Jimmy Wales Addresses Wikipedia’s Recent Shutdown

Zach Diamond Wikipedia

“So long and thanks for all the citations.”

Dear Wikipedia Readers: We’ll get right to it. We’ve never asked for much, maybe a few dollars here and there—to be honest, we’ve averaged maybe $15 in donations. That’s it. Did you know that 99% of other charities average $15,000 per day? Probably not, because we made that statistic up. Do you know why we made it up? We’re pretty sure you know why we made that up.

We want to make it abundantly clear that we at Wikipedia tried our best to keep our website a non-profit. For over a decade, we’ve run and maintained the largest free encyclopedia in existence, never once portraying so much as a single advertisement on any of our millions of pages. Do you remember the days of Encyclopedia Britannica, where you’d need to hire several burly, Swedish bodybuilders to lug half the compilation to your Psychology 101 class, just so that you could understand who the hell Sigmund Freud was? Probably not, because that was almost a hundred years ago. Is that date completely and utterly made up? Absolutely, but you know why. However, if for some reason you haven’t caught on yet, keep reading.

Here at Wikipedia, we, the editors, made our requests simple and clear: we just needed $3 from some of our visitors once every few years. That’s it. Three dollars. With that, we could’ve kept running for decades. Yet a total of fourteen of you donated this year, giving us a result of $74.32 raised (and to the jerk who sent 32 cents, thanks for costing us money to receive your donation). Do you know how much you spend on Starbucks every week? $27. You spend twenty-seven dollars on Starbucks. Every. Single. Week. Is that statistic made up? Yes. Do you know why it’s made up? We’re positive you do.

As many of you are aware, Net Neutrality was struck down this year, resulting in heavily increased costs for Wikipedia to maintain its servers and remain equally accessible to all Internet Service Providers. As such, we at Wikipedia were met with a difficult choice: either we could put a few banner advertisements on the website, which would net us millions—if not billions—of dollars, but sacrifice our integrity and the reliability of our content; or we could depend on you, our trusted, loyal visitors, to donate less than a tenth of your weekly paycheck. As we had such blind faith in our beloved users, we decided to decline all advertisement offers and move forward with our previous plan of funding: donations. After all, we’ve always survived on the measly funds gained by you, our greedy, selfish users.

In order to continue functioning as a company, we at Wikipedia, a non-profit library of endless information, needed to raise a total of $3,000,000. We raised $74.32. Seventy-four thirty-two. The average 14 year old child makes twice that in a single day of basketball. Is that fact actually a completely made up statement? It absolutely, positively is. Yet here’s the issue: due to the fact that none of you donated more than what a hypothetical, athletic child earns, Wikipedia has officially closed its doors as a non-profit as of December 10th, 2014. You can no longer trust statistics that were once reliably provided by us through our pages. That’s right, we’re done, out, closed. It’s over.

“But Wikipedia, I’m on your site right now. I’m reading this notice on your website this very moment.” Great observation, Captain. You are a very astute learner. You are most certainly on Wikipedia right now. Yet you might notice something a bit strange about it. For example, have you taken note of the fact that every single page now incorporates references to Comcast and their excellent products, and those that don’t simply redirect to Comcast’s Wikipedia page (heavily edited by their glorious lawyers)? Why don’t you go ahead and search the word “Cats.” Do it, we’ll wait.

Have you searched it yet? Great. Did you know that the average feline prefers Comcast’s XFINITY® to Verizon? Of course they do, it’s just a better product all around—Wikipedia clearly explains that. How about the fact that the most common cat in the United States is the XFINITY Triple Play™? “That doesn’t make any sense” you say? Well, according to Wikipedia-Comcast® it most certainly does.

We here at Wikipedia-Comcast® are proud to announce our long-awaited merger with Comcast, allowing us to become a publicly traded company and fully incorporate their great line of products and services into any and all encyclopedia entries. Reading a great excerpt on Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy Romeo and Juliet? You may just be lucky enough to find a fantastic coupon to save 10% on your already low monthly Comcast bill. Checking out the results from the 1972 World Series? Whoa—a free month of HBO on Comcast’s renowned television services! Of course, this also means that all Wikipedia pages are no longer editable. Our lawyers also want us to mention that all Wikipedia pages have been stripped of citations that have not approved by Comcast and that all entries should no longer be taken as fact, although they certainly will be chock-full of money saving offers from Comcast.

Wikipedia-Comcast® would like to thank you for the decades of experiences you, our loyal, devoted fans, have granted us. For more than half of our average user’s life, we have stood by you, supported you through your education, allowed you to plagiarize your way through college and beyond. We are eternally grateful for the opportunity to have assisted you, and would like to conclude our farewell on a very simple, basic note. For a limited time, sign up for Comcast’s XFINITY Triple Play™ using the code “Wikipedia” to automatically be updated to the “HD Preferred” package, a $199/month value for just $189/month.

5 responses to “Jimmy Wales Addresses Wikipedia’s Recent Shutdown

  1. Great writing- you slipped into character quite well. I’d like to read would the Wikipedia entries on your usual characters- where they grew up, relationships, legal troubles etc : )


  2. Pingback: Wikipedia, Donations, and the Democratic Web - Jack Koppa·

  3. Pingback: True Pictures | Wikipedia Dystopia·

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