Wikimedia Foundation Transparency Report/June 2015/Requests for Content Alteration & Takedown/ar

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The Wikimedia projects make up one of the world's largest repositories of human knowledge. With that much information, someone is bound to get upset by some of the content from time to time. While the vast majority of content disputes are resolved by users themselves, in some extreme cases the Wikimedia Foundation may receive a legal demand to override our users.

The Wikimedia projects are yours, not ours. People just like you from around the world write, upload, edit, and curate all of the content. Therefore, we believe users should decide what belongs on Wikimedia projects whenever legally possible.

Below, you will find more information about the number of requests we receive, where they come from, and how they could impact free knowledge. You can also learn more about how we fight for freedom of speech through our user assistance programs in the FAQ.

George Orwell press photo.jpg

Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.

— George Orwell, Writer،  (1948)
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Total Number of Requests
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Percentage of Requests Granted


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Government requests breakdown
إيطاليا University (Asserting Governmental Rights) ١
بولونيا Politicians, Candidates, & Political Parties ١
سريلانكا مهنة عسكرية ١
سورينام Politicians, Candidates, & Political Parties ١
المملكة المتحدة Crown Prosecution Service ١
الولايات المتحدة Politicians, Candidates, & Political Parties ٢
Federal Agency ١
مجهول Politicians, Candidates, & Political Parties ١
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Where did these requests come from?
البلد مستورد
  United States ٨٥
  France ٢٣
  Germany ٢٣
  United Kingdom ١٣
  Italy ٦
  Russia ٦
  Japan ٥
  Czech Republic ٤
  Korea ٤
  Australia ٣
  Canada ٣
  India ٢
  Netherlands ٢
  Spain ٢
  Austria ٢
  Brazil ١
  New Zealand ١
  Turkey ١
  Serbia ١
  Poland ١
  Sri Lanka ١
  China ١
  Belgium ١
  Sweden ١
  Slovenia ١
  Norway ١
  Latvia ١
  Pakistan ١
  Romania ١
  Denmark ١
  Suriname ١
  Taiwan ١
  Peru ١
مجهول ٣٣
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Which Wikimedia projects were targeted?
مشروع مستورد
ويكيبيديا الإنجليزية ١٠٥
ويكيميديا كومنز ٢٣
German Wikipedia ١٩
French Wikipedia ١٦
مشروع بدون إسم ١٦
Not a WMF site ١٠
Japanese Wikipedia ٥
Italian Wikipedia ٤
Multiple ٤
Russian Wikisource ٤
Spanish Wikipedia ٣
Czech Wikipedia ٣
Chinese Wikipedia ٢
Dutch Wikipedia ٢
Russian Wikipedia ٢
Korean Wikipedia ٢
Catalan Wikipedia ٢
Portuguese Wikipedia ١
Polish Wikipedia ١
Slovenian Wikipedia ١
Swedish Wikipedia ١
Arabic Wikipedia ١
English Wikispecies ١
Romanian Wikipedia ١
Somali Wikipedia ١
Danish Wikiquote ١
French Wiktionary ١
English Wiktionary ١


Copyrighting Facts

  • Time Period: May 2015
  • Story: A user contacted us to express concern about an English Wikipedia article on a famous work of art. They wanted to remove a single sentence, on the grounds that the sentence infringed their claimed copyright in a theory they had published some years ago. We explained to them that it is impossible to copyright an idea or a short statement of fact. They could copyright their article, but not the theories contained within. If the community thought the idea was interesting or notable and complied with Wikipedia’s policies, it was free to include it in the article.

Citation Needed

  • Time Period: January 2015
  • Story: A self-identified religious group wrote us, requesting that we remove multiple English Wikipedia articles. As support for their request, they cited a self-publication declaring that the founder of their tradition is the ruler of the universe. We explained that the Wikimedia Foundation does not edit or curate content on Wikipedia, and that if they were concerned about inaccuracies, they could consult Wikipedia's experienced volunteer editors. We also directed them to Wikipedia’s policy on verifiability and guide to identifying reliable sources, so that they could better understand the standards applied to Wikipedia articles and permissible sources to cite in those articles.

Political Points

  • Time Period: March 2015
  • Story: A lawyer reached out to us on behalf of a lesser-known North American political party that was unhappy with edits to English Wikipedia articles about the party and one of its leaders. Her clients apparently wanted previous, more promotional versions of the articles restored in place of the later versions. To better engage in discussions with the community, we encouraged them to familiarize themselves with Wikipedia's recommendations on style and tone and the policy restricting use of promotional language. We also advised that one of the best ways to resolve their concerns is to engage with the community directly.