back to article Wikipedia doesn't need your money - so why does it keep pestering you?

It's that time of year again. As the Christmas lights go up, Wikipedia's donation drive kicks off. Wikipedia claims that the donations are needed to keep the site online. Guilt-tripped journalists including Heather Brooke and Toby Young have contributed to Wikipedia in the belief that donations help fund operating costs. …

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  1. Shufflemoomin
    Stop

    Thanks for bringing this to light. I've already donated once and I won't be doing it again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      one thing....

      ...give to your local charity / non profit instead, most are dying on their arses due to these mega charities (Help for hero's, Oxfam, Cancer research etc) and there huge marketing campaigns.

      You £5 or whatever will be much more appreciated.

      1. System 10 from Navarone
        Thumb Down

        Re: one thing....

        Totally agree. Any charity squandering monumental amounts of money on plush London offices, slick TV adverts and armies of paid canvassers don't need my cash

        1. Captain Underpants

          Re: one thing....

          @System 10

          Damn straight, if they can afford to pay canvassers they're doing charity wrong in my book. I make sure they don't get my money and redirect it to other charities actually doing research for worthy causes instead. (Oxfam are particularly bad in this regard, or at least they were last time I checked...)

        2. YourLocalGP

          Re: one thing....

          TV spots are often given either free or paid for as part of a CSR programme by a broadcaster. Larger charities are statistically more efficient in terms of pounds-to-cause, under much more stringent scrutiny for malpractice than smaller outfits, and for many reasons have lower proportional operating costs (e.g. salary demands are lower due to the CV recognition employees gain). Many canvassers work for expenses only, and others are subsidised in-kind via donations from marketing firms and corporates.

      2. Scarborough Dave
        Mushroom

        Re: one thing....

        I used to audit charities.

        I give as directly to causes as I can these days - avoiding the middle man.

        The minute you need a paid bureaucracy is the minute it is less a charity - don't get me started on paid fundraising agents.

    2. PyLETS
      WTF?

      Useful to scrutinise charities

      I think the RSPCA is also overdonated in relation to the service they provide and in relation to charities which help people not animals. Clearly both the RSPCA and Wikipedia do useful work, but givers do need to think about sustaining smaller and also worthwhile charities which need smaller funding over longer terms to be effective. One thing Wikipedia do which I support and which I suspect gets up Andrew's nose is their take on freedom of information in relation to copyright business models which intend restricting such.

      1. BorkedAgain
        Thumb Up

        Re: Useful to scrutinise charities

        There was an interesting report on Radio 4 last night about more-or-less this subject. The author founded a charity that isn't in the least bit interested in that self-perpetuating-keep-asking-for-money model, but has a proper, strategic plan to deliver sustainable solutions on the ground and they're working on a timetable to shut themselves down in 2018, with their job done.

        An incredible, inspirational woman. Can't recommend the article enough: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20762278

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Useful to scrutinise charities

          The article is indeed fantastic.

          Unfortunately, if you go to http://www.afrikids.org/ghana it is all couched in the usual development-mumbo-jumbo. Thus if you had simply stumbled upon this webpage, it would be very hard to distinguish it from Oxfam or any other of the mega-charities.

          If you do try to decode the webpage, it sounds like Afrikids doesn't actually *do* much itself, except provide cash and support to other projects which do the work. Which begs the question, should we be supporting those projects directly instead?

          Maybe we do need these intermediary organisations, to raise funds and to act as trusted third-parties to identify, vet and monitor the organisations that the funds are distributed to. But who vets and monitors the intermediaries?

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Few¹ politicians or media figures now dare criticise Wikipedia²

    ¹[weasel words]

    ²[citation needed]

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Meh

      Out of that entire article

      that's the bit you choose to take issue with? It's just a bit of hyperbole and not central to the theme of the piece which is about wikimedia trying to guilt trip people into donating more money into it's already massive cash pile.

      1. El Presidente
        Facepalm

        Re: Out of that entire article

        "It's just a bit of hyperbole"¹ ..... "massive cash pile"²

        ¹[citation needed]

        ²[citation needed]

        1. The Indomitable Gall

          Re: Out of that entire article

          "It's just a bit of hyperbole"¹ ..... "massive cash pile"²

          ¹[citation needed]

          ²[citation needed]

          {{ref|http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/20/cash_rich_wikipedia_chugging/}}

          Newspapers articles have always been acceptable sources for Wikipedia.

          1. Androgynous Crackwhore
            Devil

            Re: Out of that entire article

            "Newspapers articles have always been acceptable sources for Wikipedia."

            Not El Reg. This particular vessel has been regarded by the Wiki-jobs as the work of Satan for some time. At least since their "naked short selling" débâcle.

            Anyone know if they're over their sulk yet? (If not, I doubt this article will have helped get us off their naughty list)

            1. Tom Melly

              Re: Out of that entire article

              I didn't know that - and nor does Wikipedia amusingly...

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Melly#References

              check out number 7... it's a link to an el reg article about, mostly, wikipedia...

              1. Not That Andrew
                WTF?

                Re: Out of that entire article

                So Wackypedia is using an article that says it shouldn't be used for serious research that uses that page as an example but confirms it was accurate as of time of writing as a reference? Oookay.... Someone over there has a wry sense of humour.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Out of that entire article

              > Anyone know if they're over their sulk yet? (If not, I doubt this article will have helped get us off their naughty list)

              So what you are saying is that wiki isn't neutral at all and holds grudges against those who criticise it.

              1. Androgynous Crackwhore
                Black Helicopters

                Re: Out of that entire article

                >So what you are saying is that wiki isn't neutral at all and holds grudges against those who criticise it.

                Interesting. I'd never thought of it like that but I suppose most of the contributors from the time will have moved on from their fiddling and/or forgotten about the incident... meanwhile the wiki never forgets... so it could well still be "holding a grudge" so to speak, or at least the remnants of one.

                The article I was recollecting was something of an exposé with, if I recall correctly, a particularly condescending review of the shenanigans of a crook with a penchant for warping "reality" via "sock puppets". It caused quite a fuss over there which prompted a follow-up over here. The wikifiddlers as they were known at the time responded by turning The Reg's page on Wikipedia into something quite derogatory, then locking it, then adding El Reg to their naughty list ("list of sources which are not reputable and not allowed to be cited" or something like that)

                I've had a quick scan over there but can't see any trace of the locking or any conspicuous slurs, so I'm wondering if their "history" of the event has been cleaned up a bit. Might have a deeper look into it when I get a chance. I'm pretty sure I took a screen grab or two at the time - such was the level of entertainment.

                If anyone's interested in having a poke around, this is where it all happened:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Register&action=history&year=2007&month=12&tagfilter=

                There's even a contribution (authentic - in his inimitable dialect) from amanfromMars!

                The Reg article which set it all off was (comments are worth a look too):

                http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/12/06/wikipedia_and_overstock/

              2. Anonymous Coward
                FAIL

                Re: Out of that entire article

                Yes and I am THE one who coined the term, "Wikipedia Nazi Moderator" - because many of the moderators I have run across are just shit head little tyrants, running their own little pages and groups just like the neo-nazi arse licking cretins in the third reich.

                Imagine say someone writing a page about John Lennon (of the Beatles), and for some reason he is actually alive, he reads the page, says, "Ere By Gum Laddes, Twern't born in Derbyshire, was born in T's Clappam, owt' was T Grand Master of Eccy Thump too, Eeeee - better correct it - Ere Bah Gum!"

                So he does, correct the information about himself in the Wikipedia page... and so 5 minutes and 22 seconds later the idiot Wikipedia Nazi Moderator comes along and says:

                Delete, Delete, Delete, Delete

                Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit,

                Delete, Delete, Delete, Delete

                Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit,

                "John Lennon of the Beatles was born in Derbyshire and played with dollies his whole life."

                Wikipedia Nazi Moderators and their stinking little turf wars, and now this?

                In Australia we had "The Dodgy Brothers", and Wikipedia has it's Arsehole Nazi Moderators...

                The Dodgy Brothers were actually a comedy send up of all the discount salesmen on TV selling crap.

                Nice to see the Nazis have taken up the Dodgy Brothers style of spruiking...

                "Yesss We are Sooooo Poooor at Wikipedia, our Pricks of the Thousand Year Empire have run out of editor... vandal.... Yes so give us all your money, we need more because we have got non, and our personal Leer Jets need to be converted to run on biofuel... because we are an ethical company....

                And ummmm We are really good and we help kids cheat in tests and all that.... so give us all your money..."

          2. PassiveSmoking
            Trollface

            Re: Out of that entire article

            [[Original Research]]

        2. Kane Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Out of that entire article

          @Sabroni - it seems to me that Destroy All Monsters was employing what is known as a "sense of humour".

          @Destroy All Monsters & El Presidente - well played good sirs, well played.

  3. nuked
    Trollface

    I wanna hear from amanfrommars on this one...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No thanks. I'd prefer it if my brains didn't start leaking out of my eardrums.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        I dunno, he made a post the other day that was almost comprehensible... I do hope he's alright.

  4. FartingHippo
    Stop

    "so why does it keep pestering you"

    As far as I can make out, anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole.

    I'm sorry to be so crude, but my limited interaction there (and any perusal of the admin boards) bears this out in spades. It one of the few places a sociopath or other dysfunctional soul can get their hands on power and influence just by being who they are.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

      > anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole

      Sadly that is usually true far beyond the bounds of Wikipedia. Indeed you could remove "on Wikipedia" from that statement and be just as correct.

      Me? I'm of no importance, and happy to stay that way :)

    2. Chris Miller

      Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

      I agree FartingHippo - but "one of the few places a sociopath or other dysfunctional soul can get their hands on power and influence just by being who they are"? Have you looked at any of your political representatives or into a few boardrooms recently?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

      "As far as I can make out, anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole."

      There's a larger underlying problem here, and Wikipedia is not alone in suffering from it.

      Firstly, there's the whole "Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory" that continues to bear fruit. Secondly, there's the problem that people who really want to be obstructive bureaucrats with power and influence for minimal risk and effort often gravitate towards committee structures. And thirdly, (and this one tends to be more obvious in open source software land) abrasive, arrogant, rude and thick-skinned personalities thrive in the absence of any sort of social repercussions.

      When the Arsehole Percentage of an organisation reaches some critical threshold, non-Arseholes find time spent within that organisation to be increasingly unpleasant and depart for pastures new, leaving behind the socially malajusted individuals you are talking about. The only way to fix this is for there to be a large influx of non-arseholes who can tolerate the current wikimasters long enough to pierce the current groupthink. And I don't know about you, but that sounds like an absolutely miserable job. Hence the situation we find ourselves in!

      1. DN4

        Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

        > and this one tends to be more obvious in open source software land...

        Hardly. Abrasive, arrogant, rude and thick-skinned personalities abound but minimum risk and effort? That does not get you far there.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: "so why does it keep pestering you"

          >"As far as I can make out, anyone of importance on Wikipedia is either a d*ck or an ar*ehole."

          >There's a larger underlying problem here, and Wikipedia is not alone in suffering from it.

          Malcom Tucker: "You don't get in this room without bending the rules".

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOiW4R2uNTs curiously, its Safe For Work.

  5. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Courage

    I look forward to reading your entry in WikiP in a few days time.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Courage

      I went to Andrew O's wiki page, and was very disappointed to see how bland it was. No insults from global warmistas, freetards or Wikipedians or anything... If I could be bothered I'd check the editing history and see what's been edited out.

      Perhaps it's time to make my first Wikipedia edit?

      Andrew Orlowski is a noted competitive conkers player, having won the World Conker Championships in 2008 and 2009. He was accused of conker-doping in 2010 and controversy rages in the sport as to whether injecting one's conkers with whipped cream should be seen as cheating, or a fetish...

  6. JayBizzle

    So it appears that wikipedia has started to do opinion officially now.

    1. Philip Lewis
      Coat

      @JayBizzle

      That's not news, it's just a piece of gossip

  7. Crisp Silver badge
    Trollface

    I read that Wikipedia needed more money on Wikipedia

    You can never trust anything you read on Wikipedia.

  8. Anonymous Coward 101

    At least Wikipedia don't employ chuggers... yet.

  9. Forget It
    Facepalm

    Anyone care to help out in this entry:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accountable_Fundraising#Accountable_fundraising

    even without a visual editor

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jimmy Wales walks into a bar

    [citation needed]

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Jimmy Wales walks into a bar

      Jimmy Wales walks into a bar

      Ouch!

      It was an iron bar.

      [insert Tommy Cooper Laugh here]

  11. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    Facepalm

    *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

    1) There is no such thing as a non profit making business, they are non-profit *distributing* businesses, they still need more money than they spend, those profit may or may not end up somewhere you dont want. Oxfam's director get paid how much? Company car much? Last time i checked, it was around 100K per year + plus a charity funded BMW 7 Series, needless to say, i dont give to them.

    2) A company can never have too much cash, they are always on the look out for more, money is like oxygen - you always want to make sure you have a good supply that can never run out.

    3) I am sure the government looks at how much is donated then increases tax, since if you have that much spare cash then you can pay more tax.

    1. Tim 8

      Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

      > There is no such thing as a non profit making business, they are non-profit *distributing* businesses

      I'm not quite sure I understand the distinction you're making there. There are lots of charities with paid staff, some even highly paid. I'm sure for many, it might even make sense to pay high salaries if it gets them effective staff.

      However, as someone notes above, there are a vast number of small non-profit organizations, many of whom work on a entirely voluntary basis. Here's a pitch for one I'm somewhat involved in: A non-profit started by some moms to open a sensory-friendly gym for children with autism and sensory processing disorder: http://www.SenseAbilityGym.com/

      Little organizations like that need less than the cost of the charity-funded BMW to operate for a full year, so it's discouraging to see the giant nonprofits hoover up as much philanthropy as possible, but especially when it is in far excess of their needs.

      1. Bongwater

        Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

        Tim I thought that was pretty cool and donated my plant money for the month to those guys. I don't have any autistic children and I am not close with any but I still thought it was a cool idea.

        Maybe when Wikilovers peruse this forum they won't blast us for criticizing them and instead see what you posted and say to themselves, "Hmmm this guy just asked nicely and someone made a donation."

        I hope maybe this act would encourage them to be more thoughtful as I don't get anything out of hating the people of WP, disappointment would be a better word.

        Happy Holidays my British/Australian friends from USA!

      2. JDB

        Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

        Thanks for the link Tim - I have a son with SPD and will definitely look into making a donation to this place (not anywhere near me, but I love what they're doing). We built our own "gym" in the basement - but it sure would be great to have a resource like this locally.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

      > 3) I am sure the government looks at how much is donated then increases tax,

      That is counter productive. If you donate £100 to a charity (and sign the form saying so) the charity claims the tax back on the £100 you donated. If the government increases your tax because of the donation then all it is doing is increasing the refund it gives the charity.

      The effect of this is that the rich can decide whether their tax goes to the government or their favourite charity. They also end up being rewarded for their generosity with OBEs, MBEs, KBEs etc.

    3. ShadowedOne
      FAIL

      Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

      Businesses are supposed to make money yes, well let's get more specific and say that a businesses generally exists to make a profit. Charities exist to provide a service (and/or enhanced research into various medical issues). A Business (by definition) != a charity. Wikipedia is a listed *non-profit* charity, they are not supposed to make a profit, although like many big non-profits it seems that the higher ups are raking in sweet salaries while the lifeblood (those who contribute articles and useful editing) get sweet fuck all.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *** STOP PRESS *** Business makes money.

      "A company can never have too much cash, they are always on the look out for more"

      Write that in your copy book one hundred times.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if only...

    I'd be happier if it wasn't a waste to time to contribute, because so many edits get reverted by over-zealous page 'owners' ... and while it's full of useless pages on obscure things, other quite well used bits of software aren't allowed their own pages as they are deemed not noteworthy enough. As if an extra page costs them any huge amount of money! And isn't the point of an encyclopedia to collect as much data as possible?

    Yes it's a handy resource, but it's also annoyingly alienating for someone who would actually like to join in, but can't be bothered to bang their head against their numerous brick walls.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if only...

        Wikipedia thanks you for your contribution whichis keeping the servers running nice and quickly so that those dedicated to removing lists of Pokeman characters and non-entities of minor actors can crack on with the job and rid it of non-notable rubbish.

      2. David Hicks
        Alert

        Re: if only...

        Yup. Bugger the deletionists.

        That page linked on editor trends was interesting, the conclusion seemed to be - "Current result: Non-vandal newbies are the ones leaving."

        This is probably because the cabal of deletionist assholes delete anything these non-vandal newbies try to add, putting them off immediately so they never bother again. The deletion rules are entirely subjective and the people that make the decisions happily discard any and all arguments about notability/whatever as they see fit, and any arguments by the non-vandal newbies are dismissed with little more than 'LOL n00b!'

        So it's no wonder everyone gets put off contributing.

      3. Androgynous Crackwhore
        Black Helicopters

        Re: if only...

        "Not notable enough" is usually a euphemism for not compatible with their politics. e.g. Conflicts with US propaganda.

        You didn't try to insert something about Maude / Tube Alloys did you? They're particularly aggressive about expunging that from "history"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: MAUD / Tube Alloys

          Supersonic flight, packet switching, just about everything the Brits invented during "the war" in fact. Facts about any of that stuff are forbidden.

          You should have been there for the battle over their "Edison invented the light bulb" crap!

          The MAUD / Tube Alloys situation isn't nearly as insane as it was a few years ago. The site's general "History of nuclear weapons" has been completely re-designed and re-written and is now about half-way to becoming an honest account. Some information has slowly crept into the Tube Alloys page over the last five years or so too... although largely under the spin of being an insignificant understudy to a Great American victory. Yes, it's been allowed a page of its own at last! All the juicy stuff is still non-grata of course.

          All this would be a scandal if Wikipedia was a real encyclopædia... but no-one’s pretending it is.

          It's a slog but progress is being made.

          Anonymous because my handle there is the same and I'd be punished. ;)

          1. Chris 244
            Thumb Up

            Re: MAUD / Tube Alloys

            Thanks for that. Never knew the story of how we ended up with a reactor at Chalk River producing a large chunk of the world supply of medical isotopes.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if only...

        Yeah I have added an entry on "stainless steel", how it was originally developed as a NON staining (no rust) steel for making cutlery with, where as the carbon steels did rust, especially with acidic / salty foods etc..

        I also added in how, that despite the reputation of stainless steels being impervious to corrosion, that under the right conditions in terms of PH and electrolytic potential (salty / mineral saturated and oxygen free solutions) - you can rot holes in stainless steels faster than kids teeth sucking on candy.

        The idiot Wikipedia Nazi Moderator came along and deleted that.... just out of being a fucking prick with an attitude.

        I have seen them delete a section in resistors, called "Water Resistors" - while pure water IS non conductive, a controlled ionic solution can be made that has an exact resistance, more or less as how many teaspoons of salt per ton of pure water. The "water resistors" are able to absorb staggering amounts of energy because they are so easy to make so enormously huge - think water trough or swimming pool (pick size).

        And the person who posted them listed the link on how they are used especially in load dumping from extremely high voltage power supplies for cyclotrons etc., rather than have the capacitor banks explode...

        I read the links and yes, "Water Capacitors" do exist and are used... and another shit head Wikipedia Nazi Moderator deleted all of that - just out of being a fucking arsehole.

        They just do shit like that ALL the time. I have seen SO much of that kind of crap being done...

        A lot of them really are just stupid nasty people - incompetent arseholes on power trips...

        My other main fights with them are about things like people who write articles who's whole purpose is to educate others, but they write like they are talking to themselves, with complex formula and mathematical functions and all of that, and yet most of them make NO effort to explain what all of the cryptic symbols mean and or how they are meant to be used, before they write the fucking complexities.

        Hello - what do the four dots with the squashed "S" mean - more so that this symbol is only found in old latin / and the French adaptions of it.

        While MUCH of the material on there is really good, overall seeing how these Nazi Shit Head Moderators, operate, and the endless cash grabbing, my basic opinion is "Fuck Wikipedia..."

    2. Dave Robinson

      Re: if only...

      Couldn't agree more. I made a couple of edits regarding the town I've lived in for twenty years (including fixing an out of date link to a website I run), and the page owner (who lives in Thailand, I believe) reverted them. I sent him an appropriate message, put the changes back in, and strangely they stuck the second time.

  13. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    FAIL

    I'm not convinced...

    that the original charges laid against Wikipedia have ever been addressed. While there is some stuff on there that is both accurate and authoritative, any person using it as a primary reference source - and far too many news outlets do, as previously mentioned ad nauseum - risks their reputation every time they do.

    I don't believe that JW's original idea could ever have worked, and I think it's a crying shame that so many volunteers waste their time with it; their motives may be of the highest but random changes to pages to suit today's political fan base don't inspire confidence...

    Gimme a well-resourced encyclopedia with professional editing and paid expert contributors, and I'll pay for its use. I won't use the cess-pool that is Wikipedia for free.

  14. TheTrouser
    Megaphone

    Wikipedia is a byword for an unreliable source of information

    So who cares if it disappears?

    Has an over-infalted sense of self-importance if you ask me....

    1. Paul 135
      Big Brother

      Re: Wikipedia is a byword for an unreliable source of information

      Indeed, I hate to see the destruction that Wikipedia has caused to numerous other online reference sites. Too many people unconsciously view Wikipedia as some form of ultimate "truth", allowing mass manipulation of it as a propaganda tool by those who are the most zealoted and are the most globally vocal.

      (e.g. any potentially controversial political topics which have a global audience who like to poke their noses in where it doesn't belong democratically. One example would be Northern Ireland articles: Northern Ireland has a tiny population and the majority population within Northern Ireland are a tiny minority within the UK as well as being a minority population on the island of Ireland, therefore majority opinion within Northern Ireland is rarely expressed due to the zealots from Boston and Dublin outnumbering those who actually live in NI. The result: a mess of propaganda and massive distortions of truth.)

    2. Adze

      Re: Wikipedia is a byword for an unreliable source of information

      Try Ten Word Wiki ( http://www.tenwordwiki.com) instead, it's still inaccurate but gets to the point a lot quicker and includes a measure of humour, usually.

  15. Danny 14 Silver badge

    "The executive's convictions included cheque fraud and unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gunshot to the chest"

    Actually i'd say she is the perfect boss. I bet few people were caught slacking on her watch.

    1. Tim Starling

      Felon executive

      Actually she was very warm and friendly, calm and professional. Nobody guessed there was a problem. Yes, background checks should have been done, but you have to admit, it was tremendously bad luck for the Foundation. I think she was only the third employee to be hired in an accounting role.

  16. vmistery

    Ok, so who can come up with the best new wikipedia page for "The Register" after this article

    "The Register"

    A so called 'online' magazine, known for supporting crime, drugs and probably has links to the Mafia. Also known for depriving organisations of financial assistance

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "A so called 'online' magazine"

      Pah! Described as a highly respected online magazine in the High Court, I think you'll find.

      Merry Christmas,

      C.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: "A so called 'online' magazine"

        That's the thing about lawyers - you can never tell when they're being ironic.

      2. Philip Lewis
        Headmaster

        Re: "A so called 'online' magazine"

        but not by the beak IIRC

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Re: Re: "A so called 'online' magazine"

          "but not by the beak IIRC"

          Close enough.

          C.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, it's no wonder many editors are dropping out. It's because the casual 'normal' person will inevitably lose an edit war with the kind of mental case who sits at wikipedia all day deleting any changes, especially on particular articles they have some kind of nutty political interest in.

    On one forum I hang out with, quoting from wikipedia is now considered (perhaps a little unfairly) to quoting a straw pole of people in your local pub. In actual fact, it's more akin to listening to the nutty drunks at the bar who shout loudest because those are really what prevails in wikipedia.

    What they really need is some kind of mechanism that prevents some lone nutty zealot from overriding 100 normal people.

    1. David_H
      Thumb Down

      Agree

      I've only tried to correct something once. With citations to peer reviewed sources and reports from government bodies.

      It was deleted within hours. I try not to rely on Lie-pedia for anything.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Agree

        I work in the airline industry, and the "plane spotters" on wiki do an OK job of keeping the details of airlines and their equipment up to date. However, there is a lot of wrong information in there. Since I use wiki for information sometimes, I thought I would contribute with some updates.

        What a waste of f*ing time that was.

        a) arcane is a polite term when describing the process

        b) in this case the "plane spotters" were mostly plain nutters

        Wiki is not a bad point of departure for completely non-controversial data. For anything with a remote political angle, the teams are lined up and they wage war. The "climate change" brigade are a notable example, but I can name several others where it is clear that dubious public figures have staffs employed to "whitewash" their image at an alarming rate. As far as I can tell, there is no effective mechanism in place for stopping this and as such Wiki is highly unreliable in a vast array of areas.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Agree

        Curiously, when I correct something (usually spelling mistakes or vandalism--I won't spend more than a few seconds on it), I leave an insulting comment or rude or nonsensic words in the edit summary. That seems to distract their attention from the actual edit which is then allowed to stand while they bitch and moan about my supposed rudeness.

        (Believe it or not, even spelling mistake corrections are reverted sometimes. Really makes you wonder.)

  18. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
    Pirate

    One of the great side effects of the blackout is I no longer ads..

    Wikipedia implemented the blackout using their banner code. So when I disabled the blackout I also disabled the banners. Bliss.

    So, Opera users, delete the blank lines from the script below and then save it to your user javascript directory. And, suddenly, you'll be able to read the encylopedia anybody can edit, guilt free.

    // ==UserScript==

    // @include http://en.wikipedia.org/*

    // ==/UserScript==

    Object.defineProperty( window, 'insertBanner', { value: function(){}, writable: false, configurable: false, enumerable: true } );

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: One of the great side effects of the blackout is I no longer ads..

      You can just click a "don't bug me" or similar option on the banner. I did a few weeks ago so now I can't see what the exact option is called.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One of the great side effects of the blackout is I no longer ads..

        Some of us browse in porn mode / do not allow cookies.

  19. Chris 3
    Paris Hilton

    I'm shocked, SHOCKED

    Actually, I'm not.

    You say that " awash with cash - and raises far more money each year than it needs to keep operating." but then completely fail to stand that up. Yes, sure if the Foundation did no R&D and didn't try to improve the platform then they would be "awash". As it is - they have healthy reserves, but hardly awash:

    http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/2012-2013_Annual_Plan_Questions_and_Answers#How_did_2011-12_play_out_from_a_financial_perspective.3F

    > The architect of the current, highly aggressive funding drive is Sue Gardner.

    "Highly aggressive? Really? Better than last years' with Wales' fizzog staring at me.

    > Described by one insider as "very savvy politically and excessively diplomatic"

    Ooooh How awful. You should see I, as an "insider" describe some of the people I work with.

    The article makes an awful lot of the fact that Wikipedian editors are unpaid. And then lambasts the organisation for having the temerity for paying photographers to get pictures of politicians and popstars. The amounts do see large, but from the look of it, it would appear that the Foundation is buying some photographic kit and is budgeting for staff to attend 30 festivals. I might not think that's the greatest idea, but I can't say it worries me hugely.

    > Wikimedia Foundation UK, admitted to racking up a bill of £1,335 for business cards, calling it "a failure to make the most effective procurement choices"

    Indeed - it says in the minutes that this was a screw-up and asks for details about how proceeders and polices have changed.

    > Few politicians or media figures now dare criticise Wikipedia.

    Would that be because it is widely regarded as an extraordinarily useful free resource?

    > But the organisation does seem to be presenting an incomplete picture.

    Except that you found all the damming facts in their published minutes and strategic plans.

    In summary: The only thing that gives me qualms here is the spending on photographic equipment and festival attendance. Not my cup of tea or area of interest, but I can see how it might be useful to have updated creative commons pictures of popstars to keep the site useful for da yoof.

    Most of the increased spending seems to be on R&D; the visual editor project is running late, but I'm not that surprised.

    I'll probably donate this year.

    Disclosure: I'm not associated with the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikipedia in any way though my kids and I use it a lot. I have over the years tweaked perhaps 4 or 5 wikipedia articles - which I guess makes me a wikifiddler.

    So when you say: "All this has been met with dismay by the hard-working enthusiasts who do all the hard work of keeping the project afloat - and who still don't get paid." - Ummm, no - not really.

    Paris - because that shot will need updating soon.

    1. Mattjimf

      Re: I'm shocked, SHOCKED

      "> Wikimedia Foundation UK, admitted to racking up a bill of £1,335 for business cards, calling it "a failure to make the most effective procurement choices"

      Indeed - it says in the minutes that this was a screw-up and asks for details about how procedures and polices have changed."

      I keep getting crap from Vistaprint offering free business cards, someone should sign them up to their mailing list.

    2. The Indomitable Gall
      Stop

      Re: I'm shocked, SHOCKED

      Defend them all you want, but I would urge you to reread the appeal that they put on their website before doing so. They did not ask for money to defend internet freedoms. They did not ask for money to get certain photographs that WP contributors hadn't been able to source for free. They asked for money, and they cited only the operating costs of the website: servers, power, rent, programs, staff and legal help. It is not unreasonable for readers to assume that they need this money for the free volunteer encyclopedia bit.

      It is dishonest.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: I'm shocked, SHOCKED

      As an insider, can you explain why your operating costs are scheduled to triple in 4 years? Seems like you might need less money if you weren't planning to needlessly expand your organization.

  20. ContentsMayVary

    Well-known Wikipedia-hater in Wikipedia hating shock!

    Herpdiderp, I guess.

  21. xperroni
    Devil

    "The executive's convictions included (...) unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gunshot"

    Wait, are there circumstances where an executive can lawfully wound someone with a gunshot?

    I knew there was more to this management thing than fiddling with spreadsheets!

    1. handle

      Re: "The executive's convictions included (...) unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gunshot"

      Self Defence? Seems to be in the constitution or summat.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Open source for open pockets

    Oh come on Orlowski,

    Next you'll be telling us that the top brass at the Mozilla Corporation are all paying themselves 6-figure salaries, driving super cars, have second homes on Caribbean islands and will eventually retire from or leave the corporation with a pay-off that makes George Entwistle look like he was shafted... instead of living the life of Trappist monks spending 18 hours a day in front of Vi, coding for food so that one day they can take their rightful place beside Wren, Stephenson, Brunel and Telford, like we all know they do.

    Talking of Brunel, everyone be careful with coins in your Christmas puddings this year.

  23. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Happy

    Income Stream

    It seems these days, as an earlier El Reg article said, "Web 2.0 depends on someone not getting paid."

    But Wikipedia does have its uses - it's occasionally entertaining when someone manages to get a quick edit in before the obituary researchers get chucked out of the pub and have to go to work - and it's useful for settling arguments - the first person to quote Wikipedia loses the argument.

  24. Nifty
    Thumb Up

    Great article, but why didn't I read about it in...

    Wikipedia

  25. riksweeney

    Wikipedia has a lot of problems

    The biggest problem with Wikipedia these days is the collection of admins who will ferociously monitor a page to prevent anyone else from editing it but themselves. Therefore making sure that the information on the page is basically their own opinion.

    1. Edit the page to add some information about a subject

    2. Admin reverts your edit, using one of the myriads of rules Wikipedia has about editing

    3. You revert their revert

    4. They lock the page, preventing you from editing it further

    5. (Optionally) They ban your account if you had one

    And because of this, I will never donate to Wikipedia.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wikipedia has a lot of problems

      One of the biggest problems with wikipedia these days is the idiots who think they know more about a subject than other people who have written on the subject or who wont say where th einfo comes from

      The biggest problem with Wikipedia these days is the collection of admins who will ferociously monitor a page to prevent anyone else from editing it but themselves. Therefore making sure that the information on the page is basically their own opinion. As a result

      1. They edit the page to add some text which they hold to be self-evident truth

      2. Another editor then has to remove the edit, because its badly written English, doesn't make sense, or doesn't comply with the standards for sourcing

      3. They revert their revert, without reading or taking notice of the reason why it wasn't acceptable in the first place. (2 and 3 may repeat a couple of times)

      4. An admin then has to lock the page rather than editors spending any more time on the moron, preventing casual editors who might be able to contribute constructively from editing the page, and therefore putitng off others from helping

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Wikipedia has a lot of problems

        One of the biggest problems with wikipedia these days is the idiots who think they know more about a subject than other people who have written on the subject or who wont say where th einfo comes from

        The biggest problem with Wikipedia these days is the collection of admins who will ferociously monitor a page to prevent anyone else from editing it but themselves. Therefore making sure that the information on the page is basically their own opinion. As a result

        1. They edit the page to add some text which they hold to be self-evident truth

        2. Another editor then has to remove the edit, because it doesn't fit his pedantic, public-school idea of good English ("you and me"?!? Egads!), doesn't make sense, or he just doesn't like it so points out that it doesn't comply exactly to the letter of one of the many woolly standards for sourcing

        3. They revert their revert, rightfully ignoring the spurious reason why the self-important mod claimed it wasn't acceptable in the first place. (2 and 3 may repeat a couple of times)

        4. An admin then locks the page, puffs up his chest in a self-righteous rage and says: "he was wrong".

        {{ref|http://xkcd.com/386/}}

    2. chriswakey

      Re: Wikipedia has a lot of problems

      This is exactly what happened to me.

      I had edited a page of a local radio DJ (at the invite of his co-host who had also edited it) to include the fact that he had previously had a hair transplant (which was true).

      His co-host added a line saying the DJ had won a Sony Radio Award (which was also true)

      Within minutes, both edits had been reverted, and when I asked why, the pompous prick moderator told me something along the lines of "you don't make the edits, we do" and banned my account.

      Fuck Wiki.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wikipedia has a lot of problems

      That's what the discussion page is for - to have a grown up discussion with a view to finding a neutral point of view which captures the main points of interest. Fools who think they have the ultimate truth on a controversial topic generally get the treatment they deserve, while those who have something relevant to contribute tend to do just that if they do it with a view to arriving at a consensus.

      1. The Indomitable Gall

        Re: Wikipedia has a lot of problems

        Grown up discussions usually involve people with a name.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wikipedia has a lot of problems

          And on wikipedia I go by my given name.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wikipedia has a lot of problems

        "That's what the discussion page is for - to have a grown up discussion"

        HARHARHAR!!!!

        See you at the Fringe next year?

  26. dajames Silver badge
    Joke

    Someone should make a film ....

    They could call it

    The Outlaw[citation needed] Jimmy Wales

  27. h3

    RE:

    Jimmy Wales seems pretty reasonable (Not sure how much power he has over it now though).

    That junk about Gibraltar was pretty corrupt.

  28. Lamont Cranston

    Thanks for reminding me that Toby Young is a twat.

    Somedays, I don't think about him at all, so it's good to know that he's just as much of a twerp as he ever was.

    1. Martin

      Re: Thanks for reminding me that Toby Young is a twat.

      Yep - what I got from that article is just more evidence that Twitter is all about self-aggrandisement..

      Loads of people have donated money to charity. And most of them don't boast about doing so, or show off about how much they've donated.

  29. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    I remember there was a similar problem in the 90s with Guide Dogs for the Blind. A perfectly fine charity, but the combination of a good cause, incredibly cute puppies and the lack of blind people who both need/want a dog, and are capable of handling one, meant that they were racking up massive surpluses.

    I seem to recall they had about £300m in the bank, and their annual outgoings were in the low tens of millions. But they just couldn't stop themselves fund-raising, because of all the lovely moolah that kept rolling in. Even though they had 20 odd years of operating budget in reserves (and growing).

    Other visual impairment charities suggested sharing the bounty, but the trustees decided they couldn't spend the money on things other than it was raised for. I wonder how they resolved it?

    1. Mattjimf

      Probably by hiring people who quit three days later, having people who spend more time off sick than actually working, organising meetings to discuss organising meetings, sending people to vocational courses that you can't fail because the tutors actively help you pass and paying for private transport when public transport is available and cheaper.

    2. FartingHippo
      Coat

      "I wonder how they resolved it"

      Their HQ is now in Bermuda, on a large yacht anchored just off the beach.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: "I wonder how they resolved it"

        Bought the world's dog food companies.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Freetards

    That's the thing about most freetards, they certainly don't understand the value of money and seem more than happy to keep the gravy train rolling on donator's hard-earned income. I have no fundamental problem with wikipedia being a professionally run non-profit organisation getting it's income from various sources, including some discreet advertising if necessary, especially as I use adblock anyway, but I recoil when I know that my pounds have been wantonly wasted to some extent. If every pound counts for me, then wikipedia should hold the same respect for my and others' donations.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Charities waste money

    Look at the RSPCA - they spent £300,000 on a prosecution of a fox-botherer!

    Charities pull on the heart strings and plead poverty, yet most of the money doesn't make it into the coal-face, and is wasted on paying for non-jobs and admin waste.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Charities waste money

      The RSPCA lost my donations when they fought a long legal battle to deprive a daughter of a rightful share of her family's farm. Nowadays my donations go to local charities and groups who do not ask me for anything.

    2. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Charities waste money

      The RSPCA spent money in order to prosecute someone over fox hunting? Regardless of your own views on fox hunting, I'd expect the RSPCA to be against it, and so be more surprised if the RSPCA hadn't done that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charities waste money

        Foxes are vermin, just a little down the scale from rats, and carry diseases like rabies. Why should the RSPCA care about them being culled? Just because they look like they might be cuddly? (Hint: don't try it)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Charities waste money

          "Just because they look like they might be cuddly? (Hint: don't try it)"

          Given your dislike of foxes, is one to surmise you did try it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Charities waste money

            > Given your dislike of foxes, is one to surmise you did try it?

            Nope, I'm not that daft! I've seen their teeth.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charities waste money

        "The RSPCA spent money in order to prosecute someone over fox hunting? "

        According to the RSPCA interviewee on the Today programme they had gathered enough evidence for a watertight case. The hunting of foxes is illegal in English Law. However the RSPCA decided not to leave the State to bring the case - but decided to do it themselves.

        The judge was rather outspoken when he pointed out that they had spent a considerable amount of donated money to achieve a conviction with fines totalling only a few thousand pounds.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Charities waste money

          With the exception of some big frauds, the vast majority of criminal prosecutions cost far more than the value of the crime. I don't see where the problem is.

          As for the RSPCA, their cred goes down the toilet with the royal patronage. Might as well have Gary Glitter as patron of the NSPCC.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Charities waste money

          ... here it is the mink farmers they are always on about.

          Minks are, for all intents and purposes nasty, aggressive little creatures as likeable as sewer rats. They do have wonderful fur though. The local "animal rights activists" love to vandalise the fams and release the minks back "into the wild" to live as "nature intended". The minks usually live for about a week before they starve or are eaten by predators, like foxen.

          But don't let condemning the little creatures (dislikable though they are) to a brutal and horrible death as nature intended get in the way of activism!

  32. Mark Major
    Happy

    Love it or hate it

    Wikipedia is still the quickest way to find out about X if you are just casually interested in a topic. Sometimes I'm just curious about something random, but would never spend time finding specialist page(s) or forum(s) and assessing whether the info is any more legitimate than what I can read on Wikipedia within moments.

    Also, it's the quickest start point for serious research on Y. Sometimes you just have no idea what to search for or where to search. Sometimes you don't understand all the aspects and angles. Wikipedia gives a good start.

    Still, the fundraising issue is disturbing (I did donate, years ago). And, as people mention above, the dominating page 'owners' and deletion of minor topics that are not 'notable' is weird too.

    1. John Lilburne

      Re: Love it or hate it

      They need to fix the Richard II was king of England, when Clemens VI was pope, and Philip VI was king of France.

  33. Robin
    Happy

    Google

    Be careful if you're googling Heather Brooke!

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Google

      For fucks sake what an idiotic comment. I'm now stuck at work with the irresistible urge to google Heather Brooke :/

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Google

        Tom,

        Don't think of pink hippos...

  34. localzuk

    Deletion obsession

    Wikipedia can be unlimited in size, yet there are far too many 'prominent' editors are more obsessed with deletion based on their own idea of notability than the inclusion of more information.

    For example, an event that happened in the last decade in at a university in the UK, which involved the university pushing for the prosecution of some of its own students for holding a protest involving a banner, a whistle and some talking was almost removed from that university's article as this person determined it to be non-notable, even though it had been reported in national newspapers, on TV and had been for several months while it went through the courts...

    I used to edit there a lot back in about 2006 but I gave up because of the petty minded bureaucrats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deletion obsession

      sounds more like news rather than true "encyclopaedic" material to me so I'm not surprised there was opposition to its inclusion

      1. pixl97

        Re: Deletion obsession

        Is history not old news? I agree not everything should be put in an article, but to focus on the limitations of a dead tree format when dealing with practically unlimited storage does seem backwards at times.

        1. John Lilburne

          Re: Deletion obsession

          All content has a cost, the number of editors is declining, the number of pages is increasing, they can't maintain that which they already have. More, and more of their articles are rotting away.

          1. ShadowedOne
            Meh

            Re: Deletion obsession

            "the number of editors is declining"

            I wonder why that might be...

            1. localzuk

              Re: Deletion obsession

              Exactly @ShadowedOne - I racked up like 8,000 edits there but basically stopped entirely because of the bureaucracy.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Deletion obsession

            Rotting away - includes dead and vanishing links?

  35. Mike Richards

    Is Toby Young a journalist?

    I thought he was one of the seemingly endless supply of right-wing columnists that newspapers use to fill the gap between stories we all read online yesterday.

  36. despun

    good stuff

    Good stuff from AO, yet again. One of the few in journalism who tell us important things that we did not know.

  37. pixl97

    Maybe now...

    Maybe now they have enough money they can buy more servers so they don't have to delete so many articles.

  38. Uncle Siggy
    Trollface

    Wikipedia has become, heaven forfend, less credible?

    This is a shocking development. Surely they'll become more objective and accurate with all that money.

  39. jke
    Paris Hilton

    A tax fiddle

    I was a volunteer worker for a charity, mostly moving stuff about in my van. I made no charge for this, regarding the running expenses as a donation. Then I found that if I billed the charity for my expenses and made a corresponding donation, the charity would be entitled to claim about 30% extra from the Revenue as gift aid. Volunteers who have legitimate expenses please note.

    Paris because this would be obvious to her and because she has been neglected of late due to El Reg being infatuated with Lindsay Lohan

    John Edwards

  40. Jim Birch
    FAIL

    Hate trip.

    Sorry, you're wrong.

    Any organisation as big as a pie shop has done some dodgy things with money. It would be interesting to see the innards of The Reg laid bare for all, wouldn't it? This doesn't mean that it's above reproach or something, but what about a bit of a reality check here. Name your MORALLY PERFECT INSTITUTION for comparison, pulease. Or your morally perfect person for that matter. I'm waiting...

    Bringing in hackneyed questions about Wikipedia's errors is just a red herring. This has been done to death. Reliability: Good but not as perfect as some people expect. If you want to criticise their funding process why turn your article into a FESTIVAL OF RECREATIONAL OUTRAGE. It works with some people who are addicted to this type of entertainment but really, it's not a good look. Just loading up with a general whatever bitch says more about the author than the subject.

    Wikipedia remains a great information resource for quick general-purpose articles that are typically more accurate than you'd get from an hours googling and reading. If you want to dig deep you'd go elsewhere but it's usually enough. Maybe not 100% complete and accurate on everything, but hey, have you ever looked at the rest the freakin net!? Just in case you haven't, I can reliably inform you it's loaded, past bursting point, with corporate spin, untested beliefs and plain uninformed crap. Maybe we could have truth competition between El Reg and Wikipedia. I know who I'd back. I've seen a lot of opinionated crud and just plain BS in the Reg (along with a fair bit of good stuff.)

    As for donations, it's a great thing that ordinary people contribute both their edits and small amounts of money to maintain, grow and improve it. And to own it. I do, and I don't expect perfection in return. Obviously if you have some kind of religious view that everything should be privately owned by rentseekers then it's obviously bad thing but for the rest of us it's a massive, handy, reliable resource. In this kind of article, The Reg seems to be falling into the conceit of the MSM: "We are the source of knowledge, the punters are clueless."

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Hate trip.

      "We are the source of knowledge, the punters are clueless."

      Hi Jim. I fear you've completely missed the point of the article. It's not about the accuracy of WP this time.

      If The Reg asked readers for donations while making a tidy profit on advertising, then I'd expect some similar sharp poking as well. I can tell you're a fan of WP but I'm afraid that won't stop us being critical of the site.

      Merry Christmas all the same.

      C.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hate trip.

      Oooooo internet forum wars......

      Wikipedia has degenerated in to a shit fest of nazi arseholes, who for the most part are just dumb fucks on power trips....

      Just shit heads of human beings, who rule their own grubby feifdoms, even way past the point of sanity, being plain rude and ignorant and factually incompetent.

      No wonder I hate them and so do lots of other people.....

      I have had a gut full of their bullshit.....

      "Oooo wikipedia?" - "Yesterdays toilet paper darling, yesterdays toilet paper."

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Oh dear... this can only end badly...

    The outlaw Jimmy Josey Wales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlaw_josey_wales) will be after you now!

    Seasons Greetings to El Reg, keep up the good work. You're right up there with Private Eye as required reading.

  42. spannerpog
    Happy

    Am I the only

    Am I the only person in the Register world who a) finds Wikipedia quite useful/interesting; and b) would rather lob them the occasional fiver to avoid having to see adverts?

  43. Kaldari
    FAIL

    A finely crafted smear piece

    I see Andrew still hasn't given up on trolling Wikipedia. Let's look at some of the more ridiculous claims in this article:

    Claim: Wikipedia is now a powerful lobbying organization; Truth: Wikipedia temporarily contracted 1 guy in DC to keep tabs on SOPA as it was going through Congress.

    Claim: Wikipedia is getting millions of dollars from corporate grants and is thus beholden to corporate interests; Truth: None of the grants he cited are from this year and Wikipedia has continually worked towards accepting fewer and fewer grants, especially any with strings attached. Part of that effort is why Wikipedia asks the public for donations.

    Claim: Wikipedia has more money than it knows what to do with; Truth: Wikipedia only collects as much money as they have budgeted for each year. The budget and planning process is completely transparent and widely open to public input (probably more so than any other non-profit on earth).

    Claim: Part of why Wikipedia participated in the SOPA blackout was due to influence from Google; Truth: The opposite is closer to the truth, as I'm sure anyone involved in the blackout knows. The decision to participate in the SOPA actions wasn't even decided by the Wikimedia Foundation, it was decided by the Wikipedia community.

    1. John Lilburne

      Re: A finely crafted smear piece

      Wikipedia articles are supposed to be NPOV yet your SOPA article (Kaldari is a paid employee) is anothing but NPOV. It contains a bunch of statements from SOPA detractors which are untrue, and no statements from SOPA advocates refuting the lies. Additionally the SOPA article quotes extensively from Google shill organisations, and links extensively to blogs and articles that are at best speculative. An example wouldf be this from EFF:

      https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/11/whats-blacklist-three-sites-sopa-could-put-risk

      where non of the sites mentioned are foreign and non of the sites refuse to take action under a proper DMCA request.

  44. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Is that the truth?

    Or did you read it on Wikipedia?

  45. YourLocalGP
    Thumb Down

    The tone of the email has been discussed to death here already. What I would point out is the inappropriate nature of the implication that staff should be paid while Wikipedia editors are not. I would expect that from Mail Online, not from El Reg. The peer-editing model relies on small, gratis contributions from many, with no obligation or financial target. Reg would be the first to complain if wikipedia has paid editors who were seen to be editing with conflicts of interest. What portion of wikipedia editors complain that they should be paid? I expect it is tiny.

  46. gef05
    Thumb Down

    Meh

    THAT'S your list of dodgy spending?

    Looks like little smoke and less fire.

This topic is closed for new posts.

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