Wikipedia became the world's most popular reference resource. In fact, I consulted her to get some data for this article. However, su fairness has been called into question in recent years. Many of us thought that the problem was that when working with volunteers, those who were more motivated imposed their views. ButAccording to Andrew Orlowski, columnist for the Daily Telegraph, there could be something more.
Let's start by defining the word "woke" Originally it alluded to the open attitude towards the needs of minorities and the privileged condition of whites. In fact, the first Google results only show you this definition and, although Wikipedia admits that the word is also used in a negative context, it links its use to racists, conservatives and republicans.
Let us then turn to the Urban dictionary.
Illusory or false consciousness.
The act of being overly pretentious about how much you care about a social issue
The Telegraph vs. Wikipedia
With the signature by Andrew Orowsky, The British newspaper begins by denying the image of the project that needs the urgent help of user contributions to make ends meet. Let's say, making a comparison with Linux distributions, which is closer to being Red Hat than Debian
Wikipedia's operations, according to data collected by the article, require $ 10 million. And, it could be done without them since any academic center could give you the computing resources you need. The current fundraising campaign raised 142 million.
In the words of Michael Olenick, a researcher at the INSEAD business school, who is investigating the Foundation:
People take it for granted that it is a sweet little charity that does nothing wrong and is totally harmless, but none of that is true, ”says Michael Olenick, a researcher at the INSEAD business school who has studied the operation.
It must be taken into account that the different versions of Wikipedia receive more visits than any website of any media in the world (23 billion clicks per month). It is also the first place where Siri and Alexa look for the answers to the questions of their users and, their articles achieve the first results in some search engines.
When we talk about Wikipedia we talk about two things; the wikipedia.org website and a charity called Wikimedia.org which is in charge of collecting and managing the funds.
The first person in charge of managing the funds had an impressive resume. When Carolyn Bothwell Doran was hired as director of operations, she had a criminal record and was on probation for a hit and run for driving under the influence.
His history also included convictions for bad check writing, robbery, theft, other offenses for driving under the influence and injuring her boyfriend with a gunshot to the chest
What is the foundation doing with so much money? Paying collaborators surely not. But, It has 450 employees not counting one outside contractors that include law firms and lobbyists.
One such contractor is Craig Minassian, a public relations expert closely linked to the Clintons. The writing of the article is a bit confusing at this point and it is unclear whether Minassian had anything to do with it or not. The truth is the surplus funds left over by the Wikimedia Foundation go (according to the Telegraph) to a so-called Tides Foundation. This entity allows donors to support leftist causes anonymouslyCritics believe the Democratic Party is using it to dispose of undeclared funds.
Why should we care?
Let's suppose that what the newspaper says is true (I'm not saying that it isn't, I'm saying that I don't know) We could ask ourselves how important is what a private foundation does with its money. Does it not render a useful service?
Among those who think Wikipedia is politically biased is Larry Sanger, founder of the project with Jimmy Wales, Sanger gives as an example the comparison between the entry on Obama and that of Trump. Others point out that the political and economic points of view of the articles coincide with those of the big technology companies. It is difficult to find any criticism of them.
Richard Stallman had proposed an encyclopedia under the principles of GNU, but, since Wikipedia gained more momentum from the GNU project, they ended up recommending their collaborators to join the new project.to, then known as Nupedia. In light of the results we should ask ourselves if it was a good idea.
I am reproducing this article with all the reservations of the case. What a traditional media says about a new competitor must be taken with a grain of salt. But, The truth is that Wikipedia today is a virtual monopoly and, any independent observer (at least of its Argentine version) knows that there is a bias.
At the very least, the Wikimedia Foundation should respond by opening its books to the community, and proposing a better content curation plan. While it does, in Linux Addicts we already proposed some alternatives.