Wikipedia COO was convicted felon

Audit pending


Exclusive For more than six months, beginning in January of this year, Wikipedia's million-dollar check book was balanced by a convicted felon.

When Carolyn Bothwell Doran was hired as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Florida-based Wikimedia Foundation, she had a criminal record in three other states - Virginia, Maryland, and Texas - and she was still on parole for a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) hit and run.

Her record also included convictions for passing bad checks, theft, petty larceny, additional DUIs, and unlawfully wounding her boyfriend with a gun shot to the chest.

Doran left the charitable Foundation in July this year, after another DUI arrest and a violation of her probation. Our efforts to contact Doran were unsuccessful, and her lawyer declined to comment.

The Wikimedia Foundation did not officially announce Doran's departure, even among the close-knit Wikipedia community. In September, when chairman of the board Florence Devouard was publicly asked why Doran had left her post, she suggested that the decision was Doran's, and in an interview with The Register, the Foundation's lawyer, Mike Godwin, was adamant that Doran resigned her post.

Godwin also said that he and the Foundation are still unaware of Doran's criminal record: "We've never had any documentation of any criminal record on Carolyn Doran's part at all," he told us. "As far as I'm concerned, I have no direct knowledge of [her criminal record] yet...We have, in our records, no evidence of any such thing."

Carolyn Doran, former Wikimedia COO

Carolyn Doran, in a photo posted to Wikipedia

Meanwhile, an audit of the Foundation's finances - which was originally due for release in September, according to the Foundation website - is still pending. "We've gone through a whole lot of growth over the last year, including staffing up, so our audit is in progress," Godwin said. "It's very hard for us to give an exact ETA on it, but we expect it in a few weeks." He also said that the audit had been delayed by the Foundation's planned move to San Francisco.

The Wikimedia Foundation relies on public contributions and grants to fund its operations, and all contributions qualify as charitable deductions.


Other stories you might like

  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022