Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

10 Feb 2021, 11:08 a.m.

New Wikimedia Code of Conduct

Just about ten years ago, I started a gig at the Wikimedia Foundation managing its open source volunteer stuff. I broached the topic of a tech conference anti-harassment policy with the higher-ups - as I recall, the first code of conduct for any in-person Wikimedia event. And, as I recall, the Wikimedia projects, as a whole, did not have an anti-harassment policy beyond the legal Terms of Use. We put the Friendly Space Policy into place in early 2012. And the next year, a volunteer led a session at the yearly Wikimania conference to discuss a potential online Friendly Space Policy:

"Explore what elements are essential for you in such a policy and what we can do collectively to adopt such a policy for Wikipedia and other Wikimedia websites."

And more of those efforts started and continued throughout Wikimedia spaces.

I left the Wikimedia Foundation in late 2014, but the work continued; in 2015 folks started a code of conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces that applies in both virtual and physical spaces.

Today I saw WMF's announcement that -- after a lot of research and consultation -- "The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) aims to provide a universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire Wikimedia movement and all its projects." The Board of Trustees has approved the new policy and now all the islands in the Wikimedia archipelago need to talk together about how to implement and enforce it.

Sometimes it's really nice to get to see your legacy.