The Wikimedia Transparency Report

Our friends at Wikimedia, the good people who make that encyclopedia that helped you write all those papers in college, have rules about how they work. They’re good rules. They don’t work in secret. They don’t abide by back room shenanigans. They don’t hand your names over to the government. (Which is doubly important since a lot of their editors work in countries that arrest you for doing things they don’t like.) And they want all of this work to be transparent. No secrets.

One of the book spreads. Lovely photo from Wikimedia Commons

So twice a year they put out a transparency report. Tells you about every time a government tried to strong-arm them. And it tells you how many times they complied. Guess what? That number is really really really low. Certainly lower than Facebook, or Google.

Wikimedia wants you to know what they’re doing. Because they work for you. And they’re a rare breed. They’re honest.

Pull out with lots of data. Good stuff.

And that little joke I made about using Wikipedia to write your college papers? Sure there’s some of that. And if you live in the US that’s probably how you’re used to thinking about Wikipedia. And that’s ok. But know this too: Wikimedia does a ton of work across the globe that you don’t even know about. And there are places in the world where someone putting their story into Wikipedia is the difference between that story being told and that story disappearing forever from human history.

That whole thing about the winners being the one who writes history? Not while Wikimedia is around. They’re fighting to make sure everyone gets to tell their truth.

Back of report, with flap for data insert. Clever.

Oh, a couple of things about the book: The cover is printed with scratch off ink. We took Wikimedia’s mission statement: “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.” and covered up everything except “Image a world free of knowledge.” Because these are dark days. If you do the work you can expose their mission. Pretty clever right? Because it takes coin to do it. Donate to Wikimedia!

We also made the data section an insert in the back so they don’t have to reprint the book twice a year, just the data. Again, saving some of that coin to go where it’s needed most.

And wow, it felt good to touch paper again.

Originally published at