Hi Victor,
thanks for your e-mail, I does indeed provide a lot of valuable background information!

I'm being told that the technical limitations I mentioned in my opening e-mail are somehow related to Squid and Varnish (the caching software we use) and our infrastructure being unable to serve videos at this scale.

However, as you correctly write, that banner only served those millions of our viewers a cached image that was uploaded to donate.wm.org (so it was cached the usual way) and /only/ if they had clicked the play button were they served the full video. I'm no specialist when it comes to server loads, but if YouTube does not lie to me, that particular video was viewed only 78,000 times, which does not seem that much.

The solution that was used was indeed inelegant and contrary to our free culture (not the open source crap) values; effectively, people were directed to use a proprietary service which (1) infringes their privacy, (2) does not even allow to correctly licence the video. (I wonder if the author of the remix is aware that their work should be released under CC-BY-SA.)

I can't speak about others, but I block fundraising banners by default and did not see that until Steven W. mentioned it to me at the 2013/14 WMF budget discussion page on Meta.

Providing links to websites that hurt our readers' and users' privacy directly from banners which are visible to tens of millions of them /is an evil thing/ and cannot be compared to including links inside Wikipedia articles; the scales just don't match. This includes linking to websites that use Google Analytics to track their visits as well as websites such as YouTube which use different techniques to achieve this goal (and perhaps some others as well).

Giving users a very visible 'play' button and adding a short sentence about privacy is not that far from that; nobody's going to read it, and even if they do, they might not be exactly aware of what those long documents written in complicated legalese mean.

I believe that in addition to the two options you mentioned, there is also a third way: not to include any videos unless we are capable of using our own resources, ie. serving people content governed by our own privacy policy and served by our own machines.

(I see that Philippe sent another e-mail in the meantime; let me just mention that /not/ autoplaying videos on page load is no achievement; /playing/ them, on the other hand, is a good reason for painful death and reincarnation as a demon. Also, uploading videos to Commons without actually using them and preferring a proprietary service is in no way better.)


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