[Osmf-talk] voting fraud

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Jan 31 20:06:06 UTC 2019


I fully agree that this is a serious issue and this is the board opinion
too. We are acutely aware that there are many companies who could easily
muster 1000 employees to join the OSMF, and they would then essentially
own our domain, our trademarks, and most of the project. In the months
to come, we will have to discuss how to inoculate the project against
hostile takeovers. There are many possible approaches to this.

Independent of that forward-looking work we'll also have to decide what
should happen to the 100 memberships in question.

It would also be interesting to get to the bottom of this issue - i.e.
find out exactly who did what when and what they had in mind.

On 1/31/19 18:17, Rihards wrote:
> The suspicions listed below are not mine - all of the information is
> already floating around in various discussion channels/forums. Not
> dispersing those suspicions causes harm for the potentially involved
> individuals and OSM community in general.

I'm not sure that dispersing them helps.

> * GlobalLogic (GL) employees have clashed with individual mappers, DWG
> and other OSM entities regarding their map changes (when Grab-contracted
> or otherwise).

This is undoubtedly true and can be verified e.g. by some publicly
available block messages and diary entries.

> * GL employees have worked with HOT and have similarly relaxed attitude
> towards the quality of map data.

Some GL managers mention participation in HOT projects in their LinkedIn
profiles, but I don't have reliable information on any cooperation
between HOT and GL.

> * Organised editing policy has been disliked by corporate-related
> mappers and board members.

This is undoubtedly true and can be seen from the initial survey and
from board meeting minutes.

> * GL is unlikely to waste 1500+ GBP (2000 USD; just the membership fees)
> without certain confidence that this expense will pay back.

This amount of money is negligible for an organisation that has 12,000

> * It is unlikely that none of the board members or candidates had not
> the slightest clue this was happening.

Let me put it this way: If *I* was good friends with someone in a
company and they told me they plan to sign up 100 members on the last
day of the voting deadline, I would tell them not to do it because it is
obvious that it will cause an outcry. None of my colleagues on the board
are stupid; they would very likely have issued the same warning.
Therefore I do not suspect that any board member knew anything about this.

> * It is likely that some had a role in organising this.

A board member, certainly not. One would have to be desperate to take
such a risk. Now if the 2018 board candidates had been a bunch of total
extremists, to a degree where one would think "OMG if this person gets
elected then everything goes down the drain", then maybe, just maybe,
someone who cares too much could be tempted to participate in
manipulation. But the 2018 field of candidates did not have anyone to
strike fear into the heart of existing board members.

This is one of the biggest riddles for me here - what would someone need
these 100 votes for so urgently.

> * Various dismissals (contrasting GL employee influx with population of
> India) and delays regarding the MWG report make all the suspicions more
> valid.

Oh dear, now I have made the suspicions even more valid :)

> It might be same as with the child-molesting priests. Lack of strong
> denouncement shifts the public perception against the accused.

Yeah let's discuss the child-molesting priests another time, and in
another forum, shall we?


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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