Wikipedia has rejected all requests to remove/alter content since 2012

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Wikipedia has rejected all requests to take down or alter content since it began tracking in July 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation's first transparency report reveals.

As outlined in the report, which spans the period between July 2012 and June 2014, three kinds of requests are often made to Wikimedia regarding the online encyclopaedia's content: requests for user information, requests relating to copyright law and requests to remove or alter content.

Speaking at a press conference in central London today, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, Lila Tretikov, said: "Transparency is one of our fundamental, core values it is an essential part of our mission. Every year we receive requests to hand over user information, to alter or to remove content on Wikimedia projects. Today, we are releasing our first ever transparency report."

Of the requests for user information, Wikimedia only complied 14.3 per cent of the time. This has been attributed to both the company's commitment to user privacy and the fact that Wikipedia rarely collects such data from its editors and writers in the first place.

The Foundation responded 41.4 per cent of the time to Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown requests, and has not responded to any requests to remove or alter content.

The latter is by far the most common kind of demand with over 300 requests received over the two-year period.

Commenting on the lack of legal action taken when such demands are received, Geoff Brigham, General Council, said: "Our community is extremely interested in doing the right thing."

According to the report, most disputes regarding content are resolved by users without legal intervention.

The site was recently affected by the EU's "right to be forgotten" ruling, with certain pages set to be erased from Google search results following five notices sent to Wikimedia.

In the transparency report, the company also reiterated its anti-censorship stance, writing: "The Wikimedia projects are yours, not ours. People just like you from around the world write, upload, edit, and curate all of the content.

"Therefore, we believe users should decide what belongs on Wikimedia projects whenever legally possible," it states.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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