This press release is also available online here:
 
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikimedia_Foundation_receives_$500,000_from_the_Craig_Newmark_Foundation_and_craigslist_Charitable_Fund_to_support_a_healthy_and_inclusive_Wikimedia_community
<https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikimedia_Foundation_receives_$500,000_from_the_Craig_Newmark_Foundation_and_craigslist_Charitable_Fund_to_support_a_healthy_and_inclusive_Wikimedia_community>

And as a blog post on the Wikimedia blog here:

https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/01/26/community-health-initiative-grant/



Wikimedia Foundation receives $500,000 from the Craig Newmark Foundation
and craigslist Charitable Fund to support a healthy and inclusive Wikimedia
community

Grant supports development of more advanced tools for volunteers and staff
to reduce harassing behavior on Wikipedia and block harassers from the site

SAN FRANCISCO — January 26, 2017 — Today, the Wikimedia Foundation
announced the launch of a community health initiative to address harassment
and toxic behavior on Wikipedia, with initial funding of US$500,000 from
the Craig Newmark Foundation and craigslist Charitable Fund. The two seed
grants, each US$250,000, will support the development of tools for
volunteer editors and staff to reduce harassment on Wikipedia and block
harassers.

Approximately 40% of internet users
<http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/10/22/online-harassment/>, and as many as
70% of younger users have personally experienced harassment online, with
regional studies showing rates as high as 76%
<https://www.symantec.com/en/au/about/newsroom/press-releases/2016/symantec_0309_01>
for young women. While harassment differs across the internet, on Wikipedia
and other Wikimedia projects, harassment has been shown to reduce
participation on the sites. More than 50%
<https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/52/Harassment_Survey_2015_-_Results_Report.pdf>
of people who reported experiencing harassment also reported decreasing
their participation in the Wikimedia community.

Volunteer editors on Wikipedia are often the first line of response for
finding and addressing harassment on Wikipedia. "Trolling
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll>," "doxxing
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxing>," and other menacing behaviors are
burdens to Wikipedia's contributors, impeding their ability to do the
writing and editing that makes Wikipedia so comprehensive and useful. This
program seeks to respond to requests from editors over the years for better
tools and support for responding to harassment and toxic behavior.

“To ensure Wikipedia’s vitality, people of good will need to work together
to prevent trolling, harassment and cyber-bullying from interfering with
the common good,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist. “To that end,
I'm supporting the work of the Wikimedia Foundation towards the prevention
of harassment.”

The initiative is part of a commitment to community health at the Wikimedia
Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports Wikipedia and the
other Wikimedia projects, in collaboration with the global community of
volunteer editors. In 2015, the Foundation published its first Harassment
Survey <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Research:Harassment_survey_2015>
about the nature of the issue in order to identify key areas of concern. In
November 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees issued a
statement of support
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/November_2016_-_Statement_on_Healthy_Community_Culture,_Inclusivity,_and_Safe_Spaces>
calling for a more “proactive” approach to addressing harassment as a
barrier to healthy, inclusive communities on Wikipedia.

"If we want everyone to share in the sum of all knowledge, we need to make
sure everyone feels welcome,” said Katherine Maher, Executive Director of
the Wikimedia Foundation. “This grant supports a healthy culture for the
volunteer editors of Wikipedia, so that more people can take part in
sharing knowledge with the world."

The generous funding from the Craig Newmark Foundation and craigslist
Charitable Fund will support the initial phase of a program
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_health_initiative> to strengthen
existing tools and develop additional tools to more quickly identify
potentially harassing behavior, and help volunteer administrators evaluate
harassment reports and respond effectively. These improvements will be made
in close collaboration with the Wikimedia community to evaluate, test, and
give feedback on the tools as they are developed.

This initiative addresses the major forms of harassment reported on the
Wikimedia Foundation’s 2015 Harassment Survey
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Harassment_Survey_2015_-_Results_Report.pdf&page=17>,
which covers a wide range of different behaviors: content vandalism,
stalking, name-calling, trolling, doxxing, discrimination—anything that
targets individuals for unfair and harmful attention. From research and
community feedback, four areas have been identified where new tools could
be beneficial in addressing and responding to harassment:

* Detection and prevention - making it easier and faster for editors to
identify and flag harassing behavior

* Reporting - providing victims and respondents of harassment improved ways
to report instances that offer a clearer, more streamlined approach

* Evaluating - supporting tools that help volunteers better evaluate
harassing behavior and inform the best way to respond

* Blocking - making it more difficult for someone who is blocked from the
site to return

For more information, please visit:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Community_health_initiative

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and
operates Wikipedia and its sister projects. More than a billion unique
devices access the Wikimedia sites each month. Roughly 75,000 people edit
Wikipedia and its sister projects every month, collectively creating and
improving its more than 40 million articles across hundreds of languages –
this all makes Wikipedia one of the most popular web properties in the
world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a
501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.


About Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative
creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from
around the globe since it was created in 2001: anyone can edit it, at any
time. Wikipedia is offered in hundreds of languages containing more than 40
million articles. Wikimedia and its sister projects are collectively
visited by more than a billion unique devices each month.

Harassment takes different forms on Wikipedia than it does on other major
websites. Unlike other platforms, Wikipedia editors generally don’t write
about their personal lives. Instead, on Wikipedia, harassment usually
begins as a content dispute between editors that results in an attack on an
editor’s personal attributes—their gender, race, religion, sexual
orientation, political affiliation—based on something that they’ve shared,
or an assumption based on the user’s edit history.

About the Craig Newmark Foundation

The Craig Newmark Foundation (CNF) is a private foundation created by
craigslist founder Craig Newmark in 2016 to support and connect nonprofit
communities and drive powerful civic engagement. The Foundation’s
priorities include Trustworthy Journalism, Veterans and Military Families,
Voter Protection and Education, Consumer Protection and Education, Public
Diplomacy, Government Transparency, Micro-Lending to Alleviate Poverty, and
Women in Tech.

About craigslist Charitable Fund

The craigslist Charitable Fund (CCF) provides millions of dollars each year
in one-time and recurring grants to hundreds of partner organizations
addressing four broad areas of interest including Environment and
Transportation; Education, Rights, Justice, and Reason; Nonviolence,
Veterans and Peace; and Journalism, Open Source, and Internet.

Press contacts

Craig Newmark Foundation

Bruce Bonafede

pr...@craigconnects.org

Wikimedia Foundation

Juliet Barbara

jbarb...@wikimedia.org

(415) 839-6885


-- 
*Samantha Lien*
Communications Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
149 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
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