Wikipedialogs.com was a site dedicated to publishing IRC logs of official Wikimedia Foundation IRC channels. The site was closed after a legal threat from the Foundation, and technical difficulties. Despite the legal threat, the domain name was retained by the original owner until it expired December 10, 2015.
Wikimedia Foundation and IRC
The Wikimedia Foundation prohibits publishing logs of most of their IRC channels, except for a very few that are published by the Foundation including "Office Hours" IRC logs. The owner of Wikipedialogs.com feels that this is contrary to Wikimedia Foundation's stated principles of transparency and openness, and the site was intended to help fulfill those principles by publishing these logs.
Former Wikipedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner disagrees, claiming that IRC is an "ephemeral medium", and should not be logged, while referring to some of her own sexual comments on IRC as "an informal, jokey exchange". In a December 2014 Los Angeles Times op-ed, she quotes 9 year old emails, despite her assertion at Wikipedia that this is "not useful":
The Foundation sent a legal threat to the owner, demanding the removal of the site, because of the use of their wordmark "Wikipedia" in the URL. They claim that the use of "Wikipedia" in the URL cultivates an apparent relationship between the two sites. The owner added a disclaimer to the sitenotice (a special page whose text is displayed on all pages), and the Foundation did not send any further legal threats.
Text of the legal threat
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:09:06 -0700 Subject: Use of Wikipedia trademarks on wikipedialogs.com From: TM Enforcement To: [REDACTED] @dildomail.com To Shawn McNamara, the domain owner of Wikipedialogs, We at the Wikimedia Foundation recently noticed that your website uses the word mark, Wikipedia, in its URL. We’re delighted that you like the Wikimedia projects as much as we do! However, it’s our duty here at the Foundation to manage all trademarks of the Wikimedia projects in order to protect the work and reputation of our community members. The word mark, Wikipedia, happens to be one of the trademarks under our guardianship. The Wikimedia Foundation and the community have worked hard to gain worldwide recognition as the source of the largest collaborative encyclopedia on the internet. As you know, volunteers put in countless hours of effort to make Wikipedia what it is. Projects’ marks symbolize the reputation and goodwill created by the efforts of our Foundation and community more broadly. Because your site uses one of these marks, it could easily confuse third-party viewers. As you can imagine, we come across situations like this quite frequently. However, if we allow uses that could be potentially confuse other viewers, we risk chipping away at the link between our word mark and the work of the Wikimedia community. We love your enthusiasm for the Wikipedia projects and your desire to get involved in their development. But, due to the concerns mentioned above, we must respectfully ask that you refrain from using our word mark to cultivate an apparent relationship between our project and your site in the absence of such official partnership. Please get back to us within 14 days and let us know that you received this message by responding or emailing us at email@example.com. If you have any questions or concerns about what usages of the trademarks are acceptable, please contact us here or by email. Sincerely, – Stephen LaPorte Legal Counsel Wikimedia Foundation 149 New Montgomery Street, 3rd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105 firstname.lastname@example.org 415.839.6885 ext. 6793 (Office) 415.882.0495 (Fax)
In 2011, Wikipedia banned a longtime contributor who had been collecting IRC logs over his several years of contributing to Wikipedia, and he published these in 2011. Wikipedialogs republished them in 2012, along with their own logs. Many Wikipedians were exposed as using abusive and misogynistic language, which proved embarrassing to them. Many Wikipedians deny the validity of the logs, but some of them have tacitly admitted to the accuracy of the logs by apologizing for things they said on IRC, and which were accurately represented by the logs.
- Many of the logs have been published here, to MyWikiBiz.com
- wikipedialogs.com (now expired)