Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wikimedia Foundation removes image of its headquarters from Wikipedia article

Image uploaded and added
Image speedily deleted and removed
Deletion review opened
Deletion review forcibly closed, citing WP:OFFICE

It may be worth noting that at the time of the DRV's closure, comments up to that point unanimously supported overturning the deletion. (ed: maybe not; see comments)

If the Wikimedia Foundation won't allow a picture of its headquarters to appear in the relevant article, so be it. I just wonder what justification there is that wouldn't likewise apply to headquarters images found in other articles, including Microsoft, Apple, or Craiglist.

It's not entirely clear that this is or is not an official office action, at the moment, but absent a demonstration to the contrary, the spectre of OFFICE has been invoked and will probably have its usual effects.

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Edit 1, 2008-07-14: Added in-line note, referring to comment from Matthew Brown regarding comments at the DRV. See this post's comments for details.

8 comments:

Matthew Brown said...

Cary Bass and Jay Walsh communicated to the Arbitration Committee that the deletion, and closing of the debate about it, was an OFFICE action.

I suspect that their reasons for not doing it themselves may have to do with Wikimania and being in Egypt at the time.

Matthew Brown said...

Saying that the comments unanimously supported overturning deletion doesn't convey the truth of the discussion, which was that a grand total of two people had supported the undeletion, with a third commenting that perhaps undeletion should wait until WMF people had been consulted.

Granted, it hadn't been discussed for all that long, but even by the paltry standards of Wikipedia consensus, two votes aren't much.

Luna Santin said...

Yes, I'm content to be patient. Hopefully the reasoning will become more clear with time (privacy concerns allowing). If not, I'll live. I can make some guesses about what might have come to pass, but since anything beyond what I've posted would most likely be wild conjecture, coming from me at this point, it seems best to keep things simple for now.

And... I have to admit you're right, as far as the headcount. I'll make a note in the post about that. Thanks for taking a moment to comment.

Brion said...

Not having seen the photo... Most likely, the photo included either private information on a whiteboard, or the street address.

Wikimedia has (and has had for quite some time) a policy of keeping the physical street address of the main office private to discourage random people from wandering in off the street or harrassing the staff.

Microsoft, Apple, and Craigslist presumably have bigger offices with more security. :)

Matthew Brown said...

It was a photo of the front of the office building with the full address in the image description.

As to the image's existence, I'm a little torn. It's an understandable and sensible urge to try and discourage random nutjobs from showing up at the WMF office and harassing the staff. It's also correct that no official communication from the WMF contains their street address.

On the other hand, the address can fairly easily be found (official documentation and the like) and is thus already known by the complete nutjobs. So the level of protection being given is only against the casual or unskilled.

The truly sensible answer should be a site-wide one; do we publicize the street address of other corporations or organizations if they ask us not to? Should we?

In many respects these concerns are similar to some ones incorporated in BLP policy.

lucasbfr said...

Apparently the issue finally ended on a blog ;)

Gregory Kohs said...

One of my favorite movies is The "39" Steps.

But, "still, man", I never left my heart in "San Francisco".

Now, I have be takin' it to the "street".

Gregory Kohs said...

I don't see what is the big deal?

http://www.mywikibiz.com/Image:Wikimedia_Headquarters_%28reduced%29.jpg

And why is "Wikimania" such an enormous barrier to reporting why the image was deleted?