On Sat, Feb 4, 2017 at 6:58 AM, Mike Godwin <mnemo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> (2) As I put it many times many years ago in the years before and
> after the SOPA/PIPA blackout, there are few POVs *less* neutral than
> the commitment to give all the information in the world to everyone
> for free. We are not a neutral enterprise, and we never have been.

Indeed not. I agree with Mike's entire post. WMF must speak out
against threats that directly impact its ability to serve its mission.
Sometimes it will be able to do so in concert with community action
(as in the case of SOPA/PIPA), sometimes it will be acting on its own
behalf. The WMF blog is exactly the right place for the latter type of

The revocation of some 60,000 visas [1] and implementation of a travel
ban targeting a religious group is precisely the type of action that
directly impacts WMF's ability to do its work. To frame this simply as
a matter of refugee policy misunderstands the nature of the executive
order [2], which also bars other visa holders from targeted countries.

The WMF is committed to internationalism and diversity through its
policies [3], through its long-standing participation in international
outreach programs like Google Summer of Code, through hosting,
supporting and participating in events all around the world, and --
most importantly -- through its mission and vision statement which are
global in scope and aspiration.

To make clear that it is opposed to this obvious violation of human
rights with all the consequences it has already entailed (regardless
of the possibly temporary suspension of the ban) is _precisely_ what
we should expect from WMF. We should object if it had _not_ issued a
statement. To frame this within the terms of the neutrality of the
encyclopedia is a mistake. The encyclopedia is neutral; the WMF most
definitely cannot be when its ability to do its work is threatened,
_especially_ in the jurisdiction within which it operates.

While I agree that it's important to define the boundaries of WMF's
political expression, I see its statement on EO 13769 as clearly
within any rational such definition that is consistent with its
mission and vision.



[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13769


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