Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/Wikicredibility Initiative: Wikimedians Strengthening Knowledge and News Credibility on the Internet

WikiCredibility Initiative: Wikimedians Strengthening Knowledge and News Credibility on the Internet
This grant proposal will extend the work of the previous WikiCredibility Initiative campaign. The objective here is to continue helping communities of new editors, readers, technologists and other ecosystem members who rely on Wikipedia for verified information, sourcing, understanding and creating better processes and frameworks for content creation and information provenance with the help of Wikimedians.
start date01-Jun-2022
end date31-May-2023
budget (local currency)100000 USD
budget (USD)100000 USD
grant typeplease specify whether this grant is for an individual, group, or organization
organization typeNon profit organisation
applicant(s)• Ahmed Median (advised by Kevin Payravi & SJ Klein)
organization (if applicable)• Hack/Hackers
website (if applicable)

This is an automatically generated page based on the applicant's application on the Wikimedia Foundation's Grantee Portal on Fluxx.


What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?

Ongoing conflicts around the world show the need to curate and surface quality information; this focus on building resources to address disinformation has been a key strategic activity since our first MisinfoCon in Kyiv in 2019.
Our proposal is focused on addressing the challenge of credibility online in a scalable, sustainable way by continuing to build the capacity of Wikimedia communities. The new initiatives we are proposing will continue to support and incubate existing credibility tools and also connect them to new audiences, and thereby expand their impact.
This grant proposal will extend the work of the previous WikiCred Initiative. Started in 2020, WikiCred provided a series of grants to 15 community projects that strengthen credibility and reliability in the information ecosystem and Wikimedia space. These projects included:
  • Vaccine Safety Project, documenting the existing knowledge as well as finding and reducing the knowledge gaps related to vaccine safety on Wikipedia.
  • RefB, a bot that can automate adding references to Wikidata statements in the biomedical context.
  • Glassbox, a WordPress plugin for news publishers to make article edits public, as well as a wiki bot to notify Wikipedia editors whenever these articles change.
  • Scribe, a reference API that lists references based on usage and domain by language.
  •, a list of unreliable news/info sites, linked to site-ratings and fact-checks.
  • WikiUX, an examination of how end-users respond to different types of credibility signals.
In addition to these grants, WikiCred held a series of online demo sessions for grantees to showcase their work, and for the public to learn, engage, and network with each other. These demos can be viewed here.
The objective of this grant is to continue this work by with a new series of grants, webinars, and workshops to support new editors, readers, technologists and other ecosystem members who rely on Wikipedia for verified information, sourcing, understanding and creating better processes and frameworks for content creation and information provenance with the help of Wikimedians.
While Wikipedia has several frameworks and processes in place to ensure reliability, we hope to improve them and help fill in gaps. One problem is the difficulty editors can face in distinguishing reliable sources from unreliable ones, in a world where new websites are popping up every day. Another example is that existing processes are gameable to introduction misinformation; Wikipedia typically does a good job of keeping out uncited statements, but once someone adds a citation it becomes more difficult to identify misinformation and/or unreliable sources and to act accordingly. It is also possible for citations to be manipulated to appear more reliable than they are; for example, someone may cite self-published sources across Wikipedia, and if they stick that can increase their perceived value and builds a positive feedback loop. By studying, improving, and building new processes, we hope to make it easier for editors to tackle misinformation and improve sourcing. Looking back at the first round of grants, the Vaccine Safety Project established a list of reliable sources related to vaccines; RefB provided an automated way to add reliable sourcing to biomedical topics; and Glassbox provides a way to identify changes in existing sources. Continuing to fund and support projects like these are how we plan to continue improving reliability on Wikipedia.
Based on our success so far with the WikiCred initiative, we will also continue to encourage new WikiCred projects proposals that address gaps in the credibility space, as well as projects that will serve new communities. We are also proposing to continue to move towards comprehensive coverage of active credibility needs by launching and supporting community-maintained tools.
Finally, thanks to improving pandemic conditions, we intend to meet the demand for in-person events by planning and facilitating “WikiCredCons” where research, technology, activist and Wikimedia communities can come together to discuss, surface, and collaborate on new solutions and tools that address credibility issues.

Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?

Mapped activities and work will include:
  • Continuing to support organizers, trainers through activity-specific microgrants.
  • Organizing a series of workshops with targeted audiences (students, editors, technologists, internet platform policy professionals) on topics such as:
    • a) Editing new articles
    • b) Evaluate reliable sources
    • c) Discussion of inclusivity of reliable sources guidelines among a spectrum of less represented communities (e.g. language, gender)
    • d) Discussion of new tools and prototypes developed thanks to WikiCred microgrants

What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?

Addressing new communities and including new stakeholders in the conversation of Information and knowledge reliability (veracity, information provenance), as it travels to and from platforms like Wikipedia to other information environments and settings.

Where will this proposal be implemented?

While the project is based on the United States of America, we would aim to fund projects internationally.

Organization detailsEdit

Organization name


What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?

Hacks/Hackers creates, fosters and connects communities of professionals and researchers with diverse backgrounds in the disinformation/credibility space in order to raise the profile of reliable, credible information for all. Wikimedians form a robust group within H/H. We work together through grants, workshops and webinars to elevate, find useful ways and partnerships to integrate learnings and tools from Wikipedia into the larger information ecosystem.

Please tell us how your organization is structured.

Hacks/Hackers is organized as a 501(c)(3) with a board, a lawyer and financial advisor. It engages directly with community members in its projects through paid contracts. The labour and working hours budgeted for this project may be pooled in from/with other similar partnerships building and workshops organizing work on other similar projects via the special project manager and signatory on this grant proposal.

Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?

The special project manager for this project will be Ahmed Medien. He will be the main partnerships and relationships manager as well as define the scope of work during the project duration. Ahmed Medien previously managed the WikiCred grants, call for applications, funds disbursement and projects success.
Jennifer 8. Lee, co-founder of the Credibility Coalition will continue to advise on this project. SJ Klein and Kevin Payravi (WMDC board member) will continue to advise on this project as well. Ahmed Medien will report to advisors on work development and will work with the financial advisor to provide detailed and accurate financial reporting of the funds disbursed, utilized during the project.

Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.


Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?

Did not apply previously

Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?

Yes, Hacks/Hackers has received grants from the following organizations, in collaboration with WikiConference North America and MisinfoCon.
  • City University of New York
  • Craig Newmark Philanthropies
  • Newton and Rochelle Becker Foundation
  • Elkes Family Foundation
  • Mozilla Foundation
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Meedan
  • Computer Research Association
  • National Science Foundation
Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
Above 50,000 USD
What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
Government, National NGO, International NGO
What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
More than 75%

Project ProposalEdit

Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?

The project will occur mainly online/remotely due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19 in several parts of the world. The project however will seek to engage different communities from different, professional, geographic and language backgrounds. It is intended that the project's participants may be from anywhere in the world.

Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented? (optional)

The project will more or less span three main geographic regions (but not limited to since the focus will be language and not geography):
  • North America (Canada + US)
  • LAC region, Spanish-speaking and American indigenous language(s)-speaking Wikimedians
  • North Africa and West Asia region, Arabic-speaking Wikimedians

Are you running any in-person events or activities?


Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?

Geography, Language, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context)

Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.

Geographic, Linguistic / Language, Digital Access

Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.

Education, Climate Change and sustainability, Public Policy, Open Technology, Diversity

Please tell us more about your target participants.

The following communities and audiences will be encouraged to apply for funding during this phase of the WikiCred program:
  • Both English and non-English audiences
  • Educators, academics, and researchers in the misinformation space (and related fields)
  • Technologists and software developers
In this second phase of WikiCred, we will federate the organizing work to include other countries, focusing on language and regional specificities with existing and new partners including Wikimedia DC, Wikimedia Mexico, Wikimedians of the Levant, Wikimedian academics at the University of Sydney and Arizona State, and Wikimedian librarians that WikiCred has partnered with in the past.
We will also work to amplify the impact of existing credibility tools, including those supported in phase 1, by increasing their visibility, reaching out to new contributors and potential translators and maintainers, and gathering user feedback to improve their usefulness to new audience.
Hacks/Hackers is home of the Credibility Coalition community, where event and workshop participants may choose to remain active. Hacks/Hackers run community meetings, newsletters, a job board (newsletter), a community blog as well as additional subgrants for organizers on the topic of misinformation, information reliability and integrity to maintain engagement with and within its community members.

Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?


If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.

  • Wikimedia DC board members are advisors on this project.
  • Hacks/Hackers is working with WikiConference North America steering committee towards an in-person 2022 conference (early-stage planning).
  • Hacks/Hackers ran/runs continuously webinars with Wikimedia Mexico and organizers from affiliate smaller groups.
  • Hacks/Hackers has funded WPWP contests in 2020 and 2021 for Arabic language content and plans to continue its involvement with Wikimedians in the North Africa/West Asia region

If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.


Will you be working with other external, non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?


If yes, please describe these partnerships.

  • Arizona State University (organizing symposia)
  • National digital libraries (outreach for online symposia)

Learning, Sharing, and EvaluationEdit

What do you hope to learn from your work in this fund proposal?

We want to continue to realise the core mission of Hacks/Hackers which is to foster and create space for professionals with diverse backgrounds to engage in the challenge of disinformation and credible/authentic information online, on online communications systems.
We want to address targeted goals and questions such as is there a standardized format for engaging different diverse communities on the topic of credibility and reliable information that we can pass on to organizers? Can we assemble a template-like curriculum for teaching Wikipedia rules and processes to professionals who are tasked with creating the same frameworks on other platforms and technologies? Can we engage a larger community of technologists into the conversation around credible information, the offerings of wikimedia projects for the overall information ecosystem?

Core MetricsEdit

Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.

Core Metrics Summary
Core metrics Description Target
Number of projects /

Number of project-organizers supported

Our primary goal is to continue to support community members organizing their own projects, through microgrants. And to offer feedback and visibility to all projects that apply for grants, and help match proposals with either similar projects or future funding.

In 2020, we funded the projects of a total of 24 organizers, focusing on those based in the US. We aim to extend this to the rest of the world.

Our goal is to support a comparable number of projects: 20-25 projects, run by 25-30 organizers. We will also continue to engage with the organizers from our first WikiCredibility campaign, increasing cross-collaboration among organizers.

25 / 30
Number of credibility symposia We aim to have 5-6 symposia on how to use and contribute to supported tools and projects to improve + evaluate credibility and address knowledge gaps on the wikis. These will include guidance in developing proposals for new projects or tools, if existing ones don't suffice, that could be submitted to this microgrant process. These workshops will be organized through several Wikipedia chapters, communities and partner organizations. (WMDC, WMMX, WCNA, library partners) 5
Number of new editors joining the community As the symposia and our outreach will target new communities, we hope for at least 50 new participants over the course of the year who are engaging with WikiCred conversations on the wiki, around credibility and reliable information and sources, who are thinking about ways to address these issues at scale, and to address specific obstacles faced by their own communities.

The team has contacts with participants who attended past workshops on credibility and Wikimedia projects, and can pull from these as well as from other cross-disciplinary audiences.

New partners and organizations joining the community Part of this work is connecting existing communities focused on media literacy and the open-knowledge ecosystem. We want to increase the number of these groups actively participating on the wiki on WikiProjects, or advising existing WikiProjects and recipients of WikiCred grants.

This can include volunteer networks, NGOs, and other fellow-traveller communities.

Model articles and templates created We hope that supported projects will include initiatives that develop models for contributing new kinds of content, or for improving existing content, in dozens of example topics, multiple languages, and multiple Projects. (including Wikipedia, WikiCommons, Wikidata, Wikisource).

New editors and templates can have a multiplicative effect on contribution in related underrepresented areas. We aim for supported projects to generate at least 100 models or templates which can be reused. Some examples of supported projects from 2020 that did this:

– WPWP and Wiki Loves Africa ran campaigns to improve content usage on Igbo, Swahili, Yoruba, Luganda, Hausa, Shona, Amharic, Lingala and Afrikaans. That campaign alone garnered more than 90,000 edits in those 9 language Wikipedias.

– A photo campaign for the Arabic language Wikipedia gathered images from regions with poor coverage relative to topic and article density.

– A campaign to improve articles about black-owned newspapers in the USA and the Caribbean helped increase their visibility and accessibility as potential reliable sources.

– For health [mis]information, the wikiproject of the Vaccine Safety Project curated information portals, content and articles that needed to be improved.


If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation.

Other metrics that we will collect include (added to the table above)

The number of new organizations (engaged in media literacy and the open-knowledge ecosystem) that interact with this campaign, our supported projects, and wiki communities.

What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impacts of your activities? (optional)

What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?

We will refer to tools developed by the community to track metrics such as the number of edits.
For other project-wide relevant metrics, we use project management tools such as Trello to track specific details for each milestone as well as other database tools such as airtable and spreadsheets for data entry, management, extraction and analysis.

How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?

  • Share results and learnings in the MisinfoCon blog
  • Create a video of our experiences
  • Create a short presentation of our experiences

Financial ProposalEdit

What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.

100000 USD

What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?

100000 USD

Please share your budget for this proposal.

Total budget: $100,000
  • General and Administrative (G&A, detailed below: $15,000.00
  • Staffing (person who will run the program day to day): $10,000.00
  • Sub-grants: $75,000.00
G&A includes:
  • financial transfer fees;
  • contracting paperwork for the PM;
  • a share of insurance + accounting overhead;
  • legal + technical + community-feasibility review;
  • costs of hosting in-person workshops
  • small amounts of time from other staff + small contractors to facilitate other staff time + helping matchmake w/ ongoing funding for projects that need it.
Staff time includes:
  • program promotion – publicizing the call for proposals, ensuring a balanced range of submissions (by geography, demography, language)
  • program management – coordination, engaging with grant recipients + keeping them on schedule, organizing the review jury + timely feedback to all applicants
  • program evaluation – reviewing submissions and outcomes, facilitating writeups that others can replicate or act on

What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?

Hacks/Hackers maintains a financial management system that includes internal controls and grant management standards. It is the policy of Hacks/Hackers to ensure segregation of responsibilities with regards to all aspects of the financial operations, and no individual staff member has the ability to initiate, approve, and review the same action. Hacks/Hackers takes care to ensure oversight of the operations of all grant supported activities.
Month-end financial reports are provided to project managers and the board of directors for managerial review. Project managers monitor program objectives and performance throughout the life of a grant cycle. Hacks/Hackers maintains secure accounting records that contain information pertaining to grant or subgrant awards, authorizations, obligations, unobligated balances, assets, expenditures, income and interest, and are supported by source documentation.
Microgrant Review:
For this second phase of WikiCred microgrants, there will be no changes to general procedures from the initial phase of WikiCred. The proposal review and decision-making processes will operate as follows:
  • Target audience: Existing and new target audiences include Wikimedia DC, Wikimedia Mexico, Wikimedians of the Levant, Wikimedian academics at the University of Sydney, Arizona State and Wikimedian librarians that WikiCred has partnered with in the past.
  • Subgrant budget cap: $7,500
  • Subgrant requirements: We provide direction for project scope and budgeting; applicants to provide target metrics and outcomes, and then will report against results.
  • Review process: As with last time, we will have a review committee that consists of experienced Wikimedians and misinformation experts from Misinfocon and CredCo. The review committee regularly reviews applications, provides initial ratings, and then meets to discuss and either finalize decisions, or engage with the applicant for more information or adjusting their grant plan.

How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?

We have developed a code of ethics and participation for all Credibility Coalition and Hacks/Hackers related projects that we abide by. The Credibility Coalition Code of Ethics and Participation

By submitting your proposal/funding request you agree that you are in agreement with the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and the Universal Code of Conduct.

I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friend Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.