"I don't want to facilitate conspiracy theories, but ..."
"[I am] interested in what is the truth behind the truth"

I am sorry, I truly am, but this *is* the language I know from conspiracy theorists. And given that, I cannot imagine that there is anything I can say that could convince you otherwise. Therefore there is no real point for me in engaging with this conversation on these terms, I cannot see how it would turn constructive.

The answers to many of your questions are public and on the record. Others tried to point you to them (thanks), but you dismiss them as not fitting your narrative.

So here's a suggestion, which I think might be much more constructive and forward-looking:

I have been working on a comparison of DBpedia, Wikidata, and Freebase (and since you've read my thesis, you know that's a thing I know a bit about). Simple evaluation, coverage, correctness, nothing dramatically fancy. But I am torn about publishing it, because, d'oh, people may (with good reasons) dismiss it as being biased. And truth be told - the simple fact that I don't know DBpedia as well as I know Wikidata and Freebase might indeed have lead to errors, mistakes, and stuff I missed in the evaluation. But you know what would help?


My suggestion is that I publish my current draft, and then you and me work together on it, publically, in the open, until we reach a state we both consider correct enough for publication.

What do you think?


P.S.: I am travelling the next week, so I may ask for patience

On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 8:11 AM Thad Guidry <> wrote:
Thank you for sharing your opinions, Sebastian.


On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 9:43 AM Sebastian Hellmann <> wrote:

Hi Thad,

On 20.09.19 15:28, Thad Guidry wrote:
With my tech evangelist hat on...

Google's philanthropy is nearly boundless when it comes to the promotion of knowledge.  Why? Because indeed it's in their best interest otherwise no one can prosper without knowledge.  They aggregate knowledge for the benefit of mankind, and then make a profit through advertising ... all while making that knowledge extremely easy to be found for the world.

I am neither pro-Google or anti-Google per se. Maybe skeptical and interested in what is the truth behind the truth. Google is not synonym to philanthropy. Wikimedia is or at least I think they are doing many things right. Google is a platform, so primarily they "aggregate knowledge for their benefit" while creating enough incentives in form of accessibility for users to add the user's knowledge to theirs. It is not about what Google offers, but what it takes in return. 20% of employees time is also an investment in the skill of the employee, a Google asset called Human Capital and also leads to me and Denny from Google discussing whether is content marketing or knowledge (@Denny: no offense, legit arguments, but no agenda to resolve the stalled discussion there). Except I don't have 20% time to straighten the view into what I believe would be neutral, so pushing it becomes a resource issue.

I found the other replies much more realistic and the perspective is yet unclear. Maybe Mozilla wasn't so much frenemy with Google and got removed from the browser market for it. I am also thinking about Linked Open Data. Decentralisation is quite weak, individually. I guess spreading all the Wikibases around to super-nodes is helpful unless it prevents the formation of a stronger lobby of philanthropists or competition to BigTech. Wikidata created some pressure on DBpedia as well (also opportunities), but we are fine since we can simply innovate. Others might not withstand. Microsoft seems to favor OpenStreetMaps so I am just asking to which degree Open Source and Open Data is being instrumentalised by BigTech.

Hence my question, whether it is compromise or be removed. (Note that states are also platforms, which measure value in GDP and make laws and roads and take VAT on transactions. Sometimes, they even don't remove opposition.)

All the best,
Sebastian Hellmann

Director of Knowledge Integration and Linked Data Technologies (KILT) Competence Center
at the Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI) at Leipzig University
Executive Director of the DBpedia Association
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