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Main article: History of Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger


Wikipedia originally developed from another encyclopedia project called Nupedia

Other collaborative online encyclopedias were attempted before Wikipedia, but none were as

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] Nupedia was founded on March 9, 2000, under the ownership of Bomis, a web
portal company. Its main figures were Jimmy Wales, the CEO of Bomis, and Larry Sanger, editor-
in-chief for Nupedia and later Wikipedia. Nupedia was licensed initially under its own Nupedia
Open Content License, switching to the GNU Free Documentation License before Wikipedia's
founding at the urging of Richard Stallman.[23] Sanger and Wales founded Wikipedia.[24][25]
While Wales is credited with defining the goal of making a publicly editable encyclopedia,[26]
[27] Sanger is credited with the strategy of using a wiki to reach that goal.[28] On January 10,
2001, Sanger proposed on the Nupedia mailing list to create a wiki as a "feeder" project for

External audio

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

Launch and early growth

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, as a single English-language edition at,[30] and announced by Sanger on the Nupedia mailing list.[26] Wikipedia's
policy of "neutral point-of-view"[31] was codified in its first months. Otherwise, there were
relatively few rules initially and Wikipedia operated independently of Nupedia.[26] Originally,
Bomis intended to make Wikipedia a business for profit.[32]

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.[48] Two years later. and to change Wikipedia's domain from wikipedia. Wikipedia had over 8. surpassing even the 1408 Yongle Encyclopedia. It had reached 26 language editions by late 2002.[35] Nupedia and Wikipedia coexisted until the former's servers were taken down permanently in 2003. Wales also claimed the number of editors was "stable and sustainable".800 articles were added daily to the encyclopedia in 2006. The Atlantic reported that the number of administrators is also in decline. and its text was incorporated into Wikipedia. The article revealed that since 2007. in terms of the numbers of articles and of contributors.000 writers" in June 2010 to 35.[52] . noting a decrease from "a little more than 36. in 2011. Katherine Ward stated "Wikipedia.[49] A 2013 article titled "The Decline of Wikipedia" in MIT's Technology Review questioned this claim. the project lost only 4. The English Wikipedia passed the mark of two million articles on September 9.800 in June 2011.Wikipedia gained early contributors from Nupedia.[42][43] [44] In November 2009.[34] By the end of to wikipedia.[51] In the November 25. 2007. is facing an internal crisis". issue of New York magazine. by 2013 that average was roughly 800.000 articles. users of the Spanish Wikipedia forked from Wikipedia to create the Enciclopedia Libre in February 2002. it had grown to approximately 20. denying the decline and questioning the methodology of the study.900 editors during the same period in 2008. Slashdot postings. 46 by the end of 2003. 2001. the sixth-most-used website. 2001. and 161 by the final days of 2004.000 articles.[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. making it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled. the growth of the edition. which had held the record for almost 600 years. appears to have peaked around early 2007. Wikipedia had over 13.000 editors during the first three months of 2009. In the same By August 8.000 articles and 18 language editions.[40] A team at the Palo Alto Research Center attributed this slowing of growth to the project's increasing exclusivity and resistance to change. a researcher at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid (Spain) found that the English Wikipedia had lost 49. 2013.[39] Around 1. in comparison.[47] Wales disputed these claims in 2009. and web search engine indexing.[38] Though the English Wikipedia reached three million articles in August 2009.[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.[50] In July 2012.[33] On September 25.[36] Citing fears of commercial advertising and lack of control in Wikipedia.[37] These moves encouraged Wales to announce that Wikipedia would not display advertisements. Wales acknowledged the presence of a slight decline.

Wikipedia was ranked number 9. with Wikipedia receiving around 18. 2012. Wikipedia entered for the first time the top-ten list of the most popular websites in the U.Wikipedia blackout protest against SOPA on January 18. 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. 2012 Play media A promotional video of the Wikimedia Foundation that encourages viewers to edit Wikipedia. "While Wikipedia's managers think that this could be due to errors in counting. Wikipedia follows a long tradition of historical encyclopedias that accumulated improvements piecemeal through "stigmergic accumulation"..[55] On February 9. Its most popular versions are leading the slide: page-views of the English Wikipedia declined by 12 per cent. 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 . surpassing The New York Times (#10) and Apple (#11).9 million unique visitors."[15] On January 18. according to comScore Networks. those of German version slid by 17 per cent and the Japanese version lost 9 per cent. other experts feel that Google's Knowledge Graphs project launched last year may be gobbling up Wikipedia users. 2014. "according to the ratings firm comScore.[57] [58] Loveland and Reagle argue that. [59][60] On January 20. That's a decline of about 2 billion between December 2012 and December 2013. The New York Times reported that Wikipedia has 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors a month. 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. With 42. This marked a significant increase over January 2006.S. 2014.[53] As of March 2015."[61] Varma added that. it received 8 billion pageviews every month. Wikipedia has rank 5[6][54] among websites in terms of popularity according to Alexa Internet. mostly reviewing 2014 via Wikipedia content Milestones In January 2007. Clay Shirky.[56] More than 162 million people viewed the blackout explanation page that temporarily replaced Wikipedia content.3 million unique visitors."[61] When contacted on this matter. when the rank was number 33. In 2014. in process.

new and unregistered users' edits to certain controversial or vandalism-prone articles are reviewed by established users before they are .[71] Under this system. including the English version."[61] By the end of December 2016. meaning that only autoconfirmed or extended confirmed editors are able to modify it. sensitive and/or vandalism-prone pages have been protected to some degree.[65] On the English Wikipedia. you don't need to click [any further]. depending on certain conditions. even those who did not have a Wikipedia account.Graphs. Wikipedia was ranked fifth in the most popular websites globally. As a result.[66][67] A frequently vandalized article can be semi- protected or extended confirmed protected. the German Wikipedia maintains "stable versions" of articles. only registered users may create a new article. any article could contain inaccuracies such as errors.[68] A particularly contentious article may be locked so that only administrators are able to make changes. popular editions.[69] In certain cases. Modifications to all articles would be published immediately. stating. and nonsensical or irrelevant text. have introduced editing restrictions in some cases. For instance. "If you can get your question answered from the search page. Following protracted trials and community discussion.[70] which have passed certain reviews. on the English Wikipedia and some other language editions. some particularly controversial. but review is required for some editors. Restrictions Due to the increasing popularity of Wikipedia. and any Wikipedia article could be edited by any reader. all editors are allowed to submit modifications. the English Wikipedia introduced the "pending changes" system in December 2012. among others. [62] Openness Number of English Wikipedia articles[63] Wikipedia editors with >100 edits per month[63] Differences between versions of an article are highlighted as shown Unlike traditional encyclopedias. Wikipedia follows the procrastination principle[notes 6][64] regarding the security of its content. ideological biases. For example.[64] It started almost entirely open—anyone could create articles.

Vandals can introduce irrelevant formatting. Anyone can view the latest changes to articles. [77] American journalist John Seigenthaler (1927–2014). can be more difficult to detect. modify page semantics such as the page's title or categorization. economics PhD student Andrea Ciffolilli argued that the low transaction costs of participating in a wiki create a catalyst for collaborative development. subject of the Seigenthaler incident Obvious vandalism is generally easy to remove from Wikipedia articles. such as the deliberate addition of plausible but false information to an article.[78][79] However. some vandalism takes much longer to repair.[75] Vandalism Main article: Vandalism on Wikipedia Any change or edit that manipulates content in a way that purposefully compromises the integrity of Wikipedia is considered vandalism.published. and anyone may maintain a "watchlist" of articles that interest them so they can be notified of any changes. manipulate the underlying code of an article. Vandalism can also include advertising and other types of spam. the median time to detect and fix vandalism is a few minutes. "New pages patrol" is a process whereby newly created articles are checked for obvious problems.[72] The editing interface of Wikipedia Review of changes Although changes are not systematically reviewed. Less common types of vandalism.[notes 7][73] On most articles. the software that powers Wikipedia provides certain tools allowing anyone to review changes made by others. anyone can undo others' changes by clicking a link on the article's history page. The "History" page of each article links to each revision. or use images disruptively.[76] Sometimes editors commit vandalism by removing content or entirely blanking a given page. The most common and obvious types of vandalism include additions of obscenities and crude humor. and that features such as allowing easy access to past versions of a page favor "creative construction" over "creative destruction".[74] In 2003.[80] .

[81][82] After the incident. where the majority of Wikipedia's servers are located. Originally. state of Virginia. the founding editorial director of USA Today and founder of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University.[87] It must not present original research.[90] All opinions and viewpoints. Wikipedia must not take sides.In the Seigenthaler biography incident. copyright laws) of the United States and of the U.[80] The article remained uncorrected for four months. A claim that is likely to be challenged requires a reference to a reliable source. Wales replied that he did not. and Wikipedia editors write and revise the website's policies and guidelines.[85] A topic should also meet Wikipedia's standards of "notability". co-founder Jimmy Wales at Fosdem Content in Wikipedia is subject to the laws (in particular. if attributable to external sources. are ultimately responsible for checking the truthfulness of the articles and making their own interpretations. called Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and asked whether he had any way of knowing who contributed the misinformation. 2015. Kennedy. not truth" to express the idea that the readers.[70] Content policies and guidelines According to the rules on the English Wikipedia.[86] which generally means that the topic must have been covered in mainstream media or major academic journal sources that are independent of the article's subject. Even these rules are stored in wiki form. Seigenthaler described Wikipedia as "a flawed and irresponsible research tool".[80] This incident led to policy changes at Wikipedia.[91] This is known as neutral point of view .[83] Policies and laws External video Wikimania.[84] Editors can enforce these rules by deleting or modifying non-compliant material. specifically targeted at tightening up the verifiability of biographical articles of living people. Seigenthaler was falsely presented as a suspect in the assassination of John F. [88] This can at times lead to the removal of information that is valid. 60 Minutes. April 5. They have since diverged to some extent.[80] Seigenthaler. 20 minutes.S. the editorial principles of Wikipedia are embodied in the "five pillars" and in numerous policies and guidelines intended to appropriately shape content. although the perpetrator was eventually traced. Further. not the encyclopedia. Wikipedia intends to convey only knowledge that is already established and recognized. must enjoy an appropriate share of coverage within an article. Beyond legal matters. Among Wikipedia editors. this is often phrased as "verifiability. CBS. rules on the non-English editions of Wikipedia were based on a translation of the rules for the English Wikipedia. an anonymous editor introduced false information into the biography of American political figure John Seigenthaler in May 2005. each entry in Wikipedia must be about a topic that is encyclopedic and is not a dictionary entry or dictionary-like.[89] Finally.

Arbitration Committee Main article: Arbitration Committee The Arbitration Committee presides over the ultimate dispute resolution process. They do this by experiencing flow and identifying with and gaining status in the Wikipedia community. in part because the process of vetting potential Wikipedia administrators has become more rigorous. In order to determine community consensus. and to implement restrictions intended to prevent certain persons from making disruptive edits (such as vandalism). Although disputes usually arise from a disagreement between two opposing views on how an article should read.[94] Wikipedia's contributors avoid a tragedy of the commons by internalizing benefits. Statistical analyses suggest that the committee ignores the content of disputes and rather focuses on the way disputes are conducted.(NPOV). which may result in repeatedly making opposite changes to an article. prevent articles from being changed in case of vandalism or editorial disputes. known as edit warring. solely upon the recommendations from the community. administrators are not supposed to enjoy any special privilege in decision-making.[95] Administrators Editors in good standing in the community can run for one of many levels of volunteer stewardship: this begins with "administrator". their powers are mostly limited to making edits that have project-wide effects and thus are disallowed to ordinary editors.[92][93] An article is not considered to be owned by its creator or any other editor and is not vetted by any recognized authority. and try to prevent certain persons from editing. the Arbitration Committee explicitly refuses to directly rule on the specific view that should be adopted. Dispute resolution Wikipedians often have disputes regarding content. instead.[103] functioning not so much to . Wikipedia has developed a semi-formal dispute resolution process to assist in such circumstances. Governance Further information: Wikipedia:Administration Wikipedia's initial anarchy integrated democratic and hierarchical elements over time.[101][102] Over time.[98][99] Fewer editors become administrators than in years past.[96][97] privileged users who can delete pages.[100] Bureaucrats name new administrators. editors can raise issues at appropriate community forums. [notes 8] or seek outside input through third opinion requests or by initiating a more general community discussion known as a request for comment. Despite the name.

Its remedies include cautions and probations (used in 63% of cases) and banning editors from articles (43%). "Who writes Wikipedia?" became one of the questions frequently asked on the project. and types of articulation work. subject matters (23%).[111] Jimmy Wales once argued that only "a community .[108] Wikipedians sometimes award one another virtual barnstars for good work. even if it requires compromise that includes disregard of credentials. has been referred to as "anti-elitism".[105] Play media Wikipedians and British Museum curators collaborate on the article Hoxne Hoard in June 2010 Wikipedia's community has been described as cult-like. administrative actions. Therefore.[107] The project's preference for cohesiveness. coordinate and debate. These personalized tokens of appreciation reveal a wide range of valued work extending far beyond simple editing to include social support.[104] Community Main article: Wikipedia community Play media Video of Wikimania 2005 – an annual conference for users of Wikipedia and other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Each article and each user of Wikipedia has an associated "Talk" page. remedies tend to be limited to warnings. Complete bans from Wikipedia are generally limited to instances of impersonation and anti- social behavior.. a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers" makes the bulk of contributions to Wikipedia and that the project is . if the new content is considered biased). was held in Frankfurt am Main..resolve disputes and make peace between conflicting editors. but rather anti-consensus or in violation of editing policies. but to weed out problematic editors while allowing potentially productive editors back in to participate. These form the primary communication channel for editors to discuss. or Wikipedia (16%). When conduct is not impersonation or anti-social. the committee does not dictate the content of articles. Germany from August 4 to 8. although it sometimes condemns content changes when it deems the new content violates Wikipedia policies (for example.[109] Wikipedia does not require that its editors and contributors provide identification.[110] As Wikipedia grew.[106] although not always with entirely negative connotations.

"[113] This method of evaluating contributions was later disputed by Aaron Swartz.therefore "much like any traditional organization".[115] Editors who do not log in are in some sense second-class citizens on Wikipedia. submit to a sometimes convoluted dispute resolution process."[112] However.. there is "evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content".913 articles.[112] A 2008 study found that Wikipedians were less agreeable. [114] The English Wikipedia has 5.[116] but the contribution histories of anonymous unregistered editors recognized only by their IP addresses cannot be attributed to a particular editor with certainty. most content in Wikipedia (measured by the amount of contributed text that survives to the latest sampled edit) is created by "outsiders". increasing the odds that Wikipedia insiders may target or discount their contributions..[115] as "participants are accredited by members of the wiki community. on the basis of their ongoing participation". Becoming a Wikipedia insider involves non- trivial costs: the contributor is expected to learn Wikipedia-specific technological codes. may implicitly signal that they are Wikipedia outsiders.4% of all the edits.[112] In 2008. Editors who fail to comply with Wikipedia cultural rituals.. 33. An editor is considered active if they have made one or more edits in the past thirty days.128.[120] According to a 2009 study. and 139. that the differences with the control group were small as were the samples. and conscientious than others.460 active editors. 524 people. while most editing and formatting is done by "insiders". such as signing talk page comments. who have a vested interest in preserving the quality of the work product. which is 1400 people. [118][119] although a later commentary pointed out serious flaws..[117] Jimmy Wales stated in 2009 that "(I)t turns out over 50% of all the edits are done by just .. who noted that several articles he sampled had large portions of their content (measured by number of characters) contributed by users with low edit counts.. open. Business Insider editor and journalist Henry Blodget showed in 2009 that in a random sample of articles. a Slate magazine article reported that: "According to researchers in Palo Alto. and learn a "baffling culture rich with in- jokes and insider references". And in fact the most active 2%.7% of the users.] are as reliable a source of knowledge as those contributors who register with the site".[121] Diversity Wikipedia editor demographics (2008) . A 2007 study by researchers from Dartmouth College found that "anonymous and infrequent contributors to Wikipedia [. have done 73. 1 percent of Wikipedia users are responsible for about half of the site's edits.587. including that the data showed higher openness.264 registered editors.

Spanish: 6%.000 articles. German.000 articles.[123] In a January 2011 New York Times article. Wales said "a lot of things need to happen . German. 15 colleges and universities — including Yale..[125] Linda Basch.1% of the 38. with the remaining split among the other languages (Russian: 7%. Chinese.[122] A 2011 study by researchers from the University of Minnesota found that females comprised 16. the six largest language editions are (in order of article count) the English. writing in The New York Times.. has over 5. Ukrainian.000 articles (Portuguese. hoped to see female contributions increase to 25% by 2015. English Wikipedia) receives approximately 57% of Wikipedia's cumulative traffic. Noam Cohen observed that just 13% of Wikipedia's contributors are female according to a 2008 Wikimedia Foundation survey. As of September 2017. the English[133] . noted the contrast in these Wikipedia editor statistics with the percentage of women currently completing bachelor's degrees. and Dutch Wikipedias. and 78 more have over 10. as a feminist. the English subdomain (en. Waray-Waray.5 million articles. or simply Wikipedias).One study found that the contributor base to Wikipedia "was barely 13% women. French. Catalan and Arabic)..[124] Sue Gardner.. In fall 2013. Thirteen of these have over one million articles each (English." to reach 25% of female editors (originally targeted by 2015). Cebuano.. Swedish.[127] A 2008 self-selected survey of the diversity of contributors by highest educational degree indicated that sixty-two percent of responding Wikipedia editors had attained either a high school or undergraduate college education. Brown. really doubling down our efforts . Polish. a lot of outreach. various universities have hosted edit-a-thons to encourage more women to participate in the Wikipedia community. the average age of a contributor was in the mid-20s". master's degrees and PhD programs in the United States (all at rates of 50 percent or greater). a lot of software changes". Russian. Lih states his concern with the question indicating that: "How can you get people to participate in an (editing) environment that feels unsafe.. was quoted by Bloomberg News in December 2016 as supporting Wales comments concerning shortfalls in Wikipedia's outreach to female editors. where identifying yourself as a woman. and Pennsylvania State — offered college credit for students to "write feminist thinking" about technology into Wikipedia.[131] [132] The largest. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said in a BBC interview that the Wikimedia Foundation was ".wikipedia. Italian.[129] Andrew Lih. Spanish.[6] As of March 2018. Swedish. Cebuano.497 editors who started editing Wikipedia during 2009. according to Alexa. could open you up to ugly.[130] Language editions Main article: List of Wikipedias There are currently 299 language editions of Wikipedia (also called language versions. intimidating behavior". Chinese: 5%).[128] In August 2014. Dutch.[126] In response. Vietnamese and Japanese). since the Foundation had "totally failed" so far. a former executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. president of the National Council for Research on Women. Persian. six more have over 500. 40 more have over 100. Japanese: 6%. French.


7%) Waray (2.1%) Other (35.649 articles in different language editions (as of 12 March 2018)[134] English (11.1%) Logarithmic graph of the 20 largest language editions of Wikipedia .7%) Vietnamese (2.5%) French (4.3%) Swedish (8%) German (4.7%) Cebuano (11.5%) Japanese (2.3%) Chinese (2.9%) Polish (2.1%) Dutch (4%) Russian (3.Distribution of the 47.582.1%) Italian (3%) Spanish (2.