administration)

Seems good. As long as someone’s standing on this platform doesn’t differ far from their standing in the wider community (i.e. a blocked person should not be a moderator here, thanks for including that), I think this is good.


We don’t need it. Meta and Wikimedia has moderators and administrators. We don’t need a new bureaucracy only because we can’t manage this one. -Theklan (talk) 10:03, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

(Copied from Meta)

Looks good to me. I’d add that the moderator team will strive to have a majority-volunteer composition, and the admin team will strive to include at least one active volunteer.


this sounds very interesting., I hope to discuss this further. i just joined this website, and this project! nice to be here!

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Somewhat off topic here
(?new topic #WhatEMOTICONStoADD)…

…it would be useful if people can express this kind of interest to hear+discuss more with emoticon, rather then introduce extra lines of non-content into discussion thread. Maybe emoticon could something like this 50. Idiom – I’m all ears | Immersion in English - Makes You Perfect ?

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(We have asked this user to rely on emoji reactions for this type of replies. Not exactly the same discussion, but emoji reactions are being discussed on Possibility to express support or disagreement in addition to voting. Let’s go back to the topic here.)

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In regards to this:

I have no strong aspiration to do moderation work here myself, but…
…IMHO while UCoC is not implemented and there is tons of mess on many wiki projects with different criteria interpretations for one to get blocked + the stewardship system
this should not be the rule. If this is to be the rule I am also considering of moving out of here.


This is a very good point. This problem is not unique to this forum, and I wonder how other Wikimedia projects deal with this with fairness.

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I propose a (non-perfect, but IMHO better) substitute: You may not be banned or blocked from Wikimedia projects through an office action or larger community process and vote.

This way personal anonymity, bad regulations of individual wiki projects leaves less space for individuals to suppress voice and work of others as well as abuse power beyond their own immediate context. Hope this is change you can agree with @Qgil-WMF ?

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@Zblace this is about what we can agree with here, and all we current maintainers of the forum care about is finding a good solution in line with the UCoC, Trust&Safety actions, and community good practices.

So yes, you have a point that the current sentence (borrowed from the requirements for Board of Trustees candidates) may not be appropriate here. You also make a good point about defining no Foundation’s office actions as a hard requirement. About the rest, considering that “larger” is a fuzzy concept, what about this:

  • You may not be banned or blocked through a Foundation’s office action. If you have any active community bans, you must disclose them.

This way active community bans might be compatible with a moderator role in the forum if Forum members and moderators are aware and still consider that they are not in conflict with a moderator role here.

Based on prior experience, I think we can assume that if someone thinks a moderator candidate may be problematic because of past situations, they will tell the current mods or admins in one way or another.


** You may not be banned or blocked through a Foundation’s office action. If you have any active community bans, you must disclose them.*

That would work. Disclosure is rarely the problem. However, bans themselves if applied automatically, especially if not issued by the community but through direct administrative actions, are. Those punitive actions often may represent a breach of UCoC (Administrative abuse) and should not impact a members status on other projects such as this one.

As you all may know, smaller Wikis tend to deviate from the Wikipedia’s mission and UCoC and are often subject to discretionary rule by admins, under the radar. Forums like this should not be used to legitimize questionable decisions by malevolent local cliques but rather to question and examine their commitment to UCoC, the global Wikipedia mission and strategy.

Unfortunately, I can only confirm that the Croatian Wikipedia, in the case of Zblace, is one of those local projects where through breach of UCoC members are mistreated. (once again)

PS: One more thing - you propose using “if you have any active community bans”. However, for example, there are no “community bans” on hr.wiki. Such concept does not exist there. Admins permaban people by themselves as a punishment. That’s what I mean when I say “smaller Wikis tend to deviate”. Maybe your wording of the proposal should stand, to emphasize that the desired Wikipedia governance model does not include feudalism, and that the only valid permaban is one issued by the whole community, not by singular admin or an admin clique.


I think it’s even better to remove that bullet point from the list given that a member would become a category moderator through a decision based on the short statement. Furthermore, the use of the word “may” instead of “must” implies that it’s not an obligation, so exceptions could be made even if the candidate doesn’t meet that requirement.

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We’ve got feedback saying that “sanctioned” is technically a better term than “banned or blocked”. Sounds reasonable? We can change this when we update the sentence (if we don’t remove it).

@Kiril_Simeonovski Remove the point… what would that resolve?

@Zblace brought the case of sanctions taken without solid community verification processes. Office actions come after quite an investigation and internal approval process.

On the other hand, not disclosing current sanctions when applying for community roles always has a risk of causing problems even when such declaration isn’t required by the process. Chances are that someone else will point to the sanctions, publicly or privately, and from that point, the candidate’s image will be affected. If the candidate discloses this information beforehand, then they can control when and how this sanction is presented in the first place.

By the way, the current moderators are already impatient to see the first volunteers joining the team. As activity in the forum picks up, there starts to be a need for soft moderation, and having only Foundation staff members moderating isn’t fun. It would be much better if we could get other affiliations in the team.

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I think it’d be more appropriate to check if a particular candidate is blacklisted by the WMF or blocked on any Wikimedia project in the process of evaluating the short statement before making the decision on whether to grant moderation rights. It shouldn’t be stated as an explicit requirement, especially not with the clause “may” which makes it a bit dubious. Note that we don’t require candidates not to be blocked in stewards or board elections, but that’s usually taken into account by voters in the election process; also, we don’t explicitly state that we don’t accept scholarship applications from candidates with an active ban, but blacklisted candidates can’t attend Wikimedia-related events and won’t be awarded a scholarship. So, why to require it here when there’s no such practice in the movement?

The requirement would’ve made sense had the process of granting moderation rights been fully automated but not when someone has to review a statement and make a decision upon it.


Actually, we took that sentence from the requirements for Board candidates. But yeah, a category moderator role in this forum is hardly comparable to joining the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees. :slight_smile:

This point has been removed from the list of requirements. If this becomes problematic in the future, it can be revisited again with the new lessons that we all will have learned. Adding requirements is always easier than removing them.

It can be expected that the moderators and admins will check for sanctions anyway, for candidates to become general moderators, and certainly for administrators.

The category moderator role has smaller responsibilities, also a limited scope and just a few extra permissions. In case of trouble, the impact of removing these category moderation permissions from someone is also very limited compared to a general moderator or an administrator.

Are we good now?

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Now it’s fine to me. I prefer less requirements so that more people get encouraged to apply, and I totally agree that it’s much easier to introduce new requirements in case something goes wrong.


How do people feel about starting a call for category moderators and moderators now vs waiting until the community review is over (July 24)?

Related to this topic:

This proposal has gone through the #forum-community-review and we can consider it approved. The initial draft was improved based on the feedback received. This is the summary of this discussion:

  • Sentiment - General agreement about the proposal so far. There was a suggestion to remove the requirement for candidates to not be sanctioned in any project, given that these sanctions might be controversial sometimes. The suggestion has been accepted and the requirement has been removed.

We need volunteer moderators and administrators! We plan to start a call as soon as we are done with the community review report. In the meantime, if you are reading these lines and you are interested, please step in! Or if you know someone who would be a good moderator / administrator of this forum, invite them to apply.