Public policy/Work With Us

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This page covers how the Wikimedia Foundation's Global Advocacy team works with members of the Wikimedia movement and allied organizations.

Successful policy work is led and informed by local communities and contexts in order to meet the interests and needs of those most directly impacted. The Foundation’s advocacy work seeks to mirror the self-governance and collaborative spirit of the entire movement. Our goal is to work closely with networks of affiliates, volunteers, and allied organizations to advance policy work that is most impactful on a local level.

Examples can be found on this page and via [our list of resources], which contains joint letters, law suits and campaigns that we've created with our partners.

Examples of our work with othersEdit

Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EUEdit

We have a longstanding partnership with the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU (FKAGEU). The FKAGEU is fully independent of the Wikimedia Foundation. They have two full-time staff who coordinate the European Wikimedia chapters so that they have a unified and clear position on major legislative and political changes affecting the vision, mission and values of the Wikimedia movement. In practice, the core group monitors EU processes, raises red flags in case of crucial issues, and discusses possible actions when necessary. A list of their work is here.

The Wikimedia Foundation’s Global Advocacy team meets regularly with the core group. Together we coordinate actions, provide advice to each other, and jointly consider how political or legislative developments may impact the free knowledge movement. Recent examples of our work include:

Wikimedia ChileEdit

Wikimedia Chile is a leader on public policy initiatives in the region. As a result, the Chapter consistently updates the Wikimedia Foundation about regional developments and is a frequent partner on national issues. In 2022 for example, Wikimedia Chile was concerned about proposed legislation meant to regulate digital platforms. The Global Advocacy team supported the Chapter to analyze the bill and its legal implications for open knowledge projects like Wikipedia. The analysis was summarized in this blog post. The two also joined other civil rights groups in expressing their concern via an open letter.

In August 2022, Wikimedia Chile organized an advocacy tour to meet with policymakers and other local stakeholders, explain our operating model and identify common ground for collaboration and advocacy.

Wiki Movimento BrasilEdit

Wiki Movimento Brasil’s advocacy work was very important in relation to a bill to control disinformation (PL 2630/20). The bill associated legal risks and liabilities with content moderation processes. But Wiki Movimento Brasil’s work made it possible for Wikipedia’s community-led model of content moderation to persist despite these legal risks. Members of Wiki Movimento Brazil and the Global Advocacy team worked with InternetLab to publish an analysis of how the bill could harm Wikimedia. Wiki Movimento Brasil is also a member of a digital rights coalition, Coalizão Direitos nas Redes, via which they ran a large campaign against the bill that included their own statements and additional publications and campaign material. As a result of this advocacy work, the community can continue to contribute knowledge online without excessive legal risks in the run-up to the next presidential campaign. This is a great example of how the Global Advocacy team could partner with Wiki Movimenti Brazil to support the advocacy work that the Brazilian Wikimedians were already doing with regional partners.

Wikimedia ArgentinaEdit

Wikimedia Argentina alerted the Wikimedia Foundation about a court case (Denegri v. Google Inc.) that could possibly change rules related to the right to be forgotten. As a result of Wikimedia Argentina’s warning, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Global Advocacy Team was able to file an amicus brief. The court decision upheld freedom of expression and protected free access to public information. Our analysis is available. This collaboration is a great example of why it is important for the Foundation to work closely with Affiliates - Affiliates are best positioned to know when new bills, laws, or discussions are taking place that might impact the free knowledge movement.

Wikimedia IndonesiaEdit

Wikimedia Indonesia worked closely with the Wikimedia Foundation’s Global Advocacy Team to respond toward Ministerial Regulation no 5 that include provision on content and platform takedown. A session with the community in Indonesia was organized to inform how to maintain safety and respond toward the regulation.

PhilippinesEdit

In collaboration with user groups in the Philippines and digital rights groups, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Global Advocacy Team contributed toward the joint advocacy effort which led to presidential veto on the SIM Card and Social Media Law. The SIM Card and Social Media Law includes provision that restricted pseudonymity and harsh regulation on content take down. We endorsed a joint statement against the regulation that will affect our models, and amplify it through our social media platforms. Details about how we respond to the regulation can be found in the Medium blog.

Answers to FAQsEdit

If you can't find the answer to what you're looking for below, check-out our full FAQ. Otherwise, send us an email with your request (globaladvocacy@wikimedia.org).

How can the Foundation support the advocacy work of affiliates and community members?Edit

The support we can offer is specific to each advocacy initiative. The best way to find out is to contact us with your goals and campaign ideas at globaladvocacy@wikimedia.org so that we can brainstorm together. In general, we may be able to help you identify stakeholders to contact, allied organizations with whom to partner, or processes whereby you can submit public comments. We may also help you select campaign tactics or access previous campaign communications and planning materials to use as templates. Once again, if you’re looking for support, get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.

Collaborations include:

  • Co-hosting sessions at events like ESEAP Conference, CEE Conference, WikiIndaba, and RightsCon
  • Organizing conversations where Wikimedians can share their work on topics like anti-surveillance or Copyright advocacy (see examples)
  • Helping Affiliates and individuals prepare for meetings, talks, or round-tables with policymakers and other local stakeholders (ex: helping to develop talking points)
  • Affiliates alerting the Foundation when a new bill or law is being discussed, which may impact the free knowledge movement
  • Collaborating on how to submit comments or responses to new bills or laws
  • Collaborating on analyzing bills and their legal implications for open knowledge projects like Wikipedia

Can you help me to contact lawmakers/ministers/other politicians?Edit

The Global Advocacy team can help you identify relevant stakeholders to contact if you intend to align your advocacy efforts with the Wikimedia movement’s mission to support and advance free knowledge. Please reach out to us either by emailing the policy specialist responsible for your region— see staff —or by sending an inquiry to globaladvocacy@wikimedia.org.

Can you review our open letter? Can you review our policy submissions?Edit

We may review your open letter and policy submission if you desire. However, this is not required, and our ability to review submissions or letters in a timely manner is restricted by our availability and workload. We therefore encourage all affiliates and volunteers to pursue their open letters and policy submissions without our review. You are advocates of free knowledge! We do not want to cause you to miss out on an advocacy opportunity.

You can also contact other Wikimedians who have published open letters and submitted public comments to their governments. For example:

  • Wikimedia Australia (Public comments example)
  • Wikimedia Chile (Open letter example)

How do I determine whether I can sign an open letter on behalf of my Chapter?Edit

Chapters are completely free to decide whether to sign an open letter that is relevant to their work at the local level. Our tip, evaluate: how the letter aligns with the chapter’s defined objectives and positions; what risks, if any, exist for the chapter, its staff and the local community if the letter is signed; and, how signing serves to advance the Chapter's work.