The departure of Valerie D’Costa: Can Trust & Safety protect you?

Nine months after joining the WMF, Chief of Community Engagement Valerie D’Costa has quietly slipped out the back door.

Her global account was locked with the comment “no longer employed at wmf” on Nov. 8, when much of the U.S. was busy paying attention to elections.

Here she is in April 2019, out in the field, actually talking to volunteers at local events.

D’Costa reported directly to the legendary and irreplaceable Maggie Dennis, aka user:moonriddengirl, who disappeared six months ago, after going on sick leave. She hasn’t made an edit since April.

So who can protect us?

Here is the chart again from “The importance of not being harassed“, slightly modified to show the most recent changes:

We know the “trust and safety” group is massively underqualified.  Not only that, but when they have tried to protect people in the past (*cough* Framgate), the board of trustees has just pulled the rug out from under them.

Harassment is now being handled by arbcom.  And as someone recently said, “Anyone proposing to send anything to Arbcom right now must be drunk.” The inmates have taken over the asylum.

Who would want to be a manager under those circumstances. No wonder they have all gone AWOL.

So what is going on with “trust and safety”? They have lost their alliance with line management, as well as the board.  At this point they have two choices for career survival.  They could throw their weight to the affiliates – their traditional allies – and hope the “strategy process” gives them some influence, although it is being said that the new Chief of Staff is trying to squelch that.  Or they can throw the affiliates under the bus and make an alliance with the Dark Side. The signs are that this is exactly what they are now doing.

So no, “trust and safety” cannot be trusted.  And they will not protect you.

2 thoughts on “The departure of Valerie D’Costa: Can Trust & Safety protect you?

  1. Oh wow, for once I don’t have any tea leaves.

    In the news world, announcing something at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon is a way to kill a story. Not sure if it is the same for a volunteer movement.

    There was a lot of nuance in the latest Strategy statement as well.

    Every strategy session I have heard of consensus said they have to get the harassment problem under control before they can move forward with anything else. And the person who had a concrete vision for implementing it has now moved on. And there is also dark horse Merkey.

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