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Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales Appointed UK Government Adviser

By - Source: Telegraph | B 14 comments

Jimmy Wales named as an unpaid adviser to the Government.

The British government has just signed on Jimmy Wales as an adviser on transparency and public policy. The London Telegraph reports that Rohan Silva, a senior Downing Street aide to Prime Minister David Cameron, announced Wales' appointment was announced at South by Southwest last night in Austin, Texas, where Silva was giving a talk titled 'Open Source Government, Enterprise and Innovation.'

Speaking after the announcement, a government spokesperson offered a little bit of clarity as to what Jimmy Wales will be doing:

"Mr Wales will act as an unpaid adviser to Government to support its agenda to open up policy-making to the public," the spokesperson said. "He will advise Government on developing innovative new ways technology can be used to give the public a greater say in the policy-making process."

According to a Whitehall source that spoke to the Telegraph, Wales' role will see him providing help and advice to civil servants as opposed to ministers. Additionally, this source said that the father of Wikipedia is one of several unpaid advisers. Though Wales will serve as an adviser to all government departments, he's also said to have a few specific projects that he will be working on.

Wales co-founded Wikipedia over a decade ago, in 2001, and founded the Wikimedia Foundation in 2003.

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  • 11 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 13, 2012 9:28 AM
    About time they got knowledgable people from the biz rather than relying on stuffy pointless pen-pushers with all the technical background of an Amish man.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    virtualban , March 13, 2012 8:15 AM
    Congratulations good man!
  • 11 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 13, 2012 9:28 AM
    About time they got knowledgable people from the biz rather than relying on stuffy pointless pen-pushers with all the technical background of an Amish man.
  • -7 Hide
    hunshiki , March 13, 2012 9:42 AM
    Jibby needz more money! :D 

    http://chzmemebase.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/internet-memes-scumbag-jimmy-wales.jpg
  • 0 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , March 13, 2012 9:55 AM
    I don't think it's a good thing. He should be impartial and avoid politics.
  • 1 Hide
    mrmaia , March 13, 2012 10:03 AM
    It just... doesn't sound right for me. I hope the donations Wikipedia begs for every year doesn't meet politicians' pockets.
  • 8 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 13, 2012 10:14 AM
    __-_-_-__I don't think it's a good thing. He should be impartial and avoid politics.

    That's why they asked him, because he is impartial and is a good person to ask for the best ideas
    ...
    Turn it on it's head, would you rather they appointed someone for advice who was entirley partisan and only motivated by political will?
  • 5 Hide
    sicom , March 13, 2012 11:52 AM
    This is really fantastic. He's only there to offer advice, and without the incentive of money swaying his opinion. Just purely open and honest advice on how to move the government into the digital age. Really shines a light on the UK.
  • 2 Hide
    billybobser , March 13, 2012 12:22 PM
    back_by_demandThat's why they asked him, because he is impartial and is a good person to ask for the best ideas...Turn it on it's head, would you rather they appointed someone for advice who was entirley partisan and only motivated by political will?

    Also, he is quite forthright in his views, which is a bonus.

    Previous 'advisors' to the UK governement have been political devices. 'independantly' approved gimmicks to throw backing to the governement.

    Not very often the Uk governement listens to good advice anyway.
  • 2 Hide
    cronik93 , March 13, 2012 1:40 PM
    So does that mean everything about the UK government will be at the top of Google search now?
  • 0 Hide
    Pherule , March 13, 2012 3:52 PM
    This article rustled my jimmies!
  • 0 Hide
    Fierce Guppy , March 13, 2012 4:51 PM
    back_by_demandThat's why they asked him, because he is impartial and is a good person to ask for the best ideas...Turn it on it's head, would you rather they appointed someone for advice who was entirely partisan and only motivated by political will?


    Jimmy Wales is an Objectivist, so of course he's ~not~ impartial on certain issues such as the right to privacy and the freedom of the individual versus big government. It also makes him non-partisan. All UK political parties favour a blossoming state so he's not likely to hold any allegiance to any particular one.
  • 0 Hide
    IndignantSkeptic , March 13, 2012 11:09 PM
    I know I will probably be getting a lot of thumbs down for this but please try to understand me. Widely distributing information freely to the public will undoubtedly be of huge benefit to humanity, However this would be for the short-term only. In the long-term it would be hugely damaging to humanity because now nobody will want to try to discover new things that nobody knows about because doing so is usually extremely expensive so that if those discoverers had to share what they found-out for free without being able to make money from their discovery then they will probably be putting themselves into severe debt that they could never get out of.

    It is very much like the phenomenon of piracy on game consoles. Piracy being enabled on a console will boost sales of a console in the short-term but then almost kill its sales for the long-term. If you don't know why then I can explain it to you.
  • 0 Hide
    maxwebb , March 13, 2012 11:14 PM
    whoa... does this mean that they have some type of plan to allow some new form of legislation creation? by the people? i'm interested to know what the outcome will be after a few decades.
  • 0 Hide
    Fierce Guppy , March 14, 2012 4:38 AM
    Quote:
    whoa... does this mean that they have some type of plan to allow some new form of legislation creation? by the people? i'm interested to know what the outcome will be after a few decades.


    I hope not. People will mandate themselves four work day weeks, six months annual leave, a 20% pay rise every year, and a blow job on Friday evenings until the economy comes crashing down and people start devouring each other after they've whacked all the rich. But, I suspect Jimmy Wales advice will be on how best to store and retrieve a mass of information and display it in a format similar to the Wikipedia.