Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Advocacy

Add topic
Active discussions

Area of inquiryEdit

Current situationEdit

Wikidata is not accepted in Wikipedia (automated Infoboxes)Edit

Infoboxes like "Wikidata Infobox" is technically well-working, but is distrusted by a lot of Wikipedians. Instead of correcting wrong data, Wikipedians are looking for excuses to not use Wikidata, and keep on repeatedly editing the same content over 100s of languages instead of fixing it only one single time in Wikidata, and then reusing the same data in all of the Wikipedias. Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 19:05, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

  • I think this comment belongs more to Community Health + Diversity + Capacity Building, but anyway I enterely share your point of view. B25es (talk) 16:58, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

Why this scopeEdit

Key questionsEdit


Through Wikimedia's advocacy efforts in the past like Wikipedia block in Turkey, letter to the Indian government asking to dismiss changes in IT rules for social media channels or EU laws, etc. not all but in some of these cases we've put in numerous efforts to hit the mark but have not been successful. Do we know what has worked well in the past and what hasn't and what were or should our alternative solutions be in situations like these? SSethi (WMF) (talk) 20:14, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

SOPA blackout is one action that comes to mind of a successful WMF intervention. While Spanish wikipedia did participate in a blackout against Article 13 EU regulations, English Wikipedia didn't. In general, I think WMF brings a lot of eye ball attention to different issues, but has failed to be the leader, and it absolutely could be. Shushugah (talk) 22:32, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

While preventing censorship externally may require advocacy, preventing censorship on Foundation wikis is also a technology and product issue; please see Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Product & Technology#CTO criteria. James Salsman (talk) 14:10, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

General political advocacyEdit

Please see Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Advocacy. James Salsman (talk) 13:53, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Thanks James Salsman. I posted that thread in July 2018 and received no reply. Maybe it was too early. I keep seeing references to more (overt) political positions. Are there any news on what defines the WMF political position? Something that is not as vague as equity? --MarioGom (talk) 15:50, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
Hi Mario, the working group's focus is the entire movement, so we're not defining the Wikimedia Foundation's positions on any of your questions. What I can say from my time as a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation is that the i.e. the question of the place of business and others are on the table, and in the complexity of our world as well as our movement there are no simple answers. Overall what I think we can tell for the strategy work on advocacy at this moment is that we (the working group) see advocacy with glasses focussed on the Wikimedia environment, tied to our values and to the idea of free knowledge. The working group is not going to work on the idea of human rights in general. Of course, as James pointed out below, there are dependencies and overlaps which we can't ignore and which need to be checked with other working groups as well. What we realized in our discussions is that it is very difficult to get a definition of what advocacy means in the Wikimedia environment and this is where we hope to get more clarity with the strategy. As said we look at the movement in general and not at its single entities. Alice Wiegand (talk) 08:05, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia 18th birthday wikimedia-l advocacy surveyEdit

The questions posed to the working group have included: "What policy areas do we want to prioritize on our way to becoming the essential infrastructure for free knowledge? Where do we have to align with the broader global movement? What policy changes are necessary to achieve our strategic vision? What are areas where the movement has an opportunity to make change? What is the most effective way to promote public policy that advances our goals? What kind of legal, public policy and activist capacities do we need within movement organizations and communities, and how can we build them?"

I sent the following message in January:

Subject: Survey about the Foundation's Mission
From: jsalsman at gmail dot com
To: wikimedia-l at lists dot wikimedia dot org

Happy 18th birthday to Wikipedia!

What does it mean for the Wikimedia Foundation to empower
contributors? Please share your opinion of what the Wikimedia
Foundation's mission statement means when it describes empowering
people to collect and develop educational content: 


[Which for me and presumably other respondents, currently goes here.]

The survey results are summarized after form submission.

Best regards,
Jim Salsman

I would like to submit the survey for review. I make no claims about its accuracy, other than I believe it was accurate at a certain point in time. It was not necessarily a scientific poll. Supporting almost all or all of the topics involved would be a tremendous benefit. Its questions included:

Without consulting reference materials, please describe what it means to empower a person to accomplish a task.
Would advocacy efforts by the Wikimedia Foundation in support of the following goals help empower people to collect and develop educational content? Free college education; Free health care; Shorter work week length; Lowering payroll taxes [including payroll subsidy]; Universal basic income; Labor representation on corporate boards; Two-bracket income taxation; Free public transportation. Answers: Not at all; Probably not; Possibly; Probably; Certainly.
Does limiting the Foundation's advocacy efforts to copyright and internet law inhibit activities that would help empower people to collect and develop free educational content?
If you know of any specific reasons which could prevent the Wikimedia Foundation from lobbying in support of any of the goals listed above, please describe them....
Should the Wikimedia Foundation form an affiliated 501(c)4 organization to help with advocacy supporting the Mission in ways that 501(c)3 organizations can not?

Are there any ways to reliably counter self-selection bias other than to secure agreement to answer questions from randomly selected members of the subject populations before they are posed to the respondents?

If I was going to update the survey in response to current events, it would be along the lines of these platform planks.

Thank you all for your kind consideration of these additional questions. James Salsman (talk) 05:17, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Hi James, I'm not sure if I understand your comment right. To get me into a better position to respond adequately to your expectations, please let me first summarize what I understand:
  • Following your ongoing interest in people's employment situation, health care and other issues which are not in the core scope of the Wikimedia Foundation's mission, you have set up a survey.
  • You ask the advocacy working group, which deals with advocacy questions with regards to the community strategy process, to review the questions and consider to include them into their investigation and discussions.
Did I get that right? If not please clarify. Alice Wiegand (talk) 10:07, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes. The questions posed by the Foundation to the WG, for example, "What is the most effective way to promote public policy that advances our goals?" depend on what those goals are, and the survey, which I hope can be repeated in some way that minimizes self-selection bias, found that a substantial number of respondents believe that taking actions such as pertain to health care are part of the Foundation's core Mission to "empower" the contributor community. James Salsman (talk) 20:46, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

Additional advocacy area: EconomicsEdit

Associated headcount need: Economist(s). I propose that the Foundation hire economist(s) capable of answering questions such as [2]. James Salsman (talk) 05:17, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Hi James, hiring questions are not part of what the working group discusses. Could you let us know what it is what we should add to our scope with regards to economics? Alice Wiegand (talk) 10:13, 27 April 2019 (UTC)
Whether it's by hiring, retaining consultants, recruiting expert volunteers, or otherwise obtaining the necessary skills, I submit that we can't answer questions such as, "What is the most effective way to promote public policy that advances our goals?" without first being able to answer questions about what public policy actions advance our goals, and that those questions in turn raise other questions in economics beyond the present capacity of the Movement to answer. The example I gave concerns current events in monetary policy which likely have a profound bearing on whether hundreds of hours per capita of potential contributor free time is or is not available for volunteering in many if not most western countries. This is an active area of inquiry in applied economics which affects the amount of effort available for the projects. Without the ability to present an informed opinion on the matter, the Movement is consigned to silence on this question of its own future. James Salsman (talk) 20:55, 28 April 2019 (UTC)

Benefiting from while reducing income of journalists breaking newsEdit

Last week, the Wikipedia Signpost's Recent Research report described Bunty Avieson (May 6, 2019) "Breaking news on Wikipedia: collaborating, collating and competing" in First Monday, which concludes that, "The journalistic labour that underpins a Wikipedia page has been funded by media organisations and appropriated without economic consideration. Further, the high traffic to the 2014 Sydney hostage siege page demonstrates that Wikipedia is a competitor to media organisations, adding further economic penalty."

Following the Signpost discussion here, I would like to ask that the Foundation consider raising this issue with governmental organizations such as those which fund public broadcasters, and their legislatures, to consider some kind of a direct journalism subsidy, perhaps administered by the Foundation in proportion to the extent that various news publishers produce journalism content that Wikipedia editors use in high-pageviews articles, to offset these deleterious effects. EllenCT (talk) 19:47, 2 June 2019 (UTC)

Wikimedia Deutschland staff perspectiveEdit

Over the last weeks WMDE's Strategy Liaisons, Moritz Rahm and Cornelius Kibelka, have conducted interviews with 13 experts among our staff on the themes of the working groups. Mostly, the qualitative interviews were done with groups of 2 or 3 people, the texts provided are summaries of the statements.

If you have any questions, please let us know. Best regards, --Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE) (talk) 14:21, 2 July 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Advocacy" page.