UnNews:Subprime mortgage woes hit Wikipedia, article count drops below 1 million
9 September 2007
SAN MATEO, California -- The ongoing subprime mortgage crisis has finally reached the online realm, as Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia any idiot can edit, is starting to lose some of its property to foreclosure. Just as the site's article count was about to hit two million, the bank that issued the mortgage on the building holding the site's servers began the foreclosure process. As servers and hard drives were being disconnected one by one, Wikipedia's article count plummeted.
"Mr. Wales hasn't kept up with the payments in over three months," explained a representative from Bank of America, which issued the mortgage, referring to Jimbo Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia. "We now have no choice but to auction off all its servers, before finally repossessing the building itself," he added. Bargain hunters are flocking to get good deals on some top-of-the-line hardware. "Perhaps some of this equipment will help us increase our online presence and regain our status as the world's most comprehensive encyclopedia," excitedly commented a representative from Encyclopedia Britannica at the auction.
Meanwhile, the mood was somber at Wikia's headquarters in San Mateo, California. Co-founder Angela Beesley revealed that the company was aware of the imminent financial disaster, but largely ignored it, believing Wikipedia's users would donate enough money to keep the site going. "Clearly that was not the case," she wept, "and when our adjustable rate mortgage increased by 6 percent, nearly tripling the monthly payment, we simply couldn't afford it." She added that when Wikia first took out the mortgage on the server building three years ago, "the low 2% interest rate seemed like a great deal - we just forgot to read the fine print, and Wikipedia's article about mortgages didn't have sufficient information yet to adequately prepare us for the endeavour."
The bank's auction of Wikia's property is being handled by the online auction site eBay, leading some to suspect internal betrayal as the cause behind Wikipedia's demise. Gil Penchina, the CEO of Wikia, once headed up eBay, and some now suspect he is secretly reaping profits from the auctioning of his new company's wares.
With Wikipedia's demise a foregone conclusion, its volunteer administrators and contributors are flocking to rival site Uncyclopedia - long known for its fiscal responsibility. Founder Jonathan Huang explained that "right from the start, we knew we couldn't afford storage space for more than around 25 thousand articles." Current administrators are vigilent in enforcing this limit, deleting new articles in droves "no matter how good they are. It's just a matter of economic sense," forcefully explained admin Hinoa.
- "" "What's left of Wikipedia" "", September 9, 2007