Wikipedia

Wikipedia
A white sphere made of large jigsaw pieces, with letters from several alphabets shown on the pieces
Wikipedia wordmark
The , a globe featuring glyphs from several writing systems
Screenshot
Main page of the English Wikipedia
Main Page of the English Wikipedia on July 23, 2018
Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Available in301 languages
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
Created byJimmy Wales, Larry Sanger[1]
Websitewikipedia.org
Alexa rankSteady 5 (Global, August 2018)
CommercialNo
RegistrationOptional[notes 1]
Users>275,016 active users[notes 2] and >76,704,570 registered users
LaunchedJanuary 15, 2001; 17 years ago (2001-01-15)
Current statusActive
Content license
CC Attribution / Share-Alike 3.0
Most text is also dual-licensed under GFDL; media licensing varies
Written inLAMP platform[2]
OCLC number52075003

Wikipedia (ə/ (About this sound listen), ə/ (About this sound listen) PEE-dee-ə) is a multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia based on a model of openly editable content. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet,[3][4][5] and is one of the most popular websites by Alexa rank.[6] It is owned and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which operates on money it receives from donors.[7][8][9]

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.[10] Sanger coined its name,[11][12] a blend of wiki[notes 3] and encyclopedia. Initially an English-language encyclopedia, versions in other languages were quickly developed. With 5,700,359 articles,[notes 4] the English Wikipedia is the largest of the more than 290 Wikipedia encyclopedias. Overall, Wikipedia comprises more than 40 million articles in 301 different languages[14] and had 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month as of February 2014.[15]

As of March 2017, Wikipedia had about 40,000 Featured Articles and Good Articles covering vital topics.[16][17] In 2005, Nature published a peer review comparing 42 science articles from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia and found that Wikipedia's level of accuracy approached that of Encyclopædia Britannica.[18] Time magazine stated that the open-door policy of allowing anyone to edit had made Wikipedia the biggest and possibly the best encyclopedia in the world and it was testament to the vision of Jimmy Wales.[19]

Wikipedia has been criticized for exhibiting systemic bias, for presenting a mixture of "truths, half truths, and some falsehoods",[20] and for being subject to manipulation and spin in controversial topics.[21] In 2017, Facebook announced that it would help readers detect fake news by suitable links to Wikipedia articles. YouTube announced a similar plan in 2018. In response, the Washington Post headlined, "Wikipedia, the ‘good cop’ of the Internet".[22]

History

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger

Nupedia

Logo reading "Nupedia.com the free encyclopedia" in blue with large initial "N"
Wikipedia originally developed from another encyclopedia project called Nupedia

Other collaborative online encyclopedias were attempted before Wikipedia, but none were as successful.[23] Wikipedia began as a complementary project for Nupedia, a free online English-language encyclopedia project whose articles were written by experts and reviewed under a formal process.[10] It was founded on March 9, 2000 under the ownership of Bomis, a web portal company. Its main figures were Bomis CEO Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, editor-in-chief for Nupedia and later Wikipedia.[24][25] Nupedia was initially licensed under its own Nupedia Open Content License, but even before Wikipedia was founded, Nupedia switched to the GNU Free Documentation License at the urging of Richard Stallman.[26] Wales is credited with defining the goal of making a publicly editable encyclopedia,[27][28] while Sanger is credited with the strategy of using a wiki to reach that goal.[29] On January 10, 2001, Sanger proposed on the Nupedia mailing list to create a wiki as a "feeder" project for Nupedia.[30]

External audio
The Great Book of Knowledge, Part 1, Ideas with Paul Kennedy, CBC, January 15, 2014

Launch and early growth

Wikipedia's domain name was registered on January 12, 2001[31] and was launched on January 15, 2001,[10] as a single English-language edition at www.wikipedia.com,[32] and announced by Sanger on the Nupedia mailing list.[27] Wikipedia's policy of "neutral point-of-view"[33] was codified in its first months. Otherwise, there were relatively few rules initially and Wikipedia operated independently of Nupedia.[27] Originally, Bomis intended to make Wikipedia a business for profit.[34]

Wikipedia gained early contributors from Nupedia, Slashdot postings, and web search engine indexing. Language editions were also created, with a total of 161 by the end of 2004.[35] Nupedia and Wikipedia coexisted until the former's servers were taken down permanently in 2003, and its text was incorporated into Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia passed the mark of two million articles on September 9, 2007, making it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled, surpassing the 1408 Yongle Encyclopedia, which had held the record for almost 600 years.[36]

Citing fears of commercial advertising and lack of control in Wikipedia, users of the Spanish Wikipedia forked from Wikipedia to create the Enciclopedia Libre in February 2002.[37] These moves encouraged Wales to announce that Wikipedia would not display advertisements, and to change Wikipedia's domain from wikipedia.com to wikipedia.org.[38]

Though the English Wikipedia reached three million articles in August 2009, the growth of the edition, in terms of the numbers of articles and of contributors, appears to have peaked around early 2007.[39] Around 1,800 articles were added daily to the encyclopedia in 2006; by 2013 that average was roughly 800.[40] A team at the Palo Alto Research Center attributed this slowing of growth to the project's increasing exclusivity and resistance to change.[41] Others suggest that the growth is flattening naturally because articles that could be called "low-hanging fruit"—topics that clearly merit an article—have already been created and built up extensively.[42][43][44]

In November 2009, a researcher at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid (Spain) found that the English Wikipedia had lost 49,000 editors during the first three months of 2009; in comparison, the project lost only 4,900 editors during the same period in 2008.[45][46] The Wall Street Journal cited the array of rules applied to editing and disputes related to such content among the reasons for this trend.[47] Wales disputed these claims in 2009, denying the decline and questioning the methodology of the study.[48] Two years later, in 2011, Wales acknowledged the presence of a slight decline, noting a decrease from "a little more than 36,000 writers" in June 2010 to 35,800 in June 2011. In the same interview, Wales also claimed the number of editors was "stable and sustainable".[49] A 2013 article titled "The Decline of Wikipedia" in MIT's Technology Review questioned this claim. The article revealed that since 2007, Wikipedia had lost a third of the volunteer editors who update and correct the online encyclopedia and those still there have focused increasingly on minutiae.[50] In July 2012, The Atlantic reported that the number of administrators is also in decline.[51] In the November 25, 2013, issue of New York magazine, Katherine Ward stated "Wikipedia, the sixth-most-used website, is facing an internal crisis".[52]

Wikipedia blackout protest against SOPA on January 18, 2012
A promotional video of the Wikimedia Foundation that encourages viewers to edit Wikipedia, mostly reviewing 2014 via Wikipedia content

Milestones

In January 2007, Wikipedia entered for the first time the top-ten list of the most popular websites in the U.S., according to comScore Networks. With 42.9 million unique visitors, Wikipedia was ranked number 9, surpassing The New York Times (#10) and Apple (#11). This marked a significant increase over January 2006, when the rank was number 33, with Wikipedia receiving around 18.3 million unique visitors.[53] As of March 2015, Wikipedia has rank 5[6][54] among websites in terms of popularity according to Alexa Internet. In 2014, it received 8 billion pageviews every month.[55] On February 9, 2014, The New York Times reported that Wikipedia has 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors a month, "according to the ratings firm comScore."[15]

On January 18, 2012, the English Wikipedia participated in a series of coordinated protests against two proposed laws in the United States Congress—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)—by blacking out its pages for 24 hours.[56] More than 162 million people viewed the blackout explanation page that temporarily replaced Wikipedia content.[57][58]

The Wikipedia Page on December 17, 2001.

Loveland and Reagle argue that, in process, Wikipedia follows a long tradition of historical encyclopedias that accumulated improvements piecemeal through "stigmergic accumulation".[59][60]

On January 20, 2014, Subodh Varma reporting for The Economic Times indicated that not only had Wikipedia's growth flattened but that it has "lost nearly 10 per cent of its page-views last year. That's a decline of about 2 billion between December 2012 and December 2013. Its most popular versions are leading the slide: page-views of the English Wikipedia declined by 12 per cent, those of German version slid by 17 per cent and the Japanese version lost 9 per cent."[61] Varma added that, "While Wikipedia's managers think that this could be due to errors in counting, other experts feel that Google's Knowledge Graphs project launched last year may be gobbling up Wikipedia users."[61] When contacted on this matter, Clay Shirky, associate professor at New York University and fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Security indicated that he suspected much of the page view decline was due to Knowledge Graphs, stating, "If you can get your question answered from the search page, you don't need to click [any further]."[61]

By the end of December 2016, Wikipedia was ranked fifth in the most popular websites globally.[62]

Other Languages
Acèh: Wikipèdia
адыгабзэ: Википедие
Afrikaans: Wikipedia
Akan: Wikipedia
Alemannisch: Wikipedia
አማርኛ: ውክፔዲያ
Ænglisc: Wikipǣdia
Аҧсшәа: Авикипедиа
العربية: ويكيبيديا
aragonés: Biquipedia
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܘܝܩܝܦܕܝܐ
armãneashti: Wikipedia
arpetan: Vouiquipèdia
অসমীয়া: ৱিকিপিডিয়া
asturianu: Wikipedia
Atikamekw: Wikipetcia
Avañe'ẽ: Vikipetã
Aymar aru: Wikipidiya
azərbaycanca: Vikipediya
تۆرکجه: ویکی‌پدیا
bamanankan: Wikipedi
Bahasa Banjar: Wikipidia
Bân-lâm-gú: Wikipedia
Basa Banyumasan: Wikipedia
башҡортса: Википедия
беларуская: Вікіпедыя
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Вікіпэдыя
भोजपुरी: विकिपीडिया
Bikol Central: Wikipidya
Bislama: Wikipedia
български: Уикипедия
Boarisch: Wikipedia
bosanski: Wikipedia
brezhoneg: Wikipedia
буряад: Википеэди
català: Viquipèdia
Чӑвашла: Википеди
Cebuano: Wikipedya
čeština: Wikipedie
Chamoru: Wikipedia
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Wikipedia
chiShona: Wikipedhiya
corsu: Wikipedia
Cymraeg: Wikipedia
dansk: Wikipedia
davvisámegiella: Wikipedia
Deitsch: Wikipedia
Deutsch: Wikipedia
ދިވެހިބަސް: ވިކިޕީޑިޔާ
dolnoserbski: Wikipedija
eesti: Vikipeedia
Ελληνικά: Βικιπαίδεια
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Wikipedia
español: Wikipedia
Esperanto: Vikipedio
estremeñu: Wikipedia
euskara: Wikipedia
føroyskt: Wikipedia
français: Wikipédia
Frysk: Wikipedy
Fulfulde: Wikipeediya
furlan: Vichipedie
Gaeilge: Vicipéid
Gaelg: Wikipedia
Gagauz: Vikipediya
Gàidhlig: Uicipeid
galego: Wikipedia
贛語: 維基百科
Gĩkũyũ: Wikipedia
گیلکی: ويکيپديا
ગુજરાતી: વિકિપીડિયા
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Wikipidia
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Wikipedia
хальмг: Бикипеди
한국어: 위키백과
Hausa: Wikipedia
Hawaiʻi: Wikipikia
Հայերեն: Վիքիպեդիա
हिन्दी: विकिपीडिया
hornjoserbsce: Wikipedija
hrvatski: Wikipedija
Igbo: Wikipidia
Ilokano: Wikipedia
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: উইকিপিডিয়া
Bahasa Indonesia: Wikipedia
interlingua: Wikipedia
Interlingue: Wikipedia
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᐅᐃᑭᐱᑎᐊ
Iñupiak: Uiqipitia
isiXhosa: Iwikipedia
isiZulu: Wikipedia
íslenska: Wikipedia
italiano: Wikipedia
עברית: ויקיפדיה
Basa Jawa: Wikipédia
kalaallisut: Wikipedia
Kapampangan: Wikipedia
къарачай-малкъар: Википедия
ქართული: ვიკიპედია
कॉशुर / کٲشُر: ویکیپیٖڈیا
kaszëbsczi: Wikipedijô
қазақша: Уикипедия
kernowek: Wikipedya
Kiswahili: Wikipedia
Kreyòl ayisyen: Wikipedya
kurdî: Wîkîpediya
Кыргызча: Уикипедия
кырык мары: Википеди
Ladino: Vikipedya
лакку: Википедия
лезги: Википедия
latgaļu: Vikipedeja
Latina: Vicipaedia
latviešu: Vikipēdija
Lëtzebuergesch: Wikipedia
lietuvių: Vikipedija
Ligure: Wikipedia
Limburgs: Wikipedia
lingála: Wikipedia
Livvinkarjala: Wikipedii
la .lojban.: uikipidias
Luganda: Wikipedia
lumbaart: Wikipedia
magyar: Wikipédia
मैथिली: विकिपिडिया
македонски: Википедија
Malagasy: Wikipedia
Malti: Wikipedija
Māori: Wikipedia
მარგალური: ვიკიპედია
مازِرونی: ویکی‌پدیا
Bahasa Melayu: Wikipedia
Baso Minangkabau: Wikipedia
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Wikipedia
Mirandés: Wikipedia
мокшень: Википедие
монгол: Википедиа
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဝီကီပီးဒီးယား
Nāhuatl: Huiquipedia
Dorerin Naoero: Wikipediya
Nederlands: Wikipedia
Nedersaksies: Wikipedia
नेपाली: विकिपिडिया
नेपाल भाषा: विकिपिडिया
Napulitano: Wikipedia
нохчийн: Википеди
Nordfriisk: Wikipedia
Norfuk / Pitkern: Wikkapedya
norsk: Wikipedia
norsk nynorsk: Wikipedia
Nouormand: Viqùipédie
Novial: Wikipedie
occitan: Wikipèdia
олык марий: Википедий
Oshiwambo: Wikipedia
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Vikipediya
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਵਿਕੀਪੀਡੀਆ
Pälzisch: Wikipedia
Pangasinan: Wikipedia
پنجابی: وکیپیڈیا
Papiamentu: Wikipedia
Patois: Wikipidia
Перем Коми: Википедия
ភាសាខ្មែរ: វិគីភីឌា
Picard: Wikipédia
Piemontèis: Wikipedia
Tok Pisin: Wikipedia
Plattdüütsch: Wikipedia
polski: Wikipedia
Ποντιακά: Βικιπαίδεια
português: Wikipédia
Qafár af: Wikipedia
Qaraqalpaqsha: Wikipedia
qırımtatarca: Vikipediya
reo tahiti: Vitipetia
Ripoarisch: Wikipedia
română: Wikipedia
Romani: Vikipidiya
rumantsch: Vichipedia
Runa Simi: Wikipidiya
русиньскый: Вікіпедія
русский: Википедия
саха тыла: Бикипиэдьийэ
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱣᱤᱠᱤᱯᱤᱰᱤᱭᱟ
Gagana Samoa: Wikipedia
संस्कृतम्: विकिपीडिया
sardu: Wikipedia
Scots: Wikipaedia
Seeltersk: Wikipedia
Sesotho sa Leboa: Wikipedia
Setswana: Wikipedia
shqip: Wikipedia
sicilianu: Wikipedia
Simple English: Wikipedia
SiSwati: Wikipedia
slovenčina: Wikipédia
slovenščina: Wikipedija
словѣньскъ / ⰔⰎⰑⰂⰡⰐⰠⰔⰍⰟ: Википєдїꙗ
ślůnski: Wikipedyjo
Soomaaliga: Wikipedia
کوردی: ویکیپیدیا
Sranantongo: Wikipedia
српски / srpski: Википедија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Wikipedia
Basa Sunda: Wikipédia
suomi: Wikipedia
svenska: Wikipedia
Tagalog: Wikipedia
Taqbaylit: Wikipedia
tarandíne: Uicchipèdie
татарча/tatarça: Википедия
తెలుగు: వికీపీడియా
tetun: Wikipédia
ትግርኛ: ዊኪፔዲያ
тоҷикӣ: Википедия
ᏣᎳᎩ: ᏫᎩᏇᏗᏯ
Tsetsêhestâhese: Vekepete'a
Tshivenda: Wikipedia
Türkçe: Vikipedi
Türkmençe: Wikipediýa
тыва дыл: Википедия
удмурт: Википедия
ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ: Wikipedia
українська: Вікіпедія
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ۋىكىپېدىيە
Vahcuengh: Veizgiek Bakgoh
vèneto: Wikipedia
vepsän kel’: Vikipedii
Tiếng Việt: Wikipedia
Volapük: Vükiped
walon: Wikipedia
文言: 維基大典
West-Vlams: Wikipedia
Winaray: Wikipedia
Wolof: Wikipedia
吴语: 维基百科
Xitsonga: Wikipediya
ייִדיש: וויקיפעדיע
Yorùbá: Wikipedia
粵語: 維基百科
Zazaki: Wikipediya
Zeêuws: Wikipedia
žemaitėška: Vikipedėjė
中文: 维基百科
डोटेली: विकिपिडिया
Bahasa Hulontalo: Wikipedia
ГӀалгӀай: Википеди
Kabɩyɛ: Wikipediya
Lingua Franca Nova: Vicipedia