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Wikipedia Foundation non profit status at risk?


Wikipedia/Wikimedia is a non-profit organization/foundation. From their website they claim to be a 501(3c) corporation. As such it enjoys tax-exempt status here in the States.

If for profit businesses are contributing to Wikipedia, and Wikipedia is in turn sponsoring informational web pages on those businesses, which are nothing less than sanitized advertisements for those businesses, then the Wikipedia organization may be violating the terms of its non-profit tax-exempt charter and US law.

Given that businesses have found a clever way to ‘get around the rules’ and sanitize their Wiki pages for image and commercial promotional purposes it behooves Wikipedia to separate out the web pages of operating for profit businesses /organizations from the rest of their data base. This could become their ‘commercial’ data base for business propaganda for which they could charge an annual fee and corporations control what went on their pages.

I would suggest Wikimedia needs to make this adjustment because there is clearly a conflict of interest at work here between corporations business interests and Wikipedia’s fundamental information distribution purpose.

I think that the tax regulators need to take a hard look at Wikipedia’s charter as a non-profit foundation. I would suggest contacting the Commissioner of the US Internal Revenue Service and filing a formal complaint regarding Wikipedia/Wikimedia’s non-profit tax exempt status and challenging the continuation of that tax-exempt charter and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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