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Giving knowledge as a fundamental human right

Words by Smiley Team

Thirty years ago, the sheer scope of the information we have access to would seem impossible, and yet today anyone can pull out their phone and learn just about anything from bronze age-fighting techniques to obscure events in music history. 

Behind that information are the organizations that sort through it all, making it their mission to provide it freely to as many people as possible. One of the best known is the Wikimedia Foundation – known for the highly popular Wikipedia. 

Much to the chagrin of grade school teachers everywhere, Wikipedia has become one of the primary sources of information everywhere just based on its sheer scale – over 56 million pages and counting – and accessibility, since its free, and the data can even be downloaded to remain accessible to people that lose internet access. 

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“We believe knowledge is a fundamental human right," a Wikimedia spokesperson tells Smiley News. 

"The Foundation conducts research and advocates for policies that safeguard internet freedoms, protect free expression, and advance technology for good, partnering with other organizations across the world to defend the open web.

"This allows us to not only make it easier for users to read, edit, and share information on Wikimedia sites, but also protect the values and policies that allow free knowledge to thrive online.”

Turning truth into power

The goal of the organization is to turn truth into power in a way that empowers individuals with knowledge that might otherwise be inaccessible. As a result, they maintain a completely free model and even shy away from advertising to maintain independence. 

“Wikipedia is the world’s only major website run by a nonprofit organization and is not a commercial website driven by profit or advertising incentives,” they say.

“We are instead supported by donations from generous readers, which strengthens Wikipedia’s long-term independence from ads and corporate interests, keeps it secure and safe from bad actors, and protects it from interference and censorship.

“Our mission is to allow everyone, everywhere to freely access and share in the sum of all knowledge.”

Inspired to Act?

DONATE: Since the Wikimedia Foundation completely runs on donations consider donating to help keep the information free and accessible. 

SUPPORT: Dig through Wikipedia and find something you find weird or interesting. Share it with someone or on social media. Help someone else become enthusiastic about knowledge.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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