[Foundation-l] Right to Vanish

Matthew Britton matthew.britton at btinternet.com
Sun Dec 30 14:00:39 UTC 2007

NavouWiki wrote:
> Can it be clarified as to the status of the Right to Vanish on WMF and local
> projects.  Is this a right given by WMF in goodwill?
> Related link
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Right_to_vanish
> Thank you,
> Mercury

In short, no, and please ignore everything on that page.

"Right to vanish" is a term that predates the Wikimedia projects. That 
Meta page originates from 
http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?RightToVanish -- read that, first, 
if you have not already done so. It's not a "right" in the sense that 
you appear to think it is.

Asking if has been "given by the Wikimedia Foundation" is to me a 
meaningless question. If someone decides to leave a project the issue of 
what, if anything, happens is entirely an internal matter for that 
project. There should be no need nor desire for the Foundation to get 
involved, and for it to do so would seem to me to be exactly the sort of 
interference with individual projects that they aren't meant to do.

All that official-sounding garbage on the Meta page has just been added 
over time; most of it is complete nonsense, and should be ignored. The 
sentence "the Right to Vanish is made available by goodwill of the 
Foundation" is utter rubbish, and whoever added it had no idea what they 
were talking about. The rest of the information on that page is dubious 
at best. For example, point 2 under "Alternative measures" has led to 
blocks on the English Wikipedia on the rare occasions that someone has 
been foolish enough to actually try it.


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