[Foundation-l] Wikimania and the Muhammad pix

George Aki Nikolaidis george.nikolaidis at yale.edu
Sat Feb 23 22:18:54 UTC 2008

I second that,

It seems that there has been some confusion with the purpose of this  
panlist, which is to engender positive discussion and create change  
and policy to be implemented within wikimedia, not poke fun or joke  
about matters which are not only inappropriate, but hurtful and  
unfair.  This list was created for a set of specific reasons, and  
flooding the panlists inboxes with worthless ideas and prejudiced  
speech is not one of them.  Carefully construct your responses; this  
is not a blog, bring constructive comments that you can back up with  
more than hearsay. How are we supposed to induce positive change when  
so many ill-founded ideas and opinions are all circling around the  
same topics? Perhaps I'm being ignorant in my view for the wikimedia  
project or perhaps my ignorance just extends to the purpose of this  
list, but I thought that those qualified enough to post on the mailing  
list would at least offer more than what they've heard from a friend  
or read in an article or two.

On Feb 23, 2008, at 4:59 PM, Florence Devouard wrote:

> Okay.
> I think that Egypt bashing has been going on for a sufficient time  
> now,
> and I would like to strongly suggest to give it a break NOW.
> I feel deep embarassment for all of our Egyptians wikipedians.
> I also feel offended for comments such as "Egypt shares very little of
> the same values than we do". There is no such thing as an opposition
> between WE and Egypt. Wikipedia is not organized along national
> governmental lines. We are organized by linguistic lines, and all of  
> our
> participants share a common vision of "access to knowledge for all",
> common values of freedom, transparency, collaboration, neutrality,
> openness. That is what matters.
> It should not matter what the political advocacy of our governments  
> are.
> It should not matter where we come from. It should not matter  
> whether we
> are gays, or muslims, or newyorkers.
> If you really want to go on discussing such matters, please make the
> efforts to stay factual, and mostly, *practical*, and to make any
> efforts to avoid offending other wikipedians.
> Second point. Dan, the Foundation will host Wikimania in Egypt next
> summer. Period. Please stop pushing the idea that we could cancel,
> delay, move somewhere else. We will not.
> Yes, there may be some risks, just as there are risks in every place  
> we
> could have gone to. There are also fabulous opportunities, which will
> greatly outweight the risks.
> Let's face it. We are in a risky business. We are pushing the edges of
> collaboration. We are currently breaking the business models of famous
> and rich private companies. We are sometimes hosting diffaming  
> comments
> on world top leaders. We are provoking establishment. We are fighting
> huge lobbies. We are attracting weirdoes, losers, and various
> cyberstalkers. We are confronting censorship. We might even be victims
> of a fatwa in the future. There are risks in what we are doing, but we
> stay here because we think it is important and worth taking the risks.
> If you are afraid, just do not act. If you fear terrorism in Egypt,  
> just
> do not come. We'll meet in other places, at other times. There is
> nothing wrong in being afraid, but respect the fact others may have
> other fears and other priorities than you. There will be other
> wikimanias as well. There is a long future in front of you.
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