[Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

Anthony wikimail at inbox.org
Thu Jul 12 13:38:46 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 3:47 AM, Mike Godwin <mnemonic at gmail.com> wrote:
> Anthony writes:
> "I wonder if the WMF will shut down in protest should one of the
> proposals to amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United gain
> traction in Congress."
> I'm not speaking for WMF, but I don't see the connection here.

The connection is free speech.

> Wikimedia Foundation, as a corporation, is profoundly regulated in
> what it can and cannot do politically

What regulations are you referring to?  Corporations can't *deduct*
certain political expenditures.  But what are the profound regulations
on what it can do politically?

> and is even more regulated by
> virtue of its being a nonprofit corporation (NGO).

More specifically, by its being a 501(C)(3).  I'm not aware of any
regulation imposed by simply being a nonprofit corporation.  And even
other 501(C) corporations, such as 501(C)(4) corporations (like
Citizens United) are fairly unrestricted.

Furthermore, 501(C)(3) is a tax status.  The government isn't saying
that WMF can't be political.  It just isn't allowed certain tax
privileges if it does so more than a certain amount.  And in some
cases it is penalized if it takes the tax advantages first and then
does the actions later.

> There's no Citizens
> United connection with regard to anything being discussed here.

WMF is engaging in lobbying, a form of political speech.  In the
Citizens United decision, "the Court held that the First Amendment
prohibited the government from restricting independent political
expenditures by corporations and unions".

The connection is quite obvious.

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