Round Earth Media

Internet Good Cop

April 6, 2018

Who’s the good cop of the Internet?

It may be Wikipedia, the non profit online encyclopedia.

Conspiracy videos posted on YouTube have come under increasing attack.  Last month the company CEO announced that Wikipedia content on conspiracy theories will be posted beside videos on those subjects. You may have also noticed that, in an effort to verify news sources, Facebook is now including descriptions of those sources taken from — you guessed it — Wikipedia.

But wait a minute!

“That Google, a company with a market capitalization of three-quarters of a trillion dollars, is enlisting a volunteer-created nonprofit organization as a bulwark for truth on its wildly popular video-sharing service is yet more evidence of how the Internet has become a hostage to the priorities of profit-obsessed, hyper-individualistic Silicon Valley companies,” wrote Noam Cohen in the Washington Post.

“In the past 15 years,” adds Cohen, “Wikipedia has built a system of collaboration and governance that, although hardly perfect, has been robust enough to endure these polarized times.”

Now that’s impressive.  And it’s funded “primarily through donations from millions of individuals around the world. The average donation is about US$15,” says Wikipedia.

This tweet by Phoebe Ayers, an MIT librarian and a longtime Wikipedia editor kinda sums it up:

Are you a Wikipedia fan?  Disgusted with the social media giants?  Or planning to stay connected?  And why?

I’d love to hear from you.

With warmest regards,

To read Cohen’s entire article click on the image at the top.

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