Wikipedia on new Facebook community pages

Jane Park

Earlier this week, Facebook announced its launch of community pages, pages based on topics of interest to the community that are not maintained by a single author. Single author pages include band or company pages that intend to promote that band or company. Instead, community pages are based on the concept of “shared knowledge” that underlies Wikipedia. Community pages integrate Wikipedia content which retains the Creative Commons license.

For example, check out the community page for Cooking. The page has directly imported CC BY-SA licensed content from the Wikipedia entry on Cooking. All links to Wikipedia are retained, including direct links to edit the information. At the bottom of the page, the source of content is explicitly stated with links to the CC BY-SA license and history of the article:

For more information on how Wikipedia is integrated into community pages, check out Facebook’s FAQ on Community pages and an email from Wikimedia Foundation’s Head of Business Development, Kul Takanao Wadhwa:

Wikipedia articles on Facebook will further increase the reach of free knowledge on the internet. Facebook has hundreds of millions of users, and now more than 70% of their traffic is coming from outside of the US. Our hope is that many Facebook users (if they are not already) will also be inclined to join the large community of Wikipedia contributors. Facebook will follow the free licenses (CC-BY-SA) and help us find more ways people can share knowledge. Furthermore, we will be looking at other ways that both parties can cooperate in the future.

It’s worth noting privacy concerns about they way Facebook has connected community pages to user profiles — these concerns have nothing to do with the reuse of Wikipedia content.

17 thoughts on “Wikipedia on new Facebook community pages”

  1. “All links to Wikipedia are retained”

    Not so. Looking at a few Facebook community pages, a good percentage of links have been rewritten to point to other Facebook pages.

  2. What this does is make all of your facebook content available to anyone, overriding any privacy settings that you have in place. This sucks and is an invasion of privacy!

  3. This has taken away the pages set up by people on Facebook, and given priority to Wikipedia articles, which now define the Facebook page.

  4. This is an interesting phenonmenon I’ve just noticed… what the long-term results may be I’m not sure of, but it seems good for those wanting the data available, and most likely the opposite for those who do not, which Facebook doesn’t seem to seperate at all here, it just automatically creates a page from certain sources, such as “Employer” on the profile page.

  5. I have been watching closely the Facebook Community Page of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. The page was created as “interest” but the name “American Academy of Forensic Sciences” is trademarked and, therefore, not available for open use.
    I have made several attempts to contact Facebook regarding this problem. The page is not authorized nor approved by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
    What steps are in place to correct this abuse by Wiki and CC-BY-SA?

  6. Facebook has hijacked content and labour provided by hundreds of thousand of Wikipedia editors worldwide—to promote Facebook. This is bullshit.

  7. Nancy, the original article is at

    Trademark is separate from copyright. I doubt you can prevent anyone from hosting a page about an organization.

    Conopa, the terms under which contributions are made to Wikipedia and available to others allow commercial use of articles so long as terms are complied with, which include notice of the terms, attribution, and offering changes if any under the same terms. There are lots of websites that do. This is not “hijacking”, rather it is delivering free knowledge to more people. If you think a site copying content from Wikipedia is not in compliance there is some information to follow at

  8. I’m setting up a FB page for an organization, and the fact that multiple pages tied to Wikipedia “information” already exist is more than a little annoying. They’re not “community” pages – there are no walls for communities to communicate. It does appear that they somehow scoop related posts from people’s walls, which is also annoying.

    If anyone has a clue as to how to eliminate these Wikipedia-based pages, please write me at writeray at y42k dot com.

  9. Can anyone tell me whether Facebook incorporated the Wikipedia entry on Facebook and if they did can they also supply the link. I am curious since the Wikipedia entry includes criticism of Facebook and so if this entry is not included is Facebook not including anything that they don’t like? Indeed does anyone know anything at all about how Facebook selects entries from Wikipedia. I believe it has something to do with articles that are supposedly of general interest.

  10. Nigel, Ray,

    Doesn’t appear the Wikipedia entry on Facebook is incorporated in, but neither is the Wikipedia entry on Creative Commons incorporated in I don’t see any indication of how to add or remove Wikipedia content from a page.

  11. How do I do this? I see a lot of Facebook pages, i.e. Actor/Director pages with Wikipedia info attached. I’d like to make one, but can’t figure out how.

  12. This is highly annoying… not only that Wiki and Facebook are joining forces to spread content all over the internet, but this content can be erroneous and can allow images and logos to be displayed that break our organizations policies. I can’t go in and edit the images since I am not approved yet… I don’t like the fact that I now have to worry about errors and wrong images… I don’t have time to police extra content. Wiki and FB, you suck.

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