(San Francisco, California) 23 April 2020 — A group of consumer and worker advocates have launched WikiGreed (wikigreed.org), a new wiki which tracks the actions being taken by corporations and other organizations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The wiki, a website editable by anyone, was inspired by the wide range of reactions that corporations in particular have had to the pandemic. The website raises awareness of disappointing steps being taken by organizations and offers examples and praise of the encouraging actions being taken.
Anyone who registers for a free WikiGreed account, which can be done using a pseudonym, will be able to edit and create articles about organizations around the world. That information can be verified by other contributors and is made available to the public for free and without ads or attempts to sell visitor's data. By using a collaborative contribution model, WikiGreed can benefit from anyone's experience or knowledge on how organizations are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This approach and the site's framework allow it to support hundreds of new data points about potentially thousands of organizations.
After the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020, organizations around the world began responding both to the changing circumstances of their communities and preventative measures put in place by governments. Some organizations have responded in ways which have eased the burden of this pandemic on their employees, customers, and communities. Other organizations have responded in ways that have had mixed outcomes, and some organizations have simply made the situation worse or focused on profiting from the crisis.
Providing a meaningful response to this pandemic is vital to an organization's future. Disappointing reactions can hinder an organization's ability to retain their employees, customers, and operational stability throughout the remainder of this pandemic. Additionally, both consumers and workers will continue to hold organizations accountable long after the pandemic ends. Now is the time for organizations to show a sense of community and understand, and not a desire to improve the bottom line. Staying an informed consumer and worker about how these organizations respond in this moment is important to making good purchasing and employment decisions.
"Consumers and workers have long memories when it comes to how an organization handles a crisis, but wikis have an even longer memory," said founding contributor María Sefidari. She continued, "In an age when being ignorant has gone from blissful to harmful, WikiGreed is a tool for anyone to become an informed consumer or worker using knowledge provided by other consumers and workers."
Fellow founding contributor Gregory Varnum added, "Responsibility for COVID-19 becoming a pandemic may be debatable, but our shared ownership in how this pandemic is handled is indisputable. We are facing a global crisis unlike anything in modern times. It impacts us all, and we all have a stake in how organizations react. WikiGreed is a passion project that will inform consumers and workers of how organizations in their lives handled this shared responsibility."
By using MediaWiki, the software utilized by Wikipedia and thousands of other wikis around the world, WikiGreed is able to offer contributors and readers a familiar and user-friendly experience. WikiGreed is not associated with Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation, or the other Wikimedia projects. However, the founding contributors of WikiGreed are all experienced members of the Wikimedia movement.
WikiGreed was put online on 31 March 2020 and formally launched on 23 April 2020. It has been funded by the founding contributors and will not be engaging in selling of user data or the displaying of ads. While fundraising is not a primarily goal of the project, any funds collected from other contributors or readers will be used to support the project's web hosting and governance needs. Any funds collected in excess of the project's hosting and governance needs will be donated to a charity involved with the COVID-19 response.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic comes to a conclusion, WikiGreed will continue to make the information collected available and then consider how the wiki's framework and goals can potentially serve other consumer and worker advocacy efforts.
== About WikiGreed ==
WikiGreed (wikigreed.org) is a wiki for consumers and workers to track the good, bad, commendable, and reprehensible behavior of corporations and other organizations. The wiki, a website editable by anyone, was inspired by how organizations were responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to educate consumers and workers on the actions taken by the organizations in their lives. The website is ad free, does not sell data, and is supported by volunteers.