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Wikipedia is one of the most highly trafficked sites in the world and one of the top websites for finding information online. It really is the online encyclopedia for almost everyone. It’s free and funded by donations, but Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that runs this site, wants to change that.
According to Wired, the Wikimedia Foundation wants to raise additional money by charging tech companies for publishing their content. To accomplish this financial gain, Wikimedia Foundation would spin-off Wikimedia Enterprise to create a new division under the Wikimedia brand.
Wikimedia Enterprise would offer a commercial product that would customize Wikimedia’s content for paying customers like Apple. For example, Wikipedia could work hand in hand with Siri, Apple’s digital assistant.
When a user asks Siri a question, the Wikipedia service would then mine their archives and pull out the appropriate answer for the user.
Wikimedia currently operates with a $100 million budget that is funded primarily by donations from its users. This move to charge for its services has been a long time coming.
As far back as 2018, the company has expressed displeasure that big tech companies were benefiting from Wikipedia and not contributing any money to keep it afloat.
Wikimedia doesn’t plan on changing its service for users. It will still be free for people to read and will rely on volunteers to curate its content. Wikimedia allegedly already is talking to big tech companies about this monetization plan.