[Foundation-l] A modest proposal: ads on wikipedia.com

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Mon Apr 23 01:39:59 UTC 2007

Anthony wrote:
> On 4/22/07, Florence Devouard <Anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Two comments
>> The first is that in my opinion, refusing ads is not simply an ethical
>> position. My problem with ads is that when they are "google ads" type,
>> they decreases if not negate the neutrality of an article. An example I
>> always use is the article on tires. If we put an ads of Michelin on the
>> tire article, then we can not claim it is neutral anymore (Michelin is
>> from my city).
>> Whether it is on a .org or a .com will not change that.
>> I might at best consider ads on the search pages, though not happily.
>> But ads on the articles themselves is really something I am not supporting.
> If this is done, the .com site should be run independently.  A
> separate corporation, with a separate board, a separate set of books,
> a separate staff, etc.  The .com site would have no more power than
> Answers.com to affect content.

Some sort of separation would almost certainly be legally necessary 
anyway, because selling ads is a commercial activity not really related 
to the charitable purpose of the Foundation, and so if any significant 
amount of money came from it it'd be problematic.  A for-profit and 
tax-paying but wholly owned subsidiary could be set up to handle that, 
much like the Mozilla Foundation, a charity, owns the Mozilla 
Corporation, a for-profit company.

That's separate from whether it's a good idea, though.  I would side 
against it.


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