I'd like to talk beyond this particular instance or these particular
I'd like to talk about culture. We've created a culture that is hard on
people, somewhat punishing of them. We engage in a good deal of public
We need to find a way to turn our culture toward more generative and
constructive forms of public discourse. If we fail, smart, good, healthy
Wikimedians will go away and not add their knowledge to our projects.
It’s not even about whose at fault anymore, because we all are. When I talk
to people across the movement, they're all pretty clear that someone other
than themselves is the responsible party:
- “It’s the dysfunctional board.”
- “No, no. it’s the “toxic communities”.
- “Of course not, its the obtuse staff”.
First, this is not healthy and it is not true. We have smart, brilliant,
competent people throughout our movement. I’ve met brilliant, generative,
empathic community members who have performed a deep service by adding
their knowledge. I’ve met brilliant staff members that are advancing ideas
that can have tremendously positive impacts on our projects. I’ve met
brilliant board members who are thinking about the future in a very serious
Second, it does us no good to shift the blame around and work against each
other. We have to find ways to support each other in solving problems
because we have a lot of important problems to solve together.
We face so many challenges, not least of which is a world that seems to
think that closed societies and ignorance and divisions are better than
open societies, coursing with knowledge and constructive unity. Of the many
challenges we face together: being collectively diminishing of one another
and divisive should not be one of them.
Sorry, I just can’t keep quiet <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_DvGP6Y4jQ> on
this any more.
On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 10:39 AM, James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Does anyone doubt that the English Wikipedia's longstanding,
> pervasive, counter-factual, systemic bias towards supply side
> trickle-down austerity libertarian objectivist economics due at least
> in part to early influence of editors attracted to Jimmy Wales' former
> public positions isn't at least partially responsible for the
> situation Romaine describes below?
> Would it be better to move the Foundation out of the U.S., fix the
> bias, or both?
> Jim Salsman
> ---- forwarded message ----
> Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2017 04:33:53 +0100
> From: Romaine Wiki <romaine.w...@gmail.com>
> To: Wikimedia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Concerns in general
> Today I was reading in the (international) news about websites with
> knowledge on the topic of climate change disappear from the internet as
> result of the Trump administration. The second thing I read is that before
> something can be published about this topic, the government needs to
> approve this.
> Do you realise what the right word for this is? censorship.
> Even if it is only partially.
> Luckily there are many scientists working on getting all the data abroad,
> out of the US to ensure the research data is saved, including on servers in
> the Netherlands where Trump (hopefully) has no reach.
> In the past week I was reading about the Internet Archive organisation, who
> is making a back up in Canada because of the Trump administration. I did
> not understood this, you may call me naive, but now I do understand,
> apparently they have some visionary people at the Internet Archive.
> I miss a good answer to this situation from the Wikimedia Foundation.
> Trump is now promoting harassment and disrespect, already for some time,
> What signal is given to the rest of the world if an America based
> organisation is spreading the thought of a harassment free Wikipedia and
> the free word, while the president of the US is promoting harassment,
> disrespect and censorship on a massive scale.
> This is just the first week of this president!
> I am 100% sure everyone in the Wikimedia movement is willing to make sure
> Wikimedia faces no damage whatsoever, including in WMF, but to me this
> still starts to get concerning.
> If we as Wikimedia movement think that free knowledge, free speech, freedom
> of information, etc are important, I would think that the location where
> the organisation is based is that country where liberty is the largest, I
> do not know where this is but it is definitely not the US.
> To my impression WMF is stuck in the US, so I do not believe they would
> actually move when the danger grows.
> But I think it is possible to make sure risks are spread over the world.
> Certainly as we are an international movement that intends to cover the
> knowledge of the whole humanoid civilisation.
> To come to a conclusion, I think WMF and the Wikimedia movement should
> think about a back-up plan if it actually goes wrong.
> If you do not agree with me: that is perfectly fine, that's your right and
> should be protected.
> Thank you.
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"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it." - Margaret
Director of Culture
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