[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: WMF Policy and Political Affiliations Guideline

Tilman Bayer tbayer at wikimedia.org
Thu Aug 2 03:07:57 UTC 2012

Forwarding, as this doesn't yet seem to have made it through from the
Announce list (possibly because of the HTML content; but trying anyway. The
message can also be read at

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Geoff Brigham <gbrigham at wikimedia.org>
To: wikimediaannounce-l at lists.wikimedia.org
Cc: Geoff Brigham <gbrigham at wikimedia.org>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2012 12:34:05 -0700
Subject: WMF Policy and Political Affiliations Guideline
Hi all,

Since the SOPA blackout, we have had a number of requests come in for
public affiliations regarding policy and political issues. The Wikimedia
Foundation (WMF) is not a political organization, and many may argue
understandably that our role is to support great projects - not politics.
 That said, we recognize that there may be select times where such
affiliations should be considered, and, in those cases, we should have a
review process in place, especially where there is strong community
interest in an issue.

To make sure that the right parties, including the community, are involved
in the review process, we have created the Policy and Political
Affiliations Guideline<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_and_Community_Advocacy/Foundation_Policy_and_Political_Affiliations_Guideline>to
clarify when and how the WMF associates itself publicly on policy and
political issues.  This guideline is an internal “rule of thumb” covering
requests to and actions by the WMF - without restricting the independent
actions of the community. The guideline sets out a number of different
types of affiliations and examines when review is appropriate by the
community, WMF staff, and the Board of Trustees.

We are also establishing an open Advocacy Advisory Group to provide a
community venue to discuss political and legislative developments worldwide
that affect our mission, such as censorship laws and proposals that seek to
restrict a free and open Internet.

The new guideline incorporates consultation with the Advocacy Advisory
Group into the review process.  With the most important cases, WMF will
also seek a community Request for
Comments<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/RFC>(RfC) for consultation or

We encourage community members interested in political and policy issues to
join the Advocacy Advisory Group, and members should feel free to apply to
be moderators. You can join the advisory group here:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/advocacy_advisors .

If you have any comments, feel free to leave them on the talk page. You can
find the guideline at:



Geoff Brigham
General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation

Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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