Wikimania 2014: democracy, freedom and #monkeyselfies

Wikimania 2014: democracy, freedom and #monkeyselfies

amnesty.jpg

Wikimania 2014, Wikipedia's 10th annual user group meeting, opened at the Barbican in London last night. Keynote speaker Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty, and Jimmy Wales, founder, Wikipedia, both celebrated their communities that work respectively to campaign for human rights and democratic media.

"We're in a bad way. There's some very bad stuff going on around the world. And the [UN] Security Council is made up of the countries selling arms," said Mr Shetty

Yet citizens are prepared to work for free to shine a light on some of the biggest atrocities in the world and create the Internet’s fifth most popular web site.

Amnesty and Wikipedia show that human beings united in a common vision and purpose will voluntarily work as a community to achieve incredible things.

Lila Tretikov, the recently appointed Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said that it would continue to robustly defend the rights of the community.

Wikipedia is edited by 130,000 active editors across its different international versions and serves almost 500 million pages views per month.

Ms Tretikov claimed that it is the world’s most democratic form of media and cautioned that it must continue to defend its freedom.

“The European Union Right to be Forgotten legislation confuses editing history with personal privacy,” she said.

The Foundation has created a wiki page of the notices that it receives from search engines to delist Wikipedia content. It published its first Transparency Report yesterday. You can review it online for yourself.

In the last two years Wikimedia has rejected more than 300 take down requests, mainly from the US, UK and Germany.

However it has complied with requests to provide user data in eight out of 56 requests, and has granted 24 out of 58 requests to remove content where copyright as been infringed.

Most recently Wikipedia has refused to remove a so-called selfie image of a black macaque monkey shot in Indonesia.

David Slater, the photographer who set up the image, claims Wikipedia has breached copyright publishing it on Wikipedia Commons.

Wikipedia refutes the claiming saying that the copyright of the image belongs with the monkey. Wikimania attendees posted #monkeyselfies in support of Wikipedia throughout the evening.

monkeyselfie

Wikimania is taking place over the next three days at the Barbican in London. There's still tickets available to access the 200 talks, priced £50.

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