UCoC Conversation Hours -- Central Europe, Africa, and the Middle East

Following is a summary of the notes captured during the second UCoC Conversation Hour for Central Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, held on 24 September.

  • Questions and comments were anonymised and edited for clarity and context.
  • Please feel free to continue this discussion in your replies.

Question from the chat and live discussion:
The code of conduct seems to be focused on the issue of sexuality and the issue of skin. There is no mention of the language issue, for example, with a better integration of the different languages in the discussions that take place with the foundation only in English.
Response: Efforts are being made to make sure we can outreach as much as possible. We have invested in translation to be able to achieve that.
We are looking at things in a regional approach to make sure everyone in the movement is able to read the text; focusing on the UN languages, we examined the larger wikis; included some of the growing wikis regardless of their size. We work on reviewing the text to make sure it’s easy to read and understand - cleaning up the text while keeping the meaning in an easy way.
The convo hours are an initial touch to sense how communities see the text.

Question from the chat and live discussion:
Not all communities have the same issues. For example, the French wiki does not have an arbitration committee, and no “second level” body like the EN wiki.
Response: Communities indeed have different bodies of enforcement. We need need to know how we can work together to get ideas and recommendations about how to enforce the UCoC. With the outreach, we managed to collect input from different communities about what can be done and what must not be done. We can extend the outreach to answer more questions and respond to the concerns.

Question in the chat and in live discussion:
What is the criteria for the severity of the violation and the amount of harm resulting from it?
Response: We lean on wikis to use their policies to decide the severity of violations; the Enforcement Guidelines are meant to define the floor and ceiling of what the UCoC covers. For example, in one wiki, one violation will result in a serious sanction, while in another, it won’t. So the enforcement bodies should play a role in deciding the levels of violation.

Question in the chat and in live discussion:
What will be done to encourage the inter-lingual transfer of knowledge & experience?
Response: We depend on collecting feedback using different channels, inviting all communities, affiliates and functionaries to participate. Some provide very detailed responses which help in revising the policy and the guidelines. We try to have communication happen and outreach to the different parts of the world regardless of their roles and privileges, including the calls to join the drafting committees.

Question in the live discussion:
With respect to the UCOC Policy 3.3, which states that “hindering, impeding or otherwise hampering the creation (and/or maintenance) of content” is prohibited, is a particular project’s notability guideline within the scope of the UCOC? And, if so, how would enforcement work under the revised Enforcement Guidelines?
Response: The UCoC is about conduct, and the question is about content, which is not covered by UCoC. Every project should make decisions about the content depending on their policies and cultures. The enforcement should be done as locally as possible. For example, a decision of Fr.Wiki would differ from decisions make in Wikipedia in English and that would differ from Wikibooks. Each project may choose to do the enforcement differently - noticeboards, or arbcoms, etc.

Question from the chat:
Does the diversity among the drafting committee members reflect the diversity of the community?
Response: This is a difficult task to be made because there are hundreds of communities and groups. In addition to getting as diverse a committee as possible, the outreach is the important thing where it’s important to target more communities and conversations in order to invite as many people to talk as possible.

Question from the chat and in live discussion:
Who will be required to take the training and what are the criteria to identify them? and how to make sure they are eligible to do that?
Response: The new text about the training states that the training will target anyone who would like to be part of the enforcement bodies.

Comments/questions from the participants:

  • There is nothing planned to act preventively, but only after the fact, is this normal? For example, taking a contributor back to the beginning, limiting their actions when we see that they start having have behavioural problems. For example, it is traditional on FR.Wiki to give a contributor several “chances” to improve their conduct, and so it is difficult to know where to draw the line between acceptable/tolerated/unacceptable behaviour.
  • Currently, on FR.Wiki, there are only 2-3 persons interested in the Code of Conduct and its development (out of 800 active contributors).
  • What happens to individuals where there is an affiliate but there are no members of the affiliate? Are these individuals also subjects to the affirmation by the affiliate?

Several questions and topics were not discussed due to limited time for this meeting. The unanswered questions will be addressed later in written responses.