Resolution talk:Controversial content

From Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki

Announcement of the resolution, from foundation-l:

This week, the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees unanimously
passed a resolution addressing the issue of controversial content on
the projects. The Board also unanimously passed a resolution
addressing images of identifiable, living people on the projects. The
resolutions are posted at:

These topics have been the subject of active debate on the Projects,
and particularly on Commons, for a long time. Last June, following
extensive community debate, the Wikimedia Foundation Board requested
the Executive Director undertake a study of the issue of controversial
content on the projects, acknowledging the difficulty of the issue:

Robert and Dory Harris were commissioned to do this study, which they
did on meta in consultation with the community, publishing
recommendations in September 2010. Their report is available at:

At its October 2010 meeting, the Board was presented with this report.
The Board discussed the recommendations in depth, and developed a
working group to act on them. The working group's report was presented
at the Board's next in-person meeting, in March 2011; and these
resolutions were subsequently drafted and voted on. The working group
report has also been posted on meta, at:

Note that the controversial content resolution uses the term
"curation." We are using this term to refer to all aspects of managing
images and other content on our projects, including recruiting and
acquiring contributions and uploading, categorizing, placement of
images in articles and other pages (including gallery pages and the
main page), featuring or highlighting, flagging for improvement, and
deletion and removal. All of our projects are curated in line with
broad editorial principles; this is an essential feature that
distinguishes our projects from indiscriminate or general-purpose

Not all of the Harris recommendations are addressed in this
resolution. In particular:

  • At this time, we refer the recommendation to create a WikiJunior

project to the editing community; the Board would like to see
demonstrated community support before creating such a project.

  • In agreement with the Harris report, we do not recommend that

changes be made to current editing and/or filtering regimes
surrounding text in Wikimedia projects; we feel editorial mechanisms
regarding text are working well.

Finally, we urge that the community, the Foundation and the Wikimedia
movement continue to discuss the appropriate scope of Commons for
fulfilling Wikimedia's mission; this is a difficult and important

Thank you to everyone who has worked on this issue, and special thanks
to Robert and Dory Harris for their hard work.

-- Phoebe Ayers, on behalf of the Board working group and the Board