OPEN LETTER

Dear Katherine Maher,

The WMF home website landing page (https://wikimediafoundation.org)
yesterday featured a full-page banner directing all visitors globally
to https://www.earthdaylive2020.org. This is a site used for Americal
political lobbying, refer to the email discussion attached.

Could you, or the responsible member of your management team, please
explain exactly how this happened?

There is zero doubt that this was a serious operational error, misuse
of WMF development time and a misuse of the Wikimedia brand. It is
certain that you will agree that the buck stops with the CEO. The
decision to use the Foundation's website for American lobbying is in
conflict with your not for profit status and is in conflict with the
charitable status promoted to donors worldwide.

If the management team and yourself are going to continuing political
lobbying and using WMF resources to raise funds for Americal political
organizations which have no agreed relevance to the mission of the
Foundation, there must be a published transparent governance review by
the WMF board of trustees to examine and agree on this significant
operational change to the public Foundation strategy and the terms for
the CEO.

Thank you in advance.

Link to Phabricator task to implement the banner:
https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T250508
CC: María Sefidari as WMF Chair.

Fae

On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 05:50, K. Peachey <p858sn...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T250508
>
> On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 09:53, Chris Gates via Wikimedia-l
> <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > It seems that they just gave a link to that website, which...eh...
> > When I opened it, I heard one sentence of the stream before I stopped it
> > and read the rest of the webpage: "and then we give thanks to spirit, for
> > the air we breathe, for the earth..." After reading the rest of the
> > webpage, I un-paused it, and am currently listening to a bit of propaganda
> > promoting unions and more extensive labor laws.
> >
> > The linked website is explicitly political, explicitly  on the American
> > left, and explicitly in favor of certain highly contentious American
> > political proposals. I would like to hear the reasoning for why that link
> > has been shown, and it seems to me simply unjustifiable. The WMF is the
> > host of a series of community-built projects, not a political activism
> > organization.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Vermont
> >
> > On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 5:12 PM Ziko van Dijk <zvand...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Hello,
> > > I can confirm that I see the same also here in the Netherlands. Which is
> > > strange, there are no general elections here before 2021...
> > > An explanation about this link would be interesting.
> > > Kind regards
> > > Ziko
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Am Mi., 22. Apr. 2020 um 22:50 Uhr schrieb Yair Rand <yyairr...@gmail.com
> > > >:
> > >
> > > > The WMF corporate site (wikimediafoundation.org) currently has a
> > > > full-page ad with the text "We are watching Earth Day Live today. Will
> > > > you?". This links to an external site with the text "Click here to sign
> > > on
> > > > to the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition Earth Day Demands - From
> > > congress
> > > > and the next president, we demand a People’s Bailout, a Green New Deal,
> > > and
> > > > Land Back for Indigenous Peoples", and prompting readers to "Pledge to
> > > vote
> > > > for our future" and to subscribe to "US Climate Strike".
> > > >
> > > > Everyone here already knows how unacceptable this is, and why, so I 
> > > > don't
> > > > think this requires any further explanation. The WMF should immediately
> > > > take this down, and make certain that this kind of thing can't happen
> > > > again. They've failed yet again at preventing inappropriate
> > > > political activism in WMF's communications, and must take serious action
> > > to
> > > > fix this constant stream of terrible failures.
> > > >
> > > > -- Yair Rand
-- 
fae...@gmail.com https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fae

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