Wikiversity open letter project/WMF Board March 2010/Letter with links

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This is an old version of the letter that includes hypertext links.

Open letter to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, March 2010[edit]

To: Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

Dear Trustees,

As members of the English Wikiversity community ( we seek your input on matters of concern to the Wikiversity community.

While Jimmy Wales has not taken part [1] in creating or improving education resources, or the discussions leading to the current local policies, English Wikiversity has repeatedly seen his intrusions which lead to disruptions in the community. In the most recent case, he has claimed (which the stewards believe [2]) to have full support of the Wikimedia Foundation, whose responsibility goes down to the Board of Trustees, for his recent drastic actions on English Wikiversity, while he hasn't used the "edit" button [3] to discuss and edit, which is our fundamental community practices.

  1. Mr. Wales has deleted pages without following the established community process for discussing page deletion decisions [4] while imposting his own reasons for deleting pages,
  2. Mr. Wales has imposed blocks on Wikiversity participants that (unlike Mr, Wales) follow community guidelines with conditions that they not be unblocked without consulting him [5],
  3. Mr. Wales has engaged in wheel-warring with a respected Wikiversity bureaucrat and then inappropriately stripped the same Wikiversity bureaucrat of all tools when no emergency situation existed, and
  4. Mr. Wales rather than voice concerns with local custodians or participate in a mature discussion of his actions with the community, has bullied the community with thinly-veiled threats such as that Wikiversity may be closed [6][7] and calls Wikiversity participants "trolls".

We request that the Board of Trustees hold a public discussion of these matters, a discussion where members of the Wikiversity community can speak and defend the Wikiversity project against unwelcome intrusions. We believe that the Board should then hold a public vote in which the trustees all clearly state whether through its agent, Mr. Wales, the Board of Trustees will continue to make unilateral decisions about Wikiversity content and will in the future continue to perform emergency desysop procedures on Wikiversity custodians when no emergency exists.

One point that the trustees and the office should particularly clarify, is that when, how, and in what way was Jimbo Wales authorised to intrude into a community (in which he hasn't been a participant). We understand that Wikimedia Foundation, as the host of all projects, have the right to do whatever they see fit to the data in their servers. However, this is not to be taken lightly for good reasons, and, as the communities do elect trustees, they are answerable to the communities. The relationship between the host and the community should be one of mutual respect and trust.


{list of names of Wikiversity community members sending the letter}



Discussion by project participants:

See also[edit]