October 23, 2021

This article mentions Wikimedia or one of Wikimedia's projects. Please note that Wikipedia is a Wikimedia project. Wikipedia is an international internet-based encyclopedia of freely available content written and maintained by volunteer contributors, through the wiki-based editing system. Individual contributors are referred to by some as wikipedians. Wikipedia is the largest and most read reference work in the world and among the most used on the internet. Wikipedia has no advertising and its content is stored and displayed by the non-profit organization Wikimedia Foundation, headquartered in Florida, USA. Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Sanger suggested the name, which is a mixture of "wiki" and "encyclopedia". Originally, Wikipedia was only available in English, but versions in other languages ​​were quickly developed. Wikipedia's various language versions have over 57 million articles, receive visits from over 2 billion unique units a month and have over 17 million edits a month (2021). In 2006, the American magazine Time wrote that the rule that allowed everyone to edit had made Wikipedia the "largest (and possibly best) encyclopedia in the world", and is "a testimony to the vision of a man, Jimmy Wales". Wikipedia has been praised for contributing to the democratization of knowledge, the breadth of coverage, unique structure, culture and reduced level of commercial bias, but criticism of systematic bias, especially towards women and alleged ideological bias. Reliability was regularly criticized, but has improved over time and has received good reviews in recent years. Coverage of controversial topics such as American politics and major events such as COVID-19 has received much media attention. Wikipedia has been censored by a number of countries, for everything from individual articles to the entire site. It has also become an element of popular culture, with mentions in books, films and academic studies. In 2018, Facebook and Youtube announced that they would help users find fake news by suggesting fact-checking links to relevant articles on Wikipedia.



Attempts were made to develop other online encyclopedias before Wikipedia, but none were particularly successful. Wikipedia began as an additional project for Nupedia, a freely available online encyclopedia in English, where the articles were written by experts and reviewed in a formal process, before being published. It was started on March 9, 2000, owned by Bomis, a company for web portals. The key figures were the director of Bomis, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, the editor-in-chief of Nupedia and later of Wikipedia. Nupedia was originally published under a separate free license, but even before Wikipedia, Nupedia switched to the GNU free documentation license at the request of Richard Stallman. Jimmy Wales has been credited with defining the goal of an encyclopedia that could be edited by the public, while Sanger has been credited with the strategy of using a wiki to achieve that goal. On January 10, 2001, Sanger proposed on Nupedia's mailing list to establish a wiki as an additional project for Nupedia.

Launch and early growth

The domain names (later renamed to and were registered on January 12, 2001, and January 13, 2001, and Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001 in English, at, and announced of Songs on Nupedia's mailing list. The rule of neutral point-of-view (English: neutral point-of-view) was established during the first months. Other than that, there were quite a few rules, and it worked independently of Nupedia. Bomis first saw Wikipedia as something the company could monetize. Wikipedia got its first contributors from Nupedia, posts on Slashdot, and from web search engines (something many Norwegian users know as search engines). Multi-language versions were also created, with a total of 161 different language versions of Wikipedia towards the end

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