Mission/Unstable

This is the publicly editable version of the Wikimedia Foundation Mission Statement. Please keep this notice intact, and try to find consensus for changes as always. You are also encouraged to create forks if necessary, and link them from this page.

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free content license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally. They will not perform knowledge blackouts of any kind. In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which serve this mission. The Foundation will make and keep the educational content from its projects available on the Internet free of charge, in perpetuity.

Suggestion: Non-free images exceptions for events, which took place long time agoEdit

I think there should be non-free images exceptions for old events (for example older than 30-40 years), like: Olympics, various sports competitions, notable events (i.e. uprisings) and so on. Currently, most of the articles about old competitions or events looks dull and empty as there is only basic text without important pictures (like winners, opening/closing ceremony). Illustrating pictures greatly contributes into article quality, however getting such old images in free license is nearly impossible as there is very few of them and most of these authors are unknown. --- Pofka (talk) 18:04, 29 October 2013 (GMT +2)

An interesting idea, but not (I think) related to the mission itself. (Our mission does support allowing non-free image exceptions via EDPs on each project; it is simply that Commons does not accept such images at present. SJ talk  17:30, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Mission statement hasn't caught up with thorgs and user groupsEdit

Since this is an obvious omission, does it need to wait for an annual review? I've set out the minor tweak in wording here. Tony (talk) 12:05, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

+1 --Kippelboy (talk) 12:54, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

SuggestionEdit

The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is 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. In collaboration with a network of chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation provides the essential infrastructure and an organizational framework for the support and development of multilingual wiki projects and other endeavors which serve this mission. The Foundation will make and keep useful information from its projects available on the Internet free of charge forever.

(Perhaps even make explicit that commercial and governmental bodies should be excluded from participating? Their interests have never been aligned with free flow of accurate information and are rather the valve which it seems this effort is meant to burst.)
I oppose this view. We cannot exclude their participation, actually we want them to be involved (otherwise the project would not be "open to everyone", and the licencing conditions for the content we develop forbids such exclusion). But we must not fall under a situation of dependency, and so they must not have any exclusive role or take a significant part of the community processes (not even a "blocking minority").
Their contributions to decisions should be equal to the number of their active individual participants (the organization as a whole can be counted also as a separate individual participant, not more, excluding specific positions that one of their employees could take), and not just founded on the share they provide to financing and maintaining the projects. And they can also be member of decision boards, but only by presenting an individual member that should be elected collectively like every other candidates, and what they do on that position are still under public scrutiny by the community: they must have the same responsability as other independant members of any decision board. These positions can be legitimately open to them, as long as they clearly indicate their interest, so that their role will not be decisive and will not be able to block any decision that could be opposed to the interests of the organisation. That's why we need to limit their role. But we must still accept their point of view, and if the decision is too much oriented and places them in an uncumfortable position, they should be required to abstain (even if they can still provide their point of view publicly).
Now the participation of governements is not excluded, but they do not need any approval from the Wikimedia decision boards, as they can jsut legiferate and enforce a decision that we cannot oppose legally. But it's up to us to protect our freedom of expression and say to them that we are opposed (or in favor) to their actions and decisions, and we must keep the right to campaign against (or for) their decision and possibly seek support for our position from other governements or through other medias. It is then our interest to convince them that we don't want to just be systematic opponents, but that we have serious proposals that should be preferable or more adapted, including for local experiments: we already provide to these governements enough supervision because what we do is public and follwoed by a large community that no reasonnable governement should ignore.
The same applies to large corporations and other "think tanks" with influent finances: we have the right to claim a public supervision of what they do, if they ever want to limit our collective action (which is for a global interest and not just for a private interest).
So we oppose closed internal boards, except in very limited areas (which are most often related to the protection of indivuals, and preserving their privacy or security, so they cannot be threatened elsewhere).
We want clarity for decision makers': our position of "neutral point of view" is not to exclude any point of view but allow different point of views to coexist and find their way in an open process.
We also want that everyone has the right to change their mind, or to stop working with us when they want (as long as their respect their contractual commitments, or accept to find a way to negociate a compensation that the community must approve). But what they've done when they were part of our community remains an asset kept by the community, they can't claim to recover any part of exclusive property from their past efforts or contributions that remain collective forever, and forever reviewable at any time by the community, including for changing them later or develop new alternate derivatives, possibly competing peacefully with each other). verdy_p (talk) 20:20, 23 October 2020 (UTC)