It seems like we have yet to figure out if we can get the announcements
list to automatically copy messages here. But since the "reply-to"
function is at least set properly for this list, I'll take advantage of
it now to make sure the full original message is posted here as well.
On 6/23/2010 10:47 PM, Michael Snow wrote:
> As a follow-up to the previous statement and discussion about
> appropriate educational content, the board has passed a resolution
> requesting a study of the issue of potentially objectionable content. We
> have asked the Executive Director to organize this study and develop
> recommendations for the board. We expect these will be shared with the
> community and stimulate further discussion about whether to adopt
> particular recommendations. Potential action would only follow that
> process, but since it's hard to say what that might involve without
> knowing the recommendations in advance, I will also pass along some
> questions and answers that attempt to explain the process in more
> detail. The text of the resolution follows:
> 1. The Wikimedia Foundation vision imagines a world in which every
> single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That is
> our commitment, and we aspire to see it realized.
> 2. We are making good progress towards that goal. Today, hundreds of
> millions of people read the Wikimedia projects every month. Those people
> represent a wide diversity of ethnicities, nationalities, ages,
> socioeconomic conditions, sexual orientations, religions, values and
> attitudes. We are proud of that, and we consider it proof of our
> projects' broad relevance and utility.
> 3. In any group as diverse as ours, ideas about acceptability and taste
> will necessarily vary widely. We know that to be true in our case
> because, over the years, we have received many requests asking us to
> remove from the projects different types of material, on the grounds
> that it is objectionable to particular individuals or groups. However,
> Wikimedia policy has never called for material to be deleted purely on
> the basis that it is, or may be, objectionable, and our projects have
> long contained caveats to that effect.
> 4. We do expect material in our projects to be educational in nature,
> and any material that is not educational should be removed. We see our
> role as making available all knowledge, not solely such knowledge as is
> universally deemed acceptable. We believe that individual adults should
> be able to decide for themselves what information they want to seek out.
> In the case of children, we believe that their parents, teachers, and
> other guardians are best placed to guide them to material that is
> appropriate for them, based on their development and maturity, as they
> grow into adulthood.
> 5. Nevertheless, we are concerned about the possibility of people being
> exposed to objectionable material that they did not seek out. This may
> include material that is violent, sexually explicit, or otherwise
> disturbing; culturally offensive depictions; profane or vulgar language;
> depictions of potentially dangerous activities; and exposure of children
> to material that may be inappropriate for them. We believe that the
> Wikimedia projects are a valuable educational resource, and we do not
> want these issues to interfere in sharing knowledge with present or
> future readers.
> 6. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees believe that the Wikimedia
> projects have a serious responsibility to carefully balance these
> interests to the best of their ability. This includes considering the
> interests of both adults and children, as well as understanding
> different cultural perspectives about what material may be offensive. It
> is a difficult challenge, and we do not take it lightly.
> WE THEREFORE RESOLVE THAT:
> The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees hereby requests its Executive
> Director to undertake a project studying this issue, and to develop a
> set of recommendations for the Board. In this work, we ask that she
> consult with a variety of stakeholders and experts, including Wikimedia
> editors, other organizations which have grappled with the same or
> similar issues, and thought leaders including relevant members of our
> Advisory Board. We ask that she make an effort to include non-Western
> perspectives. The purpose of this work is to develop recommendations to
> enable the Wikimedia projects to appropriately and effectively serve all
> audiences, including both adults and children, and including readers
> both current and prospective.
> The scope of this work should be broad, and might include recommended
> changes to editorial policies, technical solutions, the development of
> new projects that are appropriate for children, and so forth. In an
> effort to allow sufficient time for thoughtful investigation, but also
> to bring closure to this issue within a reasonable period, we ask the
> Executive Director to deliver preliminary recommendations to the Board
> at its fall meeting, and we encourage her to consult with the Board as
> required in the intervening months.
> --Michael Snow
> Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately directed to Foundation-L, the public mailing list about the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects. For more information about Foundation-L:
> WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
I'm very excited to welcome Arthur Richards to the Wikimedia Foundation as the backend developer for fundraising.
Back in the fall 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, Arthur took a leave of absence from Oberlin College to work with a grassroots relief organization in New Orleans, Louisiana. After finding a lot of discarded computer equipment in trash piles during cleanup, he rescued, repaired and rebuilt a handful of machines to open up the Common Ground Community Tech Center in the Upper 9th Ward of New Orleans. Powered by Linux, a jury-rigged solar array and a back-up generator, the Tech Center provided a place for community members to check on loved ones, learn about computers and publish their own media to the web.
After finishing school with a degree in History, Arthur headed to the Bay Area to begin a career in software development. There he worked for a few months as a content manager and developer for YouthNoise.org, a forum for young people to become civicly engaged. In 2007, Arthur left YouthNoise to try his hand at contracting. His first gig was with NetAcceleration, maintaining and providing new functionality for a proprietary content management system. Feeling a need to work with open source software and for social good, Arthur left NetAcceleration and co-founded Colingro Labs, a small web consulting company focused on non-profit, green and socially responsible clients where he fell in love with the Drupal content management system.
Most recently, Arthur has been in Guadalajara, Mexico with Adapting to Scarcity, making a documentary on the effects of urban water usage on communities downstream from Guadalajara and offering digital storytelling workshops to youth in affected communities.
Arthur will bring in some well needed drupal skills that will benefit our fundraising efforts with CiviCRM. He'll be working with our staff and the CiviCRM community to develop new features along with integrating our custom developments into the core distribution. He'll also be working extensively with our analytics team to better understand and present the various data sources that we have to both internal teams and the community at large.
He'll be starting a three month contract on July 6th and will be working in the San Francisco office.
Please join me in welcoming Arthur to the Wikimedia team! We'll be setting up his email as his start day gets closer but until then, you can reach him at awjrichards(a)gmail.com.
Engineering Program Manager - Fundraising, Mobile, & Offline
Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately directed to Foundation-L, the public mailing list about the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects. For more information about Foundation-L:
WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
It may be relevant to note that http://wikijunior.org currently redirects
to http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior .
>From what I've heard, Wikijunior was supposed to become its own separate
project at some point. Now, that is Wikibooks-related and not
Wikipedia-related, but if one were looking for a combined edition of all the
projects in each language, for children, you've got the domain name there,
owned by Wikimedia.
-- Aaron Adrignola
Replying for the purpose of forwarding the original message, part two.
On 6/23/2010 10:59 PM, Michael Snow wrote:
> What is the purpose of the resolution?
> The Board is asking its Executive Director to conduct a study, with the
> goal of figuring out what to do about potentially-objectionable material
> in the projects. We know there is, and will always be, some material in
> the projects that some readers will find offensive: that's inevitable,
> given the size and scope of our readership, and our commitment to
> providing access to all of the world's knowledge. We don't want to cause
> unnecessary offence to people, and we particularly don't want to offend
> people if it means they won't therefore use our projects, or that they
> will aim to keep other people from using them. We want our projects to
> be available to as many people as possible, and we would like, as much
> as possible, to minimize the number of people who are prevented from
> accessing the projects by third-parties. Having said that, we see the
> projects' role as making available all knowledge, not making available
> solely such knowledge as is universally deemed acceptable. It's a
> challenge, and we need to strike an appropriate balance. Therefore,
> we're asking our ED to do some investigation and thinking, and make some
> recommendations to us at our meeting this fall.
> How was the resolution developed and agreed upon?
> The board and the community have been talking about this topic for the
> past two months -- and indeed, the Commons and Wikipedia communities
> have been discussing it for many years. Once the board reached general
> agreement that a study was a good idea, we asked our ED to draft a
> resolution to that effect. After she did that, we spent several weeks
> talking with each other, refining the language of the draft, and voting
> to adopt the resolution.
> Does the board have consensus on what to do about
> potentially-objectionable materials in the projects?
> No. So far, board members have exchanged several hundred e-mails on this
> topic, and we will continue to discuss it in the coming months.
> Currently, board members have expressed quite different views, and there
> is no consensus on how to resolve the issue. We think that's completely
> fine though: it's complicated, and it's worth a lot of thought and
> discussion. That's why we've commissioned a study: to see what we can
> learn from other similar discussions that have taken place within other
> What are the individual board members' views on this issue? How divided
> is the board?
> We don't really want to characterize individual board members' views.
> Having said that, individual board members have expressed their opinions
> publicly in the past, and they will probably continue to do so. The
> board is comfortable with disagreement on this issue, and it's
> comfortable with people expressing their opinions. For example, Michael
> Snow has been having a conversation with contributors on Commons, and
> both Jimmy and SJ have been expressing their views there too. That's
> fine, and the board encourages it.
> How is this study related to the purge of some sexual imagery that
> happened on Commons a month ago?
> The Commons purge happened because Jimmy felt there was material on
> Commons which didn't belong there -- that was potentially objectionable,
> and had no educational value. The board released a statement on May 7,
> encouraging Wikimedia editors to scrutinize potentially offensive
> materials with the goal of assessing their educational or informational
> value, and to remove them from the projects if there was no such value.
> Jimmy himself then deleted a bunch of imagery he thought was
> problematic. In so doing, he made a lot of admins on Commons really
> angry -- essentially because they felt Jimmy was acting unilaterally,
> without sufficient discussion. So yes, this study is an attempt to
> better handle the general issue of potentially-objectionable material on
> the projects, including Commons, by giving it some sustained attention.
> In its statement May 7, the board said that it was not intending to
> create new policy, but rather to reaffirm and support policy that
> already exists. Has that changed?
> We don't know yet what recommendations will come out of the study. It's
> quite possible they will include recommendations to change policy on the
> projects. In giving direction to the consultant, we have asked that
> everything be considered: nothing has been ruled out.
> In the aftermath of the Commons purge, a lot of editors felt that the
> Wikimedia Foundation, the board, and/or Jimmy had overstepped their
> authority. What do you say to those editors who believe that editorial
> policy is their purview, not the responsibility of the board or the staff?
> We agree with editors who say that, and we believe that Wikimedia's
> current methods of developing and enforcing policy, for the most part,
> work really beautifully. The Wikimedia projects are a shining example of
> the power of mass collaboration, and nobody wants to fundamentally
> change anything about how the projects work.
> Is this the first time the Board has ever asked the ED or WMF to address
> an issue like this?
> This is the first time the Board has asked the ED to investigate the
> issue of potentially-objectionable material on the projects, yes.
> Will the Board make a decision about next steps on this issue following
> the ED's presentation of findings?
> The Board will review the recommendations and findings, and will
> continue to discuss the matter and reach out to the community of
> volunteers to discuss the issue. We won't speculate on what decisions
> will be made, or when, until findings have been reviewed and discussed.
> Who will the ED be seeking out to undertake this research?
> She has hired a consultant: Robert Harris, a former executive with the
> Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Robert is an experienced Canadian
> journalist and writer who, over the course of his career, has held
> responsibility for developing and ensuring compliance with editorial
> standards and practices at the CBC. We think he's right for this work
> because he's smart and thoughtful, has decades of experience handling
> sensitive editorial issues, and is experienced at balancing the
> interests of multiple stakeholders inside a mission-driven organization
> designed to serve the general public. Sue worked with Robert for 17
> years at the CBC, and is confident he can help us with this issue.
> What will the process look like?
> This won't be like the strategy project, which took an entire year and a
> team of full-time people. This process will be smaller and simpler.
> Robert intends to gather input from four major sources: i) by reading
> existing policy and discussion pages on the wikis, ii) by interviewing
> key project participants such as board members and community members,
> iii) by gathering together external statements of policy, papers and
> reports on this topic, and iv) by interviewing key experts such as
> advisory board members, anti-censorship advocates, child-protection
> organizations, and so forth. He will probably not do much original
> research (such as surveys or focus groups): instead, he will tend to
> rely on existing research done by others. Once Robert has gathered all
> the input, he will do some analysis and thinking, and then make
> recommendations to the board. It is intended to be a fairly quick and
> simple process of information-gathering and thinking.
> What will the end result look like?
> Robert will explore and summarize our particular context: our mission,
> our production processes, and current relevant policies. He will tell us
> how other organizations and entities, such as libraries and big
> user-generated content sites, have handled this challenge. He will lay
> out possible courses of action, and the pros and cons of each in our
> context. And finally, he will make recommendations to the board.
> What might those recommendations include?
> Nothing is off the table. Robert has not been asked to explicitly
> exclude anything from the scope of recommendations. He could recommend
> anything from doing nothing to creative ideas that haven't been
> considered before.
> What will happen after the board receives the recommendations?
> The board will discuss the recommendations at its fall meeting. Then it
> will talk with the community. Nothing will happen without lots of
> Why not hire a community member to do this work?
> Any community member who'd be interested in this work has probably
> already formed an opinion on the topic, which means it might be hard for
> them to maintain neutrality, and/or other people might perceive them as
> non-neutral. Robert brings a fresh eye, which is probably useful. Also,
> he will bring to us his experience of designing policy elsewhere.
> What other projects or properties face similar situations as those of
> Wikimedia's? Who or what can provide context for this kind of research
> or decision making? Who else knows how to address this issue?
> We are interested in practices of other large projects containing
> community-created material, such as Flickr, YouTube, Google, eBay, and
> the Internet Archive. We are also interested in educational institutions
> and archives, whose work is similar to ours. So we will be talking with
> groups such as libraries, museums, and universities. Many smart people
> have grappled with these issues, and we are looking forward to hearing
> how they have handled them. We also know that our context is unique, and
> the outcome will need to be suited to us: our mission, goals, values and
> editorial practices.
> Are you doing this because you're worried about the media, or donors?
> No. The board is doing this because we've agreed that getting more
> information about other approaches to the issue is the right thing to
> do. We want to be thoughtful and responsible, and we think it's worth
> putting some focused effort against this issue. We may be wrong about
> that (and it's true that some board members feel more strongly about it
> than others). We want to do what is best in terms of advancing the
> mission and meeting the needs of all the world's readers and contributors.
> Has the Board or Foundation actively done anything on the projects to
> remove explicit content? Has any illegal material been found or deleted?
> Although the Foundation would remove any illegal content if it were
> necessary, it has not needed to do so--the task of removing this kind of
> material generally falls to our volunteers first, who watch the latest
> changes and additions to our projects. However, project policies often
> include editorial considerations in addition to legal considerations;
> just because an image is within the bounds of the law does not
> necessarily mean it falls within the project scope, and individual
> members have removed content they believed was outside of project policies.
> The Wikimedia community has engaged in thoughtful policy development
> around these issues for many years. Why is there a need for a top-down
> process now?
> It's true that the community has had many good policy discussions about
> these issues, dating to the earliest days of Wikipedia. Ultimately, we
> think those discussions may have been constrained in ways that aren't
> ideal. First, discussions about policy tend to be project-centric,
> rather than addressing the interests of the Wikimedia movement as a
> whole. That means they typically aren't very informed by a
> bigger-picture view (for example, the experiences of other projects,
> other communities, other websites, other educational initiatives), in
> part because there typically aren't resources dedicated to getting that
> information. And, some types of policy change (for example, those with
> technology implications) may be abandoned early, because community
> members know technical support is hard to come by. We're hoping that
> this process will help us to have a broader conversation about the topic
> than might otherwise be possible.
> Who wrote this Q and A, and who is its intended audience?
> The first draft of this Q and A was written by Jay and Sue for the
> board, based on the text of the resolution, and Sue's understanding of
> the consensus that had been achieved by the board over the past several
> months. Individual board members requested various revisions, and new
> versions of the draft were recirculated over several days. The main
> audience is the Wikimedia community, and the goal is to articulate the
> board's position as completely as possible.
> --Michael Snow
> Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately directed to Foundation-L, the public mailing list about the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects. For more information about Foundation-L:
> WikimediaAnnounce-l mailing list
A housekeeping note: Gmail has been marking some list messages as spam for
the past five days or so. It sounds like this is affecting other Wikimedia
lists, including Otrs-en-l and daily-article-l. I don't know what if any
work has been done to try to fix this issue, but until it's sorted out, you
might need to watch your spam folders for list posts.
My name is Jeffrey Peters, a professional researcher who is currently
working on my dissertation (dealing with Romantic poetry) and in addition
Masters in Classical Lit. I am writing to you today to announce the donation
of two fully written pages on two important poems of the English language:
Wordsworth's *Ode: Intimations of Immortality* and Coleridge's *Kubla Khan*.
Their current pages are almost stub level and contain many errors and
problems. Both rewrites/expansions can be found on Simple Wikipedia, a
project that is noble and deserves more involvement by the community as a
The above are works of love, and I dedicated dozens of hours at multiple DC
university libraries compiling research that, as far as I can tell, cannot
be found elsewhere in such a complete and concise form in print or on the
internet. I have provided my time and abilities to produce the page for the
betterment of the WMF and Wikipedia as a whole. I do so because of four
individuals who have inspired me over the last year: Jimbo Wales (for his
dedication to the idea of a free and complete encyclopedia), Samuel Klein
(for his dedication to the projects and valiant effort to ensure high
quality), Cary Bass (for the massive amount of time he puts in ensuring that
volunteers are able to succeed), and Philippe Beaudette (for striving to
make the WMF more academic friendly).
Previously, I donated the material for Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard
but I did not compile one whole page with every aspect but included material
in a piecemeal fashion. This did not work as well as I hoped, so I put in
the additional effort to ensure that the pages can be considered "complete",
though they may need additional minor copyedits to remove any final errors.
I hope that my donation today will aid Wikipedia's continuing quest to
provide a free and educational encyclopedia, and I hope that the level of
effort and critical eye, to an extent that appears unrivaled in any current
poetry page (even in my previous works), will attract more people to
Wikipedia who shall do the same.
aka Ottava Rima
THANK YOU . RANDY R. PARR HAVE A NICE D.
From: Samuel Klein <meta.sj(a)gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List <foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: 21-Jun-2010 23:26:13 +0000
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Donation of Encyclopedic Entries on Famous
On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 8:05 PM, Jeffrey Peters
> Dear List,
> My name is Jeffrey Peters, a professional researcher who is currently
> working on my dissertation (dealing with Romantic poetry) and in
> Masters in Classical Lit. I am writing to you today to announce the
> of two fully written pages on two important poems of the English
> Wordsworth's *Ode: Intimations of Immortality* and Coleridge's *Kubla
> Their current pages are almost stub level and contain many errors and
> problems. Both rewrites/expansions can be found on Simple Wikipedia, a
> project that is noble and deserves more involvement by the community
Delightful. Thank you, Jeffrey - I hope you don't mind them being
used to update en:wp as well.
And I agree that Simple Wikipedia deserves more involvement from the
community as a whole, and from expert writers in particular.
foundation-l mailing list
To attract academics this is and must be viewed as a serious endeavor.
Yes some aspects such as reverting vandalism could have a fun twist
applied to them but the creation of content must remain simple and
serious. Wikipedia already has a problem with its image regarding
credibility. Things that would affect Wikipedia's image must be
carefully considered. I personally do not need further distraction
while I edit. Medpedia http://www.medpedia.com/ has more of a
facebook appearance to it and for that among other reasons I will not
contribute their. We need to keep our goal of writing an encyclopedia
first and foremost.
MD, CCFP-EM, B.Sc.
First so that I don't do a separate email on the subject Thank you Erik for
getting a hold of google :)
I found an interesting article that was in the Boston Globe Magazine this
weekend about anonymous posting on the internet. The article focuses on
those who post on Boston.com but I obviously jumped to comparing it to us
(myopic perhaps?) . I actually think it's a better article on the subject
then I've seen for a while with some good video as well.
The next strategic planning office hours are:
Wednesday, 04:00-05:00 UTC, which is:
-Tuesday (8-9pm PST)
-Tuesday (11pm-12am EST)
There has been a lot of tremendous work on the strategy wiki the past
few months, and Task Forces are finishing up their work.
Office hours will be a great opportunity to discuss the work that's
happened as well as the work to come.
As always, you can access the chat by going to
https://webchat.freenode.net and filling in a username and the channel
name (#wikimedia-strategy). You may be prompted to click through a
security warning. It's fine. More details at:
Thanks! Hope to see many of you there.
Facilitator, Strategy Project
mobile: 918 200-WIKI (9454)
Imagine a world in which every human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!