Wikipedia, which is a repository of free knowledge and better known as an online encyclopedia, has again solicited donations on its official website. But, it seems Twitterati is wondering why Wikipedia would ask for donations to defend its independence? This is the reason why many #WikipediaScams were one of the top 5 hashtag trends on Twitter last night. So, if you are wondering why Wikipedia is asking for donations, don’t worry, here’s everything you need to know.
Why is Wikipedia asking for donations?
Wikipedia was launched in 2001 (January 15) promising to provide free knowledge to its users around the world. The organization is guaranteed to provide its services with a knowledge pool of over 50 million articles in nearly 300 languages.
However, as the internet market and the number of users keep growing every year, the organization has done its best to provide ad-free information on its website. The organization is managed by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit corporation. However, having the 13th most visited website among the 15 most popular websites according to Alexa ranking; in 2021, does not have its advantages. According to an updated Wikipedia article, the organization earns and technically operates from donations 80% of which are small donations from individual users. The organization has a team of around 250 employees and more than 250,000 volunteers worldwide, as Pat Pena, director of payments and operations for the Wikimedia Foundation, said in a blog post.
But the question remains: why do many Twitter users call the Wikipedia fundraising initiative Scam? Wikipedia has been asking for donations for a very long time, and it usually happens around this time of year. If you take a look at the “need to donate” pop-up on the official website, you will notice that each year the organization uses the doomsday appeal to encourage users to donate. A Twitter user shared the Wikipedia pop-up asking for donations and it reads:
“We get straight to the point: this Tuesday, we must make a donation to protect Wikipedia’s independence. 98% of our readers don’t give; they look away. If you are one of our few donors, then you have our gratitude and we thank you warmly. We know you are busy and we have no intention of interrupting you, but we must remind everyone that if they donate 75, we could make Wikipedia thrive for years to come. ”
In the 2020 blog post, Pat Pena explained why the organization is asking for donations. He wrote: “Donations from readers are essential to sustaining Wikipedia’s global presence. To meet the needs of readers in India and around the world, we operate an international technology infrastructure comparable to the world’s largest commercial websites. Being an ad-free site, the organization only earns donations which are then diluted for direct website support, training, tools, events and partnerships for its volunteer network, recruiting, member compensation. staff and various fundraising initiatives. Additionally, many Wikipedia users who donated to the cause shared the screenshots on Twitter.
Is the Wikipedia scam real?
The fundraising campaign led by the Wikimedia Foundation would be legitimate, however, we are not sure of the “call to action used by the organization which refers to the defense of its” independence “. According to the Wikipedia Fund Raising Statistics page, Wiki was able to raise $ 28,653,256 between 2018-2019, bringing its total assets to $ 165,641,425 (see image below). However, whether or not to donate is a totally personal choice, but the numbers raise eyebrows. With so many in hand and a campaign for more information, the organization is planning a better future for free knowledge and making it available.