Wikimedia UK chair quits after being banned from editing Wikipedia

Ashley Van Haeften steps down from the UK charity behind the online encyclopaedia: Chris Keating is appointed as replacement

Ashley Van Haeften
Ashley Van Haeften

- This story includes a correction made on 3 August, see below.

The chair of the UK charity behind Wikipedia has resigned after he was banned from editing the interactive online encyclopaedia for at least six months.

Wikimedia UK confirmed that Ashley Van Haeften left the charity yesterday.

Van Haeften’s resignation comes after a story in The Daily Telegraph said he had been banned from editing Wikipedia because the Arbitration Committee of the English Wikipedia, the website’s dispute resolution body, found that he had broken Wikipedia’s policies.

It accused him of attacking people concerned about the use of explicit material on the website, including a link to pornography in the biography of a living person, and using multiple accounts to change pages after he had asked for a "clean start".

Jon Davies, chief executive of Wikimedia UK, said that the Arbitration Committee had banned Van Haeften from editing the English version of the online encyclopaedia for at least six months, but he did not discuss the reasons for the ban. But Wikimedia UK announced today that Van Haeften had left and would be replaced by an existing board member, Chris Keating.

In a statement, Davies said: "Ashley is keen that there should be no division in the WMUK community over his role as chair, especially at a time when so many great things are being achieved. He has therefore resigned as chair.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ashley for his valuable contributions as our chair and look forward to our continued working relationship."

- Ashley Van Haeften remains a board member of Wikemedia UK but has stood down as chair.

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