Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia offers vast content to the whole world and is a means of support for many users at any given time. Starting out as a non-profit organisation, Wikipedia depends on volunteers to write and edit content with its open editing feature, but it is feared that the site might be giving in to paywall much sooner after a 'humble' request made by the site on Wednesday.
Though there were two different statements, both were requests to users to donate amounts ranging between Rs. 150-5,000 and an 'other' option for unspecified amounts.
The statement, visible to every reader today said: "Hi, reader in India, it seems you use Wikipedia a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but this Wednesday we need your help.
"If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We’re not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging ₹1,000, and fewer than 2% of readers give.
"If you donate just ₹150, the price of a box of tea, Wikipedia could keep thriving for years to come. Thank you."
In the other statement, it points out how 98% of the readers do not donate. "We depend on donations averaging about ₹1,000, but 98% of our readers don’t give," it said.
It also says how people warned them that they will regret making Wikipedia a non-profit organisation. "When we made Wikipedia a non-profit, people warned us we'd regret it," the statement read.
"But if Wikipedia became commercial, it would be a great loss to the world," it added.
"Wikipedia unites all of us who love knowledge: contributors, readers, and the donors who keep us thriving. The heart and soul of Wikipedia is a community of people working to bring you unlimited access to reliable, neutral information.
"Please take a minute to help us keep Wikipedia online and growing. Thank you."
With this statement, it might be the last of the 'free' encyclopedia as it seeks donation from its users.
The site also laid down donation options with suitable amounts and payment methods.
It is possible that Wikipedia will follow other publications who offer paid content to its users, after all there is barely anything free in today's world.
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