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The Wikimedia Foundation calls for internet connection, and access to knowledge, to be allowed without interruption in Gaza[edit]

"The Wikimedia Foundation calls for internet connection, and access to knowledge, to be allowed without interruption in Gaza" This is the translation of the title of the Wikimedia Foundation publication made in Hebrew See קרן ויקימדיה קוראת לאפשר חיבור לאינטרנט, וגישה לידע, בלי הפרעה בעזה.

While the short publication "Impact of the crisis in Gaza and Israel" on this page is balanced, the post in Hebrew blames the State of Israel, and greatly harmed the Wikipedians on the Hebrew Wikipedia.

You can read what the Hebrew Wikipedias think about the Hebrew publication of the Wikimedia Foundation at the link: Here on Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) in Hebrew. You can use google translate to understand what they wrote. Hanay (talk) 19:18, 18 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

User:CAshraf (WMF) Read This 10-month old is among the children still held captive or missing in Gaza on CNN. Updated 11:43 AM EST, Wed November 29, 2023.
Look at the picture of Kfir Bibas, put it on your table, and you will realize that the internet problems in Gaza are really unimportant compared to what the Hamas terrorists did and still doing. Hanay (talk) 07:13, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Please note that the Wikimedia Foundation is neither a political party nor a human rights organisation. I don't see any valid reasons for the Wikimedia Foundation to take a political stance that is unrelated to the Wikimedia movement.
A stable internet connection is important for people to access Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects (i.e. Knowledge). Thanks. SCP-2000 07:58, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
But this is what the Wikimedia Foundation did in its post in Hebrew. And now instead of making a substantive reference, you want the image to be deleted. Hanay (talk) 11:43, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Hanay: how about putting photos of the thousands that your occupation army killed in Gaza and in the west bank before and after Oct. 7th on your table, so that you realize that their lives is not less important than yours. Just stop it, stop pretending the victom. --Mervat (talk) 19:42, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
The simple difference is that Israel does not target civilians, Israel goes out of its way to protect civilians. Civilians are killed in Gaza for one reason - Hamas uses them as human shields. Hamas hides behind hospitals and schools, kindergartens and ambulances. Israeli citizens were killed for one reason - Hamas slaughtered, raped, murdered and burned to death. These are the facts, and any attempt to distort reality is identification with terrorism. Your colleagues from the Arabic Wikipedia do it well, when they deny the rape on October 7, and present it as "false Israeli propaganda".שמש מרפא (talk) 20:20, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Let me just absorb this: "Israel does not target civilians???", did the 20,000 civilians in Gaza kill themselves? Who are you trying to convince? where is the logic? what does "civilian" mean in your opinion? Mervat (talk) 20:27, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Mervat, It seems like you didn't understand: I didn't say that civilians weren't killed, but that Israel doesn't aim to kill civilians. Those civilians who were killed were killed because Hamas used their homes and residential neighborhoods. It's unfortunate, but if you're looking for the culprit - the culprit is the terror organization Hamas, which uses the citizens of Gaza as human shields, to kill the citizens of Israel. He is guilty of both killing Israelis and Palestinians. Ismail Haniyeh is the one who sits protected in Qatar while living as a billionaire, and uses the citizens of Gaza as protectors of his reign of terror. So please blame him and not the sovereign state that protects its citizens and invests a lot of money and effort to reduce harm to the innocent. שמש מרפא (talk) 21:58, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Mervat, How about putting on your table all the children and adults who have been murdered for years by Hamas, and those who have been living for years with missiles and alarms? I lived one month in 2006 with lots of alarms and missiles in the 2006 Lebanon War, fear God. The Gaza Strip could be paradise, but Hamas only wants war. I thank you for your response, it proves what I claim that the Wikimedia Foundation's post is political. Hanay (talk) 09:28, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Just wondering how a human right such as accessing Intenet can be ignored for any reason. A humanright is a humanright. Shame! Michel Bakni (talk) 20:28, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Michel Bakni,Just wondering how you don't understand and don't know that thousands of Israelis who lived in areas close to Gaza, left their homes and were cut off from the internet. They haven't come home yet. And how many Israelis during the alarms go into a protected area for hours and they can't edit on Wikipedia either. And this continues, because Hamas is not ready to release all the abductees, about 140 remain. Including Kefik Biebs who is now 10 months old and his 4-year-old brother Ariel. Think about your baby in the hands of Hamas and tell me how worried you would be about the Internet problems in the Gaza Strip Hanay (talk) 09:35, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Hanay: What a huge fallacy you have committed! I don't understand how "the call of WMF for internet connection that Israeli government cuts off" relates to the ongoing conflict and its developments in Palestine and Irael. The presence of suffering to anyone in this conflict doesn't interfere with the call for access to knowledge. Your comment can only be understood by that you instigate the genocide that takes place in Gaza. All suffer. There are hundreds of babies were killed and more are killed now in Gaza (thousands of Palestinians have been killed over the years). WMF is a foundation for free knowledge and it doesn't concern with other considerations. Ahmed Naji Talk 20:21, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
أحمد ناجي, What 'information' are you talking about? Have you seen how there is a complete denial of the rape committed by Hamas? Did you see how Hamas gets a respectable platform in the Arab Wikipedia? Did you see how they blame Israel for the explosion at the Al-Ahli hospital, And the Israeli version (approved by all the media and the US government)That this a errant rocket launch from within Gaza they present as "propaganda"? that they present the shocking rape of Israeli women as "false Israeli propaganda", despite the many evidences and testimonies presented by the media and human rights organizations?? Do you know that throughout the entire article about the October 7th attack there is no mention of killing citizens, and Hamas is presented as having only attacked soldiers and armed men? That they call the Gaza Strip and Tel Aviv (within the '67 borders, for those who don't know) "settlements"? Is that what you call 'information'? It's not information, in fact it's not even a deviation from NPOV. This is Holocaust denial days after it happened. As far as Arabic Wikipedia readers are concerned, it is not 'information' that is being withheld from them, but jihadist terrorist propaganda. Yes, this is the Arabic Wikipedia, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. שמש מרפא (talk) 21:22, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
@שמש מרפא You have committed the fallacy of irrelevant conclusion. What is the link between what you have said and "the WMF call for internet connection and access to knowledge to be allowed without interruption in Gaza"? Ahmed Naji Talk 21:36, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
@أحمد ناجي, It is very simple: it is very ridiculous for the Wikimedia Foundation that they are "concerned" about the inability of the residents of the Gaza Strip to get access to 'knowledge' while what they are getting is much closer to pro-Hamas propaganda than to 'knowledge'. If the Wikimedia Foundation wants to call the Arabic Wikipedia 'knowledge' they should first check in their backyard and find out if it is indeed objective information, or information at all. שמש מרפא (talk) 22:08, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
@שמש מרפא Is there a conflict between the two matters? WMF can concern about the inability of the residents of Gaza to get access to knowledge and "to contribute to improve and document the facts" and also in the same time WMF can search the application of NPOV in its projects. We here talk about a particular issue that doesn't interfere with another issue. Ahmed Naji Talk 22:38, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hello, all.

I understand that this is a very painful and difficult conversation, especially for those of you who are living it in your own neighborhood. What we see in our part of the world is horrific; some of you are losing friends and family and live with danger on a daily basis.

I’m Maggie Dennis; I hired Cameran and constituted the Human Rights Team, who are a wing of our Trust & Safety team. It’s important for me to explain what our Human Rights Team is here to do.

Their primary purpose is to provide assistance when the human rights of volunteers of Wikimedia are threatened due to their good faith activities on our sites. The whole team was hired from organizations that do human rights work in various contexts; they care deeply about human rights and the lives and safety of people in many contexts.

Secondarily, their job is to provide information for users who are targeted as Wikimedians or, indeed, for volunteers who face trauma for other reasons that they can use for their own protection. That is the reason this page and other online resources exist.

And finally, the team also helps support our commitment to minimizing any human rights issues we may cause in our own work - protecting children who contribute, for instance; advocating for laws that protect individuals from retaliation for the good faith sharing of knowledge online for another.

I understand that the images that have been placed on this page are shared in the context of a tragedy. However, I am in charge of Trust & Safety, and my attention was drawn to this post by a volunteer who came to view the page, drifted to the talk page, and was traumatized by the images. It is important to shine a light, but we also need safe spaces for those who are seeking help for trauma. I’m asking you, please, not to restore them.

The statement that is currently being discussed was authored by the Wikimedia Foundation, not any one team. I understand that it is difficult to strike a balance that pleases everyone when discussing such deeply painful subjects and thus recognize that the balance may feel wrong to some. If you have feedback on the Diff post, you can read here on how to share it. One of the best approaches might be to write to diff@wikimedia.org. If you choose to post something on that talk page instead, from the Trust & Safety perspective, I would ask you not to post the pictures there, either, for the safety of those who may be traumatized. We need to be sober and honest in reviewing information, but people do need an opportunity to decide what is safe for them to view under what circumstances–some who may see them are likely experiencing immediate loss.

If you have feedback on information provided on the attached page by the Human Rights Team, this is a good place to offer it. –Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 22:29, 19 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

@Mdennis (WMF),Can you explain how exactly a picture of a 4-year-old boy is 'traumatizing'?!
And while you're here, could you explain why you don't intervene in what's going on in the Arab Wikipedia, which spreads lies and Holocaust denial, as I showed above? Before we talk about denying access to knowledge, we must make sure that it is indeed knowledge.
thank you for your response. שמש מרפא (talk) 07:22, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Generally, Wikimedia Foundation would not intervene the decision by local community. It is recommended discussing with the community first. Thanks. SCP-2000 07:40, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
My proposal, Maggie, is to rewrite the entire post in Hebrew by the Wikimedia Foundation. Because what is written in it is completely biased and ignores reality. And about the pictures. What is so hard to see a picture of a sweet 9-month-old baby kidnapped on October 7 by Hamas? Does it hurt anyone? Let him cry for the baby. There is an article on English Wikipedia about the kidnapping of the Kidnapping of the Bibas family. You are welcome to read it. And as for the baby, it's hard to see a picture of a baby murdered in his bed by Hamas. It is also very difficult for me. I am a grandmother of 4 grandchildren, and I cannot bear what is happening. But there are those who are disturbed by the pictures, not the fact that Hamas murdered babies and also kidnapped babies and does not release them. It is very sad. Hanay (talk) 09:52, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
We also cannot stand what you have been doing for 75 years, how many Palestinian child prisoners do you jail? how many babies have you murdered? how many houses have you bombarded? How many hospitals have you destroyed? How many journalists have you killed? you only see and tell what your government and the biased media which is guided by your narrative want you to see and tell, and that's all uncovered to the entire world, including the lies of the murdered babies. I think you MUST read the history well; your history specifically. If you post pictures to inflame emotions, we will post hundreds of pictures, it's not difficult.
For the guy who wants to condemn Arabic content, I would like to give you a barnstar for the fair, unbiased content in Hebrew and English that you israelis control.
I will stop here, and will not reply whatsoever, because it's a hopeless case, and all this nonsense you publish does not deserve my time. Mervat (talk) 12:00, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Hanay, I removed all of the images. I did not look at them individually. I understand why they were posted. What I ask us all to remember is that this is page of resources for people who are traumatized by war. Some of them may have been traumatized by the loss of their own children. If they come here for help, they should not be further traumatized by us. :( I see you have a proposal for the diff post, but as noted above this is not something that we can help with here. There is a Meta page for the Diff blog and an email address.
שמש מרפא, I can speak to your question, as it does relate to my area of work. The Foundation has a disinformation team who are also a wing of Trust & Safety. It is their job to evaluate when concerns are raised about disinformation campaigns - which is a deliberate effort generally by a group to bias or corrupt information. The team has been asked to review content in both Hebrew and Arabic and thus far has not found evidence of a disinformation campaign. When such is encountered, the team works with local administrators or functionaries on solutions. When the issue is individual bias or inaccuracy in sources, the team trusts the Wikimedia processes. As User:SCP-2000 says, it starts with community--if a local community is believed to be fully biased, it starts with the global community. It isn't easy, I know. As a long-time Wikimedian myself, I think it is important, though. Working at the Foundation, I feel certain that I and others I know want accurate information. However, who can speak for a distant future? And can I be sure even in myself that my biases would not interfere? A process that puts the power to curate into the hands of the community offers the most safety and the least risk of central bias for our movement and our readers. The wisdom of the crowd has challenges, but many strengths - especially when it is guided by firm policies about sourcing and neutrality. It is very hard to untangle information especially when bias exists in media as well, though, and it is never going to be harder than in moments like this. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:03, 20 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
@Mdennis (WMF), Thanks for the response, but I'm really amazed by what you say: I gave clear examples of disinformation. Actually that's an understatement: these are lies and denials. When the Arabic Wikipedia denies mass rape committed by Hamas (which was documented in detail (also) in a report of "Doctors for Human Rights") and say that it is "false Israeli propaganda", is this not disinformation? I gave many other examples before, and believe me, these are only a few small examples.
Regarding bringing the subject up in the Arabic Wikipedia: I will try that, although it is hard to believe that it will change anything (by the way, my colleague from the Hebrew Wikipedia Tried to fix the distortions there a bit and was blocked). Whoever manages Wikipedia which is committed to NPOV in this way cannot really get the benefit of the doubt that this is only a one-time accident (I also mentioned earlier the terminology that implies that Israel has no right to exist - Israel is referred to as an "occupier" and Tel Aviv is referred to as a "settlement"). These Wikipedians run Wikipedia as a mouthpiece of Hamas. In its current state, this is a site that simply does not deserve the sponsorship of the Wikimedia Foundation. It has nothing to do with an encyclopedia and with the vision and values of Wikimedia.
Let me also comment on your conclusion: you talk about the personal point of view when writing entries. There is no doubt that "objectivity" is very difficult to achieve when we have a personal opinion. But there is a difference between writers who try to be objective and sometimes perhaps fail to do so here and there (like the Hebrew Wikipedia), and between people who have completely forgotten that they are writing an encyclopedia (like the Arabic Wikipedia). It is important that you also make this distinction.
I appreciate your response and taking the time for this. Hope for an honest treatment of this matter. Thanks. שמש מרפא (talk) 00:14, 21 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
שמש מרפא, I apologize both that I have not already explained this better and that I may not do it perfectly now. I am not myself an expert in disinformation, although happily I do work with a few. It is a major holiday for the Foundation, though, so I cannot easily ask them to step in to help me explain myself better.
I also must note that I am not going to attempt to discuss or express an opinion on the accuracy of any specific information. I would consider that overstepping my professional role. My purpose to clarify process, clarify what my team does, and clarify how to get support. Knowing me, I'm probably going to overexplain that, but I'll try not to.
There is a difference between misinformation and disinformation. Misinformation is when incorrect or misleading information is shared, but there's no intent to deceive. The people who are sharing the information may be biased. They may be wrong. The sources they share may be biased or wrong. The people themselves believe what they are sharing to be the truth. Disinformation, on the other hand, involves a deliberate attempt to mislead or deceive people. It's the intentional creation and distribution of false information to manipulate public opinion or obscure the truth. A classic example is the creation of fake news stories to influence political views or social attitudes. A disinformation campaign is a concerted effort to promote such false information, such as was done by the en:Internet Research Agency.
I mentioned that, in regards to this subject, the team has been asked to review (and also have conducted their own reviews) into content on both Hebrew and Arabic Wikipedia. They have observed bias and misinformation, but so far they have found no evidence of a disinformation campaign.
I'm pulling from an email exchange that I had with my lead on this topic. We weren't talking about bias on Wikipedia, but in the sources on which Wikipedians were reliant at that time (3 November). He wrote, "For obvious reasons (confusion in the information ecosystem, high emotions, reactive tendencies) bias is almost always high at the beginning of a crisis. Over time, people gradually begin to agree on certain things as more details emerge and confusion gives way to understanding. There are hiccups on the way. Whenever a new incident happens, bias creeps back up again, but it continues to dampen over time. Over a sufficiently long time horizon, all sides tend to agree on most aspects of the crisis."
In regards to Wikipedia and his team's observations at that time, he said in an email thread to somebody else on which I was cc'ed, "What we’re seeing now is that even the most balanced and credible sources are currently grappling with how to present information in the most neutral and objective way. This is relevant to what ultimately makes it to Wikipedia because, as you may know, Wikipedia articles do not include original content but rather source content from a variety of news sources and strive to adhere to policies of verifiability, transparency and neutral-point-of-view."
The team has observed an improvement as sources themselves become more clear. With this ongoing, though, it isn't likely to be simple and fast to reach that clarity. :/
When the staff see significant bias, they often can flag this to community administrators and functionaries. As I mentioned above, their interventions and attentions are primarily aimed, though, at preventing and addressing disinformation campaigns, which can be harder for the community to manage.
If you believe you see a disinformation campaign, I would invite you to write to ca@wikimedia.org. It takes time to review whether issues are misinformation or disinformation, and if disinformation campaigns are detected it can take significant time to untangle how it is operating and reach a recommended approach. If after the review team believes it is misinformation, they can and do alert people. You can often get faster results, though, by alerting people yourself.
It starts with the local community. You may well know the Hebrew Wikipedia's dispute resolution pathways already. I do not; they differ on different projects. If you don't, you might reach out to info@wikimedia.org to ask for the best ways to do this in any given project. This address is managed and operated by volunteers who should know the systems very well. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 13:47, 21 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

Mdennis (WMF), The Arabic Wikipedia was full of disinformation even when the picture became clearer. If we take the example of the Al-Ahli_Arab_Hospital_explosion, on November 5 it was already clear according to an intelligence investigation of 4 different countries as well as according to an investigation by the media that this was an explosion caused by a rocket launch from Gaza (later on, "Human Rights Watch" also announced this "). In the Arab Wikipedia, of course, Israel continues to be blamed. Isn't this disinformation?

Another issue is the neutral point of view, which does not exist as far as terrorist attacks against Israel are concerned. See for example how they present the terrorist organization Hamas with open sympathy. its attacks are called "reactions" and its terrorists are called "martyrs". Is this not worthy of the foundation's response? Aren't there some norms regarding NPOV and support for terrorism that the fund is obligated to?

I tried to open a discussion on the issue on the Arabic Wikipedia (although it is clear to me that it is hopeless), but ironically it turns out that they blocked the editing as a protest. In the message at the top of the Wikipedia pages, there is a message of support and condemnation, which includes blatant political interference and the continued distribution of disinformation (there is a link to the above-mentioned article about the explosion in the hospital). I would love to receive your response regarding this as well. Is this acceptable to the Wikimedia Foundation?

I will also contact the team responsible for disinformation by email, but I also see the importance of having a public and open discussion on the issue. Our feelings as Hebrew Wikipedia writers are very difficult these days, when our parallel ventures have become a platform for denying the murder of our citizens and supporting terrorism against us. I am aware that this is not necessarily the place for everything I have posted here, but I would like to understand what your red lines are. I know that Wikimedia rarely interferes in what is going on in projects, but this seems to be a case that goes beyond any norm, and I wonder where the boundaries are drawn. Thank you for your patience. I appreciate it. שמש מרפא (talk) 22:40, 24 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

Hi Maggie Dennis, User:Crocodile2020 is a Wikipedia editor and a resident of Ein HaBesor in Israel who was attacked by Hamas on October 7, 2023. He is an elderly man who hid in the shelter. The residents of in HaBesor were lucky, because they had a large standby squad of 76 people, and they managed to repel the murderous attacks of Hamas. Even now Ein HaBesor is emptied of residents because of the proximity to the Gaza Strip and the perceived danger to their lives. On Friday January 19, 2024 we had a winter meeting of the Wikipedians at the Hebrew Wikipedia. User:Crocodile2020 told us his story. Did any of you contact him and ask how he can be helped? When you are busy with the Internet problems in the Gaza Strip, 130,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Israel. Not to mention all the murdered. You can read about the battle of Ein HaBesor in the Hebrew Wikipedia in the article קרב עין הבשור. I hope you will not remove this picture. Hanay (talk) 17:48, 22 January 2024 (UTC)Reply
Damage in Gaza Strip during the October 2023 - 27
Damage in Gaza Strip during the October 2023 - 19
Please be decent. The one-sided complaints about arwiki's supposed NPOV issues seem at best quite unfair and selfish. While any such inaccuracies should be corrected, there's a heavy pro-Israel bias in western media as a whole (see for example [1]) even despite the ongoing genocide case against Israel in the ICJ, which the media barely acknowledges. Over ten thousand children have died in Gaza. I've added a couple of pictures I found below yours. I don't know who took them or anyone in them. AP295 (talk) 04:21, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Hello, Hanay. Thank you for poking on my user talk page. I'm sorry that also didn't reach me quickly. While I wish that I and my team had both the resource and mandate to help people whose lives are ruined by really anything at all - what you describe happening to User:Crocodile2020 is very distressing - we can't. We are a nonprofit organization whose funds must be used in the way they're earmarked. Advocating for internet access is within our mandate as an organization that supports free online educational resources perpetually available; helping people who have been unhoused is not. We do provide connections to local resources for people who are targeted as a result of their good faith edits on our sites, but we are not able to help all community members who suffer, as much as I wish we could. We do try to offer resources and pointers to alternative resources for suicidal editors or editors who experience other crises that disrupt their lives, but those are more aggregate resources than personal outreach in line with resources. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:35, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply

Open letter from 7amleh (The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media)[edit]

Just FYI: Letter - Concerns Regarding Wikimedia Foundation’s Stance Amidst Israel’s War on Gaza. SCP-2000 09:15, 21 December 2023 (UTC)Reply

So it turns out that also in 7amleh they prefer to live in an alternative reality. They deny the murder of the babies and blame Israel for the explosion at the hospital (which according to intelligence from 4 different countries and the human rights organization "Human Rights Watch" was not caused by Israel), when anyone who repeats the known facts is spreading "fake news" according to their method. so at least the Arabic Wikipedia is not alone. שמש מרפא (talk) 22:40, 24 December 2023 (UTC)Reply
Apparently the stories of baby murders were Israeli propaganda. [2],[3]. According to the UN, ninety four healthcare facilities in Gaza have been attacked since 10/7 including twenty six hospitals, and it seems unlikely that Hamas is responsible in most cases. [4] AP295 (talk) 08:39, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply