[Wikimedia-l] Let's accept Bitcoin as a donation method

James Alexander jamesofur at gmail.com
Wed Dec 11 20:51:52 UTC 2013

On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 7:10 AM, David Levy <lifeisunfair at gmail.com> wrote:

> MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
> > It's funny, I just had a look at the wikimedia-l archive around January
> > 2012... you know, that time when Wikipedia literally shut itself down as
> a
> > political statement. The following month, the Wikimedia Foundation
> > established a "Community Advocacy" department, not to be confused with
> > lobbying, of which you're now a member.
> >
> > I can appreciate the many legitimate reasons to not accept Bitcoin and
> I'm
> > grateful for your candid thoughts on the matter, but the idea that you,
> of
> > all people, would try to claim that it might (gasp!) insert politics into
> > Wikipedia is simply disrespectful to history and reality.
> I interpreted James Alexander's statement to mean that it's "not our
> job" and "not our role" to make the particular political statement
> that Bitcoin's proponents seek.  This doesn't mean that it's *never*
> okay for us to engage in advocacy of a political nature, particularly
> in response to something potentially threatening a WMF project's very
> existence.  (Whether SOPA and PIPA actually posed a significant threat
> is debatable, but the action in question stemmed from the belief that
> they did.)
> David Levy

David is right,

I think the SOPA/PIPA decision was the correct one in the end but I very
highly respect those who did not/do not think it was. Even there I was
highly uncomfortable making a strong political statement, especially using
the project, and had to wrestle with myself a fair bit before I did it.
There is no doubt that we, as an organization and a community, are not
'neutral' in everything but I think we should avoid being political unless
we think it directly effects us and we have thought deeply about it. I have
no issue with the foundation and community advocating for internet
privacy/copyright laws etc for example but even those we need to be very
picky about. I do not think this arrises to that level yet.

On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM, Jake Orlowitz <jorlowitz at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't think we should 'make a statement' by accepting bitcoin, I think
> the currency is simply at the stage where it would be to our benefit to do
> so.
> Jake (Ocaasi)

Without getting into some of your other arguments at the moment because of
lack of time (through I don't agree with them all) I do think it's
impossible to avoid 'making a statement' here. Whenever we do something we
have to not only think about it from what 'we' are trying to make a
statement about but also how it will be viewed. I think it is guaranteed
that the commercial and non commercial community who has been pushing this
for 4+ years will see it as a huge win and approval for their methods and
that given their consistent strategies we will be used as a reason for many
others to sign on as well with our 'support' being paraded around.

If we're going to do it, we need to know it's going to be seen and used as
a statement  whether we want it to or not.


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