[Osmf-talk] voting fraud

Allan Mustard allan at mustard.net
Tue Feb 5 16:50:59 UTC 2019

Uh, well, here in Ashgabat it is getting close to dinner time,
actually.  But never mind that.

I don't know that the OSM lists are one-sided.  In my experience so far
they have been rather robust and have reflected a diversity of
viewpoints.  As far as interactions being accusatory, when it comes to
Global Logic or any other corporate body that engages in activities that
raise suspicions, then declines to be open and transparent about them,
shifting from merely curious to accusatory is to be expected.  And by
the way, I am not a holder of any current power structure.  In the OSM
domain I'm just a mapper who, as an employee of a large government, is
naturally suspicious of a large organization that suddenly (and the
excellent and deeply analytical MWG report is pretty clear on that
point) pumps 100 members into a foundation that numbers in the hundreds
of members, and in which elections are decided by fewer than 20 votes. 
It is reasonable to be suspicious of such an act.  Was the act
necessarily nefarious?  Of course not.  However, the fact that Global
Logic is not responding transparently raises my suspicions, and it
should raise the suspicions of all Board members, not just of members of
the MWG.  If Global Logic does not come clean about its intentions, the
OSMF members it recruited should have their memberships annulled.  We
mappers have not worked so hard on this project to see it hijacked, and
yes, I have put a lot of effort <https://hdyc.neis-one.org/?apm-wa> into
this project, in one of the most closed countries on Earth: over a
quarter of a million map changes
over 300,000 ground-level images
on Mapillary, and a series of OSM wiki articles
<https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Turkmenistan> on the geography of
Turkmenistan so that all I've learned in the last four years about a
closed and secretive society can be used by other mappers.

Is there an unhealthy culture of fear to post?  I don't know for
certain, but I doubt it.  I suspect that the majority of OSMF members
simply prefer to spend their time mapping, creating products from OSM,
and contributing that way, rather than debating this or that policy in
this or another forum.  It is the old 80-20 rule.  Fear is not likely a
factor, since the downside risk of posting something other members don't
like is a verbal rebuke.  "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but
words will never hurt me."  It is more likely ambivalence that keeps
people from posting.

Putting myself in others' shoes, would I post?  Yes, if I had something
to say.  Would I engage in OSMF or go back to map making?  I'm doing
both.  Last Saturday I collected data in Gokdepe.  Next Sunday I intend
to collect a stretch of the P-25 highway between Yoloten and Bayramaly
we have not yet explored.  Both activities are important.  If the OSMF
blows this call and through inaction allows Global Logic or any other
corporation to take over OSM for its own purposes, all my mapping work
to that point, intended to benefit a much larger community, will have
been for naught, and they idea that my work will then benefit only
Global Logic will make me rather angry.

My two manats' worth.


On 2/5/2019 4:44 PM, Heather Leson wrote:
> Hello, Hope you are having lunch or breakfast
> I personally have heard some members say that they would not post to
> OSMF mailing lists. The health of this list (dialogue) is often
> one-sided. It is culturally difficult to participate in OSMF
> governance and mailing lists if you are: 1. regarding the interactions
> as somewhat borderline in range from open questions/amicable to down
> right accusatory in the approach  2. your job or anything else about
> your behaviour is mentioned  3. you are not holders of the current
> power structures (meaning willing to spend the time to digest, respond
> and deal with the countless notes. )
> I mean no disregard for anyone. We all have our styles, but imagine
> you are 1 of the other 930 people who don't post/share - how would you
> view the tone and culture norms. On the road to "transparency", the
> other principles of community, collaboration, adaptability, and
> inclusivity get missed. Again, there is a certain type of person who
> can actually spend their lunch responding to these notes instead of
> going outside. Add to that the emotional weight it takes to be
> 'vulnerable' to the 'sometimes investigative mode' that OSMF tends lean.
> Ask yourself the larger question once you put yourselves in other
> shoes - would you post?  In fact, even responding today to suggest
> that maybe, just maybe there is an unhealthy culture of fear in the
> styles /approaches, will be interesting in responses.  It seems to me
> that the larger problems of community engagement get sidetracked by
> all these topics. Meaning - if you read these notes, would you engage
> in OSMF or go back to map making or working around OSM/OSMF to focus
> on what you can do?
> Resources:
> what is an open organization - https://opensource.com/open-organization
> https://medium.com/mozilla-open-innovation/reflection-inclusive-organizing-for-open-source-communities-9c44f0b689c1
> Time for some air. I hope you go outside too and think about the
> unintended consequences of the narratives.
> Heather
> Heather Leson
> heatherleson at gmail.com <mailto:heatherleson at gmail.com>
> Twitter/skype: HeatherLeson
> Blog: textontechs.com <http://textontechs.com>
> On Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 1:48 AM Guillaume Rischard
> <openstreetmap at stereo.lu <mailto:openstreetmap at stereo.lu>> wrote:
>     Hi Kathleen,
>     I don't know if you've read the report, or if we should have been
>     more concise? :)
>     There is indeed no claim or evidence that every individual
>     employee had bad faith or sinister motives. They might not even
>     all have known what they were participating in. This is a matter
>     for the corporate actors (managers, et al). It's unnecessary to
>     speculate about what every individual had in mind, and I think we
>     should focus on what we do know.
>     It's easy to imagine employees wanting another line on a CV - why
>     not? - but the just-so story doesn't match with the evidence. I'm
>     not sure whether Darafei [1] was being sarcastic, but I’m certain
>     Nuno is. We've been over the data with a fine comb, looked eagerly
>     for innocent explanations. We haven't found even hints in favour
>     of that hypothesis, and a lot against it.
>     GlobalLogic employees have mentioned voting on [talk-in] (p. 5),
>     and repeatedly to the board and privately to MWG (p. 20). They
>     have been silent in public, but we've also been told by insiders
>     and informed outsiders that they've been told not to talk (p. 17).
>     You say that the individuals have unsubscribed from osmf-talk, but
>     there is no evidence of this either. On 17 Jan, we checked the two
>     cohorts: there were 2 GlobalLogic subscribers (who are still
>     subscribed)  and 12 French subscribers.
>     Why would they not tell us this story instead of a made-up one?
>     Why repeatedly talk about voting? Why do it just before the
>     cut-off? Why not a more visible corporate membership for a third
>     of the price? Why gag employees? 
>     We don't know what it was, but this wasn't just supporting the
>     foundation or personal development.
>     Guillaume
>     [1] https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2019-February/005902.html
>>     On 4 Feb 2019, at 20:42, Kathleen Lu via osmf-talk
>>     <osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
>>     <mailto:osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org>> wrote:
>>         One question, *not a single* one of these, recently called
>>         *100 "humans" expressed concern, doubts or showed any sign of
>>         not being able to vote*? 100, not 10, 100 that did not
>>         express themselves about not being able to vote. Lets me
>>         think that people in India are very shy indeed. Lucky we got
>>         900 members and those "100 humans" were just 1/10 of the
>>         members. We must be doing a great job at promotion to get new
>>         members with that rush sign up.
>>     Wait a minute. If any of the individuals *had* shown concern
>>     about not being able to vote, wouldn't that have been taken as
>>     evidence that they had been part of a conspiracy to manipulate
>>     the election? That the individuals didn't express any concern re
>>     the election suggests support for Darafei's theory: These
>>     individuals agreed to sign up for OSMF (with their employer
>>     facilitating signup and payment) in a manner similar to a
>>     job-related training or certification.
>>     (Whether their managers had any more sinister plans or not is a
>>     separate question, but there's no evidence that the individuals
>>     had any intent to do anything.)
>>     Then the issue blew up with an investigation and lots of
>>     questions and speculation, and now they do not want to say
>>     anything for fear of saying something "wrong" (whether that is by
>>     the listserv's standard or their managers' standard) so they stay
>>     silent, or have unsubscribed.
>>     -Kathleen
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