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Open letter to protect Wikipedia and other public interest projects in the Global Digital Compact

A new open letter from the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, and Wikimedia affiliates around the world calls on UN Member States to protect Wikipedia and other public interest projects in the forthcoming Global Digital Compact. Everyone who is committed to preserving free, reliable, and open knowledge is encouraged to sign the letter* in support. For organizations wishing to sign, please get in touch with us at csciubbacaniglia@wikimedia.org.

The Global Digital Compact is a unique and pivotal opportunity to shape our digital world in a manner that advances the public interest and supports sustainable development for everyone, everywhere. 

We, the signatories of this open letter, call on UN Member States to embrace a positive vision for the internet’s future that supports and empowers diverse communities everywhere to build and operate free and open knowledge projects. The Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, provide the world with the largest free and open, multilingual, intercultural, universally accessible repository of educational materials ever created. The volunteer-run Wikimedia projects have formed a community-led ecosystem that champions information integrity. They serve as digital public infrastructure for openly licensed, neutral, encyclopedic content in over 300 languages.

Wikipedia’s experience of over two decades has taught us that the internet needs to be open, global, interoperable, and inclusive in order to serve all of humanity. To that end, three essential commitments should be included in the text of the Global Digital Compact:

For more than two decades, volunteer communities contributing in the public interest to free and open knowledge projects such as Wikipedia, which is supported by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, have developed systems of self-governance for content curation and moderation. The purpose of these systems is to ensure that the information created and shared on the projects is reliable and well-sourced.

The current regulatory discussions often focus on challenges posed by for-profit, top-down models of digital governance, and do not sufficiently address the positive impact of public interest communities establishing participatory and collaborative models of self-governance. Community-governed online spaces empower contributors to improve the reliability of content in the public interest by designing context-appropriate policies and practices that emphasize values such as safety and inclusivity.

We believe that the Wikimedia projects are examples of such online spaces. Global free and open knowledge projects such as Wikipedia should not be rare: The international community should support, through public policy, funding, and other resources, a world where diverse online communities can build and govern their own public interest projects, designing them to be equitable and contributing to a healthier online information ecosystem.

As regulations for online environments evolve, we need to ensure these frameworks foster an internet where public interest projects thrive, and new spaces of cultural and educational exchange that are responsible, ethical, and inclusive can be born.

Wikipedia and other public interest projects that provide access to knowledge are a digital public good built on a robust digital commons. These projects support people’s access to verified and reliable information and expertise, thereby serving the public interest.

Digital public goods such as Wikipedia depend on a thriving public domain and online information ecosystem featuring free and openly licensed content. 

Publicly funded information and knowledge should be made publicly available under a free and open license for everyone to use and reuse. The public domain should further be protected in the digital age by ensuring, for instance, that no new exclusive rights will be awarded for the digitization of existing works.

Platforms developing digital public goods like Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects also support multilingual and intercultural online spaces, which are key to developing inclusive online spaces and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We believe that AI and ML tools can advance many of the SDGs when they enable people to access and verify knowledge. In fact, the Wikipedia community of volunteers has built and deployed ML systems for many years to assist the curation and moderation of reliable information. To serve the public interest, the risks that these tools can also bring must be balanced by developing them in accordance with international human rights standards. Participation in the development of these tools should be managed through transparent and open processes controlled by the communities that the tools are meant to assist. Ultimately, AI and ML systems can only be reliable if they are trained on well-sourced knowledge, created and moderated by humans who receive appropriate attribution for their contributions.

The full potential of the internet—enabling collaboration, broadening access to knowledge, and advancing social progress—depends on a united effort from governments, policymakers, and civil society to protect public interest spaces online.

The Global Digital Compact must safeguard the best of what the internet already offers: online communities working collaboratively, spaces that are protective of human rights, and platforms led by volunteers making digital public goods—including diverse, verifiable knowledge—accessible to everyone, everywhere.

Signatures

  • Creative Commons
  • Creative Commons Italy Chapter
  • Open Knowledge Foundation
  • The Wikimedia Foundation
  • Wiki Movimento Brasil
  • Wikimedia Armenia
  • Wikimedia Australia
  • Wikimedia CH
  • Wikimedia Chile
  • Wikimedia Colombia
  • Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda
  • Wikimedia Czech Republic
  • Wikimedia Deutschland
  • Wikimedia España
  • Wikimedia Europe
  • Wikimedia Georgia
  • Wikimedia Ghana User Group
  • Wikimedia Italia
  • Wikimedia México
  • Wikimedia Netherlands
  • Wikimedia Österreich
  • Wikimedia Sverige
  • Wikimedia UK
  • Wikimedia User Group Nigeria
  • Wikimedians of the Caribbean User Group
  • Wikimedistas de Uruguay

*To sign the letter in your individual capacity, please complete this Google Form. For organizations wishing to sign, please get in touch with us at csciubbacaniglia@wikimedia.org. For details on how the information you share in this form will be handled, see this privacy statement.

Co-signatories

NumberSignatureCountryOrganization
1Diego HättenschwilerSwitzerland
2Matt AndrewsUnited States
3Vanj PadillaPhilippinesShared Knowledge Asia Pacific
4Rachmat WahidiIndonesiaWikimedia Indonesia
5Tila CappellettoBrazilWikimedia Foundation and Wiki Editoras Lx
6Joydeep SenguptaGermany
7Kyle VuUnited States
8Bernardo OliveiraPortugal
9Nurul Rifqah FahiraIndonesia
10Kanyadibya PrasetyoIndonesiaWikimedia Indonesia
11Nadia HanessianSwitzerland
12Dr. Ziko van DijkNetherlandsKlexikon
13Tim SandgrenSweden
14Nikolai
15Fachria MarasabessyIndonesiaUniversitas Terbuka
16Bita BabolianIran
17Stefan CibianRomaniaFagaras Research Institute
18Mukul PandyaUnited States
19John Gorrell
20Andrea GuzmanSwitzerlandPublic Health – Johns Hopkins
21Erika MartinezColombia
22Laura AbrilColombia
23RonRitchieUnited States
24Marissa Strniste
25Nicolás Bautista DuarteCanada
26Janice Dean
27Ángela DuarteCanada
28Nate AngellUnited StatesNudgital
29Jorge PulecioColombiaFundación Amazonia y Vida
30Sam TaggUnited StatesWriter
31Daniel GuzmanUnited States
32José Ignacio JiménezUnited States
33Gonzalo Sánchez-GómezColombia
34Emelie Rivard-BoudreauCanadaWikiclub Croissant boréal
35Joshua LevensUnited States
36Ignacio guillenColombia
37Henrique NeivaBrazilUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte – UFRN
38Juliana GordilloColombia
39Richard NevellUnited KingdomWikimedia UK and the University of Exeter
40Elizabeth SpicaUnited StatesOpen Counsel, LLC
41Nelly Duarte
42Silvia GutiérrezMexicoWikimedia Foundation
43Valério MeloBrazilWiki Movimento Brasil
44Martha Duarte
45Anamaria NietoColombia
46Maria Eduarda Rodrigues
47Juan Dimey
48Andreas Mitchell
49AM TrépanierCanadaCinémathèque québécoise
50Dianne SkeltonNew ZealandWikimedia Aotearoa New Zealand
51Adriana RosellColombia
52Marcus Vinícius Pereira da SilvaBrazilFundação Oswaldo Cruz
53Anna TumadóttirUnited StatesCreative Commons
54Divine NantezaUgandaWikimedia Community Usergroup Uganda
55Maria DuarteUnited StatesUniversity of California, San Francisco
56Isaac LooremetaKenyaCarnegie Mellon University
57Francisco BarretoColombiaDe acuerdo
58Shuhada Rosdi
59Ismael OleaSpain
60Adriana SandovalSpain
61Claudia Arroyave O’BrienUnited States
62Luz Esperanza Duarte OrtegaColombia
63Juan Duarte
64Monica BonillaColombiaWikimedia Colombia
65Juanita VargasColombia
66Osvaldo LarancuentDominican RepublicISOC Chapter Dominican Republic
67Juan Camilo SandovalColombia
68Irvin Sto. TomasPhilippinesBikol Wikipedia Community
69Nora RodriguezColombia
70Maffeth Opiana-Sto.TomasPhilippinesPhilWiki Community
71Cesario ErricoUnited States
72Margot AlbinUnited States
73Francesco Roveto
74Luis Jimenez
75Laura Ines OliverosColombia
76Sara Hilarión DíazColombia
77Soha EshraghiUnited StatesCiti
78Tara DasUnited States
79Everett PaletUnited States
80Laura RodríguezColombia
81César MendozaMexico
82Max GoldmanUnited States
83Taufik RosmanMalaysiaWikimedia Community User Group Malaysia
84Baluku BrianUgandaWikimedia Community User Group Uganda
85Jurina JoniminMalaysiaWMCUG
86Idd NingaTanzaniaDunia Salama Foundation
87Macholi Chris BenardUgandaWikimedia Community User Group Uganda
88Muhammad Rifqi SaifudinIndonesia
89Arthur PicernaFrance
90Ahmad Wafiq Aqil Bin KamarulMalaysiaWikimedia Community User Group Malaysia
91Laura JamesUnited Kingdom
92Libby CummingsUnited States
93Eliana QuirozBolivia
94Maria Paulina JaramilloColombia
95Jake OrlowitzUnited StatesWikiBlueprint
96Victoria Kure-WuGermany
97Erwin SentausaFranceWikimedia Indonesia
98Peter SuberUnited StatesSenior Advisor on Open Access, Harvard Library
99Wilfredo Rafael Rodriguez HernandezCanadaWikimedia Canada
100Barbara MillerUnited States
101Kamila SoučkováSwitzerland
102Pablo CorredorColombia
103Arshak ShahenyanArmeniaWikimedia Armenia
104Martin Adalberto Tena Espinoza de los MonterosMexicoUniversidad de Guadalajara
105Isaac Lopez
106Deoband Community WikimediaIndia
107Christine PloteGermany
108Stephen DakyiGhanaWiki Green Initiatives
109Vladimir CortésMexico
110Adhmi FauzanIndonesia
111Éder PortoBrazilWiki Movimento Brasil
112Maria RojasColombia
113Huaira FoundationEcuadorHuaira Foundation
114Siggi WeideGermanywebgrrls Deutschland e. V.
115Jenny Ebermann (Wikimedia CH CEO)SwitzerlandWikimedia CH
116Ulrich LantermannSwitzerlandWikimedia CH
117Michael GranitzerGermany
118Isla Haddow-FloodSouth AfricaWiki In Africa
119Florence Devouard (representing Wiki In Africa)South AfricaWiki In Africa
120Wikimedia ColombiaColombiaWikimedia Colombia
121Correl MorisMalaysiaKent Wiki Club
122Jilorisa JohnMalaysiaKent Wiki Club
123Pilar de la PrietaSpainWikimedia España
124Michael WestUnited Kingdom
125Andy Mabbett, FRSAUnited KingdomWikimedian
126Jane DanielsUnited KingdomAmgueddfa Torfaen Museum
127Patrick Snyder
128Bernardo García QuirogaColombia
129Maria Clara Ortiz KaramColombia
130HardiansyahIndonesia
131Olga SpingouGreece
132Martin PoulterUnited KingdomWikimedian
133Sandra AcengUgandaWikimedia Community Usergroup Uganda
134Dr Anita HallUnited Kingdom
135Jeni MerinoUnited States
136Teresa MacKinnonUnited KingdomHonorary Life Member of Association for Learning Technology
137Andi InácioBrazilWikiMulheres+ | Wiki Movimento Brasil
138MJ DeeryUnited States
139Nikolas BeckerGermany
140Pedro Moreno ChavesColombia
141Kyung Sin ParkSouth KoreaKorea University | Open Net Korea
142Geoffrey KatereggaUgandaWikimedia Community User Group Uganda
143Leanne RitchieUnited States
144Fraser MorganUnited Kingdom
145Luciana BritoBrazilUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
146Aviv SapireIsrael
147Alek TarkowskiPolandOpen Future Foundation
148Daniela Branson
149Donatien K. KoffiIvory CoastWikimedia Community User Group Côte d’Ivoire
150Diana Betzler
151Emily BandeiraBrazilBoca Language Justice
152Lorna M. CampbellUnited Kingdom
153Bernhard René WallischAustria
154Maria Fernanda De BrasdeferMexicoIFLA
155Filippo CataniaItaly
156Curt NewtonUnited StatesMIT OpenCourseWare
157Dimitar DinevBulgaria
158Mukesh BaniyaIndia
159Samer AfhadPortugal
160Anthony B DixonAmerican Samoa
161Tracy ClayUnited States
162Wendy ArenasColombia
163Tanakorn SensunonThailand
164Nasri NasirMalaysiaWikimedia Community User Group Malaysia
165Sherry AntoineUnited StatesWikimedians of the Caribbean and AfroCROWD
166Lu KlunderMexico
167Robin HicksUnited States
168Ezequiel LopezArgentina
169Laura ArosaColombiaUniversidad Nacional de Colombia
170Dwayne PerraultCanadaAdministrator
171Ahaan ChaudhuriIndia
172Odoh CosmasNigeria
173Andrea MerrillUnited States
174José GamaPortugal
175Katherine TownsendUnited StatesWorld Wide Web Foundation
176Alfred HendrixUnited States
177Marco ChemelloItaly
178Juan Dimey
179Filip KramecCzech RepublicBrno University of Technology
180Cooper WhiteNew Zealand
181Sinan BaytarTurkey
182Nico MathuseAustria
183Rasmus GieselGermanyMOR Design
184Jan SoonsBelgium
185Noël HardenneBelgium
186César Alcántara
187Eric De GrooteBelgium
188Jean HigginsIreland
189Carmen JohnsonBenin
190Kao HerAlbania
191Rajneesh KumarIndia
192Tom HutchersonUnited States
193Jiří ŠpačekCzech Republic
194David PhoenixUnited States
195Archie MilesUnited States
196Vanthuy GwynnUnited StatesRetiree
197Jill GodmilowUnited StatesFilmmaker, retired professor at University of Notre Dame
198Samaya AnjumBangladeshGlobal Network Initiative
199Jaime SparrUnited States
200Felipe Pacheco de Lima OliveiraBrazil
201Takeshi KoyamaJapan
202Maribel RenteriaAlbania
203Joshua BoyleAustralia
204Bunchan Sawangban
205Kathleen TuckerUnited States
206Marco Giuseppe TomaItaly
207Luis Quintero PulidoMexico
208Anne KendallAustralia
209Nizo PriskornSweden
210Robert S. HagglundUnited StatesApp development and design, and engineering
211Mille HoejerslevDenmark
212Joseph EdwardsUnited States
213Mir Fazly RabbyBangladesh
214Saara MerikiviFinland
215D. R. MyersUnited States
216Rakhee Kaushik
217Cherise SmithUnited States
218Ethan CrouchUnited StatesMoore School District I-2
219Julia SnyderUnited States
220Kentraiyle RobinsonUnited States
221Rüdiger FriesGermany
222Ana PetracheRomania
223Jon Schulle-NABLE, EcoRestoration Alliance
224Pierluigi FeliciatiItalyUniversity of Macerata
225Scott LangerUnited States
226Valerie StilsonUnited States
227Emily BodenbergUnited States
228Mariam YoussefEgyptInstatus
229Robby TaineUnited States
230Lisa LivingstonUnited States
231Shreya PaulBangladesh
232Nana Ama Serwaa Brenya
233Hector DominguezUnited States
234Enrico BertacchiniItalyUniversity of Turin
235Lu KlunderMexico
236Marco SeveriniItaly
237Luis ValenzuelaBrazil
238Carlos E. FerreroItalyFreelance translator
239Alejandra Dulcey GarridoColombiaFreelance
240Lizet MespoletUruguay
241Karla de SilvaChile
242Manik Kumar BiswasBangladesh
243Anderson PatiñoColombiaUniversidad Católica de Oriente
244Flavio SartorettoItalyA. P. R. I.
245Monica P. Tamayo T.Colombia
246Saksham ShekherIndiaMiru project
247Lance Mok
248Linda HuguesUnited States
249Mohammad Akhari B.Iran
250Suzie ZenkerUnited States
251Gerhard TrobeAustria
252Jonny B. RoyalUnited StatesBusiness owner
253Niall MacaulayUnited StatesUrban Paradise Guild
254Sanjeev KumarBrazil
255Mourad Iftene
256Marilyn NaborsUnited States
257John MayburyUnited States
258Itzel Alejandra CampaMexico
259Nguyen VuVietnamVietnam Wikimedians User Group
260Matthew ElseUnited Kingdom
261Dashti Fatih QadirIraq
262Krystle RogersBarbados
263Diedra LizcanoUnited States
264Melissa BennettUnited States
265Anderson Luis
266William WandieKenya
267Bernard Pierre-JeanFranceBalades Entomologiques
268Hector MartínezMexico
269Claraluz KeiserPortugal
270Mohammad DargahiIranPersian Wikipedia
271Jhayla PriceUnited States
272Juan Alejandro Banghrara CastañoColombiaConsultant
273Clinton NturibiKenya
274Andrea SchellerSwitzerlandWikimedia CH
275Dewi SulistoningrumIndonesiaPerkumpulan OpenStreetMap Indonesia
276Anne DandridgeUnited States
277Roger CousinsCanada
278Demetrius BoydUnited StatesMarketer
279Justus DreylingGermanyCOMMUNIA
280Veronika IlatovskayaRussiaState Official Institution of the Arkhangelsk region – Arkhangelsk Forestry
281乌宏博China
282Jenny EbermannSwitzerlandWikimedia CH
283Nazha Habib EidLebanon

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