Before starting down the path of wording banners, let's decide if we want
them at all.

Almost every political issue can be tangentially related to Wikimedia
projects. The question needs to be if it's a major existential issue. SOPA
was such a thing, it was a direct threat to the core mission of Wikimedia.
In those cases, and in only those cases, should we consider injecting
ourselves into politics.

Otherwise, the entire point of Wikimedia is a neutral point of view. We
aren't here to inject ourselves into political debates, only to catalog
what happens in a strictly neutral fashion. And I'm saying that as someone
who largely agrees with the position being put forth here.

If people within Wikimedia want to involve themselves in politics, they
have every right to do that. On their own time and their own nickel, and
without speaking as a representative of the organization.

It is especially inappropriate that such an undertaking happened without
consulting project volunteers. Katherine presumed to speak for all of us,
without asking if we even wanted her to. That is totally unacceptable and
I'd like to see further discussion of that.


On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 12:23 PM, Bill Takatoshi <>

> On Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 11:11 AM, Pax Ahimsa Gethen
> <> wrote:
> >
> > 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
> Again, the Wikimedia-l list Charter says "potential new Wikimedia
> projects and initiatives" are on topic. While there is no mention in
> the Charter of political discussion. Presumably discussion of facts
> and opinions pertaining to proposed initiatives should be encouraged.
> More than ten proposals for new initiatives have been made in the past
> weeks:
> * make international backups of complete Foundation data (seconded, no
> opposition, task created)
> * relocate the foundation (seconded, controversial)
> * assist Wikimedia staff with travel difficulties (no second or opposition
> yet)
> * correct systemic bias said to be responsible for underlying issues
> (seconded; unclear whether this is controversial)
> * turn our culture toward more generative and constructive forms of
> public discourse (no second or opposition yet; clarification questions
> were asked but have yet been answered)
> * issue a statement condemning the travel ban (seconded,
> controversial, statement issued by ED)
> * call for a general strike (no second yet, controversial)
> * improve Wikimedia content on pertinent issues (no second or opposition
> yet)
> * require community discussion and consensus as a precondition of
> action (seconded, controversial)
> * create an alternative mailing list where discussion topics are
> restricted (no second yet)
> * add the names of "a certain country's top political leaders" to this
> list's spam filter (no second yet, controversial)
> It is clear that there are multiple people on both sides of the
> political issue, so it might be helpful to focus discussion on support
> or opposition to proposed initiatives. (Did I miss any?)
> I would like to see something more substantial than a blog post but
> less extreme than calling for a general strike. Usually when political
> issues impacting Wikimedia come up someone usually proposes banners.
> I have no suggestion for what a banner might say, but I would like to
> see such proposals from others.
> -Will
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