I believe there are two separate issues here:
1. Should Wikipedia have maps or any content that is not liked by
Govt. of X country or the people of Y country?
2. Should individual Indian Wikipedians or the WM India chapter be
held responsible for any content on Wikipedia?
The first one is straightforward ... to preserve WP:N, wikipedia
should NOT cater to the viewpoints of any particular govt. (Note that,
the maps in question actually are WP:N in the sense that they show the
status quo as well as the territorial claims of different nations.)
The second question is complex, and perhaps WM India officials should
clarify this in media as well as with govt ... the chapter and
Wikipedia are separate, and the chapter does not dictate nor is
responsible for any wikipedia content. I believe that German wikipedia
has a similar issue regarding the display of some nazi symbols (which
is illegal in Germany). It may be useful to see what they did to
Finally, "forcing Wikipedia" to conform to a particular Govt. or
national viewpoint just because the foundation has an office in that
country, is an affront to Wikipedia's core principle: WP:N.
On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM, BalaSundaraRaman
I agree that this is a very serious issue. We should contact the
foundation's legal counsel for suitable action as the foundation typically
handles content-issues, particularly ones that involve a question of
legality. Chapters shouldn't be mistaken as being responsible for the
content on wikipedia (you'd know this already, but writing this in general).
"That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium for
the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture
From: Arun Ganesh <arun.planemad(a)gmail.com>
To: Wikimedia India list <wikimediaindia-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org>
Sent: Tue, February 15, 2011 2:57:13 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] India map and indian laws
As someone who created many of the Indian maps on wikipedia, this is a
serious issue which needs a decision as it has been in the gray for quite a
while. I have stopped my contribution of Indian maps ever since i realized
that my work could have legal repercussions. For now, all the maps come with
an explanation of the depiction of the borders and a disclaimer that it may
not conform to local laws.
This is an issue which requires someone with sound legal knowledge to solve,
something for the chapter to take up. Let us not forget that we are creating
a repository of knowledge, if wikipedia ever hid the truth for the sake of
being politically correct, the whole project is pointless.
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