On 28 December 2015 at 11:22, Jane Darnell <jane...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Anyone can exploit the content on WMF for their needs. What I mean by "it
> works" is that you can't fool people when you try to change Wikipedia to
> fit government policy. We can easily identify problematic edits. Never
> underestimate the diaspora of any country. Wikimedia is always bigger than
> any one government will ever estimate.

Well, yes, anyone can exploit the content of WMF projects; we don't usually
give them kudos for doing so, though.  And you most certainly CAN fool
people when you change Wikipedia to change government policy, if the
government overwhelms a small "traditional" Wikipedia community with
bribes, threats to well-being and good old fashioned paid editing.  The
Wikipedia brand is perceived to be independent from such influences; that
it isn't in this case (and who knows how many other cases) cannot be
perceived by readers who do not have any alternative resources.

Small communities with less than 50 active editors can be pretty easily
swamped; a university class adding valuable, well sourced and researched
content may have a positive effect, just as focused addition of heavily
biased material by "editing for reward" (rewards including payment, gifts,
or simply not being incarcerated) can turn a Wikipedia into a platform for
third parties.    This particular project was an easy target, and there are
many others that could similarly be overwhelmed.  We need to recognize that
most of the world does not live under the conditions that encourage or even
permit the development of freely available information. As a global
community we need to stop pretending that the example of Kazakh Wikipedia
is not a major and significant bellwether that requires very serious review
of how we encourage and  develop projects centered in countries with
repressive regimes.  Many of these regions are areas with significant
potential for growth of our content - the major focus of the mission of the
Wikimedia Foundation.  Figuring out how to grow these projects within the
founding principles is not just important, it's necessary.

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