[Wikimedia-l] WMF Policy and Political Affiliations Guideline

Andreas Kolbe jayen466 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 4 02:00:17 UTC 2012

On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:12 PM, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:

> Why are there so many various levels and steps if it's not a determination
> about principles and about whether a particular cause meets Wikimedia's
> mission? This is what's confusing me.
> People on the talk page at Meta-Wiki have seemed to suggest that you would
> _want_ this type of policy to cover administrator actions as administrators
> are often unelected and hold lifetime appointments.
> It's completely possible that it's just me, but something still isn't
> adding
> up in my head when I consider this policy and what exactly it covers and
> does not cover.

I'd suggest what you're struggling with may be the impression that someone
very much *wants* Wikimedia or Wikipedia to lobby for political causes. I
wouldn't even be surprised if the idea that Wikimedia should have a
community advocacy department was suggested by some of Wikimedia's partners
and sponsors.

Basically, Wikipedia has enough traffic to be a top-ten website. So if
Wikipedia says or does something, it's noticed by a heck of a lot of
people. The job of the Advocacy Advisory Group seems to be to make sure
that "the community" says the right thing.

Several of the six decision types listed on the proposed policy page, e.g.
"Collaborative Advocacy" (collaborating with another organization to take
action on a particular policy or political question) and "Limited Trademark
Endorsement" (permitting another organization to use the Wikimedia name and
trademark to promote a policy or political cause), require neither board
input nor wider community input, just consultation of the AAG.

As I said on the proposed policy's talk page, that Advocacy Advisory Group
is an odd thing. On the one hand, the proposed policy insists the AAG is a
community organ, implying it is not under the Foundation's control. On the
other hand, though, the proposed policy says the group is "managed by the
Legal and Community Advocacy Department", which is part of the Foundation.
So what does that mean? And who is in this group? Its name is hyperlinked
to yet another mailing list:

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