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Wikipédia

Wikipedia

Wikipedia ( / ˌ w ɪ k ɪ ˈ p d i ə / ( ouvir ) wik-ih- PEE -dee ou / ˌw ɪ k i -/ ( ouvir ) wik-ee- ) é uma enciclopédia online gratuita multilíngue escrito e mantido por uma comunidade de voluntários através de colaboração aberta e um sistema de edição baseado em wiki . Os colaboradores individuais, também chamados de editores, são conhecidos comoWikipédias . A Wikipedia é a maior e mais lida obra de referência da história. [3] É consistentemente um dos 15 sites mais populares classificados pela Alexa ; a partir de 2022, a Wikipedia foi classificada como o 10º site mais popular. [3] [4] É hospedado pela Wikimedia Foundation , uma organização americana sem fins lucrativos financiada principalmente por meio de doações. [5]

Wikipédia
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".
O logotipo da Wikipedia , um globo com glifos de vários sistemas de escrita
Captura de tela
Wikipedia portal showing the different languages sorted by article count
Wikipedia’s desktop homepage
Tipo de site
Enciclopédia online
Disponível em 327 idiomas
País de origem Estados Unidos
Proprietário
Criado por
URL wikipedia.org
Comercial Não
Cadastro Opcional [nota 1]
Comercial >304.445 editores ativos [nota 2]
>102.062.323 usuários registrados
Lançado 15 de janeiro de 2001
(21 anos atrás)
 (2001-01-15)
Status atual Ativo
Licença de conteúdo
Atribuição CC / Share-Alike 3.0
A maior parte do texto também tem licença dupla sob GFDL ; licenciamento de mídia varia
Escrito em Plataforma LAMP [2]
 Número OCLC 52075003

Em 15 de janeiro de 2001, Jimmy Wales [6] e Larry Sanger lançaram a Wikipedia; Sanger cunhou seu nome como uma junção de "wiki" e "enciclopédia". [7] [8] O País de Gales foi influenciado pelas ideias de " ordem espontânea " associadas a Friedrich Hayek e à Escola Austríaca de economia, depois de ter sido exposto a essas ideias pelo economista austríaco e membro sênior do Mises Institute , Mark Thornton . [9] Inicialmente disponível apenas em inglês, as versões em outros idiomas foram rapidamente desenvolvidas. Suas edições combinadas compreendem mais de 58 milhões de artigos, atraindo cerca de 2 bilhões de visitas únicas a dispositivos por mês e mais de 17 milhões de edições por mês (1,9  edições por segundo) em novembro de 2020 . [10] [11] Em 2006, a revista Time afirmou que a política de permitir que qualquer pessoa editasse fez da Wikipédia a "maior (e talvez melhor) enciclopédia do mundo". [6]

A Wikipedia recebeu elogios por permitir a democratização do conhecimento , extensão da cobertura, estrutura única, cultura e quantidade reduzida de viés comercial, mas críticas por exibir viés sistêmico , particularmente viés de gênero contra mulheres e suposto viés ideológico . [12] [13] Sua confiabilidade foi frequentemente criticada nos anos 2000, mas melhorou com o tempo; foi geralmente elogiado no final de 2010 e início de 2020. [3] [12] [14] Sua cobertura de tópicos controversos , como política americana e grandes eventos , como a pandemia de COVID-19recebeu grande atenção da mídia. Foi censurado por governos mundiais , desde páginas específicas até todo o site. Apesar disso, tornou- se um elemento da cultura popular , com referências em livros , filmes e estudos acadêmicos . Em abril de 2018, o Facebook e o YouTube anunciaram que ajudariam os usuários a detectar notícias falsas , sugerindo links de verificação de fatos para artigos relacionados da Wikipedia . [15] [16]

História

Nupedia

Logo reading "Nupedia.com the free encyclopedia" in blue with the large initial "N"
A Wikipedia originalmente desenvolvida a partir de outro projeto de enciclopédia chamado Nupedia .

Outras enciclopédias online colaborativas foram tentadas antes da Wikipedia, mas nenhuma teve tanto sucesso. [17] A Wikipédia começou como um projeto complementar para a Nupedia , um projeto de enciclopédia online gratuito em inglês cujos artigos foram escritos por especialistas e revisados ​​sob um processo formal. [18] Foi fundada em 9 de março de 2000, sob a propriedade da Bomis , uma empresa de portal web . Suas principais figuras foram o CEO da Bomis, Jimmy Wales , e Larry Sanger , editor-chefe da Nupedia e, mais tarde, da Wikipedia. [1] [19] A Nupedia foi inicialmente licenciada sob seu próprio Nupedia Open ContentLicença, mas mesmo antes de a Wikipédia ser fundada, a Nupedia mudou para a Licença de Documentação Livre GNU a pedido de Richard Stallman . [20] Wales é creditado com a definição do objetivo de fazer uma enciclopédia publicamente editável, [21] [22] enquanto Sanger é creditado com a estratégia de usar um wiki para alcançar esse objetivo. [23] Em 10 de janeiro de 2001, Sanger propôs na lista de discussão da Nupedia a criação de um wiki como um projeto "alimentador" para a Nupedia. [24]

Lançamento e crescimento

Os domínios wikipedia.com (mais tarde redirecionando para wikipedia.org ) e wikipedia.org foram registrados em 12 de janeiro de 2001, [25] e 13 de janeiro de 2001, [26] respectivamente, e a Wikipedia foi lançada em 15 de janeiro de 2001 [18 ] como uma única edição em inglês em www.wikipedia.com, [27] e anunciada por Sanger na lista de discussão da Nupedia. [21] Sua política de "ponto de vista neutro" [28] foi codificada em seus primeiros meses. Caso contrário, havia relativamente poucas regras inicialmente e operava independentemente da Nupedia. [21]Bomis originalmente pretendia que fosse um negócio com fins lucrativos. [29]

A página inicial da Wikipedia em 20 de dezembro de 2001
Editores da Wikipedia em inglês com mais de 100 edições por mês [30]
Número de artigos da Wikipédia em inglês [31]

A Wikipedia ganhou os primeiros contribuidores da Nupedia, postagens do Slashdot e indexação do mecanismo de busca na web . As edições linguísticas foram criadas a partir de março de 2003, com um total de 161 em uso até o final de 2004. [32] [33] Nupedia e Wikipedia coexistiram até que os servidores da primeira foram desativados permanentemente em 2003, e seu texto foi incorporado à Wikipedia . A Wikipedia em inglês ultrapassou a marca de dois milhões de artigos em 9 de setembro de 2007, tornando-se a maior enciclopédia já montada, superando a Enciclopédia Yongle feita durante a Dinastia Ming em 1408, que detinha o recorde por quase 600 anos. [34]

Citando temores de publicidade comercial e falta de controle, os usuários da Wikipédia espanhola se separaram da Wikipédia para criar a Enciclopedia Libre em fevereiro de 2002. [35] Wales então anunciou que a Wikipédia não exibiria anúncios e mudou o domínio da Wikipédia de wikipedia.com para wikipedia. org . [36] [37]

Embora a Wikipédia inglesa tenha alcançado três milhões de artigos em agosto de 2009, o crescimento da edição, em termos de número de novos artigos e de editores, parece ter atingido o pico no início de 2007. [38] Cerca de 1.800 artigos foram adicionados diariamente à enciclopédia em 2006; em 2013, essa média era de aproximadamente 800. [39] Uma equipe do Palo Alto Research Center atribuiu essa desaceleração do crescimento à crescente exclusividade e resistência à mudança do projeto. [40] Outros sugerem que o crescimento está se achatando naturalmente porque artigos que poderiam ser chamados de " frutos de baixo alcance" - tópicos que claramente merecem um artigo - já foram criados e desenvolvidos extensivamente. [41] [42] [43]

Em novembro de 2009, um pesquisador da Universidade Rey Juan Carlos, em Madri , descobriu que a Wikipedia em inglês havia perdido 49.000 editores durante os primeiros três meses de 2009; em comparação, perdeu apenas 4.900 editores durante o mesmo período de 2008. [44] [45] O Wall Street Journal citou a variedade de regras aplicadas à edição e disputas relacionadas a esse conteúdo entre as razões para essa tendência. [46] Wales contestou essas alegações em 2009, negando o declínio e questionando a metodologia do estudo. [47]Dois anos depois, em 2011, ele reconheceu um ligeiro declínio, observando uma queda de "pouco mais de 36.000 escritores" em junho de 2010 para 35.800 em junho de 2011. Na mesma entrevista, ele também afirmou que o número de editores era "estável e sustentável". [48] ​​Um artigo de 2013 do MIT Technology Review , "The Decline of Wikipedia", questionou essa afirmação, revelando que desde 2007, a Wikipedia havia perdido um terço de seus editores voluntários e que os restantes se concentravam cada vez mais em minúcias. [49] Em julho de 2012, The Atlantic informou que o número de administradores também estava em declínio. [50] Na edição de 25 de novembro de 2013 de Nova Yorkrevista, Katherine Ward declarou: "A Wikipédia, o sexto site mais usado, está enfrentando uma crise interna." [51]

Desde então, o número de editores ativos da Wikipédia em inglês permaneceu estável após um longo período de declínio. [52] [53]

Milestones

Cartograma mostrando o número de artigos em cada idioma europeu em janeiro de 2019. Um quadrado representa 10.000 artigos. Idiomas com menos de 10.000 artigos são representados por um quadrado. Os idiomas são agrupados por família de idiomas e cada família de idiomas é apresentada por uma cor separada.

Em janeiro de 2007, a Wikipedia se tornou um dos dez sites mais populares nos Estados Unidos, de acordo com a Comscore Networks. Com 42,9 milhões de visitantes únicos, ficou em 9º lugar, superando The New York Times (10º) e Apple (11º). Isso marcou um aumento significativo em relação a janeiro de 2006, quando a Wikipedia ficou em 33º lugar, com cerca de 18,3 milhões de visitantes únicos. [54] Em março de 2020 , ficou em 13º [4] em popularidade de acordo com a Alexa Internet . Em 2014, recebeu oito bilhões de visualizações de página todos os meses. [55] Em 9 de fevereiro de 2014, o The New York Times informou que a Wikipedia tinha 18 bilhões de visualizações de páginae quase 500 milhões de visitantes únicos por mês, "de acordo com a empresa de classificação comScore". [10] Loveland e Reagle argumentam que, no processo, a Wikipédia segue uma longa tradição de enciclopédias históricas que acumularam melhorias aos poucos por meio de " acumulação stigmergic ". [56] [57]

Em 18 de janeiro de 2012, a Wikipédia em inglês participou de uma série de protestos coordenados contra duas leis propostas no Congresso dos Estados Unidos — o Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) e o PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) — bloqueando suas páginas por 24 horas . [58] Mais de 162 milhões de pessoas visualizaram a página de explicação do apagão que substituiu temporariamente seu conteúdo. [59] [60]

Em 20 de janeiro de 2014, a reportagem de Subodh Varma para o The Economic Times indicou que não apenas o crescimento da Wikipédia estagnou, mas "perdeu quase dez por cento de suas visualizações de página no ano passado. Houve um declínio de cerca de dois bilhões entre dezembro de 2012 e dezembro de 2013 Suas versões mais populares estão liderando o slide: as visualizações de página da Wikipédia em inglês caíram 12%, as da versão alemã caíram 17% e a versão japonesa perdeu 9%. [61] Varma acrescentou: "Enquanto os gerentes da Wikipédia pensam que isso pode ser devido a erros na contagem, outros especialistas acham que o projeto Knowledge Graphs do Google lançado no ano passado pode estar devorando os usuários da Wikipédia." [61] Quando contatado sobre este assunto,, professor associado da Universidade de Nova York e membro do Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society de Harvard, disse que suspeitava que grande parte do declínio de visualizações de página era devido aos Gráficos de conhecimento, afirmando: "Se você puder obter sua pergunta respondida na página de pesquisa, você não precisa clicar [mais]." [61] No final de dezembro de 2016, a Wikipedia foi classificada como o quinto site mais popular globalmente. [62]

Em janeiro de 2013, 274301 Wikipedia , um asteroide , recebeu o nome de Wikipedia; em outubro de 2014, a Wikipédia foi homenageada com o Monumento à Wikipédia ; e, em julho de 2015, 106 dos 7.473 volumes de 700 páginas da Wikipédia ficaram disponíveis como Wikipédia impressa . Em abril de 2019, um módulo lunar israelense , Beresheet , caiu na superfície da Lua carregando uma cópia de quase toda a Wikipedia em inglês gravada em finas placas de níquel; especialistas dizem que as placas provavelmente sobreviveram ao acidente. [63] [64] Em junho de 2019, os cientistas relataram que todos os 16 GB de texto do artigo da Wikipedia em inglês haviam sido codificados em DNA sintético. [65]

Estado atual

Captura de tela do artigo da Wikipedia em inglês sobre a Terra , 30 de março de 2021

Em 23 de janeiro de 2020, a Wikipedia em inglês, que é a maior seção de idiomas da enciclopédia online, publicou seu artigo seis milhões .

Em fevereiro de 2020, a Wikipedia ocupava o décimo primeiro lugar no mundo em termos de tráfego na Internet. [66] Como um recurso fundamental para divulgar informações relacionadas ao COVID-19, a Organização Mundial da Saúde fez uma parceria com a Wikipedia para ajudar a combater a disseminação de desinformação. [67] [68]

A Wikipedia aceita Basic Attention Token . [69]

Abertura

As diferenças entre as versões de um artigo são destacadas

Ao contrário das enciclopédias tradicionais, a Wikipédia segue o princípio da procrastinação [nota 3] quanto à segurança de seu conteúdo. [70]

Restrições

Devido à crescente popularidade da Wikipedia, algumas edições, incluindo a versão em inglês, introduziram restrições de edição para certos casos. Por exemplo, na Wikipedia em inglês e em algumas edições de outros idiomas, apenas usuários registrados podem criar um novo artigo. [71] Na Wikipédia em inglês, entre outras, páginas particularmente controversas, sensíveis ou propensas a vandalismo foram protegidas em vários graus. [72] [73] Um artigo frequentemente vandalizado pode ser "semi-protegido" ou "protegido com confirmação estendida", o que significa que apenas editores "autoconfirmados" ou "confirmados estendidos" podem modificá-lo. [74] Um artigo particularmente controverso pode ser bloqueado para que apenas os administradores possam fazer alterações. [75]Um artigo de 2021 na Columbia Journalism Review identificou as políticas de proteção de páginas da Wikipedia como "talvez o mais importante" meio à sua disposição para "regular seu mercado de ideias". [76]

Em certos casos, todos os editores podem enviar modificações, mas a revisão é necessária para alguns editores, dependendo de certas condições. Por exemplo, a Wikipédia alemã mantém "versões estáveis" de artigos [77] que passaram por certas revisões. Após testes prolongados e discussão da comunidade, a Wikipédia em inglês introduziu o sistema de "mudanças pendentes" em dezembro de 2012. [78] Sob esse sistema, as edições de usuários novos e não registrados a certos artigos controversos ou propensos a vandalismo são revisadas por usuários estabelecidos antes de serem Publicados. [79]

Interface de edição da Wikipedia

Revisão das alterações

Embora as alterações não sejam sistematicamente revisadas, o software que alimenta a Wikipédia fornece ferramentas que permitem que qualquer pessoa revise as alterações feitas por outras pessoas. A página de histórico de cada artigo é vinculada a cada revisão. [nota 4] [80] Na maioria dos artigos, qualquer pessoa pode desfazer as alterações de outras pessoas clicando em um link na página de histórico do artigo. Qualquer pessoa pode ver as últimas alterações nos artigos, e qualquer pessoa registrada pode manter uma "lista de observação" de artigos de seu interesse para que possa ser notificado sobre as alterações. "Patrulha de novas páginas" é um processo em que artigos recém-criados são verificados quanto a problemas óbvios. [81]

In 2003, economics Ph.D. student Andrea Ciffolilli argued that the low transaction costs of participating in a wiki created a catalyst for collaborative development, and that features such as allowing easy access to past versions of a page favored "creative construction" over "creative destruction".[82]

Vandalism

Qualquer alteração ou edição que manipule o conteúdo de forma que comprometa deliberadamente a integridade da Wikipédia é considerada vandalismo. Os tipos mais comuns e óbvios de vandalismo incluem acréscimos de obscenidades e humor grosseiro; também pode incluir publicidade e outros tipos de spam. [83] Às vezes, os editores cometem vandalismo removendo conteúdo ou apagando completamente uma determinada página. Tipos menos comuns de vandalismo, como a adição deliberada de informações plausíveis, mas falsas, podem ser mais difíceis de detectar. Os vândalos podem introduzir formatação irrelevante, modificar a semântica da página, como o título ou a categorização da página, manipular o código subjacente do artigo ou usar imagens de forma disruptiva. [84]

White-haired elderly gentleman in suit and tie speaks at a podium.
Jornalista americano John Seigenthaler (1927-2014), sujeito do incidente Seigenthaler .

O vandalismo óbvio é geralmente fácil de remover dos artigos da Wikipédia; o tempo médio para detectá-lo e corrigi-lo é de alguns minutos. [85] [86] No entanto, alguns atos de vandalismo levam muito mais tempo para serem detectados e reparados. [87]

No incidente da biografia de Seigenthaler , um editor anônimo introduziu informações falsas na biografia do político americano John Seigenthaler em maio de 2005, apresentando-o falsamente como suspeito do assassinato de John F. Kennedy . [87] Permaneceu sem correção por quatro meses. [87] Seigenthaler, o diretor editorial fundador do USA Today e fundador do Freedom Forum First Amendment Center na Vanderbilt University , ligou para o cofundador da Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, e perguntou se ele tinha alguma maneira de saber quem contribuiu com a desinformação. Wales disse que não, embora o perpetrador tenha sido rastreado.[88] [89] Após o incidente, Seigenthaler descreveu a Wikipedia como "uma ferramenta de pesquisa falha e irresponsável". [87] O incidente levou a mudanças de política na Wikipedia para aumentar a verificabilidade de artigos biográficos de pessoas vivas. [90]

Em 2010, Daniel Tosh encorajou os espectadores de seu programa, Tosh.0 , a visitar o artigo da Wikipédia do programa e editá-lo à vontade. Em um episódio posterior, ele comentou sobre as edições do artigo, a maioria delas ofensivas, que foram feitas pelo público e levaram o artigo a ser bloqueado para edição. [91] [92]

Editar guerra

Os wikipedistas costumam ter disputas em relação ao conteúdo, o que pode resultar em repetidas alterações concorrentes em um artigo, conhecidas como "guerra de edição". [93] [94] É amplamente visto como um cenário de consumo de recursos onde nenhum conhecimento útil é adicionado, [95] e criticado por criar uma cultura de edição competitiva [96] e baseada em conflitos [97] associada a papéis tradicionais de gênero masculino . [98]

Políticas e leis

Vídeo externo
Jimbo at Fosdem cropped.jpg
video icon Wikimania , 60 Minutes , CBS , 20 minutos, 5 de abril de 2015, co-fundador Jimmy Wales na Fosdem

O conteúdo da Wikipédia está sujeito às leis (em particular, leis de direitos autorais ) dos Estados Unidos e do estado norte-americano da Virgínia , onde a maioria dos servidores da Wikipédia está localizada. Além das questões legais, os princípios editoriais da Wikipédia estão incorporados nos "cinco pilares" e em inúmeras políticas e diretrizes destinadas a moldar adequadamente o conteúdo. Mesmo essas regras são armazenadas em forma de wiki, e os editores da Wikipedia escrevem e revisam as políticas e diretrizes do site. [99] Os editores podem aplicar essas regras excluindoou modificação de material não conforme. Originalmente, as regras das edições não inglesas da Wikipédia eram baseadas em uma tradução das regras da Wikipédia em inglês. Desde então, eles divergiram até certo ponto. [77]

Políticas e diretrizes de conteúdo

De acordo com as regras da Wikipedia em inglês, cada entrada na Wikipedia deve ser sobre um tópico que é enciclopédico e não é uma entrada de dicionário ou estilo de dicionário. [100] Um tópico também deve atender aos padrões de "notabilidade" da Wikipédia , [101] o que geralmente significa que o tópico deve ter sido coberto pela mídia convencional ou pelas principais fontes de periódicos acadêmicos que são independentes do assunto do artigo. Além disso, a Wikipedia pretende transmitir apenas o conhecimento que já está estabelecido e reconhecido. [102]Não deve apresentar pesquisa original. Uma alegação que provavelmente será contestada requer uma referência a uma fonte confiável. Entre os editores da Wikipédia, isso é frequentemente expresso como "verificabilidade, não verdade" para expressar a ideia de que os leitores, e não a enciclopédia, são os responsáveis ​​por verificar a veracidade dos artigos e fazer suas próprias interpretações. [103] Isso às vezes pode levar à remoção de informações que, embora válidas, não são originadas adequadamente. [104] Finalmente, a Wikipédia não deve tomar partido. [105]

Governança

A anarquia inicial da Wikipedia integrou elementos democráticos e hierárquicos ao longo do tempo. [106] [107] Um artigo não é considerado propriedade de seu criador ou de qualquer outro editor, nem do assunto do artigo. [108]

Administradores

Editores em situação regular na comunidade podem solicitar direitos de usuário extras , concedendo-lhes a capacidade técnica de realizar determinadas ações especiais. Em particular, os editores podem optar por concorrer a " administração ", [109] [110] que inclui a capacidade de excluir páginas ou impedir que sejam alteradas em casos de vandalismo grave ou disputas editoriais. Os administradores não devem gozar de nenhum privilégio especial na tomada de decisões; em vez disso, seus poderes são principalmente limitados a fazer edições que têm efeitos em todo o projeto e, portanto, não são permitidas a editores comuns, e a implementar restrições destinadas a impedir que editores disruptivos façam edições improdutivas. [111] [112]

Em 2012, menos editores estavam se tornando administradores em comparação com os anos anteriores da Wikipedia, em parte porque o processo de seleção de administradores em potencial havia se tornado mais rigoroso. [113]

Resolução de disputas

Com o tempo, a Wikipedia desenvolveu um processo semiformal de resolução de disputas. Para determinar o consenso da comunidade, os editores podem levantar questões em fóruns comunitários apropriados, [nota 5] buscar informações externas por meio de solicitações de terceira opinião ou iniciar uma discussão mais geral da comunidade conhecida como "pedido de comentário".

Comitê de Arbitragem

O Comitê de Arbitragem preside o processo final de resolução de disputas. Embora as disputas geralmente surjam de um desacordo entre duas visões opostas sobre como um artigo deve ser lido, o Comitê de Arbitragem se recusa explicitamente a decidir diretamente sobre a visão específica que deve ser adotada. Análises estatísticas sugerem que o comitê ignora o conteúdo das disputas e se concentra na forma como as disputas são conduzidas, [114]funcionando não tanto para resolver disputas e fazer as pazes entre editores conflitantes, mas para eliminar editores problemáticos enquanto permite que editores potencialmente produtivos voltem a participar. Portanto, o comitê não dita o conteúdo dos artigos, embora às vezes condene as alterações de conteúdo quando considera que o novo conteúdo viola as políticas da Wikipédia (por exemplo, se o novo conteúdo for considerado tendencioso). Seus remédios incluem advertências e provas (usadas em 63% dos casos) e proibição de editores de artigos (43%), assuntos (23%) ou Wikipedia (16%). [ quando? ] Banimentos completos da Wikipédia são geralmente limitados a casos de falsificação de identidade e comportamento anti-social. Quando a conduta não é falsificação de identidade ou anti-social, mas sim anti-consenso ou violação das políticas de edição, os remédios tendem a se limitar a advertências. [115]

Comunidade

Vídeo da Wikimania 2005 —uma conferência anual para usuários da Wikipédia e outros projetos operados pela Wikimedia Foundation , foi realizada em Frankfurt am Main , Alemanha, de 4 a 8 de agosto.

Cada artigo e cada usuário da Wikipedia tem uma página de "conversa" associada. Estes formam o principal canal de comunicação para os editores discutirem, coordenarem e debaterem. [116]

Wikipedistas e curadores do Museu Britânico colaboram no artigo Hoxne Hoard em junho de 2010

A comunidade da Wikipedia tem sido descrita como cultlike , [117] embora nem sempre com conotações totalmente negativas. [118] Sua preferência pela coesão, mesmo que exija um compromisso que inclua a desconsideração de credenciais , tem sido chamada de " anti-elitismo ". [119]

Os wikipedistas às vezes premiam uns aos outros "estrelas virtuais" pelo bom trabalho. Esses agradecimentos personalizados revelam uma ampla gama de trabalhos valorizados que vão muito além da simples edição para incluir apoio social, ações administrativas e tipos de trabalho de articulação. [120]

A Wikipedia não exige que seus editores e colaboradores forneçam identificação. [121] À medida que a Wikipedia crescia, "Quem escreve a Wikipedia?" tornou-se uma das perguntas mais frequentes por lá. [122] Jimmy Wales certa vez argumentou que apenas "uma comunidade... um grupo dedicado de algumas centenas de voluntários" faz a maior parte das contribuições para a Wikipédia e que o projeto é, portanto, "muito parecido com qualquer organização tradicional". [123] Em 2008, um artigo da revista Slate relatou que: "De acordo com pesquisadores em Palo Alto, um por cento dos usuários da Wikipédia são responsáveis ​​por cerca de metade das edições do site." [124] Este método de avaliação de contribuições foi posteriormente contestado por Aaron Swartz, que observou que vários artigos de sua amostra tinham grande parte de seu conteúdo (medido pelo número de caracteres) contribuído por usuários com baixa contagem de edições. [125]

A Wikipédia em inglês tem 6.501.708 artigos, 43.588.420 editores registrados e 123.858 editores ativos. Um editor é considerado ativo se tiver feito uma ou mais edições nos últimos 30 dias.

Os editores que não cumprem os rituais culturais da Wikipédia, como assinar comentários em páginas de discussão, podem sinalizar implicitamente que são outsiders da Wikipédia, aumentando as chances de que os insiders da Wikipédia possam direcionar ou descontar suas contribuições. Tornar-se um membro da Wikipédia envolve custos não triviais: espera-se que o colaborador aprenda códigos tecnológicos específicos da Wikipédia, se submeta a um processo de resolução de disputas às vezes complicado e aprenda uma "cultura desconcertante rica em piadas internas e referências internas". [126] Editores que não fazem login são, em certo sentido, cidadãos de segunda classe na Wikipédia, [126] já que "os participantes são credenciados por membros da comunidade wiki, que têm interesse em preservar a qualidade do produto do trabalho, em a base de sua participação contínua",[127] mas os históricos de contribuição de editores anônimos não registrados reconhecidos apenas por seus endereços IP não podem ser atribuídos a um editor específico com certeza.

Estudos

Um estudo de 2007 realizado por pesquisadores do Dartmouth College descobriu que "colaboradores anônimos e infrequentes da Wikipedia ... são uma fonte de conhecimento tão confiável quanto os contribuidores que se registram no site". [128] Jimmy Wales afirmou em 2009 que "[A]ssim, mais de 50% de todas as edições são feitas por apenas 0,7% dos usuários  ... 524 pessoas  ... E, de fato, os 2% mais ativos , que são 1400 pessoas, fizeram 73,4% de todas as edições." [123] No entanto, o editor e jornalista do Business Insider Henry Blodgetmostrou em 2009 que, em uma amostra aleatória de artigos, a maior parte do conteúdo da Wikipédia (medida pela quantidade de texto contribuído que sobrevive à última edição amostrada) é criada por "outsiders", enquanto a maior parte da edição e formatação é feita por "insiders". [123]

Um estudo de 2008 descobriu que os wikipedistas eram menos agradáveis, abertos e conscienciosos do que outros, [129] [130] embora um comentário posterior tenha apontado sérias falhas, incluindo que os dados mostraram maior abertura e que as diferenças com o grupo de controle e as amostras eram pequenos. [131] De acordo com um estudo de 2009, há "evidências de crescente resistência da comunidade da Wikipédia a novos conteúdos". [132]

Diversidade

Vários estudos mostraram que a maioria dos contribuidores da Wikipédia são homens. Notavelmente, os resultados de uma pesquisa da Wikimedia Foundation em 2008 mostraram que apenas 13% dos editores da Wikipédia eram mulheres. [133] Por causa disso, universidades nos Estados Unidos tentaram encorajar as mulheres a se tornarem contribuidoras da Wikipédia. Da mesma forma, muitas dessas universidades, incluindo Yale e Brown , deram crédito universitário a estudantes que criam ou editam um artigo relacionado a mulheres em ciência ou tecnologia. [134] Andrew Lih , professor e cientista, escreveu no The New York Timesque a razão pela qual ele achava que o número de contribuintes masculinos superava tanto o número de mulheres era porque identificar-se como mulher pode expor-se a "comportamentos feios e intimidadores". [135] Os dados mostraram que os africanos estão sub-representados entre os editores da Wikipedia. [136]

Edições de idioma

Distribuição dos 58.783.699 artigos em edições de diferentes idiomas (em 21 de maio de 2022) [137]

   Inglês (11,1%)
   Cebuano (10,4%)
   Alemão (4,6%)
   Sueco (4,4%)
   Francês (4,1%)
   Holandês (3,6%)
   russo (3,1%)
   Espanhol (3%)
   Italiano (3%)
   Árabe egípcio (2,7%)
   Polonês (2,6%)
   Japonês (2,3%)
   Chinês (2,2%)
   Vietnamita (2,2%)
   Waray (2,2%)
   Árabe (2%)
   Ucraniano (2%)
  Outros (34,5%)
Edição mais popular da Wikipedia por país em janeiro de 2021.
Edições mais vistas da Wikipédia ao longo do tempo.
Edições mais editadas da Wikipedia ao longo do tempo.

Atualmente, existem 327 edições linguísticas da Wikipedia (também chamadas de versões linguísticas , ou simplesmente Wikipedias ). Em maio de 2022, as seis maiores, em ordem de contagem de artigos, são as Wikipédias em inglês , cebuano , alemão , sueco , francês e holandês . [138] A segunda e quarta maiores Wikipedias devem sua posição ao bot de criação de artigos Lsjbot , que em 2013 criou cerca de metade dos artigos na Wikipedia sueca e a maioria dos artigos nas Wikipedias Cebuano e Waray. Estes últimos são ambas as línguas das Filipinas.

Além dos seis primeiros, doze outras Wikipédias têm mais de um milhão de artigos cada ( russo , espanhol , italiano , árabe egípcio , polonês , japonês , chinês , vietnamita , waray , árabe , ucraniano e português ), mais sete têm mais de 500.000 artigos ( persa , catalão , sérvio , indonésio , coreano , norueguês e finlandês), mais 44 têm mais de 100.000 e mais 82 têm mais de 10.000. [139] [138] A maior, a Wikipedia em inglês, tem mais de 6,5 milhões de artigos. Em janeiro de 2021, a Wikipedia em inglês recebe 48% do tráfego acumulado da Wikipedia, com o restante dividido entre os outros idiomas. As 10 principais edições representam aproximadamente 85% do tráfego total. [140]

Gráfico logarítmico das 20 maiores edições de idioma da Wikipedia
(em 21 de maio de 2022) [141]
(milhões de artigos)
0,1 0,3 1 3

Inglês 6.501.708
Cebuano 6.125.888
Alemão 2.691.537
Sueco 2.558.121
Francês 2.424.493
Holandês 2.090.759
russo 1.821.339
Espanhol 1.776.085
Italiano 1.755.447
Árabe egípcio 1.578.128
Polonês 1.522.510
Japonês 1.326.554
Chinês 1.276.918
Vietnamita 1.272.486
Waray 1.265.734
Árabe 1.168.211
Ucraniano 1.155.158
Português 1.091.874
Persa 911.093
Catalão 701.715

A unidade para os números em barras é artigos.

Um gráfico para visualizações de página da Wikipédia turca mostra uma grande queda de aproximadamente 80% imediatamente após o bloqueio da Wikipédia na Turquia ser imposto em 2017.

Since Wikipedia is based on the Web and therefore worldwide, contributors to the same language edition may use different dialects or may come from different countries (as is the case for the English edition). These differences may lead to some conflicts over spelling differences (e.g. colour versus color)[142] or points of view.[143]

Though the various language editions are held to global policies such as "neutral point of view", they diverge on some points of policy and practice, most notably on whether images that are not licensed freely may be used under a claim of fair use.[144][145][146]

Jimmy Wales descreveu a Wikipedia como "um esforço para criar e distribuir uma enciclopédia gratuita da mais alta qualidade possível para cada pessoa no planeta em seu próprio idioma". [147] Embora cada edição de idioma funcione de forma mais ou menos independente, alguns esforços são feitos para supervisionar todas elas. Eles são coordenados em parte pelo Meta-Wiki, o wiki da Wikimedia Foundation dedicado a manter todos os seus projetos (Wikipedia e outros). [148] Por exemplo, o Meta-Wiki fornece estatísticas importantes sobre todas as edições linguísticas da Wikipédia, [149] e mantém uma lista de artigos que toda Wikipédia deveria ter. [150]A lista diz respeito ao conteúdo básico por assunto: biografia, história, geografia, sociedade, cultura, ciência, tecnologia e matemática. Não é raro que artigos fortemente relacionados a um determinado idioma não tenham homólogos em outra edição. Por exemplo, artigos sobre cidades pequenas nos Estados Unidos podem estar disponíveis apenas em inglês, mesmo quando atendem aos critérios de notabilidade de projetos da Wikipédia em outros idiomas.

Estimativa de compartilhamentos de contribuições de diferentes regiões do mundo para diferentes edições da Wikipédia [151]

Translated articles represent only a small portion of articles in most editions, in part because those editions do not allow fully automated translation of articles. Articles available in more than one language may offer "interwiki links", which link to the counterpart articles in other editions.[152]

A study published by PLOS One in 2012 also estimated the share of contributions to different editions of Wikipedia from different regions of the world. It reported that the proportion of the edits made from North America was 51% for the English Wikipedia, and 25% for the simple English Wikipedia.[151]

English Wikipedia editor numbers

Number of editors on the English Wikipedia over time.

On March 1, 2014, The Economist, in an article titled "The Future of Wikipedia", cited a trend analysis concerning data published by the Wikimedia Foundation stating that "[t]he number of editors for the English-language version has fallen by a third in seven years."[153] The attrition rate for active editors in English Wikipedia was cited by The Economist as substantially in contrast to statistics for Wikipedia in other languages (non-English Wikipedia). The Economist reported that the number of contributors with an average of five or more edits per month was relatively constant since 2008 for Wikipedia in other languages at approximately 42,000 editors within narrow seasonal variances of about 2,000 editors up or down. The number of active editors in English Wikipedia, by sharp comparison, was cited as peaking in 2007 at approximately 50,000 and dropping to 30,000 by the start of 2014.

In contrast, the trend analysis published in The Economist presents Wikipedia in other languages (non-English Wikipedia) as successful in retaining their active editors on a renewable and sustained basis, with their numbers remaining relatively constant at approximately 42,000.[153] No comment was made concerning which of the differentiated edit policy standards from Wikipedia in other languages (non-English Wikipedia) would provide a possible alternative to English Wikipedia for effectively ameliorating substantial editor attrition rates on the English-language Wikipedia.[154]

Reception

Various Wikipedians have criticized Wikipedia's large and growing regulation, which includes more than fifty policies and nearly 150,000 words as of 2014.[155][156]

Critics have stated that Wikipedia exhibits systemic bias. In 2010, columnist and journalist Edwin Black described Wikipedia as being a mixture of "truth, half-truth, and some falsehoods".[157] Articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Journal of Academic Librarianship have criticized Wikipedia's "Undue Weight" policy, concluding that the fact that Wikipedia explicitly is not designed to provide correct information about a subject, but rather focus on all the major viewpoints on the subject, give less attention to minor ones, and creates omissions that can lead to false beliefs based on incomplete information.[158][159][160]

Journalists Oliver Kamm and Edwin Black alleged (in 2010 and 2011 respectively) that articles are dominated by the loudest and most persistent voices, usually by a group with an "ax to grind" on the topic.[157][161] A 2008 article in Education Next Journal concluded that as a resource about controversial topics, Wikipedia is subject to manipulation and spin.[162]

In 2020, Omer Benjakob and Stephen Harrison noted that "Media coverage of Wikipedia has radically shifted over the past two decades: once cast as an intellectual frivolity, it is now lauded as the 'last bastion of shared reality' online."[163]

In 2022, John Stossel opined that Wikipedia, a site he financially supported at one time, appears to have gradually taken a significant turn in bias to the political left, specifically on political topics.[164]

In 2006, the Wikipedia Watch criticism website listed dozens of examples of plagiarism in the English Wikipedia.[165]

Accuracy of content

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

Articles for traditional encyclopedias such as Encyclopædia Britannica are written by experts, lending such encyclopedias a reputation for accuracy.[166] However, a peer review in 2005 of forty-two scientific entries on both Wikipedia and Encyclopædia Britannica by the science journal Nature found few differences in accuracy, and concluded that "the average science entry in Wikipedia contained around four inaccuracies; Britannica, about three."[167] Joseph Reagle suggested that while the study reflects "a topical strength of Wikipedia contributors" in science articles, "Wikipedia may not have fared so well using a random sampling of articles or on humanities subjects."[168] Others raised similar critiques.[169] The findings by Nature were disputed by Encyclopædia Britannica,[170][171] and in response, Nature gave a rebuttal of the points raised by Britannica.[172] In addition to the point-for-point disagreement between these two parties, others have examined the sample size and selection method used in the Nature effort, and suggested a "flawed study design" (in Nature's manual selection of articles, in part or in whole, for comparison), absence of statistical analysis (e.g., of reported confidence intervals), and a lack of study "statistical power" (i.e., owing to small sample size, 42 or 4 × 101 articles compared, vs >105 and >106 set sizes for Britannica and the English Wikipedia, respectively).[173]

As a consequence of the open structure, Wikipedia "makes no guarantee of validity" of its content, since no one is ultimately responsible for any claims appearing in it.[174] Concerns have been raised by PC World in 2009 regarding the lack of accountability that results from users' anonymity,[175] the insertion of false information,[176] vandalism, and similar problems.

Economist Tyler Cowen wrote: "If I had to guess whether Wikipedia or the median refereed journal article on economics was more likely to be true after a not so long think I would opt for Wikipedia." He comments that some traditional sources of non-fiction suffer from systemic biases, and novel results, in his opinion, are over-reported in journal articles as well as relevant information being omitted from news reports. However, he also cautions that errors are frequently found on Internet sites and that academics and experts must be vigilant in correcting them.[177] Amy Bruckman has argued that, due to the number of reviewers, "the content of a popular Wikipedia page is actually the most reliable form of information ever created".[178]

Critics argue that Wikipedia's open nature and a lack of proper sources for most of the information makes it unreliable.[179] Some commentators suggest that Wikipedia may be reliable, but that the reliability of any given article is not clear.[180] Editors of traditional reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned the project's utility and status as an encyclopedia.[181] Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has claimed that Wikipedia has largely avoided the problem of "fake news" because the Wikipedia community regularly debates the quality of sources in articles.[182]

External video
video icon Inside Wikipedia – Attack of the PR Industry, Deutsche Welle, 7:13 mins[183]

Wikipedia's open structure inherently makes it an easy target for Internet trolls, spammers, and various forms of paid advocacy seen as counterproductive to the maintenance of a neutral and verifiable online encyclopedia.[80][184] In response to paid advocacy editing and undisclosed editing issues, Wikipedia was reported in an article in The Wall Street Journal, to have strengthened its rules and laws against undisclosed editing.[185] The article stated that: "Beginning Monday [from the date of the article, June 16, 2014], changes in Wikipedia's terms of use will require anyone paid to edit articles to disclose that arrangement. Katherine Maher, the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation's chief communications officer, said the changes address a sentiment among volunteer editors that, 'we're not an advertising service; we're an encyclopedia.'"[185][186][187][188][189] These issues, among others, had been parodied since the first decade of Wikipedia, notably by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.[190]

A Harvard law textbook, Legal Research in a Nutshell (2011), cites Wikipedia as a "general source" that "can be a real boon" in "coming up to speed in the law governing a situation" and, "while not authoritative, can provide basic facts as well as leads to more in-depth resources".[191]

Discouragement in education

Most university lecturers discourage students from citing any encyclopedia in academic work, preferring primary sources;[192] some specifically prohibit Wikipedia citations.[193][194] Wales stresses that encyclopedias of any type are not usually appropriate to use as citable sources, and should not be relied upon as authoritative.[195] Wales once (2006 or earlier) said he receives about ten emails weekly from students saying they got failing grades on papers because they cited Wikipedia; he told the students they got what they deserved. "For God's sake, you're in college; don't cite the encyclopedia," he said.[196]

In February 2007, an article in The Harvard Crimson newspaper reported that a few of the professors at Harvard University were including Wikipedia articles in their syllabi, although without realizing the articles might change.[197] In June 2007, former president of the American Library Association Michael Gorman condemned Wikipedia, along with Google, stating that academics who endorse the use of Wikipedia are "the intellectual equivalent of a dietitian who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything".[198]

In contrast, academic writing[clarification needed] in Wikipedia has evolved in recent years and has been found to increase student interest, personal connection to the product, creativity in material processing, and international collaboration in the learning process.[199]

Medical information

On March 5, 2014, Julie Beck writing for The Atlantic magazine in an article titled "Doctors' #1 Source for Healthcare Information: Wikipedia", stated that "Fifty percent of physicians look up conditions on the (Wikipedia) site, and some are editing articles themselves to improve the quality of available information."[200] Beck continued to detail in this article new programs of Amin Azzam at the University of San Francisco to offer medical school courses to medical students for learning to edit and improve Wikipedia articles on health-related issues, as well as internal quality control programs within Wikipedia organized by James Heilman to improve a group of 200 health-related articles of central medical importance up to Wikipedia's highest standard of articles using its Featured Article and Good Article peer-review evaluation process.[200] In a May 7, 2014, follow-up article in The Atlantic titled "Can Wikipedia Ever Be a Definitive Medical Text?", Julie Beck quotes WikiProject Medicine's James Heilman as stating: "Just because a reference is peer-reviewed doesn't mean it's a high-quality reference."[201] Beck added that: "Wikipedia has its own peer review process before articles can be classified as 'good' or 'featured'. Heilman, who has participated in that process before, says 'less than one percent' of Wikipedia's medical articles have passed."[201]

Coverage of topics and systemic bias

Wikipedia seeks to create a summary of all human knowledge in the form of an online encyclopedia, with each topic covered encyclopedically in one article. Since it has terabytes of disk space, it can have far more topics than can be covered by any printed encyclopedia.[202] The exact degree and manner of coverage on Wikipedia is under constant review by its editors, and disagreements are not uncommon (see deletionism and inclusionism).[203][204] Wikipedia contains materials that some people may find objectionable, offensive, or pornographic. The "Wikipedia is not censored" policy has sometimes proved controversial: in 2008, Wikipedia rejected an online petition against the inclusion of images of Muhammad in the English edition of its Muhammad article, citing this policy. The presence of politically, religiously, and pornographically sensitive materials in Wikipedia has led to the censorship of Wikipedia by national authorities in China[205] and Pakistan,[206] amongst other countries.

Pie chart of Wikipedia content by subject as of January 2008 [207]

A 2008 study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Palo Alto Research Center gave a distribution of topics as well as growth (from July 2006 to January 2008) in each field:[207]

  • Culture and Arts: 30% (210%)
  • Biographies and persons: 15% (97%)
  • Geography and places: 14% (52%)
  • Society and social sciences: 12% (83%)
  • History and events: 11% (143%)
  • Natural and Physical Sciences: 9% (213%)
  • Technology and Applied Science: 4% (−6%)
  • Religions and belief systems: 2% (38%)
  • Health: 2% (42%)
  • Mathematics and logic: 1% (146%)
  • Thought and Philosophy: 1% (160%)

These numbers refer only to the number of articles: it is possible for one topic to contain a large number of short articles and another to contain a small number of large ones. Through its "Wikipedia Loves Libraries" program, Wikipedia has partnered with major public libraries such as the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to expand its coverage of underrepresented subjects and articles.[208]

A 2011 study conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota indicated that male and female editors focus on different coverage topics. There was a greater concentration of females in the "people and arts" category, while males focus more on "geography and science".[209]

Coverage of topics and selection bias

Research conducted by Mark Graham of the Oxford Internet Institute in 2009 indicated that the geographic distribution of article topics is highly uneven. Africa is the most underrepresented.[210] Across 30 language editions of Wikipedia, historical articles and sections are generally Eurocentric and focused on recent events.[211]

An editorial in The Guardian in 2014 claimed that more effort went into providing references for a list of female porn actors than a list of women writers.[212] Data has also shown that Africa-related material often faces omission; a knowledge gap that a July 2018 Wikimedia conference in Cape Town sought to address.[136]

Systemic biases

When multiple editors contribute to one topic or set of topics, systemic bias may arise, due to the demographic backgrounds of the editors. In 2011, Wales claimed that the unevenness of coverage is a reflection of the demography of the editors, citing for example "biographies of famous women through history and issues surrounding early childcare".[48] The October 22, 2013, essay by Tom Simonite in MIT's Technology Review titled "The Decline of Wikipedia" discussed the effect of systemic bias and policy creep on the downward trend in the number of editors.[49]

Systemic bias on Wikipedia may follow that of culture generally,[vague] for example favoring certain nationalities, ethnicities or majority religions.[213] It may more specifically follow the biases of Internet culture, inclining to be young, male, English-speaking, educated, technologically aware, and wealthy enough to spare time for editing. Biases, intrinsically, may include an overemphasis on topics such as pop culture, technology, and current events.[213]

Taha Yasseri of the University of Oxford, in 2013, studied the statistical trends of systemic bias at Wikipedia introduced by editing conflicts and their resolution.[214][215] His research examined the counterproductive work behavior of edit warring. Yasseri contended that simple reverts or "undo" operations were not the most significant measure of counterproductive behavior at Wikipedia and relied instead on the statistical measurement of detecting "reverting/reverted pairs" or "mutually reverting edit pairs". Such a "mutually reverting edit pair" is defined where one editor reverts the edit of another editor who then, in sequence, returns to revert the first editor in the "mutually reverting edit pairs". The results were tabulated for several language versions of Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia's three largest conflict rates belonged to the articles George W. Bush, anarchism, and Muhammad.[215] By comparison, for the German Wikipedia, the three largest conflict rates at the time of the Oxford study were for the articles covering Croatia, Scientology, and 9/11 conspiracy theories.[215]

Researchers from Washington University developed a statistical model to measure systematic bias in the behavior of Wikipedia's users regarding controversial topics. The authors focused on behavioral changes of the encyclopedia's administrators after assuming the post, writing that systematic bias occurred after the fact.[216][217]

Explicit content

Wikipedia has been criticized for allowing information about graphic content. Articles depicting what some critics have called objectionable content (such as feces, cadaver, human penis, vulva, and nudity) contain graphic pictures and detailed information easily available to anyone with access to the internet, including children.

The site also includes sexual content such as images and videos of masturbation and ejaculation, illustrations of zoophilia, and photos from hardcore pornographic films in its articles. It also has non-sexual photographs of nude children.

The Wikipedia article about Virgin Killera 1976 album from the German rock band Scorpions—features a picture of the album's original cover, which depicts a naked prepubescent girl. The original release cover caused controversy and was replaced in some countries. In December 2008, access to the Wikipedia article Virgin Killer was blocked for four days by most Internet service providers in the United Kingdom after the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) decided the album cover was a potentially illegal indecent image and added the article's URL to a "blacklist" it supplies to British internet service providers.[218]

In April 2010, Sanger wrote a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlining his concerns that two categories of images on Wikimedia Commons contained child pornography, and were in violation of US federal obscenity law.[219][220] Sanger later clarified that the images, which were related to pedophilia and one about lolicon, were not of real children, but said that they constituted "obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children", under the PROTECT Act of 2003.[221] That law bans photographic child pornography and cartoon images and drawings of children that are obscene under American law.[221] Sanger also expressed concerns about access to the images on Wikipedia in schools.[222] Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh strongly rejected Sanger's accusation,[223] saying that Wikipedia did not have "material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it."[223] Following the complaint by Sanger, Wales deleted sexual images without consulting the community. After some editors who volunteer to maintain the site argued that the decision to delete had been made hastily, Wales voluntarily gave up some of the powers he had held up to that time as part of his co-founder status. He wrote in a message to the Wikimedia Foundation mailing-list that this action was "in the interest of encouraging this discussion to be about real philosophical/content issues, rather than be about me and how quickly I acted".[224] Critics, including Wikipediocracy, noticed that many of the pornographic images deleted from Wikipedia since 2010 have reappeared.[225]

Privacy

One privacy concern in the case of Wikipedia is the right of a private citizen to remain a "private citizen" rather than a "public figure" in the eyes of the law.[226][note 6] It is a battle between the right to be anonymous in cyberspace and the right to be anonymous in real life ("meatspace"). A particular problem occurs in the case of a relatively unimportant individual and for whom there exists a Wikipedia page against her or his wishes.

In January 2006, a German court ordered the German Wikipedia shut down within Germany because it stated the full name of Boris Floricic, aka "Tron", a deceased hacker. On February 9, 2006, the injunction against Wikimedia Deutschland was overturned, with the court rejecting the notion that Tron's right to privacy or that of his parents was being violated.[227]

Wikipedia has a "Volunteer Response Team" that uses Znuny, a free and open-source software fork of OTRS[228] to handle queries without having to reveal the identities of the involved parties. This is used, for example, in confirming the permission for using individual images and other media in the project.[229]

Sexism

Wikipedia was described in 2015 as harboring a battleground culture of sexism and harassment.[230][231]

The perceived toxic attitudes and tolerance of violent and abusive language were reasons put forth in 2013 for the gender gap in Wikipedia editorship.[232]

Edit-a-thons have been held to encourage female editors and increase the coverage of women's topics.[233]

A comprehensive 2008 survey, published in 2016, found significant gender differences in: confidence in expertise, discomfort with editing, and response to critical feedback. "Women reported less confidence in their expertise, expressed greater discomfort with editing (which typically involves conflict), and reported more negative responses to critical feedback compared to men."[234]

Operation

Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia movement affiliates

Katherine Maher in 2016. She is seen with light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. She is seen wearing a black shirt.
Katherine Maher became the third executive director of Wikimedia in 2016, succeeding Lila Tretikov, who had taken over from Sue Gardner in 2014.

Wikipedia is hosted and funded by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which also operates Wikipedia-related projects such as Wiktionary and Wikibooks. The foundation relies on public contributions and grants to fund its mission.[235] The foundation's 2013 IRS Form 990 shows revenue of $39.7 million and expenses of almost $29 million, with assets of $37.2 million and liabilities of about $2.3 million.[236]

In May 2014, Wikimedia Foundation named Lila Tretikov as its second executive director, taking over for Sue Gardner.[237] The Wall Street Journal reported on May 1, 2014, that Tretikov's information technology background from her years at University of California offers Wikipedia an opportunity to develop in more concentrated directions guided by her often repeated position statement that, "Information, like air, wants to be free."[238][239] The same Wall Street Journal article reported these directions of development according to an interview with spokesman Jay Walsh of Wikimedia, who "said Tretikov would address that issue (paid advocacy) as a priority. 'We are really pushing toward more transparency ... We are reinforcing that paid advocacy is not welcome.' Initiatives to involve greater diversity of contributors, better mobile support of Wikipedia, new geo-location tools to find local content more easily, and more tools for users in the second and third world are also priorities," Walsh said.[238]

Following the departure of Tretikov from Wikipedia due to issues concerning the use of the "superprotection" feature which some language versions of Wikipedia have adopted, Katherine Maher became the third executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation in June 2016.[240] Maher has stated that one of her priorities would be the issue of editor harassment endemic to Wikipedia as identified by the Wikipedia board in December. Maher stated regarding the harassment issue that: "It establishes a sense within the community that this is a priority ... (and that correction requires that) it has to be more than words."[241]

Wikipedia is also supported by many organizations and groups that are affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation but independently-run, called Wikimedia movement affiliates. These include Wikimedia chapters (which are national or sub-national organizations, such as Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimédia France), thematic organizations (such as Amical Wikimedia for the Catalan language community), and user groups. These affiliates participate in the promotion, development, and funding of Wikipedia.

Software operations and support

The operation of Wikipedia depends on MediaWiki, a custom-made, free and open source wiki software platform written in PHP and built upon the MySQL database system.[242] The software incorporates programming features such as a macro language, variables, a transclusion system for templates, and URL redirection. MediaWiki is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and it is used by all Wikimedia projects, as well as many other wiki projects. Originally, Wikipedia ran on UseModWiki written in Perl by Clifford Adams (Phase I), which initially required CamelCase for article hyperlinks; the present double bracket style was incorporated later. Starting in January 2002 (Phase II), Wikipedia began running on a PHP wiki engine with a MySQL database; this software was custom-made for Wikipedia by Magnus Manske. The Phase II software was repeatedly modified to accommodate the exponentially increasing demand. In July 2002 (Phase III), Wikipedia shifted to the third-generation software, MediaWiki, originally written by Lee Daniel Crocker.

Several MediaWiki extensions are installed[243] to extend the functionality of the MediaWiki software.

In April 2005, a Lucene extension[244][245] was added to MediaWiki's built-in search and Wikipedia switched from MySQL to Lucene for searching. Lucene was later replaced by CirrusSearch which is based on Elasticsearch.[246]

In July 2013, after extensive beta testing, a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) extension, VisualEditor, was opened to public use.[247][248][249][250] It was met with much rejection and criticism, and was described as "slow and buggy".[251] The feature was changed from opt-out to opt-in afterward.

Automated editing

Computer programs called bots have often been used to perform simple and repetitive tasks, such as correcting common misspellings and stylistic issues, or to start articles such as geography entries in a standard format from statistical data.[252][253][254] One controversial contributor, Sverker Johansson, creating articles with his bot was reported to create up to 10,000 articles on the Swedish Wikipedia on certain days.[255] Additionally, there are bots designed to automatically notify editors when they make common editing errors (such as unmatched quotes or unmatched parentheses).[256] Edits falsely identified by bots as the work of a banned editor can be restored by other editors. An anti-vandal bot is programmed to detect and revert vandalism quickly.[253] Bots are able to indicate edits from particular accounts or IP address ranges, as occurred at the time of the shooting down of the MH17 jet incident in July 2014 when it was reported that edits were made via IPs controlled by the Russian government.[257] Bots on Wikipedia must be approved before activation.[258]

According to Andrew Lih, the current expansion of Wikipedia to millions of articles would be difficult to envision without the use of such bots.[259]

Hardware operations and support

Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000-page requests per second, depending on the time of the day.[260][needs update] As of 2021, page requests are first passed to a front-end layer of Varnish caching servers and back-end layer caching is done by Apache Traffic Server.[261] Further statistics, based on a publicly available 3-month Wikipedia access trace, are available.[262] Requests that cannot be served from the Varnish cache are sent to load-balancing servers running the Linux Virtual Server software, which in turn pass them to one of the Apache web servers for page rendering from the database. The web servers deliver pages as requested, performing page rendering for all the language editions of Wikipedia. To increase speed further, rendered pages are cached in a distributed memory cache until invalidated, allowing page rendering to be skipped entirely for most common page accesses.[263]

Diagram showing flow of data between Wikipedia's servers.
Overview of system architecture as of April 2020

Wikipedia currently runs on dedicated clusters of Linux servers with Debian.[264] As of December 2009, there were 300 in Florida and 44 in Amsterdam.[265] By January 22, 2013, Wikipedia had migrated its primary data center to an Equinix facility in Ashburn, Virginia.[266][267] In 2017, Wikipedia installed a caching cluster in an Equinix facility in Singapore, the first of its kind in Asia.[268]

Internal research and operational development

Following growing amounts of incoming donations exceeding seven digits in 2013 as recently reported,[49] the Foundation has reached a threshold of assets which qualify its consideration under the principles of industrial organization economics to indicate the need for the re-investment of donations into the internal research and development of the Foundation.[269] Two of the recent projects of such internal research and development have been the creation of a Visual Editor and a largely under-utilized "Thank" tab which were developed to ameliorate issues of editor attrition, which have met with limited success.[49][251] The estimates for reinvestment by industrial organizations into internal research and development was studied by Adam Jaffe, who recorded that the range of 4% to 25% annually was to be recommended, with high-end technology requiring the higher level of support for internal reinvestment.[270] At the 2013 level of contributions for Wikimedia presently documented as 45 million dollars, the computed budget level recommended by Jaffe and Caballero for reinvestment into internal research and development is between 1.8 million and 11.3 million dollars annually.[270] In 2016, the level of contributions were reported by Bloomberg News as being at $77 million annually, updating the Jaffe estimates for the higher level of support to between $3.08 million and $19.2 million annually.[270]

Internal news publications

Community-produced news publications include the English Wikipedia's The Signpost, founded in 2005 by Michael Snow, an attorney, Wikipedia administrator, and former chair of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees.[271] It covers news and events from the site, as well as major events from other Wikimedia projects, such as Wikimedia Commons. Similar publications are the German-language Kurier, and the Portuguese-language Correio da Wikipédia. Other past and present community news publications on English Wikipedia include the Wikiworld webcomic, the Wikipedia Weekly podcast, and newsletters of specific WikiProjects like The Bugle from WikiProject Military History and the monthly newsletter from The Guild of Copy Editors. There are also several publications from the Wikimedia Foundation and multilingual publications such as Wikimedia Diff and This Month in Education.

The Wikipedia Library

The Wikipedia Library is a resource for Wikipedia editors which provides free access to a wide range of digital publications, so that they can consult and cite these while editing the encyclopedia.[272][273] Over 60 publishers have partnered with The Wikipedia Library to provide access to their resources: when ICE Publishing joined in 2020, a spokesman said "By enabling free access to our content for Wikipedia editors, we hope to further the research community's resources – creating and updating Wikipedia entries on civil engineering which are read by thousands of monthly readers."[274]

Access to content

Content licensing

When the project was started in 2001, all text in Wikipedia was covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), a copyleft license permitting the redistribution, creation of derivative works, and commercial use of content while authors retain copyright of their work.[275] The GFDL was created for software manuals that come with free software programs licensed under the GPL. This made it a poor choice for a general reference work: for example, the GFDL requires the reprints of materials from Wikipedia to come with a full copy of the GFDL text. In December 2002, the Creative Commons license was released: it was specifically designed for creative works in general, not just for software manuals. The license gained popularity among bloggers and others distributing creative works on the Web. The Wikipedia project sought the switch to the Creative Commons.[276] Because the two licenses, GFDL and Creative Commons, were incompatible, in November 2008, following the request of the project, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) released a new version of the GFDL designed specifically to allow Wikipedia to relicense its content to CC BY-SA by August 1, 2009. (A new version of the GFDL automatically covers Wikipedia contents.) In April 2009, Wikipedia and its sister projects held a community-wide referendum which decided the switch in June 2009.[277][278][279][280]

The handling of media files (e.g. image files) varies across language editions. Some language editions, such as the English Wikipedia, include non-free image files under fair use doctrine, while the others have opted not to, in part because of the lack of fair use doctrines in their home countries (e.g. in Japanese copyright law). Media files covered by free content licenses (e.g. Creative Commons' CC BY-SA) are shared across language editions via Wikimedia Commons repository, a project operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia's accommodation of varying international copyright laws regarding images has led some to observe that its photographic coverage of topics lags behind the quality of the encyclopedic text.[281]

The Wikimedia Foundation is not a licensor of content, but merely a hosting service for the contributors (and licensors) of the Wikipedia. This position has been successfully defended in court.[282][283]

Methods of access

Because Wikipedia content is distributed under an open license, anyone can reuse or re-distribute it at no charge. The content of Wikipedia has been published in many forms, both online and offline, outside the Wikipedia website.

  • Websites: Thousands of "mirror sites" exist that republish content from Wikipedia: two prominent ones, that also include content from other reference sources, are Reference.com and Answers.com. Another example is Wapedia, which began to display Wikipedia content in a mobile-device-friendly format before Wikipedia itself did.
  • Mobile apps: A variety of mobile apps provide access to Wikipedia on hand-held devices, including both Android and iOS devices (see Wikipedia apps). (see also Mobile access.)
  • Search engines: Some web search engines make special use of Wikipedia content when displaying search results: examples include Microsoft Bing (via technology gained from Powerset)[284] and DuckDuckGo.
  • Compact discs, DVDs: Collections of Wikipedia articles have been published on optical discs. An English version, 2006 Wikipedia CD Selection, contained about 2,000 articles.[285][286] The Polish-language version contains nearly 240,000 articles.[287] There are German- and Spanish-language versions as well.[288][289] Also, "Wikipedia for Schools", the Wikipedia series of CDs / DVDs produced by Wikipedians and SOS Children, is a free, hand-checked, non-commercial selection from Wikipedia targeted around the UK National Curriculum and intended to be useful for much of the English-speaking world.[290] The project is available online; an equivalent print encyclopedia would require roughly 20 volumes.
  • Printed books: There are efforts to put a select subset of Wikipedia's articles into printed book form.[291][292] Since 2009, tens of thousands of print-on-demand books that reproduced English, German, Russian and French Wikipedia articles have been produced by the American company Books LLC and by three Mauritian subsidiaries of the German publisher VDM.[293]
  • Semantic Web: The website DBpedia, begun in 2007, extracts data from the infoboxes and category declarations of the English-language Wikipedia. Wikimedia has created the Wikidata project with a similar objective of storing the basic facts from each page of Wikipedia and the other WMF wikis and make it available in a queriable semantic format, RDF. As of April 2021, it has 93,337,731 items.

Obtaining the full contents of Wikipedia for reuse presents challenges, since direct cloning via a web crawler is discouraged.[294] Wikipedia publishes "dumps" of its contents, but these are text-only; as of 2007 there was no dump available of Wikipedia's images.[295] Wikimedia Enterprise is a for-profit solution to this.

Several languages of Wikipedia also maintain a reference desk, where volunteers answer questions from the general public. According to a study by Pnina Shachaf in the Journal of Documentation, the quality of the Wikipedia reference desk is comparable to a standard library reference desk, with an accuracy of 55 percent.[296]

Mobile access

The mobile version of the English Wikipedia's main page, from August 3, 2019

Wikipedia's original medium was for users to read and edit content using any standard web browser through a fixed Internet connection. Although Wikipedia content has been accessible through the mobile web since July 2013, The New York Times on February 9, 2014, quoted Erik Möller, deputy director of the Wikimedia Foundation, stating that the transition of internet traffic from desktops to mobile devices was significant and a cause for concern and worry.[10] The article in The New York Times reported the comparison statistics for mobile edits stating that, "Only 20 percent of the readership of the English-language Wikipedia comes via mobile devices, a figure substantially lower than the percentage of mobile traffic for other media sites, many of which approach 50 percent. And the shift to mobile editing has lagged even more."[10] The New York Times reports that Möller has assigned "a team of 10 software developers focused on mobile", out of a total of approximately 200 employees working at the Wikimedia Foundation. One principal concern cited by The New York Times for the "worry" is for Wikipedia to effectively address attrition issues with the number of editors which the online encyclopedia attracts to edit and maintain its content in a mobile access environment.[10]

Bloomberg Businessweek reported in July 2014 that Google's Android mobile apps have dominated the largest share of global smartphone shipments for 2013 with 78.6% of market share over their next closest competitor in iOS with 15.2% of the market.[297] At the time of the Tretikov appointment and her posted web interview with Sue Gardner in May 2014, Wikimedia representatives made a technical announcement concerning the number of mobile access systems in the market seeking access to Wikipedia. Directly after the posted web interview, the representatives stated that Wikimedia would be applying an all-inclusive approach to accommodate as many mobile access systems as possible in its efforts for expanding general mobile access, including BlackBerry and the Windows Phone system, making market share a secondary issue.[239] The Android app for Wikipedia was released on July 23, 2014, to generally positive reviews, scoring over four of a possible five in a poll of approximately 200,000 users downloading from Google.[298] The version for iOS was released on April 3, 2013, to similar reviews.[299] Later versions have also been released.

Access to Wikipedia from mobile phones was possible as early as 2004, through the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), via the Wapedia service. In June 2007 Wikipedia launched en.mobile.wikipedia.org, an official website for wireless devices. In 2009 a newer mobile service was officially released,[300] located at en.m.wikipedia.org, which caters to more advanced mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android-based devices or WebOS-based devices. Several other methods of mobile access to Wikipedia have emerged. Many devices and applications optimize or enhance the display of Wikipedia content for mobile devices, while some also incorporate additional features such as use of Wikipedia metadata, such as geoinformation.[301][302]

Wikipedia Zero was an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation to expand the reach of the encyclopedia to the developing countries.[303] It was discontinued in February 2018.[304]

Andrew Lih and Andrew Brown both maintain editing Wikipedia with smartphones is difficult and this discourages new potential contributors. The number of Wikipedia editors has been declining after several years and Tom Simonite of MIT Technology Review claims the bureaucratic structure and rules are a factor in this. Simonite alleges some Wikipedians use the labyrinthine rules and guidelines to dominate others and those editors have a vested interest in keeping the status quo.[49] Lih alleges there is a serious disagreement among existing contributors on how to resolve this. Lih fears for Wikipedia's long-term future while Brown fears problems with Wikipedia will remain and rival encyclopedias will not replace it.[305][306]

Chinese access

Access to the Chinese Wikipedia has been blocked in mainland China since May 2015.[307][308][309] This was done after Wikipedia started to use HTTPS encryption, which made selective censorship more difficult.[310]

In 2017, Quartz reported that the Chinese government had begun creating an unofficial version of Wikipedia. However, unlike Wikipedia, the website's contents would only be editable by scholars from state-owned Chinese institutions. The article stated it had been approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China in 2011.[311]

Cultural impact

Trusted source to combat fake news

In 2017–18, after a barrage of false news reports, both Facebook and YouTube announced they would rely on Wikipedia to help their users evaluate reports and reject false news. Noam Cohen, writing in The Washington Post states, "YouTube's reliance on Wikipedia to set the record straight builds on the thinking of another fact-challenged platform, the Facebook social network, which announced last year that Wikipedia would help its users root out 'fake news'."[15] As of November 2020, Alexa records the daily pageviews per visitor as 3.03 and the average daily time on site as 3:46 minutes.[4]

Readership

In February 2014, The New York Times reported that Wikipedia was ranked fifth globally among all websites, stating "With 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors a month, ... Wikipedia trails just Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and Google, the largest with 1.2 billion unique visitors."[10] However, its ranking dropped to 13th globally by June 2020 due mostly to a rise in popularity of Chinese websites for online shopping.[312]

In addition to logistic growth in the number of its articles,[313] Wikipedia has steadily gained status as a general reference website since its inception in 2001.[314] About 50 percent of search engine traffic to Wikipedia comes from Google,[315] a good portion of which is related to academic research.[316] The number of readers of Wikipedia worldwide reached 365 million at the end of 2009.[317] The Pew Internet and American Life project found that one third of US Internet users consulted Wikipedia.[318] In 2011 Business Insider gave Wikipedia a valuation of $4 billion if it ran advertisements.[319]

According to "Wikipedia Readership Survey 2011", the average age of Wikipedia readers is 36, with a rough parity between genders. Almost half of Wikipedia readers visit the site more than five times a month, and a similar number of readers specifically look for Wikipedia in search engine results. About 47 percent of Wikipedia readers do not realize that Wikipedia is a non-profit organization.[320]

COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wikipedia's coverage of the pandemic received international media attention, and brought an increase in Wikipedia readership overall.[321]

Cultural significance

Wikipedia's content has also been used in academic studies, books, conferences, and court cases.[322][323][324] The Parliament of Canada's website refers to Wikipedia's article on same-sex marriage in the "related links" section of its "further reading" list for the Civil Marriage Act.[325] The encyclopedia's assertions are increasingly used as a source by organizations such as the US federal courts and the World Intellectual Property Organization[326]—though mainly for supporting information rather than information decisive to a case.[327] Content appearing on Wikipedia has also been cited as a source and referenced in some US intelligence agency reports.[328] In December 2008, the scientific journal RNA Biology launched a new section for descriptions of families of RNA molecules and requires authors who contribute to the section to also submit a draft article on the RNA family for publication in Wikipedia.[329]

Wikipedia has also been used as a source in journalism,[330][331] often without attribution, and several reporters have been dismissed for plagiarizing from Wikipedia.[332][333][334]

In 2006, Time magazine recognized Wikipedia's participation (along with YouTube, Reddit, MySpace, and Facebook)[335] in the rapid growth of online collaboration and interaction by millions of people worldwide.

In July 2007, Wikipedia was the focus of a 30-minute documentary on BBC Radio 4[336] which argued that, with increased usage and awareness, the number of references to Wikipedia in popular culture is such that the word is one of a select group of 21st-century nouns that are so familiar (Google, Facebook, YouTube) that they no longer need explanation.

On September 28, 2007, Italian politician Franco Grillini raised a parliamentary question with the minister of cultural resources and activities about the necessity of freedom of panorama. He said that the lack of such freedom forced Wikipedia, "the seventh most consulted website", to forbid all images of modern Italian buildings and art, and claimed this was hugely damaging to tourist revenues.[337]

Wikipedia, an introduction – Erasmus Prize 2015
Jimmy Wales accepts the 2008 Quadriga A Mission of Enlightenment award on behalf of Wikipedia

On September 16, 2007, The Washington Post reported that Wikipedia had become a focal point in the 2008 US election campaign, saying: "Type a candidate's name into Google, and among the first results is a Wikipedia page, making those entries arguably as important as any ad in defining a candidate. Already, the presidential entries are being edited, dissected and debated countless times each day."[338] An October 2007 Reuters article, titled "Wikipedia page the latest status symbol", reported the recent phenomenon of how having a Wikipedia article vindicates one's notability.[339]

Active participation also has an impact. Law students have been assigned to write Wikipedia articles as an exercise in clear and succinct writing for an uninitiated audience.[340]

A working group led by Peter Stone (formed as a part of the Stanford-based project One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence) in its report called Wikipedia "the best-known example of crowdsourcing ... that far exceeds traditionally-compiled information sources, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, in scale and depth."[341]

In a 2017 opinion piece for Wired, Hossein Derakhshan describes Wikipedia as "one of the last remaining pillars of the open and decentralized web" and contrasted its existence as a text-based source of knowledge with social media and social networking services, the latter having "since colonized the web for television's values". For Derakhshan, Wikipedia's goal as an encyclopedia represents the Age of Enlightenment tradition of rationality triumphing over emotions, a trend which he considers "endangered" due to the "gradual shift from a typographic culture to a photographic one, which in turn mean[s] a shift from rationality to emotions, exposition to entertainment". Rather than "sapere aude" (lit.''dare to know''), social networks have led to a culture of "[d]are not to care to know". This is while Wikipedia faces "a more concerning problem" than funding, namely "a flattening growth rate in the number of contributors to the website". Consequently, the challenge for Wikipedia and those who use it is to "save Wikipedia and its promise of a free and open collection of all human knowledge amid the conquest of new and old television—how to collect and preserve knowledge when nobody cares to know."[342]

Awards

Wikipedia team visiting the Parliament of Asturias
Wikipedians meeting after the 2015 Asturias awards ceremony

Wikipedia won two major awards in May 2004.[343] The first was a Golden Nica for Digital Communities of the annual Prix Ars Electronica contest; this came with a €10,000 (£6,588; $12,700) grant and an invitation to present at the PAE Cyberarts Festival in Austria later that year. The second was a Judges' Webby Award for the "community" category.[344]

In 2007, readers of brandchannel.com voted Wikipedia as the fourth-highest brand ranking, receiving 15 percent of the votes in answer to the question "Which brand had the most impact on our lives in 2006?"[345]

In September 2008, Wikipedia received Quadriga A Mission of Enlightenment award of Werkstatt Deutschland along with Boris Tadić, Eckart Höfling, and Peter Gabriel. The award was presented to Wales by David Weinberger.[346]

In 2015, Wikipedia was awarded both the annual Erasmus Prize, which recognizes exceptional contributions to culture, society or social sciences,[347] and the Spanish Princess of Asturias Award on International Cooperation.[348] Speaking at the Asturian Parliament in Oviedo, the city that hosts the awards ceremony, Jimmy Wales praised the work of the Asturian language Wikipedia users.[349]

Satire

Many parodies target Wikipedia's openness and susceptibility to inserted inaccuracies, with characters vandalizing or modifying the online encyclopedia project's articles.

Comedian Stephen Colbert has parodied or referenced Wikipedia on numerous episodes of his show The Colbert Report and coined the related term wikiality, meaning "together we can create a reality that we all agree on—the reality we just agreed on".[190] Another example can be found in "Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years of American Independence", a July 2006 front-page article in The Onion,[350] as well as the 2010 The Onion article "'L.A. Law' Wikipedia Page Viewed 874 Times Today".[351]

In an April 2007 episode of the American television comedy The Office, office manager (Michael Scott) is shown relying on a hypothetical Wikipedia article for information on negotiation tactics to assist him in negotiating lesser pay for an employee.[352] Viewers of the show tried to add the episode's mention of the page as a section of the actual Wikipedia article on negotiation, but this effort was prevented by other users on the article's talk page.[353]

"My Number One Doctor", a 2007 episode of the television show Scrubs, played on the perception that Wikipedia is an unreliable reference tool with a scene in which Perry Cox reacts to a patient who says that a Wikipedia article indicates that the raw food diet reverses the effects of bone cancer by retorting that the same editor who wrote that article also wrote the Battlestar Galactica episode guide.[354]

In 2008, the comedy website CollegeHumor produced a video sketch named "Professor Wikipedia", in which the fictitious Professor Wikipedia instructs a class with a medley of unverifiable and occasionally absurd statements.[355]

The Dilbert comic strip from May 8, 2009, features a character supporting an improbable claim by saying "Give me ten minutes and then check Wikipedia."[356]

In July 2009, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a comedy series called Bigipedia, which was set on a website which was a parody of Wikipedia. Some of the sketches were directly inspired by Wikipedia and its articles.[357]

On August 23, 2013, the New Yorker website published a cartoon with this caption: "Dammit, Manning, have you considered the pronoun war that this is going to start on your Wikipedia page?"[358] The cartoon referred to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning), an American activist, politician, and former United States Army soldier and a trans woman.

In December 2015, John Julius Norwich stated, in a letter published in The Times newspaper, that as a historian he resorted to Wikipedia "at least a dozen times a day", and had never yet caught it out. He described it as "a work of reference as useful as any in existence", with so wide a range that it is almost impossible to find a person, place, or thing that it has left uncovered and that he could never have written his last two books without it.[359][360]

Sister projects – Wikimedia

Wikipedia has spawned several sister projects, which are also wikis run by the Wikimedia Foundation. These other Wikimedia projects include Wiktionary, a dictionary project launched in December 2002,[361] Wikiquote, a collection of quotations created a week after Wikimedia launched, Wikibooks, a collection of collaboratively written free textbooks and annotated texts, Wikimedia Commons, a site devoted to free-knowledge multimedia, Wikinews, for citizen journalism, and Wikiversity, a project for the creation of free learning materials and the provision of online learning activities.[362] Another sister project of Wikipedia, Wikispecies, is a catalogue of species. In 2012 Wikivoyage, an editable travel guide, and Wikidata, an editable knowledge base, launched.

Publishing

A group of Wikimedians of the Wikimedia DC chapter at the 2013 DC Wikimedia annual meeting standing in front of the Encyclopædia Britannica (back left) at the US National Archives

The most obvious economic effect of Wikipedia has been the death of commercial encyclopedias, especially the printed versions, e.g. Encyclopædia Britannica, which were unable to compete with a product that is essentially free.[363][364][365] Nicholas Carr wrote a 2005 essay, "The amorality of Web 2.0", that criticized websites with user-generated content, like Wikipedia, for possibly leading to professional (and, in his view, superior) content producers' going out of business, because "free trumps quality all the time". Carr wrote: "Implicit in the ecstatic visions of Web 2.0 is the hegemony of the amateur. I for one can't imagine anything more frightening."[366] Others dispute the notion that Wikipedia, or similar efforts, will entirely displace traditional publications. For instance, Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, wrote in Nature that the "wisdom of crowds" approach of Wikipedia will not displace top scientific journals, with their rigorous peer review process.[367]

There is also an ongoing debate about the influence of Wikipedia on the biography publishing business. "The worry is that, if you can get all that information from Wikipedia, what's left for biography?" said Kathryn Hughes, professor of life writing at the University of East Anglia and author of The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton and George Eliot: the Last Victorian.[368]

Research use

Wikipedia has been widely used as a corpus for linguistic research in computational linguistics, information retrieval and natural language processing. In particular, it commonly serves as a target knowledge base for the entity linking problem, which is then called "wikification",[369] and to the related problem of word-sense disambiguation.[370] Methods similar to wikification can in turn be used to find "missing" links in Wikipedia.[371]

In 2015, French researchers José Lages of the University of Franche-Comté in Besançon and Dima Shepelyansky of Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse published a global university ranking based on Wikipedia scholarly citations.[372][373][374] They used PageRank, CheiRank and similar algorithms "followed by the number of appearances in the 24 different language editions of Wikipedia (descending order) and the century in which they were founded (ascending order)".[374][375] The study was updated in 2019.[376]

A 2017 MIT study suggests that words used on Wikipedia articles end up in scientific publications.[377][378]

Studies related to Wikipedia have been using machine learning and artificial intelligence to support various operations. One of the most important areas—automatic detection of vandalism[379][380] and data quality assessment in Wikipedia.[381]

In February 2022, civil servants from the UK's Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities were found to have used Wikipedia for research in the drafting of the Levelling Up White Paper after journalists at The Independent noted that parts of the document had been lifted directly from Wikipedia articles on Constantinople and the list of largest cities throughout history.[382]

Related projects

Several interactive multimedia encyclopedias incorporating entries written by the public existed long before Wikipedia was founded. The first of these was the 1986 BBC Domesday Project, which included text (entered on BBC Micro computers) and photographs from more than a million contributors in the UK, and covered the geography, art, and culture of the UK. This was the first interactive multimedia encyclopedia (and was also the first major multimedia document connected through internal links), with the majority of articles being accessible through an interactive map of the UK. The user interface and part of the content of the Domesday Project were emulated on a website until 2008.[383]

Several free-content, collaborative encyclopedias were created around the same period as Wikipedia (e.g. Everything2),[384] with many later being merged into the project (e.g. GNE).[385] One of the most successful early online encyclopedias incorporating entries by the public was h2g2, which was created by Douglas Adams in 1999. The h2g2 encyclopedia is relatively lighthearted, focusing on articles which are both witty and informative.

Subsequent collaborative knowledge websites have drawn inspiration from Wikipedia. Some, such as Susning.nu, Enciclopedia Libre, Hudong, and Baidu Baike likewise employ no formal review process, although some like Conservapedia are not as open.[citation needed] Others use more traditional peer review, such as Encyclopedia of Life and the online wiki encyclopedias Scholarpedia and Citizendium. The latter was started by Sanger in an attempt to create a reliable alternative to Wikipedia.[386][387]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Registration is required for certain tasks, such as editing protected pages, creating pages on the English Wikipedia, and uploading files.
  2. ^ To be considered active, a user must make at least one edit or other action in a given month.
  3. ^ The procrastination principle dictates that one should wait for problems to arise before solving them.
  4. ^ Revisions with libelous content, criminal threats, or copyright infringements may be removed completely.
  5. ^ See for example the Biographies of Living Persons Noticeboard or Neutral Point of View Noticeboard, created to address content falling under their respective areas.
  6. ^ See "Libel" by David McHam for the legal distinction.

References

  1. ^ a b Sidener, Jonathan (December 6, 2004). "Everyone's Encyclopedia". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2006.
  2. ^ Chapman, Roger (September 6, 2011). "Top 40 Website Programming Languages". rogchap.com. 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. ^ a b c "Wikipedia.org Traffic, Demographics and Competitors". Alexa Internet. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
  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. ^ a b Anderson, Chris (May 8, 2006). "Jimmy Wales – The 2006 Time 100". Time. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  7. ^ Miliard, Mike (March 1, 2008). "Wikipediots: Who Are These Devoted, Even Obsessive Contributors to Wikipedia?". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  8. ^ Sidener, Jonathan (October 9, 2006). "Wikipedia family feud rooted in San Diego". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  9. ^ "Wikipedia's Model Follows Hayek". The Wall Street Journal. April 15, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Cohen, Noam (February 9, 2014). "Wikipedia vs. the Small Screen". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Wikistats – Statistics For Wikimedia Projects". stats.wikimedia.org. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Happy Birthday, Wikipedia". The Economist. January 9, 2021.
  13. ^ Harrison, Stephen (June 9, 2020). "How Wikipedia Became a Battleground for Racial Justice". Slate. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Cooke, Richard (February 17, 2020). "Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet". Wired. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  15. ^ a b 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.
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