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  • Our Mission:
  • We exist to shine the light of scrutiny into the dark crevices of Wikipedia and its related projects; to examine the corruption there, along with its structural flaws; and to inoculate the unsuspecting public against the torrent of misinformation, defamation, and general nonsense that issues forth from one of the world’s most frequently visited websites, the “encyclopedia that anyone can edit.”
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Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

Wikipedia – keeping it free.
Just pay us our salaries.

By Andreas Kolbe

The other day, I was fortunate enough to be treated to a fundraising banner on Wikipedia:

DEAR WIKIPEDIA READERS: To protect our independence, we’ll never run ads. We survive on donations averaging about £10. Now is the time we ask. If everyone reading this right now gave the price of buying a programmer a coffee, our fundraiser would be over within an hour. We’re a small non-profit with costs of a top 5 website: servers, staff and programs. Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. A temple for the mind where we can all go to think and learn. If Wikipedia is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online and ad-free another year. Thank you.

UK fundraising bannerI don’t seem to have been the only one being shown the banner, judging by a rash of breathless posts on Twitter where people are proudly announcing:

I have just donated to #Wikipedia. Help keep it free! #keepitfree

Donations link added, of course.

There’s just one problem here: the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) – the non-profit that runs Wikipedia and other crowdsourced projects such as Wikimedia Commons and Wiktionary – is wealthy enough today to keep Wikipedia “online and ad-free” for about a decade.

So why does it want even more of your money?

1,000% growth in revenue

Under Sue Gardner’s leadership (2007–2014), the Wikimedia Foundation’s revenue skyrocketed, based on fundraising banners designed to solicit small donations from a very large number of Wikipedia readers.

Wikimedia_Foundation_financial_development_2003-2013

The Wikimedia Foundation does extensive

…continue reading Wikipedia – keeping it free.
Just pay us our salaries.

Media Viewer fails the grade

Wikipedia volunteers at war with the Wikimedia Foundation over new software feature

By Andreas Kolbe

The Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) is facing yet another community backlash over the introduction of a major new software feature, the Media Viewer. One month after implementation, volunteer administrator Pete Forsyth unceremoniously switched the new feature off, only to find his change reverted by none other than the Wikimedia Foundation’s Deputy Director and VP of Engineering and Product Development, Erik Möller, who threatened to remove Forsyth’s administrative privileges. Möller in turn has now been hauled in front of Wikipedia’s arbitration committee, accused of overstepping his authority.

The spat follows similar controversies over other new software features the Foundation has tried to deploy in recent years, such as the now-defunct “Article Feedback Tool” and the “VisualEditor”, both of which were met with concerted resistance from the international volunteer community. The VisualEditor, too, was disabled by a volunteer administrator last year. Faced with massive community rebellion, the Wikimedia Foundation backed down then, allowing the change to stand. But this time, fearing a complete loss of authority, the Foundation seems to want to stand its ground.

The Media Viewer

Media Viewer zoom prototype

Media Viewer zoom prototype

The Media Viewer, a Facebook-like feature enabling users to view larger versions of images included in Wikipedia articles, had been in beta testing since November 2013. According to the Foundation’s 8-strong Multimedia team led by Fabrice Florin, the rate of favourable feedback had been “increasing across all languages over time”. This changed rapidly, however, when the tool was finally launched on June 3, 2014, becoming the English Wikipedia’s default image viewer.

Four days later, the English Wikipedia community began an “RfC” (Request for comment) on the

…continue reading Media Viewer fails the grade