The story of a photo
There have been numerous debates on the use of a non-free image to depict Kim Jong-un, most notably two RfCs (one in 2012, and another in 2015). These debates began even before he was leader of North Korea (see 2010 discussion). A non-free image was never approved, and literally dozens of uploads of non-free images of him under various file names were deleted both on en.wikipedia and on Commons (see example here, and example on Commons). A FAQ (see Talk:Kim Jong-un/FAQ) was even added to the header of the talk page informing people why there was no image of him. Non-free images or copyright violating images of him were added to the infobox of the article countless times. In every case, the images were removed. Efforts were made to generate a free license alternative, by way of photo-realistic images and sketches. Even that became a subject of debate (see discussion) and edit warring. Finally, after nearly 12 years of the article's existence, a free license image of Kim Jong-un has been made and released. This image, found and uploaded to Commons on March 6 by Cyberdoomslayer, is a derivative work from File:Kim Jong-un at the Workers' Party of Korea main building.png, and a day later is already in use on 8 different language Wikipedias. It is currently being used on dozens of Wikipedias.
The Wikimedia Foundation stated in their 2008 resolution on licensing policy that non-free images of living people would almost always not be allowed. No.1 of the 10-point local English Wikipedia policy, of which all points must be met, explicitly states "or could be created", which echoed the Foundation's decree in that we could not allow non-free content where free license content could be created. This was the sticking point with all Kim Jong-un photographs until this image was found; no free license images existed or could be located. The uploading of this image has finally broken the Gordian knot, and ended many years of debate on a crucial non-free content licensing issue. – Eddie891
Wikimedia foundation wins legal battle against Italian official
Cesare Previti, described by the English Wikipedia as "a former Italian politician and convicted criminal", sued WMF to remove what he said was damaging information about him. In Previti v. Wikimedia Foundation, Previti sued the Wikimedia Foundation for hosting an article with defamatory content.
The case, which was initiated in 2012, was originally decided in favor of Wikimedia by the Civil Court in Rome, and was affirmed by the Court of Appeals of Rome on Feb. 19, 2018. "The court held that as a hosting provider, the Wikimedia Foundation cannot be held liable for the content of Wikipedia articles, which it does not control. The court also noted that both the Foundation and the Wikipedia sites themselves provide information about the open and collaborative nature of the encyclopedia." The Wikimedia Foundation said the ruling "protects the community editing model". (adapted from a Wikimedia blog post by Jacob Rogers and Emine Yildirim)
Death of Stephen Hawking
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who passed away in the middle of March, was one of the most influential scientists of all time. Pageviews of Hawking’s article led the Top-10 across all language Wikipedias and was the most popular of the month on the Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, and Farsi Wikipedias (and probably more). The English Wikipedia entry on Hawking is a former Featured Article; the featured photo on the right has been selected as Picture of the Day on Wikimedia Commons for 26 April 2018.
Hawking's research on black holes achieved groundbreaking work in the field of quantum gravity and theoretical cosmology. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, in 2002 he was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
His 1988 book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes is a popular-science book on cosmology (the study of the universe). The book which was written for nonspecialist readers with no prior knowledge of scientific theories, appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 4.5 years. It sold more than 20 million copies and was translated into 35 languages by 2001. One of his greatest unfulfilled desires was to travel to space; on hearing this, Richard Branson offered a free flight into space with Virgin Galactic, which Hawking immediately accepted.
Hawking was born in Oxford, England on the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death and died on the 139th anniversary of Einstein's birth. His private funeral took place on 31 March, in Cambridge. During a thanksgiving service on 15 June, his ashes will be interred in the nave of Westminster Abbey next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton and near that of Charles Darwin. Fifteen years before his death he directed that the Bekenstein–Hawking entropy equation be his epitaph. – Kudpung (adapted from a Wikimedia blog post by Ed Erhart)
Making a total so far of just three new additions to the mop and bucket brigade for 2018, we welcome two new administrators:
- Cordless Larry from the UK who has been around since 2005. Larry is one of the most prolific participants at the Teahouse and is an OTRS agent. He decided to run following unanimous positive feedback at the Optional RfA candidate poll (ORCP).
- 331dot from the State of Maine made his first edit in 2012. A regular Teahouse host and New Page Reviewer, on his RfA which passed at 186/5/4 he exercised his prerogative and chose not to answer several of the barrage of user questions.
Notability guideline substantially rewritten
The notability guideline for organizations and companies has been substantially rewritten and adopted by the closure of this request for comment. Among the changes, the guideline more clearly defines the sourcing requirements needed for organizations and companies to be considered notable. – Kudpung
Passings: Craig Franklin
Craig Franklin, user:Lankiveil, was a long-standing Irish-Australian Wikipedian who served as a board member (2011–2015) and president (2013) of Wikimedia Australia. Franklin joined Wikipedia on 12 August 2004 and became an administrator in August 2008. He also served as an oversighter for the English Wikipedia, a clerk for the Arbitration Committee, an OTRS volunteer, and as a member of the ombudsman commission. In 14 years dedication to the project, never a month went by without an edit. He passed away unexpectedly on 15 April 2018, a day after his last edit. – Kudpung
- Milestones: The English Wikipedia hit 5.6 million articles, with the creation of Raymond C. Morgan.
The Chinese Wikipedia has reached 1,000,000 articles.
- New policy: "We [Wikipedia] require those involved with paid editing on Wikipedia to link on their user page to all other active accounts on external websites through which they advertise paid Wikipedia editing business." see here.
- Gender Gap Data Data on the gender gap (as relating to articles) across Wikimedia has been released. It ranges from Welsh Wikipedia with 46% male, to Tajik Wikipedia, with 1.0% female.
- Tony Sebro's appointment as Deputy General Counsel has been announced by the Wikimedia Foundation. Sebro, a member of the New York bar, joins the WMF after working since 2011 at the Software Freedom Conservancy—a public charity that acts as the home for more than 40 free and open source software projects. He also has a degree from MIT in mechanical engineering.
- Successful scholarship awardees for Wikimania 2018 have been notified by email. Some applicants have been advised that they are on a stand-by list and will be informed by 1 June. The Foundation's open annual conference takes place 18-22 July this year in Cape Town, South Africa with a leitmotif based on ubuntu, the Southern African philosophy, to focus on Wikimedia’s gaps in content and contributors.
- The ACPERM debate, recently closed with an overwhelming consensus but had some minor opposition from Wikimedians-in-Residence and Outreach organizers. To address their concerns, a RfC launched by TonyBallioni is currently underway at Requests for comment/Event coordinator proposal. Calling for a new user group, it appears to be gaining serious traction.
- Joe Sutherland, WMF Community Advocate, has announced this month a Keeping Events Safe resource kit — a short, high-level booklet which documents the most important aspects of event safety.
- Page Previews, deployed on 17 April – almost exactly three years in the making – is one of the largest changes to desktop Wikipedia made in recent years. By hovering over a link to another article, a short summary of the subject and an image (if available) is displayed. The feature allows readers to get a quick grasp of what’s behind a link without committing to a click-through.
- GLAM: The closure of the Rapid Grants program between May 14–June 30, 2018 has been announced. This year the amount of grants offered to the community was almost doubled compared to last year's quarter. This means that the funds for this fiscal year have been expended. The last date for applications for a rapid grant will be 11 May 2018. 'Wiki Loves Earth' participants are encouraged to apply for a Rapid Grant before the closure. The grant program will be open again on 1 July and applications will be accepted from 1st through 15th of each month.