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Use this talk page to bring matters to the attention of the board of trustees, discuss meta matters relevant to mission of the wiki, and to give input on the strategic direction of the wiki.
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LeftyGreenMarioSpudTmtoulouseFuzzyCatPotato


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Open request for comment[edit]

Anything y'all want the board to do this year, write it below. Be advised, I can't promise you that everything you ask for will happen, this is for community input. After all, this is your board of trustees, for your wiki, and your input should be of importance. — Dysk (contribs) 15:53, 5 September 2020 (UTC)

Comments[edit]

  1. Fix <math> — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 15:54, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
    This isn't an issue for the board to consider. This request belongs in the tech support forum. Besides, I thought you said that you weren't editing mainspace any more and have moved to your fork wiki. So, why would you care if the math extension is fixed or not? —cosmikdebris talk stalk 17:52, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
    It is because D campaigned on updating the software, so I would like to see promise fulfilled. — Godless Raven SDAPOe logo.svg talkstalkwalkbalk 🌹 Flag of Europe.svg 04:51, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
  2. Improve transparency. For example, at a minimum, please make an honest effort to post the minutes of board meetings here. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 17:50, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
  3. Update the site's privacy policy, which has not been updated in ages. Aidan Bissell-Siders (talk) 02:51, 11 December 2020 (UTC)
    Why does it even need updating? What kind of request is that?The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 12:23, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
  4. Update the site. We need the visual editor, mobile skins, article previews on howering, and all that.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 12:25, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
    I will echo this statement and I will want to issue a reminder to board members and regular users that I don't want VE enabled without reaching community consensus (not merely a vote). VisualEditor is an extension with a good amount of baggage that caused significant problems when the English Wikipedia adopted it. To summarize it, and I will make this a discussion point eventually, whether or not we update: VisualEditor is a WYSWIG editor with a good amount of assumptions about page formatting, is notoriously buggy because it's a product the WMF poured money into without much concern, is very fucking annoying to work with when it comes to templates, gives our site an unhealthy reliance on Javascript (which is very bad for privacy minded users and users on not super recent browsers) and because of the assumptions it makes about page formatting, users who don't use it will have to spit through a literal shitton of junk being inserted into pages because the editor made formatting assumptions. The short of it is that I have major issues with the extension and again, don't want it enabled without consensus. The rest of this is fine, mobile skins should be available with the Timeless skin once the update goes through (Minerva requires more setup but is technically also an option) and the article preview is a gadget that will fix itself once we update Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 16:15, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
    It comes as part of 1.35 - and the reason it caused so much trouble in 2013 was that it was rushed out and didn't work properly. Now it does work properly. I really don't think there's any danger from it whatsoever, nor reason to think there would be - David Gerard (talk) 20:19, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
    Well then, we can just skip the visual editor and update the fucking wiki???The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 12:01, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
  5. I would second Sqrt-1's statement except for the visual editor, of which I am wary. Further mobile support is a must. RationalWiki is a useful public resource, that is the site's most important function, and mobile support is necessary to fulfill that function.--Hastur! (talk) 18:32, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
  6. I agree with Hastur. I am also wary about the visual editor, particularly because it is buggy, and I'm concerned that edits made with a visual editor might be inscrutable for non-visual editing. Bongolian (talk) 18:56, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
  7. I concur with Hastur and Sirius on the visual editor; however, I do heartily agree with Sqrt-1 on the mobile skins and article previews- especially since the existing hover-preview feature appears to not work anymore for some reason (or at least for me on my Linux laptop which has the Linux version of Firefox and Samsung phone which has the built-in Samsung browser). --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularREmail2.gifasoningPrototype lab 19:00, 12 December 2020 (UTC)
    Just a random BoN and lurker, dropping to say this, upgrade your fucking wiki please.122.162.120.164 (talk) 10:19, 13 December 2020 (UTC)
    Well said.The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 12:02, 2 January 2021 (UTC)
  8. I agree with the calls for mobile version, I sometimes edit on my phone and I'm sure a lot of people do too. Less enthusiastic about visual editor. I've used it on both Wikipedia and Wikia and personally hated it. If the mob wants it then that's fine, but I can't see it being too beneficial. --RWRW (talk) 14:58, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

Proposal: Consolidating social media[edit]

It is no secret at the moment that the site's branding is rather uh... fractured. What I'm trying to say is that over the past year I've been a part of this community, the social media channels of this site have been all over the place. To give the Board an understanding of what I mean, I just want to quickly point out the state of the Discord page linked in the sidebar and the "officially" declared Discords:

  • At the moment there are two Discords listed. The one called RationalWiki and the RationalWiki support chat. Even though one of the two is called RationalWiki, the other is the one with a bigger overlap when it comes to site editors (the former shares little overlap in editors, although some are).
  • Then there is the existence of the old RationalWiki support chat, a server originally owned by Ze, then by Dysk and now it's either deleted, or as I suspect it got transformed in the next server.
  • Finally, we have the "RationalMedia Foundation/Irrationalwiki" Discord, which from what I can gather is owned by Dysk, which has next to zero member overlap from what I know with the wiki and seems to have mostly existed as a bunker for Raven-related matters because Raven was unwelcome in the previous two servers. I removed it a few months back for having functionally zero members and the only board member on it being Dysk from the Discord page.

This is obviously a royal mess, but one that is now more or less resolved (IW/RMF died out entirely, old support chat is gone, new support chat and the other discord have positive relations). That said, it is indicative of a larger problem with RWs presence outside of RW. To wit, here is as I can gather the current state of RWs public media presence:

  • The Twitter is ran by David Gerard, who was up until last year a board member.
  • The Discords are ran by individual editors, with no formal ties to RW outside of the name.
  • The Facebook page is about as dead as Graham Chapman.
  • The Telegram went so unmoderated some covid denier took up spot in it to peddle their bullshit. Seems to be resolved now.
  • The Reddit used to be a dumping ground for Abd Lomax to whine about how RW sucks and was run by pedophiles or something. Luckily, VoraciousArchivist and Rairyu have taken steps to fix that end up. Mods seem to be mostly wiki editors although not particularly active ones with the only board member being Dysk.

Therefore, I am requesting the board in a next meeting to:

  • Formalize a set of standards that a community upholding the RW name must follow.
  • Bash out a way to ensure that communities under the RW name don't fall prey to the same situation that the Reddit or the Telegram went down.
  • Set up an application process to formalize a community as being allowed to call itself an RW-related community.

I want to make clear that I see no problems with most of these communities, but the fact that the Telegram in particular ended up being hijacked by a Covid denier is what prompted me to request these things.

The reason I am requesting this to the board as opposed to the Community Standards is because this is something that doesn't really directly pertain to RationalWiki, but more about it's presence off the wiki itself, which the board to me seems the most equipped to deal with. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 11:55, 26 November 2020 (UTC)

OK. I've taken note of this and will make sure it's brought up at the next board meeting. Spud (talk) 12:15, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Hopefully we'll be able to figure something out. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 13:05, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Is there any way to actually control who calls themselves "Rationalwiki" on Discord or elsewhere? It seems like a losing battle to me. Bongolian (talk) 18:06, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
@Sirius and @Spud just on the Reddit thing, Dysk isn't the only listed moderator who is also a Board Member; Ronin Macbeth is also there (I even chatted with them once) and I presume Spud (either that or a doppelgänger)? FuzzyCatPotato is also listed but I think something happened to their account. - Rairyu75 (Talk) 18:34, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Ah, I stand corrected on that one. Apologies. Also, @Bongolian while it's true that anyone may call themselves RW or RW-related, this mostly comes up in terms of "what social media do we officially support". In practice, this means properly working out what communities the "Social media" links on the sidebar refer to and making sure that the communities we endorse as being "okay" have relationships to the either the wiki or the Board (ref. Telegram). This to me seems like the task of the board, since one of their stated goals is promoting RW off-site, and this is essentially our off-site PR.
Personally speaking, I would say that the best managed Social media community at the moment is the Twitter account, given it at a quick glance reliably takes it's time to be relevant and on-mission, so props to David, with it's only issue really being that DG isn't the most active on the wiki (which is in and of itself not a problem, it's more that formal relations are established between David and the Board now that he's no longer a Trustee). Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 21:07, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
As the Twitter poster, all this sounds reasonable. Anyone with issues about the Twitter content or tone, please ping me (on my RW user page, on @rationalwiki or on @davidgerard) - my rule is more or less "interesting, on-topic, link articles every now and then, don't use salty language". I try to be mindful that it's the official voice, readers certainly treat it as such. We've grown from 3k-ish readers when I started to 11.6k just now, which I think is OK? what should we expect? Doesn't feel unsuccessful, anyway.
The official Facebook needs someone who will bother maintaining it and posting to it regularly. And maintain it against bad commenters. This used to be me, but it failed at sparking joy quite a while ago - I think I have the p0w3rz to add people.
There are multiple unofficial Facebook groups, and that's fine, I believe all the Board asked (a few years ago, when the issue came up) was that they note that they are unofficial fan groups.
I had a look in the Discords but frankly I'm in enough Discords. If there's multiple Discords, then either declare one "official" (which will require someone to do the slog of running the thing ... who the hell wants to be a forum moderator? Not me) or just declare them all unofficial fan groups. Nothing wrong with unofficial fan groups. (And we could hardly stop them.)
I know 0 about the Telegram.
Broadly, what RW's social media lacks is not board imprimatur - it's people willing to do the work consistently - David Gerard (talk) 22:02, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
(I keep trying to remind myself to post featured articles more often. I'll try to do one daily.) - David Gerard (talk) 22:34, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
I mean, that's fair enough. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 23:53, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
The only reason multiple Discord servers exist, is because the moderation on the second server shite. By which I mean, they banned Oxyaena, myself, Ze, and several other sysops here. Furthermore, they kicked Ze, and RWRW, off mod positions they were elected to, based on poli-ideological disputes. This set of actions, was the catalyst for me to create the support chat, which I later deleted, as it was little more than a backroom, of users plotting on-wiki actions in secret, with no oversight or transparency. This was recreated by Duce. I later created a server, specifically for the purpose of getting the board members to talk to each other, this failed and I wiped that out. I believe that fundamentally, no single Discord server will be endorsed, without on-wiki linked moderation. Judge Dredd (talk) 17:07, 27 November 2020 (UTC)
@Sirius True to my word, I brought this up at the Board meeting that took place at 18:00 UTC on Saturday 28 November. I said I was in favour of declaring all social media accounts to be unofficial fan ones. We decided that there should be more discussion about it here on the wiki (that is yo say, in the Saloon Bar) and we will discuss it again at the next meeting. Oh, and none of us had ever heard of Telegram or had any idea what it was. Spud (talk) 05:54, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
@Spud Alright that's fair. I'll set up a bar thread later today. To quickly explain Telegram: think literally whatsapp with a degree of anonimity attached to it. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 10:36, 29 November 2020 (UTC)
The chats are just chats, public by default - David Gerard (talk) 22:44, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

Semi-urgent request: Update mediawiki[edit]

Earlier last night User:Sievert 81 protected his own page with a too large value in the protection content. The result of this is that we can no longer currently access the users protection page and trying to access the page protection log causes an exception. Whilst I can't be sure if this is fixed in a newer version of MediaWiki, I know that I cannot currently report this as a bug on the MediaWiki issue tracker because we are running a version of MediaWiki that isn't supported anymore. I am fully aware that the current board wants the site updated too, but it appears to be a bit of a backburner topic. I want to request this to be made a top priority of the board from now on.

Techs in general have been dealing with issues where the only answer is "we need to update MediaWiki" for months now and it's starting to reach a breaking point. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 14:31, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

@Sirius Question, is this also why the recent changes feed looks so old? JJP...MASTER![talk to] JJP... master? 15:10, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
@Sirius The next Board meeting won't be until March. Try contacting User:Tim Starling directly to get things sorted out quicker. Spud (talk) 15:14, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
@JJPMaster Yes. @Spud Ack. That's... annoying. I have no idea how to contact Tim about something like this. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 15:48, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
@Sirius All I can say for now is that I promise this will be discussed at the next Board meeting in March. Unless, of course, the problem is somehow fixed before then Spud (talk) 17:35, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
(Also WHY DON'T WE HAVE LUA MODULES ON HERE?!?) JJP...MASTER![talk to] JJP... master? 15:55, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Uh... because we haven't updated MediaWiki...? Seriously though, do we need to stalk trent to get the site updated or what?The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 13:57, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
Honestly that seems like the best recourse at this point. I know our wiki specific extensions have been updated to work properly for the latest versions of MediaWiki literal ages ago so I'm not fully sure what's currently blockading the entire process other than "nobody is seemingly doing this". Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 14:00, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Heyyyy... It’s March, so does that mean the site can get updated this month?The 𝗦𝗾𝗿𝘁-𝟭 talk stalk 04:52, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

March has come but hasn't gone. There should be a Board meeting some time this month. And I promise you that I will bring this matter up at the meeting. Spud (talk) 05:22, 3 March 2021 (UTC)
Sounds great. Like, the page preview extension (which was really useful) does not seem to work anymore- at least not from Firefox or the Samsung internet browser thing that comes with their phones. --Goatspeed. Stalk meCircularREmail2.gifasoningPrototype lab 07:39, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

The mission should be updated[edit]

This discussion was moved to RationalWiki talk:Mission.

Timestamp for archiving. Christopher (talk) 23:26, 6 March 2021 (UTC)

Is the Foundation Defunct?[edit]

As a previous donor to the RMF, I was just curious is the Foundation is defunct, as they haven't published meeting minutes in over 6 years. 2601:449:8200:A310:D0B3:2F4C:58E2:39F5 (talk) 04:52, 8 March 2021 (UTC)

No, we just aren't very organized at the moment. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 04:53, 8 March 2021 (UTC)
At the moment??? It's been almost 7 years... just saying. Good to know, though. 2601:449:8200:A310:D0B3:2F4C:58E2:39F5 (talk) 04:55, 8 March 2021 (UTC)
There is no such legal entity as the RMF. Trent failed to file the paperwork I prepared and sent around to other board members before I resigned. Stop referring to the RWF as the RMF. It doesn't exist. Nutty Roux (talk) 21:21, 25 March 2021 (UTC)

GrammarCommie’s resignation[edit]

We’re now a board member down, how do things precede from here? I’m sure a few more pages need to be updated. Christopher (talk) 20:52, 25 March 2021 (UTC)

LGM is the only regularly active one on the list. Is there any way to contact the others? Corgi (argue) 20:57, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
Spud's there as well. Most likely there will be loads of open seats come the election in the summer. --RWRW (talk) 20:59, 25 March 2021 (UTC)

Yeah. "LGM is the only regularly active one on the list" Bloody cheek! Spud (talk) 02:38, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

Is RoninMacbeth actually staff or not? He’s on some lists but has been removed from others, something about appointing one too many candidates. It says on the RMF website that there’s meant to be a replacement appointed, but I doubt that’ll happen in practice given how disorganised the board seems to be. Christopher (talk) 21:03, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
I got the impression from this discussion that Ronin is not on the board. The discord server where he clarified it no longer exists though and I can't remember what was said. --RWRW (talk) 21:08, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
Ronin has moved on from the wiki. Oxyaena Harass 21:47, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
This discussion was moved here from RW talk:All things in moderation.

Should someone replace him or should we wait until the next election? Kevs Ping! 17:23, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

Please see the foundation's bylaws, sections 5, 6, and 7. As I understand, this situation is entirely up to the foundation trustees. —cosmikdebris talk stalk 19:25, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
Yes, the other trustees @LeftyGreenMario, @Spud, @FuzzyCatPotato and @Tmtoulouse should appoint an interim trustee. Kevs Ping! 19:31, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
They may should they wish to. It's not required though from how I read that. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 20:00, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
Though they were already one trustee short of full board since Dysk was fired. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 20:01, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
If one were to be cynical about the RMF board meetings, there is no evidence that they actually occur because minutes have not been posted since 2014 (RationalWiki:RationalMedia Foundation#Meetings). Bongolian (talk) 20:11, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
Oh they happened but kinda hard to figure out who's responsible for the books when the crew is like three kinda confused people. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 20:16, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

Well, you can't accuse FuzzyCatPotato of being a confused person. Far from it. Yes. The meetings happen. I've attended every one of them since I was elected. The last one took place between 2:00 am and 4:00 am my time. Not that I'm complaining. Spud (talk) 02:38, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

What happened re: RoninMacbeth? He’s staff, but there’s something about one too many candidates being elected and he’s not on some of the lists of board members. Christopher (talk) 20:30, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
From what I heard they were intending to reappoint Ronin or something after the screwup? Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 21:15, 26 March 2021 (UTC)

I do not remember us discussing that at the last meeting. Most of it was taken up with discussing what to do about Dusk. Spud (talk) 02:38, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

We could always hold a special election. Plutocow (talk) 21:17, 26 March 2021 (UTC)
I think the trustees should appoint one of the former ones, which are still active: @DuceMoosolini, @David Gerard, @Bob M and @Ikanreed. Kevs Ping! 09:40, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Whoever would be appointed needs to volunteer first. The trustees can't just go willy nilly drafting unwilling people for the board. Knight CommanderIn ServiceTo HerGoatness 09:53, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

These things can't be set by wiki policy. They have to be written into the foundation charter to be applicable. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 14:03, 29 March 2021 (UTC)

Creative Commons license violation[edit]

I started a discussion about wholesale copying of RW on the saloon (RationalWiki:Saloon bar#Theft is the second sincerest form of flattery (Lithuanian edition)). There are an issue about a potential Creative Commons license violation, which the RMF should be aware of. Bongolian (talk) 18:55, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

I just want to wait and see how this plays out. The wiki has been plagiarized before; Black Pigeon Speaks had a page in a wikia on YouTube and the words were plagiarized but it was altered later on (imo whitewashed but w/e). --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 21:15, 25 May 2021 (UTC)

A bunch of things[edit]

  1. The RationalMedia Foundation doesn't exist. It's still the RationalWiki Foundation. Someone still needs to file the relevant paperwork for this. Bringing this to attention of the board again.
  2. Elections are in less than a month. Given the last time this happened, we had severe trouble getting enough candidates to even fill enough seats, we may want to open up elections earlier. Furthermore, we have lost 2 members (Dysk/Dredd and GC) in the past year on the board. Would we need to resupply those this election or would this have to be done next year?

Bringing these up while we still have the time with the current list of board members. Techpriest (talk) 12:29, 15 June 2021 (UTC)

@Sirius If it's like the last two elections, nominations would start at the first monday of July (5 July) and end after two weeks (midnight of 18 july). Campaigning would start at 19 july. Nominations will begin in less than two weeks, imo it's unnecessary to open up earlier. Monet talk 11:42, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not convinced that opening the elections earlier would solve anything.
As for filling the 2 empty seats, looking back at past boards it seems there's always 5 elected members and Tmtoulouse. This year 2 seats are up for election (Spud's and FCP's). I would suggest having 1 of those vacant seat seats up this year as well, and leave the other one for next years election so we can go back to electing 3 members one year, then 2 the next year (otherwise there would be 4 seats open this year and only 1 seat open next year). --RWRW (talk) 15:06, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
Why are the board of directors positions so hard to fill? Is a potential libel suit against RationalWiki due to some of its content one of the reasons? Has the enthusiasm for the website's mission waned? Or has internal infighting caused people to be less enthusiastic? Why is filling the board of directors positions difficult? JBN542 (talk) 16:34, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
It is probably because people who are elected have to agree to have their real names listed on the official government document of incorporation. It is not because of lawsuits. Bongolian (talk) 17:29, 23 June 2021 (UTC)
@Bongolian This user has just created an account and is already talking about traffic and coops on RW. We both know who he is. GeeJayK (talk) 19:00, 23 June 2021 (UTC)

Now it‘s 5 July. We should start with the nominations, @Sirius. Monet talk 06:16, 5 July 2021 (UTC)

I'm sorry for feeding this troll[edit]

But out of four candidates, one is Chinese-American, one is from Latam and one is a trans woman. And we already have a hapa woman on the board. Oh, and none of us believe in God (at least as far as I know). In other words, there won't be a single WASP American on the board soon, Trent aside, and he's not even elected. So you can pretty much find something different if you want to imply we are hypocrites. GeeJayK (talk) 23:02, 19 July 2021 (UTC)

I guess I am the most vanilla of all the candidates, being middle-aged, straight, white, British and a cis male. I'm of Jewish descent, although I didn't find that out until I was 13. And let me publicly state that I don't believe in God. Spud (talk) 23:43, 19 July 2021 (UTC)
I'm also an ace woman who weighs like 100 lbs and eats kimchi so there goes out the obese atheist man narrative. I have ADHD though so, go figure. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 02:02, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
Oh nice I’m asexual too! Grey aroace to be specific. He’ll yea cool to see the Ace Gang represented on the board 💜 A S E L A និយាយ 💜 03:16, 20 July 2021 (UTC)
And yeah nah I don’t believe in god also, and I never really have. I mean, I sometimes got vague pantheist vibes when I was constantly doing a shitload of acid, but that’s about it lmao 💜 A S E L A និយាយ 💜 03:25, 20 July 2021 (UTC)