My opinions as a US-American, member of multiple marginalized groups
(queer/black/trans), and "social justice warrior" (though I prefer
"mage", being a pacifist):
- Having a truly "neutral point of view" when it comes to anything
regarding Donald Trump is not really possible.
- I support and applaud Katherine Maher's statement on the WMF blog.
- Independent of the above, I don't think this mailing list should be
open to just any and all discussion of politics, regardless of
viewpoint. What is and isn't appropriate to post is a delicate judgment
call that the moderators will have to make.
- Pax aka Funcrunch
On 2/2/17 5:26 PM, Amir Ladsgroup wrote:
Here is my two cents:
Most of criticism I saw boils down to these ones:
- It's politics and we should not make political statements: It's not just
political anymore, it's a humanitarian crisis. Handcuffing a five-year-old
boy in airport because of the country he was born is inhumane. Let's not
forget Holocaust was made by a democratic regime and it was completely
- There are worse things going on in other regimes: Yes, we have ISIS,
mullahs in Iran, etc. but look at the impact. This ban caused hate crimes
against Muslims all over the world. Terrorist attacks in Canada, setting
fire mosques in Texas are all because of this simple ban. if humans stay
silent, worse things happen to them. Let's learn from history.
- People have different opinions, let's respect that: Yes, but Wikimedia
movement has core values such as inclusiveness and we need to stand for
those values when they are under threat. I take the gay rights example. If
someone makes a homophobic comment, they should be banned (per WP:NPA). So
if someone is as homophic AF and they want to be a part of the movement,
they need to park it at the door when they edit because inclusiveness is a
core value. One other core value is simply "Knowledge knows no boundaries"
and we need to stand for that, political or not.
- People in WMF voted for Trump: If that's true, which I don't know
because anyone from WMF I know were publicly against Trump, It's very
saddening to see someone who works for WMF votes for someone who
practically opposed everything Wikimedia movement stands for. But It's a
personal matter outside the scope of this discussion. WMF can take a stand
when it's related to its values. Like what happened with SOPA and it is
possible that some employees were for SOPA but it was not the reason not to
take the stand. It's the same today as well.
May FSM bless you, Ramen.
On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 4:11 AM Gnangarra <gnanga...@gmail.com> wrote:
The WMF has an obligation to respond to any changes where its based that
impact on the movement or potentially impact on the movement, and that
includes staff members or operational activities under taken.
It cant respond to such changes without taking a POV regardless of the
situation its not about the under lying politics.
On 3 February 2017 at 08:26, Natacha Rault <n.ra...@me.com> wrote:
Had the WMF statement been issued on Wikipedia, now that would have
neutrality issues from a wikioedian point of view.
The WMF is not Wikipedia, and does have a political activity: being in
favour of sharing free knowledge is altogether a political statement, as
freedom of sharing knowledge is not something which is accepted by all
political regimes (please remember the globality of the movement, this is
not just an american issue, it is a planetary one). One only needs to
about the influence of Diderot and the encyclopedists in the French
revolution to understand that an encyclopedia, albeit seemingly neutral,
has very concrete political influences in major political regime changes.
That the WMF which relies on the free movement of people and ideas to
fulfil its mission should be worried and issue a statement is quite
- not to say courageous. After all there is a notion called "freedom of
A foundation has actually no obligation to be fully transparent, and WMF
is making notable efforts in a context where advertising, non disclosed
paid editing and lobbying are representing (in my opinion) a much greater
threat to neutrality than a public statement on this particular matter.
I am personnallly pretty impressed from across the ocean: in the 30s had
some leaders shown more courage maybe Hitler would not have been able to
start a genocide.
This not only political, this is common sense, and living in Switzerland
might influence a very pragmatic and down to the roots approach.
We are watching from over the ocean, as europeans these refugee bans
remind us of very dark memories.
Katherine Maher did a statement and so what? That does not prevent
wikipedians from editing, and confronting opinions to approach NPOV
(actually there is no achieved NPOV on Wikipedia in what concerns the
gender biases as far as I see it)
Bravo Katherine this is what I say, Sandberg has not even uttered a
Neutrality should not mean surrending to the powerful by remaining
Nattes à chat / Natacha
Le 3 févr. 2017 à 00:05, Leigh Thelmadatter <osama...@hotmail.com> a
I voiced my opposition to the statement on Facebook but Yair states the
case far more eloquently. Many acts by many countries could be a possible
threat to Wikimedia, where do we draw the line?
Why was there no community discussion prior to the statement?
Sent from my iPhone
On 02/02/2017, at 3:37 p.m., Yair Rand <yyairr...@gmail.com> wrote:
The Wikimedia movement is both global and very ideologically diverse,
has many contributors who have strong opinions in one direction or
on certain political issues facing their area of the world. Many of
contributors find it difficult to avoid using Wikimedia forums and
institutions to discuss or advocate for issues they feel very strongly
about. Recently, political advocacy on Wikimedia forums has risen
substantially, especially on this mailing list.
While I sympathize with the difficulties these contributors face in
remaining silent, it is important to consider the substantial damage
actions can cause to the movement. We will be much worse off if half
given country's political spectrum can no longer cooperate in our
due to compunctions against supporting a community which hosts those
use the community to advocate for positions that some may find
unacceptable. The issue of inadvertently alienating participants
politics has a self-reinforcing element: As we lose contributors
representing ideological areas, we have fewer willing to advocate for
environment which allows them to participate without being bombarded
hostile political advocacy. We are precariously close to the point of
return on this, but I am optimistic that the situation is recoverable.
As an initial measure, I propose adding the names of a certain
top political leaders to this list's spam filter. More generally, I
stricter stance on avoiding political advocacy on Wikimedia projects
We face a somewhat more difficult situation with the Wikimedia
itself. Partly as a result of being relatively localized within a
geographic area and further limited to several professions, I suspect
Foundation tends to be more politically/ideologically homogeneous.
WMF, we risk much more than just alienating much of the world, we risk
How far we must go to maintain neutrality has been a contentious issue
the years. Existential threats have twice been responded to with major
community action, each with large prior discussion. (SOPA included an
extensive discussion and a poll with more than 500 respondents.) A
ED committed to firing everyone but part of the Ops team rather than
advertising, should lack of funds require it. (Whether to let the WMF
outright rather than accept ads is as of yet unresolved.) More
the WMF has taken limited actions and stances on public policy that
directly relate to the mission. A careful balance has been established
between maintaining essential neutrality and dealing with direct
Three days ago, the WMF put out a statement on the Wikimedia blog
explicitly urging a specific country to modify its refugee policy, an
that does not relate to our goals. There was no movement-wide prior
discussion, or any discussion at all as far as I can tell.
It is the responsibility of the Board at this point to set a policy to
place firm restrictions on which areas the WMF can take positions.
value the important contributions of the staff, they should not be
override our commitment to neutrality. Our donors, editors, and other
volunteers do not contribute so that resources and influence can be
towards whatever political causes are popular within the WMF.
It is the responsibility of the community to ensure that our projects
remain apolitical. A neutral point of view is impossible if
requires a certain political position.
It is the responsibility of the mailing list administration and
to act against this list's rapid slide into unreadability.
-- Yair Rand
Pax Ahimsa Gethen | http://funcrunch.org
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