I want to thank the Portuguese Wikipedia community in Brazil for their hard
work as Wikimedians and especially their dedication to and passion for the
free distribution of truthful information. Like other projects, Portuguese
Wikipedia represents an amazing collaboration and building of an
encyclopedia that will survive for many ages. You share in the honor of
constructing something great for the benefit of others.

Although I am not a Portuguese Wikimedian, if I may say so, I am a bit
concerned about seeing the situation in Brazil on Portuguese Wikipedia
somewhat escalating. May I please suggest consideration of calm and
restraint in deciding how the community responds to the situation.

At the Foundation, we have no tolerance for censorship of truthful
information. Because of legal ethical rules that apply in the United
States, however, my legal team may represent only the Foundation, not
community members unfortunately. Nevertheless, with a clear understanding
that we are not the lawyers for those members, we often help support them
with our extensive global experience when the members are faced with
serious unjustified threats. In doing so, of course, we rely on the
community to follow its own policies, such as NPOV, and to take the
necessary steps to ensure that contributions are factual, legal, and
non-infringing. As set out in our terms of
use<http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use> ,
WMF does not control or influence the content contributed by community

In the case of the investigation that has involved one of the members of
the community, we fear there is a misunderstanding since we are genuinely
surprised by the summaries that have been provided to us. Although we may
be mistaken, we actually thought WMF acted quite appropriately in this case
with a close focus on the issue. Although I prefer not to go into too much
detail given the ongoing matter, as I understand, the Wikimedian approached
us when he received an apparent request to appear for questioning as part
of an investigation. At that time, at our expense, one of my most senior
attorneys at WMF contacted legal counsel in Brazil to seek a better
understanding of the risks. Legal counsel advised us about the case in
detail, suggesting that, under the circumstances, the risk should be
relatively low if certain things (as we understood them) were in fact so.
It appeared to us that the Wikimedian agreed. We nevertheless cautioned
that the Wikimedian attend any meeting with police officials with legal
representation to ensure his rights were adequately protected against
unjustified claims.

At that time, there were preliminary inquiries as to whether the Foundation
would pay for legal counsel. Under the Legal Fees Assistance
the Defense of Contributors
certain threshold criteria must normally be met. One such criterion is that
the user must usually be named as a defendant in a legal action, which was
not so here. We nevertheless were in close contact with the Wikimedian as
we saw it. If the investigation had escalated, we would have reassessed the
need for additional support.

In a later update, we understood that the Wikimedian had obtained legal
counsel and that the two attended a productive meeting with the
investigator. We also had our Brazilian legal counsel review certain
investigation documents, which confirmed our assessment.

There was a request that WMF staff members be interviewed on the community
policies applicable to Portuguese Wikipedia. As a general matter, we are
not familiar with the policies applicable to Portuguese Wikipedia. We
suggested that the Portuguese community play a role in this regard.

We were watching the situation closely and providing guidance where we were
able. We care deeply about our community, and, in cases of serious
unjustified allegations, we seek to help support the community. Indeed,
these types of cases are not uncommon. Experienced in international
matters, we are constantly involved in rebutting unjustified allegations
worldwide, and, if I may say so, we are often successful at it.

Again I believe that the community should not aggravate the situation to
avoid misunderstandings or misperceptions which may unjustly expose
community members to unfounded legal threats. For this reason, I reiterate
my recommendation of consideration of calm and restraint in assessing and
responding to the situation.

Thank you for your genuine concern about free expression and your
indignation against unjust censorship. Thank you for collecting and
developing educational content under a free license or in the public domain
for the benefit of the world.

With warm regards,

Geoffbrigham <http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usu%C3%A1rio(a):Geoffbrigham>

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