The most famous online encyclopedia on the Internet, Wikipedia, has been carrying financial problems almost since its inception. With the idea of being impartial and free, it is hardly sustained through anonymous donations. However, Facebook and Google use Wikipedia to address fake news and conspiracy theory issues. Now Wikipedia wants money from Google and Facebook.
On the other hand, the financial matters Wiki had suffered led to some significant crises that have triggered a drastic reduction in the workforce, although paradoxically more and more services are being provided.
Facebook and Google use Wikipedia to tackle fake news and conspiracy theories
Because Siri, Alexa or Google Home come to Wikipedia to provide data when users ask, Google shows encyclopedia entries as the first result for unique, historical or general culture data.
Even Facebook and YouTube rely on Wikipedia to try to wipe out conspiracy theories circulating on both platforms.
If so much use is made of it, it is logical to contribute to the sustainability of Wikipedia. So says Katherine Maher, executive director of Wikimedia, in an analysis published by Wired. Maher explained that Wikipedia still works because people are generous, “but everyone knows the difference between tending a community garden for the use and enjoyment of neighbors, and tending it for a company to have a corporate picnic.”
Wikipedia will officially ask money from Google and Facebook for using its services
While Maher’s reasoning may be supported, some wonders to what extent users continue to believe in Wikipedia precisely because of its absolute independence.
The platform’s banner would lose weight if giants like Google or Facebook donated money. Is there a difference between the capital that is rejected by governments and the capital that can come from these technologies?
Although this argument may remain that way, the truth is that Wikipedia is officially asking for some compensation from Google and Facebook for using its services, which Maher considers increasingly essential in the free functioning of the Internet today.
The future question will be whether receiving money from Google or Facebook will allow Wikipedia to continue to be described as “the free encyclopedia.”