Category Archives: Wikimedia Foundation

Grants and transparency: Wikimedia Foundation should follow standards it sets

I wrote and edited a number of grant proposals and reports on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) from 2009 to 2011. In that role, I participated in a number of staff discussions around restricted grants, and transparency in the … Continue reading

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Wikimedia Foundation ousts community-elected Trustee

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation’s ten member Board of Trustees voted to oust one of its members. (Updated links: see these two email list threads: one initiated by Dr. James Heilman, the other initiated by Board chair Patricio Lorente. The Wikipedia … Continue reading

Posted in conflict of interest, core, governance, wiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia | 3 Comments

Washington Post asks, “why give to Wikipedia?”

The Washington Post just published a story about the Wikimedia Foundation’s annual fund-raising campaign: Wikipedia has a ton of money. So why is it begging you to donate yours? Reporter Caitlin Dewey, who quoted me and several others, did a good job with a tough topic. … Continue reading

Posted in conflict of interest, core, governance, journalism, wiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia | 4 Comments

Superprotect removed: A milestone, and what it means

Yesterday the Superprotect user right, which I have long opposed, was removed from Wikimedia’s servers. In announcing the removal, the Wikimedia Foundation characterized Superprotect  — accurately and appropriately, I would say — as having “set up a precedent of mistrust” among … Continue reading

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Panel: How can you write an open access encyclopedia in a closed access world?

Video archive part 1 and part 2 Much knowledge has always been locked away, throughout history. It’s inaccessible — or expensive to access — for all but a privileged few. Two Internet-era social movements have sought to change that: Wikipedia, which … Continue reading

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On partial disclosure

“Full” and “disclosure”: they’re two words that go together like peanut butter and jelly. Disclosure is meaningless unless its scope is appropriate. Has anybody called for Hillary Clinton to pick whichever email messages she’d like show to the public? No! … Continue reading

Posted in core, governance, paid editing, Statements of Ethics, Terms of Use, wiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia, Wikipedian in Residence | Leave a comment

A survey of how paid Wikipedia services approach disclosure

Yesterday I described how one Wikipedia writing firm, David King’s Ethical Wiki, recently found that its practices ran afoul of Wikipedia’s Terms of Use (ToU), and announced changes to its practices. How do other agencies offering Wikipedia services approach similar … Continue reading

Posted in core, governance, paid editing, Statements of Ethics, Terms of Use, wiki, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia, Wikipedian in Residence | 1 Comment

Wikipedian-for-hire must make clearer disclosure, says Wikipedia community & foundation

In August, longtime Wikipedia-editor-for-hire David King appealed to the broad community of Wikipedia editors and, simultaneously, to the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation, asking if it was OK for him to skip disclosing specifics called for by the site’s Terms of … Continue reading

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Wikipedia cofounder misrepresents the site’s rules on paid editing

Please scroll down for Jimmy Wales’ responses to this on Facebook and Quora, outlined in red. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is, unsurprisingly, frequently approached by reporters as a top authority on the site. For instance, the article “Wikipedia struggles to save its … Continue reading

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Superprotect: How Wikimedia board candidates addressed it

I have long held that the Wikimedia Foundation’s flawed approach to software development and deployment, culminating in the sudden release of the draconian “superprotect” software feature last year, would be the central issue in this year’s election for three of … Continue reading

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