James Alexander

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James Alexander
Project Manager, Legal and Community Advocacy, Wikimedia Foundation
"Not all those who wander are lost"
James Alexander

About me

I've had an account starting on the English Wikipedia since late 2006 as Jamesofur where I made small edits correcting or updating information as I read through articles (both logged in and anonymous). In 2009 I picked up my interest again mostly because of a fascination with the community model and a desire to see the projects succeed. I worked first on enWiki again and then quickly started getting involved in global governance and anti vandalism and abuse issues. I helped to set up the Global sysops proposal and referendum and still serve as one on my volunteer account, became a Sysop, Bureaucrat and Checkuser on SimpleWikipedia as well as a sysop here on Meta and on EnWikipedia. I've also been a long time agent on OTRS especially with BLP concerns and Intellectual property (Copyright, trademarks and trade secrets mostly).

Personally I have a degree in Economics and a huge love of the law both in the United States and internationally (especially Contract and Copyright law and the international and economic side effects). After school I was looking for work in the legal field planning to go to law school in a year or two. I'm a self professed geek and anglophile who loves most of science fiction and British television, computers and technology (I've taught myself a fair bit of coding but have no formal teaching) and surfing. I enjoy taking on a challenge especially something where much of it hasn't been done before.

My work

I began at the Foundation for the 2010 Fundraiser for outreach but ended up spending most of my time making all of the lovely banners and landing pages that everyone has come to love ;). In 2011 I got a Community Fellowship to work on new editor retention work focusing on data gathering and research (in prep for the Summer of Research) as well as WikiGuides a project trying to proactively reach out to new users which I presented on at Wikimania in Haifa (The Teahouse is taking up from where we left off!). In July 2011 I was swallowed up by the Fundraiser again to be its 'Business Analyst' working to help manage the priorities of the technical and production teams for the Fundraiser. In the late spring 2012 I became the Wikimedia Merchandise Manager, opening an online store, expanding our products to include a wide array of good quality offerings available at a reasonable price, and developing a community-driven giveaway program that recognized the contributions of individual Wikimedians.

I currently work in the legal and community advocacy department with a focus on the trust and safety of our users (collectively known as 'Trust and Safety issues') and building or designing scalable tools to help our team process high repetitive issues.

Some specific projects I'm working on now include:

  • Supporting the legal department in the execution of legal process, including DMCA takedowns, warrants, subpoenas and threats of harm on wiki. In that role you may see me doing some 'office' actions and I'd request that you send me an email or drop a message on my talk page if you have any questions about what I did.
  • Responsibility for the management of WMF staff access to advanced permissions and am the traditional in house expert on those permissions and the main liaison to community groups (such as Stewards, Checkusers and Oversighters) who hold the positions.
  • Acting as primary investigator on threats or concerns received via official or unofficial means to ensure communications team, legal team and upper level management is fully informed about the facts of particular cases especially as they affect legal or user safety issues.
  • Serving as the designated techie on our generally non-technical team, designing internal tools to help us work more effectively and acting as the only individual with server access in LCA.
  • Like others in the Community Advocacy team I try to help others within the staff understand the community view point and vice versa and a lot of work falls under other tasks as assigned especially helping to troubleshoot and firefight emergent issues before they can be passed off to someone else for longer term care if necessary.
    Disclaimer: I work for or provide services to the Wikimedia Foundation, and this is the account I try to use for edits or statements I make in that role. However, the Foundation does not vet all my activity, so edits, statements, or other contributions made by this account may not reflect the views of the Foundation. Although I am a member of the Legal and Community Advocacy team, I am not a lawyer. The legal team can only represent the Wikimedia Foundation on legal matters, so we are unable to give legal advice to others, including community members, editors, or contributors. Communications with members of the legal team are not consultations and do not create any confidential relationship.

Contact me

  • Email: Jalexander at wikimedia.org
  • On my Meta-Wiki or English Wikipedia talk page as Jalexander in a staff role.
  • On my Meta-Wiki or English Wikipedia talk page as Jamesofur in my volunteer role.
  • Gtalk: Jalexander at wikimedia.org
  • Twitter:  at Jamesofur
  • LinkedIn profile
en-N This user has a native understanding of English.
fr-1 Cet utilisateur dispose de connaissances de base en français.
la-1 Hic usor simplici latinitate contribuere potest.