[Foundation-l] Board resolutions on controversial content and images of identifiable people

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Wed Jun 1 21:06:08 UTC 2011

On 1 June 2011 21:35, Nathan <nawrich at gmail.com> wrote:
> Forgive me if I find these resolutions rather toothless; this is
> another in a string of board resolutions that simply "urge the
> projects." I'd love to understand what the Board thinks such
> resolutions will accomplish. I understand there are legal constraints
> on the ability of the Foundation to exercise control over content, but
> these "urgings" are weakly stated even compared to other Foundation
> content resolutions (c.f. the licensing policy).  Statements of
> principle are all well and good, but when community positions are
> firmly entrenched they are likely to have little impact. In the area
> of images of identifiable subjects, I suspect the WMF will need to be
> sued over a particularly vicious set of circumstances before
> substantial progress will be made, and that is disappointing.

I agree. This is a very disappointing conclusion to a very long and
expensive process. The only real resolution was to create a software
feature that was proposed many times before the formal process started
and had quite wide support too, so could have just been implemented.

The reason we needed this complex process is because the community was
unable to sort the problem out on its own. A few urgings aren't going
to make any difference. Those kind of urgings only work when they come
from an individual or group with a lot of trust and respect that
people think probably knows better than them. I'm sorry to say that
the WMF board is not such a group (although that's mostly because the
community largely doesn't know anything about them, rather than
because they've done anything wrong).

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