Revision of the UCoC Guidelines: Can training be better addressed?

First of the three questions that the UCoC Revision committee has asked the community to provide feedback on. For more context, see Revisions to the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) Enforcement Guidelines.

Question: Can training be better addressed?

  • Current text: "The Wikimedia Foundation should develop and implement training for community members, with guidance from local communities and affiliates, to be able to identify, address, and mitigate the harms caused by UCoC violations, in particular harassment and similar conduct issues. Individuals required to acknowledge and adhere to the Universal Code of Conduct will be required to attend training to ensure a common understanding of implementation. Other members of the community will be able to attend this training if they wish to do so."

The drafters’ intent is to help ensure that local communities govern themselves effectively for safe collaboration on all wikis and across communities, based on the shared minimal expectations set out by the UCoC and, where applicable and appropriate, the local project rules that go beyond it. Some have voiced concerns with the present language.

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When will these trainings be developed and implemented? What are the concerns with the present language?

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PROPOSAL:
(we should not assume Wikimedians act through local communities,
or that WMF develops trainings on its own)

"The Wikimedia Foundation should support research, development, translation of training materials and implement training, as well as co-develop it with individual wikimedians, communities and trainers, based on the guidance from communities and affiliates, to be able to identify, address, and mitigate the harms caused by UCoC violations, in particular harassment and similar conduct issues.

Individuals required to acknowledge and adhere to the Universal Code of Conduct will be expected to attend training and process training materials to ensure a common understanding of implementation. Other Wikimedians in good standing will be able to attend this training if they wish to do so."

The trainings are still a proposal, so any development or implementation timeline would need to come later. The concerns I’ve seen centre around the inclusion of mandatory training, particularly in the context of volunteers. It’s discussed a bit on w:en:User talk:Xeno (WMF). I’ll copy the relevant part here for ease of translation:

Since it’s not defined how much time training might take (is it just reading a policy, guideline, and procedure page? is it a live course? is there a test?!), I can understand why folks are wary. I’ll share my personal perspective: I participated in a similar type of training as a volunteer offered by the Community Development department.

Now, before I start - it was a great experience. I learned a lot. It gave me a chance for self-examination and introspection. I would recommend others who work in peer-dependent moderation environments take the launch version from Community Development as well.

In the pilot version though, it was long! And I had to give up some hours of my Saturdays… It required a high-quality internet connection. The platform required decent equipment for video chats. And of course, I needed peace and quiet to focus on the material. Not always easy these days! There was even homework!

And while I thoroughly enjoyed that training, and would do it again - I volunteered for it.

C’est ça.

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