[Wikimedia-l] Politics

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[Wikimedia-l] Politics

Yair Rand
The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse, and
has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or another
on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of these
contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
substantially, especially on this mailing list.

While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage such
actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half of any
given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our mission
due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those who
use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants because of
politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for an
environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded by
hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of no
return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.

As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain country's
top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I think a
stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects is
warranted.

We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia Foundation
itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect the
Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous. With the
WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk our
Neutrality.

How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue over
the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A previous
ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than accept
advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF die
outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More recently,
the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct threats to
the projects.

Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an area
that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.

It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions. While we
value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be able to
override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be spent
towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.

It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if participating
requires a certain political position.

It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and moderators
to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.

Thank you.

-- Yair Rand
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Andrea Zanni-2
Having a global and diverse movement means finding value, albeit implicitly,
in diversity (of language, sex, gender, culture, pov).
The NPOV is not a "null" concept: it means giving weight to different point
of views,
merge them together to find a balanced article on something.

Mostly, we as a movement (and WMF, as staff, is part of that)
can remain apolitical: not when there are things that shake the foundations
of our values and what we believe in.

Daring to build a free, open, collective, diverse, international, neutral
encyclopedia
in a volunteer, auto-organized, bazaar-like way
is one of the *most* political and ideological statement I've ever
encountered in my life.

The MuslimBan can affect volunteers or staff at the WMF, it goes against
everything we believe in.
So, to me, a blogpost in the Wikimedia blog is the minimum we can do.
I, for one, am very proud of our staff and our ED for writing that.

Aubrey

On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 10:09 PM, Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse, and
> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or another
> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of these
> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
>
> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage such
> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half of any
> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our mission
> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those who
> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants because of
> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for an
> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded by
> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of no
> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
>
> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain country's
> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I think a
> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects is
> warranted.
>
> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia Foundation
> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect the
> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous. With the
> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk our
> Neutrality.
>
> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue over
> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A previous
> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than accept
> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF die
> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More recently,
> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct threats to
> the projects.
>
> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an area
> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
>
> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions. While we
> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be able to
> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be spent
> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
>
> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if participating
> requires a certain political position.
>
> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and moderators
> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
>
> Thank you.
>
> -- Yair Rand
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Leigh Thelmadatter
In reply to this post by Yair Rand
I voiced my opposition to the statement on Facebook but Yair states the case far more eloquently. Many acts by many countries could be a possible threat to Wikimedia, where do we draw the line?
Why was there no community discussion prior to the statement?
Sent from my iPhone

> On 02/02/2017, at 3:37 p.m., Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse, and
> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or another
> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of these
> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
>
> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage such
> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half of any
> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our mission
> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those who
> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants because of
> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for an
> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded by
> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of no
> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
>
> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain country's
> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I think a
> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects is
> warranted.
>
> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia Foundation
> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect the
> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous. With the
> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk our
> Neutrality.
>
> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue over
> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A previous
> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than accept
> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF die
> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More recently,
> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct threats to
> the projects.
>
> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an area
> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
>
> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions. While we
> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be able to
> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be spent
> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
>
> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if participating
> requires a certain political position.
>
> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and moderators
> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
>
> Thank you.
>
> -- Yair Rand
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

MZMcBride-2
In reply to this post by Yair Rand
Hi Yair,

I agree with your underlying sentiment. When we look at threats facing the
Wikimedia movement, I continue to think that the risk of people being able
to inject their national and identity politics into the movement is pretty
great. While I may personally agree with many of the views being put
forward, as you note these types of actions have the very real potential
to create an unhealthy division among contributors and others.

Wikimedia is a global movement and many people in the world have strongly
held and diametrically different views about gay rights, abortion, free
speech, the role of women, etc. Those views should rarely be relevant to
creating free educational content. I don't think it's appropriate for
Wikimedia to take stands on these issues. If staff of the current
iteration of Wikimedia Foundation Inc. want to make such statements and
take such positions, that is technically their prerogative, absent
intervention from the Board of Trustees, however it certainly behooves
other Wikimedian to point out what a bad idea it is.

To put it another way: there are people who work at Wikimedia Foundation
Inc. who voted for Donald Trump for president. While you may
disagree with his policies and these staffers' decision to support him for
president, needlessly and divisively injecting this kind of politics into
the workplace is neither healthy nor appropriate, in my opinion.

Yair Rand wrote:
>Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
>explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an area
>that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
>discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.

I guess this is referring to
<https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/30/knowledge-knows-no-boundaries/>.

In terms of various people at Wikimedia Foundation Inc. attempting to speak
for the Wikimedia movement, there's also <https://policy.wikimedia.org/>.
I've raised the lack of attribution and the "veneer of authority and
legitimacy" issue at <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Public_policy>.
At least the recent blog post was signed by Katherine. That's better than
some of these other essays.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Natacha Rault
In reply to this post by Leigh Thelmadatter
Had the WMF statement been issued on Wikipedia, now that would have neutrality issues from a wikioedian point of view.
The WMF is not Wikipedia, and does have a political activity: being in favour of sharing free knowledge is altogether a political statement, as freedom of sharing knowledge is not something which is accepted by all political regimes (please remember the globality of the movement, this is not just an american issue, it is a planetary one). One only needs to think about the influence of Diderot and the encyclopedists in the French revolution to understand that an encyclopedia, albeit seemingly neutral, has very concrete political influences in major political regime changes.
That the WMF which relies on the free movement of people and ideas to fulfil its mission should be worried and issue a statement is quite normal - not to say courageous. After all there is a notion called "freedom of speech".
A foundation has actually no obligation to be fully transparent, and WMF is making notable efforts in a context  where advertising, non disclosed paid editing and lobbying are representing (in my opinion) a much greater threat to neutrality than a public statement on this particular matter.
I am personnallly pretty impressed from across the ocean: in the 30s had some leaders shown more courage maybe Hitler would not have been able to start a genocide.
This not only political, this is common sense, and living in Switzerland might influence a very pragmatic and down to the roots approach.
We are watching from over the ocean, as europeans these refugee bans remind us of very dark memories.
 Katherine Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent wikipedians from editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV (actually there is no achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the gender biases as far as I see it)
Bravo Katherine this is what I say, Sandberg has not even uttered a tweet! Neutrality should not mean surrending to the powerful by remaining silent.

Nattes à chat / Natacha




> Le 3 févr. 2017 à 00:05, Leigh Thelmadatter <[hidden email]> a écrit :
>
> I voiced my opposition to the statement on Facebook but Yair states the case far more eloquently. Many acts by many countries could be a possible threat to Wikimedia, where do we draw the line?
> Why was there no community discussion prior to the statement?
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On 02/02/2017, at 3:37 p.m., Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse, and
>> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or another
>> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of these
>> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
>> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
>> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
>> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
>>
>> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
>> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage such
>> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half of any
>> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our mission
>> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those who
>> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
>> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants because of
>> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
>> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for an
>> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded by
>> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of no
>> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
>>
>> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain country's
>> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I think a
>> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects is
>> warranted.
>>
>> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia Foundation
>> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
>> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect the
>> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous. With the
>> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk our
>> Neutrality.
>>
>> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue over
>> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
>> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
>> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A previous
>> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than accept
>> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF die
>> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More recently,
>> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
>> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
>> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct threats to
>> the projects.
>>
>> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
>> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an area
>> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
>> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
>>
>> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
>> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions. While we
>> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be able to
>> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
>> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be spent
>> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
>>
>> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
>> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if participating
>> requires a certain political position.
>>
>> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and moderators
>> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
>>
>> Thank you.
>>
>> -- Yair Rand
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> New messages to: [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Gnangarra
The WMF has an obligation to respond to any changes where its based that
impact on the movement or potentially impact on the movement, and that
includes staff members or operational activities under taken.

It cant respond to such changes without taking a POV regardless of the
situation its not about the under lying politics.

On 3 February 2017 at 08:26, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Had the WMF statement been issued on Wikipedia, now that would have
> neutrality issues from a wikioedian point of view.
> The WMF is not Wikipedia, and does have a political activity: being in
> favour of sharing free knowledge is altogether a political statement, as
> freedom of sharing knowledge is not something which is accepted by all
> political regimes (please remember the globality of the movement, this is
> not just an american issue, it is a planetary one). One only needs to think
> about the influence of Diderot and the encyclopedists in the French
> revolution to understand that an encyclopedia, albeit seemingly neutral,
> has very concrete political influences in major political regime changes.
> That the WMF which relies on the free movement of people and ideas to
> fulfil its mission should be worried and issue a statement is quite normal
> - not to say courageous. After all there is a notion called "freedom of
> speech".
> A foundation has actually no obligation to be fully transparent, and WMF
> is making notable efforts in a context  where advertising, non disclosed
> paid editing and lobbying are representing (in my opinion) a much greater
> threat to neutrality than a public statement on this particular matter.
> I am personnallly pretty impressed from across the ocean: in the 30s had
> some leaders shown more courage maybe Hitler would not have been able to
> start a genocide.
> This not only political, this is common sense, and living in Switzerland
> might influence a very pragmatic and down to the roots approach.
> We are watching from over the ocean, as europeans these refugee bans
> remind us of very dark memories.
>  Katherine Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent
> wikipedians from editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV
> (actually there is no achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the
> gender biases as far as I see it)
> Bravo Katherine this is what I say, Sandberg has not even uttered a tweet!
> Neutrality should not mean surrending to the powerful by remaining silent.
>
> Nattes à chat / Natacha
>
>
>
>
> > Le 3 févr. 2017 à 00:05, Leigh Thelmadatter <[hidden email]> a
> écrit :
> >
> > I voiced my opposition to the statement on Facebook but Yair states the
> case far more eloquently. Many acts by many countries could be a possible
> threat to Wikimedia, where do we draw the line?
> > Why was there no community discussion prior to the statement?
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> On 02/02/2017, at 3:37 p.m., Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse,
> and
> >> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or
> another
> >> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of
> these
> >> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
> >> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
> >> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
> >> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
> >>
> >> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
> >> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage
> such
> >> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half of
> any
> >> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our
> mission
> >> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those who
> >> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
> >> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants
> because of
> >> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
> >> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for an
> >> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded by
> >> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of no
> >> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
> >>
> >> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain country's
> >> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I
> think a
> >> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects is
> >> warranted.
> >>
> >> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia
> Foundation
> >> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
> >> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect
> the
> >> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous. With
> the
> >> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk
> our
> >> Neutrality.
> >>
> >> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue
> over
> >> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
> >> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
> >> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A
> previous
> >> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than
> accept
> >> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF
> die
> >> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More recently,
> >> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
> >> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
> >> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct
> threats to
> >> the projects.
> >>
> >> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
> >> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an
> area
> >> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
> >> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
> >>
> >> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
> >> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions.
> While we
> >> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be able
> to
> >> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
> >> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be
> spent
> >> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
> >>
> >> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
> >> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if
> participating
> >> requires a certain political position.
> >>
> >> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and
> moderators
> >> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
> >>
> >> Thank you.
> >>
> >> -- Yair Rand
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
GN.
President Wikimedia Australia
WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Amir Sarabadani-2
Here is my two cents:
Most of criticism I saw boils down to these ones:
- It's politics and we should not make political statements: It's not just
political anymore, it's a humanitarian crisis. Handcuffing a five-year-old
boy in airport because of the country he was born is inhumane. Let's not
forget Holocaust was made by a democratic regime and it was completely
legal.
- There are worse things going on in other regimes: Yes, we have ISIS,
mullahs in Iran, etc. but look at the impact. This ban caused hate crimes
against Muslims all over the world. Terrorist attacks in Canada, setting
fire mosques in Texas are all because of this simple ban. if humans stay
silent, worse things happen to them. Let's learn from history.
 - People have different opinions, let's respect that: Yes, but Wikimedia
movement has core values such as inclusiveness and we need to stand for
those values when they are under threat. I take the gay rights example. If
someone makes a homophobic comment, they should be banned (per WP:NPA). So
if someone is as homophic AF and they want to be a part of the movement,
they need to park it at the door when they edit because inclusiveness is a
core value. One other core value is simply "Knowledge knows no boundaries"
and we need to stand for that, political or not.
 - People in WMF voted for Trump: If that's true, which I don't know
because anyone from WMF I know were publicly against Trump, It's very
saddening to see someone who works for WMF votes for someone who
practically opposed everything Wikimedia movement stands for. But It's a
personal matter outside the scope of this discussion. WMF can take a stand
when it's related to its values. Like what happened with SOPA and it is
possible that some employees were for SOPA but it was not the reason not to
take the stand. It's the same today as well.

May FSM bless you, Ramen.
Best

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 4:11 AM Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The WMF has an obligation to respond to any changes where its based that
> impact on the movement or potentially impact on the movement, and that
> includes staff members or operational activities under taken.
>
> It cant respond to such changes without taking a POV regardless of the
> situation its not about the under lying politics.
>
> On 3 February 2017 at 08:26, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Had the WMF statement been issued on Wikipedia, now that would have
> > neutrality issues from a wikioedian point of view.
> > The WMF is not Wikipedia, and does have a political activity: being in
> > favour of sharing free knowledge is altogether a political statement, as
> > freedom of sharing knowledge is not something which is accepted by all
> > political regimes (please remember the globality of the movement, this is
> > not just an american issue, it is a planetary one). One only needs to
> think
> > about the influence of Diderot and the encyclopedists in the French
> > revolution to understand that an encyclopedia, albeit seemingly neutral,
> > has very concrete political influences in major political regime changes.
> > That the WMF which relies on the free movement of people and ideas to
> > fulfil its mission should be worried and issue a statement is quite
> normal
> > - not to say courageous. After all there is a notion called "freedom of
> > speech".
> > A foundation has actually no obligation to be fully transparent, and WMF
> > is making notable efforts in a context  where advertising, non disclosed
> > paid editing and lobbying are representing (in my opinion) a much greater
> > threat to neutrality than a public statement on this particular matter.
> > I am personnallly pretty impressed from across the ocean: in the 30s had
> > some leaders shown more courage maybe Hitler would not have been able to
> > start a genocide.
> > This not only political, this is common sense, and living in Switzerland
> > might influence a very pragmatic and down to the roots approach.
> > We are watching from over the ocean, as europeans these refugee bans
> > remind us of very dark memories.
> >  Katherine Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent
> > wikipedians from editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV
> > (actually there is no achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the
> > gender biases as far as I see it)
> > Bravo Katherine this is what I say, Sandberg has not even uttered a
> tweet!
> > Neutrality should not mean surrending to the powerful by remaining
> silent.
> >
> > Nattes à chat / Natacha
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > Le 3 févr. 2017 à 00:05, Leigh Thelmadatter <[hidden email]> a
> > écrit :
> > >
> > > I voiced my opposition to the statement on Facebook but Yair states the
> > case far more eloquently. Many acts by many countries could be a possible
> > threat to Wikimedia, where do we draw the line?
> > > Why was there no community discussion prior to the statement?
> > > Sent from my iPhone
> > >
> > >> On 02/02/2017, at 3:37 p.m., Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse,
> > and
> > >> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or
> > another
> > >> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of
> > these
> > >> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
> > >> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
> > >> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
> > >> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
> > >>
> > >> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
> > >> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage
> > such
> > >> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half
> of
> > any
> > >> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our
> > mission
> > >> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those
> who
> > >> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
> > >> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants
> > because of
> > >> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
> > >> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for
> an
> > >> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded
> by
> > >> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of
> no
> > >> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
> > >>
> > >> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain
> country's
> > >> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I
> > think a
> > >> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects
> is
> > >> warranted.
> > >>
> > >> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia
> > Foundation
> > >> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
> > >> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect
> > the
> > >> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous.
> With
> > the
> > >> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk
> > our
> > >> Neutrality.
> > >>
> > >> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue
> > over
> > >> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
> > >> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
> > >> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A
> > previous
> > >> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than
> > accept
> > >> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF
> > die
> > >> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More
> recently,
> > >> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
> > >> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
> > >> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct
> > threats to
> > >> the projects.
> > >>
> > >> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
> > >> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an
> > area
> > >> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
> > >> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
> > >>
> > >> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
> > >> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions.
> > While we
> > >> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be
> able
> > to
> > >> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
> > >> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be
> > spent
> > >> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
> > >>
> > >> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
> > >> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if
> > participating
> > >> requires a certain political position.
> > >>
> > >> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and
> > moderators
> > >> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
> > >>
> > >> Thank you.
> > >>
> > >> -- Yair Rand
> > >> _______________________________________________
> > >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> > >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> GN.
> President Wikimedia Australia
> WMAU: http://www.wikimedia.org.au/wiki/User:Gnangarra
> Photo Gallery: http://gnangarra.redbubble.com
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Yair Rand
Hoi,
As a movement we have several policies that can be contradictory.

We want to be inclusive, have a neutral point of view but at the same time
we want facts to be supported by sources. For many things there are
contradictory sources and for many things there are additional sources.
With the current USA government denying provable facts, we find for
instance that climate change is corroborated around the world by august
bodies like the KNMI. When the USA puts forward an opinion that clashes
with scientific data / facts, it is just that. At best a footnote on the
subject of Climate change.

We know for a fact that a lot of sources have been bought. I can safely say
this now because I already said it when Mr Obama was still president. It is
a proven fact. When we are to share in the sum of all knowledge, we have to
recognise what is what.

When some people insist on calling this political, they have a problem
because sources and quality of sources are key. When we inform about
"climate change" the fact that the EPA was defanged and declawed does not
change the science and it is part of the article on the EPA. What American
politics have to say about climate change does not touch the subject of
climate change at all.

Advocacy for any opinion is problematic and it is well documented that the
current government calls for "alternative facts". They bring measles,
pollution, women dying of botched abortions back to the USA.

When you talk about abortions, sources are important. What a political
party, a government has to say is an opinion. What Doctors without Borders
has to say is observable fact. What they say is backed by scientific
observations. When people call to leave politics out, they will have to
recognise that a NPOV is about subjects where opinions matter. Where facts,
science is available their opinion does not matter and obviously so because
we are not a platform where an opinions can be found we are an
encyclopaedia when we talk about Wikipedia and we should not politicise
based on any given "alternative facts" that are often proven lies.
Thanks,
     GerardM

On 2 February 2017 at 22:09, Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse, and
> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or another
> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of these
> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
>
> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage such
> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half of any
> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our mission
> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those who
> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants because of
> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for an
> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded by
> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of no
> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
>
> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain country's
> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I think a
> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects is
> warranted.
>
> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia Foundation
> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect the
> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous. With the
> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk our
> Neutrality.
>
> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue over
> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A previous
> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than accept
> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF die
> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More recently,
> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct threats to
> the projects.
>
> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an area
> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
>
> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions. While we
> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be able to
> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be spent
> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
>
> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if participating
> requires a certain political position.
>
> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and moderators
> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
>
> Thank you.
>
> -- Yair Rand
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
_______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Gergő Tisza
In reply to this post by Amir Sarabadani-2
After the ban was announced, StackOverflow founder Joel Spolsky posted an
impassioned call to arms [1] to Meta Stack Overflow (the StackOverflow
equivalent of MetaWiki/wikimedia-l). The community was not happy and a
closing discussion was started. In the end the orginial post was closed and
Spolsky agreed to rewrite it as a company blog post [2] instead. The
discussion is IMO worth a read:
http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/342480/should-the-time-to-take-a-stand-question-be-closed-moved

Another discussion that comes to mind is the straw poll [3] on the proposal
to run a banner campaign to protest the imprisonment of Wikipedian and open
source/content advocate Bassel Khartabil by the Syrian government. (The
proposal was closed as lacking consensus.)

Both of these discussions are about community action, and it makes sense
that the WMF would have more freedom in how it expresses itself when
talking in its own name, on its own blog; still, the discussions might
offer some insight into how community members often view political activism
for specific local concerns that's sort of happening in the name of a
global community.


[1] http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/342440/time-to-take-a-stand
[2]
https://stackoverflow.blog/2017/01/Developers-without-Borders-The-Global-Stack-Overflow-Network/
[3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Free_Bassel/Banner/Straw_poll
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Jane Darnell
In reply to this post by Natacha Rault
+1 to "writing an encyclopedia is a political act" and +1 to the notion
called "freedom of speech", and +1 to "refugee bans remind us of very dark
memories", but mostly +1 to the point about bias on Wikipedia! So I can
also only conclude "Bravo Katherine"!

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:26 AM, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Had the WMF statement been issued on Wikipedia, now that would have
> neutrality issues from a wikioedian point of view.
> The WMF is not Wikipedia, and does have a political activity: being in
> favour of sharing free knowledge is altogether a political statement, as
> freedom of sharing knowledge is not something which is accepted by all
> political regimes (please remember the globality of the movement, this is
> not just an american issue, it is a planetary one). One only needs to think
> about the influence of Diderot and the encyclopedists in the French
> revolution to understand that an encyclopedia, albeit seemingly neutral,
> has very concrete political influences in major political regime changes.
> That the WMF which relies on the free movement of people and ideas to
> fulfil its mission should be worried and issue a statement is quite normal
> - not to say courageous. After all there is a notion called "freedom of
> speech".
> A foundation has actually no obligation to be fully transparent, and WMF
> is making notable efforts in a context  where advertising, non disclosed
> paid editing and lobbying are representing (in my opinion) a much greater
> threat to neutrality than a public statement on this particular matter.
> I am personnallly pretty impressed from across the ocean: in the 30s had
> some leaders shown more courage maybe Hitler would not have been able to
> start a genocide.
> This not only political, this is common sense, and living in Switzerland
> might influence a very pragmatic and down to the roots approach.
> We are watching from over the ocean, as europeans these refugee bans
> remind us of very dark memories.
>  Katherine Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent
> wikipedians from editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV
> (actually there is no achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the
> gender biases as far as I see it)
> Bravo Katherine this is what I say, Sandberg has not even uttered a tweet!
> Neutrality should not mean surrending to the powerful by remaining silent.
>
> Nattes à chat / Natacha
>
>
>
>
> > Le 3 févr. 2017 à 00:05, Leigh Thelmadatter <[hidden email]> a
> écrit :
> >
> > I voiced my opposition to the statement on Facebook but Yair states the
> case far more eloquently. Many acts by many countries could be a possible
> threat to Wikimedia, where do we draw the line?
> > Why was there no community discussion prior to the statement?
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> >> On 02/02/2017, at 3:37 p.m., Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >>
> >> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse,
> and
> >> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or
> another
> >> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of
> these
> >> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
> >> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
> >> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
> >> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
> >>
> >> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
> >> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage
> such
> >> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half of
> any
> >> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our
> mission
> >> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those who
> >> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
> >> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants
> because of
> >> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
> >> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for an
> >> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded by
> >> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of no
> >> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
> >>
> >> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain country's
> >> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I
> think a
> >> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects is
> >> warranted.
> >>
> >> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia
> Foundation
> >> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
> >> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect
> the
> >> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous. With
> the
> >> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk
> our
> >> Neutrality.
> >>
> >> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue
> over
> >> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
> >> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
> >> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A
> previous
> >> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than
> accept
> >> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF
> die
> >> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More recently,
> >> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
> >> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
> >> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct
> threats to
> >> the projects.
> >>
> >> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
> >> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an
> area
> >> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
> >> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
> >>
> >> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
> >> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions.
> While we
> >> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be able
> to
> >> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
> >> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be
> spent
> >> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
> >>
> >> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
> >> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if
> participating
> >> requires a certain political position.
> >>
> >> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and
> moderators
> >> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
> >>
> >> Thank you.
> >>
> >> -- Yair Rand
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: [hidden email]
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Jane Darnell
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
Well I for one am one of those unapologetic Wikipedians who "inject their
national and identity politics into the movement". I'm a fan of the "Be
Bold" concept, bigly.

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:00 AM, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Yair,
>
> I agree with your underlying sentiment. When we look at threats facing the
> Wikimedia movement, I continue to think that the risk of people being able
> to inject their national and identity politics into the movement is pretty
> great. While I may personally agree with many of the views being put
> forward, as you note these types of actions have the very real potential
> to create an unhealthy division among contributors and others.
>
> Wikimedia is a global movement and many people in the world have strongly
> held and diametrically different views about gay rights, abortion, free
> speech, the role of women, etc. Those views should rarely be relevant to
> creating free educational content. I don't think it's appropriate for
> Wikimedia to take stands on these issues. If staff of the current
> iteration of Wikimedia Foundation Inc. want to make such statements and
> take such positions, that is technically their prerogative, absent
> intervention from the Board of Trustees, however it certainly behooves
> other Wikimedian to point out what a bad idea it is.
>
> To put it another way: there are people who work at Wikimedia Foundation
> Inc. who voted for Donald Trump for president. While you may
> disagree with his policies and these staffers' decision to support him for
> president, needlessly and divisively injecting this kind of politics into
> the workplace is neither healthy nor appropriate, in my opinion.
>
> Yair Rand wrote:
> >Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
> >explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an area
> >that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
> >discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
>
> I guess this is referring to
> <https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/30/knowledge-knows-no-boundaries/>.
>
> In terms of various people at Wikimedia Foundation Inc. attempting to speak
> for the Wikimedia movement, there's also <https://policy.wikimedia.org/>.
> I've raised the lack of attribution and the "veneer of authority and
> legitimacy" issue at <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Public_policy>.
> At least the recent blog post was signed by Katherine. That's better than
> some of these other essays.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Andy Mabbett-2
In reply to this post by MZMcBride-2
On 3 February 2017 at 00:00, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I guess this is referring to
> <https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/30/knowledge-knows-no-boundaries/>.

There were speakers and delegates at Wikimania 2012, in Washington DC,
who would not have been able to attend under the current ban.

I therefore have no problem with the WMF speaking out against such a
ban; indeed I applaud them for doing so.

--
Andy Mabbett
@pigsonthewing
http://pigsonthewing.org.uk

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Yaroslav Blanter
Well, there were speakers who were not able to attend Wikimanias in Haifa
and Cairo, to start with, because of similar bans, and the general response
then was "Whatever place we choose, someone is always discriminated". I am
not sure whether this is a healthy attitude or not, but I do not see why
the US travel ban leads to a statement whereas existing bans say in Arab
world, or Armenia-Azerbaijan or whatever do not.

Cheers
Yaroslav

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:08 PM, Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On 3 February 2017 at 00:00, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I guess this is referring to
> > <https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/30/knowledge-knows-no-boundaries/>.
>
> There were speakers and delegates at Wikimania 2012, in Washington DC,
> who would not have been able to attend under the current ban.
>
> I therefore have no problem with the WMF speaking out against such a
> ban; indeed I applaud them for doing so.
>
> --
> Andy Mabbett
> @pigsonthewing
> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>
> _______________________________________________
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> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Ivan Martínez
In reply to this post by Andy Mabbett-2
I may write this biased message from my place of enunciation: a country
that has been threatened for several days directly by the decisions of the
President of the United States.

Only if you were a follower of Trump would you see unnecessary a proactive
defense of potential damage to people both from our community and the
Foundation staff. Personally, reading a statement from Katherine Maher let
me know that in front of threats, people in your movement will react. Let's
not be deluded, Trump's decision-making route over the past few weeks
(outside privacy, airport reviews) will sooner or later lead to a threat to
the Wikimedia Foundation. And we must be prepared.

And please, let's leave the false dilemma that as a Wikimedia movement we
should not take political positions because of Wikipedia neutrality. They
are different things clearly.

2017-02-03 6:08 GMT-06:00 Andy Mabbett <[hidden email]>:

> On 3 February 2017 at 00:00, MZMcBride <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > I guess this is referring to
> > <https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/30/knowledge-knows-no-boundaries/>.
>
> There were speakers and delegates at Wikimania 2012, in Washington DC,
> who would not have been able to attend under the current ban.
>
> I therefore have no problem with the WMF speaking out against such a
> ban; indeed I applaud them for doing so.
>
> --
> Andy Mabbett
> @pigsonthewing
> http://pigsonthewing.org.uk
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
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> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
*Iván Martínez*

*Presidente - Wikimedia México A.C.User:ProtoplasmaKid *

// Mis comunicaciones respecto a Wikipedia/Wikimedia pueden tener una
moratoria en su atención debido a que es un voluntariado.
// Ayuda a proteger a Wikipedia, dona ahora: https://donate.wikimedia.org
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Pax Ahimsa Gethen
In reply to this post by Amir Sarabadani-2
My opinions as a US-American, member of multiple marginalized groups
(queer/black/trans), and "social justice warrior" (though I prefer
"mage", being a pacifist):

- Having a truly "neutral point of view" when it comes to anything
regarding Donald Trump is not really possible.

- I support and applaud Katherine Maher's statement on the WMF blog.

- Independent of the above, I don't think this mailing list should be
open to just any and all discussion of politics, regardless of
viewpoint. What is and isn't appropriate to post is a delicate judgment
call that the moderators will have to make.

- Pax aka Funcrunch


On 2/2/17 5:26 PM, Amir Ladsgroup wrote:

> Here is my two cents:
> Most of criticism I saw boils down to these ones:
> - It's politics and we should not make political statements: It's not just
> political anymore, it's a humanitarian crisis. Handcuffing a five-year-old
> boy in airport because of the country he was born is inhumane. Let's not
> forget Holocaust was made by a democratic regime and it was completely
> legal.
> - There are worse things going on in other regimes: Yes, we have ISIS,
> mullahs in Iran, etc. but look at the impact. This ban caused hate crimes
> against Muslims all over the world. Terrorist attacks in Canada, setting
> fire mosques in Texas are all because of this simple ban. if humans stay
> silent, worse things happen to them. Let's learn from history.
>   - People have different opinions, let's respect that: Yes, but Wikimedia
> movement has core values such as inclusiveness and we need to stand for
> those values when they are under threat. I take the gay rights example. If
> someone makes a homophobic comment, they should be banned (per WP:NPA). So
> if someone is as homophic AF and they want to be a part of the movement,
> they need to park it at the door when they edit because inclusiveness is a
> core value. One other core value is simply "Knowledge knows no boundaries"
> and we need to stand for that, political or not.
>   - People in WMF voted for Trump: If that's true, which I don't know
> because anyone from WMF I know were publicly against Trump, It's very
> saddening to see someone who works for WMF votes for someone who
> practically opposed everything Wikimedia movement stands for. But It's a
> personal matter outside the scope of this discussion. WMF can take a stand
> when it's related to its values. Like what happened with SOPA and it is
> possible that some employees were for SOPA but it was not the reason not to
> take the stand. It's the same today as well.
>
> May FSM bless you, Ramen.
> Best
>
> On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 4:11 AM Gnangarra <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> The WMF has an obligation to respond to any changes where its based that
>> impact on the movement or potentially impact on the movement, and that
>> includes staff members or operational activities under taken.
>>
>> It cant respond to such changes without taking a POV regardless of the
>> situation its not about the under lying politics.
>>
>> On 3 February 2017 at 08:26, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> Had the WMF statement been issued on Wikipedia, now that would have
>>> neutrality issues from a wikioedian point of view.
>>> The WMF is not Wikipedia, and does have a political activity: being in
>>> favour of sharing free knowledge is altogether a political statement, as
>>> freedom of sharing knowledge is not something which is accepted by all
>>> political regimes (please remember the globality of the movement, this is
>>> not just an american issue, it is a planetary one). One only needs to
>> think
>>> about the influence of Diderot and the encyclopedists in the French
>>> revolution to understand that an encyclopedia, albeit seemingly neutral,
>>> has very concrete political influences in major political regime changes.
>>> That the WMF which relies on the free movement of people and ideas to
>>> fulfil its mission should be worried and issue a statement is quite
>> normal
>>> - not to say courageous. After all there is a notion called "freedom of
>>> speech".
>>> A foundation has actually no obligation to be fully transparent, and WMF
>>> is making notable efforts in a context  where advertising, non disclosed
>>> paid editing and lobbying are representing (in my opinion) a much greater
>>> threat to neutrality than a public statement on this particular matter.
>>> I am personnallly pretty impressed from across the ocean: in the 30s had
>>> some leaders shown more courage maybe Hitler would not have been able to
>>> start a genocide.
>>> This not only political, this is common sense, and living in Switzerland
>>> might influence a very pragmatic and down to the roots approach.
>>> We are watching from over the ocean, as europeans these refugee bans
>>> remind us of very dark memories.
>>>   Katherine Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent
>>> wikipedians from editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV
>>> (actually there is no achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the
>>> gender biases as far as I see it)
>>> Bravo Katherine this is what I say, Sandberg has not even uttered a
>> tweet!
>>> Neutrality should not mean surrending to the powerful by remaining
>> silent.
>>> Nattes à chat / Natacha
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> Le 3 févr. 2017 à 00:05, Leigh Thelmadatter <[hidden email]> a
>>> écrit :
>>>> I voiced my opposition to the statement on Facebook but Yair states the
>>> case far more eloquently. Many acts by many countries could be a possible
>>> threat to Wikimedia, where do we draw the line?
>>>> Why was there no community discussion prior to the statement?
>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>
>>>>> On 02/02/2017, at 3:37 p.m., Yair Rand <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse,
>>> and
>>>>> has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or
>>> another
>>>>> on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of
>>> these
>>>>> contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
>>>>> institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
>>>>> about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
>>>>> substantially, especially on this mailing list.
>>>>>
>>>>> While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
>>>>> remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage
>>> such
>>>>> actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half
>> of
>>> any
>>>>> given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our
>>> mission
>>>>> due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those
>> who
>>>>> use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
>>>>> unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants
>>> because of
>>>>> politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
>>>>> representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for
>> an
>>>>> environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded
>> by
>>>>> hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of
>> no
>>>>> return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
>>>>>
>>>>> As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain
>> country's
>>>>> top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I
>>> think a
>>>>> stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects
>> is
>>>>> warranted.
>>>>>
>>>>> We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia
>>> Foundation
>>>>> itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
>>>>> geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect
>>> the
>>>>> Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous.
>> With
>>> the
>>>>> WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk
>>> our
>>>>> Neutrality.
>>>>>
>>>>> How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue
>>> over
>>>>> the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
>>>>> community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
>>>>> extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A
>>> previous
>>>>> ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than
>>> accept
>>>>> advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF
>>> die
>>>>> outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More
>> recently,
>>>>> the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
>>>>> directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
>>>>> between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct
>>> threats to
>>>>> the projects.
>>>>>
>>>>> Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
>>>>> explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an
>>> area
>>>>> that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
>>>>> discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
>>>>>
>>>>> It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
>>>>> place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions.
>>> While we
>>>>> value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be
>> able
>>> to
>>>>> override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
>>>>> volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be
>>> spent
>>>>> towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
>>>>>
>>>>> It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
>>>>> remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if
>>> participating
>>>>> requires a certain political position.
>>>>>
>>>>> It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and
>>> moderators
>>>>> to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
>>>>>
>>>>> Thank you.
>>>>>
>>>>> -- Yair Rand
>>>>>


--
Pax Ahimsa Gethen  | http://funcrunch.org


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Natacha Rault
On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 7:26 PM, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:

> ...After all there is a notion called "freedom of speech"....  Katherine
> Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent wikipedians from
> editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV (actually there is no
> achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the gender biases as far as I
> see it).



I imagine that your response would be different if Katherine's position
didn't match your own. What if she posted that she agreed that "extreme
vetting" was an appropriate response to the risk of terrorist attacks, that
nations with liberal refugee policies had experienced multiple attacks in
recent years, and that radicalism is an existential threat to free
societies? These are views shared by hundreds of millions of people
(although not you, Katherine, or me). This hopefully illustrates why taking
political positions beyond the mission is fraught with risk, and why the
frequent demands that the WMF (or the community) do so are misplaced.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Robert Fernandez
That is an obvious false equivalence.  The issue isn't people rooting
for the WMF to take political stances that mirror their own.  The
issue is whether or not that the WMF should recognize that its mission
can intersect with or conflict with political stances and then act
appropriately.  The free dissemination of factual, neutral information
and the ability of editors to participate in that dissemination is in
many contexts a political act and the WMF should recognize this.  To
contend that Wikimedia activity is, can be, or should be always
politically neutral is naive and comes from a place of privilege where
your personal engagement will likely never be threatened by political
interference.



On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:59 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 7:26 PM, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> ...After all there is a notion called "freedom of speech"....  Katherine
>> Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent wikipedians from
>> editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV (actually there is no
>> achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the gender biases as far as I
>> see it).
>
>
>
> I imagine that your response would be different if Katherine's position
> didn't match your own. What if she posted that she agreed that "extreme
> vetting" was an appropriate response to the risk of terrorist attacks, that
> nations with liberal refugee policies had experienced multiple attacks in
> recent years, and that radicalism is an existential threat to free
> societies? These are views shared by hundreds of millions of people
> (although not you, Katherine, or me). This hopefully illustrates why taking
> political positions beyond the mission is fraught with risk, and why the
> frequent demands that the WMF (or the community) do so are misplaced.
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Rogol Domedonfors
Perhaps the issue has something to do with whether donors expected their
money to be spent on publicising a political stance.  One "privilege" I see
here is the privilege of being able to spend other peoples' money in ways
they did not expect and, possibly, do not support, without recourse.

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 7:06 PM, Robert Fernandez <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> That is an obvious false equivalence.  The issue isn't people rooting
> for the WMF to take political stances that mirror their own.  The
> issue is whether or not that the WMF should recognize that its mission
> can intersect with or conflict with political stances and then act
> appropriately.  The free dissemination of factual, neutral information
> and the ability of editors to participate in that dissemination is in
> many contexts a political act and the WMF should recognize this.  To
> contend that Wikimedia activity is, can be, or should be always
> politically neutral is naive and comes from a place of privilege where
> your personal engagement will likely never be threatened by political
> interference.
>
>
>
> On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 1:59 PM, Nathan <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 7:26 PM, Natacha Rault <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> ...After all there is a notion called "freedom of speech"....  Katherine
> >> Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent wikipedians
> from
> >> editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV (actually there is no
> >> achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the gender biases as far as
> I
> >> see it).
> >
> >
> >
> > I imagine that your response would be different if Katherine's position
> > didn't match your own. What if she posted that she agreed that "extreme
> > vetting" was an appropriate response to the risk of terrorist attacks,
> that
> > nations with liberal refugee policies had experienced multiple attacks in
> > recent years, and that radicalism is an existential threat to free
> > societies? These are views shared by hundreds of millions of people
> > (although not you, Katherine, or me). This hopefully illustrates why
> taking
> > political positions beyond the mission is fraught with risk, and why the
> > frequent demands that the WMF (or the community) do so are misplaced.
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Bill Takatoshi
In reply to this post by Yair Rand
On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 11:11 AM, Pax Ahimsa Gethen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I don't think this mailing list should be open to just any and
> all discussion of politics, regardless of viewpoint. What is
> and isn't appropriate to post is a delicate judgment call

Again, the Wikimedia-l list Charter says "potential new Wikimedia
projects and initiatives" are on topic. While there is no mention in
the Charter of political discussion. Presumably discussion of facts
and opinions pertaining to proposed initiatives should be encouraged.

More than ten proposals for new initiatives have been made in the past weeks:

* make international backups of complete Foundation data (seconded, no
opposition, task created)

* relocate the foundation (seconded, controversial)

* assist Wikimedia staff with travel difficulties (no second or opposition yet)

* correct systemic bias said to be responsible for underlying issues
(seconded; unclear whether this is controversial)

* turn our culture toward more generative and constructive forms of
public discourse (no second or opposition yet; clarification questions
were asked but have yet been answered)

* issue a statement condemning the travel ban (seconded,
controversial, statement issued by ED)

* call for a general strike (no second yet, controversial)

* improve Wikimedia content on pertinent issues (no second or opposition yet)

* require community discussion and consensus as a precondition of
action (seconded, controversial)

* create an alternative mailing list where discussion topics are
restricted (no second yet)

* add the names of "a certain country's top political leaders" to this
list's spam filter (no second yet, controversial)

It is clear that there are multiple people on both sides of the
political issue, so it might be helpful to focus discussion on support
or opposition to proposed initiatives. (Did I miss any?)

I would like to see something more substantial than a blog post but
less extreme than calling for a general strike. Usually when political
issues impacting Wikimedia come up someone usually proposes banners.

I have no suggestion for what a banner might say, but I would like to
see such proposals from others.

-Will

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Politics

Todd Allen
Before starting down the path of wording banners, let's decide if we want
them at all.

Almost every political issue can be tangentially related to Wikimedia
projects. The question needs to be if it's a major existential issue. SOPA
was such a thing, it was a direct threat to the core mission of Wikimedia.
In those cases, and in only those cases, should we consider injecting
ourselves into politics.

Otherwise, the entire point of Wikimedia is a neutral point of view. We
aren't here to inject ourselves into political debates, only to catalog
what happens in a strictly neutral fashion. And I'm saying that as someone
who largely agrees with the position being put forth here.

If people within Wikimedia want to involve themselves in politics, they
have every right to do that. On their own time and their own nickel, and
without speaking as a representative of the organization.

It is especially inappropriate that such an undertaking happened without
consulting project volunteers. Katherine presumed to speak for all of us,
without asking if we even wanted her to. That is totally unacceptable and
I'd like to see further discussion of that.

Todd

On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 12:23 PM, Bill Takatoshi <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 11:11 AM, Pax Ahimsa Gethen
> <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > I don't think this mailing list should be open to just any and
> > all discussion of politics, regardless of viewpoint. What is
> > and isn't appropriate to post is a delicate judgment call
>
> Again, the Wikimedia-l list Charter says "potential new Wikimedia
> projects and initiatives" are on topic. While there is no mention in
> the Charter of political discussion. Presumably discussion of facts
> and opinions pertaining to proposed initiatives should be encouraged.
>
> More than ten proposals for new initiatives have been made in the past
> weeks:
>
> * make international backups of complete Foundation data (seconded, no
> opposition, task created)
>
> * relocate the foundation (seconded, controversial)
>
> * assist Wikimedia staff with travel difficulties (no second or opposition
> yet)
>
> * correct systemic bias said to be responsible for underlying issues
> (seconded; unclear whether this is controversial)
>
> * turn our culture toward more generative and constructive forms of
> public discourse (no second or opposition yet; clarification questions
> were asked but have yet been answered)
>
> * issue a statement condemning the travel ban (seconded,
> controversial, statement issued by ED)
>
> * call for a general strike (no second yet, controversial)
>
> * improve Wikimedia content on pertinent issues (no second or opposition
> yet)
>
> * require community discussion and consensus as a precondition of
> action (seconded, controversial)
>
> * create an alternative mailing list where discussion topics are
> restricted (no second yet)
>
> * add the names of "a certain country's top political leaders" to this
> list's spam filter (no second yet, controversial)
>
> It is clear that there are multiple people on both sides of the
> political issue, so it might be helpful to focus discussion on support
> or opposition to proposed initiatives. (Did I miss any?)
>
> I would like to see something more substantial than a blog post but
> less extreme than calling for a general strike. Usually when political
> issues impacting Wikimedia come up someone usually proposes banners.
>
> I have no suggestion for what a banner might say, but I would like to
> see such proposals from others.
>
> -Will
>
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