[Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Thu Jul 12 18:29:12 UTC 2012

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 7:34 PM, Nathan <nawrich at gmail.com> wrote:
> Is there a "service provider" exemption for entities like Wikimedia in
> Russia? Is it possible that making the Russian Wikipedia inaccessible for a
> period in order to protest a Russian law might be considered political
> activism in Russia? I don't believe the WMF itself has any assets in
> Russia, but it seems like that wouldn't prevent the Russian authorities
> from taking steps against the Foundation if the Russian Wikipedia community
> decides to take steps like this again.

Like in SOPA/PIPA and ACTA cases, objecting to the law is socially too
wide to be considered as political activism in narrow sense. Yandex,
Russian biggest search engine, is among those opposing the law.

> What about other countries? If the Arabic Wikipedia decides to protest laws
> in Saudi Arabia or Egypt, or the Chinese Wikipedia against the PRC, etc.,
> has anyone at the Foundation evaluated if there are any risks involved or
> potential repercussions?

In one email from this thread similar attitude was applied to the
hypothetical decision "Russian Wikipedia for Russians".

In short, the attitude is false excuse for vanguardism.

The first case has been based on the fact that Wikipedians from Russia
would like to articulate Wikipedia block for Russia and that they have
no means to do that, except to block Russian Wikipedia for the whole
world (which should be done by WMF).

Anyway, I don't think that anything of the written would happen:
* Every big Wikipedian community has enough collective responsibility
not to act ethnocentrically. Thus, it's false premise that something
like that would pass on Russian Wikipedia.
* Wikipedia is far from being important in China. Thus, going on
strike there wouldn't be productive. And Chinese Wikipedians know
* Arabic Wikipedians come from many [Arabic] countries and there
should be something *really* heavy to see them united in desire to

Quite opposite, the threats of SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, Italian and Russian
laws are by far more visible than anything mentioned above.

The logic is similar to building bulwarks in a desert because sea
level will raise in few hundreds of years. If you live there, you need
water now.

More realistically, *if* something like that happens, please think and
act if necessary. The fact that the distance between Washington DC and
Rome is smaller than distance between Washington DC and Moscow doesn't
mean that Wikipedia strikes will finish in Pyongyang.

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