https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?ti ... 1145264895
Jan Eissfeldt wrote: To whom it may concern,
I am the Lead Manager of Trust and Safety at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports and sustains the suite of free, crowd-sourced educational resources, including Wikipedia. Wikipedia alone offers 32 million articles in almost 300 languages. World-wide, our informational resources are accessed by over 10 million people every day. Collectively, our sites are one of the top ten most visited websites in the world.
It has been my pleasure to observe the volunteer efforts and valuable contributions of Dr. Konieczny, a sociology professor at Hanyang University, to the Wikimedia movement. He is a long-time volunteer contributor to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia that the Wikimedia Foundation supports, and Wikimedia Commons, the Foundation’s freely licensed media repository.
Dr. Konieczny has been connected with the Wikimedia movement since December 2004, when he created his user account, user:Piotrus, and has since contributed nearly 300,000 edits on different Wikimedia projects. His main contribution areas have been in contributing to the English Wikipedia, especially in the fields of economics, history, politics, and religion. He has also been teaching and guiding new editors, and was one of the very first educators to assign university students Wikipedia editing related tasks as part of his curriculum. Through his contributions, Dr. Konieczny helped many students as well as fellow Wikimedians understand this educational movement’s core principles of free knowledge distribution, working cooperatively and transparently across borders and cultures. His skills of researching and neutrally presenting facts have been a huge asset to the movement and was celebrated on the Foundation’s official blog.
It has been brought to our attention that Dr. Koniezcny’s involvement in the Wikimedia movement’s educational work has generated severe harassment against him, both online and in real life. This is unfortunately sometimes the case when Wikimedia volunteer editors work on controversial topics to offer balanced coverage, based on reliable sources. In Dr. Konieczny’s case, we believe the person behind the harassment campaign he’s been experiencing to be user:Icewhiz, a volunteer whose editing has been problematic for some time and resulted in his indefinite community block from the English Wikipedia back in October of 2019. It should be noted that multiple individuals have been targeted by said user in similar ways as Dr. Konieczny has, which has included but is not limited to doxing (sharing private or personal information), threats of legal action, harassing contact to one’s employer with false accusations, threats of harm, etc.
The Wikimedia movement relies on trustworthy and dedicated volunteers. As we all know, the internet is in many ways a lawless place; protecting its users most often falls to those who volunteer for the work and have no more legal power than those whom they protect. Our volunteer base often takes on personal risk in trying to make the sum of all knowledge freely available to everyone, in a neutral way.
Naturally our volunteers are often concerned about the ripple effect their actions may have on their personal, family or professional lives and sometimes feel forced to step away or resign from editing altogether; that people continue to volunteer in our projects is evidence of the depth of their caring for the Wikimedia Movement’s vision and mission. Volunteers like Dr. Konieczny work to make Wikipedia a strong and valuable resource for everyone, and their efforts are tremendously appreciated. If I am able to further contextualize the important work of Dr. Konieczny in the Wikimedia projects, I hope you will not hesitate to contact me.
Lead Manager of Trust and Safety
Wikimedia Foundation Inc