It’s official, Jimmy Wales has gone too far. The founder of Wikipedia is famous for tapping into users to generate content and traffic, building the internet’s largest chain/web of user-generated content and information. From the million+ articles written by users to the billions of incoming links that have given Wikipedia its super-human search result rankings, Wales has clearly mastered the art of human exploitation more than anyone ever has.
Most people are content with things the way they are: after all, it’s for a good cause! Go ahead and exploit humans, we agree, if the end result brings as much benefit and knowledge to the world as Wikipedia did and does. However, earlier this year, Wikipedia did a couple of things that created an outrage in the online community, by banning contributing sources to Wikipedia from getting the credit they deserve.
Now Wales is at it again, this time though, it’s not the greater good that’ll be benefiting: Jimmy Wales is now using end-users to bring in the cash!
Wikia is Wale’s for-profit company, now focusing on a “different kind of search.” Today we found out what “different” means: instead of doing the web-crawling and indexing on Wikia’s servers, Wales wants end users to do the crawling for him!
Yep, you read that right. Wales just bought Grub, the distributed web-crawler. and intends to use it (and the internet connections and CPUs of end-users) to power his for-profit corporation. Users could be doing something useful with their hard-earned CPU cycles, electricity, and internet connections such as finding a cure for cancer or even aiding the search for alien life, Wales wants users to focus on making him more money.
Google, Microsoft, AOL, AltaVista, Yahoo! and thousands more have something in common, can you guess what it is? That’s right! They all pay for their crawlers, power bill, servers, and everything else! So why does Wales think he gets to exploit billions of computers around the web for no reason other than to make him money?
Hopefully the majority of the world’s denizens will realize this is a ruse and scam and not fall for it; after all, everyone’s power and internet bills are already too high to take an even bigger hit just so Wales can have more money. For-profit corporations don’t EVER get to exploit the general population and their PCs, it’s just not fair!
Je ne maîtrise pas assez la langue anglaise pour avoir tout parfaitement compris. Néanmoins je suis globalement d’accord pour dire non à l’exploitation du plus grand nombre au profit de quelques uns. Unnissons nous, je suis pour, mais pour le bien commun…
I have no idea what Lehaire said, but since we all have the freedom of choice to use Grub or not, how can it be bad?
That’s a good point, probably best answered with a parabole:
There are a bunch of guys at a clothes store. Once a week, they give away clothes for free to the needy. One day, a guy comes in and convinces/tricks/persuades them to give the clothes to him – making it fully clear that he’ll be selling these clothes off for personal gain, and they agree.
If these people were naive enough to fall for it, it doesn’t make him innocent. It’s our job to stand up and explain why it’s wrong – and why he shouldn’t have done this in the first place.