Recently, the Wikimedia Foundation began a fundraising campaign on Wikipedia in India, inviting anyone who relies on Wikipedia to support its future. Banners are appearing on the English Wikipedia in India, asking readers to consider contributing with a donation. The banners have generated a lot of conversation online. Last night, the Foundation published a blog to address some of the comments and questions raised by Indian users about why Wikipedia is running the campaign and how donations are used on the content platform. Some of the key highlights are as below:
- Wikipedia is a not-for-profit volunteer-led platform. It is powered by more than 250,000 global volunteers every month; and spans more than 50 million articles across nearly 300 languages. Readers in India visit Wikipedia more than 750 million times each month, the fifth highest number of views from any country. Indian Wikipedia editors are integral and valued contributors to the encyclopaedia, which is available in 23 of the languages spoken across India.
- To meet the needs of readers in India and around the world, the Foundation operates an international technology infrastructure comparable to the world’s largest commercial websites. This includes hosting costs like keeping our servers running, as well as significant, ongoing engineering work to make sure Wikipedia is reliable, secure, loads quickly, and protects your privacy. In order to sustain, Wikipedia also requires dedicated support for volunteers, and policy efforts that protect users and keep knowledge free.
- In India, the Wikimedia Foundation has provided more than 2 million USD in funding to free knowledge since 2010, through grants to individuals, groups, and organizations, across 10 language communities. Support has helped Indian volunteers preserve and digitize historical sources, introduce them to new skills, and promote knowledge equity.
- Such funding supports the addition of new knowledge to Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia project sites through edit-a-thons, events, and initiatives that work to fill knowledge gaps and increase diversity on our sites.
- Donations are key to reinforce volunteer efforts in ensuring information on Wikipedia is neutral, accurate, and well-sourced, working with volunteer contributors to build tools that protect against vandalism and help identify unsourced information.
- The Foundation’s policy and legal efforts help ensure that everyone has the right to access, share, and create knowledge, while defending our volunteers from threat of reprisal, and upholding our commitment to free expression and open knowledge. We advocate for free licenses and open source software and work to make sure that copyright laws are built and reformed so that people can share and use knowledge more broadly. We also fight against censorship and protect the right of everyone to speak and learn freely.