The Twitter link does not work.

Am 24.04.2020 um 15:16 schrieb Galder Gonzalez Larrañaga:
Mmm... again?
From: Wikimedia-l <> on behalf of Galder 
Gonzalez Larrañaga <>
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2020 11:26 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF political activism

The concept "apolitical" does not exist if there is a goal.

Nevertheless, for the future, a link to the article about "Earth" in all the 
languages Wikimedia has would be the best solution.


From: Wikimedia-l <> on behalf of Yair Rand 
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2020 8:27 AM
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF political activism

This would not have happened had there been any oversight (community or
otherwise), and it could have been pulled down quickly enough had there
been any community members with the ability to edit the site. Perhaps it's
time to reconsider how the WMF corporate site operates.

I appreciate that the WMF is committed doing more thorough due diligence in
the future. It's very important to do so. There's a very good reason why
community consultation is required when dealing with any Collaborative
Advocacy, but given that even existing requirements weren't followed, I'm
not very optimistic that this new commitment holds weight.

Also importantly, the Foundation's Policy and Political Association
Guideline, which was written by WMF Legal in the aftermath of SOPA to iron
out clear boundaries on activism, explicitly rules out any political
activism relating to environmental issues, stating:
Policy and political associations should protect and advance Wikimedia’s
mission “to empower and engage people around the world to collect and
develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain,
and to disseminate it effectively and globally.” Accordingly, we will not
support causes unrelated to or inconsistent with that mission. For example,
no support should be given to: environmental issues; [...]"

The WMF just inadvertently threw its weight behind dozens of controversial
causes that have nothing to do with our mission. I hope that the WMF will
manage to operate more appropriately in the future.

--Yair Rand

‫בתאריך יום ו׳, 24 באפר׳ 2020 ב-1:18 מאת ‪Gregory Varnum‬‏ <‪‬‏>:‬

Hi all,

I am responding on behalf of the Foundation in my capacity handling
movement communications, including managing any campaigns on

As others from the Foundation have stated on this mailing list in the
past, from time to time the Wikimedia Foundation engages in public policy
matters which are aligned with the advancement of the Wikimedia mission or
our values as an organization.

Having said that, we agree with some of the criticisms you have raised. We
had understood the Earth Day Live campaign to be both global and
apolitical. However, we agree that the final campaign was both more
US-centric and more political than we had understood in advance. The banner
is no longer running, and in the future we will do more thorough due

We remain strongly committed to climate sustainability as a value of the
Wikimedia Foundation. We will continue to advocate on behalf of it and
other values that uplift and advance free knowledge globally.

I hope you all had a productive and safe Earth Day, and wish you all
continued health and safety.


Gregory Varnum
Communications Strategist
Wikimedia Foundation <>
Pronouns: He/Him/His

On Apr 23, 2020, at 3:07 AM, RhinosF1 - <> wrote:

Should this be posted on wiki for others to sign?


On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 07:51, Fæ <> wrote:


Dear Katherine Maher,

The WMF home website landing page (
yesterday featured a full-page banner directing all visitors globally
to 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:
CC: María Sefidari as WMF Chair.


On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 05:50, K. Peachey <> wrote:

On Thu, 23 Apr 2020 at 09:53, Chris Gates via Wikimedia-l
<> wrote:

It seems that they just gave a link to that website,
When I opened it, I heard one sentence of the stream before I stopped
and read the rest of the webpage: "and then we give thanks to spirit,
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
promoting unions and more extensive labor laws.

The linked website is explicitly political, explicitly  on the
left, and explicitly in favor of certain highly contentious American
political proposals. I would like to hear the reasoning for why that
has been shown, and it seems to me simply unjustifiable. The WMF is
host of a series of community-built projects, not a political activism


On Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 5:12 PM Ziko van Dijk <>
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

Am Mi., 22. Apr. 2020 um 22:50 Uhr schrieb Yair Rand <
The WMF corporate site ( currently has a
full-page ad with the text "We are watching Earth Day Live today.
you?". This links to an external site with the text "Click here to
to the US Youth Climate Strike Coalition Earth Day Demands - From
and the next president, we demand a People’s Bailout, a Green New
Land Back for Indigenous Peoples", and prompting readers to
"Pledge to
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
take this down, and make certain that this kind of thing can't
again. They've failed yet again at preventing inappropriate
political activism in WMF's communications, and must take serious
fix this constant stream of terrible failures.

-- Yair Rand

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