​My 2¢​ The avoidance of politically sensitive issues is not the same as
being politically neutral.

Political neutrality isn’t about shifting your politics to wherever your
local Overton window currently sits. It involves a longer, broader, global
view of what accepted political norms are.

Political neutrality also sits in relation to your movement’s or
organisation’s other values, which shouldn’t be compromised or undermined
for the sake of maintaining it.

As an example, anthropogenic climate change is a politically sensitive
issue, but how can a consensus-driven movement not take into account that
97% of climate scientists acknowledge its existence
[1] <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change>
Accepting a scientific consensus just isn’t a political position.

And child refugees. They are politically sensitive in light of the current
situation of various government’s policies on accepting them. But the
rights of the child are internationally agreed upon and have been for
decades, in treaties such as UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_on_the_Rights_of_the_Child> there
is consensus on basic things like a child’s right to education, with a
special focus on child refugees. Omitting to talk about your work on the
above topics accepts a narrative of controversy about the issues that is
quite extreme.

Our movement values neutrality, but it also values evidence and consensus.
If following the two latter principles leads WMF to a position where it is
not politically neutral, I’d suggest it is not WMF that has adopted an
extreme or partisan position. Thinking
​ ​
longer term, and more globally,
​ ​
sensible here.


On 2 March 2017 at 20:08, George William Herbert <george.herb...@gmail.com>

> On Mar 2, 2017, at 11:13 AM, James Salsman <jsals...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> politics damages our brand in real and serious ways.
> >
> > Such as how? This assertion keeps being made without any evidence
> supporting it.
> >
> >> It's more ammunition for everyone else's distrust and fear of our
> community and organizational motives.
> >
> > Are there any actual reasons to believe that such distrust and fear
> > exists apart from those upset about being on the losing end of some
> > Wikipedia content dispute?
> Surely you haven't missed the spectrum of external criticism of Wikipedia
> which in no small part claims we have a left bias.
> We are always able to come back and point to (usually) functional
> neutrality.  But then we go and do this.
> -george
> Sent from my iPhone
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