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User:Dennis Brown

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Regarding the WMF

Without the free labor provided by hundreds of thousands of volunteer editors, and the several hundred admin that have been selected by those editors to handle the maintenance of the English Wikipedia, there would be no need for paid employees at WMF, and in fact, the WMF would not exist. In fact, it did not exist until a great deal of work had been done by those volunteers.

What should exist between the English Wikipedia and the WMF is a partnership, with mutual respect. The community should (and does) expect that there are certain actions that must be taken using private information, but the community clearly feels actions should only be taken if it is impossible for the community to police the problem. These are rare events, but do happen. If a problem can be handled by the community, either through formal discussion or Arbitration (which is fully equipped to deal with private information and does so regularly), then we would expect that the WMF would leave matters to the community.

If WMF must take direct action, the community expects that the WMF will be exceedingly forthcoming with information, discussion and at least addressing the concerns of the community, at the same level we expect from admin and arbitrators. Without this level of accountability, there is no partnership. We accept this means that sometimes, it may mean releasing private information to Arb so they may explain the situation, even if they are not able to be a point of appeal. Arbs are fellow editors, and frankly it is more palatable to hear something without evidence from editing peers than from (WMF) accounts that only show up to give us the outcome, then disappear back to their offices, free from any consequences. Arb is our liaison to the WMF in many ways, and at the very least, they should have heard the information and been allowed the opportunity to agree or disagree with you before you took non-emergency action in this case.

We are not subjects of the WMF. We do not work for you. We are not beneath you. We owe you nothing; we are volunteers. We are trying to work WITH you to create something special, but you have to give us the same respect you demand for yourselves.

Dennis Brown