Википедия

Википедия ( / ËŒ w ɪ k ɪ ˈ p d i É ™ / ( слушайте ) Об этом звуке wik-ih- PEE -dee-É ™ или / ËŒ w ɪ k i - / ( слушайте ) Об этом звуке wik-ee- ) является бесплатным, многоязычная открытая совместная онлайн-энциклопедия, созданная и поддерживаемая сообществом добровольцев, использующих систему редактирования на основе вики . Википедия - это самый крупный справочник общего характера в Интернете., [3] и один из 15 самых популярных веб-сайтов в рейтинге Alexa ; в 2021 году он занял 13-е место по посещаемости. [4] [примечание 3] Проект не содержит рекламы и проводится Фондом Викимедиа , американской некоммерческой организацией, финансируемой в основном за счет пожертвований. [6]

Википедия
Незавершенный шар, сделанный из больших белых кусочков головоломки.  Каждая часть головоломки содержит один символ из другой системы письма, причем каждый символ написан черным цветом.
Словесный знак Википедии, отображающий название Википедия, написанное заглавными буквами.  Буквы W и A имеют одинаковую высоту, и обе они выше, чем другие буквы, которые также имеют одинаковую высоту.  Он также отображает слоган Википедии: «Бесплатная энциклопедия».
Логотип Википедии , глобус с участием глифов из различных систем письма
Скриншот
Портал Википедии, показывающий разные языки, отсортированные по количеству статей
Снимок экрана портала Википедии, показывающий разные языки, отсортированные по количеству статей
Тип сайта
Интернет-энциклопедия
Доступно в 321 язык
Страна происхождения Соединенные Штаты
Владелец Фонд Викимедиа
Создано
URL wikipedia.org
Коммерческий Нет
Регистрация Необязательно [примечание 1]
Пользователи > 341 619 активных пользователей [примечание 2] и > 95 420 026 зарегистрированных пользователей
1106 администраторов (на английском языке )
Запущен 15 января 2001 г . ; 20 лет спустя Â ( 2001-01-15 )
Текущий статус Активный
Лицензия на контент
CC Attribution / Share-Alike 3.0
Большая часть текста также имеет двойную лицензию в рамках GFDL ; лицензирование СМИ варьируется
Написано в Платформа LAMP [2]
OCLC  Â число 52075003

Википедия была запущена 15 января 2001 года Джимми Уэльсом и Ларри Сэнгером ; Сэнгер придумал свое название как сумку из «вики» и «энциклопедии». [7] [8] Первоначально доступный только на английском языке, версии на других языках были быстро разработаны. Английский Wikipedia , с 6,3  млн статей по состоянию на апрель 2021 года , является самым крупным из языковых изданий 321 . В совокупности редакции Википедии содержат более 56  миллионов статей и привлекают более 17 миллионов редакторов и более 1,7  миллиарда уникальных посетителей в месяц. [9] [10]

Википедию критиковали за ее неравномерную точность и проявление систематической предвзятости , особенно гендерной предвзятости в отношении женщин и левых политических предубеждений. [11] [12] [13] В 2006 году журнал Time заявил, что политика открытых дверей, позволяющая любому редактировать, сделала Википедию «самой большой и, возможно, лучшей энциклопедией в мире» и свидетельством видения Джимми Уэльс. [14] Репутация проекта еще больше улучшилась в 2010-х годах, поскольку он получил высокую оценку за его уникальную структуру, культуру и отсутствие коммерческой предвзятости. [3] [11] [15] В 2018 году Facebook и YouTube объявили, что помогут пользователям обнаруживать фейковые новости , предлагая ссылки на соответствующие статьи в Википедии. [16]

Нупедия

Другие совместные онлайн-энциклопедии были предприняты до Википедии, но ни одна из них не была столь успешной. [17] Википедия начиналась как дополнительный проект для Nupedia , проекта бесплатной англоязычной онлайн-энциклопедии, статьи которого были написаны экспертами и проверены в рамках формального процесса. [18] Он был основан 9 марта 2000 года и принадлежал компании Bomis , занимающейся веб-порталом . Его главными фигурами были генеральный директор Bomis Джимми Уэльс и Ларри Сэнджер, главный редактор Nupedia, а затем и Wikipedia. [1] [19] Nupedia изначально была лицензирована под собственной лицензией Nupedia Open Content License, но еще до того, как была основана Википедия, Nupedia перешла на лицензию GNU Free Documentation License по настоянию Ричарда Столлмана . [20] Уэльсу приписывают определение цели создания общедоступной энциклопедии [21] [22], в то время как Сангеру приписывают стратегию использования вики для достижения этой цели. [23] 10 января 2001 года Сэнгер предложил в списке рассылки Nupedia создать вики-проект в качестве «питающего» проекта для Nupedia. [24]

Запуск и ранний рост

Эти домены wikipedia.com (перенаправление на wikipedia.org ) и wikipedia.org было зарегистрировано 12 января 2001 года, [25] и 13 января 2001, [26] , соответственно, и Википедия был запущен 15 января 2001 года, [18 ] в качестве единого англоязычного издания на сайте www.wikipedia.com [27] и объявлено Сэнгером в списке рассылки Nupedia. [21] Политика «нейтральной точки зрения» [28 ] Википедии была систематизирована в первые несколько месяцев ее существования . В остальном изначально правил было относительно немного, и Википедия работала независимо от Nupedia. [21] Изначально Бомис намеревался сделать Википедию коммерческим бизнесом. [29]

Википедия привлекла первых участников из публикаций Nupedia, Slashdot и индексации веб- поисковиками . Были также созданы языковые версии, в общей сложности их было 161 к концу 2004 года. [30] Nupedia и Википедия сосуществовали до тех пор, пока серверы первой не были окончательно отключены в 2003 году, а ее текст был включен в Википедию. 9 сентября 2007 года английская Википедия превысила отметку в два миллиона статей, что сделало ее самой большой энциклопедией из когда-либо созданных , превзойдя энциклопедию Юнлэ, созданную во времена династии Мин в 1408 году, которая удерживала рекорд почти 600 лет. [31]

Ссылаясь на опасения по поводу коммерческой рекламы и отсутствия контроля в Википедии , пользователи испанской Википедии вышли из Википедии, чтобы создать Enciclopedia Libre в феврале 2002 года. [32] Затем Уэльс объявил, что Википедия не будет отображать рекламу, и изменил домен Википедии с wikipedia.com. на wikipedia.org . [33] [34]

Хотя английская Википедия достигла трех миллионов статей в августе 2009 года, рост издания с точки зрения количества новых статей и участников, по-видимому, достиг своего пика примерно в начале 2007 года. [35] Ежедневно энциклопедия добавлялась около 1800 статей. в 2006 г .; к 2013 году этот средний показатель составлял около 800. [36] Команда Исследовательского центра Пало-Альто объяснила это замедление роста растущей эксклюзивностью проекта и сопротивлением изменениям. [37] Другие предполагают, что этот рост естественным образом сглаживается, потому что статьи, которые можно было бы назвать « низко висящими фруктами » - темы, которые явно заслуживают статьи, - уже были созданы и интенсивно наращивались. [38] [39] [40]

  Воспроизвести медиа
Рекламный видеоролик Фонда Викимедиа, который побуждает зрителей редактировать Википедию, в основном просматривая материалы 2014 года через материалы Википедии.

В ноябре 2009 года исследователь из Университета Рей Хуана Карлоса в Мадриде обнаружил, что английская Википедия потеряла 49 000 редакторов за первые три месяца 2009 года; для сравнения, проект потерял всего 4900 редакторов за тот же период в 2008 году. [41] [42] The Wall Street Journal назвал ряд правил, применяемых к редактированию, и споры, связанные с таким содержанием, среди причин этой тенденции. [43] Уэльс оспорил эти утверждения в 2009 году, отрицая снижение и ставя под сомнение методологию исследования. [44] Два года спустя, в 2011 году, Уэльс признал наличие небольшого спада, отметив снижение с «немногим более 36 000 писателей» в июне 2010 года до 35 800 в июне 2011 года. В том же интервью Уэльс также заявил о количестве писателей. редакторов был «стабильным и устойчивым». [45] Статья 2013 года под названием «Упадок Википедии» в MIT Technology Review поставила под сомнение это утверждение. В статье выяснилось, что с 2007 года Википедия потеряла треть своих редакторов-добровольцев, и те, кто все еще существует, уделяют все больше внимания мелочам. [46] В июле 2012 года The Atlantic сообщила, что количество администраторов также сокращается. [47] В номере журнала New York от 25 ноября 2013 года Кэтрин Уорд заявила, что «Википедия, шестой по посещаемости веб-сайт, столкнулась с внутренним кризисом». [48]

Вехи

 
Картограмма, показывающая количество статей на каждом европейском языке по состоянию на январь 2019 года. Один квадрат соответствует 10 000 статей. Языки, содержащие менее 10 000 статей, представлены одним квадратом. Языки сгруппированы по языковым семействам, и каждая языковая семья выделена отдельным цветом.

В январе 2007 года Википедия впервые вошла в десятку самых популярных веб-сайтов в США по версии comscore Networks. С 42,9 миллионами уникальных посетителей Википедия заняла 9-е место, обогнав New York Times (10-е место) и Apple (11-е место). Это значительный рост по сравнению с январем 2006 года, когда рейтинг был 33-м, а Википедия получила около 18,3 миллиона уникальных посетителей. [49] По состоянию на март 2020 г., Википедия заняла 13-е [4] место среди веб-сайтов по популярности по данным Alexa Internet . В 2014 году ежемесячно он получал восемь миллиардов просмотров страниц. [50] 9 февраля 2014 года газета The New York Times сообщила, что Википедия имеет 18 миллиардов просмотров страниц и почти 500 миллионов уникальных посетителей в месяц, "согласно рейтинговому агентству comScore". [9] Лавленд и Ригл утверждают, что в процессе работы Википедия следует давней традиции исторических энциклопедий, в которых улучшения накапливались по частям посредством « стигмергического накопления». [51] [52]

18 января 2012 г. английская Википедия участвовала в серии скоординированных протестов против двух предложенных в Конгрессе США законов - Закона о прекращении пиратства в Интернете (SOPA) и Закона о защите интеллектуальной собственности (PIPA) - путем затемнения его страницы за 24 часа . [53] Более 162 миллионов человек просмотрели страницу с объяснением затемнения, которая временно заменила содержание Википедии. [54] [55]

20 января 2014 года Субодх Варма в репортаже The Economic Times указал, что рост Википедии не только остановился, но и «в прошлом году она« потеряла почти десять процентов просмотров страниц. С декабря 2012 года по декабрь 2013 года произошло снижение примерно на два миллиарда ». Самые популярные версии этой книги идут впереди: просмотры страниц английской Википедии снизились на двенадцать процентов, немецкой версии - на 17 процентов, а японской версии - на девять процентов ». [56] Варма добавил, что «хотя менеджеры Википедии думают, что это могло быть из-за ошибок в подсчете, другие эксперты считают, что проект Google Knowledge Graphs, запущенный в прошлом году, может поглотить пользователей Википедии». [56] Когда связались по этому поводу, Клей Ширки , доцент Нью-Йоркского университета и научный сотрудник Гарвардского центра Беркмана Кляйна по Интернету и обществу, указал, что, по его подозрениям, в значительной степени снижение количества просмотров страниц связано с графами знаний, заявив: «Если вы Вы можете получить ответ на свой вопрос на странице поиска, вам не нужно нажимать [дальше] ». [56] К концу декабря 2016 года Википедия занимала пятое место среди самых популярных веб-сайтов в мире. [57]

В январе 2013 года , 274301 Википедии , на астероиде , было названо в честь Википедии; в октябре 2014 года Википедия была удостоена памятника Википедии ; а в июле 2015 года 106 из 7 473 700-страничных томов Википедии стали доступны в виде Википедии для печати . В апреле 2019 года израильский Lunar Lander , Берешит , совершил аварийную посадку на поверхности Луны , несущего копию почти все английской Википедии выгравированной на тонких никелевых пластин; Эксперты говорят, что плиты, вероятно, пережили крушение. [58] [59] В июне 2019 года ученые сообщили, что все 16 ГБ текста статьи из английской Википедии были закодированы в синтетическую ДНК . [60]

Английские редакторы Википедии с> 100 правками в месяц [61]

В отличие от традиционных энциклопедий, Википедия следует принципу прокрастинации [примечание 4] в отношении безопасности своего содержания. [62] Все началось почти полностью открыто - любой мог создавать статьи, и любую статью в Википедии мог редактировать любой читатель, даже тот, у кого не было учетной записи в Википедии. Изменения ко всем статьям будут немедленно опубликованы. В результате любая статья может содержать неточности, такие как ошибки, идеологические предубеждения и бессмысленный или нерелевантный текст.

Ограничения

В связи с растущей популярностью Википедии в некоторых редакциях, в том числе в английской версии, в некоторых случаях вводятся ограничения на редактирование. Например, в англоязычной Википедии и некоторых других языковых изданиях только зарегистрированные пользователи могут создавать новую статью. [63] В английской Википедии, среди прочего, в той или иной степени были защищены особенно противоречивые, чувствительные или подверженные вандализму страницы. [64] [65] Часто вандализированная статья может быть «частично защищенной» или «расширенной подтвержденной защищенной», что означает, что только редакторы с «автоподтверждением» или «расширенным подтверждением» могут ее изменить. [66] Особенно спорная статья может быть заблокирована, чтобы только администраторы могли вносить изменения. [67] В статье, опубликованной в журнале Columbia Journalism Review за 2021 год, политика защиты страниц Википедии определена как «[п] возможно, самое важное» средство, имеющееся в распоряжении Википедии для «регулирования рынка идей». [68]

В некоторых случаях всем редакторам разрешается вносить изменения, но для некоторых редакторов требуется проверка, в зависимости от определенных условий. Например, немецкая Википедия поддерживает «стабильные версии» статей [69], которые прошли определенные проверки. После длительных испытаний и обсуждений в сообществе английская Википедия представила систему «ожидающих изменений» в декабре 2012 года. [70] Согласно этой системе, правки новых и незарегистрированных пользователей в некоторых спорных или склонных к вандализму статьях проверяются авторитетными пользователями до того, как они будут опубликованы. опубликовано. [71]

Обзор изменений

Количество английских статей в Википедии [72]

Хотя изменения систематически не анализируются, программное обеспечение, на котором работает Википедия, предоставляет инструменты, позволяющие каждому просматривать изменения, внесенные другими. Страница «История» каждой статьи ссылается на каждую редакцию. [примечание 5] [73] В большинстве статей любой может отменить изменения других, щелкнув ссылку на странице истории статьи. Кто угодно может просматривать последние изменения в статьях, и любой может вести «список наблюдения» статей, которые его интересуют, чтобы получать уведомления о любых изменениях. «Патрулирование новых страниц» - это процесс, при котором вновь созданные статьи проверяются на наличие очевидных проблем. [74]

В 2003 году доктор экономических наук. студент Андреа Чиффолилли утверждала, что низкие транзакционные издержки участия в вики создают катализатор для совместной разработки, и что такие функции, как легкий доступ к предыдущим версиям страницы, отдают предпочтение «творческому построению», а не «творческому разрушению». [75]

Вандализм

Любое изменение или редактирование, которое манипулирует контентом таким образом, который намеренно ставит под угрозу целостность Википедии, считается вандализмом. Наиболее распространенные и очевидные виды вандализма включают добавление нецензурной лексики и грубого юмора. Вандализм также может включать рекламу и другие виды спама. [76] Иногда редакторы совершают вандализм, удаляя контент или полностью очищая данную страницу. Менее распространенные виды вандализма, такие как преднамеренное добавление правдоподобной, но ложной информации к статье, может быть труднее обнаружить. Вандалы могут вносить несущественное форматирование, изменять семантику страницы, такую как заголовок страницы или ее категоризация, манипулировать базовым кодом статьи или нарушать работу изображений. [77]

Очевидный вандализм обычно легко удалить из статей Википедии; Среднее время на обнаружение и устранение актов вандализма составляет несколько минут. [78] [79] Однако исправление некоторых случаев вандализма занимает гораздо больше времени. [80]

В инциденте с биографией Зайгенталера анонимный редактор внес ложную информацию в биографию американского политического деятеля Джона Зайгенталера в мае 2005 года. Зайгенталер был ложно представлен как подозреваемый в убийстве Джона Ф. Кеннеди . [80] В течение четырех месяцев статья оставалась без исправлений. [80] Сейгенталер, главный редакторский директор USA Today и основатель Центра Первой поправки Форума свободы в Университете Вандербильта , позвонил соучредителю Википедии Джимми Уэйлсу и спросил, есть ли у него способ узнать, кто внес дезинформацию. Уэльс ответил, что нет, хотя преступник в конце концов был найден. [81] [82] После инцидента Зайгенталер назвал Википедию «несовершенным и безответственным инструментом исследования». [80] Этот инцидент привел к изменениям в политике Википедии, специально направленным на усиление проверяемости биографических статей живых людей. [83]

В 2010 году Дэниел Тош призвал зрителей своего шоу Tosh.0 посетить статью в Википедии о шоу и отредактировать ее по своему желанию. В более позднем эпизоде он прокомментировал правки к статье, большинство из которых были оскорбительными, которые были внесены аудиторией и вынудили заблокировать статью от редактирования. [84] [85]

Править воюющий

У Википедистов часто возникают споры по поводу содержания, которые могут привести к многократному внесению противоположных изменений в статью, известных как «противостояние редактированию». [86] [87] Этот процесс широко рассматривается как ресурсоемкий сценарий, при котором никакие полезные знания не добавляются. [88] Эта практика также подвергается критике как создание конкурентной, [89] конфликтной [90] культуры редактирования, связанной с традиционными мужскими гендерными ролями , [91] что способствует гендерной предвзятости в Википедии .

Внешнее видео
 
  Викимания , 60 минут , CBS , 20 минут, 5 апреля 2015 г., соучредитель Джимми Уэльс в Fosdem

Содержимое Википедии регулируется законами (в частности, законами об авторском праве ) США и штата Вирджиния США , где расположено большинство серверов Википедии. Помимо юридических вопросов, редакционные принципы Википедии воплощены в «пяти столпах», а также в многочисленных политиках и рекомендациях, предназначенных для правильного оформления контента. Даже эти правила хранятся в форме вики, и редакторы Википедии пишут и пересматривают политики и рекомендации веб-сайта. [92] Редакторы могут обеспечить соблюдение этих правил , удалив или изменив несоответствующий материал. Первоначально правила для неанглоязычных изданий Википедии основывались на переводе правил для английской Википедии. С тех пор они в некоторой степени разошлись. [69]

Политики и правила в отношении содержания

Согласно правилам английской Википедии, каждая статья в Википедии должна быть посвящена энциклопедической теме, а не словарной статье или словарному стилю. [93] Тема также должна соответствовать стандартам «известности» Википедии , [94] что обычно означает, что тема должна быть освещена в основных средствах массовой информации или в основных источниках академических журналов, которые не зависят от темы статьи. Кроме того, Википедия намеревается передавать только те знания, которые уже установлены и признаны. [95] Он не должен представлять оригинальные исследования. Требование, которое может быть оспорено, требует ссылки на надежный источник. Среди редакторов Википедии это часто выражается как «проверяемость, а не истина», чтобы выразить идею о том, что читатели, а не энциклопедия, в конечном итоге несут ответственность за проверку правдивости статей и их собственное толкование. [96] Иногда это может привести к удалению информации, которая, хотя и действительна, не получена должным образом. [97] Наконец, Википедия не должна принимать чью-то сторону. [98] Все мнения и точки зрения, если они связаны с внешними источниками, должны иметь соответствующую долю освещения в статье. Это известно как «нейтральная точка зрения» (NPOV).

Первоначальная анархия Википедии со временем объединила демократические и иерархические элементы. [99] [100] Статья не считается принадлежащей ее создателю или любому другому редактору, а также предмету статьи. [101]

Администраторы

Редакторы с хорошей репутацией в сообществе могут работать на одном из многих уровней добровольного руководства: это начинается с « администратора », [102] [103] привилегированных пользователей, которые могут удалять страницы, предотвращать изменение статей в случае вандализма или редакционных споров. (установка защитных мер для статей) и постарайтесь предотвратить редактирование определенных людей. Несмотря на название, администраторы не должны пользоваться какими-либо особыми привилегиями при принятии решений; вместо этого их полномочия в основном ограничиваются внесением правок, влияющих на весь проект и, следовательно, недоступными для обычных редакторов, а также введением ограничений, направленных на предотвращение внесения некоторыми лицами разрушительных правок (таких как вандализм). [104] [105]

Меньше редакторов становятся администраторами, чем в прошлые годы, отчасти потому, что процесс проверки потенциальных администраторов Википедии стал более строгим. [106]

Бюрократы назначают новых администраторов исключительно по рекомендации сообщества.

Разрешение спора

Со временем Википедия разработала полуформальный процесс разрешения споров, чтобы помочь в таких обстоятельствах. Чтобы определить консенсус сообщества, редакторы могут поднимать вопросы на соответствующих форумах сообщества [примечание 6] или запрашивать мнение извне через запросы третьего мнения или инициируя более общее обсуждение сообщества, известное как «запрос комментариев».

Арбитражный комитет

Арбитражный комитет председательствует в окончательном процессе разрешения споров. Хотя споры обычно возникают из-за разногласий между двумя противоположными взглядами на то, как следует читать статью, Арбитражный комитет прямо отказывается выносить прямое решение по конкретной точке зрения, которая должна быть принята. Статистический анализ показывает, что комитет игнорирует содержание споров и, скорее, сосредотачивается на способе разрешения споров [107], функционируя не столько для разрешения споров и примирения между конфликтующими редакторами, сколько для отсеивания проблемных редакторов, позволяя потенциально продуктивным редакторам вернуться. чтобы участвовать. Поэтому комитет не диктует содержание статей, хотя иногда он осуждает изменения содержания, если считает, что новое содержание нарушает политику Википедии (например, если новое содержание считается предвзятым). К его средствам защиты относятся предупреждения и испытательный срок (используется в 63% случаев), а также запрет редакторам просматривать статьи (43%), тематические материалы (23%) или Википедию (16%). Полные запреты в Википедии обычно ограничиваются случаями выдачи себя за другое лицо и антиобщественным поведением . Когда поведение не является выдачей себя за другое лицо или антиобщественным, а скорее противоречит консенсусу или нарушает правила редактирования, средства правовой защиты обычно ограничиваются предупреждениями. [108]

  Воспроизвести медиа
Видео Wikimania 2005 - ежегодной конференции для пользователей Википедии и других проектов Фонда Викимедиа , которая прошла во Франкфурте-на-Майне , Германия, 4-8 августа.

Каждая статья и каждый пользователь Википедии имеет соответствующую страницу обсуждения. Они образуют основной канал связи, где редакторы могут обсуждать, координировать и обсуждать. [109]

  Воспроизвести медиа
Википедисты и кураторы Британского музея совместно работают над статьей Hoxne Hoard в июне 2010 г.

Сообщества Википедии была описана как cultlike , [110] , хотя и не всегда с полностью отрицательными коннотациями. [111] Предпочтение проекта сплоченности, даже если он требует компромисса, включающего пренебрежение полномочиями , было названо « антиэлитарностью ». [112]

Википедисты иногда награждают друг друга «виртуальными звездами» за хорошую работу. Эти персонализированные знаки признательности раскрывают широкий спектр ценной работы, выходящей далеко за рамки простого редактирования, включая социальную поддержку, административные действия и типы артикуляционной работы. [113]

Википедия не требует, чтобы ее редакторы и участники предоставляли идентификационные данные. [114] По мере того, как Википедия росла, «Кто пишет Википедию?» стал одним из часто задаваемых вопросов по проекту. [115] Джимми Уэльс однажды утверждал, что только «сообщество… специальная группа из нескольких сотен добровольцев» вносит основной вклад в Википедию, и поэтому проект «во многом похож на любую традиционную организацию». [116] В 2008 году в статье журнала Slate сообщалось, что: «Согласно исследователям из Пало-Альто, один процент пользователей Википедии отвечает примерно за половину правок на сайте». [117] Этот метод оценки вкладов позже был оспорен Аароном Шварцем , который отметил, что в нескольких статьях, которые он выбрал, большая часть содержания (измеряемая количеством символов) была добавлена пользователями с небольшим количеством правок. [118]

Английская Википедия насчитывает 6 281 627 статей, 41 347 365 зарегистрированных редакторов и 141 468 активных редакторов. Редактор считается активным, если он внес одно или несколько правок за последние 30 дней.

Редакторы, которые не соблюдают культурные ритуалы Википедии, такие как подписание комментариев на страницах обсуждения, могут косвенно сигнализировать о том, что они аутсайдеры Википедии, что увеличивает вероятность того, что инсайдеры Википедии могут нацеливаться на их вклад или сбрасывать со счетов их вклад. Стать инсайдером Википедии сопряжено с нетривиальными затратами: ожидается, что участник изучит технологические коды Википедии, подчинится иногда запутанному процессу разрешения споров и изучит «непонятную культуру, богатую шутками и инсайдерскими ссылками». [119] Редакторы, которые не входят в систему, в некотором смысле являются гражданами второго сорта в Википедии, [119] поскольку «участники аккредитованы членами вики-сообщества, которые заинтересованы в сохранении качества рабочего продукта, на основа их постоянного участия », [120] но истории вклада анонимных незарегистрированных редакторов, узнаваемых только по их IP-адресам, не могут быть с уверенностью приписаны конкретному редактору.

Исследования

Исследование 2007 года, проведенное учеными из Дартмутского колледжа, показало, что «анонимные и нечастые авторы Википедии [...] являются таким же надежным источником знаний, как и те, кто регистрируется на сайте». [121] Джимми Уэльс заявил в 2009 году, что «[I] t оказывается, что более 50% всех правок делают всего 0,7% пользователей  ... 524 человека  ... И на самом деле, наиболее активные 2% , а это 1400 человек, сделали 73,4% всех правок ». [116] Однако редактор Business Insider и журналист Генри Блоджет показал в 2009 году, что в случайной выборке статей большая часть контента в Википедии (измеряемая количеством предоставленного текста, сохранившегося до последней выборки редактирования) создается «посторонними», в то время как большая часть редактирования и форматирования выполняется «инсайдерами». [116]

Исследование 2008 года показало, что википедисты менее приветливы, открыты и добросовестны, чем другие [122] [123], хотя более поздний комментарий указал на серьезные недостатки, в том числе на то, что данные показали более высокую открытость и что различия с контрольной группой и выборками были маленькими. [124] Согласно исследованию 2009 года, есть «свидетельства растущего сопротивления сообщества Википедии новому контенту». [125]

Разнообразие

Несколько исследований показали, что большинство авторов Википедии - мужчины. Примечательно, что результаты опроса Фонда Викимедиа в 2008 году показали, что только 13 процентов редакторов Википедии были женщинами. [126] Из-за этого университеты по всей территории Соединенных Штатов пытались побудить женщин стать соавторами Википедии. Точно так же многие из этих университетов, в том числе Йельский и Браун , предоставили кредиты студентам, которые создают или редактируют статьи, касающиеся женщин в науке или технологиях. [127] Эндрю Лих , профессор и ученый, написал в «Нью-Йорк Таймс», что причина, по которой он считал, что количество участников мужского пола настолько превышает число женщин, заключалась в том, что идентификация как женщина может подвергнуть себя «уродливому, устрашающему поведению». . [128] Данные показали, что африканцы недопредставлены среди редакторов Википедии. [129]

Распространение 56 222 419 статей в разных языковых изданиях (по состоянию на 14 апреля 2021 г.) [130]

   Английский (11,2%)
   Себуано (10,1%)
   Шведский (5,8%)
   Немецкий (4,6%)
   Русский (3,1%)
   Испанский (3%)
   Польский (2,6%)
   Варай (2,3%)
   Японский (2,2%)
   Китайский (2,1%)
   Арабский (2%)
   Украинский (1,9%)
  Â Другое (34%)

There are currently 321 language editions of Wikipedia (also called language versions, or simply Wikipedias). As of April 2021, the six largest, in order of article count, are the English, Cebuano, Swedish, German, French, and Dutch Wikipedias.[131] The second and third-largest Wikipedias owe their position to the article-creating bot Lsjbot, which as of 2013 had created about half the articles on the Swedish Wikipedia, and most of the articles in the Cebuano and Waray Wikipedias. The latter are both languages of the Philippines.

In addition to the top six, twelve other Wikipedias have more than a million articles each (Russian, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Waray, Japanese, Vietnamese, Egyptian Arabic, Chinese, Arabic, Ukrainian and Portuguese), seven more have over 500,000 articles (Persian, Catalan, Serbian, Indonesian, Norwegian, Korean and Finnish), 44 more have over 100,000, and 82 more have over 10,000.[132][133] The largest, the English Wikipedia, has over 6.2 million articles. As of January 2021, the English Wikipedia receives 48% of Wikipedia's cumulative traffic, with the remaining split among the other languages. The top 10 editions represent approximately 85% of the total traffic.[134]

Logarithmic graph of the 20 largest language editions of Wikipedia
(as of 14 April 2021) [135]
(millions of articles)
0.1 0.3 1 3

English 6,281,627
Cebuano 5,694,864
Swedish 3,233,254
German 2,563,435
French 2,318,552
Dutch 2,051,716
Russian 1,715,217
Italian 1,686,360
Spanish 1,673,805
Polish 1,467,504
Waray 1,265,086
Japanese 1,263,265
Vietnamese 1,262,811
Egyptian Arabic 1,228,241
Chinese 1,190,414
Arabic 1,110,890
Ukrainian 1,087,039
Portuguese 1,065,511
Persian 785,904
Catalan 676,095

The unit for the numbers in bars is articles.

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)[136] or points of view.[137]

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.[138][139][140]

Jimmy Wales has described Wikipedia as "an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language".[141] Though each language edition functions more or less independently, some efforts are made to supervise them all. They are coordinated in part by Meta-Wiki, the Wikimedia Foundation's wiki devoted to maintaining all its projects (Wikipedia and others).[142] For instance, Meta-Wiki provides important statistics on all language editions of Wikipedia,[143] and it maintains a list of articles every Wikipedia should have.[144] The list concerns basic content by subject: biography, history, geography, society, culture, science, technology, and mathematics. It is not rare for articles strongly related to a particular language not to have counterparts in another edition. For example, articles about small towns in the United States might be available only in English, even when they meet the notability criteria of other language Wikipedia projects.

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.[146] Articles available in more than one language may offer "interwiki links", which link to the counterpart articles in other editions.

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.[145]

English Wikipedia editor numbers

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."[147] 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.

Should this attrition have continued unabated at the quoted trend rate of approximately 20,000 editors lost within seven years, by 2021 there would be only 10,000 active editors on English Wikipedia.[147] 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.[147] 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.[148]

Various Wikipedians have criticized Wikipedia's large and growing regulation, which includes more than fifty policies and nearly 150,000 words as of 2014.[149][150]

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".[151] 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.[152][153][154]

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.[151][155] A 2008 article in Education Next Journal concluded that as a resource about controversial topics, Wikipedia is subject to manipulation and spin.[156]

In 2006, the Wikipedia Watch criticism website listed dozens of examples of plagiarism in the English Wikipedia.[157]

Accuracy of content

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

Articles for traditional encyclopedias such as Encyclopædia Britannica are carefully and deliberately written by experts, lending such encyclopedias a reputation for accuracy.[158] 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."[159] 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."[160] Others raised similar critiques.[161] The findings by Nature were disputed by Encyclopædia Britannica,[162][163] and in response, Nature gave a rebuttal of the points raised by Britannica.[164] 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).[165]

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.[166] Concerns have been raised by PC World in 2009 regarding the lack of accountability that results from users' anonymity,[167] the insertion of false information,[168] 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 and relevant information is 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.[169]

Critics argue that Wikipedia's open nature and a lack of proper sources for most of the information makes it unreliable.[170] Some commentators suggest that Wikipedia may be reliable, but that the reliability of any given article is not clear.[171] Editors of traditional reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned the project's utility and status as an encyclopedia.[172] 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.[173]

External video
  Inside Wikipedia – Attack of the PR Industry, Deutsche Welle, 7:13 mins[174]

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.[73][175] 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.[176] 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.'"[176][177][178][179][180] These issues, among others, had been parodied since the first decade of Wikipedia, notably by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.[181]

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".[182]

Discouragement in education

Most university lecturers discourage students from citing any encyclopedia in academic work, preferring primary sources;[183] some specifically prohibit Wikipedia citations.[184][185] Wales stresses that encyclopedias of any type are not usually appropriate to use as citable sources, and should not be relied upon as authoritative.[186] 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.[187]

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.[188] In June 2007, former president of the American Library Association Michael Gorman condemned Wikipedia, along with Google,[189] 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".

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.[190]

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."[191] 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.[191] 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."[192] 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."[192]

Quality of writing

In 2008, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that the quality of a Wikipedia article would suffer rather than gain from adding more writers when the article lacked appropriate explicit or implicit coordination.[193] For instance, when contributors rewrite small portions of an entry rather than making full-length revisions, high- and low-quality content may be intermingled within an entry. Roy Rosenzweig, a history professor, stated that American National Biography Online outperformed Wikipedia in terms of its "clear and engaging prose", which, he said, was an important aspect of good historical writing.[194] Contrasting Wikipedia's treatment of Abraham Lincoln to that of Civil War historian James McPherson in American National Biography Online, he said that both were essentially accurate and covered the major episodes in Lincoln's life, but praised "McPherson's richer contextualization [...] his artful use of quotations to capture Lincoln's voice [...] and [...] his ability to convey a profound message in a handful of words." By contrast, he gives an example of Wikipedia's prose that he finds "both verbose and dull". Rosenzweig also criticized the "waffling—encouraged by the NPOV policy—[which] means that it is hard to discern any overall interpretive stance in Wikipedia history". While generally praising the article on William Clarke Quantrill, he quoted its conclusion as an example of such "waffling", which then stated: "Some historians [...] remember him as an opportunistic, bloodthirsty outlaw, while others continue to view him as a daring soldier and local folk hero."[194]

Other critics have made similar charges that, even if Wikipedia articles are factually accurate, they are often written in a poor, almost unreadable style. Frequent Wikipedia critic Andrew Orlowski commented, "Even when a Wikipedia entry is 100 percent factually correct, and those facts have been carefully chosen, it all too often reads as if it has been translated from one language to another then into a third, passing an illiterate translator at each stage."[195] A study of Wikipedia articles on cancer was conducted in 2010 by Yaacov Lawrence of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. The study was limited to those articles that could be found in the Physician Data Query and excluded those written at the "start" class or "stub" class level. Lawrence found the articles accurate but not very readable, and thought that "Wikipedia's lack of readability (to non-college readers) may reflect its varied origins and haphazard editing".[196] The Economist argued that better-written articles tend to be more reliable: "inelegant or ranting prose usually reflects muddled thoughts and incomplete information".[197]

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.[198] 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).[199][200] 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[201] and Pakistan,[202] amongst other countries.

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:[203]

  • Culture and the 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 the applied sciences: 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.[204]

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".[205]

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.[206] Across 30 language editions of Wikipedia, historical articles and sections are generally Eurocentric and focused on recent events.[207]

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.[208] 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.[129]

Systemic bias

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".[45] 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.[46]

Systemic bias on Wikipedia may follow that of culture generally,[vague] for example favoring certain nationalities, ethnicities or majority religions.[209] 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.[209]

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.[210][211] 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.[211] 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.[211]

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.[212][213]

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.[214]

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.[215][216] 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.[217] That law bans photographic child pornography and cartoon images and drawings of children that are obscene under American law.[217] Sanger also expressed concerns about access to the images on Wikipedia in schools.[218] Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh strongly rejected Sanger's accusation,[219] saying that Wikipedia did not have "material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it."[219] 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".[220] Critics, including Wikipediocracy, noticed that many of the pornographic images deleted from Wikipedia since 2010 have reappeared.[221]

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.[222][note 7] 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.[223]

Wikipedia has a "Volunteer Response Team" that uses the OTRS system 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.[224]

Sexism

Wikipedia has been described as harboring a battleground culture of sexism and harassment.[225][226] The perceived toxic attitudes and tolerance of violent and abusive language are also reasons put forth for the gender gap in Wikipedia editors.[227] In 2014, a female editor who requested a separate space on Wikipedia to discuss improving civility had her proposal referred to by a male editor using the words "the easiest way to avoid being called a cunt is not to act like one".[225] Edit-a-thons have been held to encourage female editors and increase the coverage of women's topics.[228]

Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia movement affiliates

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.[229] 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.[230]

In May 2014, Wikimedia Foundation named Lila Tretikov as its second executive director, taking over for Sue Gardner.[231] 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."[232][233] 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.[232]

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.[234] 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."[235]

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.[236] 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[237] to extend the functionality of the MediaWiki software.

In April 2005, a Lucene extension[238][239] 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.[240]

In July 2013, after extensive beta testing, a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) extension, VisualEditor, was opened to public use.[241][242][243][244] It was met with much rejection and criticism, and was described as "slow and buggy".[245] 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.[246][247][248] One controversial contributor, Sverker Johansson [sv], creating articles with his bot was reported to create up to 10,000 articles on the Swedish Wikipedia on certain days.[249] Additionally, there are bots designed to automatically notify editors when they make common editing errors (such as unmatched quotes or unmatched parentheses).[250] 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.[247] 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 edits were made via IPs controlled by the Russian government.[251] Bots on Wikipedia must be approved before activation.[252]

According to Andrew Lih, the current expansion of Wikipedia to millions of articles would be difficult to envision without the use of such bots.[253]

Hardware operations and support

Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000-page requests per second, depending on the time of the day.[254][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.[255] Further statistics, based on a publicly available 3-month Wikipedia access trace, are available.[256] 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.[citation needed]

Wikipedia currently runs on dedicated clusters of Linux servers with Debian.[257] As of December 2009, there were 300 in Florida and 44 in Amsterdam.[258] By January 22, 2013, Wikipedia had migrated its primary data center to an Equinix facility in Ashburn, Virginia.[259][260] in 2017, Wikipedia had installed a caching cluster in an Equinix facility in Singapore, the first of its kind in Asia.[261]

Internal research and operational development

Following growing amounts of incoming donations exceeding seven digits in 2013 as recently reported,[46] 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.[262] 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.[46][245] 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.[263] 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.[263] 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.[263]

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.[264] 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.

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.[265] 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.[266] 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.[267][268][269][270]

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.[271]

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.[272][273]

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)[274] 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.[275][276] The Polish-language version contains nearly 240,000 articles.[277] There are German- and Spanish-language versions as well.[278][279] 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.[280] 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.[281][282] 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.[283]
  • 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.[284] Wikipedia publishes "dumps" of its contents, but these are text-only; as of 2007 there was no dump available of Wikipedia's images.[285]

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.[286]

Mobile access

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.[9] 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."[9] 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.[9]

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.[287] 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.[233] The latest version of 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.[288] The latest version for iOS was released on April 3, 2013, to similar reviews.[289]

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,[290] 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.[291][292]

Wikipedia Zero was an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation to expand the reach of the encyclopedia to the developing countries.[293] It was discontinued in February 2018.[294]

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.[46] 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.[295][296]

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'."[16] 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."[9] However, its ranking dropped to 13th globally by June 2020 due mostly to a rise in popularity of Chinese websites for online shopping.[297]

In addition to logistic growth in the number of its articles,[298] Wikipedia has steadily gained status as a general reference website since its inception in 2001.[299] About 50 percent of search engine traffic to Wikipedia comes from Google,[300] a good portion of which is related to academic research.[301] The number of readers of Wikipedia worldwide reached 365 million at the end of 2009.[302] The Pew Internet and American Life project found that one third of US Internet users consulted Wikipedia.[303] In 2011 Business Insider gave Wikipedia a valuation of $4 billion if it ran advertisements.[304]

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.[305]

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.[306]

Cultural significance

Wikipedia's content has also been used in academic studies, books, conferences, and court cases.[307][308][309] 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.[310] The encyclopedia's assertions are increasingly used as a source by organizations such as the US federal courts and the World Intellectual Property Organization[311]—though mainly for supporting information rather than information decisive to a case.[312] Content appearing on Wikipedia has also been cited as a source and referenced in some US intelligence agency reports.[313] 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.[314]

Wikipedia has also been used as a source in journalism,[315][316] often without attribution, and several reporters have been dismissed for plagiarizing from Wikipedia.[317][318][319]

In 2006, Time magazine recognized Wikipedia's participation (along with YouTube, Reddit, MySpace, and Facebook)[320] 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[321] 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.[322]

  Play media
Wikipedia, an introduction – Erasmus Prize 2015

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."[323] 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.[324]

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.[325]

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."[326]

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."[327]

Awards

Wikipedia won two major awards in May 2004.[328] 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.[329] Wikipedia was also nominated for a "Best Practices" Webby award.

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?"[330]

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.[331]

In 2015, Wikipedia was awarded both the annual Erasmus Prize, which recognizes exceptional contributions to culture, society or social sciences,[332] and the Spanish Princess of Asturias Award on International Cooperation.[333] 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.[334] The night of the ceremony, members of the Wikimedia Foundation held a meeting with Wikipedians from all parts of Spain, including the local Asturian community.

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".[181] Another example can be found in "Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years of American Independence", a July 2006 front-page article in The Onion,[335] as well as the 2010 The Onion article "'L.A. Law' Wikipedia Page Viewed 874 Times Today".[336]

In an episode of the television comedy The Office U.S., which aired in April 2007, an incompetent 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.[337] 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.[338]

"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.[339]

In 2008, the comedic 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.[340]

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."[341]

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.[342]

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?"[343] 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.[344][345]

Sister projects – Wikimedia

Wikipedia has also 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,[346] 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.[347] 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

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.[348][349][350] 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."[351] 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.[352]

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.[353]

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",[354] and to the related problem of word-sense disambiguation.[355] Methods similar to wikification can in turn be used to find "missing" links in Wikipedia.[356]

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.[357][358][359] They used PageRank "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)".[359]

A 2017 MIT study suggests that words used on Wikipedia articles end up in scientific publications.[360][361]

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[362][363] and data quality assessment in Wikipedia.[364]

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.[365]

Several free-content, collaborative encyclopedias were created around the same period as Wikipedia (e.g. Everything2),[366] with many later being merged into the project (e.g. GNE).[367] 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.[368][369]

  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. ^ According to SimilarWeb, Wikipedia is the 8th most visited website.[5]
  4. ^ The procrastination principle dictates that you should wait for problems to arise before solving them.
  5. ^ Revisions with libelous content, criminal threats, or copyright infringements may be removed completely.
  6. ^ See for example the Biographies of Living Persons Noticeboard or Neutral Point of View Noticeboard, created to address content falling under their respective areas.
  7. ^ See "Libel" by David McHam for the legal distinction.

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