Fri 9th December 2011, 1:32pm
I didn't participate in the "research", but based on the comments about it I gather that the subject of the research was "How much money can we spend in needlessly replicating existing research on game theory?
Far more interesting is the fact that the WMF allowed and facilitated banners being displayed that linked to a website not controlled by the WMF, for the benefit of an outside group. As one respected admin and trustee of Wikimedia UK put it:
If it looks like an advert, it is an advert. The banner says "Please help" under logos and by-lines for two organizations that are not Wikimedia. With this precedent there is no constraint on the partners the WMF may choose to allow free advertising for next. With prospective future partners for sponsorship of research and collaboration under discussion such as Google or telecoms companies, the question is are we happy that our users will log in and see Wikipedia carrying a large Google logo at the top of the page? Regardless of the goodwill and charitable motivation behind this banner, it shows a clear lack of judgement for how to implement the principle that Wikimedia projects will always stay free of advertising. I discussed this banner last night on IRC with RCOM and DEV representatives who pointed me to the WMF, who have pointed me back to RCOM; I do not appreciate being given an unsubtle run-around when my complaint was as simple as requesting that an apparent advert is removed from Wikipedia due to the potential for negative long term press impact it may have. --Fæ (talk) 09:11, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Although this was meant
to be shown to a small number of users, it was actually shown to every user. Even users who set their preferences to disable the fundraising banners? Yes, even those. No ads on WP? I think that barrier has just been breached.