Stepping down from the moderator role

Good day, wikimedia advocates,

Since September 30, 2022, I’ve served as the moderator for the “Invest in Skills and Leadership Development” category of this forum. I take pride in being the first volunteer moderator for this forum and, quite possibly, its first ever volunteer user. It brings me great joy to note that my post still remains among the top ten all-time most engaged posts in this forum.

My primary driving force behind joining and leading this forum in some capacity, was to create a safe space for all, to introduce a more user friendly communication space to the wikimedia advocates - specially from the underrepresented regions, to make the complex and highly abstract movement governance topics accessible to all wikimedians, to nurture a welcoming place for everyone to discuss the future of the movement together, and to create a harmony among the volunteer leaders from all over the world and the dedicated professionals in shaping the movement’s governance landscape. I really enjoyed the time I stayed in this forum until a few months back and I loved my interactions with the wikimedia activists from all over the world.

Upon close observation of this forum’s recent developments, it has become apparent to me that we have strayed from the initial goals that guided the creation of this space. In my personal evaluation, this deviation is primarily attributable to social factors rather than technical issues, rooting from some extreme bad moves. Regrettably, these factors have contributed to a noticeable decline in forum activity, rendering it less vibrant and apparently lifeless. Consequently, I am finding it increasingly difficult to identify a compelling reason to continue serving as a moderator here. I would request the relevant people to remove the moderator rights from my account. Being a volunteer leader myself, I’m also greatly concerned with the overall state of the current MS activities, which have apparently made orphaned. I still hold a faint hope that the committed professionals tasked with supporting and shaping the Wikimedia community will place community interest, especially that of the underrepresented, at the forefront, and thus make wikimedia a better place. The team behind this forum was the best ever in wmf in terms of community engagement and understanding the needs of the underrepresented communities - kudos to them, specially who aren’t being able to continue their role being the caretaker of the distant and underrepresented communities.



Thank you for your service to the community and willingless to share non-positive input in public forum, while not being in position of priviledge. All of those things, including your concerened over structural problems and social dynamics make me think that we lost a person who was willing to volunteer time and knowledge for non-easy effort of coordination and collaboration in Wikimedia. Thank you again and I hope you remain at least supporter of Discourse as a platform and Forum as a concept that is much needed.

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Thanks for the bold decision.

The forum lost one of its most enthusiastic supporters and conversation starters. Two of his posts were even featured in one of the forum guides as examples of good and engaging posts.

People who follow what he does on Wikimedia agree that he has a special way of making people feel good and has a charismatic effect on people around him.

Very few folks from underdeveloped communities are courageous enough to speak their minds and call a spade a spade. He’s undoubtedly an exception. The movement has experienced some downfalls overnight, and we can feel the impacts: frictions have been introduced in the resource distribution, movement strategy is no longer a priority, and the whole movement, not just the forum, has lost pace. A big thanks to Rafi for bringing up these shared concerns here. I really appreciate it.

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Dear @Mrb_Rafi

Thank you for your commitment and all your contributions helping moderate this forum and specifically the “Invest in Skills and Leadership Development” recommendation category.

As you mentioned, I’m also seeing a decline in the engagement from community members. In August for example, out of the 13 users who created new topics, only 5 are from the community, the rest are from the Wikimedia Foundation staff.

I will go ahead and remove your moderator rights as you requested.


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thaks for these insightful commments. feel free to add details, if you wsh,

It’s a letdown that the staff members responsible for supporting the community failed to retain a dynamic community leader and a conversation starter like him in this forum. There’s a clear dissatisfaction in his tone of this message which is also evident in other peoples’ replies and reactions, and I believe that he has communicated his concerns clearly with the responsible staff members before taking this big step. It is reprehensible that instead of addressing the underlying cause of this incident, the Wikimedia Foundation staff responded in an absurd way above. This is not what the Wikimedia Foundation exists for - to observe together that the activity of a space is declining; the Wikimedia Foundation exists to support the community and its leaders and to solve the problems; they consume millions of dollars for that.

After communicating with a few of our community members, I came to know that he has withdrawn his participation from the second phase of the MC ambassador program. I arranged the first phase of the MC ambassador program in our community under his direct supervision without taking any grant and what we can gain from his leadership, can be observed from the report of that conversation. I was away from wikimedia and was busy with my personal life for a while and when I tried to get updated, I was shocked hearing all these. His withdrawal from these spaces means a lot for my community whether the foundation values it or not. This person was one of the handful of people who decided to be with the foundation when the foundation itself was facing backlash from the community while starting this forum. And you can’t just tell that yes, you’re also observing decline in community activism and you’re removing the rights respecting his requests. We expect more responsible and matured behavior from the organization who takes millions of dollars of donation to keep wikipedia online.

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these are important insights. I would like to help out on this issue, if possible. you can feel free to contact me any time. would you like to message me? I’m on whatsapp, and also telegram. i can give you any of my contact data., feel free to let me knhow.

here is my user name: sm8900, at English wikipedia. thanks.

One thing for sure as a user on projects in Japanese language, we might be a stray ones that have finally found a safe and equitable place to discuss whatever seems fair to discuss. Just drop by at [日本とのつながり / Japanese Connection japanese-connection]. (=

AFAIK jawp, or Wikipedia written in Japanese language hosts among top-10 statistic input from the community among the Wikimedia circle, but it’s only October 2023 when we finally became an affiliated UG, with much un-supporting murmurs from the old schools.

I wish their worries in part, or how a vast input-active project like jawp could be fair and equitable, welcoming, after over 15 yrs of the culture we have rested: You fall and learn, and only hen-pecking survivors are OK to edit. Giving less cold faces to new users. Or, yes, without fresh bloods, we are a group of breeds to extinct, if we have a Red Book of Wiki-projects.

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Your insights are precious.

Unfortunately this might be as well the only place on Wikimedia that is somewhat safer and more welcoming for critical reflection and work of those who get attacked on wikis.