[Foundation-l] Blackout at Italian Wikipedia

Thomas Morton morton.thomas at googlemail.com
Tue Oct 4 20:25:30 UTC 2011

Lengthy and critical email on why this is a flabbergasting response...

At this time we now have a Wikipedia taking a political position, and indeed
political action. In essence they have made an operational decision and
abused their autonomy as a Wikipedia within the foundation.

Don't get me wrong, if the editing community want to strike and make noise
(say, a site notice) then I am 100% behind their right to do that. Removing
access to Wikipedia is a huge step beyond.

Our primary mission is to provide a knowledge service to the world; and they
have now removed that from Italians (in their native language).

And lets examine the reasons...

Sure, there is a legitimate base to their concerns. But have these questions
be answered:

- Have they had legal advice? From my semi-legal reading of the material
this is not something that will bite them, but that certainly needs to be

- Were the foundation informed before today? (and if not why has there been
no response??)

- Why was the wider community not informed till, basically, after the fact.
This is something we could definitely have helped with.

There is no indication that there is an extant threat to any editors of
Italian Wikipedia, or indeed any immediate risk. This is purely a protest
against an (admittedly silly) upcoming law. And as a protest it is
disappointing, against community ideals (of neutrality) and a potential PR
nightmare (once the mainstream media pick up it will be pitched as
"Wikipedia restricting access  to Italy in protest over new laws" - which is
a disastrous headline...

Abusing their situation having being trusted with autonomous control of a
large internet property is just disappointing.

Fight this; but do it right.

I have a further question; where the hell are the foundation? It has been
stony silence all afternoon on what is clearly an urgent situation. That,
also, is flabbergasting :S


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