On most websites, you will come across numerous ads trying to grab your attention. But when you come to Wikipedia, there’s not even a single ad on any of the pages. Ever wondered why this is so? Wikipedia can earn millions every month just by running ads on its webpages. As is common knowledge, Wikipedia is one of the most frequented websites in the world with millions of visitors each day. So why is Wikipedia not making money from ads? Well, there are several reasons for this, as described below.
Donors may stop donating – Wikipedia’s primary source of income is the donor community, which number more than a million. If Wiki starts running ads, many donors will stop donating money to Wiki. This can create major financial issues for the organization.
Contributors may leave – Wikipedia’s strength is in its thousands of contributors who work hard (without any pay) to keep the content unbiased and updated. Most contributors have opposed the idea of running ads, saying that ads are likely to dilute the reliability of content posted on Wiki. If Wiki starts running ads, many contributors may leave the Wiki platform.
Issues with neutrality of content – Wiki is known for its fact-based content, which is why it is preferred by readers. If ads start appearing on Wiki pages, it might adversely impact the neutrality of content.
Inappropriate ads – Wiki is accessed by people of varied ethnicity, gender, class and religion from across the globe. With little control over ad content, it might end up hurting the sentiments of people. Groups and communities getting offended by online ads is quite common and it can happen on Wiki also.
Existing model is working fine – Wikipedia’s current donation model is working fine. It’s quite a lean revenue model, but it works in most parts. As such, there is no urgency to switch to a new business model.
Annoying – Many readers prefer Wiki, as it provides reliable information without troubling you with ads. If Wiki also starts running ads, it might come across as annoying for many users.
As of now, Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that runs Wikipedia is following a no-ads policy. However, things could change in the future, as support for running ads on Wiki is growing. Ad supporters say that Wiki can expand operations and provide a better experience to its readers and other stakeholders by using the money earned through ads. However, it is not certain if this line of thought will be accepted by the founders of Wikipedia. As things stand now, supporters against ads outnumber the supporters for ads on Wiki. So, you are unlikely to see ads on Wiki anytime soon.