The massive online encyclopedia depends on donations from users, and is compiled through the dedicated work of unpaid contributors, editors and volunteers.
Over at the Writing Prompts section of Reddit, one writer imagined a grim future where corporate sponsorship supported the amazing resource.
Here’s an excerpt from Zach Diamond’s darkly comedic essay:
“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.”
Seven months ago, Diamond joined scores of writers responding to this writing prompt at Reddit:
“Wikipedia is shut down and all copies deleted for lack of funds and loss of net neutrality. This is the founder’s ‘I warned you, jerks’ notification.”
How would corporate ownership change your favorite Wikipedia entry? Let’s hope we never have to answer these hypothetical questions in real life.