[Osmf-talk] My November 2018 email to the board about the GlobalLogic signups

Andy Allan gravitystorm at gmail.com
Mon Feb 4 09:33:21 UTC 2019

On Sat, 2 Feb 2019 at 18:23, Mikel Maron, OSM <mikel at osmfoundation.org> wrote:

> The Board did discus at length, and decided we did not have sufficient evidence to determine these were "artificial memberships" or "fake accounts", and that especially since they were not eligible for voting in that election, the issue to block them at that point was not urgent.

Not urgent, perhaps, but of course still important.

I believe the Board made a serious mistake in accepting these
membership applications, even with the limited information that was
available at the time. According to our Articles of Association, the
Board has unrestricted rights to reject membership applications, but
only a limited ability to expel existing members. So by accepting
these membership applications, they now have the right to vote in the
2019 elections (and for technicalities involving arrears, probably the
2020 elections too). If they renew their membership, they will
continue as members indefinitely. The Board has to show a very narrow
set of reasons to expel an existing member and is otherwise powerless
to prevent renewals. It is (probably quite deliberately) much harder
for the Board to expel a member than it is to reject an application.
So the actions here of "accept the membership applications now, and
deal with the investigations later" is significantly different from
rejecting the membership application until the situation is clear.

I hope that we can learn from this. I hope that in future, in similar
circumstances, the Board would interpret the 'not urgent' to mean that
when there is any doubt applications are rejected pending an
investigation. When the investigation is completed, and if everything
is OK, then the members can re-apply. The situation we have now, where
the membership applications were accepted before the investigations
were complete, was I believe the wrong decision, and I hope it won't
be repeated.


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