Tuesday, January 21, 2020

"We Finally Figured Out Who Makes wikiHow’s Bizarre Art"


wikiHow’s anarchic aesthetic has attracted a cult following, inspiring a popular Reddit board, a lightly viral guessing game website, a currently dormant Twitter account, a frequently updated Twitter account, a surprisingly active Tumblr profile, and more than a few blogs. Still, beyond a trickle of unverifiable social chatter on Reddit, Quora, and Twitter, nobody seems to have been able to definitively answer the question “Who the heck makes this stuff?”


It turns out, OneZero has found, that wikiHow sources its graphics from freelance artists around the globe, primarily concentrated in the Philippines. Freelancers told OneZero they had been recruited through contract work sites like Upwork and Indeed, and in one case described pay as low as $.40 per image.


Over four years we ended up doing 1.4 million custom visuals, and those are live on over 150,000 of our articles. That’s a lot, and it’s taken a lot of manpower to make it happen, and we’re constantly trying to move the needle even further on that visual content.”


Contracts with nondisclosure agreements could potentially be to blame for how few artists mention working for wikiHow publicly relative to the site’s humongous volume of illustration work.