Yet again, the independence of the Italian Wikipedia is under threat.
The Italian Senate is discussing a bill on defamation (Bill #3491). If some amendments, 3.204, 3.400 and especially 3.207, should be approved, they will require Wikipedia to change or remove content merely upon request from anybody who believes they have been defamed or that their privacy has been violated. It would need to be acted upon regardless of the validity of the complaint. Offenders could be prosecuted and fined up to 100 000 euro.
Wikipedia recognizes the right of every individual to safeguard his reputation, and Wikipedia volunteers work daily to uphold that right.
However, if this bill were to be approved, any statement in any article of Wikipedia could face mandatory deletion, on demand, in spite of being true.
This requirement would undermine Wikipedia's fundamental principles, it would be an unacceptable limitation to its independence, and an intimidating threat to the ongoing work of the 15 million volunteers all around the world.
They would have to shy away from articles about certain topics or people, "just not to get into any trouble".
Wikipedia is the greatest collective work in the history of mankind.
In the last twelve years, Wikipedia has become part of the daily habits of millions of web users looking for a good source of knowledge, free of charge, and founded on the principles of neutrality and freedom of speech.
The Italian Wikipedia has nearly one million articles which get 16 million views a day, but this law could black them all out, forever.
The Free Encyclopedia is a monument to human knowledge, and a monument of human knowledge. We will not allow its destruction.