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Google, as well as many other companies, has long relied on Wikipedia for its content. Now, Google and Google.org are giving back.
Google.org President Jacquelline Fuller today announced a $2 million contribution to the Wikimedia Endowment. An additional $1.1 million donation went to the Wikimedia Foundation, courtesy of a campaign where Google employees decided where to direct Google’s donation dollars. The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization behind Wikipedia, while the Endowment is the fund.
“Google and Wikimedia each play a unique role in an internet that works for and reflects the diversity of its users,” the Wikimedia Foundation wrote in a blog post. “We look forward to continuing our work with Google in close collaboration with our communities around the world.”
In addition to the donation, Google and Wikipedia are expanding Project Tiger, an initiative to expand the content on Wikipedia into additional languages. The pilot program has already increased the amount of locally relevant content in 12 Indic languages. With the expansion, the goal is to include 10 more languages.
“While efforts to empower editors will help them continue to add more information and knowledge to the web, we also aim to support the long-term health of the Wikimedia projects so they are available for generations to come,” Fuller wrote in a blog post.
In March, Google’s YouTube decided to try to combat conspiracy videos with information sourced from Wikipedia. At the time, Wikimedia Executive Director Katherine Maher noted it’d be nice if the corporations that use Wikipedia would give back.
“We want people all over the world to use, share, add to, and remix Wikipedia,” Maher said at the time. “At the same time, we encourage companies who use Wikimedia’s content to give back in the spirit of sustainability.”
Google has made contributions to Wikimedia before — to the sum of more than $7.5 million in total. In 2010, for example, Google gave a $2 million grant to the Wikimedia Foundation. But this is the first time Google has donated to the Wikimedia Endowment, which supports Wikimedia’s long-term success.
It’s worth noting that Google is not the only corporation that has given back to the Wikimedia Foundation. Late last year, Amazon, acknowledging how its Alexa voice assistants rely heavily on information from Wikipedia, donated $1 million to the Wikimedia Endowment.