Statement from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding Facebook’s Wikipedia integration
(San Francisco, California) 3 April 2018 — We are always happy to see people, companies, and organizations recognize Wikipedia’s value as a repository of free knowledge. In this case, the Wikimedia Foundation first learned of the integration of Wikipedia content into Facebook’s Article Context feature ahead of its initial beta launch in October 2017. This new feature did not come from a partnership between Facebook and the Wikimedia Foundation, though we were in contact with Facebook’s product and engineering teams ahead of this week’s launch.
Over the years, Wikipedia has grown from a small, volunteer-led project into one of the world’s most popular and beloved websites, thanks to the contributions of millions of volunteers. Today it is the only non-profit among the top 10 websites in the world. Wikipedia’s content, and the content of other Wikimedia projects, is freely licensed for reuse by anyone, and that’s part of our mission: that every single person can share in free knowledge. We want people all over the world to use, share, add to, and remix Wikipedia. This has allowed our content to be widely used across semantic, search, and linked platforms, from Siri and Alexa to Google’s knowledge panel to Quora. Platforms like Facebook, and recently YouTube, have incorporated content from Wikipedia to combat the larger issue of the spread of fake news and misinformation.
All this is possible because of the six million people who donate to keep Wikipedia running, the hundreds of thousands of volunteer contributors, and countless others who support our work. At the same time, we encourage companies who use Wikipedia’s content to give back in the spirit of sustainability. In doing so, they would join the millions of individuals who chip in to keep Wikipedia strong and thriving.
Wikipedia has evolved to become more than just the articles that millions of people access every day — it serves knowledge needs beyond our own sites. We’re only able to do this because of the dedication and of our volunteer community who understand that building a global commons takes time and hard work.
Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from around the globe since it was created in 2001: anyone can edit it, at any time. Wikipedia is offered in hundreds of languages containing more than 45 million articles. Wikimedia and its sister projects are collectively visited by more than a billion unique devices each month.
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and operates Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects. Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource, spanning more than 45 million articles across nearly 300 languages. Every month, more than 200,000 people edit Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, collectively creating and improving knowledge that is accessed by more than 1 billion unique devices every month. This all makes Wikipedia one of the most popular web properties in the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
Wikimedia Foundation press contact
Samantha Lien - Communications Manager