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Welcome to Meta![edit]

Hello, Slaporte (WMF). Welcome to the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki! This website is for coordinating and discussing all Wikimedia projects. You may find it useful to read our policy page. If you are interested in doing translations, visit Meta:Babylon. You can also leave a note on Meta:Babel or Wikimedia Forum (please read the instructions at the top of the page before posting there). Happy editing!

-- 22:18, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

You've got mail[edit]

Please check your email. --Pine 19:28, 28 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

Bylaws tweaks?[edit]

See the bottom of Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_board_manual#Votes_vs._resolutions.2C_quorum_and_required_majority - what do you think? SJ talk  21:28, 16 May 2013 (UTC)Reply

Thanks! I will review and reply on that page. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 14:09, 17 May 2013 (UTC)Reply


Can you review this or have it reviewed, please?--Elvey (talk) 22:44, 29 May 2013 (UTC)Reply


Dear Stephen,

any update on an official reaction by WMF? We've been waiting since the 21st of June...

Cheers, --Tobias talk · contrib 14:00, 3 July 2013 (UTC)Reply

wikipedia.org on LinkedIn[edit]

Hey Stephen. This is nothing urgent, but I just thought I would let you know that a marketing company has set up a fake "wikipedia.org" company page on LinkedIn, if I am understanding things correctly. And they have themselves listed in "Services" for wikipedia.org. Dominic (talk) 18:32, 3 July 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hello @Dominic: thanks for reporting this. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:35, 4 December 2013 (UTC)Reply

Necessary and Proportionate[edit]

A statement on surveillance we should consider signing. SJ talk  01:00, 7 November 2013 (UTC)Reply


Hi, Slaporte (WMF), I was wondering if it is okay to add this link to the external links section on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act page. Thank you for your time. Lotje (talk) 10:49, 28 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hello @Lotje: Yes, you may add a link. I see that there is already an external link to Chilling Effects -- we also submit our takedown notices there, too. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:32, 4 December 2013 (UTC)Reply


Hi! I see you made a posting here. As you can see we are preparing a local voting on the issue. We will within a week or two give you the results of our voting. Our preliminary discussion at Bybrunnen has, however, resulted in a large majority against the proposal. All for now.--Paracel63 (talk) 02:52, 22 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Hello Paracel63, thanks for pointing me to the discussion on SV Wikipedia. Please let me know if there are any points I can help you clarify! You are also welcome to bring comments to the discussion page on Meta (in Swedish, English, or any other language). Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 21:57, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks but no thanks as for now. I took a quick (that was my intention) look at the discussion, tried to wade through the differing opinions and fell asleep (true!) before I got to the end of the page. It would mean a full-time occupation for me trying to be involved in this, which I just cannot afford, neither have the time to. In due time you will get the results of our svwp voting, with clarified positions and arguments. Just one note: svwp is not the same as enwp; the 50 times less amount of editors mean we are in a quite different position. Best of wishes.--Paracel63 (talk) 00:08, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
It is indeed a long discussion, so I completely understand! I appreciate that you are coordinating the conversation with SVWP and keeping me informed. Thanks a lot! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 01:27, 27 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for understanding. Me and at least one more svwp editor did cast a vote here and posted some comments. But this discussion page really looks like Hyde Park with a thousand and one soapboxes, each one carrying a politician shouting. And most of the "speakers" seem to be shouting about this issue from different perspectives. I sincerely hope you can get some sort of useful result out of this. --Paracel63 (talk) 01:39, 28 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Separate talk pages by language[edit]

Huge talk pages don't currently work for multilingual discussion. How about a separate talk page per language for the big language communities, which can then be transcluded onto one page for tracking? SJ talk  09:11, 24 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

Yes, we can create separate talk pages per language. The biggest difficulty for separate pages is keeping the conversations connected. We hoped that a single, multi-language page would encourage more interaction between languages, but this discussion has grown unusually large. The community advocacy team and a few others are helping us reach out beyond the English language community, and I am following the non-English discussions to the best of my ability (for example, the WikiProjekt Umgang mit bezahltem Schreiben discussion on DEWP and Wikipedia:Bybrunnen discussion on SVWP). Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 21:39, 25 February 2014 (UTC)Reply
Ok. Separate pages on the wikipedias in each language is also fine, though we should fix the meta system before too long. I've moved non-English sections up to the top of the talk page to give them visibility and coherence. Warmly, SJ talk  21:02, 26 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

groups from the Past[edit]

Be well, 21:51, 25 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Terms of use[edit]

Excellent news. Best wishes. Xxanthippe (talk) 11:18, 20 June 2014 (UTC).Reply

Standard disclaimers[edit]

I suspect you may have forgotten your standard "this is not legal advice" disclaimer in [2]. --Nemo 19:38, 2 July 2014 (UTC)Reply


Hello Slaporte. Maybe you can help me here. Thanks.--Rndmdf (talk) 10:17, 10 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

I responded on that page. Thanks again! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 16:54, 10 September 2014 (UTC)Reply

WLM and iraqi FOP deletions[edit]

Hi Slaporte, so we have the first Wiki Loves Monuments campaign including Iraq in 2014, but unfortunately there are recurrent deletions of iraqi monument pics based on a questionable interpretation of a questionable 2004 copyright amendment by en:Coalition Provisional Authority (= invading US military = Paul Bremer = actually RIAA lobby draft?!) Please read this and agree with me that this is madness... (see that too) Unbelievable stuff. --Atlasowa (talk) 12:31, 3 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

See also commons:Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Bagdad_moschee01.jpg currently, User:Slaporte (WMF). --Atlasowa (talk) 12:41, 3 November 2014 (UTC)Reply

‘Share A Fact’ feature[edit]

Hi Stephen! Dan Garry named you as responsible for the legal aspects of the ‘Share A Fact’ feature of the Wikipedia Android app. As most of the free licenses used on Commons require an attribution, most pictures created by this feature are a copyright violation if shared without further notice. As far as I see, the users are not informed that they have to add additional information (author, source, license …) if they want to publish the image. Therefore I’m surprised that the Legal Team gave a ‘full legal signoff’. While the Wikimedia Foundation itself does not violate rights, the app encourages its users to do so. Could you please provide some more information why you think that this feature is alright? Thanks in advance! Regards, Ireas (talk) 23:10, 4 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Ireas, thanks for the question. The "share-a-fact" feature provides two indicators of its legal status. First, it has the CC BY-SA icons in the lower left part of the card, which describes the license of the Wikipedia article that is the source of the card. Second, the app generates a URL for the article (as text that accompanies the image), so users can follow the URL to find the full license information for the photo or the text. Our goal is to provide a reasonable amount of accessible information within a small card, so that users can share and remix content as encouraged by Creative Commons and other free licenses. Just as a note, a photo is not necessarily a copyright violation just because it does not include a comprehensive legal notice. The best practice for Creative Commons attribution is to provide reasonable attribution for the medium. In the future, I hope that a better structured data system on Wikimedia projects will enable even more creative ways of providing informative (but not overly intrusive) licensing information. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 00:33, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
But in the exact same paragraph stands also "That being said, you still have to include attribution requirements somehow, even if it's just a link to an About page that has that info." if the pictures of the article change, it is just possible by searching the old versions of the article to even get to a link that provides the info of the licence of the picture, which also are not every time cc licences. I don't understand your decision.--CennoxX (talk) 04:44, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for your fast answer, Stephen!
I still doubt that a link to the Wikipedia article is an appropriate attribution. As CennoxX already pointed out, the picture can be removed from the page. And even if it’s available, you still have to find it – looking at your Strassbourg example, it’s not that obvious which picture was used.
You also have to consider that not all images are CC-by-sa. If the picture is realeased under the GFDL, the CC-by-sa tag is misleading and no appropriate attribution.
In conclusion, I fear that this feature – especially if brought to the desktop UI as proposed in phab:T94998 – is a bad signal towards the photographers in the Wikimedia projects and is dangerous for reusers if the attribution is not changed. Imagine what will happen if a photographer sues someone who used the ‘Share A Fact’ feature.
In my opinon, the Wikimedia projects, the Wikimedia chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation should not operate at in the grey zone between correct and incorrect reuse. They should set an example how to correctly reuse free material, being an ideal for everyone else and promoting free licenses. Ireas (talk) 07:57, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1 to Ireas. In addition to that I want to express that I am stunned that after having had quite the same discussion with the pre-alpha media viewer WMF once again does not show interest in licensing issues. With distressed regards, → «« Man77 »» [de] 13:20, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1 to Ireas. And another point: The deep of the problem increases when the created image is reused outside of the Twitter context. As standalone image w/o link to the article. Raymond (talk) 17:45, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1 to Ireas. What you are practicing here is no reasonable manner to attribute an image. In case of CC=BY-SA-4.0, if you provide a link, it should point directly to a page with all necessary information. See section 3 (a) 2. For example, it may be reasonable to satisfy the conditions by providing a URI or hyperlink to a resource that includes the required information. This means that in case of CC-BY-SA-4.0 one link is acceptable but not a series of links where it is not even obvious where the next link is to be found. In consequence, a link to an article is not sufficient, as it takes usually two further links until you will find the full information, provided you are still able to find the image in the article. The first link from the article leads you by default to the MediaViewer which is still not able to provide full copyright information (example in MediaViewer with incomplete information, regular Commons file description with full information). Only the second link that leads to the corresponding file description at Wikimedia Commons provides the full information. All this gets worse whenever you have a different license like GFDL-1.2-only. --AFBorchert (talk) 21:38, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1 to all the above. I'm stunned that this is the official WMF position on how to correctly re-use content published under free licenses.--Cirdan (talk) 16:44, 6 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1 to all the above. --Geolina163 (talk) 17:50, 6 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+ to all the above as well. The next rushed, not well-thought-out move towards facebookisation of the Wikiverse by WMF against the current policies. ♫ Sänger - Talk - superputsch must go 17:57, 6 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1 // Martin Kraft (talk) 12:32, 9 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
I agree. This is a totally inappropriate one size fits all approach. I tested it (using one of my own Commons uploads to avoid breaching any license): from the email I sent myself to the attribution page I had to click three links. (Email -> article -> Media Viewer -> file page.) This clearly violates the terms of the CC-BY-SA-4 license I use and this is completely unacceptable. I cannot see any reasonable legal justification for the lack of attribution provided in this "feature". BethNaught (talk) 19:26, 20 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
An other point made by Atlasowa on dewiki is that back in 2012, you argued that sharing third party CC-by-sa content on Facebook is not allowed. Did things change since then? This would make the ‘Share A Fact’ feature even more problematic. Ireas (talk) 21:44, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Hi Ireas and all, thanks for the feedback. I will review the topics in detail and discuss them with Dan Garry's team. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 23:15, 5 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks, Stephen! As a workaround, I’d suggest these changes depending on the picture’s license:
public domain
  • remove the misleading CC-by-sa icon
  • replace the CC-by-sa icon with the CC-0 icon
  • replace the CC-by-sa icon with the CC-by icon
  • add the author’s name to the picture
  • add the author’s name to the picture
  • add the license name (e. g. CC-by-sa 3.0 DE or CC-by-sa 4.0) to the picture
  • add a link to the source file to the sharing message (Tweet/Facebook post/…)
other licenses
  • don’t use these pictures as a correct attribution is too complicated
This is no perfect solution, but in my opinion, it would really improve the copyright situation. (Of course, this only applies if the text snippet is below the threshold of originality.) Regards, Ireas (talk) 09:58, 6 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Stephen, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter require sub-licensing of content submitted to their services. Eventually there are more services with the same requirement. Given that these services are widely used, share a fact users are likely to use these platforms. Creative Commons licences, the most common type of licenses on Wikimedia Commons, usually prohibit sub-licensing. Noticing the statement about Facebook as mentioned above, I'm sure you and the legal team are well aware of the sub-licensing issue. I was wondering if this was taken into consideration before giving "full legal sign-off"? It seems to me like there's a rather slim chance for share a fact users to comply with license requirements and terms of services. I'd appreciate your comment on this issue. Regards, Christoph Braun (talk) 14:47, 6 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi Stephen, could you give us an idea of your time plan for reviewieng the app in regard to copyright and for responding to our concerns? --Martina Nolte (talk) 21:14, 10 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hello Folks, Stephen is working on a legal note, and I am working on starting a some discussions on the broader issue of attributions in media sharing outside our projects. More links will follow this week. Thanks --Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 22:56, 13 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
@Melamrawy (WMF): Good to hear. I would like to add that I share the concerns brought up here, especially over the sub-licensing issue. It's not just about the attribution, but - as Stephen himself posted at Legal/CC-BY-SA on Facebook - the main issue seems to be that you just can't legally post CC-BY-SA content that a third party produced on Facebook (and probably other popular services), as Facebook requires you grant them "a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook"; a thing one isn't able to do for third-party CC-BY-SA content. As I see it, that's nothing Wikimedia or Creative Commons can change - unless you manage to convince Facebook that they change their licensing terms ;-) Gestumblindi (talk) 19:44, 15 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
Good to hear indeed, looking forward to both the legal note and the discussion about attribution in media sharing (there has been much discussion about this in the past years, eg in Bugzilla − happy to give pointers if needed). Please keep up updated :) Thanks, Jean-Fred (talk) 21:47, 17 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
So, this should expand here Stephen and myself will add more info very shortly (please, ..please excuse the delay, this is my bad!), then this will expand a bit more to cover further similar discussions. Meanwhile, please feel free to add questions, comments, pointers there. Thank you! --Melamrawy (WMF) (talk) 23:20, 17 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
As part of the explanation, can someone please say why the lessons from the Media Viewer debacle regarding new features which fail to comply with licensing terms were not apparently learned? BethNaught (talk) 19:27, 20 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1. And it wasn't just the MediaViewer but also the mobile imageviewer that had the same discussion last year (T71656 Lack of attribution in mobile image viewer), plus a mail by Erik Moeller to the mobile team on how to not repeat this in the future: [3]. And yet here we are, having the same discussion all over again, with the same charming "we have signoff from legal, forget it, case closed"-attitude.
"share-a-fact" from Wikipedia mobile with wikidata description in small print
BTW, if the mobile team really believes what they are saying, "we have not enough space for attribution", then i propose to drop the useless "wikidata description" that they have added to the cards. Those "wikidata descriptions" are not patrolled at wikidata and are vandalized a lot and are therefor controversial too (see d:Wikidata:Project_chat/Archive/2015/01#Wikipedia app and Wikidata vandalism and d:Wikidata:Project chat/Archive/2015/02#Patrollers? and d:Wikidata:Project chat#It's so much worse etc.) --Atlasowa (talk) 17:59, 21 April 2015 (UTC)Reply
+1. Sad but true. Yellowcard (talk) 19:22, 21 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

@Melamrawy (WMF): There really was not a more remote place than some completly unlinked MediaWiki subpage for further discussions? Where else did you invite contributors to join this discussion? When will a responsible WMF employee respond in detail to our concerns? --Martina Nolte (talk) 18:30, 21 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hi all, thanks for your thoughts and suggestions! I have posted more details at Wikimedia apps/features/Share A Fact, and I will respond to questions copied there on the talk page. Best, Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 23:16, 21 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

feedback on policy site[edit]

Hi,please see my comment at Talk:Public policy. Matanya (talk) 18:31, 2 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 06:36, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Interwiki for "policy"[edit]

Hi Stephen. I have added to the interwiki map to have the domain policy apply to https://policy.wikimedia.org/$1 which should allow for neater and more convenient linking to work that you do for/from the wikis. I will see if I can find a tech dude to push the update through so that it can appear in Special:Interwiki sooner, rather in the course of events. [I don't think that the interwiki map works from the blog, however, that is a guess rather than fact, and you probably have more access to the knowledge base of people than I do.]  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:04, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Status:    Done
policy:copyright  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:53, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
Awesome, thanks! Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 06:36, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Hello Stephen![edit]

I have just read a message about the new policy website of the foundation. I think it is going to drive Wikipedia into an even more political position and I don't want that. I am an encyclopedia writer, not your militant. Can you consider resigning? Thierry Caro (talk) 03:18, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

If you have a concern about the policy choices or the fact that the WMF is doing any policy at all then I encourage you to discuss the substance of that here, on Talk:Public_policy or somewhere else that makes sense. However ad hominem attacks such as sarcastically suggesting that someone consider resigning, especially this early on in the discussion, are neither constructive nor necessary and seems engineered to anger and insult rather then help to make things better. I would recommend that neither Stephen, nor anyone else, respond to this thread unless you're willing to alter your approach and discuss the content. Jalexander--WMF 17:01, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
Sadly enough, we are not early in a discussion. We are after an action, for the website is there, online, and already claiming that those behind Wikipedia are fighting governments and such things. Stephen is responsible for this website and so for the breach the website creates in neutrality. It is my responsibility to ask for him resigning. He is young and probably talented. He will find a better job where he will not have to betray those who worked for free for an ideal of neutrality for ten years. I know it won't stop the initiative but at least Stephen and me will both be happier. Thierry Caro (talk) 22:04, 3 September 2015 (UTC)Reply


Thanks for catching that old pair of edits. Delightful! SJ talk  17:45, 27 June 2016 (UTC)Reply

PGP key[edit]

Hi Stephen!

Is 06A6 EF5E 19B5 A825 42AD 9243 B676 76D9 17CF 5CE5 your current PGP key for your wikimedia.org email address? I'd like to send you something. Mine, 6C93 1191 2E9A 86F5 51E7 5092 5A45 9CBA 4070 0C47.

Best regards from WMES, --abián 21:35, 12 December 2016 (UTC)Reply

Yes, 06A6 EF5E 19B5 ... is my PGP key. Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 21:05, 15 December 2016 (UTC)Reply

Legal/Foundation Policy and Political Association Guideline[edit]

Do you happen to know if the WMF Policy and Political Association Guideline is still in effect? --Yair rand (talk) 21:49, 7 March 2017 (UTC)Reply

question related to the US copyright status of the artwork with Non-U.S. copyrights[edit]

Dear User Slaporte, different opinions related to the US copyright status of the image uploaded to Commons originated in f-USSR. If cannot find consensus, could we ask you to take a look? If not who is the right contact? Thanks,--Armenius vambery (talk) 14:59, 30 May 2018 (UTC)Reply


sought over en:Wikipedia:Edit_filter_noticeboard#Open_mailing_list_to_edit_filter_helpers?. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 15:16, 21 November 2019 (UTC)Reply

Important mail getting into junk/spam folder[edit]

Dear Stephen LaPorte,

I have sent an e-mail to your (at)wikimedia.org address, but I think it ended up in junk/spam folder. Can you please check your junk/spam mail folders for messages from email address starting with "whistleintheair"?

Warm regards, whistleintheair

Open Letter to the Board of Trustees concerning the Arbitration Committee of German Wikipedia[edit]

Dear Stephen LaPorte,

I would like to inform you about my Open Letter to the Board of Trustees concerning the Arbitration Committee of German Wikipedia. Best regards--GFreihalter (talk) 11:02, 16 February 2023 (UTC)Reply

We need your feedback on a tool from the Wikimedia Summit[edit]

Reminder: the guide to using Baserow, presented during the Wikimedia Summit.

Hi! I'm contacting you as one of the participants in the Wikimedia Summit 2022, to kindly ask for your feedback through a 5-10 minute survey to evaluate 'Baserow' (note: the survey is on a Google form).

Baserow was a tool through which participants in the Summit co-created a database of Movement Strategy activities. We hope to learn from you how useful it may be to keep using it in the future to help document and connect on Movement Strategy work.

You are welcome and encouraged to fill out the survey in any language. Your feedback would be very appreciated --Abbad (WMF) (talk) 15:38, 16 February 2023 (UTC).Reply

Hi, It was suggested that the WMF Legal team gives an opinion in this case, as if kept, the WMF will have to deal with take down requests from the copyright holders. In brief, these are videos under a free license from major corporations. Some people contested the validity of the license. Could you please give an opinion, here or on the DR page? Thanks, Yann (talk) 22:56, 18 August 2023 (UTC)Reply

Request for help any questions related to our user group[edit]

Hello Slaporte (WMF),

French : Nous avons récemment soumis notre demande de reconnaissance à partir de l’adresse de WikiLinguila, mais nous sommes un peu confus de ne pas recevoir un accuse de réception de la part d'un membre d'AffCom pour nous rassurer si la demande peut être à quel niveau et ça nous inquiète un tout petit peu, voilà pourquoi je me permets de vous écrire, veuillez accepter nos sincères excuses et notre considération témoignée puisque nous avons bien conscience que nous devons vous laisser votre temps pour tout traitement de dossier, en attente d’un retour de votre part, nous vous transmettons nos salutations chaleureuses. Merci d’avance Objet: User group request: Wikimedia Community User Group Linguila [minority languages of central africa]

English : We have recently submitted our application for recognition from WikiLinguila’s address, but we are a little confused not to receive an acknowledgement of receipt or a feedback from an AffCom member to reassure us if the application can be at what level and it worries us a little, this is why I take the liberty of writing to you, please accept our sincere apologies and our consideration shown as we are well aware that we must give you your time for any processing of file, awaiting a return from you, we send you our warm greetings. Thanks in advance Subject: User group request: Wikimedia Community User Group Linguila [minority languages of central africa]

CapitainAfrika (talk) 10:43, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply

Reminder to vote now to select members of the first U4C[edit]

You can find this message translated into additional languages on Meta-wiki. Please help translate to your language

Dear Wikimedian,

You are receiving this message because you previously participated in the UCoC process.

This is a reminder that the voting period for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) ends on May 9, 2024. Read the information on the voting page on Meta-wiki to learn more about voting and voter eligibility.

The Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) is a global group dedicated to providing an equitable and consistent implementation of the UCoC. Community members were invited to submit their applications for the U4C. For more information and the responsibilities of the U4C, please review the U4C Charter.

Please share this message with members of your community so they can participate as well.

On behalf of the UCoC project team,

RamzyM (WMF) 22:53, 2 May 2024 (UTC)Reply