An incomplete sphere made of large, white, jigsaw puzzle pieces. Each puzzle piece contains one glyph from a different writing system, with each glyph written in black.
The Wikipedia wordmark which displays the name Wikipedia, written in all caps. The W and the A are the same height and both are taller than the other letters which are also all the same height. It also displays Wikipedia's slogan: "The Free Encyclopedia".
The logo of Wikipedia, a globe featuring glyphs from various writing systems
Wikipedia portal showing the different languages sorted by article count
Screenshot of Wikipedia's portal showing the different languages sorted by article count
Type of site
Online encyclopedia
Available in323 languages
Country of originUnited States
Created by
RegistrationOptional[note 1]
Users>293,350 active editors[note 2] and >97,276,416 registered users
LaunchedJanuary 15, 2001; 20 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 (/ˌwɪkɪˈpdiə/ (About this soundlisten) wik-ih-PEE-dee-ə or /ˌwɪki-/ (About this soundlisten) wik-ee-) is a free content, multilingual online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of volunteer contributors through a model of open collaboration, using a wiki-based editing system. Wikipedia is the largest and most-read reference work in history,[3] and is consistently one of the 15 most popular websites as ranked by Alexa; as of 2021, it was ranked as the 13th most popular site.[3][4] The project carries no advertisements and is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization funded mainly through small donations.[5]

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales[6] and Larry Sanger; Sanger coined its name as a blending of "wiki" and "encyclopedia".[7][8] Initially available only in English, versions in other languages were quickly developed. Combined, Wikipedia's editions comprise more than 56 million articles, that attract an average of around 2 billion unique device visits and receive more than 17 million edits per month, or develop at a rate of 1.9 edits per second.[9][10]

Wikipedia has received praise for its enablement of the democratization of knowledge, extent of coverage, unique structure, culture, and reduced amount of commercial bias, but criticism for exhibiting systemic bias, particularly gender bias against women.[11] Its reliability was frequently criticized in the 2000s, but has improved over time and has been generally praised in the late 2010s and 2020s.[12][3][11] Its coverage of controversial topics such as American politics and major events such as the COVID-19 pandemic has received substantial media attention. At various points, Wikipedia has been censored by world governments, ranging from the blocking of specific pages to bans on the entire site. Wikipedia has become an element of popular culture, with references in books, films and academic studies. In 2018, Facebook and YouTube announced that they would help users detect fake news by suggesting fact-checking links to related Wikipedia articles.[13][14]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference autogenerated1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Chapman, Roger (September 6, 2011). "Top 40 Website Programming Languages". Archived from the original on September 22, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "Wikipedia is 20, and its reputation has never been higher". The Economist. January 9, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  4. ^ Cite error: The named reference Alexa siteinfo was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  5. ^ McGregor, Jena (March 17, 2020). "Wikimedia's approach to coronavirus: Staffers can work 20 hours a week, get paid for full time". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  6. ^ Anderson, Chris (May 8, 2006). "Jimmy Wales – The 2006 Time 100". Time. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  7. ^ Cite error: The named reference MiliardWho was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference J Sidener was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference small screen was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ "Wikistats – Statistics For Wikimedia Projects". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Happy Birthday, Wikipedia". The Economist. January 9, 2021.
  12. ^ Cooke, Richard (February 17, 2020). "Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet". Wired. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  13. ^ Cohen, Noam (April 7, 2018). "Conspiracy videos? Fake news? Enter Wikipedia, the 'good cop' of the Internet". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018.
  14. ^ "Facebook fights fake news with author info, rolls out publisher context". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 15, 2021.

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