Agree that citations are needed.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [] On Behalf Of 
Sent: Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:51 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

Okay, so I'll say what Sam said, except in stronger language, and with some 
additional emphasis.

This is a very obviously liberally biased document --  and I say that as 
someone who lives in a country so liberal that it makes Californians look like 
they're still back in the early 1960s. Maybe it takes an outsider to see this.

If you're going to try to play the "facts" game, you have to have your facts 
bang on - and you have to admit that there is more than one side to the story. 
This "report" reads as though the authors chose their favourite advocacy 
positions and then twisted and turned and did some more contortions to make it 
look as though it had something to do with the Wikimedia family of projects. 
(Seriously. Refugees and global warming don't have anything to do with the 
WMF.) It is so biased that most of those "fact" pages would have to be 
massively rewritten in order to meet the neutrality expectations of just about 
every Wikipedia regardless of the language.

And that is my biggest concern. It is not neutral by any stretch of the 
imagination. And if the WMF can't write neutrally about these topics in its 
annual report, there is no reason for the average reader to think that 
Wikipedia and other projects will be written neutrally, fairly, based on 
references, and including the significant other opinions.  This document is a 
weapon that can be used against Wikimedia projects by any tinpot dictator or 
other suppressive government because it "proves" that WMF projects are biased.  
It gives ammunition to the very movements that create "alternative facts" - it 
sure doesn't help when the WMF is coming up with a few of its own.

That does a huge disservice to the hundreds of thousands of editors who have 
worked for years to create accurate, neutral, well-referenced educational 
material and information.  It doesn't do any good to those editors contributing 
from countries where participation in an international web-based information 
project is already viewed with a jaundiced eye. And for those editors who don't 
adhere to the political advocacy positions being put forward in this "annual 
report", or simply believe that the WMF should not be producing political 
advocacy documents, it may well cause them to reflect whether or not they want 
to keep contributing.

I really hope that Craig is wrong, that this can be pulled back and edited 
properly, preferably by a bunch of actual Wikipedia editors who know how to 
write neutrally on controversial topics. I've volunteered in the Wikimedia 
movement for more than a decade at least in part because it was not a political 
advocacy organization, so I find this annual report to be very disturbing.


On 1 March 2017 at 23:23, Samuel Klein <> wrote:

> Dear reporters,
> I really like the streamlined layout, the background video and the 
> non-linear presentation online.  Lovely work; you are wonderful.
> > If the photo remains, I recommend changing this caption to use 
> > either "travel ban" or "entry ban"; both phrases are used in the 
> > Wikipedia article.
> >
> Yes.
> The one starkly political message in the Report is the choice of a 
> protest photo from the US for the story about travel.  On the nose, 
> but reasonably on topic (with a corrected caption).
> In general, I like the spirit and content of this report.  A lead-in 
> to the facts putting them in context would be nice; the implied 
> context is "Facts Matter!"  However I feel this claim and the report 
> could be even more powerful if it were presented with another 
> half-step of remove.  The most unparalleled success of Wikipedia is 
> not that it summarizes topics like "scientific consensus on global warming" — 
> that, one can find elsewhere.
> It is that you can find thorough coverage of *all* aspects of such 
> important and difficult topics: fledgling + disputed theories, major 
> controversies and factions, and both begrudgingly + enthusiastically 
> accepted conclusions.
> My one concern: The highlighted fact about travel is wrong.  As far as 
> I can tell it's closer to 1 in 20 people. "International tourism arrivals"
> passed 1.2B this year, but the average tourist "arrives in another country"
> 3+ times per year.[1][2]  If the publishers find a way to retract this 
> 3+ mote
> of misinfo, I will be duly awed :)
> Wikilove,
> SJ
> [1]
> growth-international-tourism-despite-challenges
> documents/visa-global-travel-and-tourism-study-infographic.pdf
> [2] A quick round of community review (say, of any reputed facts!) and 
> even citations might not hurt, for statements of fact that are going 
> out to a large audience.  You have access to plentiful world-class 
> fact checkers, you don't have to limit yourself to those in the office.
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