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Requests for comment/Global centralnotice for the blockade of the Turkish government

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The following request for comments is closed. Various wiki's acted on their own accord. This RFC is no longer timely. Effeietsanders (talk) 19:36, 27 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

background and proposal


As many of you know today, the Turkish government has blocked * .Wikipedia.org by preventing its display in Turkey. On it.Wikipedia we have a it: mediawiki: Sitenotice on this event and we talked to the bar (the Italian "village pump"). And we were thinking if other communities agree to make a global banner through centralnotice that would be displayed on all Wikimedia sites. It is important for more people to know about what happened in particular for an awareness-raising target that could step back to the Turkish government by removing the blockade. I remember that knowledge of what happened is the basis for convincing the Turkish government to remove the blockade. --Samuele2002 (Talk!) 18:56, 16 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Number of Support Support Number of Oppose Oppose Number of Neutral Neutral+Comment Comment Updated
29 13 3 2017-07-21


@Xaosflux: Banner functions are two:
Inform readers of what's going on because awareness is the first step to stop censorship and send readers to sign on the page against the Turkish government's blockade. --Samuele2002 (Talk!) 20:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose please explain beforehand the intended effect of this notice. Outreach is only one part of a campaign: first you need goals, options for activity, measurable targets and a coherend communications strategy. Then you can think about reaching out to your audience. --h-stt !? 18:02, 22 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose This is not the site for this kind of activism. We are an encyclopedia. Let's leave the agendas behind and get back to that. GenQuest (talk) 18:16, 22 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    First, we are not only an encyclopedia. Secondly, since our goal is to make a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge, we have to be activists against every governments which restrict access to knowledge. CreativeC38 (talk) 20:04, 30 May 2017 (UTC)][reply]
    Pinging GenQuest and Majora for response. --George Ho (talk) 00:04, 1 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Not entirely sure what you want me to respond to. I'm not a fan of us using Wikipedia to promote a particular viewpoint. Regardless of how noble the cause (and don't get me wrong, the cause is noble). --Majora (talk) 02:10, 1 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose, I think it won't help anything to show a banner in all wikis. Also, could someone please stop the /sig page "spam" as it makes difficult to follow the recent changes... Stryn (talk) 20:41, 22 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose per GenQuest. --Majora (talk) 21:29, 22 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support The Wikipedia cannot remain numb to an amputation of its members and a frontal aggression against its central principle of free access to knowledge. The banner brings due attention to a problem affecting WP and its users directly. --Iñaki LL (talk) 21:50, 22 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose this would be a blatantly political statement. Making such a statement as a result of a vote of this nature would be unreasonable. Power~enwiki (talk) 04:07, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Please don't forget this: "Stop Online Piracy Act", and the connected blackout of en.wiki. Was it a "political statement"? No, it was simply a pro-freedom action, which is definitely a different thing. And that American case was also a preventive action against a more broad and general Act. I don't think it's forward-looking to take this kind of action only for cases that concern us closely. The article history of Wikipedia (as long with its "strikes" and banners) may help as well to understand what was done in the past in similar cases. If wikipedians/wikimedians don't support this kind of message who will? Again: it's not about politics, and I definitely agree with those who say "Wikipedia should never choose or take a political position". But this case has nothing to do with ideologies: in this case we are talking about Wikipedia and the right of users to freely express through it. I don't think anyone of us support the decision to fully shutdown Wikipedia in a whole country, do we? Therefore: with this kind of banner we are only saying "our whole international community trust in the 5 pillars", which include freedom of expression.
    Taking a stance against the censorship of Wikipedia as a community is much stronger than any official statement from the Wikimedia Foundation. --Lucas (talk) 05:03, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @GenQuest, @Majora, the goal is to let the people know in the World what is happening in Turkey against Wikipedia and to show that the Wikimedian community is united against any kind of censorship of its projects, anywhere, anytime. A short, clean and not controversial message (shown for eg. for two weeks, like the one used in it.wiki in the last 20 days) is a precise and very concrete strategy. --Lucas (talk) 11:43, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support. Wikipedia should not remain silent when a government denies to their citizens the access to Wikipedia and so violates a fundamental human right: the freedom of information. --Xabier Armendaritz (talk) 10:31, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support--Xirkan (talk) 12:30, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support Looks like Turkish government is trying to make Turkish editon of GFW, and maybe much more radical than the original Chinese GFW. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:35, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose Chinese government is blocking Wikimedia since years, and nobody think we should act on Wikimedia about that. Turkish blocking is not different. Wikimedia project should not to oppose or support a political statement. Sammyday (talk) 13:53, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    First, china only blocks a single language version. Another point I would point out is that while China generally seems on an upward trend in terms of access, turkey is in a downward spiral. Those are important differences I think . —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:03, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Thirdly, the fact that there is an active censorship doesn't mean that a new and broader one should not be properly reported by the community, as the Wikimedia Foundation already did. --Lucas (talk) 15:51, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    This doesn't mean the Wikimedia projects have to interfere in a turkish problem. This is not our place - I mean, it's everyone's place, if everyone decides it, but not our project's place. Sammyday (talk) 07:45, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Interfere in a Turkish problem? This sounds quite like the interference in internal affairs states like North Korea say to avoid being held accountable. Do you really think Turkey is on the same democracy level as North Korea or such? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:30, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @Sammyday, We are not interferring wiht "a Turkish problem", this is a Wikipedian problem. The community do not agree with a blockeade of its projects. Easy as that. Broadly speaking, please remember the Nobel Peace Prize Desmond Tutu's quote: "if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor". --Lucas (talk) 06:12, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Interfere in a Turkish problem, exactly : the turkish government takes a decision which we don't agree. Are we the UNO ? Nope. Are we a human rights movement ? Nope. I'm not "neutral", i will do exactly what i have to do about it, personally. But Wikimedia has to be neutral - because Wikimedia is not political. And the community don't have to agree (or not) with a political decision, turkish, chinese or french. Do you search the Nobel prize ? Not me. You talk about "oppressor" ? Talk about sermon. Sammyday (talk) 12:15, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    You talk of not getting Wikipedia involved. Whether we like it or not, we are already involved. It's not like we're getting involved in a block on another website. That would be out of our place to get involved. Personally, I agree with that quote, whether or not it came from a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Gestrid (talk) 13:54, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support Comme je l'ai dit à de nombreuses reprises dans le Wikipedia francophone, on ne peut pas comparer la censure en Chine et en Turquie de Wikipedia. M. Erdogan veut montrer qu'il est le plus fort, cependant il existe le First Amendment sur lequel nous ne devons pas déroger. La Chine est beaucoup subtile dans sa censure que ne l'est la Turquie. Raison de plus pour ne pas céder. Malosse (talk) 14:43, 23 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Eh, je "supporte" une éventuelle bannière, mais pas du tout l'idée d'imposer la législation du pays de nos serveurs à la planète entière ! --Fanfwah (talk) 04:41, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support. Letting people know what is going on, and that we as a whole community are against it, is the minimum we can do. Not doing so would encourage the imitators of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. --Fanfwah (talk) 04:41, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutral or unsure - On one hand, I won't oppose this proposal to show all wikis the Meta banner about Erdogan's block on Wikipedia. This can triumph English Wikipedia's resistance to be involved in politics. On the other hand, I don't feel motivated by this proposal to favor Turkish Wikipedia, which I read has ongoing RFC cases of sysop abuses. I wonder how effective this proposal is and how it would change Turkish Wikipedia for the better... or worse. Sure, Turkey's current ban on Wikipedia is unfair. However, once the ban is lifted, would the lifting improve the conditions of Turkish Wikipedia? Of course, as I read, Meta-wiki does not usually control what local wikis do... but might temporarily take one wiki that would violated the Foundation's term of use. --George Ho (talk) 07:52, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@George Ho: you are mixing two problems — though they can be seen as related, they'll have to be solved separately. The ban affects the whole Wikipedia, so if the ban is lifted, Turkey citizens will have access to all the versions: English Wikipedia, French Wikipedia... It would not be the Turkish Wikipedia the favoured only one by the lifting, if that goal is achieved. --Xabier Armendaritz (talk) 09:57, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
And the censorship is not even about the trWP, but the enWP, to be precise about some not precisely declared stuff on two special pages of the enWP (without even using the disc over there). The blocked the whole Wikiverse because of probably two or three paragraphs in two articles. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:30, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Blocking en.wiki in Turkey? Well... I was close to changing to "weak support". However, then someone said that before the ban, problematic Turkish editors made spillover edits at other language wikis, like en.wiki. If the ban is lifted, what else can be done to handle the spillover? --George Ho (talk) 16:05, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Per Xabier, I guess the issues are totally separate. I'll change to weak Support Support then. Still, this is very political, and communities like those of English Wikipedia, including apathetic ones, are powerless to prevent this from being posted unless the voters would form the "no consensus" results. --George Ho (talk) 16:10, 24 May 2017 (UTC); partially struck. 09:13, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm.... why not? Sometimes I felt disappointed that the en.wiki community would resist itself from engagement with politics, especially when en.wiki rules intended to preserve the integrity of Wikipedia have been implemented. Still, Turkish Wikipedia still has issues, but those issues are separate from what this proposal addresses. --George Ho (talk) 09:13, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose It is not clear what this will achieve except making a feel good statement. Ruslik (talk) 11:39, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support First of all, this is not really a political statement. Wikipedia is "an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language", and - if we indeed accept this as our mission - we should not remain silent when there are clear and rather malign attempts to thwart it. The banner is good; calling for a concrete action would have been even better. GregorB (talk) 12:37, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support Since than blockade is an obstacle to the free knowledge. They are not even blocking "some/that/a free knowledge site", but this one. Precisely the one we put our efforts on. I do not see raising the issue of Wikipedia being blocked in Turkey as a political act, but an act of self-defense and survival. I do not feel comfortable with the previous not-giving-a-f*ck-situation wrt China's blockades, though. Strakhov (talk) 18:40, 24 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support some sort of site notice for a week. We need to clearly define what it says first. Should mention some techniques on how to get around the block IMO. That would also potentially help those in China, Iran, Cuba, and maybe North Korea. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:11, 25 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support we have to take political statements when authoritarian government hamper us to accomplish our goal - CreativeC38 (talk) 20:53, 25 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support We need to spread awareness that censorship of free knowledge is a bad thing to do. --stranger195 (talkcontribsguestbook) 07:50, 26 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support "Wikipedia is not political", "Wikipedia is neutral": these are fallacious arguments. Wikipedia is and always has been about the free flow of information. That's its entire reason for being, and indeed its vision and mission. We are not neutral or apolitical on this one existential issue, and never were. So it is not only appropriate, but essential for the Wikipedia community to oppose censorship. Even if the opposition is merely symbolic, it's a very important symbol. – McDutchie (talk) 01:15, 28 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • As disruptive as those donation CentralNotices we use? Those seem to be effective enough since we're still here, so those aren't counterproductive or ineffective. Gestrid (talk) 16:51, 28 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    The donation banners are disruptive, but without them the sites couldn't stay up. They're effective because there's a particular action we need those reading it to take. There isn't any equivalent action that readers could take that would simply remove the block in Turkey. They'll take it down when they take it down, and shoving a message about the situation in front of the now exclusively non-Turkish readership isn't going to help speed things up. --Yair rand (talk) 21:23, 29 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutral Neutral Adding the banner is not a big deal, I'm just not sure how it will affect the Turkish government (don't we presume such a goal?). As far as I know, articles in the Turkish Wikipedia are written mostly in pro-governmental point of view, but even so Wikipedia is considered socially harmful in Turkey, and I think nothing's going to change their opinion for months or years. --Wolverène (talk) 00:42, 2 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @Wolverène: If I'm not mistaken, the problem was supposedly with two articles on English Wikipedia. I'm not even sure what articles they were, though. Gestrid (talk) 00:45, 2 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    What an absurd... if it's true. But then again, we can't change their opinion with a Wikimedia banner. --Wolverène (talk) 00:51, 2 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Well, we've helped change US politicians' opinions before: en:w:WP:SOPA. Gestrid (talk) 02:10, 2 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Sure. Now think how quickly USA senators would have changed their mind if they had received letters or phone calls by thousands of Turkish citizens. Nemo 07:14, 2 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @Gestrid : The secret is that the U.S. is a democratic country, love it or not. --Wolverène (talk) 13:46, 5 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Sorry Wolverène, I don't get it. Should we only care about (sometimes selfdeclared) democratic countries? It doen't seem to be a coherent/fair approach. If we take position in favor of freedom of expression and agaist the blockade of *.wikipedia.org, it doesn't matter for which country or nationality we do it. --Lucas (talk) 10:15, 6 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't mean that we shouldn't care, I just mean that such an actionism would be effective for/in one kind of countries and not effective for another. We may not be heard by Turkey and some another countries where Wikipedia was also blocked or had a big risk to be blocked. --Wolverène (talk) 10:40, 6 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support I'm not sure the impact of the notice. But, first of all, a lot of readers and editors of wikimedia projects should be informed of what is going on. --Yapparina (talk) 00:50, 3 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment Comment I'm not opposed but I'm not sure what the banner is supposed to contain. This is how the Italian banner displayed in May looked like. It mentions the block in Turkey, then says (Google translation) "The Italian language community expresses its solidarity with the Turkish people and calls for the restoration of free access to the encyclopedia. Sign the appeal of the Wikipedians and spread the news on the Net." It's one thing to gather the consensus / support of one language community for such a banner, but all of Wikipedia / Wikimedia projects? I'm not sure that something like "The Wikipedia community expresses its solidarity ..." would be possible. Personally, I would like to express my solidarity, but others might see it differently for various reasons. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:30, 3 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support We need to free information in middle east for making our youngs and future --Ταπυροι (گپ) 22:26, 5 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose no politics please. And this will merely make us look pathetic. We are powerless so we are spamming readers with notices that will achieve nothing. Also, are we sure that this won't harm the WMF's position? Natuur12 (talk) 10:25, 8 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose I am against censorship, but its not a good idea to use Wikipedia in this way. Wikipedia is for giving access to knowledge, not for waging campaigns. There are thousands of other organisations that can do that. Ulflarsen (talk) 19:50, 8 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support - making the world aware of the fact that at member of NATO and applicant for membership of the EU is blocking a world wide knowledge movement. We should not just overlook this. Wikipedia is not about politics and should not be censored by any government or be treated as if it were a political statement. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 20:09, 8 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support - Free knowledge mean free acces to knowledge, and some times we have to fight for it. There's no reason to let the Turkish wikipedians alone... Wulfstan (talk) 23:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support I believe this is an important issue, and would like the projects to take a more firm stance against censorship, but would leave it to the WMF to make the final judgement on how and when for the site notice. — Jeblad 06:03, 9 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose That would be expressing a political stance. And the turkish people won't be able to see it. Zanaq (talk) 17:01, 9 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support We are advocates for free knowledge. For me a human right. If someone can not get it human rights are violated by some governments. Imagine a western head of state or leader of government would do this. You would protest and be happy with protests from other free countrie. Freedom of speech fpr everybody.  Klaas `Z4␟` V08:16, 10 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Good reasons for not running such a banner:
    1. Its a tiny part of the contributors that participate, or is aware of the discussion, and we have no process or precedent for how such political actions should be handled. There is nothing that warns beginners about that when involving with Wikipedia one risk being associated with one or several good causes.
    2. Wikipedia is blocked totally or partly in more countries that Turkey, why then run a campaign against only one country?
    3. The two paragraphs above lay the foundation for that if this petition pass, then it may prepare the ground for other use of centralnotice, powered by special interests. They may easily assemble a group that can campaign for this or that.
    4. The simple and secure for Wikipedia is to focus on what we are, an encyclopedia and a website for knowledge, not for political campaigns. There are millions of organisations that run various forms of special interest work, while there is only one Wikipedia.
    I have posted this both here and on Wikipedia in Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål. Besides this I do not have much more to add to the discussion. Ulflarsen (talk) 20:50, 11 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support - There is a Portuguese proverb — Quem cala consente — that basically says "If you keep quiet, then you agree". We can't just ignore this abuse on freedom of speech as it has nothing to do with us! --Stegop (talk) 20:43, 15 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment Comment - This is a political issue. This is the one political issue Wikipedia has a clear standing on. This is our raison d'être. The central policy of Wikipedia is sharing knowledge, all knowledge not just some of it, world wide an not just in some countries. This is our politics. Of course we should say so and show the whole wide world that we mean it. In politics w:en:Silence procedure means if you keep silent you agree. This is not just a Portuguese proverb as Stegop says. In Norwegian we say den som tier samtykker and it stems from latin qui tacet consentire videtur which was the motto of pope Bonifatius VIII. In English he who is silent is taken to agree, let's speak. --ツ regards. Dyveldi ☯ prat ✉ post 17:36, 27 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support Let's stand together on this, the block hurts the Turkish Wikimedia community and therefore the whole Wikimedia community. Like everyone else, the Turkish government is concerned about its reputition, so I disagree that a site notice cannot have an effect. It could also act as a reminder for the media, which have probably forgot the block by now. Danmichaelo (talk) 22:08, 28 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Oppose We are a movement indeed, but, Wikimedia never ever been a movement for "raising awareness" or such, it's sounds political. Wikimedia should never ever enter these territories, we are not activist for political movement against a government, if government want something and it's supported by their laws we should always comply.--AldNonymousBicara? 07:53, 6 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Support I think Jimbo Wales said it best: "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." It's OK to disagree with that. However, if one agrees with this statement, if that is what we're doing, then what the Turkish government is doing is the opposite. And if that's what we're doing - not merely "supporting" or just "thinking about" - then we should actually do something. Many have said it's politics or activism. Giving people free access to the sum of all human knowledge is maybe activism too. And it's definitely not politics: it doesn't matter at all whether Wikipedia is censored from the left, right, center, top or bottom - fighting against such censorship is essentially the same thing as writing articles. GregorB (talk) 19:31, 7 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]



@Samuele2002: This was done long ago, wasn't it? StevenJ81 (talk) 23:05, 10 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]