Why this Site?

  • 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.”
  • How you can participate:
  •  Visit the Wikipediocracy Forum, a candid exchange of views between Wikipedia editors, administrators, critics, proponents, and the general public.
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Press Releases

  • Please click here for recent Wikipediocracy press releases.

Wikimedia Fundraising: Where Is Your Money Going?

By Eric Barbour

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Few people realise that when they think they are donating to Wikipedia (with a ‘p’) they are actually donating to Wikimedia (with an ‘m’). For example, if you are logging in from an IP address based in the UK, even if you are not from the UK but here on business or pleasure, you will be taken to a page owned by Wikimedia UK. Note that: it says Wikimedia with an ‘m’ not a ‘p’, and it says ‘UK’. If you are outside the UK you don’t get the ‘UK’ but you still get the ‘m’.

Wikimedia is not the same as Wikipedia, so you are not donating to Wikipedia. Some of the money will go to Wikipedia to pay the costs of running the enormous server farm which supports the huge Wikipedia traffic. But that is small compared to the sum that Wikimedia spends annually, and in any case you are not supporting the construction of Wikipedia itself, which is entirely written by volunteers. Wikimedia International (the Wikimedia Foundation) has spent lots of money on travel, entertainment, and Sue Gardner’s (and now Lila Tretikov’s) decent salary. But none of this supports Wikipedia itself.

Wikimedia Foundation revenue, expenses and assets Have steadily risen since the Foundation was first established as a Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. So far, revenue has always substantially exceeded expenditure in each year, and the Foundation has built up healthy reserves. As of 2012 assets were standing at about $34.9 million, more than one year’s expenditure at 2011–2012 spending levels. By 2014 net assets were up to $53.4 million.

The following table is compiled from the “Statements of Activities” (ending 30 June) in the Financial Reports available here. Note that WMF fundraising was paltry and

…continue reading Wikimedia Fundraising: Where Is Your Money Going?

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

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

From Wikipedia poster woman to black sheep. The Sarah Stierch story.

By Nathalie Collida and friends

The recent firing of Wikimedia Foundation employee Sarah Stierch, over her creation of Wikipedia articles for pay, highlights the Wikimedia movement’s inconsistent and often hypocritical attitude towards so-called “conflict-of-interest” editing and the way Wikipedia insiders and outsiders are held to different standards. L’affaire Stierch led our editorial team to uncover how some of the Wikipedia community’s more prominent members engaged in promotional activities that are nominally considered unethical among the encyclopaedia’s volunteer contributors. It also raises the question just how much the Wikimedia Foundation’s actions are governed by PR considerations, rather than a genuine desire to promote responsible curation of its sites.

A very Wikipedia career

Sarah Stierch has been a popular Wikipedia participant and administrator. As one of the site’s few high-visibility women, she managed to forge a career out of her Wikipedia-related activities. A contributor since 2004, Stierch became the foremost and most successful advocate for improving Wikipedia’s coverage of prominent women in the sciences, arts, and politics. Her efforts to reverse the “gender gap” on the male-dominated site have been widely recognized. Stierch has also held various remunerated positions as the “Wikipedian in Residence” with respected institutions such as the Smithsonian and the World Digital Library.

Stierch’s unpaid work for Wikipedia was not without perks either. Her CV states that she received $6,400 in travel grants and scholarships from Wikipedia-related organizations in 2011 alone. For 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation awarded Stierch a one-year community fellowship “to support her commitment to encouraging women’s participation in Wikimedia projects”. She gained a spot as a one-off blogger for the Huffington Post. Her January 2012 piece, entitled “SOPA Blackout: Why Wikipedia Needs Women”, elaborated on the premise that women would never be fully represented on the Internet unless they became contributors to that most influential of

…continue reading From Wikipedia poster woman to black sheep. The Sarah Stierch story.