Photo Illustration: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind Wikipedia, have tasked the organization with developing a new code of conduct to curtail "harassment, toxic behavior and incivility" among Wikipedia editors, The Verge reports.

The big picture: Wikipedia remains one of the web’s most enduring collaborations, drawing volunteer editors from around the globe. But it has long faced charges that its editorial ranks aren’t sufficiently diverse and have been rife with abusive behavior.

What they're saying:

"The Board does not believe we have made enough progress toward creating welcoming, inclusive, harassment-free spaces in which people can contribute productively and debate constructively.... the Board is directing the Wikimedia Foundation to directly improve the situation in collaboration with our communities. This should include developing sustainable practices and tools that eliminate harassment, toxicity, and incivility...."
— Wikimedia Foundation trustees

Context: Wikipedia's editorial process has evolved over almost two decades to organize contributions and edits from volunteers who often deeply disagree over politics and various controversial issue.

  • But the project has failed to meet goals of diversifying its ranks, particularly in terms of attracting women editors.
  • Its procedures have sometimes been opaque and have sparked conflicts among the project's volunteers, most recently in 2019, after the ban of a longtime editor.

Our thought bubble: Facebook, Twitter, Google's YouTube and other commercial platforms are struggling to curtail misinformation, harassment, and hate speech by beginning to evolve more Wikipedia-style collective processes.

  • Meanwhile, Wikipedia is trying to follow the giant platforms in standing up clearer policies to rein in some of its more toxic users.

Go deeper

Why discrimination persists in the workplace

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Despite laws protecting people from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, religion and sexual orientation — including last week's Supreme Court victory for LGBTQ workers — when it comes to actually holding firms accountable, the odds are stacked against workers.

Why it matters: The U.S. workplace is still rampant with discrimination, but the bulk of it is going unchecked as companies have figured out how to keep themselves out of court.

Jun 24, 2020 - Technology

Google to limit how long it hangs on to some data

Google

Google on Wednesday announced new limits on how long it will maintain data for some of its services, expanding a data minimization push that began last year.

Why it matters: Google has been trying to strengthen its privacy policies even as it continues to make most of its money by selling advertising.

In media agency shakeup, conservative groups push for Falun Gong-backed internet tools

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In the wake of a leadership change at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), a small group of religious freedom advocates is trying to secure millions of dollars in funding for two internet censorship circumvention tools developed by supporters of the Falun Gong, a controversial religious group banned in China.

Why it matters: In recent years, Falun Gong supporters have made common cause with the global far-right, and a growing rapport between its advocates and U.S. ultra-conservatives within USAGM could override internal vetting processes and channel funding toward pet projects.