Elon Musk could eliminate any need for future fundraising from Wikipedia with a massive funding offer for the online encyclopaedia, but at what cost?
In a post on X, Musk referenced the site’s request for donations, offering the volunteer-run encyclopaedia a billion dollar financial boost if it was to make a rather childish rebrand to “Dickipedia”.
I will give them a billion dollars if they change their name to Dickipedia https://t.co/wxoHQdRICy
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2023
Musk was seemingly inspired after seeing the standard appeal for donation on the site but couldn’t figure out why the site was asking for donations. “Have you ever wondered why the Wikimedia Foundation ants so much money?” The X owner and chief technical officer asked. “It certainly isn’t needed to operate Wikipedia. You can literally fit a copy of the entire text on your phone”.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, a spokeswoman for the Wikimedia Foundation explained the reason behind the funding request. “Based on guidance from the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, our reserve amounts to one year of operating budget. If there were circumstances that affected our ability to raise those funds during that period, we could end up in an urgent situation – the reserve is a safety net to protect Wikipedia against such a possibility,” the spokeswoman said.
This rebrand would be the first in a long line of poor branding decisions on Musk’s behalf after his rebranding of Twitter to X earlier this year saw the social media platforms lose anywhere between $US4 billion and $US20 billion in value, according to analysts and brand agencies.
Perhaps a genuine offer, maybe a childish attempt at humour, but in any case, the investment would not be the best use of Musk’s financial assets. He recently saw a decline in his wealth, with his value dropping by $US16 billion after shares in Tesla fell by 9.3 per cent.
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