Talk:Movement affiliates FAQ

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Why are chapters based on language? Are the names of some chapters a bit wrong?[edit]

I read that chapters are based on geography, not on language. This may be ok for countries with only one main language like Italy - but how about countries like Belgium or Spain, countries with more than one language? You write that chapters in countries with more than one language should include people from different official languages (how about the unofficial ones, by the way?). So, how should they discuss? Simultaneous translation? All in English? It is a bit difficult for countries like Belgium or Spain where there is a long lasting conflict based on language and cultural matters... No miracle there is no such thing as a Wikimedia foundation in Belgium or Spain.

And how do you imagine the subjects they discuss - one half in Belgium would be interested in the dutch wikipedia, the other in the french wikipedia... So, probably there will never be a belgian chapter, because may be there is no need for it - one part of the belgian people will join the France chapter, the other part will join Wikimedia Nederland. Which means that the names are a bit wrong: Wikimedia Nederland probably is a chapter for those who speak Dutch. Wikimedia France probably is a chapter for those who speak French, living in France or Belgium or somewhere else.

How about Esperanto?

It will be rather difficult to found a chapter where all the people speaking Esperanto, living in more than 100 countries, could join and discuss their special problems - given the fact that Neutral Moresnet does not exist any longer :-)

Founding chapters for regions or cities, like they did in New York City

Or could it be a solution to found chapters for a city or a region within a state, like Wikimedia New York City. So the Catalan people could rename their chapter as "Wikimedia Catalonia" or as "Wikimedia Barcelona" - and everyone speaking Catalan could join. (I read that you refused Wikimèdia CAT to join, but I did not find the refusing decision; where is it?) For the Esperanto people it will be a bit more difficult - but maybe they will consider founding a "Wikimedia Herzberg", as this town named itself as "Esperanto city". --Lu Wunsch-Rolshoven 06:37, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Switzerland is an example of a Chapter that spans several languages (4). It's mostly about making it work. Of course, in countries that are highly divided on ethnographic lines, like Belgium increasingly appears to be, it might be hard to run such an integrated Chapter. :-(
Sub-national chapters really only make sense as long-term solutions for very large countries (e.g. China, US, Canada) where it's impractical to have a single entity as the "doing" part - in that case, a federal system with a national "brand" bringing together the smaller real chapters. In such cases you would expect to start with a single chapter based in one location but at first covering the whole area, and then additional sub-national chapters forming in time. Of course, Australia has formed a national Chapter straight-off, which is great but very hard work.
I am sympathetic to the idea of having community groups which are not geographic - ones based on language, or culture, or interest. However, I think it would be confusing to have these also called "Chapters", and it clearly would not be suitable for them to raise money, and might not be practical nor necessary for them to have legal existence. A few people have suggested "Association", as in "Association of Esperanto-speaking Wikimedians" and similar - do you think this would work?
James F. (talk) 07:24, 13 June 2010 (UTC)


Wikimedia Switzerland says it is their worst headache. I wonder why they created the chapter this way. I suppose they have other advantages that compensate those problems it would be interesting to know them. Perhaps in other cases like Belgium those advantages don't exist or perhaps they have not been highlighted enough.--Gomà 01:43, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
The Esperanto Chapter I think only would work if they can gather enough number of members in each place to make it work. If Wikimedia movement continues growing sooner or later this will happen. What doesn’t make sense is creating a chapter or an association or whatever you want to do things thought Internet. It can be done directly in Wikipedia you don't need a chapter. A chapter is to do things in the real world and in the real world you have to manage money and reach agreements with institutions and companies so you need a legal entity able to operate in all the countries you perform activities. Off course you don't need a chapter nor give any other name to the thing to do what in FAQs says what a Local Chapter is. For what you need a chapter is to do it in good conditions. To be accepted in attending Chapter annual meeting, to identify yourself with the projects by using WMF logos, to appear in Wikimedia Foundation contact us page, to be able to apply for WMF grants to chapters, and much more...
--Gomà 01:43, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Why was Wikimedia CAT refused as a member?[edit]

The starting point of my thoughts about the subject was an information that Wikimedia CAT was refused by the Wikimedia Foundation as chapter. Does someone know why? Does someone know where the details of the refusal can be found? (By the way: Thanks for your interesting comments above!) --Lu Wunsch-Rolshoven 19:05, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation has not refused Wikimedia CAT as a member. Your starting point is not exact. The exact situation is that the Chapters Committee does not recommend that Wikimedia CAT be approved as a Wikimedia chapter. The reason given is that "the organization is not geographically based/anchored in a legal jurisdiction that is identical to the declared scope of their activities". Wikimedia CAT team asked to the Board for the acceptance of the chapter explaining why this reason doesn’t hold. --Gomà 06:55, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I do not fully understand the sentence "the organization is not geographically based/anchored in a legal jurisdiction that is identical to the declared scope of their activities". Does "/" mean "or"? Maybe you could explain this or translate into more comprehensible language. Maybe you could explain also why this matters, in relation to the FAQ explanation "Chapters are based on geography". I always thought that Catalan was the language of a certain geographical region...
Maybe I will understand better, when you explain, why the New York Chapter is fulfilling that condition.
Thank you for your information about Committee and Board. --Lu Wunsch-Rolshoven 14:34, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I’m afraid I can’t explain it better. I just copy pasted the exact words of the official ChapCom answer. As a clue perhaps you can read the geographical base requirement for future chapters:
The chapter is geographically based/anchored in a legal jurisdiction.
Unlike projects, which are language based, chapters are entities which need a legal base. This implies that they must be anchored in a country/jurisdiction which offers them the base for their legal structure. This base should be in the region in which they wish to serve.”
Up to my understanding WM NYC (as well as WM CAT) perfectly fulfills the rule because the requirement that the legal jurisdiction must be identical to the declared scope of their activities doesn’t exist.
But I think all this are technicalities. I think the right question should be if this proposal can positively contribute to the project. If not no mater if fulfill the rules should be rejected if yes should be accepted.
BTW I see you are active in Esperanta Vikipedio. I know there are members of the Wikimedia Cat proposal who are in touch to Kataluna Esperanto-Asocio explaining them the advantages of participating in Wikipedia. I hope soon you will have more Catalan fiends editing there.
--Gomà 17:12, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanations, Gomà. I agree with you that there is a certain problem between identical and anchored in... Well, the decisions of committees are not always easy to understand :-) --Lu Wunsch-Rolshoven 18:48, 20 June 2010 (UTC)


  • Is it possible to have geographically based multiple chapters in a single large country ? Rahuldeshmukh101 18:21, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps reading this page can answer your question.--Gomà 19:51, 9 January 2012 (UTC)