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Facebook donates $1 million to Wikipedia

Facebook has donated $1 million to the Wikipedia Endowment, which backs the online encyclopedia Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said he hopes this donation indicates a “long-term collaboration to support Wikipedia’s future.”

The Wikimedia Endowment was founded in 2016, with the aim of raising money to keep Wikipedia and an independent platform, and to financially back other Wikimedia projects. Its initial goal was to raise $100 million, and so far, it has raised $50 million. The Endowment currently backs Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wikitionary, and MediaWiki, apart from Wikipedia.

It lists Arcadia as its largest donor for above $5 million. Among other donors are Amazon, Jim Pacha, George Soros, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

  • Note that Amazon banks on Wikipedia’s database to provide information and answer questions on its speakers powered by Alexa.
  • Recently, Facebook began a feature which uses Wikipedia’s database to give more information on where an article on their News Feed came from.

Earlier this year, Katherine Maher, Wikimedia executive director, stated that although Wikipedia content is free for everyone to use, companies who use it for their own services could help sustain it. “Wikipedia’s content [is] freely licensed for reuse by anyone, and that’s part of our mission: that every single person can share in free knowledge,” she wrote. “At the same time, we encourage companies who use Wikimedia’s content to give back in the spirit of sustainability.”

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