October 25, 2021

Wikipedia (MFA: ˌwɪkɪˈpiːdɪə) is a publicly available free multilingual online encyclopedia run by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. The name is derived from the words "wiki" (technology for creating sites) and "encyclopedia". The founders of Wikipedia are Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales. The official opening took place on January 15, 2001. Anyone who has access to read Wikipedia can also edit almost all of its articles. Wikipedia is the fifth most popular website in the world. As of May 2021, it contains more than 55 million articles written by volunteers from around the world. Wikipedia members are called Wikipedians. In March 2013, the site was visited by more than 517 million people. As an online directory, Wikipedia is the largest and most popular of such sites. In terms of information and subject matter, Wikipedia is considered the most complete encyclopedia ever created in human history. Wikipedia, like other Wikimedia Foundation projects, is free to use, distribute, and improve under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported and GFDL licenses, and the project site itself does not contain banner ads and works through voluntary donations. Some mobile operators provide access to Wikipedia without charging for Internet traffic. One of the advantages of Wikipedia is the ability to provide information in the native language - the site consists of 323 language sections. The largest Wikipedia by number of articles is English, which contains more than 6 million articles.


Wikipedia started as a sister project to Nupedia, a free English-language online encyclopedia, with articles written by experts, then articles undergoing a formal review. Nupedia was founded on March 9, 2000 and was owned by Bomis, Inc., a company that also owned the eponymous web portal. The main characters were Jimmy Wales, CEO of Bomis, and Larry Sanger, editor-in-chief of Nupedia and later Wikipedia. Nupedia was first published under its own open source license, and then switched to the GNU Free Documentation License before Wikipedia was founded at the insistence of Richard Stallman. Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger founded Wikipedia. Wales is credited with determining the direction

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