If you’ve ever used the Internet and searched something up online, chances are you found Wikipedia results. The free encyclopedia is at the top of major search engines and is often included in results featured on the right side of Google’s search results. Unlike many other websites, Wikipedia does not use advertising but instead relies upon donations from those who frequently use the site.
Now, a new video from Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia is causing a reaction from Internet users who are feeling guilty for not donating to the site. Hilarious memes are ensuing and there is now a new discussion as to whether people are paying their fair share to the site or simply gleaning its resources for free.
The brief ad brings you to the Donate Wikipedia site where Jimmy Wales asks the question, “Why don’t ads belong on Wikipedia?”
Once on the donate page, Wales explains the vision and purpose of Wikipedia and why they rely upon user’s donations to fund the site and keep it online.
The result has been effective as people are now expressing guilt, shame, and remorse for not donating.
Why is Wikipedia ad-free? Because ads have no place on an educational resource that strives for balance and neutrality. Help us maintain our independence by making a small contribution today: https://t.co/5cnolVHmuX #ILoveWikipedia pic.twitter.com/38l4oa1Rjx
— Wikipedia (@Wikipedia) December 10, 2017
Here are some examples from Twitter of people who feel guilty for not donating.
Every night I lay in bed, tossing and turning out of utter guilt, that I could not bring myself to donate one dollar to Wikipedia that day
— ㅤ (@zahleesi) December 7, 2017
It isn’t just people in the United States feeling guilty about their use of Wikipedia. Tweets are coming in from the UK where they also feel remorseful for not donating their precious pounds.
Why do I lowkey feel guilty for not giving wikipedia £2 tho??
— Ash (@AshST17) December 8, 2017
Other people are donating out of guilt then saying they have no clear idea of why they donated. Is it possible that Wales has tapped into some hidden marketing technique that’s activating people’s psyche and making them contribute?
how did @Wikipedia just guilt me into donating to them what's happening to me
— Yarden Cohen (@Yardycohen) December 7, 2017
Some of the Gifs and Memes popping up show people with humorous or stunned expressions as they say Wikipedia is trying to “guilt” or “shame” them into contributing.
Even though the funny pictures are surfacing online, it appears to be working as more people are donating.
My face when Wikipedia tries to guilt me into a donation pic.twitter.com/0B2vWRYNyi
— Chunky Brewster (@Cocoa_Ono) December 2, 2017
Today's hangover induced guilt is so sprawling and awful I've tried to buy my way out by donating £5 to Wikipedia. Guess that's how they get you.
— HEY ROSÈ (@rosiemparry) December 8, 2017
What do you think of the donation page and ad for Wikipedia? Have you ever donated, and if not have you felt guilty about it?
Did Wikipedia “get” you too?