I hope you had a lovely bank holiday weekend and are enjoying the lovely
weather (at least, it's lovely here in Scotland!)
I wanted to make sure that you have the date of Wikimedia UK’s next AGM in
your diaries, taking place online on Saturday 1st July from 10am to 12
noon. Please book your place via Eventbrite
The AGM will include reports from me, the Chair and the Treasurer, and is
an important opportunity to ask questions about the charity’s work. The AGM
is also when our annual trustee elections take place. This year we have one
vacancy for an elected trustee, and are keen to hear from members of the
Wikimedia community in the UK who would be interested in joining the Board.
The process for standing for election is detailed here
<https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Board/Becoming_a_trustee> and the deadline
is Friday 16th June. Please feel free to reach out to me if you’re thinking
of standing, particularly if you have questions about the process or the
role of the Wikimedia UK board.
Remember that to stand for the election, or indeed to vote at the AGM, you
need to be a current member. All members should have received an email
about the AGM on Friday so if you didn’t receive one and think you should
have done, please email katie.crampton(a)wikimedia.org.uk. You can apply for
or renew your membership here <https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Membership>.
It only takes a few minutes and costs £5 a year.
Members can also propose resolutions for consideration at the AGM. A
resolution could be about a change to Wikimedia UK’s governing document
(our Articles of Association
<https://wikimedia.org.uk/wiki/Articles_of_Association>) or a change to our
policies. If you want to propose a resolution please email us at
info(a)wikimedia.org.uk by this Friday 2nd June. You can either propose the
suggested text of the resolution yourself, or we can work with you to draft
If you have any general questions about the AGM, please contact Chuks
Ogbonna, copied in.
Lucy Crompton-Reid (she/her)
Hello, hive mind - with all this talk of whether our projects (even
Wiktionary!) should be caught by the UK OSB, I was hoping to crowdsource an
answer to the question: who else might be unfortunate bycatch for this
ill-scoped "online safety" law?
I'll set out the key definition below, and hopefully you'll have some
ideas. I'll start the ball rolling with *OpenStreetMap* and *FixMyStreet*
For context: we're hoping to build support for an additional exemption for
services *"provided for the purpose of indexing, manipulation, discussion
and/or making available of content in the public interest, including but
not limited to historical, academic, artistic, educational, encyclopaedic,
journalistic, and/or statistical content"*. It'd be helpful to have other
examples of good projects that would benefit from being spared the OSB's
requirements, not least all the red tape that it requires!
*Scope of the OSB **(ignoring parts dedicated to porn sites - and glossing
over a couple of smaller details, such as how combination services are
a. Applies to any “User-to-user service” and “search service” that "has
links with the UK" (e.g. UK users) and isn't exempt.
b. A U2U service "means an internet service by means of which content that
is generated directly on the service by a user of the service, or uploaded
to or shared on the service by a user of the service, may be encountered by
another user, or other users, of the service (...) it does not matter if
content is actually shared with another user or users as long as a service
has a functionality that allows such sharing". It also "does not matter
what proportion of content on a service is" UGC.
c. A search service is "an internet service that is, or includes, a search
engine", that is run by the provider of that site (rather than just
embedding Google Search into your own), but "does not include a service
which enables a person to search just one website or database."
*Exemptions are set out in Schedule 1. These include:*
1. Services where the UGC is limited to
- emails, or SMS/MMS;
- one-to-one live aural communications;
- comments or reviews relating to the provider's own content;
- sharing of such comments or reviews (about a provider's own content)
on a different internet service;
- services limiting user expression to like/dislikes buttons, emojis,
yes/no voting, or rating/scoring;
(but the exemptions above do NOT apply if regulated provider pornographic
content is published or displayed on the service)
"Provider content" is "content published on a service by the provider of
the service or by a person acting on behalf of the provider (including
where the publication of the content is effected or controlled by means of
software or an automated tool or algorithm applied by the provider or by a
person acting on behalf of the provider)."
So that would include, say, guest posters on your own blog, or columnists
on the Daily Mail website, but is unlikely to include WMF projects (since
contributors aren't acting "on behalf of" WMF).
2. Intranets and search engines that are run internally by *businesses.*
3. Services provided by UK public bodies or foreign sovereign powers
(except for childcare services, which have their own narrower exemption).
4. Certain UK-regulated (e.g. Ofsted-regulated) education/childcare
Thanks in advance!
*Phil Bradley-Schmieg* (he/him)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
NOTICE: *This message might have confidential or legally privileged
information in it. If you have received this message by accident, please
delete it and let us know about the mistake. As an attorney for the
Wikimedia Foundation, for legal/ethical reasons I cannot give legal advice
to, or serve as a lawyer for, community members, volunteers, or staff
members in their personal capacity. For more on what this means, please see
our **legal disclaimer*
As I know many of you will be aware, the long heralded Online Safety Bill
<https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3137> is now making its way through
Parliament and is currently at the Committee stage in the House of Lords.
The Bill will establish a new regulatory framework for online services,
with Ofcom becoming the regulator. As it currently stands, the requirements
of the Bill in terms of content moderation, age gating and user
verification are incompatible with Wikipedia’s model, and the Wikimedia
Foundation has stated that they will not be age gating the platform.
Wikimedia UK has been highlighting concerns about the proposed new
legislation since the Online Harms White Paper, published four years ago.
We have responded to various consultations, run by Ofcom as well as the
government, and met with staff from both. One of the key issues highlighted
by Wikimedia UK and the Wikimedia Foundation - as well as many
organisations in the civil society sector - was the requirement to remove
content that was “legal but harmful”. This was fortunately dropped from the
Bill as it moved through the House of Commons at the end of last year.
However, there remains much cause for concern.
Working closely with the Wikimedia Foundation, I have been in touch with a
number of peers (members of the House of Lords) over the past few months to
highlight the unintended consequences of the proposed legislation on
Wikimedia, and to advocate for changes to the Bill to protect our movement
and safeguard open knowledge. The Lord Moylan has tabled a series of
amendments on our behalf which address some of these issues, including a
proposed exemption for small, community moderated and/or public benefit
websites that are currently within the scope of the Bill. It’s likely that
these amendments will be debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday or
Thursday next week. Today, I will be sending a written briefing (attached
for your information) urging support for these amendments to a target list
of peers, and Jimmy will be giving an in person briefing at Parliament on
We are envisaging further advocacy activities before and during the Report
Stage in the House of Lords, which is when amendments that have made it to
that point will be voted on. If you are interested in supporting these
advocacy efforts, please let me know.
Lucy Crompton-Reid (she/her)
As some of you will have heard by now, Jo Pugh sadly died of cancer last
week. For those of you who never came across Jo, he was Digital Development
Manager at the National Archives and a passionate historian who really
understood the value of Wikimedia in enabling people to access knowledge
and information. Even during his illness Jo continued to organise Wikimedia
related events, such as last summer's Medieval Wikidata Hackathon.
If you knew Jo, I'm sure his family would appreciate your comments and
condolences on Twitter <https://twitter.com/mentionthewar>.
Lucy Crompton-Reid (she/her)