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

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Aug 2 05:51:34 UTC 2012

There has been discussion about this in the past.

To second Philippe's comment:  A uniform process makes sense.  In practice,
most of the advocacy or policy positions of the WMF have for years taken
the form of amicus briefs.  And positions the WMF takes on behalf of
promoting, preserving, or collaborating on free knowledge fall under the
mandate of the LCA team (since this spring).

So we're starting from a position where that team has the most experience
and day-to-day concern with such positions.  And there is no t yet an
organized community body that tracks such things - despite the idea of an
advocacy advisory group.

I do think there are quite a lot of different staff with "approval" in the
current guideline.  Must it be so time-consuming?  And I would love to see
the foundation practice delegating some of this bureaucracy and
responsibility to non-staff groups.  We have no shortage of energy, talent,
and experience there in the community.


On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 12:32 AM, Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation <
pbeaudette at wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi MZ -
> I'm surprised by this, given that it clearly delineates that it doesn't
> impact community requests at all, and only applies to requests that come to
> the Foundation.  It seems logical that there be a uniform process for
> routing those internally and this is an attempt to transparently tell the
> community what that process is. The alternative is to have no policy for
> handling it and make it up every time.
> Regardless, if you have specific concerns, perhaps you could lay them out
> at the talk page and we can figure out if it makes sense to modify or
> adjust the policy in some way?
> PB
> -----------------------
> Philippe Beaudette
> Director, Community Advocacy
> Wikimedia Foundation, Inc
> Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
> -----Original Message-----
> From: MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com>
> Sender: wikimedia-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
> Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2012 00:13:47
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List<wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Reply-To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Fwd: WMF Policy and Political Affiliations
>  Guideline
> Geoff Brigham wrote:
> > 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/Foundati
> > on_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 ³rule of thumb² 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.
> This appears to be an unprecedented power-grab by the office of the General
> Counsel. Was there any Board or community support for placing so much power
> in an unelected and unaccountable lawyer?
> MZMcBride
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> Wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l

Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266

More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list