[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.
The 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. 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.
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.
- Is Jimmy aware of the Free Bassel campaign? Yes, he introduced the subject on his talk page, which is now archived here.
- 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.
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)
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