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Wikipedia's "Constitutional Crisis" by Stephen Harrison
Wikipedia’s “Constitutional Crisis” Pits Community Against Foundation
On June 10, a Wikipedia administrator with the username Fram was banned by the Wikimedia Foundation from editing the English encyclopedia for one year. This might sound rather trivial; indeed, the foundation describes it using the rather humdrum term “office action.” But the response from the Wikipedia editing community over the past three weeks has been anything but chill. Search Wikipedia for WP:FRAM, a shortcut to the project namespace that exists behind the encyclopedia articles, and you’ll find a discussion about Fram’s ban that is now more than 470,000 words—longer than the novel A Game of Thrones.
As of Tuesday morning, at least 21 Wikipedia administrators and one bot have resigned in protest against the ban. (To be clear, the bot was decommissioned by its human operator and is not yet self-aware, but it underscores the fact that there are many unhappy Wikipedians.) Per Wikipedia's co-founder Jimmy: “This is not about individual people, this is a question about our constitutional order. This is not about this specific situation, but a much more important and broader question about project governance.”
>> Continue reading the rest of the article at Slate
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