What Honours Should Be Denied to Mozillians? (Compared to Reps)

Dear Mozillians,

As we all know,

Reps are not a power structure over other Mozillians; instead, they are here to help, empower and inspire people to contribute to Mozilla projects.

and Mozilla wants to enable radical participation.

Therefore, it should be a right question to ask “What are the things that only a rep can do that a mozillian (vouched) should not be able to do”

From what I see being enforced, the following is a provisional list of that.

  • File budget request
  • File swag request
  • Create events on the reps portal (this is being addressed in the new community portal)
  • Sign an NDA and have access to whatever NDA’d information lies out there. (Staff can vouch mozillians)
  • Join Mozilla slack? (Can reps do this?) (not specific to Reps program - see wiki)
  • View bugs related to the reps program (Swag and Budget Requests are private as explained here - Reps Portal and general Reps issues and tasks are open)
  • Access various infrastructure behind the IAM where NDA clearance is required. (See NDA point above. This is not automatic)
  • Vouch a reps application (This is probably being corrected)
  • Nominate someone for “mozillian of the month”.
  • Access the group chats of reps program on Telegram, etc.

I’ll make this post a community wiki so that you can add to this list or remove from it. (Please use strikethrough to remove items like I’ve shown)

Which of these are being unfairly denied to mozillians? Which do you think has to have a rethink?


You can cross “Sign an NDA…” off your list - I was under the NDA for a while without ever having been a Mozilla Rep - just a vouched Mozillian.


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I imagine that has got something to do with the FirefoxOS testing devices or leadership cohort or something? Is there a link you can add which tells how a mozillian can sign the NDA?

There is nothing written-down that I can point you to, sorry. I was Volunteer Coordinator for MozFest for four years running and just asked someone to sign me up :slight_smile:

Silly me - it’s all in the wiki >> https://wiki.mozilla.org/NDA#Staff_Vouching :slight_smile:

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Hi @asdofindia,

May I suggest a different perspective:

Mozilla relies on a number of different engagement/participation programs. The list includes, but is not limited to: Mozilla Reps, TechSpeakers, SuMo (Support), L10N (localization), Addons, Webmaker (retired), WebFwd Scouts (retired), and many many other that existed at some point since the Mozilla Project’s inception.

Most of these programs have some concepts of “different roles” which allow people to “do things” - in the broadest sense of this term.

The bullet points you mention capture some of the activities/responsibilities/abilities which (some) members of the Reps Program are entitled to.

I don’t know where you aim to go with your post, however I think that the title is misleading. I would not refer to programmatic responsibilities as “honors”. The term is too narrow as it fails to capture responsibilities and obligations Reps sign up to when becoming members of he program.

Furthermore the focus on the Reps Program is too narrow, as many other programs also imply responsibilities and abilities for their members. That’s part of a well structured community engagement/participation program.

I don’t think that any of these responsibilities and abilities are unfairly awarded. It’s all part of program design. Of course things go wrong and people make mistakes. That’s why we are humans. The Reps Program has in various occasions successfully addressed such shortcomings and will continue to do so.

Lastly, I am afraid “Radical Participation” is not a main goal of Mozilla’s engagement/participation programs any longer. I was part of the discourse at the time this term was coined (maybe 10 years ago?). I don’t think we still use that term much in 2019. I am happy to stand corrected on this bold statement.

Reps Peer
Former Mozilla Open Innovation staff
Long time, die hard Mozillian


Thank you so much for you’ve written a very clear response that responds to the core of my argument.

The specifics of these activities/responsibilities/abilities is exactly what I’m contesting. I hope you agree that any responsibility or ability that is designed for reps alone is not available for mozillians. (I used the word denied, because in some sense it is in fact denial).

So, which activities should be restricted to reps alone? From the “narrow focus” of the reps program I think this refers to community mobilization.

Now, who are “mozillians”? They are community members. What does a “community” mean? A community is just groups of individuals working together for one mission. Why can’t mozillians do community mobilization?

You say they should become a reps to be able to have access to the tools required for effectively mobilizing community? Fair enough.

That’s when the question of efficiency comes in. How efficient is the reps program in expanding? How scalable is the model? Are there excuses made with the words “reps are volunteers too”? You can read my thread about the program in India

When there are inefficiencies in the system we should not attribute it to individuals. We should attribute it to processes and structures.

It is in that context that I raise the point of noting down the abilities/responsibilities that we are not letting mozillians take on.

It is when such a list is in place that we can think of what alternatives there could be.

Indeed the Reps program can address many issues. There may also be some issues that need a redesign of the reps program itself and I don’t know if the program has enough processes to do such a self-correction.

I’ve asked in the governance mailing list the same question. Only Ruben replied and that reply did not talk about radical participation not being a main goal.

If radical participation is not a goal and mozilla just wants to continue with the few (dwindling) contributors it has now then I’m of course wrong in asking for any of these changes.

Just a Mozillian who doesn’t want to see the community go extinct.

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I agree with @hmitsch comment. Title frames this in a negative way, and I quiet fail to understand what are we trying to improve here.

I see most items are now clarified. About budget and swag, with the new community portal and its ability to visualize groups activity, we intend to improve the proccess so also non-Reps can initiate a request (note that until we launch the portal we won’t be able to start working on the details).

About Reps channels, in concrete Telegram which is the only invite-only, since nda info is not discussed, the requirement to access it might change in the future if we need to.

I’m summary, Reps don’t have more or less tools than other mozillians, just the right one to empower communities.


That’s great to know.

It has been this way for years now. So waiting for a few more weeks/months won’t make a difference. A promise from someone who is accountable is enough for me. Thanks @nukeador

Please re-read this sentence. Reps do have more tools (budget and swag request). Those are definitely right tools to empower communities.

The reason why I framed the title in the negative way is also to bring out the point that it is completely invisible to anyone else that these tools are not available to mozillians.


Hey Akshay,

This is all clearly document on the wiki - https://wiki.mozilla.org/NDA#Who_Can_Get_an_NDA