WMF endorses Konieczny in Holocaust distortion row

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WMF endorses Konieczny in Holocaust distortion row

Post by boredbird » Sun Mar 19, 2023 3:11 am

According to Piotrus, an official statement from the Wikimedia Foundation's Trust and Safety team:

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... 1145264895
Jan Eissfeldt wrote: To whom it may concern,

I am the Lead Manager of Trust and Safety at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports and sustains the suite of free, crowd-sourced educational resources, including Wikipedia. Wikipedia alone offers 32 million articles in almost 300 languages. World-wide, our informational resources are accessed by over 10 million people every day. Collectively, our sites are one of the top ten most visited websites in the world.

It has been my pleasure to observe the volunteer efforts and valuable contributions of Dr. Konieczny, a sociology professor at Hanyang University, to the Wikimedia movement. He is a long-time volunteer contributor to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that the Wikimedia Foundation supports, and Wikimedia Commons, the Foundation’s freely licensed media repository.

Dr. Konieczny has been connected with the Wikimedia movement since December 2004, when he created his user account, user:Piotrus, and has since contributed nearly 300,000 edits on different Wikimedia projects. His main contribution areas have been in contributing to the English Wikipedia, especially in the fields of economics, history, politics, and religion. He has also been teaching and guiding new editors, and was one of the very first educators to assign university students Wikipedia editing related tasks as part of his curriculum. Through his contributions, Dr. Konieczny helped many students as well as fellow Wikimedians understand this educational movement’s core principles of free knowledge distribution, working cooperatively and transparently across borders and cultures. His skills of researching and neutrally presenting facts have been a huge asset to the movement and was celebrated on the Foundation’s official blog.

It has been brought to our attention that Dr. Koniezcny’s involvement in the Wikimedia movement’s educational work has generated severe harassment against him, both online and in real life. This is unfortunately sometimes the case when Wikimedia volunteer editors work on controversial topics to offer balanced coverage, based on reliable sources. In Dr. Konieczny’s case, we believe the person behind the harassment campaign he’s been experiencing to be user:Icewhiz, a volunteer whose editing has been problematic for some time and resulted in his indefinite community block from the English Wikipedia back in October of 2019. It should be noted that multiple individuals have been targeted by said user in similar ways as Dr. Konieczny has, which has included but is not limited to doxing (sharing private or personal information), threats of legal action, harassing contact to one’s employer with false accusations, threats of harm, etc.

The Wikimedia movement relies on trustworthy and dedicated volunteers. As we all know, the internet is in many ways a lawless place; protecting its users most often falls to those who volunteer for the work and have no more legal power than those whom they protect. Our volunteer base often takes on personal risk in trying to make the sum of all knowledge freely available to everyone, in a neutral way.

Naturally our volunteers are often concerned about the ripple effect their actions may have on their personal, family or professional lives and sometimes feel forced to step away or resign from editing altogether; that people continue to volunteer in our projects is evidence of the depth of their caring for the Wikimedia Movement’s vision and mission. Volunteers like Dr. Konieczny work to make Wikipedia a strong and valuable resource for everyone, and their efforts are tremendously appreciated. If I am able to further contextualize the important work of Dr. Konieczny in the Wikimedia projects, I hope you will not hesitate to contact me.

Jan Eissfeldt
Lead Manager of Trust and Safety
Wikimedia Foundation Inc

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Re: WMF endorses Konieczny in Holocaust distortion row

Post by ericbarbour » Sun Mar 19, 2023 4:49 am

Thanks for catching that--adding to the EEML notes.

God what an insane mess. I could not summarize it back in 2012 and it's only gotten worse.

Also, you can tell the Israel Wikilobby has lost its importance, SlimVirgin is dead, Jayjg is in hiding etc. Because if this shit happened in 2007, Icewhiz would be PROTECTED by some of the same people who are now furious with him.

What's Jayjg doing? Shit like this. And staying out of noticeboards. He should have done that from the start. Maybe he realizes what Icewhiz refuses to admit: the days of pro-Israel POV pushing are more or less over.

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Re: WMF endorses Konieczny in Holocaust distortion row

Post by wexter » Sun Mar 19, 2023 11:19 am

ericbarbour wrote:
Sun Mar 19, 2023 4:49 am
Thanks for catching that--adding to the EEML notes.

God what an insane mess. I could not summarize it back in 2012 and it's only gotten worse.
Yes an "endorsement" - which is a backdoor way of saying that he conforms to "Wikipedia Standards" therefore our "Rules and Processes" are OK - There is no question he conforms to the insane constructs of Wikipedia. The process and rules are an insane mess, and as a result the content is an insane mess with the platform being toxic to all participants.. (the public/press are not aware how toxic the platform is)

The "Safety" threat and harassment is most likely severe - Why would you participate on a platform as an editor with only downside risk? - The safety threat has all sorts of potential ramifications to WMF (legal, bad press, goes on and on) - insane mess

I would say it is "circling the wagons" to protect the platform - The WMF took a hit on the release of the research report, and now they are taking a hit because the platform exposes editors to risk and potential physical harm - which is an insane toxic mess - that can actually be dangerous to participants -- toxic and dangerous..

From a corporate standpoint Circling the Wagons (by doubling down in denying your bad conduct) sometimes backfires; What choice do they have?

Either circle the wagons, or fix the problem and do the right thing by changing the process, rules, procedures, and mission statement of the platform.

Anyway sliced; this case, including this endorsement, is an existential threat to the platform.

(PS "The Endorsement violates WMF's and Wikipedia's rules (blurs the distinction between entities, violates evidence rules and the "sanctity" of the arbitration"

Just a gut feel, there may be more transparency in the current arbitration that would be expected - fewer editors banned/blocked/harassed or subject to reversion/silencing-dissent for saying the "wrong thing," )
Wikipedia - "Barely competent and paranoid. There’s a hell of a combination."

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