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Wikimedia Foundation announces $2.5 million in support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies for security of Wikipedia and organization’s other free knowledge projects

Philanthropic funding from craigslist founder’s foundation will help the organization protect its sites and volunteers globally from cyber threats

The Wikimedia Foundation is excited to announce $2.5 million in support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies that will help to ensure the security of Wikipedia, as well as the organization’s other sites and global community of volunteers.

At a time of increased cybersecurity threats, this philanthropic investment from the organization of craigslist founder Craig Newmark will help the Wikimedia Foundation vigorously monitor and thwart risks to its free knowledge projects. This effort will also help to protect information about the organization’s users and projects as well as provide everyone around the world with safe and secure access to its platforms on all devices.

“Wikipedia’s continued success as a top-10 website that has hundreds of millions of users makes it a target for vandalism, hacking, and other cybersecurity threats that harm the free knowledge movement and community,” said John Bennett, Director of Security at the Wikimedia Foundation. “That’s why we are working proactively to combat problems before they arise. This investment will allow us to further expand our security programs to identify current and future threats, create effective countermeasures, and improve our overall security controls.”

With this support, the Wikimedia Foundation’s security team will grow and mature a host of security controls and services. These include application security, risk management, incident response, and more.

“As disinformation and other security threats continue to jeopardize the integrity of our democracy, we must invest in systems that protect the services that work so hard to get accurate and trustworthy information in front of the public,” said Newmark. “That’s why I eagerly continue to support the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects—like Wikipedia, the place where facts go to live.”

This investment builds on Craig Newmark’s long-time support of the free knowledge movement and the Wikimedia Foundation. Prior to this contribution, Newmark had donated nearly $2 million to the organization’s projects. This includes initial philanthropic funding for the Community Health Initiative, an effort that supports better tools and policies for addressing harassment on Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as contributions to the Wikimedia Endowment.

“Our platforms were built on the belief that security and privacy sustain freedom of expression,” said Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “Now, more than ever before, there is an urgent need to invest in tools and practices that protect our users and our platforms. With Craig’s generous support, we will be able to better respond to security threats while building a sustainable source for free knowledge for everyone around the world.”

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About the Wikimedia Foundation 

The Wikimedia Foundation is the international non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge freely. We host Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

About Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. It works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism & information security, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans & military families.

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Original: JD Lasica; transformation: Blanca Flores/Wikimedia Foundation

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Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing

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