Hi all,

Since the SOPA blackout, we have had a number of requests come in for
public affiliations regarding policy and political issues. The Wikimedia
Foundation (WMF) is not a political organization, and many may argue
understandably that our role is to support great projects - not politics.
 That said, we recognize that there may be select times where such
affiliations should be considered, and, in those cases, we should have a
review process in place, especially where there is strong community
interest in an issue.

To make sure that the right parties, including the community, are involved
in the review process, we have created the Policy and Political
Affiliations 
Guideline<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_and_Community_Advocacy/Foundation_Policy_and_Political_Affiliations_Guideline>to
clarify when and how the WMF associates itself publicly on policy and
political issues.  This guideline is an internal “rule of thumb” covering
requests to and actions by the WMF - without restricting the independent
actions of the community. The guideline sets out a number of different
types of affiliations and examines when review is appropriate by the
community, WMF staff, and the Board of Trustees.

We are also establishing an open Advocacy Advisory Group to provide a
community venue to discuss political and legislative developments worldwide
that affect our mission, such as censorship laws and proposals that seek to
restrict a free and open Internet.

The new guideline incorporates consultation with the Advocacy Advisory
Group into the review process.  With the most important cases, WMF will
also seek a community Request for
Comments<http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/RFC>(RfC) for consultation or
consensus.

We encourage community members interested in political and policy issues to
join the Advocacy Advisory Group, and members should feel free to apply to
be moderators. You can join the advisory group here:
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/advocacy_advisors .

If you have any comments, feel free to leave them on the talk page. You can
find the guideline at:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Legal_and_Community_Advocacy/Foundation_Policy_and_Political_Affiliations_Guideline

Cheers,

Geoff

Geoff Brigham
General Counsel
Wikimedia Foundation
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