On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 2:07 PM, Andreas Kolbe <jayen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 8:48 PM, Todd Allen <toddmal...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Perhaps the next time someone brings up the "WMF should accept ads!"
>> bit, we can point back to this thread to explain why when we respond
>> "That would be the end of neutrality," we are not exaggerating.
> I've always been against ads, but as far as I am concerned, the illusion of
> an NPOV project ended with the SOPA strike, and Jimbo's current exploits
> around O'Dwyer (who I agree should not be extradited, but doh, that is not
> the point ...) just underscore that.

I've never understood why that was considered non-neutral. WMF, as an
entity, can have viewpoints, especially as relates to the organization
itself. The WMF, for example, is not neutral on the question of
whether or not people should make donations to the WMF, and utilizes
the project (through banners) to that end. However, they do not go put
into the article [[Wikimedia Foundation]] a line that says "Donating
to WMF is great, go do it!" Similarly, we never once advocated
abandoning neutrality on the [[SOPA]] article.

Similarly, Jimbo is allowed to say whatever the hell he wants on
behalf of whoever the hell he wants, just like any of us would be.
Being associated with Wikimedia doesn't mean he must personally remain
neutral on things, that's only required of him when he edits.

> That's how the press see it, too -- even the supportive press -- referring
> to "political interventions", and "setting the vaunted principle of
> neutrality aside":
> ---o0o---
> Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has made a rare *political intervention* to
> call on Theresa May to stop the extradition of British student Richard
> O'Dwyer to the US for alleged copyright offences.

NPOV does not and has never stated "Wikipedia contributors should be
neutral on everything at all times, whether on or off wiki." It
prohibits editors from editorializing in articles, but it's new to me
that it prohibits them from editing in the editorial section of the
newspaper. Jimmy has every right to contribute his opinion to a
political debate in an appropriate forum, and that's an appropriate

> Wales was at the forefront of the campaign against the Sopa and Pipa bills
> aimed at enforcing online copyright more vigorously, which many warned
> would threaten sites at the core of the internet: Google, Wikipedia and
> others. With other senior editors, Wales *set aside for the first time
> Wikipedia's vaunted principle of neutrality*, blacking out the online
> encyclopedia for a day as a warning of the consequences of too-strict
> copyright enforcement.

Poor journalism once again. NPOV never states that WMF must remain
neutral, or as above, the fundraising banners would've violated that
long ago, so nothing needed to be "set aside". It says -articles- must
remain neutral. Articles, not something else.

> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/24/wikipedia-founder-richard-odwyer-extradition-stopped?newsfeed=true
> ---o0o---
> Besides, the ones putting pressure on TV Tropes, and who made them take the
> pages down, are Google.
> That is the same Google who are a major financial contributor to Wikimedia.

True. But if Google told WMF "Change Foo and Bar or we'll pull our
donations," WMF would go straight to the media, get in triple what
Google contributes from sympathy/outrage donations, and Google would
be pilloried. And Google's not dumb--they know that. They also know
that Wikipedia significantly enhances their search results, and that
their donations to WMF are getting them a very good thing for very
little investment. The chances are very slim they'd jeopardize that.

It's unfortunate that TVTropes didn't do the same thing. I imagine, if
that hit the tech press, they would've found themselves getting a very
significant amount of support (both financial and moral), and again,
Google would've gotten pilloried and had to back off. But not taking
ads means we don't have to be dependent on the whims of advertisers,
or an ad provider.

Freedom is the right to say that 2+2=4. From this all else follows.

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