According to the recent Independent Auditors' Report of the WMF , at
some point prior to the end of June 2020, an entity called the "Wikimedia
Knowledge Equity Fund" was established, and $8.723 million was transferred
to it by the WMF, in the form of an unconditional grant. The Fund is
"managed and controlled by Tides Advocacy" (a 501(c)(4) advocacy nonprofit
previously led by the WMF's current General Counsel/Board Secretary, who
served as CEO, Board Secretary, and Treasurer there). Given that a Google
search for "Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund" yields zero results prior to
the release of the report, it is clear that the WMF kept this significant
move completely secret for over five months, perhaps over a year. The
Report FAQ additionally emphasizes that the WMF "has no right of return to
the grant funds provided, with the exception of unexpended funds."
The WMF unilaterally and secretly transferred nearly $9 million of movement
funds to an outside organization not recognized by the Affiliations
Committee. No mention of the grant was made in any Board resolutions or
minutes from the relevant time period. The amount was not mentioned in the
public annual plan, which set out rather less than this amount for the
entire grantmaking budget for the year. No application was made through any
of the various Wikimedia grants processes. No further information has been
provided on the administration of this new Fund, or on the text of the
I am appalled.
-- Yair Rand
As a consequence of the promotion of a Google forms based survey this
week by a WMF representative, a proposal on Wikimedia Commons has been
started to ban the promotion of surveys which rely on third party
sites like Google Forms.
Launched today, but already it appears likely that this proposal will
have a consensus to support. Considering that Commons is one of our
largest Wikimedia projects, there are potential repercussions of
banning the on-wiki promotion of surveys which use Google products or
other closed source third party products like SurveyMonkey.
Feedback is most welcome on the proposal discussion, or on this list
for handling impact, solutions, recommended alternatives that already
exist, or the future role of the WMF to support research and surveys
for the WMF and affiliates by using forking open source software and
self-hosting and self-managing data "locally".
BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Qiuwen) - NetBlocks, the internet freedom advocacy group,
says Wikipedia was blocked in Myanmar by the authorities.
NetBlocks confirms "all language editions of Wikipedia" were down in Myanmar
starting Thursday morning local time. In a tweet , Netblocks said, this is
"part of a widening post-coup internet censorship regime imposed by the
Netblocks provided additional information in a picture attached to the tweet,
suggests that they have tested the connectivity of Wikipedia in English and
French, Wikidata, and wikimedia.org, with none of them accessible. This may
intimate that it is highly that the Burmese authorities not only blocked "all
language editions of Wikipedia," but all Wikimedia projects, as a whole. The
picture also suggests that Wikipedia remains inaccessible across four different
internet service providers in Myanmar.
It is likely that the Burmese authorities are blocking Wikimedia projects
using the same tactic seen in China and some other countries, which is by
blocking the main IP address Wikipedia and its sister projects uses. All
Wikimedia projects share the same IP address, which makes it an easy target by
censors to implement a block.
Qiuwen noticed that starting from February 19th, there was a noticeable
increase of edits made from IP addresses that were likely to be used for VPNs
on Burmese Wikipedia, signaling locals may have to use VPNs to get onto
Wikipedia already. On Friday evening local time, an administrator posted a
message on the Village Pump of Burmese Wikipedia, explaining the use of "IP
block exemption," a special MediaWiki flag, similar to rollback and patrol,
allowing users with the flag to edit from VPNs. A similar banner was also set
up, visible on every page of Burmese Wikipedia. The "IP block exemption" flag
is widely issued to users of Chinese Wikipedia, and previously, users of
Turkish Wikipedia, who needed VPNs to access.
Internet blackouts are increasingly common in Myanmar and across the world.
The military shut down the internet before they attempted the coup on February
\1st, and the military authority has blocked or temporarily blocked Facebook
and other social media platforms starting February 3rd. Usages of VPNs
reportedly skyrocketed for locals eager to access blocked websites. NetBlocks
says the authorities have been implementing an "internet curfew," as the
internet shut down during the nights.
This also means Myanmar has joined an increasingly bigger club of countries
that had blocked Wikipedia. Its recent members include Iran, which blocked
Wikipedia for around 24 hours in March 2020, and Venezuela in January 2019.
In countries such as Iran, Internet blackouts also interfered with the
Wikimedia movement, such as Iran's week-long blackout in November 2019 had
delayed the Wikipedia Asian Month edit-a-thon. China, the "permanent member"
of the club, blocked Wikipedia since 2015. It is not clear whether or not the
block on Wikimedia projects will be lifted in the future, similar to what the
Iranian and Turkish authorities had done.
The Wikimedia Foundation has yet to comment on the block. Myanmar Wikimedia
Community User Group, the Wikimedia user group representing Myanmar, has also
yet to comment. Their Facebook page was last updated on January 16th, two
weeks before the military coup.
Qiuwen is a news service operated by the Wikimedians of Mainland China user group.
Follow us for the latest Wikimedia news in greater China.
CC BY-SA 4.0
Follow us on Telegram: https://t.me/Qiuwen
This is a reminder for the next open call for the Project Grants
focused on research
and software proposals started today i.e. February 15 with a submission
deadline of March 16, 2021. <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:Project>.
For this round, we invite you to propose grant applications that fall under
research and software categories. We offer the following resources to help
you plan your project and complete a grant proposal:
*Weekly proposals clinics via Hangouts during the Open Call. Join us for
real-time discussions with Program Officers and select thematic experts and
get live feedback about your Project Grants proposal. We’ll answer
questions and help you make your proposal better.<
*Video tutorials for writing a strong application:<
*General planning page for Project Grants:<
*Program guidelines and criteria:<
*Program officers are also available to offer individualized proposal
support upon request.
We are excited to see your grant ideas that will support our community and
make an impact on the future of Wikimedia projects. Put your idea into
motion, and submit your proposal by March 16, 2021! <
Please feel free to get in touch with questions about getting started with
your grant application. We have an open call ongoing for Project Grants
Committee - if you are interested in serving on the Committee, please apply
through this link<
are in particular need of software experts; research experts also are
welcome to apply for the role in the committee. Contact us at
projectgrants(a)wikimedia.org if you would like feedback or more information.
Junior Program Officer
Wikimedia Foundation Grants
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
I’m pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has unanimously approved
a Universal Code of Conduct for the Wikimedia projects and movement. A
Universal Code of Conduct was one of the final recommendations of the
Movement Strategy 2030 process - a multi-year, participatory community
effort to define the future of our movement. The final Universal Code of
Conduct seeks to address disparities in conduct policies across our
hundreds of projects and communities, by creating a binding minimum set of
standards for conduct on the Wikimedia projects that directly address many
of the challenges that contributors face.
The Board is deeply grateful to the communities who have grappled with
these challenging topics. Over the past six months, communities around the
world have participated in conversations and consultations to help build
this code collectively, including local discussions in 19 languages,
surveys, discussions on Meta, and policy drafting by a committee of
volunteers and staff. The document presented to us reflects a significant
investment of time and effort by many of you, and especially by the joint
staff/volunteer committee who created the base draft after reviewing input
collected from community outreach efforts. We also appreciate the
dedication of the Foundation, and its Trust & Safety policy team, in
getting us to this phase.
This was the first phase of our Universal Code of Conduct - from here, the
Trust & Safety team will begin consultations on how best to enforce this
code. In the coming weeks, they will follow-up with more instructions on
how you can participate in discussions around enforcing the new code. Over
the next few months, they will be facilitating consultation discussions in
many local languages, with our affiliates, and on Meta to support a new
volunteer/staff committee in drafting enforcement pathways. For more
information on the process, timeline, and how to participate in this next
phase, please review the Universal Code of Conduct page on Meta.
The Universal Code of Conduct represents an essential step towards our
vision of a world in which all people can participate in the sum of all
knowledge. Together, we have built something extraordinary. Today, we
celebrate this milestone in making our movement a safer space for
contribution for all.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees,
I am happy and proud to announce that the Wikimedia User Group Esperanto
and Free Knowledge (ELiSo) now has a full stack of functionaries. For years
we were working as an non-formal group, but after official incorporation at
the end of 2019, we came into formal organisational mode.
- Chair: Michal Matúšov (KuboF Hromoslav)
- Vice-Chair: Ivan Camilo Quintero Santacruz
- Board Member: Juan Sebastian Quintero Santacruz
- Chair of Audit Committee: Ziko van Dijk
- Michel Castelo Branco
- Yves Nevelsteen
As you can see, between the functionaries are several co-founders, former
Chairs and Vice-Chairs of another Wikimedia affiliations and even authors
of books about Wikipedia. Such expertise is very welcomed in our effort to
be recognized as a Wikimedia Thematic Organisation, and collective member
of the Universal Esperanto Association and World Esperanto Youth
Michal Matúšov / User:KuboF Hromoslav
Esperanto and Free Knowledge (WUG ELiSo) <https://esperanto.wiki/>
Hello dear readers of the list,
This week I have been very happy to discover the Meta page
It aims to census libre tools that are used by our community to
communicate, as opposed to channels using non-libre tools, hosted by the
I started to contribute with a classification, and took the party to
also add tools hosted by affiliated chapters. Please feel free to add
more libre tools that you are aware of. If you do so, try to group
different instances of the same tool or similar services together, and
specify the software name as well as the hosting organization name.
Hello. I have the pleasure to inform that last Friday, 19th February
2021, Wikimedia España was recognized as a charity (entidad de utilidad
pública) in Spain by the Ministry of the Interior and it was published
at the Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official State Gazette). This is a
recognition of the hard work the association has been doing last 10
years in Spain. To be recognized, it has been a long process, and we
were waiting for an answer for this application since the end of 2019. I
want to say thanks to all people who worked to achieve that.
Here you have a short entry in our website about that:
Here the text of the Boletín Oficial del Estado:
Santiago Navarro Sanz