Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Wikimedia Head Sue Gardner Says She Will Step Down

Sue Gardner, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind Wikipedia, announced today that she planned to leave.

Sue_GardnerGardner, who had held her role since 2007, said she would pursue advocacy efforts to combat corporate and government control of the Internet.

After overseeing Wikipedia’s effective leadership and participation in the SOPA/PIPA blackout campaign last year, Gardner said the threats to Internet freedom kept coming: CISPA, censorship, walled gardens on mobile devices, etc.

She wrote in a blog post:

I’ve always aimed to make the biggest contribution I can to the general public good. Today, this is pulling me towards a new and different role, one very much aligned with Wikimedia values and informed by my experiences here, and with the purpose of amplifying the voices of people advocating for the free and open internet. I don’t know exactly what this will look like — I might write a book, or start a non-profit, or work in partnership with something that already exists.

Gardner explained that she would stay at Wikimedia for at least six months to help find a replacement. “My leaving is very much a vote of confidence in our Board and executive team and staff,” she said.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work