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To champion and and advance free knowledge around the world, we protect the people, the model, and the values of the free knowledge movement.
- Protect the model of volunteer-led governance of Wikimedia’s free knowledge projects by promoting access to knowledge and free expression, modern copyright rules for the digital age, and strong intermediary protections.
- Protect the people in our communities by advocating for robust privacy rights and taking action against mass surveillance.
- Protect the values of the Wikimedia movement, leading by example in defending the human rights of people who interact with Wikimedia projects and taking action to counter disinformation.
We also recognize that Wikipedia is part of, and also depends upon, a much broader ecosystem of knowledge consumption, production, and dissemination. That's why we support volunteers and allied organizations around the world to advocate for laws and policies that enable a strong, diverse knowledge ecosystem that protects and respects human rights and supports the global free flow of information.
If you are looking to work with us, want to learn how we can support you, or are unsure whether you need support from Legal or Policy, please see Work With Us.
5 Policy PrioritiesEdit
We focus on five policy areas that directly affect the people, model, and values of the free knowledge movement.
- Copyright: Copyright matters because overly aggressive enforcement of copyright laws blocks people from speaking freely. Laws and policies must balance protecting the incentive to create with preserving free speech in order for Wikimedia projects to thrive.
- Liability Protections: There are laws and policies that would hold Wikimedia liable for third-party content like Wikipedia articles and photographs. If Wikimedia was held liable every time a user contributed something inaccurate or upsetting, we wouldn’t be able to maintain and grow the world’s largest free encyclopedia.
- Surveillance: Mass surveillance robs people on our projects of privacy, safety, and freedom - especially people in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. We must change the deeply invasive surveillance programs around the world to make sure our people are protected.
- Human Rights: There are volunteers working on Wikimedia projects who are exposed to human rights risks because of their work. Knowledge equity is not possible if this is the case. We must make sure we do everything we can to protect, respect, and advance human rights on our projects.
- Disinformation: Disinformation is a danger to democratic processes and human rights around the world, but the wrong response to disinformation can threaten freedom of expression. We must tackle disinformation on our projects and make sure disinformation policies around the world protect freedom of expression.
Your help is welcome. If you are organizing (or want to organize) a policy action that correlates to one of these five policy areas, please contact us at globaladvocacy wikimedia org.
- Rebecca MacKinnon (she/her), VP of Global Advocacy (rmackinnon wikimedia org)
- Rebecca is an experienced advocate for privacy rights and media freedom who has had a long career in journalism, academia and public policy. As the Foundation's first-ever Vice President for Global Advocacy, she provides strategic leadership and direction on efforts to support the global movement of Wikimedia volunteers by promoting free expression and addressing national and regulatory threats that prevent access to knowledge. You can learn more about her from her staff profile or hiring announcement.
- Jan Gerlach (he/him), Public Policy Director (jgerlach wikimedia org)
- Jan leads our efforts to educate lawmakers and governments around the world about positive internet policy that promotes and protects Wikipedia and participation in knowledge. He steers the regional- and context-specific policy work of our public policy specialists. Learn more about Jan in his own words.
- Allison Davenport (she/her), Manager, Public Policy Research and Analysis (adavenport wikimedia org)
- Allison works on domestic and global policy issues related to copyright, intermediary liability, and freedom of expression. She helps develop value-based public policy positions while overseeing policy research and academic fellowships. Learn more about Allison in her own words.
- Richard ("Ricky") Gaines (he/him), Senior Human Rights Advocacy Manager (rgaines wikimedia org)
- Ricky leads the Advocacy and Activism team in strengthening the roles of the Movement and Foundation in advocating for public policies that support and protect human rights globally. He develops external and internal advocacy strategies that support and protect human rights of all members of the Wikimedia movement and also drives the implementation of the Human Rights Policy, including coordinating human rights impact assessments across Wikimedia projects. As part of this work, he works with staff and volunteers in the wider Wikimedia community. Learn more about Ricky in his own words.
- Contact Ricky for: anything related to the Foundation's Human Rights Policy.
- Franziska ("Ziski") Putz (she/her), Movement Advocacy Manager (fputz wikimedia org)
- Ziski is in charge of driving community engagement around public policy. She works with community members to co-create capacity building and awareness programs so that Wikimedians around the world can leverage their voices to advocate for their own communities. Ziski also runs our community-facing communications including blogs and conversation hours. Learn more about Ziski in her own words.
- Contact Ziski for: anything related to working with the public policy team – a campaign idea, workshop request, desire for more information, problem with our team's conversation hours, or feedback on how we can improve our partnership with the community.
- Amalia Toledo (she/her), Lead Public Policy Specialist for Latin America & the Caribbean (atoledo wikimedia org)
- Amalia is our expert on public policy for Latin America & the Caribbean. She works with allied organizations and community members across the region to keep a pulse on country-specific issues related to free knowledge. Learn more about Amalia in her own words
- Contact Amalia for: public policy issues, speaking opportunities, or advocacy campaigns related to digital rights in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Rachel Arinii Judhistari (she/her), Lead Public Policy Specialist for Asia, (rjudhistari wikimedia org)
- Rachel is our expert on public policy for Asia. She works with allied organizations and community members across the region to keep a pulse on country-specific issues related to free knowledge.
- Contact Rachel for: public policy issues, speaking opportunities, or advocacy campaigns related to digital rights in Asia.
- Costanza Sciubba Caniglia (she/her), Anti-Disinformation Strategy Lead (csciubbacaniglia wikimedia org)
- Costanza leads our efforts on anti-Disinformation and information integrity. She is responsible for coordinating across the Foundation on disinformation, liaising with the communities and affiliates, and maintaining open lines of communication with governments, civil society organizations, and academia. She works with these partners to advocate for effective policy responses to disinformation that support and protect free knowledge.
- Contact Costanza for: anything related to information integrity or disinformation, speaking opportunities, or volunteer-led efforts to fight disinformation on Wiki.
- Aly Marino (they/them), Technology Law & Policy Fellow (amarino-ctr wikimedia org)
- Aly works on domestic and global policy issues related to free knowledge, free expression, and intermediary liability. They support the work of the lead public policy specialists and Global Advocacy staff.
- Miguelángel ("Miguel") Verde Garrido (he/him), Senior Editor, Global Advocacy (mverde-ctr wikimedia org)
- Miguel supports the ability of the team to communicate their efforts at global advocacy and helping develop public policy worldwide in a clear, accurate, and compelling manner. He manages, coordinates, and edits the team’s publications and communications for diverse audiences of external and internal stakeholders. Learn more about Miguel in his own words.
- Contact Miguel for: anything related to publishing opportunities for the team and its members.
- Katherine ("Kat") Gatewood (she/her), Senior Operations Manager (kgatewood wikimedia org)
- Kat helps to manage team expansion, drive strategic planning, put systems and processes in place to manage the work within the team as well as across other teams and departments, and refine our approaches to collaborating effectively with external partners.
Examples of our WorkEdit
Public policy and advocacy work is not always straightforward. What do we actually do when we say 'public policy and advocacy work'? We monitor policy developments, meet regularly with allied organizations, policy makers and legislators. We share how proposed legislations would impact WMF by writing articles and blogs, signing open letters, joining podcast discussions, and attending regional workshops. At major international conferences, we remind the world that open knowledge is a public good that has to be protected.
To learn more about what we do on a monthly basis, check-out our monthly retrospectives. Highlights include: The EU Digital Services Act, Myanmar Draft Cybersecurity Law, the EARN IT Act in the USA, and our work with Wikimedians to help them gain representation at UN agencies, counter a Chilean bill, and jointly advance the Foundation-wide Human Rights Policy.
Watch and listen to our team in action to learn more about what we do:
- Content Moderation and Human Rights: [English langauge video] Allison Davenport speaking at the 2021 UN Internet Governance Forum about the importance of incorporating guiding principles from human rights law and participatory decision-making of users from developing countries in the governance of digital platforms.
- EU Legislative Files Important to Wikimedia: [English langauge video] Dimi and Anna from the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU present what EU legislative files matter for Wikimedia and why in a 10-minute lightning talk at Wikimania 2021.
- Challenges to Freedom of Expression Online from the Perspective of Those Affected: [Spanish and English language video] Amalia Toledo moderating a panel discussion at the 2021 Americas Dialogue.
- Unaccountable Online Platforms Impact Human Rights and Democratic Practices: [English language podcast] 'Internet of Humans' Podcast in which Jillian York and Konstantinos Komaitis talk to Rebecca MacKinnon about how the convergence of unchecked government actions and unaccountable government practices is threatening the future of democracy and human rights around the world...and where Wikimedia projects sit in relation to these trends. Podcast is available on PlayerFM, Spotify, and Apple Podcast.
- Journalism and Competition Act in the USA: [Spanish and English language podcast] Kate Ruane interviewed by Wikimedia Small Projects for an episode of the SuenaWiki podcast to discuss how the JCPA runs counter to copyright standards that would support the free and open nature of the internet