On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 12:26 PM, Stuart Prior
<stuart.pr...@wikimedia.org.uk> wrote:

> 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.

It isn't, but I think it's still worth thinking about context and
presentation. There are organizations whose job it is to directly
communicate facts, both journalistic orgs like ProPublica and
fact-checkers like Snopes/Politifact. In contrast, WMF's job is to
enable many communities to collect and develop educational content.

If the scientific consensus on climate change suddenly starts to
shift, we expect our projects to reflect that, and we expect that the
organization doesn't get involved in those community processes to
promote a specific outcome. The more WMF directly communicates facts
about the world (especially politicized ones), rather than
communicating _about_ facts, the more people (editors and readers
alike) may question whether the organization is appropriately
conservative about its own role.

I haven't done an extensive survey, but I suspect all the major
Wikipedia languages largely agree in their presentation on climate
change. If so, that is itself a notable fact, given the amount of
politicization of the topic. Many readers/donors may be curious how
such agreement comes about in the absence of top-down editorial
control. Speaking about the remarkable process by which Wikipedia
tackles contentious topics may be a less potentially divisive way for
WMF to speak about what's happening in the real world.

I do think stories like the refugee phrasebook and Andreas' arctic
photography are amazing and worth telling. I'm curious whether folks
like Risker, George, Pine, Chris, and others who've expressed concern
about the report agree with that. If so, how would you tell those
stories in the context of, e.g., an Annual Report?


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