Protocol Enforcement and Reporting
The text below is a translation of Protocol Handhaving en Rapportage. The Dutch text is leading.
The (Dutch) text of the Protocol Enforcement and Reporting was approved by the Board of Wikimedia Nederland on 19 January 2023.
This document outlines the practical implementation of the Friendly Space Policy.
The Friendly Space Policy (hereafter referred to as FSP) applies to all platforms and channels managed by WMNL and during all physical and virtual events and activities organised by WMNL. Everyone who is present on these platforms and channels, or participates in these physical and virtual events and activities, is expected to abide by the FSP. The FSP applies to everyone, regardless of position, knowledge, skills or performance.
In this document we describe how we enforce the FSP within Wikimedia Nederland (hereafter referred to as WMNL). The document is a practical application of the FSP. In that sense. It is subordinate to the FSP: the text of the FSP is leading.
This document is a translation of Protocol Handhaving en Rapportage. The Dutch text is leading.
2.1 Within the organisation
a. The final responsibility for enforcement of the FSP lies with the WMNL Board. The Board reports at least once a year to the General Assembly.
b. The Board appoints one of its members to handle the FSP issue.
c. The Board delegates responsibility for the implementation of FSP in all WMNL events, activities, platforms and channels to the executive director. The director is responsible for establishing and maintaining a system for reporting, monitoring and training.
d. FSP contacts - the director or board member FSP is ultimately responsible for appointing FSP contacts at - in principle - each activity and event, and for each platform and channel. (see also 2.2) This contact is mandated to take all measures necessary to ensure enforcement of the FSP during the activity or event, or on the channel/platform, in accordance with the Enforcement and Reporting Policy.
e. The WMNL Board shall appoint a confidential ombudsperson (vertrouwenspersoon), who will have the following responsibilities and powers:
i. to act as point of contact for anyone within or in contact with WMNL (including members, volunteers, employees, trainees, visitors, participants) who wishes to discuss in confidence a matter related to the FSP ii. provide solicited and unsolicited advice to the WMNL Board and management concerning the FSP.
f. The General Assembly appoints a committee for FSP affairs. This committee will act as an appeal body for decisions taken by the Board within the framework of the FSP.
g. Tasks, mandate and working method of the confidential adviser and of the committee FSP affairs are laid down in (an appendix to) the WMNL Internal Regulations.
2.2 Activities, events, channels and platforms
a. WMNL appoints one or more FSP contact persons for each activity and event, and for each platform and channel.
b. It is not strictly necessary to designate a FSP contact person for meetings where only employees/board members of WMNL are present, or where several persons are present who have completed a FSP training course. The main point is that WMNL (represented by director and/or board member FSP) is confident that the safety of participants is adequately guaranteed.
c. A designated FSP contact person is mandated by WMNL to take all necessary measures to ensure the enforcement of FSP during the activity and event or on the channel/platform.
d. The number of designated contact persons per activity, channel or platform is determined on the basis of, among other things, the number of expected participants, duration of the activity and intensity of interaction.
e. A FSP contact person has completed at least a basic FSP/Universal Code of Conduct training.
2.3 Activities at locations where WMNL has no formal authority
WMNL cannot enforce the FSP in domains/locations where it is a guest and has no formal authority. If a WMNL-organised activity takes place in a virtual or physical space where WMNL does not have formal authority, we always discuss with the responsible parties (managers, owners, moderators) in advance the extent to which the WMNL FSP is consistent with the rules that normally apply in this space. Where necessary, we make additional agreements to ensure a respectful and safe environment, especially if visitors can reasonably expect WMNL to ensure their physical and social safety. If such safeguards are not possible, WMNL will withdraw from the activity, or make it clear to participants that the FSP is not in force.
3. Publicising the FSP
3.1 WMNL shall ensure that any participant in a WMNL event or activity, and any visitor to a WMNL platform or channel, can reasonably be aware of the scope and content of the FSP.
3.2 The full and current text of the Friendly Space Policy is published on the WMNL wiki and website. The FSP is further published via
a. a link on pages of activities and meetings, and the corresponding application forms;
b. a link as a footnote on all pages of all WMNL platforms and channels, for both logged-in and non-logged-in users;
c. a summary of and link to the full text in printed materials for participants in activities and events;
d. an explanation of the FSP contact person during activities and meetings. In case of virtual meetings, the link to the full text is also shared in the public communication channels (e.g. chat function).
3.3 By registering for, or attending, an activity or meeting, or by placing a contribution on/in a platform or channel, a person declares to comply with the FSP.
4. Acknowledging the FSP by director, employees and volunteers of WMNL
4.1 The following persons are required to confirm in writing that they acknowledge the Friendly Space Policy, and will abide by it:
a. All employees, interns, trainees, advisors, board members, and contractors of WMNL;
b. All holders of advanced rights on WMNL channels and platforms;
c. Anyone involved as an organising volunteer in an event or activity organised or funded by WMNL, or representing WMNL in an event or activity;
d. Anyone formally involved in implementing the FSP, e.g. as a member of the FSP-committee or ombudsperson;
4.2 The statements shall be renewed upon re-election or re-appointment, or otherwise no later than every three years;
4.3 The individuals mentioned under 4.1. are expected to have attended and completed basic training in Friendly Space Policy / Universal Code of Conduct.
5. Action when violations of the FSP are observed
If a WMNL employee or board member, or a FSP contact person designated by WMNL, observes or suspects a FSP violation, he or she is obliged and authorised to take action, even if no report has been made by a person involved. In doing so, the protocol for dealing with reports as described in Article 7 et seq. is followed to the greatest extent possible.
6. Preventive measures
WMNL will make every effort to prevent violations of the FSP during activities or events, or on platforms and channels. This includes, among other things
a. checking the list of registered participants in advance for:
i. people who have been excluded from participation by WMNL or WMF;
ii. people who are blocked on a Wikimedia project, and who have not been issued with an exemption by the board (FSP 5.5).
iii. people who behave (or have behaved) in a way that is clearly contrary to the FSP, including on other projects, platforms and channels or during events and activities of parties other than WMNL;
iv. people who are actively involved in a (heated) conflict on a Wikimedia project;
b. Taking measures to prevent people as mentioned under a) from participating;
c. when the executive director or the FSP board member deems it necessary, approach people mentioned in b)-d) individually in order to explicitly inform them about the expectations concerning their behaviour during the event;
d. the director or the FSP board member can decide to exclude someone as a preventative measure from participation. This will be communicated in writing to the person concerned.
e. Measures as mentioned under bullet 2-4 are recorded in the relevant file(s).
7. Reporting violations of the FSP
7.1 Anyone present on platforms and channels managed by WMNL or at events and activities organised by WMNL may report a violation or suspected violation of the FSP. This is also possible if someone was not personally involved in the violation, but observed it. Source: FSP 5.2
7.2 A report can be made
a. via a report form on the WMNL wiki.
b. orally or in writing to a FSP contact person, the executive director of WMNL, the WMNL board member responsible for FSP, or the ombudsperson
7.3 Reports are always made in confidence. WMNL will exercise maximum restraint in making any announcements concerning reports made, particularly concerning the identity of persons involved in an incident. Where possible, WMNL will accommodate the wishes concerning privacy of those involved.
7.4 Anonymous reports will not be investigated.
7.5 A report should preferably be made as soon as possible after the incident. WMNL does not impose a deadline for reporting. However, proper investigation of an incident is hampered if there is a long interval between the incident and the report.
8. Reporting during an activity/event
8.1 During an (online) event or activity, reports may be made to the designated FSP contact person(s) or, if the contact person is not available, to a WMNL employee or board member.
8.2 WMNL shall clearly indicate for each event and activity, and on each channel and platform
a. who the FSP contact person is;
b. in what ways the contact person may be reached;
c. in what other ways (other than by contacting the contact person) a report can be made.
8.3 Upon receipt of a report, the FSP contact person assesses whether
a. there is a violation of the FSP;
b. immediate action is necessary and desirable;
c. the report can be processed through the regular reporting and investigating process;
d. an employee, director or board member of WMNL needs to be informed immediately.
8.4 Immediate action after report during activity/event
a. After receiving the report, the FSP contact person seeks contact with the (possible) violator and asks their view on the report.
b. The FSP contact person decides whether the report can be dealt with adequately by addressing the violator in person about the undesirable behaviour (FSP 5.1 - 2).
c. If this is not the case, the FSP contact person can take the following measures:
i. verbal reprimand;
ii. exclusion of the person from further participation;
iii. a prohibition to approach certain other persons;
iv. report to the police, or support victims in making a report themselves.
8.5 In all cases (even when no action is taken), the FSP contact person makes a report in which the following is stated
a. nature of reported incident
b. persons involved in the incident
c. who made the report
d. actions taken
8.6 This report is shared with the director of WMNL as soon as possible after the incident. The director decides, possibly in consultation with the FSP Board member, whether further action is necessary.
9. Reports made in bad faith
9.1 In the event of a report without any foundation or a report made in bad faith (maliciously), WMNL may decide not to act on the report. This decision is taken by the executive director and board member FSP together. If one of them is directly involved in the report, the decision not to deal with the report is taken by the board.
9.2 If such a report is made during an activity or meeting, the decision is taken by the FSP contact person, preferably in consultation with a second person (employee or board member WMNL).
9.3 If a person makes a report for malicious purposes or in bad faith, or makes a report for which there is no factual basis, this can be regarded as a breach of the FSP. The director will report this and the board will decide on possible measures. The Board will follow the procedure as described in art 10 and 11.
10. Investigation of report
10.1 Conduct of the investigation
a. The investigation of the report of a violation is carried out under the responsibility of the director.
b. In cases where the director or employees of WMNL are involved as a reporter or potential offender, the responsibility lies with the board member in charge of FSP.
c. Director and/or board member FSP may delegate the actual conduct of the investigation to a third party. This can also be an external party or the FSP trustee.
d. Persons who were directly involved in an incident or who have a close relation with one of the parties involved, cannot be charged with the investigation.
e. The reporter, the possible perpetrator and other persons directly involved are informed about the process of investigation, the persons who will carry out the investigation and the time schedule. They will also be informed of the progress of the process.
10.2 Hearing those involved
a. Everyone directly involved in the incident will be given the opportunity to express their views.
b. Those involved maybe accompanied or advised by a third party in their dealings with the investigator.
a. After the investigation has been completed, a report is drawn up in accordance with this format.
b. The draft report is discussed with the reporter, the possible perpetrator and any other persons directly involved. The privacy of all those involved is taken into account, especially if the reporter is not the victim. This may mean that the report is (partly) anonymised and/or that certain parts are redacted.
c. WMNL aims to complete the investigation and the report on the investigation within one month of receiving the report. This depends on the nature and seriousness of the incident.
d. The report shall be submitted to the person authorised to impose the measure.
11. Determination of measures
11.1 Determining measures will be based on the listing in FSP art 5.3.
The primary aim of the measures below is to maintain a safe and pleasant environment, as well as to restore trust and a sense of security among all those involved after an incident
a. warnings or reprimands (both verbal and written);
b. exclusion of a person from further participation in the event or activity
c. a ban on approaching certain other persons during WMNL events or activities, or on WMNL platforms and channels;
d. the banning of a person from one, several or all events, activities, platforms and channels for a limited or indefinite period of time (with the exception of the exclusion of WMNL members from the General Assembly);
e reporting to the Trust & Safety team of the Wikimedia Foundation;
f.disqualify from, or cancel, membership of the Association Wikimedia Netherlands.
11.2 It is possible to impose a different type of measure provided that it is well-founded and in accordance with the principles laid down in Article 5.1 of the FSP.
11.3 Measures mentioned in 11.1 a-c are formally imposed/confirmed by the Managing Director and/or the Board Member FSP; measures mentioned in 11.1 d-f by the Board.
11.4 In cases of possible criminal offences, WMNL can make a report to the police or judicial authorities, or support victims in doing so.
11.5 In determining measures, consideration will be given to:
a. the nature and severity of the violation;
b. any past history, including on Wikimedia projects outside the immediate WMNL domain, if relevant;
c. the role and responsibilities/competencies of the person who has violated the FSP, with violations by directors, employees and elected officials being given weight
d. any personal or social factors that have influenced, or may have influenced, the behaviour of individuals.
11.6 Measures will, in principle, be communicated within six weeks of the publication of the report, depending on the complexity of the case.
12. Consultation with other parties
12.1 Where relevant, WMNL will consult with, inter alia, the following parties when investigating a report or determining mesures:
a. WMF Trust & Safety team
b. WMF Legal
c. Arbitration committees of Wikimedia projects
d. U4C - Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee
e. Technical Code of Conduct Committee
12.2 WMNL may seek the advice of external experts when investigating a report and/or determining measures.
13.1 WMNL will exercise the greatest restraint when sharing information about an incident and the persons involved.
13.2 The (alleged) offender and the (alleged) victim will receive the fullest possible text of the final report, including a description of any measures. For reasons of privacy, the report may be (partly) anonymised and/or certain sections may be omitted at the discretion of WMNL.
13.3 If the person reporting the violation is not the (alleged) victim, they will only be informed of the main points of the procedure.
13.4 Within WMNL, the full text of the report will initially only be available for inspection by the person or persons authorised to take a decision on the handling of the case or the imposition of measures. In the event of an appeal, the appeal body handling the case will also have access to the report.
14. Reporting on FSP
14.1 WMNL maintains a complete and up-to-date overview of reports received of possible violations of the FSP, the status of the investigations and any measures imposed.
14.2 An anonymised summary version of this overview can be accessed via the WMNL Wiki.
14.3 Twice a year, the executive director reports to the Board on reports received within the framework of the FSP and the handling of these reports. The board member FSP has full access to the files.
14.4 The annual report of WMNL shall contain a paragraph on the FSP. This report shall include at least the number of reports received, the number of reports dealt with, the number of times measures were imposed and which measures, and the number of appeal cases. This paragraph is discussed as a separate agenda item during the General Assembly.
15.1 A file shall be made of each report, with a unique case number. All correspondence, meeting reports and documentation of the decision making process concerning a report is kept in this file. This also applies to reports that have been dealt with during an activity or meeting.
15.2 Only the executive director of WMNL and the responsible board member have access to these files, and the board and the FSP committee when dealing with appeal cases.
15.3 The person about whom a report has been made or against whom a measure has been taken may request access to the file on their case. This request will in principle be honoured, with WMNL possibly anonymising parts of the file to ensure the privacy of others involved.
15.4 A list of persons subject to measures is available to FSP contacts, WMNL employees and the FSP Board member.
15.5 Files concerning FSP reports are kept for two years after the processing of the report, or at least two years after the expiry of a measure, if any.
15.6 If the person agains whom a measure was imposed is penalised again within the period of two years, this is reason to link the original file to the newer file as far as retention periods are concerned.
16.1 Both the person who reported an alleged breach of the FSP and the person against whom measures are imposed, as well as other persons directly involved in the incident, have the possibility to appeal against decisions.
16.2 Appeals shall be made in writing to:
a. if the original decision was taken by the director and/or the board member with the FSP portfolio: the WMNL Board. Thereafter, no further appeal is possible within WMNL.
b. if the original decision was taken by the WMNL board: the FSP committee established by the General Assembly. Thereafter, no further appeal is possible within WMNL.
16.3 Appeals must be lodged within 8 weeks of the original decision being announced.
16.4 Decisions made during a meeting or activity in the context of the FSP are not subject to appeal during that event. However, it is possible to file a written appeal after the meeting.
17. Support for those involved
17.1 WMNL will, if requested, provide guidance and support to those affected by a violation of the FSP to enable them to return to participating in WMNL activities and meetings with confidence and enjoyment.
17.2 WMNL will endeavour to enable persons who have been the subject of measures to resume participating in activities and meetings once the measure has ended. This includes, for example, offering training and/or personal coaching.
- Platforms and channels means all websites and wikis, email accounts, mailing lists, accounts and groups on social media and messaging services owned or operated by WMNL.
- The trustee can be from the community or an external person with specific expertise. Within the WMNL board there is a preference for an external person, to reduce the risk of conflict of interest and personal conflicts.
- Confirmation: if the sanction was imposed by the FSP contact during an activity.
- See [https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Universal_Code_of_Conduct/Enforcement_guidelines#UCoC_Coordinating_Committee_(U4C))