Readers Debate Whether Wikipedia Should Be Free or Not

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales posted another call for donations to the "Free Encyclopedia," inspiring readers to debate paying for using the site.

"Why is Wikipedia ad-free? Because ads have no place on an educational resource that strives for balance and neutrality," the site said in a tweet on Saturday. "Help us maintain our independence by making a small contribution today."

Wikipedia is run by the Wikipedia Foundation, a nonprofit that does not pay the writers and editors who are free to edit and police themselves.

According to data from Statista, the company raised over $80 million in the past fiscal year. That's a major jump from the $2 million raised in 2007.

Despite raising that much, it costs money to host a site that has over 300,000 active users and is available in 299 languages. The English version of Wikipedia alone has over 5.5 million content pages and 43.7 million total pages.

Should readers have to pay for using Wikipedia? While many Twitter users admitted to using the site to look up information, it doesn't look like they want to pay for it.

At least one person thought donating $3 to Wikipedia is a good deal.

Other said they don't mind contributing to Wikipedia since it's helpful.


Another reader said she doesn't think the site is educational at all since anyone can edit it.

Photo credit: Wikipedia