[Osmf-talk] voting fraud

Steve Friedl steve at unixwiz.net
Fri Feb 1 17:21:05 UTC 2019

There are many plausible and innocent scenarios for large scale signups in an enterprise, and I appreciate those who suggest them.


But when one is trying to determine innocent-or-nefarious, one has to insure that the public explanations of the signups square with the observed behavior. If the public descriptions of the process clearly do not match what we believe actually happened, this becomes a matter of transparency and corporate candor rather than of mere bulk membership.


That is a legitimate matter of concern for the membership.


And the MWG report does not allege violations of any particular rules, so in a narrow technical sense GL “didn’t do anything illegal”.


In the United States where I live, it’s not “illegal” to cheat on your wife or fat-shame a person on a public bus, but most of us would find “he didn’t do anything wrong/illegal” a hollow defense.  I believe “lying to the board” is not explicitly forbidden either.


Everybody who reads our report can make his or her own judgement of whether we have reported it honestly and in good faith, and what level of concern it raises for governance and what ought to be done in the future (if any).




And on the subject of conflict-of-interest, I feel like I have to step up in defense of our board because the term CoI is thrown around wildly as an accusatory epithet so often that I wonder sometimes if people even know what the term actually means.


You cannot hang around in this industry for very long without forming relationships, meeting people, and crossing paths with others: it is natural and healthy for an organization to have leaders who are well connected with the industry.  If we exclude everybody who once was on a train with a competitor because HOLY CRAP YOU HAVE A CONFLICT nobody will ever get anything done.


On the matter before us, I (personally) do not believe that there is any meaningful conflict of interest impeding the ability of any board member to deliberate on this issue. Pointing out that somebody might know somebody is not even close – in my personal view – to being a conflict warranting recusal.


Instead, we have a conflict of IDEAS: there are different views of how the foundation ought to be governed, and (for example) the proper place for corporate participation in OSM.  These differences, which can be honorably held by “both” sides, offer *far* more explanation for how one might react to the MWG report than some mystery hidden agenda some board member might have.


I would hope we would talk more about ideas for governance than we do trying to open every closet looking for hidden monsters. 


Steve – who is absolutely not speaking for anybody else


From: Eric Sherman <ericandrewsherman at gmail.com> 
Sent: Friday, February 1, 2019 8:15 AM
To: Darafei "Komяpa" Praliaskouski <me at komzpa.net>
Cc: osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Osmf-talk] voting fraud


This is way more plausible than any other explanation.


On Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 4:34 AM Darafei "Komяpa" Praliaskouski <me at komzpa.net <mailto:me at komzpa.net> > wrote:



On Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org <mailto:frederik at remote.org> > wrote:


On 31.01.19 21:33, Darafei "Komяpa" Praliaskouski wrote:
> You can also spend similar money on OSMF membership and get another line
> on CV, now OSM-related. Closest thing available.

This is an interesting theory. It is plausible, but doesn't explain the
last-minute signup before election deadline; the result you outline
could easily have been achieved without attracting scrutiny by spacing
out the signups.


Oh, it's kind of obvious to me in this model.


OSMF is dormant and does not exist in people's mind most of the year. 

The only time OSMF exists is near Christmas, when the voting happens. People write manifestos, reports, discuss something.


Someone might have seen it and said "hey, you know what, there's a thing called OSMF and you can be a member of it". A manager overheard it and said "yes, we all better be members of it".

And got budget clearance. And scheduled a day for everyone sign up, as if it was a training or certification. After all, a hundred people are likely to be just a small local department of 12000-people company, why bother?


It only later occurred to everyone that this small department is comparable to the size of OSMF, when the hysteria started.

And it's hard to answer "you're trying to fraud voting!" when all you wanted was a training and a line on employees' CV, and you don't really care what that OSMF is and what are those elections about.



Darafei Praliaskouski

Support me: http://patreon.com/komzpa

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