Movement Charter: Preamble

DISCLAIMER: This post includes the draft content of the Preamble chapter of the Movement Charter. If you have feedback, there are many ways to participate in the consultation period.


The Wikimedia movement is focused on developing, curating and expanding the global availability of free knowledge. The Wikimedia Movement Charter exists to define the Wikimedia movement, its core values and principles. It is a formal social agreement explaining the relationships between entities within the movement and their rights and responsibilities. This applies equally to both existing entities and those to be established.

The Charter exists with the agreement of the communities governed by it, through a formal ratification process. The Movement Charter applies to all members, entities and technical spaces within the Wikimedia movement, including but not limited to content contributors, projects, affiliates, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

To achieve our focus, the movement has developed a wide range of knowledge repositories (“the projects”) in multiple languages with different focuses. The projects are largely self-governed, with respect to content creation and management [1], as well as community conduct. The movement also includes both organised and informal groups focused on specific matters or geographic regions. The role of these groups is to support the projects directly and indirectly.

Supplementing these projects and groups is a comprehensive infrastructure with several roles. The infrastructure supports the technical needs of the movement. The infrastructure provides financial and other resources for ongoing development and retention of knowledge. The infrastructure endeavours to promote legal and regulatory environments that enable the movement, and the entities within it, to operate around the world. The infrastructure also supports content contributors, readers, and all others who are part of the global Wikimedia movement by promoting and advancing a safe and productive environment in which knowledge can be shared and consumed, where it is not feasible for a local project to do so itself. The nature and extent of the infrastructure support is limited by the movement’s values, resources, and restrictions imposed outside of the movement.

[end of the draft text]

Guidelines for Engagement

  • Keep it focused, concise, constructive.
    • If you don’t like something, suggest improvement.
  • Stick to the text. Feedback ideas/intentions/max sentences, not single words.
  • Focus on the idea, not the people behind it.
    • Listen to others and be receptive to different viewpoints.

Prompts for Discussion

  • Regarding the reference [1]: this wording has been highlighted as a potential concern by WMF Legal on two primary grounds:
    • It may mislead external organisations (especially legislative bodies) into believing that there is no body capable of formally complying with legal obligations.
    • Additionally, “largely” is fairly vague, and does not currently have any neighbouring sentences that provide sufficient clarity on either the reach or the limits to local project self-governance.
    • The MCDC believes these are valid concerns, but that the general meaning should remain.
    • THEREFORE: Any suggestions and specific phrasings that can capture the meaning while satisfying Legal’s concerns would be very appreciated.
  • In general or specifically, do you agree with the draft text above?
  • If you disagree with a certain section, please quote it in your response and suggest an alternative phrasing.
  • Is anything missing from the draft text that you would like to be considered or included?
  • Do you have a clarifying question about the draft text?

To feedback on the other chapters of the draft texts, check the links below:


This preamble goes to great lengths to avoid using the term ‘wiki’. Why is that?

I apologize for the delay. We’ve been in the throng of community calls and meetings. I have noted your feedback for the report we will produce at the end from this community consultation phase. I have also pinged the MCDC drafting group for Preamble about your message, and I expect we’ll hear from someone soon!


20 posts were merged into an existing topic: Movement Charter general discussion

‘‘Supplementing these projects and groups is a comprehensive infrastructure with several roles.’’
Please of the projects or groups will be supplemented

I would like to rename this thread based on the new subtopic above, and based on the fact that these points are being raised by other group members from other regions, not just myself alone. @Qgil-WMF , would you be open to renaming this thread at least minimally to reflect the wider topics here?

@Sm8900 This topic is dedicated to reviewing the preamble of the Movement Charter. You started a discussion about the need to have a Movement Charter altogether, which goes well beyond the preamble. I have moved these posts to a new topic Movement Charter general discussion.

Thank you, everyone, for your feedback! December 19, 2022 was the end of the community consultation cycle for the first set of Movement Charter drafts. The multilingual and anonymous survey is still open, if you’d like to share organized feedback; the survey will close on January 2, 2023.

I’m sorry if we didn’t get to your comments, but we are incorporating and synthesizing all feedback into our summary report of the consultation cycle, which will be forthcoming by the end of January 2023. Based on the report, the MCDC will deliberate which feedback to take in or not, and why; that will be done after the report is shared publicly.

Conversations and discussions can still take place in this thread – feedback is always and continually welcomed – but this consultation cycle is officially over :confetti_ball: