It is not possible to get away from politics while remaining in contact with 
civilisation. Politics follows you around. It is possible to ignore politics 
only until they affect you directly. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Wikimedia-l [] On Behalf Of 
Sent: Thursday, March 2, 2017 2:33 PM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"

Like SJ I love the imagery and and style. As for the rest, I come here to get 
away from politics, so it is a little unsettling to see the WMF get so overtly 
political even though part of me revels in the sentiments. I too worry how 
unsettling that would be for those who don't share the politics presented.

I care about visa and migration rules, I cared about the subject before I wound 
up with an 18 month delay from my wedding to when I was able to get my wife a 
visa to join me in London, but that's irrelevant to this movement. The concern 
about the Trump travel ban is a stark contrast to the level of fuss the WMF has 
made in the past about the many people who have been unable to get visas to 
attend Wikimania. I don't know how many WMF staff were caught by the travel 
ban, but several dozen Wikimedians have been unable to attend Wikimanias in the 
last few years due to visa restrictions. It wouldn't surprise me if more 
Wikimedians were refused visas to attend Wikimania in DC whilst Obama was 
President than are known to have been caught by the Trump ban. If so it either 
looks like the WMF is being political, or that it cares more about staff than 
volunteers; neither would be a good message. One of the good things about South 
Africa as the
2018 venue is that it is possibly our most visa friendly venue since Buenos 
Aires. If as a movement we are going to make a fuss about travel, I would like 
to see that lead by a commitment to at least host every other Wikimania in 
countries where almost any Wikimedian could get a visa.

Otherwise, I haven't fact checked the whole thing, but one problem with the 
second sentence:

*Across the world, mobile pageviews to our free knowledge websites increased by 
170 million <>.*
This needs a time element, otherwise it comes across as not really in the same 
league as most stats about Wikipedia. The previous sentence was about a whole 
year's activity and the following one about monthly activity. So it reads like 
an annual figure or an increase on an annual figure. But the stats it links to 
imply something closer to a weekly figure. From my knowledge of the stats I 
suspect it could be an increase in raw downloads of 170m a day or week or 
unique downloaders of 170m a week. Any of those would actually be rather 

Can I suggest that for next year there be a more community based process to 
write the next version of this.


> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2017 00:51:04 -0500
> From: Risker <>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"
> Message-ID:
>         <CAPXs8yQdJ+X+QwE3LB2XRuuKerSgMD5OKKhJJn1opLA9yyFj+w@mail.
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> 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.
> Risker/Anne
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