We are happy to announce the release of the Wikimedia Foundation’s first transparency report. Transparency is a tenet of the Wikimedia movement. Anyone can see how a Wikipedia article is created and how it evolves, and anyone can contribute to the software that runs the Wikimedia projects. The transparency report we share today is in furtherance of our commitment to such openness.
Every year, the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization, receives requests from governments, individuals, and organizations to disclose information about our users or to change content on the Wikimedia projects. This transparency report is the amalgamation of two years of data — it details the number of requests we received, where these requests came from, and how we responded to them.
Among the wealth of information furnished in the report, we provide details about:
- Content alteration and takedown requests. Of the 304 general content removal requests, zero (0) were granted. The Wikimedia Foundation is deeply committed to supporting an open and neutral space, where the users themselves decide what belongs on the Wikimedia projects.
- Copyright takedown requests. Credit for the notably low number of these requests goes to our community of users, many of whom are creators and copyright holders themselves, and who work hard to ensure that our projects adhere to copyright laws. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides for a legal notice and takedown process, and we do adhere to that law. When we do receive the infrequent DMCA notice, however, we thoroughly evaluate it and only remove infringing content if the request is valid.
- Requests for user data. We do all we can to protect our users’ rights and privacy. Only 14.3% of requests for user data were granted because many requests were found to be illegal or not up to our standards. And often, we did not have any information to give. As part of our commitment to user privacy, Wikimedia collects little nonpublic user information, and retains that information for a short amount of time.
We invite you to learn more about our efforts to protect user privacy and the integrity of the Wikimedia projects at transparency.wikimedia.org.
Michelle Paulson, Legal Counsel*
Geoff Brigham, General Counsel
* This transparency report would not have been possible without the help and dedication of many individuals, including: Rubina Kwon, Roshni Patel, James Alexander, Eric Holmes, Dashiell Renaud, Lukas Mezger, Patrick Earley, Matthew Collins, and Megumi Yukie. Special thanks goes to Moiz Syed and Prateek Saxena for dreaming up the incredible design of the report and making it a reality.