Wikipedia has more money than you would imagine, given the desperate, pleading nature of the site's advertisments.
@wiki_me
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125M

Wikipedia is a democracy (the board is elected by the editors), so it’s not like there is no oversight, it also basically competes with google and facebook which have a lot more money (google alone is at almost 200 billion a year), A competitor can appear and use more aggressive monetization to create a better website using wikipedia’s freely license data (i am pretty sure there is already a startup trying to do that).

The WMF’s financial independence is clearly not at any risk. So what is going on? The official answer is that the WMF thinks you can never have too much money put aside for a rainy day

I actually read the link and I may be tired but i am pretty sure it doesn’t say what he says they are saying (they just want more and more money), it makes me question the trustworthiness of the whole article.

If you write such a critical article i think you should request a response from the foundation (that’s just good journalism IMO).

But if someone thinks they can run a more efficient operation at the wikimedia foundation by all means run in their elections.

@avalos
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Moreover, the WMF is launching a for-profit company named Wikimedia, LLC. This will sell API services to big tech companies, making it easier for them to process Wikimedia content, which powers voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa as well as Google’s infoboxes. These smart internet of things devices all draw on content from Wikipedia to create their aura of omniscience.

Seems like they’ll be closing their “open” knowledge ecosystem, so only Big Tech companies with enough money will be able to benefit from knowledge contributed by thousands (if not millions) of unpaid community editors. It sucks.

And this is only the beginning. Wikimedia, LLC. will probably find even more ways to monetize Wikipedia’s knowledge, and a lot of them will involve closing their database even more.

The Wikimedia, LLC project fills many of Wikipedia’s volunteer writers with unease. They see profits as a potentially corrupting influence. And there’s a perceived inequality in WMF staff being paid, while volunteers work for free. Wikipedia has been built with around 3 billion individual “edits.” The average edit currently brings the WMF around 4.3 cents in annual revenue, and now far greater profits to big tech. Wikipedians who have made hundreds of thousands of edits may well feel someone else is enjoying the fruit of their labor.

@ree
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Or see it the other way why should surveillance capitalists benefit and build service use by billions without giving back to the community?

I assume they will provide a free api key with a fair use policy. If not it’s a dick move.

Dessalines
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I’d really like to see the breakdown of their budget. One of their VPs estimates that they could be fine on $10M USD / year, even that sounds high… how many people work for WMF?

@AgreeableLandscape
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Any nonprofit should be required by law to publish their revenue and expenses. Not just totals, individual line items. Change my mind.

@birokop
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I mean it’s been up for like 5 years i doubt it’s gonna dissapear now.

Dessalines
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Perfect, thx.

yeah, and h0sting and shit shouldn’t be too high, they have mostly text [even if it’s a looot of text] and low quality images

mickie
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It’s simple. Who writes this article really Don’t know how a big entity (company/foundation) in the tech industry works.

poVoq
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This article is actually based on a long standing page on Wikipedia made by a Wikipedia insider.

And honestly, if that is your criticism of the article then I don’t know what to say, because if Wikipedia is the same as GAFAM then that is exactly their problem then.

mickie
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25M

Well, sometimes is like GAFAM, specially with political issues. https://www.timesofisrael.com/wikipedia-founder-jimmy-wales-likes-israel-but-stays-neutral/ Where’s the Palestine wmf tag?.

@soferman
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deleted by creator

poVoq
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@soferman
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deleted by creator

poVoq
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Well the question really is what kind of expenses there are? 400k/yr salaries for executives for example are a bit excessive for a non-profit I think.

@soferman
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deleted by creator

poVoq
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Yeah this is the same argument you usually hear also in relation to IMHO excessive salaries of Mozilla executives for example.

But I am not sure of that is really true.

I see two main counter-arguments:

  1. Large companies in other countries do not pay nearly as much for their top level executives and yet seem to be doing fine? Extreme case would be many Japanese conglomerates that pay only really modest sums to their top level staff.

  2. A non-profit usually has completely different values and requirements, and at least in my experience having people there that would otherwise work at top-level commercial firms is rather counter-productive because they usually fail to understand the organizational culture and purpose.

@soferman
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deleted by creator

poVoq
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Sure depends on the country and the living costs and all that. Probably doesn’t sound that much from a Norwegian perspective ;)

But a good way to look at it is how many times the executives make compared to the median employee. Which is probably not a good ratio at the WMF.

@soferman
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deleted by creator

poVoq
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What I meant is that due to various factors the typical Norwegian earns, but also has to spend, much more than pretty much anyone else in Europe. This of course means that they are not rich in their own country, but when looking at salaries from other places, 400k US$ may not seem as much as it is in reality.

@soferman
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deleted by creator

@xvf
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According to Wikipedia a non-profit:

A nonprofit organization (NPO) is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit… … A nonprofit is subject to the non-distribution constraint: any revenues that exceed expenses must be committed to the organization’s purpose, not taken by private parties.

Which to me just sounds like a business for profit just with extra steps.

Since non-profit organizations provide a social benefit and literally their name says non-profit then workers shouldn’t be paid more than they need or rather, shouldn’t be paid based on their skillset or shouldn’t be expected to pay high like that. Seems counter-intuitive that an organization that wants to provide a benefit somehow still has to make the same money as a for profit.

poVoq
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Well, there are many different kinds of non-profits and the above definition is kind of the minimal legalistic one. Most “non-profits” are founded for a different purpose then just the tax-benefits the “non-profit” legal status gives them in most countries.

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