I would like to wish Wikipedia happy birthday, but wonder what the Hell this photo has to do with free, curated, online information? The pic appears in a blog post self-celebrating the site’s 15th year of operation. What do I miss here? Is the encyclopedia into printing books for distribution to schoolkids? Perhaps use is backhanded commentary, suggesting these tykes would be smarter if only they had access to “free knowledge”.

Maybe the pic is subliminal, instead, and the purest form of propaganda fundraising. To celebrate the birthday, Wikipedia launches an “endowment”, with goal of raising $100 million over 10 years. What’s more stereotypical than using cute kids of color to pull the heart strings to open wallets. For others, donations will be guilt-giving. 

That Wikipedia has to raise money at all shows how much knowledge costs—it ain’t free—even supported by “roughly 80,000 volunteer editors”.

BTW, according to Wikimedia’s page for the photo: The two young girls reading attend a “government primary school in Amman, Jordan”. Hehe, maybe Wikipedia can ransom donations. “We’ll remove this pic showing how backwards is your education system if

Editor’s Note: This post first appeared on Frak That!

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