Skip to content

Wikimedia Europe

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress

Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stefan Krause, Germany, FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Markus Trienke, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michael S Adler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

JohnDarrochNZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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

Wikimedia Europe has signed an open letter, penned by the Wikimedia Foundaiton, that calls on UN Member States to protect Wikipedia and other public interest projects in the forthcoming Global Digital Compact.

The Global Digital Compact initiative 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. 

UN Member States have the chance 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:

  1. Protect and empower communities to govern online public interest projects.  Free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia should not be rare. UN Member States should—through regulation, public policy, funding, and other resources—support 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. 
  2. Promote and protect digital public goods by supporting a robust digital commons from which everyone, everywhere can benefit. Digital public goods such as Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects aim to make multilingual and intercultural information freely accessible to everyone. A thriving public domain that enables the sharing of free and openly licensed content for everyone to use and reuse is key to advancing many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  3. Build and deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support and empower, not replace, people who create content and make decisions in the public interest. AI and machine learning tools should support, and not replace, the work of humans. They should be designed and deployed in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, ensuring clear and consistent attribution. Such tools should also ensure participation and control by affected communities through transparent, accountable, and open processes.