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Google gives Wikimedia millions (wired.com)
207 points by tgvaughan 31 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 99 comments

I used to contribute heavily to Wikipedia in 2007-08 and intermittently since, however recently it has become an absolute nightmare to contribute.

Creating a missing article almost immediately is met with an admin nominating it for deletion for something like “notability”, the catch-all term for “I personally don’t care about this topic, and if it was important someone would have made it already.”

If you survive deletion then your article is often removed from the main Wikipedia site into “draft space” where it is hoped you’ll just go away, with a reason like “need more than the X-number of existing <refs> you have.”

If you still haven’t given up trying to contribute it is currently a 6 week wait to have your article reviewed to be moved back into Wikipedia-proper.

However! You’ll find any fair-use images you uploaded to support your article (say a movie poster), well those have been deleted since “draft space” articles are banned from containing them.

Those are just some of the trials I’ve gone through in the last two months trying to fill in some gaps on Wikipedia. It feels like they’ve added so many layers of bureaucracy over the last decade even longtime contributors are being forced away.

As Wikipedia became more popular, it also started attracting people and companies who try to use it for writing promotional articles on themselves with little to no basis in reality.

The notability requirement helps ensure that articles are accurate and can be verified with trustworthy sources. A topic only needs 2 trustworthy sources for an article, and if it doesn't meet that bar, then the topic is probably better suited for a personal blog than a Wikipedia article.


And also to scrub existing articles of certain details.

A former coworker once told me about a stint he did working for a company that sold wikipedia edits. The founder was Brazilian and apparently their company was super popular with Central and South American politicians trying to scrub their pages of various financial scandals and other things unbecoming of a politician.

I was shocked when he first told me about it, but it's pretty easy to see in 2019 that managing one's image online can be incredibly lucrative.

Unfortunately, Wikipedia is not immune to PR firms. In 2013, more than 250 accounts were blocked or banned for being associated with a firm called Wiki-PR.


In a community, one of the best ways to counter bad actors is to recruit more good actors. If you suspect that a Wikipedia article was deleted inappropriately, you can submit it for "deletion review":


I recently went to link a friend to the Landmark Forum Wikipedia page, and found that instead of a "Criticism" section it had a "Criticism and public option" section, which contained no allegations of cult-like behaviour until the last two paragraphs, but did contain a surprising number of denials. The talk and history page showed that any piece of actual criticism levelled at the totally-not-a-cult was removed more or less instantly by a handful of Landmark Forum members on the grounds of bias.

I have no idea where I would even start if I wanted to fix that article. It's pretty ridiculous.

Landmark Worldwide has been a highly controversial subject on Wikipedia. There are 32 pages of discussions on the article's talk page:


To contribute to articles on controversial topics (such as politics and religion), Wikipedia recommends the following:

1) Edit the article with the changes you want to make.

2) If another editor disagrees with you, they will revert your edit.

3) After your edit is reverted, go to the talk page of the article and discuss the contents of your edit.

The key step is #3. Reverted edits are to be discussed.


If you're unable to come to an agreement with other editors, you can use some form of dispute resolution. The most popular method is the "request for comment", in which all Wikipedia editors are invited to participate in a debate, and the results determine the state of the article.


Your point of view won't always be the one that wins the debate, but Wikipedia editors are generally reasonable, and your arguments will be fairly heard.

> To contribute to articles on controversial topics (such as politics and religion), Wikipedia recommends the following:

> 1) Edit the article with the changes you want to make.

> 2) If another editor disagrees with you, they will revert your edit.

> 3) After your edit is reverted, go to the talk page of the article and discuss the contents of your edit.

This is actually a bad idea. It's fine for garden-variety editing that you don't expect to raise controversy, but if you want to affect something controversial and not look like you're acting in bad faith, you absolutely need to go to the talk page first and propose your edit there. If no one replies after a few days, then you have cover to just make the change 'per the talk page' (and sometimes you do get reverted here - but now you can complain that they didn't act fairly by commenting on your proposal!), but most likely they will, and you'll get to hash out the wording on talk.

Yes, the 3-step process is not appropriate for every situation. As the page notes:

> It is ideally suited to disputes that involve only a small number of people, all of whom are interested in making progress.


Controversial edits in very popular articles will certainly require discussion and frequently involve requests for comment.

It's bizarre when there is an edit war, but WP effectively pretends there is no controversy. There should be some rule that the controversy can not be denied at least not on the talk page.

Perhaps some metric on the article page that indicates the level of controversy in the talk page...

Controversial articles are usually tagged as such on their talk pages. For example, see the talk page for the Donald Trump article:


Note the banner that says "The subject of this article is controversial and content may be in dispute."

Articles in highly controversial areas (such as American politics and the Arab-Israeli conflict) are subject to additional restrictions meant to encourage discussion and reduce editing disputes. On these pages (including Talk:Donald Trump), you'll see a "Warning: Active arbitration remedies" banner with the details.

I did a consulting gig about 15 years ago, when the company (my client) went bankrupt. It had been recently acquired, and the new owners gutted the company, embezzling at least several million dollars. The structure was quite intricate, including at least six different companies with revenues in at least the tens of millions. I think the bankruptcy left about $30 million in debts (they owed me about $15,000).

There are a few articles about it in Swedish, linked below. Company I worked for was Azzets, or Depicta, under Delling Group.

A few years after, when I google their names (Geir Lolleng and Aksel Bratvedt), nothing about this turned up on Google. Instead, there were links to all kinds of tumblr, blogspot, weebly, twitter, youtube etc links. (And the notice Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe.) I found Geir Lolleng's LinkedIn, and his next job after that was starting a new company:

Helmword is a specialist firm that protects and supports companies’ and executives’ reputation online. Together with the client we can achieve long term results. We work with clients in Asia, Europe, Africa and South-America.






I feel like Wikipedia has also become more and more political as it gained popularity. Some of the decisions the admins have made over the years make me question the trustworthiness of what I read on Wikipedia, because some articles paint a one-sided view of events. Luckily it seems to mostly be limited to certain topics.

Spoiler: it's always been like that. Sometimes it's useful to look at the talk page for the article and/or the history of revisions, looking for obvious controversy.

I wish there was more research on different forms of voting and reputation, not even insisting that we make the voting binding, but just so contributors can agree or disagree with some edit, and then we can look how different metrics would have resulted in what outcome, so that perhaps one day we can run an encycopedia without needing explicit moderators...


Looking at other languages (when they exists) can also be very informative.

What did you try to contribute?

Last year I added an article about a musical ensemble. I followed the processes and it seemed to be fairly straightforward to get approved. (The ensemble had a bunch of articles written about them in the NYT).

I have marvelled at the quality of WPs music theory articles where I think different outlooks are well tolerated and accepted.

8 years ago I tried to fix WP philosophies entry on the concept of "Appeal to Nature" and was even joined by an experienced academic but our efforts[1] where removed by admin/users wishing to describe the topic as a kind of simple fallacious trope[2].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Appeal_to_nature&...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature

I'm not sure if that's the full story, considering that you tried to have the article deleted:



The original article was a simple attack piece on the concept of nature and should be deleted if WP cant protect a reasonable treatment of the subject. The "full story" could take as long as you've got to dig through, but the articles speak for themselves.

that's saddening.

I remember when there was no Internet, and you never hear about it will possibly exist (where I was back then)

and then when it some day became something I just hear about and had the dream to use someday and see working with my own eyes.

And then I though Internet will bring the political (r) evolution that will make humanity human, and that it will have all the Knowledge of All the Scientists from All the World open to anyone, even a poor kid like me, to see and learn and thrive...

Wikipedia is still what is closer to that dream I had as a kid who had ever never touched a computer...So it is saddening, but we still have hope.

I still think it is a matter of time before communication and analytical technology overcomes the difficulties which perpetuate human conflict and environmental destruction. Any day now... :)

By that time, The Brake of Monopoly of Communications by the wealth people and democratic power over the communications by the poorest is what will/would(not clear) overcome the difficulties, It is taking too long to happen, but my theory still holds. ;)

:Besides: "The devil in hell is smart not because he is The Devil, but because he is old"


I Still find your "communication and analytical technology" kind of very weak as a definition, but let's just stop here, better. While still time to edit, and now if you don't want to stop feel free, Let's call things by their real names. because there is no need to be polite towards pure Snark ,what is not polite as well. so...

This definition of yours : "communication and analytical technology"

...Is Not just very weak, is utterly Bullshit. And I don't like to waste time with people who's Cognitive Capacity allows himself to reason in such a clueless way, So I don't know if that manure you call a definition is arrived from Malice or just Ignorance itself, but it is Manure in both the 2 only possible cases.

And you yourself, in your cluelessly, ( The Irony of The destiny) This is a quote from you, yourself, from your Github:

"Fancy is a physics computing project developed with fanciful ideas of creating a programmatic sense of fantasy for the virtual minds of the coming AI revolution"

LOL ( it means I am laughing a lot here)

"coming AI revolution"

Anytime now, "Genious", I see it at the corner already. Lol. ;)

By the way, do you know what Snark is?

...look the dictionary and then read that your comment again, then you will know what Snark is. If you don't find it , look for Sarcasm, it's the same. "En passant" , you can look the other words you don't know the meaning in my comment,

And I am sure you don't know the meaning of too many words, by the way you write in your Github, imagine the way you write in a random insignificant comment in a Topic that was already dead long time before you make your clueless comment.


The above comment was made by someone Insane, I mean, Me myself, and some doctors will happily tell you I have Schizophrenia[1],

...(I don't exactly agree here, but they are doctors)...

...among other sometimes impairing Mental diseases,

...what brings me even close to what is called Tourette Syndrome[2] ( in a mild form, with mild ticks, sure, but this one I have to agree with the doctors)...

well, for sure, I went over the top, was before my first coffee of the day. Never comment before the first coffee. But I really assumed strainer was being Snarky. So, if you were being serious and not snarky in your comment, strainer, sorry, and really sorry, but it is too late to delete that now.

And if someone has the power to delete my Rant/comment, please do it as soon as possible, because it was not fair. Please Dang, or someone. I was not fair for him.

Not because of me, please note, I don't care for this account, It is not only Anonymous, is full of bits of private/personal misinformation, and wrong leads, and false clues[3], that I spread intentionally, exactly to anonymize myself.

( because Moriarty, the enemy of sherlock, was stupid and his decoy bits always converged, instead of diverge, that is what a decoy anonymizing bit/crum is)...

But is not fair for strainer. His account wasn't anonymous, and I made a big mistake of talking to HIM (adhominen) and I am not usually like this, was lack of morning coffee, really.

So I am very sorry for that, Strainer, really sorry, Mental Health is not my strong point, and I see now that your comment was made in Good Faith,

and I am sorry for assuming you were being snark, and Im sorry for the astronomically adhominen, Insane, batshit-crazy slip mistake I made.

Sorry Strainer, I see you are a nice guy, I hope no bad feelings left, and I really apologize , and who knows, maybe we drink a beer someday...I pay.

1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia


3- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring

Explanation gladly accepted sir - No that wasn't snark at all, just trying to remain vaguely hopeful :]

I tried to contribute something about a month ago and went through the same issues. I could hardly find my way around the complex submission/review system and when I did manage it my article was rejected for not having enough references when . I eventually gave up because I listed every reference that exists on the topic.

I find it depressing every time I try to contribute. Most recently, there was an article on a popular TV show that was in its first season, where the very top level cast list gave away a spoiler for very late in the season, that completely changed the lives of some main characters. So if you ever check the WP article for the show during the first 8-10 episodes of the season (like I did), you're completely spoiled. It was unnecessary and also inconsistent with the cast descriptions from the show's marketing, and deleting the spoiler had no real negative informative impact, but when I tried to delete the spoiler (two words), it got rolled back with a scolding with a reference to wikipedia's spoiler policy of not protecting the audience from spoilers... which is normally sane, but completely overkill in that particular case.

I ended up asking, what if the WP entry for A New Hope gave away that very famous spoiler about Luke's father in the initial description and cast listing (it currently does not), and then I tried to delete the spoiler? Would the moderation policy roll back my change? He said yes, because of the same reason - WP does not protect audiences against spoilers. So I asked, well then why does the ANH WP article not have this spoiler? And he said, probably just because no one has made the edit yet.

you could propose a "spoiler" tag, and people who want spoilers to be censored, should log in and set default spoiler setting to censored for themselves. But the default should be spoiling IMHO. Of course once you've seen the media, and go to the WP pages (with your default censor still active) you'd want some kind of red spoiler button close to "talk" and "history" so you 1) know there is a spoiler tag present and 2) can spoil the secret by clicking it...

And it is super arbitrary. There is a joke I made over 10 years ago making fun of a friend and it is still up (totally not giving it away as then it will be deleted).

The admin / oversight is hit or miss to the extreme.

Or somebody makes one top 40 song and has a long article including which highscool they went yo, but a university professor who wrote a language like Clojure, used by thousands of companies, isn't notable enough!

What can make us less sad is that quality of people who notes the Professor is also important, not only quantity.

There was a fun story I can't find here on HN right now (Algolia is pretty good to search now , but Im out of coffee), On how the guys who make OpenBSD(If I recall) use/used(not clear) CVS instead of GIT to filter out people they didn't ultimately wished to have the attention from.

> The admin / oversight is hit or miss to the extreme.

Of course, there's no way they could formally audit every article. They're heavily reliant of some rando noticing something fishy in an obscure article and bringing it to their attention.

Wikipedia is still small enough to see every article reviewed. They don’t largely becase they funnel funding into other unrelated projects.

You're wrong on both counts here - nobody gets funded to review articles (it's done by volunteers), and there are nearly 6 million articles in English alone

Saying they don’t do something does not mean they can’t do something.

6 million / 30 minutes per article every 5 years at 15$ per hour ~= 9 million per year.

Wikipedia pulled in 55 million in 2017 from North America making this a major but affordable expenditure.

The Wikimedia Foundation is not wikipedia. Paying people to edit would be a fundamental change in the ethos of the whole movement

Wikipedia’s fund us banners go to Wikimedia, which then spends a small fraction of that on Wikipedia. Calling them separate is at best a shell game, but more realistically actively deceptive.

Allowing public edits is different from not paying editors. They can have a small staff of super users which only revert or remove content while remaining a Wiki.

> Calling them separate is at best a shell game, but more realistically actively deceptive.

It's neither. The volunteer community is wikipedia, and the foundation exists to serve it, not the other way around. If the foundation paid staff members to edit there would be uproar in the community

Your right and left hands are not separate organisms.

Also, if every volunteer quit tomorrow the website could still function, even if just by disabling edits until they employ enough people to review them. So, it’s clearly not the volunteers that are most critical.

After reading a lot about helicopters recently, I was reading the wikipedia page about them today, and found the description of how they are controlled if not wrong, then confusing. My first thought was to rewrite the section, but then I have also heard this opinion quite a lot now and it really put me off.

Looking at the talk page of one of the related articles [0] there was someone noting that "An expert that didn't cite the literature would be contributing original research, not verifiable information" which is forbidden on Wikipedia. This sounds like a reasonable principle, but if you look at the existing text it's barely cited. It's not clear then if replacing un-cited text would be appropriate, or if this principle would just be a tool used to resist change.

And even then, I've had correctly cited changes reverted in the past. So after that I ended up not making any changes, and that section remains - to me at least - confusing.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Helicopter_f...

In this situation, consider adding a "citation needed" tag to the incorrect uncited content.


Then, find reliable sources that support the changes you want to make, and propose those changes on the article's talk page. If other editors agree, or if there is silence after a few days, then make your changes to the article.


If other editors disagree, and you are unconvinced by their arguments, then escalate this discussion to a request for comment, and debate it out.


Funny how in spite of all that there are articles like the Gamergate controversy article, in which nearly every sentence is a lie.

Have you tried Everipedia : https://everipedia.org/ ?

Look up the drama relating to Donna Strickland

Wikipedia has finite resources that cost money. So they have to restrict it to hosting articles that will have some level of audience.

This is wrong. Low view articles cost essentially nothing to host. The whole of wikipedia can be stored for about $1 per month if all you care about is storage. Also rejected articles don't get deleted from the system they just get moved to the draft section which is hidden from search results.

> The whole of wikipedia can be stored for about $1 per month if all you care about is storage

Where can you store that amount of data for so cheap? Of course I'm assuming that you're including images in the size and not just raw text.

> This is wrong. Low view articles cost essentially nothing to host. The whole of wikipedia can be stored for about $1 per month if all you care about is storage. Also rejected articles don't get deleted from the system they just get moved to the draft section which is hidden from search results.

That's wrong. Low view articles still cost volunteer time to maintain, otherwise many would become home to malicious edits. That's a kind of hosting cost.

Also, deleted articles on Wikipedia are removed such that only admins can see them. I don't think it's common to remove them to the drafts area unless they're under construction and have some hope of meeting standards.

Malicious edits don't scale with the number of articles, they scale with the number of edits and users. If all of a sudden Wikipedia gained 10 million more articles, there would not be more malicious edits per day than there are now without the amount of malicious users increasing.

> Malicious edits don't scale with the number of articles, they scale with the number of edits and users. If all of a sudden Wikipedia gained 10 million more articles, there would not be more malicious edits per day than there are now without the amount of malicious users increasing.

But some fraction of malicious edits aren't caught as they are made, and those will remain until they're accidentally noticed by someone and fixed. That's also true about honest errors and mistakes. If you add 10 million more articles, they'll either distract "accidental" QA from more popular articles, or (more likely) not receive an adequate amount of accidental QA at all.

You should go glance at their budget.

Here's the latest annual financial statement:


They spent about 15x on staff as they did on internet hosting. They spend almost as much on travel as they do on internet hosting.

Honestly that's a lot lower than I would have expected. Internet hosting is very cheap and for a company like Wikimedia would basically come down to their bandwidth costs. But labor, especially skilled labor (like they're hiring) is very expensive. I would have expected it to be a lot higher.

If you want low go look at their earlier ('09-10) reports where it's $5 million expenses compared to $81 million today. They had ~2.6 million articles then, and ~5.6 million today. It's nothing abnormal to me and quite small still (esp sitting next to Google, Youtube, Facebook) but I appreciated how efficiently they ran with the help of volunteers.

Don't forget that Google once tried to kill Wikipedia with their own proprietary project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knol). Really happy that was a failure.

Is it impossible to attempt to innovate in a space without being accused of trying to kill the space's current leader?

(googler, but had never even heard of knol until now)

When Google innovates, it’s usually in a vein attempt to kill competitors in a place where it sees an opportunity for more revenue. Competition from Google is hardly ever fair (despite most of their projects being spectacular failures regardless.)

So no it’s not impossible, but it’s always gonna happen when it’s Google/Amazon and the “innovation” is a free alternative to a successful independent business.

> When Google innovates, it’s usually in a vein attempt to kill competitors in a place where it sees an opportunity for more revenue

Isn't that how everyone innovates?

(FWIW: you meant "vain", I think, but that doesn't seem like the right word either. Maybe "arrogant" was the spin you wanted?)

Vain seems like an appropriate word to use, when interpretated as "producing no result; useless"

That is, after all, the end result of many of Google's attempts at dominating a space. Their love of shutting services down will likely make further future dominations of new fields even harder.

No, but when a company has a history of trying to completely dominate every space it goes into, it's a fair assumption.

Google was considering Wikipedia as main competitor in the late 2000s and the whole "content is a king" mindset. So yeah.

Wikipedia itself is of course just an iteration on Everything2.


A similar vintage, but slightly younger than everything1 was https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H2g2 / https://www.h2g2.com/

Ha! Glad to see H2G2 come up. Lots of great moments there!

That shareholders don't really own Wikipedia doesn't necessarily mean it's entirely 'better' than it would be otherwise.

As the top commenter noted, there are problems.

Though it would be sad if a commercial entity put Wikipedia 'out of business' per say, I think 'more variety' in this space would be welcome.

I'd have no problem looking to different sources for a more authoritative source of information.

For example, maybe Unis get together to publish their own wikis on more academic subjects. Maybe companies can have a Wiki to make their own articles about their own articles (I understand they have web sites for that, but the Wiki format is different).

More variety would generally be better not worse.

> ...For example, maybe Unis get together to publish their own wikis on more academic subjects. ...

There's nothing stopping them from doing this. Wikis are actually a nice example of a federated standard, with good support for "InterWiki" cross-linking, well-understood naming conventions (thanks to Wikipedia) for encyclopedia-like articles, and open licensing via CC-BY-SA.

And shuttered Freebase. Similarly, Apple used Openstreetmap to get their mapping effort off the ground and then didn't contribute back. I understand the profit motive for both of them, but it still rubs me the wrong way.

Apple doesn't contribute back? https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18913408

> Apple employee spoke at a recent OSM conference. Yes, they use OSM data as well. In some countries more than others. Apple also has a fulltime staff working on OSM. https://github.com/osmlab/appledata/issues, https://github.com/osmlab/appledata/

I asked a friend at Apple and there are apparently like 15 people working on it, which is a $2-3M contribution.

Apple is replacing OSM and all other sources with its own private maps. https://www.justinobeirne.com/new-apple-maps/

That article is not remotely the whole story.

Apple uses OSM data in many parts of the world where their own mapping efforts will likely never reach.

Mr O’Beirne’s articles are very US-centric.

> Apple uses OSM data in many parts of the world where their own mapping efforts will likely never reach.

And contributes nothing to those, instead opting to build their own maps in the important markets.

Apple does pay people to make edits to OSM: https://github.com/osmlab/appledata/

Only in markets where it matters, which means they will stop making those edits after they replace OSM with their own maps.

O'Beirne's article is US-centric because Apple's rollout is US-centric (California, Nevada, and Hawaii only for now).

Unfortunately, that’s the deal with open source - you have to expect that people will use your work in ways you may not like. License your stuff accordingly.

AIUI, Freebase was not "shuttered" - it was used to seed Wikidata, a Wikipedia sister project which makes its data available under permissive CC0 licensing.

It was shuttered. You can no longer contribute to Freebase. Wikidata used some data from the last Freebase triples dump, but Google is not contributing its updates to either, despite using Freebase's crowdsourced work to seed its internal knowledgebase.

Once again, I understand the profit motive. I just don't like it.

A lot of Google Assistant and Google search answers are from Wikipedia entries. So Us$3.1 million is very little investment for the returns they are getting.

There's a running joke that Google search is just a thin wikipedia wrapper.

I'm quite sure that it's just a StackOverflow wrapper.

Please don't - we should be linking to objective journalistic sources which provide analysis surrounding the decision, not one-sided puff pieces from the sources themselves which can present their actions in any light they wish and omit whatever relevant info they don't want presented.

Nearly All of Wikipedia Is Written By Just 1 Percent of Its Editors https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/7x47bb/wikipedia-...

Tried writing for it in Germany, but stopped after two or three articles and some minor corrections. It's full of people who feel enlightened and therefore drive all the sane people off. It's a really ill climate in there. No fun.

Fantastic news. Someone has to.

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes // Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

You beat me at posting this same comment. A good move from Google, still it raises some concerns. Should Wikipedia become dependent on Google's money in the future say if they hired more people or invested in beefier hardware after some agreement (put ads?), that would be a disaster.

Not unlike the pop or sports star who suddenly gets a huge contract and stupidly begins spending loads of money in luxuries. By doing so he/she is now being forced to keep making tons of money to maintain that lifestyle, de facto becoming property of his/her management.

Probably just so they can get rid of that 1/3 page notification to "give them money"

I hope this reduces the "we need donations" banner to an extent. I contribute changes whenever I can, so seeing that banner each and every time is a bit frustrating.

Probably not. Wikimedia like money[1].

They've been running a revenue surplus of $20m+ per year for the last while and are currently sitting on a $130m cash & equivalents hoard.

[1] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/6/60/FY17-...

Considering there expenses are $80m in 2018, I think it is okey if they keep some surplus as a cushion.

You can create an account and log in. I think logged in accounts don't see the banner. At least I don't see it. I am not sure if logging in is enough or you need to make some contributions as well (I have some contributions).

Reminder that Wikimedia receives north of 100 million of USD per year, with the servers themselves costing 2 millions.

So you're saying computers are cheap and humans expensive? Breaking news there

On the same day taxpayers gave millions to Google https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autonomous-waymo/waymo-sa...

8 million is peanuts compared to the cost that self-driving has had for google and that cost will only increase until successful, and if that happens it will save thousands of lives (mostly because it can't get drunk, it's mood-less and respects speed limits)

I'm pro self driving car, just saying it's absurd to give taxpayer money to Google (Amazon, etc.)

8 million is not enough to buy a single tank for the military, and they buy hundreds of those; if wasting taxpayers is your concern you looking at the wrong places.

Google has so much money its scary.

Commerces "give back to the community", as MongoDB would say.

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