Wikimedians for software freedom

Imagine a world where Free and Open Source Software is the default strategy in the Wikimedia Movement. That's our commitment.

Welcome in the Wikimedians for software freedom User Group.

Join the Wikimedians for software freedom and sustain the right to use, study, modify and share software in the Wikimedia movement, also during official Wikimedia online events.

This page is a request for comments (started in 27, July 2022).

Feel free to join and discuss the title of this user group and its goals!


We have strong digital barriers inside Wikimedia. We are the cause.

Who donate to Wikimedia Foundation do so because we promise to deliver contents and freedoms. Who donate certainly don't expect their money to be used to enforce digital barriers, remote control or active tracking. Volunteers do not expect to be left out of events because, to participate, they have to execute proprietary software on their smartphone and computer.

These problems happen because the same "popular" technologies someone use in private, the same technology is enforced over Wikimedia volunteers, and this must not acceptable anymore if this technology try to control the users.

From smartphone apps to websites, from file sharing to videocalls, from video platforms to live videos, there are different levels of severity and different levels of action we can do to improve the situation and avoid mistakes.

Official Wikimedia Foundation documents supporting Libre and Open SourceEdit

Digital barriers and proprietary surveillance must be stopped inside the Wikimedia Movement and their related official events, first of all to protect Wikimedia activists and their minorities.

These are all the known official Wikimedia Foundation documents supporting Libre and Open Source:

From the 2030 Movement Strategy:

  • «Censorship, surveillance, and the increased commercialization of knowledge endanger Wikimedia's existence»
  • «the obstacles to participation for underrepresented groups persist»

From the Movement Strategy's Principles:

  • «structures must address for them to be empowered and able to contribute free from barriers»
  • «adopting policies and providing technology, resources, and infrastructures to protect the privacy and security of our Movement participants»
  • «Inclusivity is at the root of the development of processes, practices, and structures for the Wikimedia Movement»
  • «Structures and platforms need to be adaptable to not only empower those who are already in our Movement, but to embrace those yet to join and others who were previously excluded or overlooked»
  • «addressing existing privileges as well as barriers to participation»

From the m:Movement Charter/Content/Values & Principles:

  • We represent a fact-based, open, and inclusive approach to knowledge
  • We share, in the spirit of free knowledge, all of our content, all our software, all our platforms with the world

From the Movement Strategy Recommendations+:[1]

  • «directly address the barriers and circumstances that prevent people from utilizing or participating in our Movement.
  • «Support compliance with the most advanced accessibility guidelines using free and open-source software»

From the Wikimedia Foundation Technology page:

  • «we design and build the open-source technology that powers Wikimedia projects»

From the Wikimedia Foundation documentation:

  • «Free and open-source software from Wikimedia»

From the Wikimedia Technical blog:

  • «Open Source for open knowledge»

Additional resourcesEdit

Community resources:

High priority concernsEdit

What we wantEdit

But first of all, we would like to say thank you to the Free Software and to the Open Source movements!
Censorship, surveillance, and the increased commercialization of knowledge endanger Wikimedia's existence
2030 Movement Strategy, first page

Here a list of requirements promoted by the Wikimedians for software freedom User group:

Plus an additional list of partially-related things that would be nice as well:

In case of any doubt see the #Glossary.


Any event or product, adopted or designed or actively supported by Wikimedia Foundation and involving volunteers (e.g. projects meeting, Wikimania, etc.) SHOULD be designed with Free software in mind as primary and default solution, MUST clearly indicate if any part of that tool is proprietary and, anyway, MUST NOT impede, exclude or discriminate who feel unsafe with proprietary software.

Status: not yet received.
Example: Google Meet or Zoom, even if they can be useful in your personal life, and even if you maybe already have a Google account, should not be used to invite Wikimedians: volunteers should never need to execute proprietary software and should not need a Google/XYZ account to join their movement, and should not need to send their data to an oversea company. Moreover, these links are shared everywhere (mailing list, Meta-wiki, ...) and Google or Zoom should not look like a "spammy proprietary Wikimedia sponsor". Please, start specifying right now, under every Google Meet / Zoom, that this is proprietary and that a standard phone call it's possible to join without proprietary software + instructions. Anyway, we think the reasons for not using Jitsi Meeting or BigBlueButton or FLOSS are futile in 2022 so, thank you for just adopting FLOSS and deprecating Google Meet and Zoom, etc.
Legal note: lot of proprietary services have been widely criticized by governments in Europe and other parts of the world, and sometime they are even illegal in Europe.
Example: YouTube can be used but only as a secondary tool, not as default requirement. The primary tool must be a Free software, like PeerTube or whatever does not require proprietary software on end-users.
Example: software executed on-the-fly from websites must be taken in consideration as well. So, a website with proprietary JavaScript like Google Forms cannot be an accepted as primary solution.
Tip: sometime is not needed to find a completely new platform. You can also simply ask the vendor to receive a Freely licensed copy of the software executed on client-side. Often, people's core business is not in having a black-box software, but in having a reliable service, and so they sometime understand our needs. Just try asking.


Any event designed or actively supported by Wikimedia Foundation must not to require any Digital Restriction Management on Wikimedia contents, as default.

Status: not yet received.
Example: sometime YouTube is useful to share videos destinated to the community, but YouTube cannot be used as default and primary way to do so, since YouTube tries to stop people from downloading copies (even if they are in CC-BY!) and this is a form of DRM. Please, do not rely on YouTube and do not promote YouTube in a way that seems our default platform. Also, please never embed YouTube videos in WMF websites for security reasons (e.g. on Blog Diff)) and remember: Wikimedia Commons is not bad.


In the rare cases where #REQ-FREEDOM and/or #REQ-DRM cannot be fulfilled (for example because in that use case is not possible to adopt any Free software) this must be treated like a bug, and Wikimedia Foundation should help organizational team in allocating similar or greater funds to fix this this bug.

Status: not yet received.


In case it is not clear whether a solution is Free or proprietary, the default assumption must be "proprietary", unless you have sufficient evidence or the opinion from a technical committee.

The Wikimedians for software freedom User group is available for clarifications in this triage process.

Status: not yet received.

What should be also nice to haveEdit


Any online event designed or actively promoted by Wikimedia Foundation must not to require physical recognition (real first name, real last name) and in any case must not ask sensitive data (sexual preference, etc.) in order to participate as default. Moreover, this data must not be related to the username in any way, unless the owner of the username wants so or unless there is a very good reason.

Example of bad reasons: platform limitations (just change platform), statistical requirements (just do an anonymous survey not connected in any way with the username), etc.
Example of very good reasons: specific legislative obligation (for example related to voting), etc.
Status: not yet received.


Here some terms and their definition. Note that this glossary is limited to the scope of this document.

Free software (and Open Source)
A software allowing to use it, study, edit and share without restrictions. See Free software on Wikipedia.
Tip: all Wikimedia Foundation's production infrastructure is designed with Free software, starting from MediaWiki.
The "Digital rights management" are technical restrictions designed to deny users from copying or sharing a content. See Digital Restriction Management on Wikipedia.
Tip: Wikipedia contents are proudly not restricted by any DRM.
Tip: The Creative Commons BY-SA license (in use in Wikipedia) also expressly prohibit the use of DRM.

How to joinEdit

You can add yourself in the Wikimedians for software freedom as long as you accepted the Wikimedia User Group Code of Conduct:


External linksEdit