The Jimmy Wales Foundation is a non-profit started by Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, in order to promote human rights in the field of freedom of expression, particularly online speech. Many times writers and journalists have big established organizations standing behind them when they run afoul of local censorship. But when bloggers and individual social media users are kidnapped or imprisoned, who can speak up for them? It is these more vulnerable users who do not have that supportive backing that the JWF focuses on, finding and promoting individual victims who are having their voices taken away from them.
A little over a week ago, I wrote a humble blog post referencing the Jimmy Wales Foundation, with the goal of boosting the Google search for this topic into a position where I could find the website by googling it. A few days later, I checked back, and the foundation’s official website was already on the second page of my Google search.
I am pleased to report that as of today, the official web page for the Jimmy Wales Foundation, jimmywalesfoundation.org/, is now displayed in the first page of a google search (in tenth position), along with the Twitter page @JWalesF at https://twitter.com/jwalesf. The LinkedIn page for “Jimmy Wales Foundation” has always done pretty well in a search, and is at https://www.linkedin.com/company/jimmy-wales-foundation.
The main action of the foundation is on Twitter, with some posts on the web page, focusing mostly on people in prison. As yet, the foundation does not award any prizes, similar to the U.S State Department’s International Women of Courage Award, the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism from Women’s eNews, the Lech Walesa Institute Foundation’s Lech Walesa Prize , the Dutch Human Rights Defenders Tulip, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, Amnesty International’s Human Rights Ginetta Sagan Fund Award [dead link], the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, or the Giuseppe Motta Medal. Many of these awards are presented to individuals who have been jailed or persecuted after they are released from prison, and continued to work in controversial areas, but occasionally the award is posthumous, as in the case of India’s Jyoti Singh.
I firmly believe these awards, and the international attention they can bring to bear on governments, can protect lives, and by extension, promote freedom of expression. It should also go without saying that an award can establish “notability” for an individual, for the purposes of Wikipedia. A resulting Wikipedia article may bring them further international visibility and protection.
Unfortunately, a Google search still results in little useful information about the Jimmy Wales Foundation, outside of some private blog with a lot of four-letter words and a bizarre rant about ethics.
So here is my list of sources for the Jimmy Wales Foundation.
- “Jimmy Wales Foundation” official website
- “Jimmy Wales Foundation” on LinkedIn
- “Jimmy Wales Foundation” on Twitter
- “Jimmy Wales Foundation” on Facebook
Online articles about “Jimmy Wales Foundation”, the 2014 Dubai Knowledge Conference, and the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award [images: 1 2]:
- “HRF Launches Global Coalition for the North Korean Human Rights Act”, Human Rights Foundation, Sep. 29, 2015
- “Jimmy Wales pledges $500k UAE award to human rights causes”, the Daily Dot, Dec 15, 2014
- “What’s Jimmy Wales going to do with $500k from the UAE?”, The Register, 22 Dec 2014
- “Web inventor, Wiki co-founder share $1m Knowledge Award”, Khaleej Times, December 9, 2014
- “Wales under fire for $500k prize from UAE”, Wikipedia Signpost 2014-12-17 In the media
- “Jimmy Wales accepts Dan David Prize”, Wikipedia Signpost, 2015-05-20 In the media
- “Jimmy Wales wants Wikipedia to change the world, again”, Jerusalem Post, 05/20/2015
- “Jimmy Wales and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Prize Money“, The Wikipedian, December 26, 2014
- “Dubai Knowledge Conference honours internet guru Sir Tim Berners Lee, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales “, Gulf News, December 7, 2014
- “The web was designed without an attitude, inventor says”, Gulf News, December 7, 2014
- “Web founder stresses free internet for all”, Gulf News, December 10, 2014
- “First Knowledge Conference”, United Nations Development Programme, December 2014
Video and some screenshots of Jimmy Wales accepting the Knowledge Award in Dubai 2014:
1:32 Jimmy speaking, with slide: “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the Sum all Human knowledge.”
1:50 Jimmy Wales receiving award
Note the number of women both in the audience and speaking on stage, both with hijab and with hair uncovered, then take a look at the gender mix in photos of Wikimedia events. You won’t find nearly that high a percentage of women at Wikimedia functions.