Please Peter. If the WMF was based in either of those places, it would be a
very different organization. And in neither case would it be focusing its
annual report on some other country's political system.


On 3 March 2017 at 01:20, Peter Southwood <>

> Let me put it another way,
> If the WMF was based in Reykjavik, or Abidjan, would the response be the
> same?
> Cheers,
> Peter
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Wikimedia-l [] On
> Behalf Of John Mark Vandenberg
> Sent: Friday, March 3, 2017 7:47 AM
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] More politics: "WMF Annual Report"
> On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 11:49 AM, Peter Southwood <
>> wrote:
> > If the format was compiled before Trump was elected, then this argument
> is either irrelevant or becomes that the foundation must avoid offending
> politicians in power by changing public statements to be uncontroversial at
> the time of publishing.
> The arguments being made here are not that WMF should avoid offending
> politicians or be uncontroversial.
> Understanding how a message will be received is the core of
> communications, and should be reviewed and rechecked by the communications
> team throughout a project, and even re-evaluated as the final 'publish'
> button is clicked.
> In this case I feel the message of the Annual Report is that WMF is quite
> U.S. focused, and is overly anti-Trump.  The selection and order of the
> first few facts mostly aligns with the key issues in U.S.
> politics.  Those stories/examples/photos used to justify including these
> first few facts in the WMF Annual Report seems occasionally strained.  e.g.
> How did WMF support Wikimedian Andreas Weith taking photos of polar bears?
> If the WMF wants to project that image, those fact pages need beefing up
> to support the WMF staking out a claim to get involved in those fights.
> Like others here, I dont think this is the right direction for the WMF to
> take, but I agree with all the positions and appreciate the significance of
> those issues.  The cynic in me feels that the WMF projecting that image
> will resonate well with a large percentage of the typical "Wikipedia"
> donors.
> Given the facts (in the Annual Report) that most of the worlds population
> is still not online, and those coming online or yet to come online usually
> do not have access to education resources online in their own language, an
> International focus would highlight those facts as critical for the WMF's
> mission.  Those facts can also very uncomfortable for politicians across
> the world, of all political leanings, who spend more on guns than on
> books.  Those facts are also very uncomfortable for a lot of liberals who
> have had a good education and very comfortable lives, with a high quality
> Wikipedia in their own language.  Those facts also underscore how far we
> are away from reaching our mission, and encourage us to re-focus on the
> mission and make us pause before getting too involved in problems that are
> not clearly on mission.
> --
> John Vandenberg
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