I opened a browser I’m not logged in on to see what these ads were.
Here is the text, unedited, of the second ad I was shown (after closing the first):
“Hi reader 🙂. Sorry for the interruption, but this Saturday Wikipedia really needs your help. This is the 3rd appeal we've shown you. 98% of our readers don't give; they look the other way 😢. All we ask is $2.75 and then you can get back to your article. We ask you, humbly: please don't scroll away 🙏🙏.“
It would be quite helpful if the WMF’s marketing and fundraising-focused teams weren’t so intent on destroying Wikipedia’s reputation. I, and I’m sure most editors, don’t care that praying and crying emojis illicit more money. There are social and reputation costs to portraying Wikipedia like a crying, praying beggar about to go broke. And though I understand the employees responsible for pushing this nonsense in front of every reader evidently do not care about the costs of their actions, and only whatever money they can get from it, it remains wholly unacceptable.
Tell me: why should I volunteer to work on a project whose owners, regardless of the incredibly large quantities of money they already have, seek frequently to illicit donations through methods that damage Wikipedia’s reputation? Why would I give hours of my time a week to make Wikimedia projects clear of vandalism and abuse, seeking to give readers the impression of a functional and reliable source of information, knowing that some marketing person could undo all of the volunteers’ work through some ad campaign?
And yes, I also understand that volunteers complain every time this happens. There’s very good reason to do so, as every time these campaigns go out they are worse than the last, wholly ignorant of community wishes, and taking no views into account other than those who reflect purely a goal of getting more donations.
Let's try kicking this perennial thead again.
This morning (5 Dec 2020) I paused cooling my porridge when looking up
how Wikipedia describes 'Latinx' usage on my cellular, I was faced
with a *2 page* advert.
* The advert meant nothing of the article could be seen, not even the
title, without having to pass the two pages of several big blue
* There's some statements in those notices that, frankly, look
unencyclopaedic like "People told us we'd regret making Wikipedia a
non-profit". That's a literally untrue Trumpian political sentence if
ever I saw one.
* The 2 pages close with "We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away"
followed by a single option of a "MAYBE LATER" link (not a 'go away
forever please' link, and yes, it's really in shouty all caps).
I might have passed on thinking, gah, not again, but there is a
further sting in this tale. After working out that there was a "No
thanks" link back at the start in a font smaller than all the notice
text, you are faced with a second big red fundraising notice. This one
has a sad weeping emoji in it, because you are going to "look the
other way". I guess the idea is to make it feel like you are
heartlessly walking past a beggar on the street without having the
humanity to look at them, not sure how else this is supposed to read.
It closes with the same "humbly" sentence, but this time with two
emojis that are begging or praying hands. Personally I find being
prayed at slightly offensive, Wikipedia being a haven of logical
thought, not a church, but that's probably me being too black hat.
Isn't it about time the $100,000,000+ a year WMF made a design choice
to stay classy and avoid multiple full page banners begging the public
for money like it was about to go bust? It looks desperate because
there's no other honest way to describe it.
Stay safe, wear a mask,
On Tue, 5 May 2020 at 12:58, WereSpielChequers
> Given the large reserves that the WMF carries, and the savings from
> cancelling events such as Wikimania 2020, I would have thought that the WMF
> was one organisation that could afford to pause its fundraising for a few
> months. At least in countries where the economy is in freefall.
> In a few months time lots of people will still be in a financial mess. But
> the large number of people who are currently going to be worried about
> their financial future will hopefully be divided into those who have kept
> their jobs. or got new ones and those who were right to be worried.
> Hopefully some of those who come through this financially OK will be in a
> position to donate.
> On Tue, 5 May 2020 at 11:25, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > Send Wikimedia-l mailing list submissions to
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> > than "Re: Contents of Wikimedia-l digest..."
> > Today's Topics:
> > 1. Annoying ads (John Erling Blad)
> > 2. Re: Annoying ads (Benjamin Ikuta)
> > 3. Re: Annoying ads (Robert Fernandez)
> > 4. Re: Annoying ads (Pierre-Yves Beaudouin)
> > 5. Re: Annoying ads (Nick Wilson (Quiddity))
> > 6. Re: Annoying ads (Samuel Klein)
> > 7. Re: Annoying ads (Paulo Santos Perneta)
> > 8. Re: Annoying ads (Paulo Santos Perneta)
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Mon, 4 May 2020 16:55:50 +0200
> > From: John Erling Blad <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > To: Wikimedia Mailing List <email@example.com>
> > Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Annoying ads
> > Message-ID:
> > <CAJcMX2=
> > 5GgwUNkrfG6EjJsn6sB1rBF1H_FnyPhPd_Wjr5otu0A@mail.gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> > Often I surf Wikipedia without being logged in, and so I did right now. I
> > got the usual banners, but this time they popped up repeatedly in several
> > locations. This quickly gets extremely annoying, and I find it unwise.
> > Create one banner, and stick with that. Several banners are simply way over
> > the top.
> > /jeblad
> > ------------------------------
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