[Osmf-talk] voting fraud

Eric Sherman ericandrewsherman at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 20:57:22 UTC 2019

Ok, well I'll just chime in here as a mostly lurker to say that I agree
with Heather's description.

I don't think this is a black and white issue, but I do expect the ideal
balance between the factors you mention and factors she raises is quite a
bit further over towards her side.

Speaking as
a) a GIS developer/consultant who specializes in open source tools
b) Has gone to several SOTM and found the community there to be robust and
inspiring and signed up to be a member
c) sees the often toxic back and forth here and finds it really

Incidentally, I let my membership lapse this year. I feel like many of the
people who chime in on these sorts of threads would therefore conclude that
my opinion on these matters isn't really worth anything.

On Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 10:54 AM Allan Mustard <allan at mustard.net> wrote:

> 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
> <https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/apm-wa/history#map=7/38.602/57.110>,
> over 300,000 ground-level images
> <https://www.mapillary.com/app/user/apmwa?lat=39.1108204562548&lng=61.71341838883677&z=5.5095320770791005>
> 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.
> apm-wa
> 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
> Twitter/skype: HeatherLeson
> Blog: textontechs.com
> On Tue, Feb 5, 2019 at 1:48 AM Guillaume Rischard <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> 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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