Today the volunteers of the Italian Wikipedia community made the decision to replace all of Italian Wikipedia with a message to readers about a law (PDF in Italian) being discussed before the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian parliament. The message outlines the viewpoints of the Italian Wikipedia community, and provides details about the proposed bill, and how it threatens the ability to openly collaborate in the sharing of knowledge. This is certainly a decision the Italian Wikipedia community did not take lightly.
The Wikimedia Foundation stands with our volunteers in Italy who are challenging the recently drafted “DDL intercettazioni” (or Wiretapping Bill) bill in Italy. This bill would hinder the work of projects like Wikipedia: open, volunteer-driven, and collaborative spaces dedicated to sharing high-quality knowledge, not to mention the ability for all users of the internet to engage in democratic, free speech opportunities.
Wikipedians the world over pride themselves on their ability to rapidly remove false information from their project. Wikipedia has established methods to receive complaints or concerns from individuals or organizations and a strong system exists to remove incorrect or false information, and if necessary to remove complete articles in an effort to prevent vandalism. For Wikipedians, there is no value nor need for this proposed legislation.
The Wikimedia Foundation supports the rights of all people to access our free knowledge content everywhere in the world, and we equally support the work of our editors to collaborate in the production of this free knowledge without the spectre of sanctioned punishment or attacks towards their work.
Jay Walsh, Communications