Two top Wikipedia officials resign

Danny Wool and Brad Patrick leave their positions at the Wikimedia Foundation

Two members of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which manages the Wikipedia Web site, have resigned their posts.

Danny Wool, the No. 2 man at Wikimedia under founder Jimmy Wales, and Brad Patrick, general counsel and interim executive director, both announced their resignations late last week in e-mails to the organization's mailing list. Patrick had tendered his resignation to the board of the foundation earlier in the month but opted to publicly announce it Thursday.

Neither disclosed the reasons for their resignations in the e-mails, nor did they respond to requests for comment.

"This community understands implicitly that people of goodwill can (and do) have strong differences of opinion about important matters," Patrick wrote in his e-mail. "It is my earnest hope that everyone who cares about the foundation, but has concerns about what is happening at the Foundation now, will say so. This community is strongest when it is vocal, not silent."

Wool noted in his e-mail that he plans to run for a position on the board of trustees of the foundation in June.

"At that time, I will make known my position on how the Wikimedia Foundation should operate and what mistakes I perceive are being made at present," Wool wrote. "So let's leave the gossip and second-guessing behind us and get on with the real task at hand -- building the largest and most reliable repository of knowledge ever created."

Wool noted that he plans on remaining an active editor on various projects at the foundation.

The resignations come on the heels of the unmasking of a high-profile editor at Wikipedia who had posed as a professor of religious studies but was really a 24-year-old college student who had fabricated his credentials.

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
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