Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has donated half a million dollars towards Wikipedia’s “Community health initiative,” aimed at reducing harassment and vandalism on the site and improve the tools moderators use every day to keep the peace.
It may not look like it, but Wikipedia is a war zone. Editors, bots, and vandals are in constant battle, and of course, just as with the content itself, moderation and mitigation of that battle is up to a bunch of volunteers. They deserve tools that work.
“To ensure Wikipedia’s vitality, people of good will need to work together to prevent trolling, harassment and cyber-bullying from interfering with the common good,” Newmark said in a Wikimedia blog post. “To that end, I’m supporting the work of the Wikimedia Foundation towards the prevention of harassment.”
The donation, $250,000 each from the craigslist Charitable Fund and the Craig Newmark Foundation, will go to the Wikimedia Foundation to kickstart the Community health initiative. The next couple years should see major improvements to abuse detection, reporting, and blocking.
The joke’s on Craig, though — Jimmy Wales is just going to email him next year pleading with puppy eyes to repeat his generous donation: