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Wikipedia

Free multilingual, online, crowdsourced encyclopedia / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Wikipedia[note 3] is a multilingual free online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of volunteers, known as Wikipedians, through open collaboration and using a wiki-based editing system. Wikipedia is the largest and most-read reference work in history.[3] It is consistently one of the 10 most popular websites ranked by Similarweb and formerly Alexa; as of 2022, Wikipedia was ranked the 5th most popular site in the world.[4] It is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization funded mainly through donations.[5]

Quick facts: Type of site, Available in, Country of o...
Wikipedia

The logo of Wikipedia, a globe featuring glyphs from various writing systems
Screenshot
Wikipedia's desktop homepage
Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Available in329 languages
Country of originUnited States
Owner
Created by
URLwikipedia.org
CommercialNo
RegistrationOptional[note 1]
Users>307,746 active editors[note 2]
>105,986,903 registered users
LaunchedJanuary 15, 2001
(22 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
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Wikipedia was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger on January 15, 2001. Sanger coined its name as a blend of wiki and encyclopedia.[6][7] Wales was influenced by the "spontaneous order" ideas associated with Friedrich Hayek and the Austrian School of economics after being exposed to these ideas by the libertarian economist Mark Thornton.[8] Initially available only in English, versions in other languages were quickly developed. Its combined editions comprise more than 60 million articles, attracting around 2 billion unique device visits per month and more than 15 million edits per month (about 5.7 edits per second) as of January 2023.[9][10] In 2006, Time magazine stated that the policy of allowing anyone to edit had made Wikipedia the "biggest (and perhaps best) encyclopedia in the world".[11]

Wikipedia has been praised for its enablement of the democratization of knowledge, extent of coverage, unique structure, culture, and reduced degree of commercial bias; but criticism for exhibiting systemic bias, particularly gender bias against women and alleged ideological bias.[12][13] The reliability of Wikipedia was frequently criticized in the 2000s, but has improved over time, as Wikipedia has been generally praised in the late 2010s and early 2020s.[3][12][14] The website's coverage of controversial topics such as American politics and major events like the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has received substantial media attention.[15][16][17] It has been censored by world governments, ranging from specific pages to the entire site.[18][19] On 3 April 2018, Facebook and YouTube announced that they would help users detect fake news by suggesting fact-checking links to related Wikipedia articles.[20][21] Articles on breaking news are often accessed as a source of frequently updated information about those events.[22][23]