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Thu, 17 Jan 2019 05:18:52 -0800

Are those objecting to discussion of specific choices of advocacy
areas of the Foundation aware that the Movement Strategy staff have
seated an Advocacy Working Group and begun discussions with it
focusing on "public policies and agendas to define areas where active
advocacy and political engagement supports our mission and our
strategic direction"? The rationale for that Working Group leaves no
question that scope of advocacy efforts is a central topic of their
discussion:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Working_Groups/Advocacy#Rationale

Here are the top questions staff has posed to that Working Group so far:

> What policy areas do we want to prioritize on our way to becoming the 
> essential infrastructure for free knowledge? Where do we have to align with 
> the broader global movement?
> What policy changes are necessary to achieve our strategic vision? What are 
> areas where the movement has an opportunity to make change?
> What is the most effective way to promote public policy that advances our 
> goals? What kind of legal, public policy and activist capacities do we need 
> within movement organizations and communities, and how can we build them?

Moreover, such questions are clearly "Organizational issues of the
Wikimedia Foundation" and as such are strictly on topic according to
the wikimedia-l charter.

Using polls to settle controversial questions is so established that
it is part of literally every legislature:
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Previous_question

Lane Rasberry wrote:
> We do not have community capacity to endlessly complete surveys,
> and I would like survey moderation.

The survey and all its questions are completely optional, and I can
see from the bitly statistics many more people viewed it than
submitted it; I'm sure nobody felt obligated to complete it. The
research guidelines do not appear to apply to studies of populations
including the Foundation staff and contractors, as far as I can tell,
because they only mention project contributors and readers as
subjects. And, "Most research is conducted independently, without
knowledge by or approval from the Wikimedia Foundation," per
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:FAQ#Does_my_project_need_approval

Amir Sarabadani wrote:
> You just disclosed results of the survey before it ends, meaning people who
> fill out the survey are biased on what majority thinks and vote under peer
> pressure.

There was more peer pressure in the opposite direction prior to the
disclosure. The results have always been open to anyone who submits
the form, and all the questions are optional. It was not intended to
be a scientifically accurate poll. There was a discussion of
countering self-selection bias in the Research Showcase today. The
only way to reliably counter self-selection bias is to secure
agreement to answer questions from randomly selected members of the
subject populations before they are posed to the respondents. I would
love to see such a study.

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