Wow, Andreas. That's taking several major leaps of logic.  Sometimes a
cigar is just a cigar. Any reason why you brought these rather
extraordinary assumptions to this mailing list before Susanna had even had
a chance to respond to your question at her nomination page?


On 2 March 2016 at 18:15, Andreas Kolbe <> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 8:11 PM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <>
>  wrote:
> > Susanna is (or was) a researcher, and every researcher in Armenia is a
> > state employee. There are just no non-governmental organizations who
> employ
> > researchers.
> >
> > I do think there is a problem with a potential Armenian board member
> (that
> > is, Turkish and Azeri Wikimedians would basically consider board as not
> > legitimate), but I do not think the fact that she is or was employed by
> the
> > Academy of Sciences is in any way problematic.
> >
> > Cheers
> > Yaroslav
> Yaroslav,
> In and of itself, the fact that Susanna is a government employee doesn't
> worry me either. Present WMF board member Alice Wiegand is a government
> employee too, if you will (she works as an aide to the mayor of a small
> town in Germany, according to her write-up on the WMF website).
> The difference between Alice's situation and Susanna's is that the Armenian
> president turned up for the opening of the Wikimedia Armenia office in
> Yerevan.[1] The German president, in contrast, has probably never even
> heard of Alice. He certainly didn't attend when Wikimedia Germany was
> launched, nor did he have members of his cabinet tell the German public on
> national TV that it was their duty to edit the German Wikipedia.
> The Armenian Wikipedia initiative is a matter of direct and personal
> interest to the President and government ministers of Armenia, a country
> that suppresses political dissent. It is impossible to escape the
> conclusion that the initiative is directed by them. This will be crystal
> clear to anyone in Armenia who has watched the YouTube video:[2] the
> Armenian Wikipedia will be perceived as a project of the Armenian
> government.
> The chilling effect on opposition sympathisers and dissidents who might
> otherwise like to participate in an open encyclopedia project is monstrous.
> The likelihood that the Armenian Wikipedia will flourish under such
> circumstances and develop into a politically neutral reference work is nil.
> I don't know Susanna, and in fact until yesterday had never heard of her.
> She may well be a delightful and charming person with a genuine enthusiasm
> for open knowledge. There are after all many encyclopedic topics that have
> no political sensitivity or relevance at all. But she is clearly part of a
> government-sponsored effort to control the Armenian Wikipedia.
> Does it make sense to you that we cheer when Wikipedians stand up to the
> government in France, which is a fairly democratic and open country, and
> cheer equally when far more repressive regimes than that of France take
> such an intense interest in their national-language Wikipedia?
> What would you say if Putin started to endorse Wikimedia Russia and
> attended its events, and members of his cabinet told the public to edit
> Wikipedia as part of their civic duty?
> Andreas
> [1]
> [2]
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