Talk:Ukraine's Cultural Diplomacy Month

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Where is "Russia's Cultural Diplomacy Month"?Edit

The world is in the middle of an international crisis between Ukraine and Russia and, lo and behold, Wikipedia is holding an "Ukraine's Cultural Diplomacy Month". This begs the question, Where is the link to "Russia's Cultural Diplomacy Month"? Mercy11 (talk) 00:26, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Russia hasn't invested in such a PR campaign. Also wikipedia does not view most domestic Russian media as reliable, so its hard to get stuff created for them. Bgrus22 (talk) 01:18, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
OK, yes, I agree! Which part of Russia's diplomacy would you like to highlight?
  • The part where they intimidate and invade neighboring countries?
  • The part where the president tampers with elections to the point of "silencing" opposition in order to illegally retain power?
  • Oh, oh, I know! How about the part about the state-sponsored program to systematically enhance the performance of their athletes, including developing children, with banned drugs at global competitions (sports diplomacy)—a program that saw the forfeiture of nearly 50 medals and the bans of more than 150 athletes, many of them unwitting participants without a choice—a program in which officials attempted to sabotage investigations—a program causing the shame, heartbreak, and indelibly-tainted legacies of hardworking yet powerless-to-resist athletes betrayed by their own motherland—a program that continues to this day despite the country receiving one of the largest sanctions in the history sport?
Please, indulge me... ~~Mattevt | Hit me up 09:06, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
Guys, let's not get political...stick to discussion of the project... Firestar464 (talk) 11:36, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Neutral point of viewEdit

Why Ukraine? Why now? Please... 4nn1l2 (talk) 00:33, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

They appeared to have a similar month last year in March. Bgrus22 (talk) 01:19, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
And was that advertised by a big banner across all projects? I can't remember seeing that last year. 4nn1l2 (talk) 01:30, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
The best way to solve this would be to ask someone in charge of the event last year. Firestar464 (talk) 01:31, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UkraineEdit

I could talk about the reasons to despise Putin and the United States, and how sad it is that the Ukrainian people have a comedian who likes words but not actions as their head of state. However, the problem here is fundamentally that of the WMF collaborating with any state to boost its image. Do we not remember Gibraltarpedia? If the government of Ukraine wants to contribute to Wikipedia, they should release public domain, high-quality images related to cultural artefacts, working with museums, galleries, libraries and so on. But the WMF should not be formally working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to promote Ukraine's international image, which implicitly comes at the expense of Russia and takes a non-neutral position on disputed territory (Luhansk and Donetsk). — Bilorv (talk) 00:51, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Could not have said it better! Mebigrouxboy (talk) 00:57, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
Honestly you're right but as long as Russian domestic media is considered unreliable it will be difficult to produce any wikipedia articles that cover the Russian perspective. Bgrus22 (talk) 01:21, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
Oh my God, I saw the poster and enter. But your comment has opened my eyes. This is a political issue. If that were the case, there should be weeks for each country or region, and they should prioritize forgotten countries or countries with very little public information, countries to which wikipedia users could contribute to make their history and beauty more visible. Doors of light (talk) 13:40, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Ukraine made, Ukraine benefitEdit

It should be made abundantly clear that this is most certainly an effort from the Ukrainian government to spread knowledge and information in their time of trouble. I see this as Wikimedia pairing up with a government that is scrambling for PR support. I don't quite know how to describe what this even is. It's just... weird. Mebigrouxboy (talk) 00:55, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

The timing is a really bad coincidence. However, according to @Bgrus22, they had something similar last year. Also, the goal of this isn't to promote Ukrainian political views but to improve coverage. Firestar464 (talk) 01:28, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
Hope there is still a Ukraine for 2023 Ukraine's Cultural Diplomacy Month... SYSS Mouse (talk) 02:25, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
Yes, indeed. Even if it's not promoted. I, too, hope that the possibility of such an event will still exist. ~~Mattevt | Hit me up 05:14, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

To those lamenting the timing of this eventEdit

You realize that this is the third year in a row this has occurred on the same date, right? The correlation with Russia's campaign to intimidate and invade a sovereign state (after reneging on an agreement that officially recognized said sovereignty) is coincidental. If you're going to complain about this, make sure to disclose, in good faith, which country you're representing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mattevt (talk) 02:30, 24 February 2022‎

How come this is apparently the first time we are seeing its conspicuous banner on a global level across all projects? What has changed since last year or the year before that? 4nn1l2 (talk) 02:42, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
@4nn1l2 Granted, I'm not sure I want any of the Wikimedia projects to promote governments of any kind, and certainly not in exchange for monetary support. And I'd like more transparency regarding this. But I also have to wonder about the motives of the most vocal opponents. Are they from Russia or any of its close allies (Iran, Turkey...), perhaps? ~~Mattevt | Hit me up 05:05, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
I am British but condemn the actions of my government, who do not represent me. I would have opposed the first year of this project (I can only see one, not two, previous events) had I known about it. — Bilorv (talk) 12:11, 26 February 2022 (UTC)
Mr. "Please indulge me"/Mattevt shouldn't be asking impertinent questions about country of origin of editors here. Why does it matter? It doesn't; what matters is we are editors here. Period. If you don't like the rules, Mr. "Please indulge me"/Mattevt, then go whine to Jimmy Wales, not here. Mercy11 (talk) 03:56, 6 March 2022 (UTC)

My take on what happened here.Edit

If this project predates the recent events in Ukraine, then whoever decided to push an ad in the front page for the project, please speak up. Those responsible for the event the years before, please let us know if you were or not involved in this.

At best this seems like a blunder, pushing this project to the front page instead of cancelling it to focus on the *coverage of recent events*. At worst it seems as if someone were trying to mobilize users for some unclear end, using their clearance for unintended purposes, skipping the typical WikiPedia policies for front page edits, and instead using the policies of other more technical processes like the change of code for a front end component.

Some process take a week or two to get approved, so I'm assuming the process was started a couple of days ago, when there was still hope for an amicable solution, and the timing for approval proved unfortunate, leaving this diplomatic attempt as a display of naïvete.

Let's focus on the coverage of the article linked in the recent events part of the main page.

Regards, T.

--TZubiri (talk) 06:47, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Special:diff/22780677 1233 T / C 09:55, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Wow, what a coincidence!Edit

Just today, I learned Russia was invading Ukraine, and now this? What a coincidence. At least I'm not complaining about the timing of the event. Mobius Gerig (talk) 09:18, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Ukraine has important articles that should be improved(at least I have[1])--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 14:36, 24 February 2022 (UTC)

Statement from organizatonal teamEdit

Due to several messages concerning CentralNotice banner and recent events of the invasion of Ukraine, I on behalf of organizational team would like to issue the statement.

  1. The contest was orginized as the second edition of Ukraine's Cultural Diplomacy Month 2021, contest was planed way before escalation of situation.
  2. The start of CentralNotice campaign was taken in relation of the start of contest on February 17, to engage the community during middle period of contest. The fact that it appeared to be the start of active invation is cruel coincidence.
  3. All communities were notified of CentralNotice banner. If community consensus is to remove this banner, please write here
  4. This campaign is organized in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs but it has no influence on the content of any articles, all pages must be within local guidelines.
  5. We sincerely thank everyone, who expressed words of support in the times of one of the darkest periods of our history.
  6. I, personally, will continue supporting this contest til the end.--ValentynNefedov (WMUA) (talk) 15:01, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
@ValentynNefedov (WMUA): Thank you for the explanation. With best wishes!--Jetam2 (talk) 15:05, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
Thank you for the comment.
Do you have any knowledge of this project being sponsored on the main page of the English Wikipedia?
Additionally, do you think it prudent to either cancel this year's project or changing the scope to focus on coverage of the recent events or related articles, of both Russia and Ukraine?
It seems like organizers of previous events will have no problem supporting the main page promotion of this event, but it goes against the interests of Wikipedia as a whole to show support for Ukraine. It goes against the principle of neutrality. I don't think you guys were aware of this promotion efforts.
At any rate, the banner seems to have been silently removed from the main page, so the issue is solved. Although no one responsible for it has seemed to step up.
--TZubiri (talk) 19:48, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
To clarify, if the event is not featured on the front page, you are free to set the scope to whatever you want, but I reiterate my recommendation to keep it relevant.--TZubiri (talk) 19:49, 24 February 2022 (UTC)
TZubiri, I am not so sure it was removed for everyone despite us not seeing it any longer: the way Wikimedia traditionaly works such banners is they get displayed only the first time a user logs in after the banner is first put up, but such editors already shown the banner will then not see it again yet all other users will continue to see it on their first log-in. Mercy11 (talk) 03:56, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
ValentynNefedov, it just so happens that if "The contest was organized as the second edition of Ukraine's Cultural Diplomacy Month 2021, [and the] contest was planed way before escalation of situation," that contest should had been halted, postponed or otherwise not rolled out now as it is obviously perceived as taking Ukraine's side in the conflict.
It also so happens that if you are speaking "I on behalf of organizational team [and you] would like to issue the statement", you should had, yourself, taken the initiative of reporting the concerns here (for which there is undisputed consensus) to the site in your point #3 above, i.e., (here), as you lack of action is itself already viewed as supporting Ukraine's side. If you support one side over the other, do so on your personal website, and do not use Wikimedia as your platform for your personal opinions on the conflict.
It wouldn't matter if the campaign was organized in cooperation with God himself. When a bellicose conflict breaks out precisely at the time when a Wikimedia campaign involving one of the parties to the bellicose conflict is about to be started, the right thing to do is to halt, postpone, or otherwise not roll out such Wikimedia campaign, for it can give the impression that Wikimedia is taking sides. As the multitude of parties here have expressed already, it is inappropriate to move forward with this, especially if Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was involved, for any promises of "no influence on the content of any articles" without any cites are a waste of my time and, would also dare add, the time of the other editors here who also expressed the same concern.
"We sincerely thank everyone, who expressed words of support in the times of one of the darkest periods of our history." Excuse me? Where is your reliable source cite that Wikimedia is going thru one of its darkest periods in its history? Sorry, but you don't get it, do you Mr. ValentynNefedov? You don't get that what would matter is if Wikimedia was going thru one of its darkest times, and not if country such-and-such was going thru one of its darkest times.
"I, personally, will continue supporting this contest til the end." Ok. Thanks for confirming my last question above, that you indeed did not get it. My warmest regards, Mercy11 (talk) 03:56, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
Hello, @Mercy11:! Wikipedia was always considered an open project, which sets a goal to promote and create free knowledge all around the world. All wikimedia projects are diverse and independent, that's why there is a possibility for everyone to contribute and for everyone to make contributions more organised by creating dedicated campaigns. Ukraine's Cultural Diplomacy Month is such a campaign, which was created by Wikimedia Ukraine in cooperation with Ukrainian institute and MFA of Ukraine. However, such contests only provide opportunities for editors, proposing them to focus on some topic. During last month plenty of other campaigns were underway (including, for instance, “University World” contest, which was organised in cooperation with Russian Presidential Grants Fund). Editors could have picked any of those campaigns and we are not saying that someone’s side has been taken. Regarding the CentralNotice banner: I again want to stress that all communities were notified that there is an intention to set up a banner. In case of consensus against - the banner would not have been displayed. As Ukrainian Wikipedians are being considered part of the global Wikimedia movement, we indeed face one of the darkest times in our history: many of my fellow volunteers find themselves in parts of Ukraine that are under active attack. Dozens of Wikipedia editors have been forced to flee their homes, and dozens of other wikimedians have had to spend many nights in bomb shelters; some have had their apartments bombed and damaged. We welcome initiatives by community members to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and hope for the best! Regards,--ValentynNefedov (WMUA) (talk) 21:13, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Sir/Madam, if you think that having dozens of Ukrainian Wikipedia editors being forced to flee their homes, dozens of other wikimedians having had to spend many nights in bomb shelters, and some having had their apartments bombed and damaged, equates with facing "one of the darkest times in our history", then I am not sure where you have been all this time as it relates to the, not dozens, but thousands of Palestinians, Libyans, Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, and Yemenis, who never even had a chance at becoming Wikipedians, wikimedians, or a wiki-what-have-you because --never mind their homes, shelters or apartments-- but because their own lives where cut short due precisely to folks who, like yourself, just cannot seem to understand that equality, fairness, and justice have nothing do with taking sides, and everything to do with staying neutral. And the banner in question, and the subsequent rollout it represented, are a disgrace to what the WMF appeared to stand for in writing but which apparently cannot also implement in practice. Corporations and commercial enterprises have their financial interests to look after, which forces them to take sides, but unless WMF and its subsidiaries are also for-profit enterprises, I see no reason why, consensus or not, it moved to take sides in the military conflict in question. Frankly, if you were as good at avoiding even appearance of taking sides during a bellicose conflict as you are good at writing pretty write-ups like the one above, this entire page would have likely never seen any text. Please do not contact or ping me about this matter again until you have rolled out equivalent Cultural Diplomacy Month to represent the 6 other groups above --and-- Russia. Thank you. Mercy11 (talk) 22:34, 7 March 2022 (UTC)
Mercy, you realize you are speaking with a Ukranian? Your comments are laughably inapproriate. First because you fail to interpret that they are referring to the darkest time in THEIR history. And second because even if they were referring to the darkest time of the world, or WikiMedia, nitpicking that there have technically been worse times is incredibly tone deaf, what are you even trying to accomplish?
Take a break. TZubiri (talk) 00:01, 8 March 2022 (UTC)
Return to "Ukraine's Cultural Diplomacy Month" page.