Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Take CAIR before making donations for Citizendium

Citizendium, an online encyclopedia project similar to but different from Wikipedia, has just made some of their articles visible to the public. I'd view it as an interesting experiment, but I'm worried about their current (temporary) funding model.

They are being funded through the Tides Center. Legally speaking, you give money to the Tides Center, and they say that they'll give the money to Citizendium, minus what Citizendium calls a very reasonable administration fee. But Citizendium makes no promise that that money will be spent on administration, and I do not know that they can make such a promise.

The Tides Center funds a variety of groups. One of them is CAIR. The group is involved with a SLAPP lawsuit involving the "Flying Imams" trying to identify John Doe fellow passengers who acted in good faith with what they reasonably perceived was a potential danger.

If Citizendium can guarantee that money will go where it should, I'll be glad to hear it. And the sooner it becomes independent of the Tides Center, the sooner I'll be confident that Citizendium can write without a conflict of interest on the Tides Center, the Tides Foundation and those that fund or are funded by them.

The funding might be through the Tides Foundation, not the Center. Citizendium is a little fuzzy on this itself.
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