Wikimedia DC Statement on Terms of Use Enforcement

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June 30, 2019

Wikimedia District of Columbia is deeply concerned by recent events that have occurred on the English Wikipedia, including community controversy regarding a ban imposed by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Protecting editors from harassment is crucial to the continued success of the Wikimedia movement. Many of us have been targets of harassment as a result of our contributions to the Wikimedia projects, and have witnessed harassment of our colleagues, and we are grateful to the Wikimedia Foundation's Trust & Safety team for their support in those incidents.

We make no judgement on the case at the center of the current controversy as the Foundation—as per long-standing practice to protect the privacy of all concerned—did not identify the specifics of the behavior publicly. We are not endorsing or opposing a specific case, policy, or process. However, in light of these events, we publicly affirm our support for the following principles:

  • We support the Wikimedia Foundation's efforts in general to make the English Wikipedia welcoming and accessible to people of all backgrounds and gender identities.
  • We believe there are circumstances where the Wikimedia Foundation should take action against individual editors who violate the Terms of Use when it is necessary to protect people of all backgrounds and gender identities.
  • We support collaboration between the Foundation and the English Wikipedia community to inform the policies and processes surrounding these efforts.
  • We oppose the use of discriminatory, racist, and homophobic language in all Wikimedia discussions, and encourage the community to avoid it, regardless of context or intent.

Board of Directors
Wikimedia District of Columbia


About Wikimedia District of Columbia:

Wikimedia District of Columbia is the regional Wikimedia chapter serving Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the advancement of general knowledge and the collection, development, and dissemination of educational content under a free license or in the public domain, Wikimedia DC support the goals of the Wikimedia Foundation, including the work of volunteers on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects as well as numerous other free knowledge initiatives. To learn more, visit wikimediadc.org.

Press Inquiries:

Please direct all press inquiries to press@wikimediadc.org.