James Alexander wrote:
>I think everyone knows there are a lot of legitimate concerns to be
>concerned about and certainly Arnnon's actions at Google are legitimate
>for question however this whole "google is controlling the board/wmf"
>line of thought is turning into a huge and enormous conspiracy theory and
>what seems to be a giant school of red herring
><https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring>. We haven't quite yet gotten
>to "Frieda has 6 letters in her name and you know what else has 6 letters
>in it's name? GOOGLE!" but we're getting damn close. If anything the only
>concern about google I've heard within the actual WMF is that the
>"Knowledge Engine" was a plan to 'compete' against google for traffic (for
>the record my personal opinion is that would be a waste of money on
>something we could never succeed if true but ALSO that it isn't actually
>true at all at this point).

A few years ago, the Wikimedia Foundation switched over to the Google Apps
platform, which means that most e-mail sent on the wikimedia.org domain is
now hosted by Google. Along with e-mail services, Google Apps also
includes Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc., which the Wikimedia Foundation
now regularly makes use of. The Wikimedia Foundation is quite literally
pumping a large portion of its data directly into Google's servers. This
applies to Wikimedia Foundation staff, contractors, and Board members.

About a year ago, PiRSquared17 began documenting the relationship between
Wikimedia and Google: <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Google>. This page
needs additional expansion, but it already mentions the millions of
dollars that Google has directly donated to the Wikimedia Foundation and
related organizations. (It's not quite clear how Google funded Wikidata,
possibly via Wikimedia Deutschland.)

Before you try to dismiss the people with concerns about the relationship
between Wikimedia and Google as conspiracy theorists and quacks, perhaps
we should first have a full accounting of the tangled web that's been
woven. My suspicion is that if you or others put in the time to thoroughly
document the connection between the two entities, you'd miraculously find
more than a single concern about a failed project, as your reply suggested.


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