Michael Snow writes:

> Perhaps worth adding, I think it's fair to say that these reviews did
> take place with respect to the use of Wikimedia Foundation resources in
> the context of the January SOPA protest. They didn't necessarily follow
> the form of the current policy, since it didn't exist yet, but Geoff was
> actively involved and I believe the staff was generally quite conscious
> of the limitations on what they should do in their official capacity.
> There's always room for honest disagreement about whether the protest
> was desirable or necessary, but just in terms of the process, I think
> things were entirely appropriately handled.

I agree with Michael Snow's take on all this.

> I agree that the community retains the authority to reach its own
> decisions about future actions of this type. I think the policy should
> be understood primarily as something the foundation will adhere to in
> its operations, not something that regulates the community's autonomy.

And I especially agree with this. One of the greatest strengths and
protections in the Wikimedia movement, both for the community and the
Foundation, is the community's autonomy. The community has the
autonomy to make decisions that may include certain kinds of political
action from time to time, and the Foundation is able to function
within its legal constraints because community members are not (for
the most part) agents or employees of the Foundation.

I think Geoff and his team are doing an excellent job at further
developing and strengthening appropriate legal protections for the
Foundation while preserving the community's ability to act
independently, including (what I hope will mostly be unnecessary) the
ability to act and speak out politically.


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