Submissions:2021/VRT & WMF Legal: Workflow Discussion

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2021.


VRT & WMF Legal: Workflow Discussion


Relationship Building & Support, Other

Type of session:

Round Table


The Volunteer Response Team (VRT) serves a crucial role in answering queries and complaints from the public regarding Wikimedia projects. VRT members are able to handle the vast majority of emails received. In a small number of cases, however, issues must be escalated to Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) staff, often WMF Legal.

Likewise, WMF Legal receives queries and complaints from the public. Though WMF Legal is able to handle the majority of emails it receives, they defer to the Wikimedia community in cases of content moderation whenever possible. This often requires communication with VRT.

In this session, we hope to discuss what is working and what can be improved with regards to the relationship between VRT and WMF Legal.

Desired outcomes:

  • VRT members and other interested parties understand the evolving legal challenges influencing content moderation and takedown requests the Wikimedia Foundation is receiving.
  • WMF Legal and VRT members come to a better understanding of their working relationship, identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement.
  • This conversation is, hopefully, one of many. As with the Foundation's 12 June 2021 office hours with the French and German communities regarding applicable law and content moderation, we hope there will be more conversations like this.

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Brian Choo

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:

BChoo (WMF)

Affiliated organization(s):

Wikimedia Foundation

Estimated time:

60 minutes

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)

Yes, I would be happy to host an unconference session if that would work better for the conference program.