This week, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees unanimously
passed a resolution addressing the issue of controversial content on
the projects. The Board also unanimously passed a resolution
addressing images of identifiable, living people on the projects. The
resolutions are posted at:
These topics have been the subject of active debate on the Projects,
and particularly on Commons, for a long time. Last June, following
extensive community debate, the Wikimedia Foundation Board requested
the Executive Director undertake a study of the issue of controversial
content on the projects, acknowledging the difficulty of the issue
Robert and Dory Harris were commissioned to do this study, which they
did on meta in consultation with the community, publishing
recommendations in September 2010. Their report is available at:
At its October 2010 meeting, the Board was presented with this report.
The Board discussed the recommendations in depth, and developed a
working group to act on them. The working group's report was presented
at the Board's next in-person meeting, in March 2011; and these
resolutions were subsequently drafted and voted on. The working group
report has also been posted on meta, at:
Note that the controversial content resolution uses the term
"curation." We are using this term to refer to all aspects of managing
images and other content on our projects, including recruiting and
acquiring contributions and uploading, categorizing, placement of
images in articles and other pages (including gallery pages and the
main page), featuring or highlighting, flagging for improvement, and
deletion and removal. All of our projects are curated in line with
broad editorial principles; this is an essential feature that
distinguishes our projects from indiscriminate or general-purpose
Not all of the Harris recommendations are addressed in this
resolution. In particular:
* At this time, we refer the recommendation to create a WikiJunior
project to the editing community; the Board would like to see
demonstrated community support before creating such a project.
* In agreement with the Harris report, we do not recommend that
changes be made to current editing and/or filtering regimes
surrounding text in Wikimedia projects; we feel editorial mechanisms
regarding text are working well.
Finally, we urge that the community, the Foundation and the Wikimedia
movement continue to discuss the appropriate scope of Commons for
fulfilling Wikimedia's mission; this is a difficult and important
Thank you to everyone who has worked on this issue, and special thanks
to Robert and Dory Harris for their hard work.
-- Phoebe Ayers, on behalf of the Board working group and the Board
I'm taking part in an images discussion workshop with a number of
academics tomorrow and could do with a statement about the WMF's long
term commitment to supporting Wikimedia Commons (and other projects)
in terms of the public availability of media. Is there an official
published policy I can point to that includes, say, a 10 year or 100
If it exists, this would be a key factor for researchers choosing
where to share their images with the public.
Guide to email tags: http://j.mp/faetags
There is a request for a Wikipedia in Ancient Greek. This request has so far
been denied. A lot of words have been used about it. Many people maintain
their positions and do not for whatever reason consider the arguments of
In my opinion their are a few roadblocks.
- Ancient Greek is an ancient language - the policy does not allow for
- Text in ancient Greek written today about contemporary subjects
require the reconstruction of Ancient Greek.
- it requires the use of existing words for concepts that did
not exist at the time when the language was alive
- neologisms will be needed to describe things that did not
exist at the time when the language was alive
- modern texts will not represent the language as it used to be
- Constructed and by inference reconstructed languages are effectively
We can change the policy if there are sufficient arguments, when we agree on
When a text is written in reconstructed ancient Greek, and when it is
clearly stated that it is NOT the ancient Greek of bygone days, it can be
obvious that it is a great tool to learn skills to read and write ancient
Greek but that it is in itself not Ancient Greek. Ancient Greek as a
language is ancient. I have had a word with people who are involved in the
working group that deals with the ISO-639, I have had a word with someone
from SIL and it is clear that a proposal for a code for "Ancient Greek
reconstructed" will be considered for the ISO-639-3. For the ISO-639-6 a
code is likely to be given because a clear use for this code can be given.
We can apply for a code and as it has a use bigger then Wikipedia alone it
clearly has merit.
With modern texts clearly labelled as distinct from the original language,
it will be obvious that innovations a writers needs for his writing are
This leaves the fact that constructed and reconstructed languages are not
permitted because of the notion that mother tongue users are required. In my
opinion, this has always been only a gesture to those people who are dead
set against any and all constructed languages. In the policies there is
something vague "*it must have a reasonable degree of recognition as
determined by discussion (this requirement is being discussed by the language
subcommittee <http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Language_subcommittee>)."* It
is vague because even though the policy talks about a discussion, it is
killed off immediately by stating "The proposal has a sufficient number of
living native speakers to form a viable community and audience." In my
opinion, this discussion for criteria for the acceptance of constructed or
reconstructed languages has not happened. Proposals for objective criteria
have been ignored.
In essence, to be clear about it:
- We can get a code for reconstructed languages.
- We need to change the policy to allow for reconstructed and
We need to do both in order to move forward.
The proposal for objective criteria for constructed and reconstructed
languages is in a nutshell:
- The language must have an ISO-639-3 code
- We need full WMF localisation from the start
- The language must be sufficiently expressive for writing a modern
- The Incubator project must have sufficiently large articles that
demonstrate both the language and its ability to write about a wide range of
- A sufficiently large group of editors must be part of the Incubator
*Please distribute widely*
*Call for referendum*: The Wikimedia Foundation, at the direction of the
Board of Trustees, will be holding a vote to determine whether members of
the community support the creation and usage of an opt-in personal image
filter, which would allow readers to voluntarily screen particular types of
images strictly for their own account.
Further details and educational materials will be available shortly. The
referendum is scheduled for 12-27 August, 2011, and will be conducted on
servers hosted by a neutral third party. Referendum details, officials,
voting requirements, and supporting materials will be posted at
For the coordinating committee,
Head of Reader Relations
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
415-839-6885, x 2106 (reader relations)
Let's see what we've got here:
A "Board" that appears answerable only to some god; an "Executive Director"
who answers only to this "Board"; a group of "Moderators" who claim (with a
straight face) that they are "independent", but whose "moderations" are
clearly designed to keep the first two in a favorable light; and, dead last,
you have the people who, not so ironically, create the substance of the
thing that makes the first three possible. This setup sounds achingly
familiar. And, like all similar setups throughout history, is set up to
on 10/20/10 12:44 AM, Virgilio A. P. Machado at vam(a)fct.unl.pt wrote:
> I agree with you. You raised some very good points.
> Virgilio A. P. Machado
> At 03:47 20-10-2010, you wrote:
>> ________________________________ From: Austin
>> Hair <adhair(a)gmail.com> To: Wikimedia Foundation
>> Mailing List <foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
>> Sent: Tue, October 19, 2010 12:35:07 PM Subject:
>> Re: [Foundation-l] Greg Kohs and Peter Damian On
>> Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 6:40 PM, Nathan
>> <nawrich(a)gmail.com> wrote: > If it pleases the
>> moderators, might we know on what basis Greg
>> was > banned and Peter indefinitely muzzled?
>> Greg Kohs was banned for the same reason that
>> he's been on moderation for the better part of
>> the past yearnamely, that he was completely
>> unable tto keep his contributions civil, and
>> caused more flamewars than constructive
>> discussion. Peter Damian is only on moderation,
>> and we'll follow our usual policy of letting
>> through anything that could be considered even
>> marginally acceptable. We really are very
>> liberal about thisotheerwise you wouldn't have
>> heard from Mr. Kohs at all in the past six
>> months. I'm sure that my saying this won't
>> convince anyone who's currently defending him,
>> but nothing about the decision to ban Greg Kohs
>> was retaliatory. I'll also (not for the first
>> time) remind everyone that neither the Wikimedia
>> Foundation Board, nor its staff, nor any chapter
>> or other organizational body has any say in the
>> administration of this list. I hope that clears
>> up all of the questions asked in this thread so
>> far. It is not about defending anyone but about
>> the fact that the "I know bannable when I see
>> it" theory of moderation is unconstructive and
>> leads to dramafests. The next ban is the one
>> that will likely cause a real flame war. I
>> suspect *more* people would be on moderation if
>> any sort of objective criteria were being
>> used. The lack of explanation over this bothers
>> me so much because I suspect that you *can't*
>> explain it. It seems to be the sort of gut-shot
>> that hasn't been thought through. Moderate more
>> people based on real criteria, rather than how
>> you feel about them. Birgitte
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> foundation-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org Unsubscribe:
> foundation-l mailing list
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>From what I have seen about Greg Kohs is that he does have some
interesting points to make, but I do see that he is jumping to
conclusions and does seem to have a biased viewpoint.
People want to make their own decisions and have enough information to
do that. We don't want to have important information deleted away
because it is uncomfortable.
Banning him makes it less likely for him to be heard, and these
interesting points which are worth considering are not heard my many
people : this is depriving people of critical information, that is not
fair to the people involved.
Just look at this article for example, it is quite interesting and
well written, and why should it not be visible to everyone on the
Deleting and banning people who say things that are not comfortable,
that does make you look balanced and trustworthy.
The Wikimedia foundation should be able to stand up to such
accusations without resorting to gagging people, it just gives more
credit to the people being gagged and makes people wonder if there is
any merit in what they say.
This brings up my favorite subject of unneeded deletions versions needed ones.
Of course there is material that should be deleted that is hateful,
Spam etc, lets call that evil content.
But the articles that i wrote and my friends wrote that were deleted
did not fall into that category, they might have been just bad or not
We have had a constant struggle to keep our articles from being
deleted in a manner that we consider unfair. Additionally, the bad
content is lost and falls into the same category as evil content.
Also there should be more transparency on deleted material on the
Wikipedia itself, there is a lot of information that is being deleted
and gone forever without proper process or review.
In my eyes there is a connection between the two topics, the banning
of people and the deleting of information. Both are depriving people
from information that they want and need in an unfair manner.
Instead of articles about obscure events, things, and old places in
Kosovo you have a wikipedia full of the latest information about every
television show, is that what you really want?
I think there should be room for things in places that are not not
notable because they are not part of mainstream pop culture, we also
need to support the underdogs of Wikipedia even if they are not
mainstream, Mr Kohs definitely has something to say and I would like
like to hear it. And the Kosovars have something to say even if the
Serbs don't want to hear it. The Albanians have something to say even
if the Greeks don't want to hear it, etc. There are many cases of
people from Kosovo and Albania driven out of Wikipedia and depriving
the project of important information because they are not able to get
started and the contributions are so far way from the dominating
political viewpoint of the opposite side that they don't even get a
chance to be heard.
We need to make a way for these people to be heard and to moderate the
conflicts better, that will make Wikipedia stronger and more robust.
While preparing Missing Wikipedias , I've got numbers of speakers and
languages by area and country with chapter not covered by Wikipedias.
Numbers are preliminary, some of them should be corrected. I didn't
exclude Han languages, which mostly shouldn't be counted, and similar.
Note, also, that every language should be analyzed separately. Many
languages are spoken not just inside of one country.
Please, fix errors and comment.
* * *
Areas. They approximate the usual definitions of areas, but they are
different because of linguistic corrections.
* Afro-Asiatic Area: Area where Afro-Asiatic languages are dominant.
North Africa + Middle East + Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia - Iran.
* Europe: Europe (including Caucasus) includes Turkey.
* South Asia: South Asia + Iran. Dominantly Indo-European and Dravidian
* Sub-Saharan Africa: The rest of Africa.
* Polynesia, Australia and Oceania: Includes Malaysia and Taiwan
(Taiwanese languages not covered in Wikipedias are dominantly Austronesian.)
* East Asia: Han China "China (Central)", Korea and Japan.
* South-East Asia: Includes non-Han south China "China (South)".
* Latin America: Parts of America where Spanish and Portuguese are
* Anglo-French America: Parts of America where English, French and Dutch
are official languages.
* North Asia: Asian part of former USSR, Mongolia and non-Han northern
and western China "China (North)".
The first column is number of speakers, the second number of languages,
the third is area.
399259294 592 South Asia
353676706 1805 Sub-Saharan Africa
221855457 253 Afro-Asiatic Area
138979263 2198 Polynesia, Australia and Oceania
107363760 37 East Asia
99260271 447 South-East Asia
47901185 143 Europe
30361602 724 Latin America
8481452 227 Anglo-French America
3724384 45 North Asia
* * *
Countries with chapters. (Numbers are not fully correct, as they include
some languages removed in the list below this one.)
If any chapter (or interested group) is interested in full list of
missing languages, I'll provide it by request before completing the
work. I suppose that some chapters are interested in languages with less
than 100K of speakers, as well.
296,097,274 349 India
71,356,176 681 Indonesia
46,676,395 157 Philippines
7,819,010 9 Germany
7,994,871 76 Russian Federation
5,386,580 5 Serbia
4,785,299 6 South Africa
2,841,300 17 Israel
1,139,750 4 Ukraine
1,085,931 125 United States
832,000 3 Netherlands
705,967 70 Canada
472,470 1 Czech Republic
375,704 17 Taiwan
313,642 6 Chile
246,900 3 United Kingdom
200,500 4 Spain
191,430 5 Poland
151,240 7 Sweden
132,809 12 Argentina
86,390 155 Australia
50,000 1 France
30,000 1 Hungary
29,980 4 Switzerland
17,460 5 Finland
15,000 1 Portugal
10,500 2 Norway
5,000 1 Denmark
4,500 1 Estonia
Languages with more than million or more than 100,000 of speakers
without Wikipedia and with chapter in the country:
India (more than million)
3633900 Konkani, Goan
2680000 Indian Sign Language
1950000 Gondi, Northern
1045000 Panjabi, Mirpur
1000000 Pahari, Mahasu
Indonesia (more than million)
2350000 Malay, Central
2000000 Batak Toba
1880000 Malay, Makassar
1200000 Batak Simalungun
1200000 Batak Dairi
1100000 Batak Mandailing
1000000 Malay, Jambi
Philippines (more than 100k)
2500000 Bicolano, Central
1900000 Bicolano, Albay
540000 Bontoc, Central
319000 Sama, Southern
234000 Bicolano, Iriga
185000 Sorsogon, Waray
150000 Blaan, Koronadal
140000 Subanen, Central
122000 Bicolano, Northern Catanduanes
100000 Philippine Sign Language
2000000 Saxon, Upper
460090 Mari, Meadow
Serbia and Kosovo
4156090 Albanian, Gheg
709570 Romani, Balkan
318920 Romani, Sinte
4101000 Sotho, Northern
1762320 Yiddish, Eastern
352500 Arabic, Judeo-Tunisian
258930 Arabic, Judeo-Moroccan
100130 Arabic, Judeo-Iraqi
600000 Hawai’i Creole English
250000 Sea Island Creole English
472470 Romani, Carpathian
102000 Spanish Sign Language
109600 Finnish, Tornedalen