Hi Sylvain!

(Let me add the disclaimer that opinions are mine and don't represent the
views of the Foundation.)

On Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 4:33 PM Sylvain Boissel <
sylvain.bois...@wikimedia.fr> wrote:

> Hello,
> It may have changed since I last checked (a bit more than a year ago), but
> while it is easy to create an instance, migrating an account to another
> instance, or moving an entire instance to a new domain is not (I couldn't
> even find documentation on how to accomplish this. So if we start an
> instance that is supposed to become an official one, we need at the very
> least have the final domain name from the start. Depending on the one we
> want, we still might need official support (e.g., anyone can register
> wikimedians.social, but wikimedia.social is restricted to the WMF by a DPML
> Block.)

This is a good point. Renaming Mastodon instances continues to be a pain --
see https://discourse.joinmastodon.org/t/domain-changes-and-aliases/671

This is a good reason to bet on a domain for the long run. However, let's
not mix two different concepts: use of Wikimedia trademarks and official
technical support (servers, maintenance). If the promoters of this
initiative decide to propose a domain that use a Wikimedia trademark, they
can request an authorization via

> * Legal: Aiming for an official Wikimedia instance has implications of
> > trademarks, legal requirements, and so on. While there is no need to
> start
> > with an official instance, it is useful to consider the scenario early
> on.
> >
> Do you know what these requirements are? Are some issues unsolvable (for
> example, if an official Wikimedia instance implies that no movie-based gifs
> can be posted (for copyright reasons), then this instance has basically no
> chance to gain a large user base. While this may not be a problem (a small
> instance with a small number of accounts posting things like
> #pictureOfTheDay to the whole Fediverse would still be valuable), this
> would change the scope of what we try to accomplish.

Honestly, no idea. I am just applying the basic reasoning that the
requirements and potential risks for content and user data will be more
complex for the Wikimedia Foundation maintaining a service officially than
for a group of individual volunteers doing the same independently as a

If you have a clear idea about what you want to accomplish, I'd recommend
you to take the lightest steps that will lead you there. Iterations,
experiments and changes are expected anyway, being this idea so new and
different in the context of our movement. It is also an idea easy to
implement and maintain (through a service like e.g. https://masto.host or
self-hosted). And economically affordable.

Quim Gil
Senior Manager of Community Relations @ Wikimedia Foundation
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