Critical issues presentations/Editing Public Policy: How Wikimedians can support global policy issues.

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Submission no. 167
Title of the submission

Editing Public Policy: How Wikimedians can support global policy issues.

Author of the submission
  • Jan Gerlach
  • Yana Welinder
  • Stephen Laporte
Country of origin

Switzerland; United States of America; United States of America



  • public policy
  • policy trends
  • copyright
  • access
  • censorship
  • intermediary liability
  • privacy
  • decentralized campaigns
  • volunteer activities
  • community actions

The public policy team at the Wikimedia Foundation (Yana Welinder, Stephen LaPorte, and Jan Gerlach) appreciates the opportunity to submit the following proposal for a talk at Wikimania 2016:

As a follow-up to our talk at Wikimania 2015, in which we discussed the Wikimedia movement’s core policy areas (aka the Big 5: copyright, access, censorship, intermediary liability, and privacy), this year we would like to talk about some of the most pressing policy issues within those areas for the upcoming year. We wish to present to Wikimedians who are already doing policy work – and to those who are interested in it – a series of global, high-level challenges to Wikimedia’s mission and values that require the movement’s attention. In collaboration with volunteers who have been involved in Wikimedia policy work, we will identify and outline problematic policy trends that directly or indirectly threaten our projects and the sharing and production of free knowledge in general.

Against the background of this big picture of policy issues, we will also present hands-on actions for community members to pursue that – by individually and together – will address the challenges we identify. To illustrate these areas for action, we will interview volunteers about their projects in preparation for our talk. We will demonstrate how these activities tie in with the movement’s policy goals and hope to start community-driven campaigns to tackle our common challenges.

In order to safeguard the great success of Wikimedia’s work in the production of free knowledge in the long run, we want to make sure Wikimedians know about the importance of policy issues that create the legal and regulatory environment in which we pursue our mission. We aim to support an approach to public policy that reflects the philosophy of Wikimedians who come together everywhere in the world to edit Wikipedia and its sister projects. This talk at Wikimania 2016 will be a great opportunity to identify the most time-sensitive challenges and empower volunteers to make an impact through meaningful and powerful decentralized campaigns.


Not accepted