Speaking of the British tabloids, of course.
The lesson for us is to not take a leading position, be topical, but to
report events which have occurred and on which there is some sort of
considered opinion and a set of known facts, even if it takes a day or
two for them to develop. In the case of these tabloids its going to take
The power of topical media is two-edged, seemingly exceedingly powerful,
king-makers, but, as anyone familiar with our limited resources knows,
quite weak if under serious attack, as is being shown in the case of the
principals involved in this crisis. The British government is sick of
kowtowing to them and seems to have just been waiting for an opportunity.
Back in the 1980's BBS sysops validated new users on some of the more
abused dial-up BBS systems via snail mail. The person had to provide a
real address in order to receive their login password - just as many
systems use email addresses today. The big difference between these two
mechanisms is that using snail mail has a chain of custody and implies
the possibility of some kind of legal action for misuse whereas email
has no real chain of custody or rarely any legal standing.
So is it going to be a hoop to jump through or something more?
Making a copy and mailing it isn't much better than forging a document
and mailing it. Who knows whether the copy even belongs to the person in
I'd say that if you've blocked someone who is a sockpuppet or other
abuser the burden of validating such a person should be on them, not the
wiki staff. At least a notary (or other public official) would have to
look at an identity document - verify its validity as well as see that
it indeed matches the person in question - then sign a document to that
effect. This completely removes the wiki staff from the need to access
the validity of a copy.
No it isn't free, but that's the price a blocked user might have to pay
for abusing what was freely given in the first place. :-/
>> Do they have notaries in the Netherlands? ?Why not simply ask them to mail a notarized statement that "I am Foo at such an address and request an ublock so I may edit as Bar"? I still am not sure if this is something I would completely endorse, but at least it would be meaningful and not so easily forged.
> Notaries usually charge for that kind of thing. It's not usually much,
> but it's substantially more than the cost of a stamp, which is all the
> current policy costs.
Where can you request the Wikimedia Office to step in and remove a part of a
I can't speak in more details, but in a series of wikipedia pages on 4
projects there is content that could harm the wikimedia foundation in a
legal way. I tried to get it done with the local admins but they refuse,
what will be the next step to get a opinion for a office action?
Webhosting the wicked way.
Hi folks - xposting from Wikimedia Announce
*The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation renews $3 million commitment to Wikimedia
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – July 11, 2011 – The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a
philanthropic grantmaking institution that supports science, technology and
economic institutions, announced today that it will award a grant of $3
million (USD) to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates
Wikipedia. This is the second grant of this amount awarded to the Wikimedia
Foundation from the Sloan Foundation’s Universal Access to Knowledge
component of its Digital Information Technology program. The Wikimedia
Foundation is delighted to have received this vote of continued confidence
in its work.
The Sloan Foundation’s first grant of $3 million, awarded from 2008 through
2010, is the largest single grant ever received by the Wikimedia Foundation.
These funds bootstrapped the organization so that it could grow its core
operations to support and sustain Wikipedia as a high-quality free knowledge
resource. The new funds will support Wikimedia's strategic plan that focuses
on increasing Wikipedia’s quality, increasing the number and demographic
diversity of its editors, and reaching more readers, particularly in the
“Three years ago, at a time when cultural elites were ambivalent about
Wikipedia, the Sloan Foundation took a risk by supporting us. I will always
be grateful to Sloan for its courage in doing that,” said Sue Gardner,
Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Today the academic
community in particular has begun to appreciate Wikipedia, and is starting
to work closely with us to make it even better. I’m grateful to Sloan for
sending an important signal that helped make that happen, and I’m thrilled
at this renewed expression of confidence in our work.”
"We are delighted to support Wikimedia in developing and sustaining its
educational mission while continuously improving quality, diversity and
access to knowledge for people everywhere," said Doron Weber, Vice
President, Programs at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "Wikipedia embodies
the ideal values of the world wide web and we are proud to be part of this
bold endeavor to use the wisdom and the altruism of the crowd to create the
biggest, most up-to-date and most open global encyclopedia in human
*About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization which operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 390 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th
most popular web property world-wide (May, 2011). Available in more than 270
languages, Wikipedia contains more than 18 million articles contributed by a
global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San
Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3)
charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
*About the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a New York based philanthropy founded in
1934, makes grants to support research and education in science, technology,
engineering, mathematics and economic performance. Sloan's program in
Digital Information Technology/Universal Access to Knowledge aims to
increase access to human knowledge and the fruits of human culture in an
open, non-exclusive manner for the benefit of all. The program has supported
the Digital Public Library of America, the Library of Congress, the Internet
Archive, Lyrasis, and on-demand books to help achieve the goal of universal
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609, @jansonw
Re "The problem are those people who can't read." One of my concerns
is that in setting our target at the world population we inevitably
set ourselves up to fail - though I accept that arbitrary minimum
reading ages are of little use, and the youngest 10% of a population
can mean the under tens or the under 4s.
But I don't think we should be to concerned about literacy by 2050.
Someone is bound to have designed a proper speech based interface by
> Message: 8
> Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 13:14:21 +0200
> From: Thomas Goldammer <thogol(a)googlemail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] List of Wikimedia projects and languages
> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> 2011/7/11 emijrp <emijrp(a)gmail.com>:
>> @Thomas and @Andre: I know that it is very hard to mantain a Wikipedia in
>> 'remote' or 'almost extinct' languages, but, if we don't save as much as we
>> can of them (including words, grammar, culture, social values), how are we
>> going to offer 'all human knowledge' ?
> We offer this knowledge by having articles about the grammar, culture
> and social values of these languages, and by having wiktionary entries
> for the words of these languages. We do not need to have the human
> knowledge *in* these languages. It would be nice, but it's not
> necessary to reach the ultimate goal to offer all human knowledge.
>> How many people don't
>> understand any Wikipedia today?
> Of those who can read at all, probably much less than 1%. The problem
> are those people who can't read.
I want to know if there is a privacy concern on the Dutch Wikipedia.
The short story:
When you got blocked on the Dutch Wikipedia for socking you can remove the
block by sending a copy of your passport to a user thats trusted by the
community. After he checks your passport or all the passports involved if
you have a shared connection the block will be removed.
The user where you have to send it to isn't indentified by the foundation
and you have to send it by snailmail not to OTRS.
The foundations privacy policies does that allow this to happen?
If I might interject, it seems that the sole purpose of the snail mail
described is to link a physical person to a login name in such a way
that there is some accountability for one's actions that is acceptable
to the organization. Is it really necessary to copy an identity
document? Could a document with a notary seal accomplish much the same
purpose without the need for a copy (and thus avoid possible legal
issues arising from making such a copy)?
We had similar identity concerns when CAcert <http://www.cacert.org/>
became intercontinental - originally one had to go through a somewhat
complicated process with two notarys, etc. to gain certain trust levels,
but as the project grew and the founders began to travel all over the
world it became possible to meet in person with an "Assurer" and present
one's identity documents (which were NOT copied) and thus gain points
towards becoming a trusted person to the certification authority (ie.
able to generate server keys chained to the CAcert organization's root
On 7/9/2011 4:45 AM, foundation-l-request(a)lists.wikimedia.org wrote:
> I do think it is absolutely a problem when people on a WMF-hosted wiki
> are using an unofficial mechanism to demand copies of people's
> Note that WMF does not allow local communities to do other things that
> if the local community is all for it.
> When passports are requested of people on the wiki, does the requester
> stress that this is not WMF-official, not covered by the privacy
> policy and there is no official oversight whatsoever of the mechanism?
> It looks to me like Huib has alerted us to a potentially disastrous
> privacy time bomb.
It's with great pleasure that I announce a longtime Wikipedian and
accomplished Wikimedia project supporter, Tilman Bayer (User:HaeB) has
agreed to join the Wikimedia Foundation in support of our movement
communications activities. Pending approval of the U.S. immigration
visa process, we intend to bring Tilman to San Francisco, full-time,
as Manager, Movement Communications in the coming months. Tilman will
augment Wikimedia's communications team (now at three!) and will
report to me.
Tilman will be known to many in the English Wikipedia community as
editor-in-chief of the Wikipedia Signpost, where over the past year
(after picking up the reigns from another current WMF staffer, Sage
Ross) he has led the publication’s dedicated crew of volunteers and
increased the depth and breadth of stories about Wikipedia, our
projects, and the movement as a whole. Tilman has also helped raise
the overall visibility of Signpost beyond the English Wikipedia,
building a significant social media presence (managing and bolstering
its Identi.ca and Twitter feeds), and generally increasing the reach
of the stories about Wikipedia to more editors and readers than ever.
Tilman has been active in both the German and English WP communities
since 2003 (he's been a checkuser on the German Wikipedia since 2006).
He holds degrees in mathematics from the University of Cambridge and
the University of Bonn.
At the Wikimedia Foundation Tilman will be working with all WMF staff,
and the community at large, to help us both build new movement
communications systems, and work with tech and the community
department to produce great specifications for user communication
oriented projects. We’re particularly interested in improving
feedback, discussion, and broadcast channels among and outside of the
projects (including social media, variations on mailing lists etc).
In short, we want to introduce more painless, relevant, and effective
ways to increase the exchange of information within the community -
including information you want to share with everyone, as well as the
stuff from WMF.
Tilman will be visible on the projects and IRC, and you will likely
start to see him posting to the mailing lists, blogs, and on-wiki.
He’s also currently in the process of working on succession for the
editorial leadership with the Signpost.
Please join me in welcoming Tilman!
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609, @jansonw