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Corporate donations to Wikipedia may surprise you

By Shawn Knight ยท 7 replies
Mar 26, 2018
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  1. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki set off a mini firestorm earlier this month when she announced that the popular video sharing site would soon be tapping into Wikipedia’s knowledge base as a supplemental resource to controversial content like conspiracy theories and hoaxes.

    The surprise SXSW announcement was indeed just that as the non-profit behind Wikipedia had no prior knowledge of YouTube’s intent. Then again, Wikipedia’s content is free to license in this manner and thus, approval to utilize its store of information isn’t needed.

    Still, the matter rubbed some the wrong way and even prompted a response from the Wikimedia Foundation.

    As part of its official statement, the foundation encouraged companies who use its content to give back in the spirit of sustainability. In doing so, Wikimedia said, they would join the six million individuals that donate to keep the service running.

    What does giving to Wikipedia look like, you ask? Wikimedia’s Chief Revenue Office, Lisa Gruwell, revealed in a recent interview with TechCrunch that the average individual donor gives about $10. Corporations (not foundations) also get in on the generosity although perhaps not at the level one might suspect (or from whom you would expect).

    For the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the top corporate giver was Google with “more than $1 million” followed by Humble Bundle at $465,000, Craigslist Foundation with $250,000 and surprisingly enough, Cards Against Humanity with $35,000 in donations.

    TechCrunch also notes that other big technology players contribute by way of matching donations. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google all gave around $50,000 by matching employee contributions. According to the publication, Amazon was “nowhere to be found” on the list of givers.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,390   +3,779

    Not surprised to hear that Amazon is all about taking and not about giving ...... perhaps the old man will be embarrassed enough to cough up a matching donation to their highest, but I wouldn't hold my breath!
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 876   +372

    My humble bundle usually goes to Wikipedia. I usually also give around $5 a year, I use Wikipedia a lot, would be devastated if it was gone. I really don't get why they don't run simple ads when times are tough, as long as they keep it old school (like maybe 2 ads per page) I really don't see many having a huge issue with it. If they did it like a news (cnn, abc, papers and what not) site with 20 ads per page and 5 videos all trying to auto play then R.I.P.
    cliffordcooley and Reehahs like this.
  4. Never donated to Wiki. Never will.

    Reason: I personally know a few folks who have wiki pages. There are factual inaccuracies on those pages, and when you try to correct them, the wiki admins re-edit the errors back in (these specifically relate to political positions/beliefs with political implications).

    Not a reliable source for info. Really only good for an overview of STEM-related topics.

    Amazon doesn't donate because it doesn't have to. That no one seems to be questioning donations from major corporations with wiki pages is...ironic.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  5. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,565   +551

    The trouble with ads is that like network television they may be tempted to bend to their will, companies threaten to pull ads when they see content they don't like. I like wikipedia staying more like PBS.
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,999   +3,483

    Then contact Wikipedia and ask for a panel of reviewers to audit said pages. It's not like their methods are opaque by any means.
  7. Been there, done that.
  8. NightAntilli

    NightAntilli TS Maniac Posts: 300   +222

    How much are the donors able to influence what is written on Wikipedia?

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