back to article Seeing ads on Wikipedia? Then you're infected

Surfers who see ads when they visit Wikipedia are likely infected with malware, the online encyclopedia warns. Wikipedia relies on donations to fund its work, resisting the temptation to put ads on its pages. So internet users who see commercial ads when they visit the encyclopedia are been served content via cybercrime …

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  1. Turtle

    Money money money...

    "We never run ads on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is funded by more than a million donors, who give an average donation of less than 30 dollars."

    That's $30 million. I have read estimates of their annual expenses (the links to which I can not find right now) which put those annual expenses in the $2 million dollar range. The story of what happens to the money and where it goes is interesting and needs to better known and publicized.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money money money...

      Try Dogpile/google/yahoo/bing/etc & search for turnover & wikipedia.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      Re: Money money money...

      I think your maths is missing the "less than".

      Though, "an average of less than $30," doesn't give much away. $29? $1.50?

      1. Turtle

        @Thad: Re: Money money money...

        "I think your maths is missing the "less than". Though, "an average of less than $30," doesn't give much away. $29? $1.50?"

        I understand your point, but I am assuming that they are rounding to the nearest whole number (or less possibly, the nearest multiple of 5 or far less likely, 10). This does not strike me as an unwarranted assumption. "$30" with a "less than" qualifier means, to me, that it is not exact but usable. If they felt that it has sufficient exactitude for their purposes, then it has sufficient exactitude for our purposes, I should think.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I understand your point, but I am assuming...

          Different assumptions, equally valid, especially given the vague statement that we made them about.

      2. Turtle

        @Thad: PS: Re: Money money money...

        It says "more than a million donors, who give an average donation of less than 30 dollars.". So the "$30" is high but the "1,000,000" is low. So taking this into account also, probably $30 million is a reasonable number to work with.

        (Forgot to put this is my original answer, sorry.)

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Money money money...

      They can do what they like with your donations... if you don't approve don't donate.

      For instance if I was a donor I'd be might peed off they took the site down (well sort of) as a SOPA protest... but I'd not have any right to claim my donation gave me any influence in their actions. Donations should not have strings attached.

      1. Turtle

        @JDX: Re: Money money money...

        "They can do what they like with your donations..."

        Not really. While they do have some leeway with regard to what they do with donations, they *are* accountable for it, and there are limits to what they can do with it.

  2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WINKIPEDIA ADS

      “A sarcasm detector, that’s a real useful invention.” (Sarcasm detector explodes) –Comic Book Guy

    2. Fuh Quit
      Thumb Up

      Re: WINKIPEDIA ADS

      I'd say the you've been infected. It began the same time you found yourself posting in CAPS :-o

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Re: WINKIPEDIA ADS

        NOW THE DRUNKEN MODERATOR IS CENSORING MY INTELLIGENT OBSERVATIONS NOW I KNOW HOW THEY FEEL IN RED CHINA

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: WINKIPEDIA ADS

          Post less.

          C.

        2. Local Group
          Happy

          RE: NOW I KNOW HOW THEY FEEL IN RED CHINA

          An hour after reading Big Dumb Guy's posts, they're hungry for more caps.

  3. mark 63 Silver badge

    2 million turtle?

    I'd have thought their broadband bill alone would be more than that given the traffic.

  4. mark 63 Silver badge
    Meh

    traffic

    Given the traffic that site gets its a hell of a missed opportunity by Jimmy not to put one little advert somwehere , even at the bottom of the page , with an opt out feature maybe.

    Its a refreshing change but I fell loathe to donate any money to a site throwing away millions in traffic revenue.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: traffic

      idiot.

      That is the whole point of donations vs adverts. I have donated (a whopping £5 last year) simply because I use it a lot and DONT get bombed with adverts. There are other sites I use that I wish had this approach, I would much rather donate to some sites that see adverts.

      1. Irongut

        Re: traffic

        And what do you call the huge pictures of ugly fawning people asking for your moeny?

        I call them adverts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: traffic

          Why do you see fit to comment that you think they're ugly?

    2. Colin Miller

      Re: traffic

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Advertisements

      gives the reason why.

      TL/DR - They think than an advertiser might pressure them tweak the advertiser's article in an more appealing light.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a serious question:

    What exactly is Wikipedia's rationale for not using advertisements to fund themselves? Some Google ads on the bottom of the sidebar would be more than enough to fund Wikipedia, and certainly are less annoying than the "PLEASE READ: A PERSONAL APPEAL FROM ______" full color banner ads that takes up 1/4 of the page on the top of every article when Jimbo needs donations.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a serious question:

      Their business, their choice. If you're not happy take your business elsewhere.

      Personally I'd rather the cash went to wikipedia rather than google.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have a serious question:

      I' sure back in its day that Britanica could have been cheaper if it too had had adverts, but fortunately both Britianica and Wikipedia have realised they're encylopedias, not glossy magazines or tabloids newspapers and that ads aren't really appropriate and they're a better product without them.

      I also think that people might be less inclined to donate time to contributing to articles if they were faced with ads when doing so. Certainly my own reaction would be along the lines of "I'm trying to help out here and you're trying to take advantage of that and sell me crap? Feck off!"

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: I have a serious question:

      There is a problem with taking ads and it means that people may see articles as being less objective. It could also create a potentially legal situation where an advertiser may feel tempted to rescind funding if a page appears that is less than flattering by, lets say, implying the advertiser is a baby eating, syphilitic, gonorrhea ridden, necrophiliac bitch; perhaps even by using stronger and less kind verbiage.

    4. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: I have a serious question:

      http://theoatmeal.com/blog/jimmy_wales

  6. Naughtyhorse

    meeeeelions of dollars????

    But the OS dudes will have a patch out in no time....

    Oh hang on, its apple

    so meeeeeeeelions it is i guess

  7. Gordon Stewart
    WTF?

    CTR?

    400,000 clicks from 10,000,000 ads makes for a click through rate of 4%.... that sounds highly unlikely.

    40,000 sounds more plausible.

    1. ZenCoder

      Re: CTR?

      This is malware they can generate any CTR they want, or use any trick they want to enhance the CTR. The only reason its not 100% is they are trying to go undetected by both the affiliate program and the end user.

      They got it half right. People are writing angry emails to Wikipedia over their horrible ads rather than running security scans.

      1. seczine.com
        Thumb Down

        Re: CTR?

        If it were 400,000 they would have made a lot more than $14k.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Im surprised

    I haven't seen any of these yet in this thread of comments

    <-

    1. Steven Roper

      Have a look

      at mark 63's post above. He wants Wikipedia to have advertising, and refuses to donate because they don't.

      If that isn't trolling, I don't know what is.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see Jimmys adverts...

    Just before Xmas there I must have had a virus.

    Every wikipedia page I visited had a huge advert of Jimmy Wales bloody bake gurning for my money.

  10. Richard Wharram
    Unhappy

    "are been served content via cybercrime"

    Being. Not been.

    I would of expected better grammar.

    (deliberate joke)

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. SYNTAX__ERROR
      FAIL

      Re: Being

      Yes, me too. Even though I saw it was John Leyden and I know his articles are always full of idiotic drivel, I did not think he was so ignorant as to not understand the past tense.

      "Are been"

      Seriously, this is a grown man to whom somebody has seen fit to offer employment, the primary function of which is to write English.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: Being

        You must be new to the site, if you think a decent command of the English language is a prerequiste for employment on El Reg.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Java Mac Malware?

    Not a single mention of the `W' word In that entire story, keep it up :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you don't know how to use your computer, or bothered enough to learn, then losing cash due to malware/fraudsters can only be described as deserved!

    Like it or not!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pah..

      Not everyone should be expected to understand the inner workings of an Operating System in order to use a computer. Especially in this case where many people purchased their computers based on the company's advertising saying that they were far more secure an implied that they were immune to viruses etc.

      1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Pah..

        Let's change that slightly....

        Not everyone should be expected to understand the inner workings of an INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE in order to use a CAR.

        But they still should know not to leave the doors open and the key in the ignition!

        1. SYNTAX__ERROR
          Thumb Up

          Re: Pah..

          +10 internets for an excellent analogy.

    2. C Yates
      Trollface

      Re: Obviously!

      Do not feed the trolls!

    3. Robert Forsyth

      If some fraudster goes to a pensioners door and tells her he can fix her roof for £200, then spends an hour sitting on her roof eating his lunch. After his lunch, he takes the cash and leaves.

      It is still wrong to take money off a fool!

  13. dephormation.org.uk
    Big Brother

    Seeing ads on Wikipedia? Then you're infected

    That's the same lie BT told their subscribers when they were trialling Phorm's malware.

    Seeing ads on Wikipedia? Not inected with malware?

    Then your ISP may be infected, not you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seeing ads on Wikipedia? Then you're infected

      There's also this (remotely related) story about Wikipedia, Orange/Voila search engine, and ads: [in French] http://www.numerama.com/magazine/22182-contribuer-a-wikipedia-c-est-aussi-enrichir-orange.html

      Long story short: Orange mirrors Wikipedia content, adds adverts to it, and replaces Wikipedia links with the ad-ridden mirror in the Orange and Voila search engines.

      A fine display of the ISP itself being the infection.

  14. AlexS
    Holmes

    OK Mr Reg

    Check:

    http://www.reghardware.com/2012/04/25/htc_one_x_compo/

    The date of this article is almost a month old.

    There are ONLY 21 comments.

    It is closed for comments.

    ** This is labelled right now to be the MOST COMMENTED article right now **

    ... and just happens to be a HTC promotion.

    Am I infected?

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