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Board meetings Minutes from 2010-05-18 Questions?
Wikimedia Foundation Board meeting minutes
October 28, 2009, 20:30-22:00 UTC (IRC + teleconference)
Prepared by: Samuel Klein

Recent discussions about sexual content on Commons had been quite heated, and this meeting was called to order on short notice to respond to the issues raised. Particular attention was paid to helping everyone understand where other Trustees and community groups stood on the matter.


  • Check in with everyone about the process so far, their biggest concerns with regards to the topic of offensive content, and what they hope will be the outcome of the meeting.
  • 60 minutes to review current and historical discussions of offensive content on the projects
  • 30 minutes to discuss the desirability of a tool to let readers create a barrier for themselves to certain kinds of content
  • Check out from everyone, indicating what each person feels the next steps are


Michael Snow (Chair), Jan-Bart de Vreede (Vice-Chair), Kat Walsh (Secretary),
Arne Klempert, Bishakha Datta, Jimmy Wales, Matt Halprin, Samuel Klein,
Stu West, Ting Chen, Sue Gardner (Executive Director)

A quorum was reached, and Jan-Bart opened the meeting. Kat and Michael joined via IRC, everyone else joined via both IRC and teleconference.

Review of offensive content discussions on the projects

The Board reviewed conversations taking place about offensive content on Commons and on the other projects, including the currently proposed Commons sexual content policy. There was discussion of how to be sensitive to the needs of many different audiences as we approach 1 billion readers, and whether or not this was an urgent topic for the Board to address.

A resolution was proposed to strengthen the Board's earlier statement on educational content. It was rejected.

It was pointed out that Commons has had excellent discussions about this topic since it was founded, which should be respected. There was discussion about whether a BLP-like resolution that supported certain current Commons policies would be appropriate.

A resolution was proposed to ask the ED to research the topic and produce recommendations for the Board. This was generally supported, though it was agreed that the wording of such a resolution was important. The Board moved to draft a resolution online over the next two weeks.

Image filters for readers

The desirability of a tool that readers could use to limit what images they see was discussed. The pros and cons of making personal filtering easier were discussed, along with sensitivities to censorship and to standards in schools and workplaces where people regularly use Wikimedia projects.

No conclusion was reached, though the value of research into how other organizations handled such issues of personalization was again noted.


Each Trustee shared their views on the next steps to take. The voice/IRC combination was awkward at times, and using a single medium was suggested for future meetings. A follow-up IRC meeting was planned for June, and the meeting was adjourned.