Proposals for a new name for the Wikimedia movement
Despite general opposition from the community, the Foundation released the preliminary results of this project on 16 June 2020. Three possibilities were presented. The "Wikimedia Movement" would then be named after one of the following proposals:
The global Foundation would be renamed to "Wikipedia Network Trust", "Wikipedia Organization" or "Wikipedia Foundation". The main argument is that Wikipedia is the best known name by the public. Several Meta pages are dedicated to this rebranding project. There are currently a number of procedures in the movement:
- Announcement of the Foundation
- You can participate in a personal survey up to 7 July 2020
- Chapter feedback (November 2019)
- Should the Foundation call itself Wikipedia?
- Open letter from the community about the name change
Most of the Wikimedia associations, and the majority of volunteers consider these proposals wrong for several reasons.
For the public, the name confusion between Wikipedia (the project, the platform) and the "Wikipedia movement" (associations and user groups) will only increase. The Wikimedia/Wikipedia distinction itself needs some explanation, but the new proposal only makes it even more complex.
It will have to be explained that Wikipedia is a project, with its own community, but it is also a movement whose members are not exactly the same as the Wikipedia community (that of the project). Wikipedia (the movement) also includes sister projects of Wikipedia (the projects). Wikimedia Commons is used to illustrate not only Wikipedia (the project), but also its sister projects, and other Wikipedia projects that are not Wikipedia. It is expected to be quite a mess, and even more complicated to explain than the current situation.
The other Wikimedia projects will be overshadowed by Wikipedia. Because of the name confusion, Wikipedia will take up even more space while it is already the dominant project in the Wikimedia universe.
If Wikimedia Belgium were to change its name to "Wikipedia xxxx Belgium", the association would no longer be able to maintain that it is not responsible for the content of Wikipedia. This would seriously increase the risk of litigation.
One might have the impression of abuse, by using the name of one of the projects as the name for the association, community, and foundation.
The Wikimedia Belgium Board.
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