Wikipedia Is Finally Asking Big Tech to Pay Up by Noam Cohen in Wired broke the biggest story of the month about Wikimedia Foundation's for-profit subsidiary Wikimedia, LLC and its intended product, Wikimedia Enterprise, more commonly known as Enterprise API. While there are now over 100 news stories on the topic, Cohen is almost the only journalist who directly quotes WMF staffers.
Google and Wikipedia, according to Cohen, have long had an unspoken partnership. Google provides Wikipedia with readers, Wikipedia provides Google with content. The idealists on Wikipedia, according to Cohen, have been providing the content for free to the "rapacious capitalists" at Google and other Big Tech firms. Now the WMF is trying to charge Big Tech for faster access to the content. This more business-like relationship should result in more money to the WMF, and better service to Big Tech. Other users of the data dump of all articles, which can be downloaded every two weeks, and of the recent changes "fire hose", will still be able to use those formats for free. Those companies who need faster access, better service, or customized data feeds will pay for the privilege.
Big Tech's money should stabilize the WMF's cash inflows and allow it to pay for expected expansion in the global south. But there's a problem in getting too much money from Big Tech – the WMF could become dependent on that cash. Wikipedians will be exposed to commercial influences from our new business partners and will need to trust that they don't take advantage of us. Cohen concludes "One can only hope that [the community] finds partners worthy of such faith."
Non-English Editions of Wikipedia Have a Misinformation Problem by Yumiko Sato in Slate The Japanese Wikipedia gets the second most page views after the English Wikipedia, but its coverage of some topics, especially those related to World War II, is lacking according to Sato. The systemic problems are exemplified by the coverage of well-documented human experimentation by Unit 731 during the 1930s and 1940s, which are described as "a theory". The Nanking massacre is described as the Nanking incident. That article contains few period photographs, with none of horrific ones that are displayed on the English Wikipedia.
The Japanese article on comfort women – women held in sexual slavery by the Japanese army – uses the Japanese word for "prostitution". Sato states the "article is not designed to inform the readers but to confuse them and cast a seed of doubt in their minds." She proposes several causes for the systemic problem, including Japanese cultural and linguistic isolation, but stresses the relatively few Japanese administrators, and the strong control they exercise.