[Foundation-l] Statement to the Associated Press

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Mon Mar 10 20:54:59 UTC 2008

On 3/10/08, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Facts do not lie. We cannot account for people's interpretations of
>  events, but if we have the facts laid out for all to see, we won't
>  need to rely on Jimmy's interpretation versus Mr. Merkey's
>  interpretation. We instead could all look at the information and make
>  up our minds for ourselves. People lie when it is in their best
>  interests to do so, so we need to take the people out of the loop and
>  provide the information to the people directly.

Andrew, an organization that has to treat every unsubstantiated
allegation seriously is an organization that is extremely vulnerable.
It can easily be sent into a tailspin, dedicating 80% of its time just
refuting statements that haven't been backed up in the first place --
and many people will still accuse it of bad faith, and play bait and
switch. So, you published that e-mail, but how about that phone
conversation the other day? And the private meeting?

If you start out by believing that there might be sinister goings-on
at WMF, no amount of transparency will convince you otherwise. If you
start out from a _neutral_ position, you must demand evidence for any
allegation made -- and distance yourself from a source if it
repeatedly fails to provide such evidence. That is only way an
organization and a community like ours can function, without being
vulnerable to destructive individuals.
Erik Möller
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation

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