On Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 2:55 PM James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The question I have been trying to ask, going back years now in fact, is
> whether "empower" refers to the political power to secure and retain
> the freedoms necessary and sufficent to contribute to the mission, or
> some other kind of power.

Well, it's your lucky day: you're finally getting an answer!

WMF's de-facto interpretation of "empower" in the [[m:Mission]] does *not*
include "political power to secure and retain the freedoms necessary and
sufficient to contribute to the mission".

We do not directly solve people's lacking infrastructure (except indirectly
via partnerships like Wikipedia Zero), we do not provide computers to
billions of people who don't have them, we do not teach literacy to the
illiterate, we do not feed the poor so that they may contribute, and we do
not declare war on North Korea to free its poor people from the awful
tyranny they suffer under, to enable them to contribute.  The list goes on.

The concrete ways WMF worked to "empower" have been providing and
maintaining the main contribution platforms (the wikis), auxiliary
platforms (Tool Labs, Quarry, PAWS, Wikidata Query, etc.), funding for
*Wikimedia-related* activities via grants, programmatic resources and
mentorship, funding and support for international gatherings of the active
community, and a few other things.

Your aspirational expansive interpretation (which includes paying editors
to enable them to contribute, if memory serves) of "empower" has never been
close to what WMF, under its various leaderships, ever considered

Now that your years-long query has an answer, perhaps you can stop asking.

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