The Jimmy Wales Foundation and Free Bassel

[Note: for a bibliography of sources on the Jimmy Wales Foundation, see Jimmy Wales Foundation update.]

My main reason for writing this post is to be able to reference these two topics.

Jimmmy Wales FoundationThe Jimmy Wales Foundation is something I would like to be able to follow from time to time, but it does not have a Wikipedia article, and I despair of finding the right sequence of search terms to make it come up in a google search. {UPDATE: JWF now has an extremely short but well-sourced article on Wikipedia, and a longer article on Simple Wikipedia written by me.  Their social media now shows up on the first page of a google search.  As  expected, once there were some human-curated links for the organization, the algorithms were able to surface more.  The foundation no longer seems to be active since Wales and Kopel became involved in the startup of the for-profit WikiTribune in 2017.]   I rather doubt that Technorati, or whoever is doing the rankings these days, would consider this to be a high profile blog, but it is indexed, and does have a small amount of traffic directed to it by search engines.  Who knows, a link here might help the search bots develop some clue.

Note: To no one’s surprise, the death of Bassel Khartabil has now been confirmed by the Jimmy Wales Foundation on 8/1/2017. [source]

The question of a Free Basel banner on enwiki was considered and rejected.  I came late to the discussion there, and asked a few questions on that thread, which I will answer here, since I don’t have any control over deletions on WMF sites.

  • Creative Commons in Arabic - Free BasselIs Jimmy aware of the Free Bassel campaign?  Yes, he introduced the subject on his talk page, which is now archived here.
  • is this guy a Wikipedia editor?  According to the Free Basel page, yes. If the guy is still alive, the last thing he needs is someone scrutinizing his edits, so I’m not going to question this any further.  I have had the horrible experience of being stalked by a serial harasser, who dragged me through dispute resolution process.  As a result, I was doxed on English Wikipedia by three arbitrators, and the disclosure of the personal information, clearly in violation of the WMF privacy policy, was approved by a fourth arb.  I have been unable to find anyone who is able to remove this information without it being restored by the arbitrators.  The last thing I need is someone being able to link my previous edits with my real life identity.  I have now requested a review of privacy policy enforcement as a part of the harassment consultation, but every time I have to go more and more public to try to get this information removed, it only calls more attention to it and increases my risk.  At this point, the situation is such that it interferes with my tangible life opportunities, and is a direct factor in any decision I make about whether to seek another contract in this region.
  • Is it reasonable to try to influence an Arabic-speaking government by placing a banner on an English-language Wikipedia?  Where is the Arabic translation? Okay, to answer my own questions, this has to do with my previous point above.  I believe any Arabic-speaking user who would even comment on such a proposal would place themselves at risk, and it would be wrong to start such a discussion on Arabic Wikipedia, and wrong to encourage good-faith users to put themselves in such a position by commenting on it.  Is it right not to give the Arabic speakers the chance to decide that for themselves?  Probably not.  In theory, it might be nice to contact them privately, and who knows, they might have already had this discussion.   I used to know how to contact them, and probably have it saved somewhere in files I rescued from my old laptop when it crashed for the last time.  But that would be a huge effort to locate, and at the moment my email inbox is all about death threats and rape threats to Wikipedia volunteers.  I only have so much time.  Bassel Khartabil has now been missing for two months, so this is a long term issue, not an immediate one.  There are a number of international organizations already  working with the issue.  Let the people with paid staff deal with it.

All right, I’m going to write some more stuff about the Jimmy Wales Foundation, and add some more links, to give the indexing bots something to think about.

So. according to the Signpost, and Daily Dot, the Jimmy Wales Foundation was started, in collaboration with Orit Kopel, as a result of Jimmy receiving a surprise award of half a million dollars from Emir Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum while he was in the UAE. In all fairness, the emir does seem to be interested in knowledge.  The home page of his Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation boasts a recent “knowledge conference” in Dubai.  And the Foundation seems to have buckets of money.  The award that Jimbo received was one of 21 different awards that are given out each year.  Imagine trying to find that many deserving people to give money to.  And the emir does not seem like that bad of a guy.  True, there was the thing about the camel jockeys, but the camel races now use mechanical jockeys, so there is no longer any need for lightweight child jockeys who have been starved.  The camel owner can follow the camel with a remote control and whip the camel himself.

This guy can’t help the culture he was born into.  It seems to me he is making a real effort to put things right. Besides, he has a beautiful and talented wife.

So, is the Jimmy Wales Foundation doing anything about Free Bassel? Not on their website.     They have a Linked In page, and a Twitter page at “JWalesF” (Thanks To the Signpost for finding that one). Also, Jimmy Wales Foundation on Facebook, with maybe two posts a month.  Looks like they do have a tweet about Bassel.

Individuals highlighted on the Jimmy Wales Foundation website include:

Hamid Buyabes, a Kuwaiti journalist and blogger (no Wikipedia article)

Mohan Kumar Mondal, Bangladeshi blogger and chief of LEDARS, a local environmental NGO (no Wikipedia article)

Bounthanh Khammavong, a Polish activist of Lao background in Laos (no Wikipedia article)

Ta Phong Tan, a Vietnamese blogger (receiving the International Women of Courage Award establishes her “notability” for inclusion in the English Wikipedia)

Rafis Kashapov, an activist from the Tatar community in Russia (no Wikipedia article, although he is mentioned in the All-Tatar Public Center article)

Zone 9 bloggers, a group of Ethiopian bloggers and journalists

Ahmed Mansoor, United Arab Emirates, one of the UAE Five

Roya Saberinejad Nobakht an Iranian-British woman in an Iranian jail after posting comments on Facebook (no Wikipedia article)

Ermek Narymbaev in Kazakh after posting on Facebook (no Wikipedia article)

Raif Badawi, Saudi blogger

Bangladeshi Bloggers List of Death


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