tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN November 29, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST
that's normal behavior fear. you come to wikipedia had its like like whoa, he immediately start off to edit the entry on hillary clinton and you immediately come in and start going you left us in were like hold on were writing an encyclopedia so relax a little bit. let's try to improve the entry together. one of the strangest rules is iar which is ignore all rules. this again has two meanings to it. one is it's basically we want to be able to question our roles. are they actually valid and helpful? so we want people to say if you see a way to improve it that's against some alleged role go ahead and do it but you better be ensured that you're improving it. it's not an easy thing to ignore all the rules. the rules themselves should be written in a fashion that they
should be intuitively obvious for people. things like don't go around calling people hitler is obviously good idea. this is basic kindergarten ethics. don't lie about who you are, don't write biased things, don't misrepresent misrepresent sources, these are basic things. if there is a rule about the exact four night formatting of a footnote that if you don't do it right no one should yell at you they should come and fix the footnote and give your pointer. and so and so i fixed your footnote here's a style guide to how we do it. that kind of nice behavior so we shouldn't be -- the truth is we been doing it for long time and this is a feeling that the community. were experienced at writing an encyclopedia newcomers sometimes aren't and then they put off but when the community corrects
their work. we try to be nice but we are human beings. finally i want to speak about our business model. the foundation is a charity. we are a 5o1c3 nonprofit. were run in the fifth most popular website in the world which is an astonishing fact. that's unusual. we have about 250 or 270 employees mostly in san francisco. we have san francisco. we have local chapters run the world for local nonprofit organization's that deal with press local. it's an unusual model and importantly more than 90% of the funding is from the small donors. people who are giving 50 or hundred dollars, occasionally a banner that says please give to wikipedia and it's important that you do so. as it turns out, the last numbers i crunched it cost about
1 penny per month, per reader to provide wikipedia. if you give $20 to wikipedia then the next 20,000 people people you can say i paid your wikipedia will this month. and i hope you do. we take fundraising seriously but we been reasonably successful. we run it in a conservative way, we build up the amount of reserves that are recommended for nonprofit of our size. is something we have to take seriously. it's not easy to get the money we need and every organization could use more money to do more good work. power doing okay doing okay and it's important that people do donate. finally, talk about laws and our position in the world. laws can really damage our work. with the internet works is not
an automatic. there's a a certain set of legal framework and things that are necessary to preserve the ability for websites like wikipedia to exist. they often think of laws adjudicating conflict between silicon valley and -- there is a big issue which i'll talk about the soap of -- bill and we thought that and we want. or there's a trade up between freedom and security. i live in the u.k. know where the knee-jerk response to any kind of security problem is to walk down and spy on the internet and treat everybody in the u.k. as a potential criminal. these are not very clever ways of doing it. what we ask lawmakers is to consult with us before back in laws. far too often lawmakers propose
laws and it's fairly clear they do not even have the most rudimentary understanding of how the internet works. that's a bad thing. but it's very where rare for us to speak on political issues. i do personally sometimes. i try to limit what i say politically to issues i feel like my community will generally agree with me but i divide my personal views 12 are doing at the foundation. on this issue, the law was going to law and require the building of a censorship framework technologically not different than what china does. it was about blocking overseas websites without a hearing. it was a very poorly thought out legislation. we were told at the last minute was being rushed through. it had bipartisan support there's a few great people in congress who stalled it through christmas which gave us enough time to talk to the community and discuss what to do.
we decided to do a protest. in january of that year, 2011 it's been a while, we decided to go black for one day. so it went completely blank not just in the u.s. >> early 2012 was the blackout. >> so the fall of 2011 where discussing anyway, on that day it went black and you can imagine the results. people in crazy, we heard that 10 million people contacted congress that day. we heard that the house of representatives phone system crashed. it was kind of a big deal. what we felt was important about our role in that was that we
really put forward the message, we are noncommercial, or group of volunteers trying to provide the world with a gift. this is not about is it google versus hollywood. that's not the issue. copyright many years ago you could think of it as an industrial regulation it didn't directly impact most people. publishers and authors of books and their relations with each other. now everybody deals with copyright all the time. one of my favorite examples to get people to step back and think about copyright is that if you take a video at a kids birthday party and in the background there is miley cyrus song playing and then you upload it to you to and send the link to grandma so she can look at the kids birthday party, a normal use of copyrighted content, it's very likely that google will detected in silence the soundtrack. i'm not blaming google, but this
is strange for this is not what we really think of as piracy or economically impactful. i think think it's time to revisit these issues. another issue were active on is what's known as the right to be forgotten. obviously existentially this is not possible to have a right for other people to forget you, like you can't really control what's in other people's minds. what i say as it should be called the right to censor google. it's a concept in europe that for certain types of content and not talk about libel or any of the kind of edge cases we might wonder about. as things that are deemed to buy the person it's about, the irrelevance of the bigger problem with it is not just that it's a violation of freedom of expression but the way it's implemented is through legal
decision from a law that existed before google. it's about database information right which when the law was written there is thinking about things like your personal medical record. to save your company is your personal medical records you should have a right test them to delete that. i don't have a strong view on that but it's very different from this newspaper wrote in article about me ten years ago and i don't want people to read it anymore. that's a different story. so the problem we have now is that if you want to get something deleted there isn't a well-formed legal process. i say if you're going to require google to delete a link to a newspaper, you, you better get a judge of all. that's the lowest possible bar they should be doing. that doesn't happen. if google doesn't do it they can be subject to fines. as a publisher like wikipedia if google is deleting links which they are we don't really have a
clear course of action. we can complain but there's not an obvious way for publishers to deal with this. the whole thing needs to be revisited. this is the the political activism that we do. it's quite easy to get the public excited about turning wikipedia offered day. that's a a very powerful tool but we don't want to use it too often. we don't want to be like oh i wonder what they're moaning about today there and strike at the time. it's a tool that we should be willing to use when the moment is right and we cannot positive change. i met a conclude in the will have time for questions. when it's hot all the forces of anger and hate. right now we are in this incredibly, highly intellectual and clever election cycle where issues of substance, of course not. the world the world today is filled with faces of anger and hate.
the media is a disappointing surface. i think we can pity is and should be, is much as human beings can make it a plate for reason and discourse. to prepare oneself to make valid judgments about the world. you don't come here to tells what to think, you come here to get information you need to make up your mind. so the world of the wikipedia editors in the discussions and debates -- this is not our world. wikipedia is about building bridges not walls. i think wikipedia is a force for knowledge and knowledge as a force for peace and understanding. thank thank you very much for your time. [applause] >> please wait to be called on. wait for the microphone so everyone can hear the question.
>> i think will be waiting for the microphone. >> herb rose, how do you decide about disagreements as to certain entries in wikipedia? >> disagreements are normally, they are resolved through a process of dialogue and debate. very often one of the great things about taxes there's very often away if you keep rewriting to accommodate both points of view. i give the example of abortion but let's take another example. something has happened in israel and one group of people are saying it's a massacre, the other people are saying it was a defensive operation. wikipedia can't decide that. they will be competing sources on it. but what they can do is step away from it and say well at
this particular time -- said this and this person responded this way. other people said this and that, this was a result of a tribunal held later. we can give you all the facts of what the perspectives were and you can judge based on the best evidence available what you think about it. that works in most cases people are able to say actually this is what an encyclopedia do. it's not come to the final conclusion. other mechanisms we use is there's a passion for reliable sources. we look for high quality sources , so it's not simplistic in saying will accept the new york times looks at the daily mail will sate daily mail is not that great of -- but they
sometimes do breaking news, journalism and import things that should be credited to them. question about blogs. should we treat hush we treat it? it depends. in many cases blogs would not be considered a reliable source. as a result where camby is with if a politician writes on their own view of something in their own blog that's a good source for what their own view is. there's a lot of subtleties. there's no magic bullet. no no algorithm or simple answer to some of these things other than chewing on it and discussing and debating and working hard to try to reach a consensus. >> this is one of my mentors from back of the day. >> hello it's good to see. let me first say that what you have accomplished is just a green, awesome. my congratulations to you.
having said that, my question is a little bit ironic because i want to pick up a your allusion to hayek and the nature of the knowledge. your slide suggested i think there's a little bit more literal about it that it seems to me that wikipedia achieves a degree of objectivity and accuracy that could be described as a result of human action but not of human design in the sense that it emerges from the spontaneous order people interacting the way you describe. granted, there is your design but even the rules are evolving. so just be interested in your take on that. >> i think that's really true.
certainly when you have people of good faith and working together who may be very different ideological perspective the imprint thing is when i specify that their kind and thoughtful because kind and thoughtful people who it i disagree with are much better to work with then a raging ideologue who won't listen to anybody who i actually agree with. that's an annoying person to try to edit with. there is that. is that. what comes out of wikipedia is not necessarily something that you would get from a smaller group of people, but the ability for anything to be challenged at any time means a few things, it can be challenged if it's wrong but as people are writing their thinking in their minds, i need to need to make sure i cover a possible objection. the mets a big piece of it. i have a friend with a different philosophical perspective of everyone who says all knowledge is just convention so for him wikipedia is true because it's
conventional. i said okay i don't agree, i think your reality exists but there is something important about dialogue and working to knock off the rough edges by acknowledging different perspective. >> to be fair here, but i'm also always looking for women to speak up because it's true, all the way down to about five years old the boys always raise their hands first. >> is wikipedia's presence in what i might call the apparatus of civilizations knowledge base rises, it seems to me that from the standpoint of all kinds of political actors the stakes rise for a lot of holders to influence the content and so in particular have you noticed, and
i'm just making this up, but it's easy to imagine this happening if you think about the kinds of the scale of resources that are available to state actors, the chinese might say tomorrow let's hire 10000 people and just have them revisit through wikipedia and writeup new pages and so on and if you have this hardy band of three or 5000 people trying to cover all knowledge and you have 10000 chinese going after something they care about how do you see any evidence of this? and if so, how do you imagine yourself? i see the question. so here's what i think, i think, we have not seen any large-scale effort sort of state efforts to
flood them with editors. it's something we worry about in the abstract but not something we have seen. i had a conversation once but i think will help illustrate the problem. actually two conversations and they both involve russia but it could be other places. i was in russia having dinner with an editor of a popular magazine, nonpolitical. is very skeptical about wikipedia and he said what are you just go pay ten of your editors $100 each and i'll just make it say what i wanted to they said will think about it. you have to do that and you would have to trust that none of those ten editors would leak or announce this fact that the editor-in-chief from a magazine was bred bribing someone, that's great news story and people would be happy to expose you. furthermore, your editor in your editor-in-chief of the magazine. it's easier for you to do that.
like if i want to change what's in the process much easier for me to control you than it is to control hundreds of wikipedia volunteers. move to the next question some of so there's a conflict between ukraine and russia and crimea, someone said to me actually russian wikipedia is very different from ukrainian and from english wikipedia on certain aspects so the question of the plane that was shot down, what are the facts there. russian wikipedia tended to be one-sided which i regarded as a problem is someone said it's obvious the russians have agents controlling wikipedia so i asked a ukrainian board member who speaks russians and i said what's going on and basically what they said was were aware of the problem, the problem is not
that the russian wikipedia and's are controlled by the government is that the government controls all of the sources of russian language. therefore it's harder for people to reach neutrality when they go to newspapers they normally regard as legitimate and reliable sources because they have quality newspapers in russia that are quite good at many topics in which case they told the line. that is a problem when all the sources in the language they one thing, obviously people speak other languages this is no longer world where people can control information. for a time you can. we see this more often on minor things, there will be minor disputes between different countries about different things. i spoke to a parliament member lithuania once i talked about, he was a history and he talked about a famous battle between with the wing in poland. could read english, german, lithuania and polish.
he read them all and he said basically what i see is the lithuania version tells the lithuania version of the story, the germans, they don't even cover it it's not big there, and english tells both sides of the story and explains why there's a historical conflict about the sources of what different people believe. and i said it doesn't surprise me because lithuanians, if i ask people born in the u.s. or any english-speaking country who invented the airplane, that's a simple second grade answer, the wright brothers. apparently if you ask french people you get a different answer. it's not because there's any genuine nationalist conflict between the americans of the french is just that people know things that they grow up with.
if you go to wikipedia, somebody called us out and said french wikipedia and english are very different, now if you go to english wikipedia and read the history of aeronautics you learn about a brazilian guy in france and most of the time i have this cartoon view of how it was invented. it's people with -- this is really off-topic but the wright brothers stood they invented the first plane, it went further than it would have if it work lighter. but it didn't go up which is important for an airplane in the brazilian guy is the first guy who went up. so it's a legitimate claim of priority. but this this is the kind of thing that hopefully by having an open system and open dialogue or people from different cultures can commit a challenge and say in second grade i was taught -- so let's
talk about that and now we can begin to learn more together. a lot of the wikipedia volunteers are passionate about that and learning new things that are surprising in some way. >> my name is cindy crawford, this is related to the last question from a commercial perspective. i was wondering was wondering if you find if there's movies or products coming out if your offered page entries if it's available to the public? >> so we discourage that. the tricky thing when people try to use it for marketing purses purposes it can backfire. people write a press release and publish on wikipedia and they say this product is not out yet,
they're just going to delete it. also we think wikipedia is an encyclopedia nonadvertising directory. we discourage it. there's a set of guidelines for people and the person has a right to engage in the public dialogue but we say to them there are right ways and wrong ways of going about it. the most important thing to do is to engage with the community and an honest faction. ideally you would say there's an error and you can send to the news coverage. a lot of times celebrities who are quite controversial and they said my wikipedia article is terrible. then we'll see what this is about. i often think it's about this 18 outrageous or obnoxious things they did or said in their lives and it's not that, some some minor factual detail, and it
really bothers them that we have it wrong basically if you have a conflict of interest the best thing to do is never edit the page directly, engage with the community, what did you do if there is an heir about you in the new york times, you don't try to change the new york times, you call them up or you email and say you have this wrong can you correct it. obviously some organizations are more responsive and we try to be very responsive. i would say to people if you have that experience and it didn't work keep escalating it, e-mail me personally because are passionate about getting it right. [applause] >> thank you for an outstanding presentation, especially like the part about asking legislators to consult with you