Wikimedia Conference 2018/Program/31

31. New Challenges for supporting Wikimedians


Christel Steigenberger (Wikimedia Foundation)

Length (min)


Audience / Target group

All Wikimedians

Session Format

short presentation and discussion afterward


From discussions around strategy, but also through the input of individual volunteers, the Support & Safety Team of the Foundation has become aware of new needs on how to support and ensure the safety of Wikimedians around the world. After a short input on what we have learned so far, especially on threats and dangers to contributors by governments and others who want to control knowledge, I want to discuss with you your views and ideas on this issue.

Desired Outcome

Input of ideas, new perspectives, knowledge about existing threats and dangers from Wikimedians around the world.

Next Steps and Milestones

Incorporating the things I learn into Support and Safety procedures.


Ways people with power try to take influence:

  • Censoring and removing access to Wikimedia projects
  • Putting pressure on affiliates
  • Putting pressure on individual Wikimedians
  • Financial influence
  • Taking direct action onwiki

Ways the Movement can deal with such issues:

  • Guarding the anonymity of editors
  • WMF and affiliates refraining from taking influence on content
  • legal actions
  • Social influence
  • Banning/Blocking, restricting editors
  • Other means

Group discussion continued with identifying problems and proposing possible solutions to them.