[Osmf-talk] Voting "recommendations" by employers (straw poll)

Michael Reichert osm-ml at michreichert.de
Thu Nov 1 23:03:53 UTC 2018


Am 01.11.18 um 21:03 schrieb nebulon42:
> I think "suggestions" from employers have a smell and should be avoided
> since you are in a dependent relationship to your employer and are more
> likely to follow the suggestion.
> I have nothing against encouraging people to become OSMF members, but
> paying their fee is wrong even more so because of the dependent
> relationship (see above) and there should be a rule that forbids this.

I think that suggesting membership is good if the recipient of the
suggestion contributes to OSM in any way – be it as mapper or software
developer, as volunteer or paid [1]. However, paying someone's
membership fee who is able to afford it on his/her own, is cheating. The
1:1 relation of memberships to person is the only difference to
Wikipedia-like sockpuppet collections.

I don't think that it is objectionable to recommend a candidate – be it
public or not. I published my recommendations in the past and marked
them as my opinion although many hours of work went into

> I tend to suggest to sanction such a foul by suspending the advisory
> board seat if the company is a corporate member. But this brings other
> troubles and the OSMF needs the money etc.

Suspending the seat in the advisory board would be a strong message. I
am in favour of it but it is a challenge to proof the claims. The OSMF
is able to get along without the membership fee of a gold sponsor. If we
had no corporate members, we would have to run one donation drive per
year and have to care that a profitable SotM happens every year.
However, this sanction works against companies which are a corporate member.

I think that the Foundation should publish a statement condemning straw
men and especially paying membership fees for someone else. In addition,
the Articles of Association should explicitly forbid that. Does anyone
know other organisations who have such a rule written down in their
Articles of Association?

Further steps like suspending advisory board seats or suspending the
membership of a company or its employees for one year should be done if
the misconduct can be proofed.

I have been pointed to a case in 2012 when someone wanted to pay someone
else membership fee to allow him to run for the OSMF board. The board
rejected that membership. I am not sure if that really happened because
one of the two persons was a troll but the other one still contributes
to OSM in a good way. [2]

Best regards


[1] Why should someone not become a member if you income relies on OSM?
[2] in German:

Per E-Mail kommuniziere ich bevorzugt GPG-verschlüsselt. (Mailinglisten
I prefer GPG encryption of emails. (does not apply on mailing lists)

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