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City officials attempt to doxx Wikipedians, Ruwiki founder banned, WMF launches Mastodon server

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By Red-tailed hawk, HaeB and Andreas Kolbe

Amidst city council infighting, Durham, North Carolina, city officials attempt to doxx Wikipedians

Among other items, the letter asked that this image be permanently removed from Wikipedia and all other Wikimedia projects.

The city attorney of Durham, North Carolina, attempted to coax the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) to reveal the identities of three editors and to prohibit the placement of certain verifiable and truthful content on Wikipedia pages of city officials, Indy Week and The News and Observer report.

A letter, dated June 29, outlined three complaints about content on Wikipedia. Two of the complaints pertained to coverage of a council member's alleged attempted extortion of a developer, while the third related to an image depicting the signature of the mayor of Durham. The letter requested that the Wikimedia foundation remove the image and bar users from uploading it on Wikimedia projects, and requested the names and identities of the various editors who added the text and/or image content to Wikipedia.

Elaine O'Neal, the mayor of Durham, North Carolina, will not seek re-election this year.
Monique Holsey-Hyman, a member of Durham's city council, is running for re-election this year.

Recent months have been a tumultuous time for Durham's seven-member city council. In March, Elaine M. O'Neal, the mayor of Durham, publicly read an allegation that a Durham city council member (subsequently identified as Monique Holsey-Hyman) had extorted a developer for campaign contributions. The aftermath of the meeting was testy, with the public able to hear shouting between officials, despite them being out of public view. An eyewitness interviewed by Indy Week alleged that Durham council member DeDreana Freeman had attempted to strike Durham Mayor-pro tempore and council member Mark-Anthony Middleton during the shouting session, but instead struck O'Neal once and punched the head of fellow Durham council member Leonardo Williams twice before Williams subdued her. In the aftermath of these incidents, O'Neal announced that she would not seek re-election as Mayor, and a state investigation was opened into the extortion allegation (Holsey-Hyman denies the alleged extortion attempt and a separate allegation that she ordered city employees to perform campaign work on her behalf).

For making edits to the Wikipedia entries about certain figures implicated in this scandal, the letter requested the identities of Mako001 and Willthacheerleader18. The entries contained unflattering information about the public officials at the time of the letter's sending, but the entries were well-sourced; Indy Week reports that the entries' descriptions of the scandal were written "without any apparent factual error and with links to news articles as references".

Several figures have publicly expressed concerns about the sending of the letter. Barry Saunders, a member of the editorial board of The News and Observer, wrote that, "[u]nless the Wikipedia posts were egregiously wrong—and there's no evidence that they were—the three Durham officials should have taken a page, when it came to criticism, from the title of the 1970s hit by the band Bachman-Turner Overdrive: let it ride .... Few voters, though, will forgive attempts to silence critics".

Duke University law professor Stuart Benjamin was taken aback by the letter. He told The News and Observer, "I understand why public officials do not want unflattering information published about them, but it is deeply troubling that any public official tried to unmask someone who posted this accurate information."

David Larson, opinion editor of The Carolina Journal, concurred. "[T]his attempt to intimidate anonymous people online for daring to discuss real but unflattering details of your political service is the stuff of dysfunctional regimes", he wrote.

The WMF, for its part, told Indy Week that it is "strongly committed to protecting the privacy of editors and users on Wikimedia projects".

The letter, signed by city attorney Kimberly Rehberg, also states that she had removed the image of the signature from the Wikipedia article about Elaine M. O'Neal on June 28. This checks out; that article was edited on that day by a user named Kimlynn69, and Kimlynn69 wrote a message to Johnson524 that identified herself as "Kimberly M. Rehberg" and as the city attorney of Durham. As it had for the editors who touched content relating to the scandal of the March 23 meeting, the letter had also requested Johnson524's name and identity as well.

In response to Rehberg's message, Johnson524 explained that he had obtained the signature from Durham Performing Arts Center playbills. Indy Week reports that, following Johnson's reply to the message, Rehberg said in an email "there is little legal basis to demand that Wiki reveal the identity of the User or prohibit the upload of a photo of the signature to the Mayor's Wiki page".

The mayor, per an email obtained by Indy Week, was unsatisfied with Rehberg's reply. O'Neal told Rehberg that her request to send the letter to the WMF "still stands"; Rehberg said in an email sent later that day that the letter had been sent. Despite this, the letter may have never actually arrived at its intended destination. The WMF told Indy Week that they had not received the letter and that the letter that had been made public contained an incorrect postal address for the WMF's headquarters. Rehberg, meanwhile, told Indy Week that the letter had only been sent by physical mail.

The Signpost reached out to Johnson524 following the publication of Rehberg's letter. "I was so happy to see an outpouring of support from the Wikipedia community from editors who have been around longer than I have," he wrote: "I have always valued that Wikimedia has also never succumbed to external powers—and has continued to fight for a world of free information: whether that be not to take down/severely censor their project in Russia, to campaign for those jailed editors in Saudi Arabia, or even just go against unjust decisions by local governments here in the U.S."

He remained, however, displeased with the mayor's handling of the situation. "I would have even put it past the mayor Elaine O'Neal if she went back on her statement after I explained how I got the signature publicly, but since she doubled down on her attempt to try to 'unmask' me and two other editors after without really any prior contact, I am glad she will not be running for mayor again, because I don't think how this situation was handled was right at all", he wrote. – R

(For further coverage of this story see this issue's In the media.)

Ruwiki founder banned from editing Wikimedia sites

Vladimir Medeyko

Vladimir Medeyko (User:Drbug), the former head of Wikimedia Russia and founder of the Russian government-approved Ruwiki fork, has been "banned indefinitely by the Wikimedia Foundation from editing all Wikimedia sites". Medeyko had previously been blocked indefinitely on the Russian Wikipedia, following a discussion at the Russian Wikipedia's Administrators' Noticeboard, as well as on Commons, where the reason given was –

Long-term abuse: creating a Wikipedia fork which includes stolen content from Commons as well

See also previous Signpost coverage here and here. – AK

EU policy report – trouble brewing in France and Italy

Italy wants money for a reproduction of this drawing from the 1490s: Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man

Wikimedia Europe has published its European Policy Monitoring Report for July 2023. Among other current legal developments, it highlights that –

France is working on a tech bill to regulate the entire online environment [...,] the projet de loi visant à sécuriser et réguler l'espace numérique (SREN). There are several problematic articles and aspects in the proposal that would change how content moderation on [Wikimedia] projects works. Such examples are provisions aiming to keep links to 'banned' media off websites (think Russia Today) or an obligation to not allow banned users from re-registering (which would require some sort of background check on all new registrations).

The report also calls attention to "Italy['s] Crusade Against the Public Domain", referring the country's efforts "to restrict and get paid for re-use of public domain material" such as Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. – H

Foundation launches its own Mastodon server

The Wikimedia Foundation has launched an instance on the federated social network Mastodon, at (for technical reasons, it was not possible to use a domain). According to a July 17 announcement on Wikimedia-l,

At the moment, sign-up is open for Wikimedia Foundation staff as we examine moderation and other areas. Product and technology staff will use it primarily for developer engagement. The goal is to create a space for people to connect and talk tech.

At the time of writing (July 30), the server lists 72 active users, although its directory of recently active local users shows only five who have posted. The Foundation's own @wikimediafoundation account leads, with 14 posts, and has already gained over 5,000 followers – undoubtedly helped by a Hacker News post that made it (close) to the top of that site's front page.

The announcement comes amid continuing concerns about Twitter (where the corresponding @wikimedia account remains active, although viewing a list of its recent tweets currently requires registration, due to recent changes by X née Twitter). In late 2022, suggestions that the Foundation should mirror the official Wikipedia Twitter account (run by its Communications department) on Mastodon had fallen flat. This later motivated the creation of a community-run Wikipedia account on the Wikis World Mastodon server in April 2023 (see our coverage: "Wikipedia gains an official presence on Mastodon ... without the Wikimedia Foundation's involvement" and "Who speaks for Wikipedia? Mastodon accreditation reverted"). At the time of writing, it continues to be active, with 16K followers and a verified checkmark, while requests by WMF staff "to change the name of the account [from @wikipedia] to 'Wikipedia movement', 'Wikipedia volunteers', 'Wikipedia worldwide', or something similar" remain unheeded. – H

Brief notes

A presentation on the Kashmiri Wikipedia given by a member of the Kashmiri Wikimedians User Group at WikiConference India 2023 (see previous Signpost coverage)
Logo of the Flickr Foundation
In this issue
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Discuss this story

Italy vs. the public domain

Should have noted that besides the links recommended in the EU Policy report, there is also a blog post by Wikimedia Italia that specifically discusses the impact on Wikimedia projects: . Regards, HaeB (talk) 06:16, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Italy wants to be paid because somebody who happened to be born there drew something 500 years ago? Do they want to be paid every time someone eats pizza, too? AryKun (talk) 12:31, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Don't give them ideas, please. It's already hard as it is. --Sannita - not just another sysop 12:58, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Durham bull

Excellent reporting on the events in Durham. Threats to the independence and integrity of Wikipedia should always be brought to our attention. Smallchief (talk) 14:09, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Durham motive

This story was a tough read. Who, send what, why? The mayor requested, through a letter send by the city attorney, that her signature be taken down....but also content on pages of her political opponents of something she herself uncovered? This story left me with more questions then answers. What's her motive? Bart Terpstra (talk) 15:21, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It might be clearer at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2023-08-01/In the media#Durham bull. Something about allegations of bribery and the illegal use of civil servants in a campaign. And a shouting match, oh my. ☆ Bri (talk) 21:12, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is indeed a lot clearer, even with, or maybe because of, fewer words. Bart Terpstra (talk) 17:24, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Theft from Wikipedia

Why is it theft if Wikipedia is licensed under cc-by-sa-4.0? Bart Terpstra (talk) 15:27, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(I assume you are referring to the story involving Ruwiki and its quote from [2].)
There is some more detail here (in Russian). Looks like the fork copied images from Commons without attributing them as required by their licenses. Regards HaeB (talk) 18:13, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How on Earth is that the basis for a Foundation ban? Sandizer (talk) 19:20, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why would massive violations of the Terms of Use on copyrights not be the basis for a Foundation ban? SilverserenC 19:33, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because they appear to be unintentional, as many of the forked files are properly attributed? Sandizer (talk) 19:56, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What makes you think it is the (sole) basis for the Foundation's ban? Regards, HaeB (talk) 19:36, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unlawful behavior including copyright infringement is a ToS violation [3] (section 4). Section 13 allows the Foundation to block or ban violators of the ToS. ☆ Bri (talk) 19:38, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
After having read through the linked discussions (plus this one) with Google Translate, I can't find a single Russian Wikipedian upset about attribution problems with the Commons fork, but a sizable majority are upset about the use of the term "ruwiki" in the fork's domain name. But that's just a nickname, not a Foundation trademark, isn't it?
Should we expect the Foundation to ban anyone who uses a large amount of Commons material without proper attribution going forward? Sandizer (talk) 19:50, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would suggest they do, yes. SilverserenC 19:51, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As above, the lack of attribution does not appear to be intentional. Don't you think the Foundation should ask for corrections first before issuing a ban? Sandizer (talk) 19:59, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whereas nobody knows for sure why WMF banned him, I personally think that the ban is not for the copyright violation but for the damage they inflicted on the Russian Wikipedia by opening the fork and siding with the government, without telling anyone until the last moment. The Russian Wikipedia is under an imminent treat of being blocked by the government, and he has made a significant contribution to this situation. Ymblanter (talk) 20:05, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you suppose that the ban itself might also have made such a contribution? Sandizer (talk) 20:07, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You still haven't answered the question why we should assume that this was the entire basis for the Foundation's ban.
Also, apropos I can't find a single Russian Wikipedian upset about ..., recall that he was indefinitely blocked by the Russian Wikipedia community first. Are you disagreeing with their decision too? Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:13, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the community ban, just disagreeing with the Foundation ban. On the other hand, consider that Chinese Wikipedia pageviews spiked following their government censorship. Perhaps the Foundation wants to ensure a similar Streisand effect. Sandizer (talk) 20:22, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have again failed to answer the question, so let me put it differently: What is your reason for disagreeing with the Foundation's ban?
consider that Chinese Wikipedia pageviews spiked following their government ban - yeah, no, that's not what that chart shows. (The Chinese Wikipedia was blocked in May 2015, and the chart only starts from 2016. Also btw, as the small print below the chart warns, it includes automated pageviews from spiders and bots; for such an analysis one would need to remove them, using the filters under "Agent type".) Regards, HaeB (talk) 20:40, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it is a mistake to shun a former local leader for forking, especially when it's likely he may be under threats or other political pressure, and if the pretext is obviously unintentional lack of attribution for CC-BY-SA content, that's even worse.
Thank you for correcting me on the date of the Chinese ban. The graph doesn't look substantially different without spiders and bots.
Do you think there are any good reasons to keep community members from being able to communicate with Medeyko on Commons and Meta? Sandizer (talk) 21:29, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to be unaware of a lot of context here and I would encourage you to read or re-read the Signpost's previous coverage of this affair (linked in this issue's story), e.g. Bohdan Melnychuk's explanations quoted there.
(I personally would agree that overly harsh sanctions for unintentionally violating CC attribution terms can be problematic, but it is abundantly clear that this is not what we are looking at here.)
Regards, HaeB (talk) 04:49, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well I have read all of that, including Medeyko's talk page comments and the critiques of him linked there. I feel strongly that his actions are obviously involuntary at this point. For example, why would someone who professes to have not taken a side on the Russia/Ukraine conflict support an encyclopedia which sides entirely with Russia, if he wasn't being coerced? If he was merely being paid off surely he would have more respect for his own reputation. I'm sorry I couldn't answer your question because the Foundation doesn't say anything about why their bans are issued, but I would like to know your answer to mine, as to whether you think there are any good reasons to restrict the community from communicating with Medeyko on Commons and Meta? Sandizer (talk) 05:06, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Section 13 allows the Foundation to block or ban violators of the ToS. To clarify a common misconception, the ToS gives the WMF the ability to ban people for whatever reason, or no reason at all ("with or without cause") - there is no requirement to violate the ToS before being WMF-banned. Legoktm (talk) 07:26, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I totally agree. Just wanted to point out that this is an area where the Foundation specifically gave warning about consequences of certain actions. Some of the comments above might make one think "gee, this blocked guy was ambushed" when clearly that's not the case. ☆ Bri (talk) 17:14, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is there any statement from the Foundation on the reason(s) for the ban? Sandizer (talk) 20:06, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a good question. There seems to be a lot of confusion above where people have conflated "the user was banned by WMF" (with no further details) and "the user was earlier blocked on Commons for Long-term abuse: creating a Wikipedia fork which includes stolen content from Commons as well". Anomie 11:20, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From what I know, WMF never comments on the reasons of the global ban. Ymblanter (talk) 13:58, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, no attribution, which is a license violation.
....Why would they do such a foolish thing, it's so easy. Bart Terpstra (talk) 16:53, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Her signature isn't on the page anymore. Any indication why? Therapyisgood (talk) 19:41, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cullen328 removed it in this edit. I'm waiting for the Commons deletion discussion to finish before I re-add it in. SilverserenC 19:46, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He commented on it here: Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive1135#NLT,_subject_of_news_article. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:04, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I stand by my decision to remove the signature from Elaine O'Neal (politician), although I do not support deleting it from Commons or from The Signpost. Cullen328 (talk) 21:49, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Given that Durham already had an illustrious history of electing complete lunatics with law degrees to positions of power (Mike Nifong and Tracey Cline come to mind, having a DA removed once is rare enough but who ever heard of it happening twice in 5 years?), I have to wonder what's going on with the civic culture down there. There are how many more important things to deal with while running a city of that size, none of which involve sending facially bumptious legal threats to Wikipedia editors. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 13:53, 4 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Perhaps it was the "something" in "Something must be done!"? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 14:04, 4 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Including the signature in this article

Clearly the City Attorney's letter was misguided in many ways and should not have been sent. The request to identify specific editors was especially inappropriate, as well as doomed to failure.

That being said, the letter's concern about reproducing the Mayor's signature on Wikipedia arguably has greater merit than its other aspects. Indeed, Wikipedia:Signatures of living persons, albeit an essay rather than a policy or guideline, observes that if the person in question (or their representative) wants a signature removed to protect from identity theft, it should generally be removed. This is reasonable guidance, especially where, as here, the signature is not of a highly prominent person and the signature itself lacks independent encyclopedic value. The fact that the mayor previously allowed her signature to be reproduced elsewhere is neither here nor there, as someone may come to perceive an identity theft risk belatedly, or may feel the risk is different in kind from an online posting rather than a paper one (and even more so now given the controversy).

Ordinarily we remove a moderately notable BLP subject's signature from Wikipedia at that person's request. Instead, this Signpost article chooses to further disseminate the signature in our internal online newspaper, with the foreseeable and presumably intended effort of further publicizing it. I have no qualms about publicizing the dispute regarding the signature; but there is no more news value than there is encyclopedic value to posting the signature itself over the subject's objection.

While posting the signature here is not legally actionable—let no one think I am suggesting otherwise—including it on this page can reasonably be interpreted as striking back at or even taunting a BLP subject out of (understandable) annoyance at her representative's unwarranted tactics in raising concern about the contents of her article. As such, I suggest that in the spirit of the BLP policy, the signature should be removed. @Red-tailed hawk, HaeB, Jayen466, and Bri: I'd welcome your comments. Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:05, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have no objection to removing it. In my opinion, the signature controversy was less relevant here than the disputes about including adequately sourced material in Wikipedia articles, for the reason you mention – i.e. that we do remove signatures of living people if they are not particularly prominent persons. Andreas JN466 15:27, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We should ping User:JPxG as well here as he has the final word, as the Signpost's editor-in-chief. Andreas JN466 15:29, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Jayen466: Thank you for both responses. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:06, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had nothing to do with the writing or editing of this story (as should be clear from the page's revision history, which you, as an experienced Wikipedian, should be able to parse; see also the author signatures at the end of each story). So I don't appreciate you calling me out in this accusatory manner here.
But since you insisted on drawing me into this, a quick opinion: Your insinuations about the Signpost writers' motivations for including this image (striking back at or even taunting) seem to be on shaky grounds. I'd find it more likely that they included this because it is an illustration that is highly suitable for conveying a central point of the story visually to the reader (something that we always strive to do, for example it's why I, as author of the EU policy story, spent time selecting and including that Vitruvian Man image after writing up the story). As for the alleged identity theft risks, I would recommend a balanced risk assessment that also takes into account that Signpost stories almost never receive sustained traffic after the initial days following publication, as opposed to a mainspace article where such a signature image will receive views for years and years to come. Yes, the BLP policy applies to non-article pages too, but as you correctly point out, the essay you rely on here is not policy or even consensus. Overall, I'm doubtful that this is a problem so serious that it would require a post-publication excision. Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:34, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
PS: Also (genuine question since I haven't been following this affair), you are implying that the mayor still wants the image removed from Wikipedia, in the present tense, and is upholding that request - are we positive that this is still the case, after all the (non-Signpost) media attention and pushback from non-Wikipedians? As you point out, she had changed her mind about this kind of matter before. Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:45, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@HaeB: (1) Your name is on the byline at the top of the page, so I associated you with its contents, but I now understand you worked on a different article. I thought it better to ping the people whose names were on the page and the image rather than risk it appearing I was going behind their backs. So, my request turns out not to have been aimed at you, and I am sorry if it upset you, but I appreciate your responding anyway. (2) I wasn't being "accusatory" toward anyone about anything; what I wrote was that including the signature can reasonably be interpreted by some others as potentially retaliatory, since it has no independent news significance. If I personally thought that there was an actual bad-faith, malicious, retaliatory motivation here, I would have donned my administrator hat and unilaterally deleted the signature as a BLP enforcement action, instead of making the gently worded request that I did. (3) I can't say for certain that the mayor hasn't changed her mind about this, but we have no evidence that she has, and we certainly aren't in a position to reach out and ask her. Regards, Newyorkbrad (talk) 16:03, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We can always ping @Kimlynn69, maybe she knows. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:19, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Evaluating this against each of those points seems to cut towards inclusion, rather than exclusion:
  1. The subject regularly has published her own signature, including in press releases meant for public distribution. One such press release, was dated in June of this year and can be viewed in this news article online. That this has occurred is unsurprising, because she is the mayor of a large city, and mayors tend to sign lots of things.
  2. Her signature has been reproduced in secondary sources (such as the news article above). Given that the signature was contained in a press release, this appears to indicate a willingness or desire to have the signature re-published in that context—even after requesting Wikipedia remove the signature.
  3. The signature is from a letter that the mayor wrote in a playbill, and appears to be the same as the signature in the press release linked above. That this is indeed the mayor’s signature falls under WP:ABOUTSELF and the sources are reliable for it actually being the mayor’s signature.
  4. The image of the signature, being one of the three requests by the city attorney, is clearly relevant to this piece, in which it is displayed.
  5. As you correctly note, the signature was obtained legally and is displayed legally.
Overall, I see no need to remove the signature from here. Particularly in light of the mayor’s use of her signatures in her press releases that were made available on the internet and republished by news organization subsequent to the request to remove her signature from Wikipedia, I don’t see a particularly convincing reason to remove the contextually important image from this Signpost article. — Red-tailed sock (Red-tailed hawk's nest) 17:28, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think RTH and HaeB have provided lucid explanations for why it may be kept, and I don't have anything further to add. ☆ Bri (talk) 18:24, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The mayor's office have provided an excellent reason to include the signature, by making it the subject of multiple news articles and thus of prose content in the article cited to reliable secondary sources. But we should make the decision dispassionately, rather than out of revenge. Rise above the mayor's office, whose level of conduct is to make entirely spurious and nonsensical threats to a talented young volunteer after their own contradiction of considering the signature classified and going to great lengths to publish it widely and publicly. — Bilorv (talk) 20:22, 2 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With respect to we should make the decision dispassionately, rather than out of revenge: I agree, and that's what's been done here. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 00:33, 3 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support leaving it in the Signpost article. Therapyisgood (talk) 02:08, 3 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with Red-tailed sock's analysis of WP:SLP. This version of the mayor's signature has broad news coverage and therefore cannot be considered a breach of privacy or cause of identity theft. Now if she used a variant solely for personal documents - and THAT was published - then it would be a different argument. Babe Ruth signed tons of memorabilia items for the public with his professional name. But for legal documents he signed his legal name, George Herman Ruth. Geraldine Ferraro signed her congressional correspondance with her maiden name but used her name by marriage "Zaccaro" for personal legal documents. Blue Riband► 18:48, 3 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Remember the brouhaha over this image?

Of course we're keeping the signature image. The point of Wikipedia is the self-empowerment of over-educated under-employed dissenters who use free speech and privacy as a sort of lawfare against people with money and power. Wikipedia, as an institution, has traditionally stuck a thumb in the eye of decency when our mob of editors demanded it. Only a lawyer would attempt to make a farcical argument for the sake of propriety. It's as if you don't know who this community really is. Chris Troutman (talk) 02:44, 13 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mastodon server

As I said on wikimedia-l, I'm very excited that the WMF is now (finally) running its own Mastodon server. More details have since emerged about, namely "staff from the Product & Technology department will maintain the instance". This reaffirms the stated goal that the instance will be used to "talk tech", which previously received some good criticism from Erik about being too narrow of a view.

Regarding The Foundation's own @wikimediafoundation account leads, with 14 posts, and has already gained over 5000 followers – undoubtedly helped by a Hacker News post that made it (near) the top of that site's front page.

Crediting it to Hacker News really misses the more obvious explanation: the post by @Wikipedia announcing the WMF account reached 900+ boosts, including one from Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko, who has some 330k+ followers. Surely people already on Mastodon are far more likely to become followers of new accounts versus people who read Hacker News :) Legoktm (talk) 08:09, 4 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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