[Foundation-l] Wikipedia Executive Director?

Michael Snow wikipedia at frontier.com
Fri Dec 10 00:01:58 UTC 2010

On 12/9/2010 3:28 PM, MZMcBride wrote:
> Calling Jimmy "Wikipedia founder" was already incredibly close to crossing
> the line. Calling Sue "Wikipedia Executive Director" clearly crosses the
> line. From reading your posts today, I believe you agree.
> While I didn't and wouldn't raise the issue of criminality here, the sleazy
> tactics are in the fundraising approach, not in the criticism.
Which line are you talking about here? Crediting Jimmy Wales as a 
founder of Wikipedia is indisputable. Yes, other people might wish to 
claim that title as well - based on previous discussions when I was on 
the Board of Trustees, I don't believe the Wikimedia Foundation takes 
any position on that, although obviously Jimmy on a personal level does 
- but none of those other claims can negate Jimmy's. As for referring to 
Sue as "Wikipedia Executive Director", I find it inaccurate and 
confusing, but I know enough about the staff and the fundraising process 
to expect that it was the result of well-meaning attempts at 
communicating concisely with a large audience unfamiliar with our 
organizational details. Assuming good faith, I think it crossed a line 
as far as accuracy goes, but being misguided or inartful hardly makes it 

And yes, it is sleazy and underhanded to insinuate things like criminal 
behavior about other people if you're not willing to commit outright to 
a set of facts to establish a charge or an accusation that can be 
defended against. By way of illustration, that is one of the reasons 
various advocates for a free press, free speech, and other civil 
libertarians are so outraged at some of the government and corporate 
tactics that have been used against Wikileaks in the past week or so.

--Michael Snow

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