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History of Wikipedia

history of wikipedia, history of wikipedia website
Wikipedia formally began with its launch on 15 January 2001, two days after registering the domain by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger Its technological and conceptual underpinnings predate this; the earliest known proposal for an online encyclopedia was made by Rick Gates in 1993, but the concept of a free-as-in-freedom online encyclopedia as distinct from mere open source was proposed by Richard Stallman in December 2000

Crucially, Stallman's concept specifically included the idea that no central organization should control editing This characteristic was in stark contrast to contemporary digital encyclopedias such as Microsoft Encarta, Encyclopædia Britannica, and even Bomis's Nupedia, which was Wikipedia's direct predecessor In 2001, the license for Nupedia was changed to GFDL, and Wales and Sanger launched Wikipedia using the concept and technology of a wiki pioneered in 1995 by Ward Cunningham Initially, Wikipedia was intended to complement Nupedia, an online encyclopedia project edited solely by experts, by providing additional draft articles and ideas for it In practice, Wikipedia quickly overtook Nupedia, becoming a global project in multiple languages and inspiring a wide range of other online reference projects

According to Alexa Internet, Wikipedia is the world's sixth-most-popular website in terms of overall visitor traffic Wikipedia's total worldwide monthly readership is approximately 495 million Worldwide in August 2015, WMF Labs tallied 18 billion page views for the month According to comScore, Wikipedia receives over 117 million monthly unique visitors from the United States alone


  • 1 Historical overview
    • 11 Background
    • 12 Formulation of the concept
    • 13 Founding of Wikipedia
    • 14 Namespaces, subdomains, and internationalization
    • 15 Development of Wikipedia
    • 16 Organization
  • 2 Timeline
    • 21 2000
    • 22 2001
    • 23 2002
    • 24 2003
    • 25 2004
    • 26 2005
    • 27 2006
    • 28 2007
    • 29 2008
    • 210 2009
    • 211 2010
    • 212 2011
    • 213 2012
    • 214 2013
    • 215 2014
    • 216 2015
    • 217 2016
  • 3 History by subject area
    • 31 Hardware and software
    • 32 Look and feel
    • 33 Internal structures
    • 34 The Wikimedia Foundation and legal structures
    • 35 Projects and milestones
    • 36 Fundraising
    • 37 External impact
      • 371 Effect of biographical articles
    • 38 Early roles of Wales and Sanger
    • 39 Controversies
    • 310 Notable forks and derivatives
    • 311 Publication on other media
    • 312 Lawsuits
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links
    • 61 Wikipedia records and archives
    • 62 Third party

Historical overview


The concept of compiling the world's knowledge in a single location dates to the ancient Libraries of Alexandria and Pergamum, but the modern concept of a general-purpose, widely distributed, printed encyclopedia originated with Denis Diderot and the 18th-century French encyclopedists The idea of using automated machinery beyond the printing press to build a more useful encyclopedia can be traced to Paul Otlet's 1934 book Traité de documentation; Otlet also founded the Mundaneum, an institution dedicated to indexing the world's knowledge, in 1910 This concept of a machine-assisted encyclopedia was further expanded in H G Wells' book of essays World Brain 1938 and Vannevar Bush's future vision of the microfilm-based Memex in his essay "As We May Think" 1945 Another milestone was Ted Nelson's hypertext design Project Xanadu, which was begun in 1960

Advances in information technology in the late 20th century led to changes in the form of encyclopedias While previous encyclopedias, notably the Encyclopædia Britannica, were book-based, Microsoft's Encarta, published in 1993, was available on CD-ROM and hyperlinked The development of the World Wide Web led to many attempts to develop internet encyclopedia projects An early proposal for a web-based encyclopedia was Interpedia in 1993 by Rick Gates; this project died before generating any encyclopedic content Free software proponent Richard Stallman described the usefulness of a "Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource" in 1999 His published document "aims to lay out what the free encyclopedia needs to do, what sort of freedoms it needs to give the public, and how we can get started on developing it" On Wednesday 17 January 2001, two days after the founding of Wikipedia, the Free Software Foundation's FSF GNUPedia project went online, competing with Nupedia, but today the FSF encourages people "to visit and contribute to "

Formulation of the concept

Wikipedia was initially conceived as a feeder project for the Wales-founded Nupedia, an earlier project to produce a free online encyclopedia, volunteered by Bomis, a web-advertising firm owned by Jimmy Wales, Tim Shell and Michael E Davis Nupedia was founded upon the use of highly qualified volunteer contributors and an elaborate multi-step peer review process Despite its mailing list of interested editors, and the presence of a full-time editor-in-chief, Larry Sanger, a graduate philosophy student hired by Wales, the writing of content for Nupedia was extremely slow, with only 12 articles written during the first year

Wales and Sanger discussed various ways to create content more rapidly The idea of a wiki-based complement originated from a conversation between Larry M Sanger and Ben Kovitz Ben Kovitz was a computer programmer and regular on Ward Cunningham's revolutionary wiki "the WikiWikiWeb" He explained to Sanger what wikis were, at that time a difficult concept to understand, over a dinner on Tuesday 2 January 2001 Wales first stated, in October 2001, that "Larry had the idea to use Wiki software", though he later stated in December 2005 that Jeremy Rosenfeld, a Bomis employee, introduced him to the concept Sanger thought a wiki would be a good platform to use, and proposed on the Nupedia mailing list that a wiki based upon UseModWiki then v 090 be set up as a "feeder" project for Nupedia Under the subject "Let's make a wiki", he wrote:

No, this is not an indecent proposal It's an idea to add a little feature to Nupedia Jimmy Wales thinks that many people might find the idea objectionable, but I think not As to Nupedia's use of a wiki, this is the ULTIMATE "open" and simple format for developing content We have occasionally bandied about ideas for simpler, more open projects to either replace or supplement Nupedia It seems to me wikis can be implemented practically instantly, need very little maintenance, and in general are very low-risk They're also a potentially great source for content So there's little downside, as far as I can determine

Wales set one up and put it online on Wednesday 10 January 2001

Founding of Wikipedia

There was considerable resistance on the part of Nupedia's editors and reviewers to the idea of associating Nupedia with a wiki-style website Sanger suggested giving the new project its own name, Wikipedia, and Wikipedia was soon launched on its own domain, wikipediacom, on Monday 15 January 2001 The bandwidth and server located in San Diego used for these initial projects were donated by Bomis Many former Bomis employees later contributed content to the encyclopedia: notably Tim Shell, co-founder and later CEO of Bomis, and programmer Jason Richey

Wales stated in December 2008 that he made Wikipedia's first edit, a test edit with the text "Hello, World!" The oldest article still preserved is the article UuU, created on Tuesday 16 January 2001, at 21:08 UTC The existence of the project was formally announced and an appeal for volunteers to engage in content creation was made to the Nupedia mailing list on 17 January

The "UuU" edit, the first edit that is still preserved on Wikipedia to this day, as it appears using the Nostalgia skin

The project received many new participants after being mentioned on the Slashdot website in July 2001, having already earned two minor mentions in March 2001 It then received a prominent pointer to a story on the community-edited technology and culture website Kuro5hin on 25 July Between these relatively rapid influxes of traffic, there had been a steady stream of traffic from other sources, especially Google, which alone sent hundreds of new visitors to the site every day Its first major mainstream media coverage was in the New York Times on Thursday 20 September 2001

The project gained its 1,000th article around Monday 12 February 2001, and reached 10,000 articles around 7 September In the first year of its existence, over 20,000 encyclopedia entries were created – a rate of over 1,500 articles per month On Friday 30 August 2002, the article count reached 40,000

Wikipedia's earliest edits were long believed lost, since the original UseModWiki software deleted old data after about a month On Tuesday 14 December 2010, developer Tim Starling found backups on SourceForge containing every change made to Wikipedia from its creation in January 2001 to 17 August 2001

Namespaces, subdomains, and internationalization

Early in Wikipedia's development, it began to expand internationally, with the creation of new namespaces, each with a distinct set of usernames The first subdomain created for a non-English Wikipedia was deutschewikipediacom created on Friday 16 March 2001, 01:38 UTC, followed after a few hours by Catalanwikipediacom at 13:07 UTC The Japanese Wikipedia, started as nihongowikipediacom, was created around that period, and initially used only Romanized Japanese For about two months Catalan was the one with the most articles in a non-English language, although statistics of that early period are imprecise The French Wikipedia was created on or around 11 May 2001, in a wave of new language versions that also included Chinese, Dutch, Esperanto, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish These languages were soon joined by Arabic and Hungarian In September 2001, an announcement pledged commitment to the multilingual provision of Wikipedia, notifying users of an upcoming roll-out of Wikipedias for all major languages, the establishment of core standards, and a push for the translation of core pages for the new wikis At the end of that year, when international statistics first began to be logged, Afrikaans, Norwegian, and Serbian versions were announced

In January 2002, 90% of all Wikipedia articles were in English By January 2004, fewer than 50% were English, and this internationalization has continued to increase as the encyclopedia grows As of 2014, about 855% of all Wikipedia articles are contained within non-English Wikipedia versions

Development of Wikipedia

A screenshot of Wikipedia's main page on 28 September 2002

In March 2002, following the withdrawal of funding by Bomis during the dot-com bust, Larry Sanger left both Nupedia and Wikipedia By 2002, Sanger and Wales differed in their views on how best to manage open encyclopedias Both still supported the open-collaboration concept, but the two disagreed on how to handle disruptive editors, specific roles for experts, and the best way to guide the project to success

Wales went on to establish self-governance and bottom-up self-direction by editors on Wikipedia He made it clear that he would not be involved in the community's day-to-day management, but would encourage it to learn to self-manage and find its own best approaches As of 2007, Wales mostly restricts his own role to occasional input on serious matters, executive activity, advocacy of knowledge, and encouragement of similar reference projects

Sanger says he is an "inclusionist" and is open to almost anything He proposed that experts still have a place in the Web 20 world He returned briefly to academia, then joined the Digital Universe Foundation In 2006, Sanger founded Citizendium, an open encyclopedia that used real names for contributors in an effort to reduce disruptive editing, and hoped to facilitate "gentle expert guidance" to increase the accuracy of its content Decisions about article content were to be up to the community, but the site was to include a statement about "family-friendly content" He stated early on that he intended to leave Citizendium in a few years, by which time the project and its management would presumably be established


The Wikipedia project has grown rapidly in the course of its life, at several levels Content has grown organically through the addition of new articles, new wikis have been added in English and non-English languages, and entire new projects replicating these growth methods in other related areas news, quotations, reference books and so on have been founded as well Wikipedia itself has grown, with the creation of the Wikimedia Foundation to act as an umbrella body and the growth of software and policies to address the needs of the editorial community These are documented below:


Articles summarizing each year are held within the Wikipedia project namespace and are linked to below Additional resources for research are available within the Wikipedia records and archives, and are listed at the end of this article


The Bomis staff in the summer of 2000

In March 2000, the Nupedia project was started Its intention was to publish articles written by experts which would be licensed as free content Nupedia was founded by Jimmy Wales, with Larry Sanger as editor-in-chief, and funded by the web-advertising company Bomis


In January 2001, Wikipedia began as a side-project of Nupedia, to allow collaboration on articles prior to entering the peer-review process The name was suggested by Sanger on 11 January 2001 The wikipediacom and wikipediaorg domain names were registered on 12 and 13 January, respectively, with wikipediaorg being brought online on the same day The project formally opened on 15 January "Wikipedia Day", with the first international Wikipedias – the French, German, Catalan, Swedish, and Italian editions – being created between March and May The "neutral point of view" NPOV policy was officially formulated at this time, and Wikipedia's first slashdotter wave arrived on 26 July The first media report about Wikipedia appeared in August 2001 in the newspaper Wales on Sunday The September 11 attacks spurred the appearance of breaking news stories on the homepage, as well as information boxes linking related articles


2002 saw the end of funding for Wikipedia from Bomis and the departure of Larry Sanger The forking of the Spanish Wikipedia also took place with the establishment of the Enciclopedia Libre The first portable MediaWiki software went live on 25 January Bots were introduced, Jimmy Wales confirmed that Wikipedia would never run commercial advertising, and the first sister project Wiktionary and first formal Manual of Style were launched A separate board of directors to supervise the project was proposed and initially discussed at Meta-Wikipedia


The English Wikipedia passed 100,000 articles in 2003, while the next largest edition, the German Wikipedia, passed 10,000 The Wikimedia Foundation was established, and Wikipedia adopted its jigsaw world logo Mathematical formulae using TeX were reintroduced to the website The first Wikipedian social meeting took place in Munich, Germany, in October The basic principles of Wikipedia's Arbitration system and committee known colloquially as "ArbCom" were developed, mostly by Florence Devouard, Fred Bauder and other early Wikipedians

Wikisource was created as a separate project on November 24, 2003, to host free textual sources


The worldwide Wikipedia article pool continued to grow rapidly in 2004, doubling in size in 12 months, from under 500,000 articles in late 2003 to over 1 million in over 100 languages by the end of 2004 The English Wikipedia accounted for just under half of these articles The website's server farms were moved from California to Florida, Categories and CSS style configuration sheets were introduced, and the first attempt to block Wikipedia occurred, with the website being blocked in China for two weeks in June The formal election of a board and Arbitration Committee began The first formal projects were proposed to deliberately balance content and seek out systemic bias arising from Wikipedia's community structure

Bourgeois v Peters, 11th Cir 2004, a court case decided by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit was one of the earliest court opinions to cite and quote Wikipedia It stated: "We also reject the notion that the Department of Homeland Security's threat advisory level somehow justifies these searches Although the threat level was 'elevated' at the time of the protest, 'to date, the threat level has stood at yellow elevated for the majority of its time in existence It has been raised to orange high six times'"

Wikimedia Commons was created in September 7, 2004 to host media files for Wikipedia in all languages


In 2005, Wikipedia became the most popular reference website on the Internet, according to Hitwise, with the English Wikipedia alone exceeding 750,000 articles Wikipedia's first multilingual and subject portals were established in 2005 A formal fundraiser held in the first quarter of the year raised almost US$100,000 for system upgrades to handle growing demand China again blocked Wikipedia in October 2005

The first major Wikipedia scandal, the Seigenthaler incident, occurred in 2005, when a well-known figure was found to have a vandalized biography which had gone unnoticed for months In the wake of this and other concerns, the first policy and system changes specifically designed to counter this form of abuse were established These included a new Checkuser privilege policy update to assist in sock puppetry investigations, a new feature called semi-protection, a more strict policy on biographies of living people and the tagging of such articles for stricter review A restriction of new article creation to registered users only was put in place in December 2005

Play media "Wikimania - the Wikimentary", Documentary about Wikimania 2005, featuring Jimmy Wales, Ward Cunningham

Wikimania 2005, the first Wikimania conference, was held from 4 to 8 August 2005 at the Haus der Jugend in Frankfurt, Germany, attracting about 380 attendees


The English Wikipedia gained its one-millionth article, Jordanhill railway station, on 1 March 2006 The first approved Wikipedia article selection was made freely available to download, and "Wikipedia" became registered as a trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation The congressional aides biography scandals – multiple incidents in which congressional staffers and a campaign manager were caught trying to covertly alter Wikipedia biographies – came to public attention, leading to the resignation of the campaign manager Nonetheless, Wikipedia was rated as one of the top five global brands of 2006

Jimmy Wales indicated at Wikimania 2006 that Wikipedia had achieved sufficient volume and called for an emphasis on quality, perhaps best expressed in the call for 100,000 feature-quality articles A new privilege, "oversight", was created, allowing specific versions of archived pages with unacceptable content to be marked as non-viewable Semi-protection against anonymous vandalism, introduced in 2005, proved more popular than expected, with over 1,000 pages being semi-protected at any given time in 2006


Wikipedia continued to grow rapidly in 2007, possessing over 5 million registered editor accounts by 13 August The 250 language editions of Wikipedia contained a combined total of 75 million articles, totalling 174 billion words in approximately 250 languages, by 13 August The English Wikipedia gained articles at a steady rate of 1,700 a day, with the wikipediaorg domain name ranked the 10th-busiest in the world Wikipedia continued to garner visibility in the press – the Essjay controversy broke when a prominent member of Wikipedia was found to have lied about his credentials Citizendium, a competing online encyclopedia, launched publicly A new trend developed in Wikipedia, with the encyclopedia addressing people whose notability stemmed from being a participant in a news story by adding a redirect from their name to the larger story, rather than creating a distinct biographical article On 9 September 2007, the English Wikipedia gained its two-millionth article, El Hormiguero There was some controversy in late 2007 when the Volapük Wikipedia jumped from 797 to over 112,000 articles, briefly becoming the 15th-largest Wikipedia edition, due to automated stub generation by an enthusiast for the Volapük constructed language

According to the MIT Technology Review, the number of regularly active editors on the English-language Wikipedia peaked in 2007 at more than 51,000, and has since been declining


Various WikiProjects in many areas continued to expand and refine article contents within their scope In April 2008, the 10-millionth Wikipedia article was created, and by the end of the year the English Wikipedia exceeded 25 million articles


By late August 2009, the number of articles in all Wikipedia editions had exceeded 14 million The three-millionth article on the English Wikipedia, Beate Eriksen, was created on 17 August 2009 at 04:05 UTC On 27 December 2009, the German Wikipedia exceeded one million articles, becoming the second edition after the English Wikipedia to do so A TIME article listed Wikipedia among 2009's best websites

Wikipedia content became licensed under Creative Commons in 2009


On 24 March, the European Wikipedia servers went offline due to an overheating problem Failover to servers in Florida turned out to be broken, causing DNS resolution for Wikipedia to fail across the world The problem was resolved quickly, but due to DNS caching effects, some areas were slower to regain access to Wikipedia than others

On 13 May, the site released a new interface New features included an updated logo, new navigation tools, and a link wizard However, the classic interface remained available for those who wished to use it On 12 December, the English Wikipedia passed the 35-million-article mark, while the French Wikipedia's millionth article was created on 21 September The 1-billionth Wikimedia project edit was performed on 16 April


One of many cakes made to celebrate Wikipedia's 10th anniversary in 2011 First Day of Issue Cover of the "Wikimania 2011 – Haifa, Israel" stamp, issued by Israel Post on August 2, 2011 – The first-ever stamp dedicated to a Wikimedia-related project

Wikipedia and its users held hundreds of celebrations worldwide to commemorate the site's 10th anniversary on 15 January The site began efforts to expand its growth in India, holding its first Indian conference in Mumbai in November 2011 The English Wikipedia passed the 36-million-article mark on 2 April, and reached 38 million articles on 18 November On 7 November 2011, the German Wikipedia exceeded 100 million page edits, becoming the second language edition to do so after the English edition, which attained 500 million page edits on 24 November 2011 The Dutch Wikipedia exceeded 1 million articles on 17 December 2011, becoming the fourth Wikipedia edition to do so

Between 4 and 6 October 2011, the Italian Wikipedia became intentionally inaccessible in protest against the Italian Parliament's proposed DDL intercettazioni law, which, if approved, would allow any person to force websites to remove information that is perceived as untrue or offensive, without the need to provide evidence

Also in October 2011, Wikimedia announced the launch of Wikipedia Zero, an initiative to enable free mobile access to Wikipedia in developing countries through partnerships with mobile operators


Play media The staff at the Wikimedia Foundation the moment the SOPA blackout happened

On 16 January, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales announced that the English Wikipedia would shut down for 24 hours on 18 January as part of a protest meant to call public attention to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act, two anti-piracy laws under debate in the United States Congress Calling the blackout a "community decision", Wales and other opponents of the laws believed that they would endanger free speech and online innovation A similar blackout was staged on 10 July by the Russian Wikipedia, in protest against a proposed Russian internet regulation law

In late March 2012, the Wikimedia Deutschland announced Wikidata, a universal platform for sharing data between all Wikipedia language editions The US$17-million Wikidata project was partly funded by Google, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence Wikimedia Deutschland assumed responsibility for the first phase of Wikidata, and initially planned to make the platform available to editors by December 2012 Wikidata's first phase became fully operational in March 2013

Justin Knapp

In April 2012, Justin Knapp became the first single contributor to make over one million edits to Wikipedia Jimmy Wales congratulated Knapp for his work and presented him with the site's Special Barnstar medal and the Golden Wiki award for his achievement Wales also declared that 20 April would be "Justin Knapp Day"

On 13 July 2012, the English Wikipedia gained its 4-millionth article, Izbat al-Burj In October 2012, historian and Wikipedia editor Richard J Jensen opined that the English Wikipedia was "nearing completion", noting that the number of regularly active editors had fallen significantly since 2007, despite Wikipedia's rapid growth in article count and readership

According to Alexa Internet, Wikipedia was the world's sixth-most-popular website as of November 2012 Dow Jones ranked Wikipedia fifth worldwide as of December 2012


On 22 January 2013, the Italian Wikipedia became the fifth language edition of Wikipedia to exceed 1 million articles, while the Russian and Spanish Wikipedias gained their millionth articles in May 11 and 16 respectively On 15 July the Swedish and on 24 September the Polish Wikipedias gained their millionth articles, becoming the eighth and ninth Wikipedia editions to do so

On 27 January, the main belt asteroid 274301 was officially renamed "Wikipedia" by the Committee for Small Body Nomenclature

The first phase of the Wikidata database, automatically providing interlanguage links and other data, became available for all language editions in March 2013

In April 2013, the French secret service was accused of attempting to censor Wikipedia by threatening a Wikipedia volunteer with arrest unless "classified information" about a military radio station was deleted

Play media A presentation about the Wikipedia VisualEditor

In July, the VisualEditor editing system was launched, forming the first stage of an effort to allow articles to be edited with a word processor-like interface instead of using wikimarkup An editor specifically designed for smartphones and other mobile devices was also launched


Play media A video review of Wikipedia content in 2014 that encourages viewers to edit Wikipedia

A print edition of the English Wikipedia, comprising 1,000 volumes and over 1,100,000 pages, was exhibited by German Wikipedia contributors in 2014 The project sought funding through Indiegogo, and was intended to honor the contributions of Wikipedia's editors On 22 October 2014, the first monument to Wikipedia was unveiled in the Polish town of Slubice


Play media Video marking English Wikipedia's milestone of five million articles on 1 November 2015

In mid-2015, Wikipedia was the world's seventh-most-popular website according to Alexa Internet, down one place from the position it held in November 2012 At the start of 2015, Wikipedia remained the largest general-knowledge encyclopedia online, with a combined total of over 36 million mainspace articles across all 291 language editions On average, Wikipedia receives a total of 10 billion global pageviews from around 495 million unique visitors every month, including 85 million visitors from the United States alone, where it is the sixth-most-popular site

Play media Artist Michael Mandiberg talks about Print Wikipedia

Print Wikipedia was an art project by Michael Mandiberg that printed out the 7473 volumes of Wikipedia as it existed on April 7, 2015 Each volume has 700 pages


In mid-2016, Wikipedia was once again the world's sixth-most-popular website according to Alexa Internet, up one place from the position it held in the previous year

In October 2016, the mobile version of Wikipedia gets a new look

History by subject area

Hardware and software

Main article: MediaWiki The software that runs Wikipedia, and the computer hardware, server farms and other systems upon which Wikipedia relies
  • In January 2001, Wikipedia ran on UseModWiki, written in Perl by Clifford Adams The server has run on Linux to this day, although the original text was stored in files rather than in a database Articles were named with the CamelCase convention
  • In January 2002, "Phase II" of the wiki software powering Wikipedia was introduced, replacing the older UseModWiki Written specifically for the project by Magnus Manske, it included a PHP wiki engine
  • In July 2002, a major rewrite of the software powering Wikipedia went live; dubbed "Phase III", it replaced the older "Phase II" version, and became MediaWiki It was written by Lee Daniel Crocker in response to the increasing demands of the growing project
  • In October 2002, Derek Ramsey created a bot—an automated program called Rambot—to add a large number of articles about United States towns; these articles were automatically generated from US census data He thus increased the number of Wikipedia articles by 33,832 This has been called "the most controversial move in Wikipedia history"
  • In January 2003, support for mathematical formulas in TeX was added The code was contributed by Tomasz Wegrzanowski
  • On 9 June 2003, Wikipedia's ISBN interface was amended to make ISBNs in articles link to Special:Booksources, which fetches its contents from the user-editable page Wikipedia:Book sources Before this, ISBN link targets were coded into the software and new ones were suggested on the Wikipedia:ISBN page See the edit that changed this
  • After 6 December 2003, various system messages shown to Wikipedia users were no longer hard coded, allowing Wikipedia administrators to modify certain parts of MediaWiki's interface, such as the message shown to blocked users
  • On 12 February 2004, server operations were moved from San Diego, California to Tampa, Florida
  • On 29 May 2004, all the various websites were updated to a new version of the MediaWiki software
  • On 30 May 2004, the first instances of "categorization" entries appeared Category schemes, like Recent Changes and Edit This Page, had existed from the founding of Wikipedia However, Larry Sanger had viewed the schemes as lists, and even hand-entered articles, whereas the categorization effort centered on individual categorization entries in each article of the encyclopedia, as part of a larger automatic categorization of the articles of the encyclopedia
  • After 3 June 2004, administrators could edit the style of the interface by changing the CSS in the monobook stylesheet at MediaWiki:Monobookcss
  • Also on 30 May 2004, with MediaWiki 13, the Template namespace was created, allowing transclusion of standard texts
  • On 7 June 2005 at 3:00 am Eastern Standard Time, the bulk of the Wikimedia servers were moved to a new facility across the street All Wikimedia projects were down during this time
  • In March 2013, the first phase of the Wikidata interwiki database became available across Wikipedia's language editions
  • In July 2013, the VisualEditor editing interface was inaugurated, allowing users to edit Wikipedia using a WYSIWYG text editor similar to a word processor instead of wikimarkup An editing interface optimised for mobile devices was also released

Look and feel

The external face of Wikipedia, its look and feel, and the Wikipedia branding, as presented to users
  • On 4 April 2002, BrilliantProse, since renamed Featured Articles, was moved to the Wikipedia namespace from the article namespace
  • Around 15 October 2003, a new Wikipedia logo was installed The logo concept was selected by a voting process, which was followed by a revision process to select the best variant The final selection was created by David Friedland who edits Wikipedia under the username "nohat" based on a logo design and concept created by Paul Stansifer
  • On 22 February 2004, Did You Know DYK made its first Main Page appearance
  • On 23 February 2004, a coordinated new look for the Main Page appeared at 19:46 UTC Hand-chosen entries for the Daily Featured Article, Anniversaries, In the News, and Did You Know rounded out the new look
  • On 10 January 2005, the multilingual portal at wwwwikipediaorg was set up, replacing a redirect to the English-language Wikipedia
  • On 5 February 2005, Portal:Biology was created, becoming the first thematic "portal" on the English Wikipedia However, the concept was pioneered on the German Wikipedia, where Portal:Recht law studies was set up in October 2003
  • On 16 July 2005, the English Wikipedia began the practice of including the day's "featured pictures" on the Main Page
  • On 19 March 2006, following a vote, the Main Page of the English-language Wikipedia featured its first redesign in nearly two years
  • On 13 May 2010, the site released a new interface New features included an updated logo, new navigation tools, and a link wizard The "classic" Wikipedia interface remained available as an option

Internal structures

Landmarks in the Wikipedia community, and the development of its organization, internal structures, and policies
  • April 2001, Wales formally defines the "neutral point of view", Wikipedia's core non-negotiable editorial policy, a reformulation of the "Lack of Bias" policy outlined by Sanger for Nupedia in spring or summer 2000, which covered many of the same core principles
  • In September 2001, collaboration by subject matter in WikiProjects is introduced
  • In February 2002, concerns over the risk of future censorship and commercialization by Bomis Inc Wikipedia's original host combined with a lack of guarantee this would not happen, led most participants of the Spanish Wikipedia to break away and establish it independently as the Enciclopedia Libre Following clarification of Wikipedia's status and non-commercial nature later that year, re-merger talks between Enciclopedia Libre and the re-founded Spanish Wikipedia occasionally took place in 2002 and 2003, but no conclusion was reached As of October 2009, the two continue to coexist as substantial Spanish language reference sources, with around 43,000 articles EL and 520,000 articles SpW respectively
  • Also in 2002, policy and style issues were clarified with the creation of the Manual of Style, along with a number of other policies and guidelines
  • November 2002 – new mailing lists for WikiEN and Announce are set up, as well as other language mailing lists eg Polish, to reduce the volume of traffic on mailing lists
  • In July 2003, the rule against editing one's autobiography is introduced
  • On 28 October 2003, the first "real" meeting of Wikipedians happened in Munich Many cities followed suit, and soon a number of regular Wikipedian get-togethers were established around the world Several Internet communities, including one on the popular blog website LiveJournal, have also sprung up since
  • From 10 July to 30 August 2004 the Wikipedia:Browse and Wikipedia:Browse by overview formerly on the Main Page were replaced by links to overviews On 27 August 2004 the Community Portal was started, to serve as a focus for community efforts These were previously accomplished on an informal basis, by individual queries of the Recent Changes, in wiki style, as ad-hoc collaborations between like-minded editors
  • During September to December 2005 following the Seigenthaler controversy and other similar concerns, several anti-abuse features and policies were added to Wikipedia These were:
  • The policy for "Checkuser" a MediaWiki extension to assist detection of abuse via internet sock-puppetry was established in November 2005 Checkuser function had previously existed, but was viewed more as a system tool at the time, so there had been no need for a policy covering use on a more routine basis
  • Creation of new pages on the English Wikipedia was restricted to editors who had created a user account
  • The introduction and rapid adoption of the policy Wikipedia:Biographies of living people, giving a far tighter quality control and fact-check system to biographical articles related to living people
  • The "semi-protection" function and policy, allowing pages to be protected so that only those with an account could edit
  • In May 2006, a new "oversight" feature was introduced on the English Wikipedia, allowing a handful of highly trusted users to permanently erase page revisions containing copyright infringements or libelous or personal information from a page's history Previous to this, page version deletion was laborious, and also deleted versions remained visible to other administrators and could be un-deleted by them
  • On 1 January 2007, the subcommunity named Esperanza was disbanded by communal consent Esperanza had begun as an effort to promote "wikilove" and a social support network, but had developed its own subculture and private structures Its disbanding was described as the painful but necessary remedy for a project that had allowed editors to "see themselves as Esperanzans first and foremost" A number of Esperanza's subprojects were integrated back into Wikipedia as free-standing projects, but most of them are now inactive When the group was founded in September 2005, there had been concerns expressed that it would eventually be condemned as such
  • In April 2007 the results of 4 months policy review by a working group of several hundred editors seeking to merge the core Wikipedia policies into one core policy See: Wikipedia:Attribution was polled for community support The proposal did not gain consensus; a significant view became evident that the existing structure of three strong focused policies covering the respective areas of policy, was frequently seen as more helpful to quality control than one more general merged proposal
  • A one-day blackout of Wikipedia was called by Jimmy Wales on 18 January 2012, in conjunction with Google and over 7,000 other websites, to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act then under consideration by the United States Congress

The Wikimedia Foundation and legal structures

Legal and organizational structure of the Wikimedia Foundation, its executive, and its activities as a foundation
  • In August 2002, shortly after Jimmy Wales announced that he would never run commercial advertisements on Wikipedia, the URL of Wikipedia was changed from wikipediacom to wikipediaorg see: com and org
  • On 20 June 2003, the Wikimedia Foundation was founded
  • Communications committee was formed in January 2006 to handle media inquiries and emails received for the foundation and Wikipedia via the newly implemented OTRS a ticket handling system
  • Angela Beesley and Florence Nibart-Devouard were elected to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation During this time, Angela was active in editing content and setting policy, such as privacy policy, within the Foundation
  • On 10 January 2006, Wikipedia became a registered trademark of Wikimedia Foundation
  • In July 2006, Angela Beesley resigned from the board of the Wikimedia Foundation
  • In June 2006, Brad Patrick was hired to be the first executive director of the Foundation He resigned in January 2007, and was later replaced by Sue Gardner June 2007
  • In October 2006, Florence Nibart-Devouard became chair of the board of Wikimedia Foundation

Projects and milestones

Main pages: Wikipedia:Statistics, List of Wikipedias, and Wikipedia:Milestones Sister projects and milestones related to articles, user base, and other statistics
  • On 15 January 2001, the first recorded edit of Wikipedia was performed
  • In December 2002, the first sister project, Wiktionary, was created; aiming to produce a dictionary and thesaurus of the words in all languages It uses the same software as Wikipedia
  • On 22 January 2003, the English Wikipedia was again slashdotted after having reached the 100,000 article milestone with the Hastings, New Zealand article Two days later, the German-language Wikipedia, the largest non-English language version, passed the 10,000 article mark
  • On 20 June 2003, the same day that the Wikimedia Foundation was founded, "Wikiquote" was created A month later, "Wikibooks" was launched "Wikisource" was set up towards the end of the year
  • In January 2004, Wikipedia reached the 200,000-article milestone in English with the article on Neil Warnock, and reached 450,000 articles for both English and non-English Wikipedias The next month, the combined article count of the English and non-English reached 500,000
  • On 20 April 2004, the article count of the English Wikipedia reached 250,000
  • On 7 July 2004, the article count of the English Wikipedia reached 300,000
  • On 20 September 2004, Wikipedia's total article count exceeded 1,000,000 articles in over 105 languages; the project received a flurry of related attention in the press The one millionth article was published in the Hebrew Wikipedia, and discusses the flag of Kazakhstan
  • On 20 November 2004, the article count of the English Wikipedia reached 400,000
  • On 18 March 2005, Wikipedia passed the 500,000-article milestone in English, with Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union being announced in a press release as the landmark article
  • In May 2005, Wikipedia became the most popular reference website on the Internet according to traffic monitoring company Hitwise, relegating Dictionarycom to second place
  • On 29 September 2005, the English Wikipedia passed the 750,000-article mark
  • On 1 March 2006, the English Wikipedia passed the 1,000,000-article mark, with Jordanhill railway station being announced on the Main Page as the milestone article
  • On 8 June 2006, the English Wikipedia passed the 1,000-featured-article mark, with Iranian peoples
  • On 15 August 2006, the Wikimedia Foundation launched Wikiversity
  • On 1 September 2006, Wikipedia exceeded 5,000,000 articles across all 229 language editions
  • On 24 November 2006, the English Wikipedia passed the 1,500,000-article mark, with Kanab ambersnail being announced on the Main Page as the milestone article
  • On 4 April 2007, the first Wikipedia CD selection in English was published as a free download
  • On 22 April 2007, the English Wikipedia passed the 1,750,000-article mark RAF raid on La Caine HQ was the 1,750,000th article
  • On 9 September 2007, the English Wikipedia passed the 2,000,000-article mark El Hormiguero was accepted by consensus as the 2,000,000th article
  • On 28 March 2008, Wikipedia exceeded 10 million articles across all 251 language editions
  • On 11 October 2008, the English Wikipedia passed the 2,500,000-article mark While no attempt was made to officially identify the 2,500,000th article, Joe Connor baseball has been suggested as the possible article
  • On 17 August 2009, the English Wikipedia passed the 3,000,000-article mark, with Beate Eriksen being announced on the Main Page as the milestone article
  • On 27 December 2009, the German Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the second Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 21 September 2010, the French Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the third Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 12 December 2010, the English Wikipedia passed the 3,500,000-article mark
  • On 22 November 2011, Wikipedia exceeded 20 million articles across all 282 language editions
  • On 7 November 2011, the German Wikipedia exceeded 100 million page edits
  • On 24 November 2011, the English Wikipedia exceeded 500 million page edits
  • On 17 December 2011, the Dutch Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the fourth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 13 July 2012, the English Wikipedia exceeded 4,000,000 articles, with Izbat al-Burj
  • On 22 January 2013, the Italian Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the fifth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 11 May 2013, the Russian Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the sixth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 16 May 2013, the Spanish Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the seventh Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 15 June 2013, the Swedish Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the eighth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 25 September 2013, the Polish Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the ninth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 21 October 2013, Wikipedia exceeded 30 million articles across all 287 language editions
  • On 17 December 2013, the French Wikipedia exceeded 100,000,000 page edits
  • On 25 April 2014, the English Wikipedia passed the 4,500,000 article mark
  • On 8 June 2014, the Waray Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the tenth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 15 June 2014, the Vietnamese Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the eleventh Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 17 July 2014, the Cebuano Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the twelfth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 6 September 2015, the Swedish Wikipedia exceeded 2,000,000 articles, becoming the second Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 1 November 2015, the English Wikipedia exceeded 5,000,000 articles, with Persoonia terminalis, and it has over 125,000 editors who have made 1 or more edits in the past 30 days
  • On 1 February 2016, the Japanese Wikipedia exceeded 1,000,000 articles, becoming the thirteenth Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 14 February 2016, the Cebuano Wikipedia exceeded 2,000,000 articles, becoming the third Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 29 April 2016, the Swedish Wikipedia exceeded 3,000,000 articles, becoming the second Wikipedia language edition to do so
  • On 26 May 2016, Wikipedia exceeded 40 million articles across all 293 language editions
  • On 26 September 2016, the Cebuano Wikipedia exceeded 3,000,000 articles, becoming the third Wikipedia language edition to do so


Every year, Wikipedia runs a fundraising campaign to support its operations

  • One of the first fundraisers was held from 18 February 2005 to 1 March 2005, raising US$94,000, which was US$19,000 more than expected
  • On 6 January 2006, the Q4 2005 fundraiser concluded, raising a total of just over US$390,000
  • The 2007 fundraising campaign raised US$15 million from 44,188 donations
  • The 2008 fundraising campaign gained Wikipedia more than US$6 million
  • The 2010 campaign was launched on 13 November 2010 The campaign raised US$16 million
  • The 2011 campaign raised US$20 million from more than one million donors
  • The 2012 campaign raised US$25 million from around 12 million donors

External impact

  • In 2007, Wikipedia was deemed fit to be used as a major source by the UK Intellectual Property Office in a Formula One trademark case ruling
  • Over time, Wikipedia gained recognition amongst more traditional media as a "key source" for major new events, such as the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and related tsunami, the 2008 American Presidential election, and the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre The latter article was accessed 750,000 times in two days, with newspapers published local to the shootings adding that "Wikipedia has emerged as the clearinghouse for detailed information on the event"
  • On 21 February 2007, Noam Cohen of the New York Times reported that some academics were banning the use of Wikipedia as a research tool
  • On 27 February 2007, an article in The Harvard Crimson newspaper reported that some professors at Harvard University included Wikipedia in their syllabi, but that there was a split in their perception of using Wikipedia
  • In July 2013, a large-scale study by four major universities identified the most contested articles on Wikipedia, finding that Israel, Adolf Hitler and God were more fiercely debated than any other subjects

Effect of biographical articles

Because Wikipedia biographies are often updated as soon as new information comes to light, they are often used as a reference source on the lives of notable people This has led to attempts to manipulate and falsify Wikipedia articles for promotional or defamatory purposes see Controversies It has also led to novel uses of the biographical material provided Some notable people's lives are being affected by their Wikipedia biography

  • November 2005: The Seigenthaler controversy occurred when a hoaxer asserted on Wikipedia that journalist John Seigenthaler had been involved in the Kennedy assassination of 1963
  • December 2006: German comedian Atze Schröder sued Arne Klempert, secretary of Wikimedia Deutschland, because he did not want his real name published in Wikipedia Schröder later withdrew his complaint, but wanted his attorney's costs to be paid by Klempert A court decided that the artist had to cover those costs by himself
  • 16 February 2007: Turkish historian Taner Akçam was briefly detained upon arrival at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport because of false information on his Wikipedia biography claiming he was a terrorist
  • November 2008: The German Left Party politician Lutz Heilmann claimed that some remarks in his Wikipedia article caused damage to his reputation He succeeded in getting a court order to make Wikimedia Deutschland remove a key search portal The result was a national outpouring of support for Wikipedia, more donations to Wikimedia Deutschland, and a rise in daily pageviews of Lutz Heilmann's article from a few dozen to half a million Shortly after, Heilmann asked the court to withdraw the court order
  • December 2008: Wikimedia Nederland, the Dutch chapter, won a preliminary injunction after an entrepreneur was linked in "his" article with the criminal Willem Holleeder and wanted the article deleted The judge in Utrecht believed Wikimedia's assertion that it has no influence on the content of Dutch Wikipedia
  • February 2009: When Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jakob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg became federal minister on 10 February 2009, an unregistered user added an eleventh given name in the article on German Wikipedia: Wilhelm Numerous newspapers took it over When wary Wikipedians wanted to erase Wilhelm, the revert was reverted with regard to those newspapers This case about Wikipedia reliability and journalists copying from Wikipedia became known as Falscher Wilhelm "wrong Wilhelm"
  • May 2009: An article about the German journalist Richard Herzinger in the German Wikipedia was vandalized The IP user added that Herzinger, who wrote for Die Welt, was Jewish; the sighter marked this as "sighted" meaning that there is no vandalism in the article Herzinger complained about that to Wikipedians who immediately deleted the assertion According to Herzinger, who wrote about the incident in a newspaper article, he is regularly called a Jew by right-wing extremists due to his perceived pro-Israel stance
  • October 2009: In 1990, the German actor Walter Sedlmayr was murdered Years later, when the two murderers were released from prison, German law prohibited the media from mentioning their names The men's lawyer also sent the Wikimedia Foundation a cease and desist letter requesting the men's names be removed from the English Wikipedia

Early roles of Wales and Sanger

Sanger played an important role in the early stages of creating Wikipedia Wales says that Sanger was his subordinate employee Sanger initially brought the wiki concept to Wales and suggested it be applied to Nupedia and then, after some initial skepticism, Wales agreed to try it It was Jimmy Wales, along with other people, who came up with the broader idea of an open-source, collaborative encyclopedia that would accept contributions from ordinary people and it was Wales who invested in it Wales stated in October 2001 that "Larry had the idea to use Wiki software" Sanger coined the portmanteau "Wikipedia" as the project name In review, Larry Sanger conceived of a wiki-based encyclopedia as a strategic solution to Nupedia's inefficiency problems In terms of project roles, Sanger spearheaded and pursued the project as its leader in its first year, and did most of the early work in formulating policies including "Ignore all rules" and "Neutral point of view" and building up the community Upon departure in March 2002, Sanger emphasized the main issue was purely the cessation of Bomis' funding for his role, which was not viable part-time, and his changing personal priorities; however, by 2004, the two had drifted apart and Sanger became more critical Two weeks after the launch of Citizendium, Sanger criticized Wikipedia, describing the latter as "broken beyond repair" By 2005 Wales began to dispute Sanger's role in the project, three years after Sanger left

In 2005, Wales described himself simply as the founder of Wikipedia; however, according to Brian Bergstein of the Associated Press, "Sanger has long been cited as a co-founder" There is evidence that Sanger was called co-founder, along with Wales, as early as 2001, and he is referred to as such in early Wikipedia press releases and Wikipedia articles and in a September 2001 New York Times article for which both were interviewed In 2006, Wales said, "He used to work for me I don't agree with calling him a co-founder, but he likes the title"; nonetheless, before January 2004, Wales did not dispute Sanger's status as co-founder and, indeed, identified himself as "co-founder" as late as August 2002 In Sanger's introductory message to the Nupedia mailing list, he said that "Jimmy Wales contacted me and asked me to apply as editor-in-chief of Nupedia Apparently, Bomis, Inc which owns Nupedia who could manage this sort of long-term project, he thought I would be perfect for the job This is indeed my dream job" Sanger said "He had had the idea for Nupedia since at least last fall"

As of March 2007: Wales emphasized this employer–employee relationship and his ultimate authority, terming himself Wikipedia's sole founder; and Sanger emphasized their statuses as co-founders, referencing earlier versions of Wikipedia pages 2004, 2006, press releases 2002–2004, and media coverage from the time of his involvement routinely terming them in this manner


Main articles: Criticism of Wikipedia, List of litigation involving Wikipedia, and Reliability of Wikipedia
  • January 2001: Licensing and structure After partial breakdown of discussions with Bomis, Richard Stallman announced GNUpedia as a competing project Besides having a nearly identical name, it was very similar functionally to Nupedia/Wikipedia the former which launched in March 2000 but had as yet published very few articles—the latter of which was intended to be a source of seed-articles for the former The goals and methods of GNUpedia were nearly identical to Wikipedia: anyone can contribute, small contributions welcome, plan on taking years, narrow focus on encyclopedic content as the primary goal, anyone can read articles, anyone can mirror articles, anyone can translate articles, use libre-licensed code to run the site, encourage peer review, and rely primarily on volunteers GNUpedia was roughly intended to be a combination of Wikipedia and also Wikibooks The main exceptions were:
  1. The strong prohibition against any sort of centralized control " written under the direction of a single organization, which made all decisions about the content, and published in a centralized fashion we dare not allow any organization to decide what counts as part of " In particular, deletionists were not allowed; editing an article would require forking it, making a change, and then saving the result as a 'new' article on the same topic
  2. Assuming attribution for articles rather than anonymous by default, requiring attribution for quotations, and allowing original authors to control straightforward translations, In particular, the idea was to have a set of N articles covering the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, with some to-be-determined mechanism for readers to endorse/rank/like/plus/star the version of the article they found best
  3. Given the structure above, where every topic especially controversial ones might have a thousand articles purporting to be the GNUpedia article about Sarah Palin, Stallman explicitly rejected the idea of a centralized website that would specify which article of those thousand was worth reading Instead of an official catalogue, the plan was to rely on search engines at first the reader would begin by googling "gnupedia sarah palin", and then eventually if necessary construct catalogues according to the same principles as articles were constructed In Wikipedia, there is an official central website for each language enwikipediaorg, and an official catalogue of sorts category-lists and lists-of-lists, but as of 2013 search engines still provide about 60% of the inbound traffic

The goals which led to GNUpedia were published at least as early as 18 December 2000, and these exact goals were finalized on the 12th and 13th of January 2001, albeit with a copyright of 1999, from when Stallman had first started considering the problem The only sentence added between 18 December and the unveiling of GNUpedia the week of 12–16 January was this: "The GNU Free Documentation License would be a good license to use for courses"

GNUpedia was 'formally' announced on the slashdot website, on January 16, the same day that their mailing list first went online with a test-message Wales posted to the list on January 17, the first full day of messages, explaining the discussions with Stallman concerning the change in Nupedia content-licensing, and suggesting cooperation Stallman himself first posted on January 19, and, in his second post on January 22, mentioned that discussions about merging Wikipedia and GNUpedia were ongoing Within a couple of months, Wales had changed his email signature from the open source encyclopedia to the free encyclopedia; both Nupedia and Wikipedia had adopted the GFDL; and the merger of GNUpedia into Wikipedia was effectively accomplished

  • November 2001: Wales announced that advertising would soon begin on Wikipedia, starting in early or mid-2002 Instead, in early 2002, Chief Editor Larry Sanger was fired, since his salary was the largest expense in the operation of Wikipedia By September 2002, Wales had publicly stated: "There are currently no plans for advertising on Wikipedia" By June 2003, the Wikimedia Foundation was formally incorporated The Foundation is explicitly against paid advertising; although, it does "internally" advertise Wikimedia Foundation fundraising events on Wikipedia As of 2013, the by-laws of the Wikimedia Foundation do not explicitly prohibit the adoption of a broader advertising policy, if such an action is deemed necessary—such by-laws are subject to vote
  • 2003: No notable controversies occurred
  • 2004: No notable controversies occurred
  • January 2005: The fake charity QuakeAID, in the month following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, attempted to use a Wikipedia page for promotional purposes
  • October 2005: Alan Mcilwraith was exposed as a fake war hero through a Wikipedia page
  • November 2005: The Seigenthaler controversy caused Brian Chase to resign from his employment, after his identity was ascertained by Daniel Brandt of Wikipedia Watch Following this, the scientific journal Nature undertook a peer reviewed study to test articles in Wikipedia against their equivalents in Encyclopædia Britannica, and concluded they are comparable in terms of accuracy Britannica rejected their methodology and their conclusion Nature refused to release any form of apology, and instead asserted the reliability of its study and a rejection of the criticisms
  • Early-to-mid-2006: The congressional aides biography scandals were publicized, whereby several political aides were caught trying to influence the Wikipedia biographies of several politicians The aides removed undesirable information including pejorative quotes, or broken campaign promises, added favorable information or "glowing" tributes, or replaced the article in part or whole by staff-authored biographies The staff of at least five politicians were implicated: Marty Meehan, Norm Coleman, Conrad Burns, Joe Biden and Gil Gutknecht The activities documented were:
Politician Editing undertaken Sources
Marty Meehan Replacement with staff-written biography Congressional staffers edit boss's bio on Wikipedia
Norm Coleman Rewrite to make more favorable, claimed to be "correcting errors" "Web site's entry on Coleman revised Aide confirms his staff edited biography, questions Wikipedia's accuracy" St Paul Pioneer PressAssociated Press Archived from the original on 29 September 2007 
Conrad Burns
Removal of quoted pejorative statements the Senator had made, and replacing them with "glowing tributes" as "the voice of the farmer" Williams, Walt 1 January 2007 "Burns' office may have tampered with Wikipedia entry" Bozeman Daily Chronicle Retrieved 13 February 2007 
Joe Biden Removal of unfavorable information Congressional staffers edit boss's bio on Wikipedia
Gil Gutknecht Staff rewrite and removal of information evidencing broken campaign promise

Multiple attempts

On 16 August 2006, the Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune reported that the office of Representative Gil Gutknecht tried twice — on 24 July 2006 and 14 August 2006 — to remove a 128-word section in the Wikipedia article on him, replacing it with a more flattering 315-word entry taken from his official congressional biography Most of the removed text was about the 12-year term-limit Gutknecht imposed on himself in 1995 Gutknecht ran for re-election in 2006, breaking his promise A spokesman for Gutknecht did not dispute that his office tried to change his Wikipedia entry, but questioned the reliability of the encyclopedia "Gutknecht joins Wikipedia tweakers" Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune 16 August 2006 Archived from the original on 2006-08-21 Retrieved 17 August 2006 

Multiple attempts, first using a named account, then an anonymous IP account

In a separate but similar incident, the campaign manager for Cathy Cox, Morton Brilliant, resigned after being found to have added negative information to the Wikipedia entries of political opponents Following media publicity, the incidents tapered off around August 2006

  • July 2006: Joshua Gardner was exposed as a fake Duke of Cleveland with a Wikipedia page
  • January 2007: English-language Wikipedians in Qatar were briefly blocked from editing, following a spate of vandalism, by an administrator who did not realize that the country's internet traffic is routed through a single IP address Multiple media sources promptly declared that Wikipedia was banning Qatar from the site
  • On 23 January 2007, a Microsoft employee offered to pay Rick Jelliffe to review and change certain Wikipedia articles regarding an open-source document standard which was rival to a Microsoft format
  • In February 2007, The New Yorker magazine issued a rare editorial correction that a prominent English Wikipedia editor and administrator known as "Essjay", had invented a persona using fictitious credentials The editor, Ryan Jordan, became a Wikia employee in January 2007 and divulged his real name; this was noticed by Daniel Brandt of Wikipedia Watch, and communicated to the original article author See: Essjay controversy
  • February 2007: Fuzzy Zoeller sued a Miami firm because defamatory information was added to his Wikipedia biography in an anonymous edit that came from their network
  • 16 February 2007: Turkish historian Taner Akçam was briefly detained upon arrival at a Canadian airport because of false information on his biography indicating that he was a terrorist
  • In June 2007, an anonymous user posted hoax information that, by coincidence, foreshadowed the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, hours before the bodies were found by investigators The discovery of the edit attracted widespread media attention and was first covered in sister site Wikinews
  • In October 2007, in their obituaries of recently deceased TV theme composer Ronnie Hazlehurst, many British media organisations reported that he had co-written the S Club 7 song "Reach" In fact, he hadn't, and it was discovered that this information had been sourced from a hoax edit to Hazlehurst's Wikipedia article
  • In February 2007, Barbara Bauer, a literary agent, sued Wikimedia for defamation and causing harm to her business, the Barbara Bauer Literary Agency In Bauer v Glatzer, Bauer claimed that information on Wikipedia critical of her abilities as a literary agent caused this harm The Electronic Frontier Foundation defended Wikipedia and moved to dismiss the case on 1 May 2008 The case against the Wikimedia Foundation was dismissed on 1 July 2008
  • On 14 July 2009, the National Portrait Gallery issued a cease and desist letter for alleged breach of copyright, against a Wikipedia editor who downloaded more than 3,000 high-resolution images from the NPG website, and placed them on Wikimedia Commons See National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Foundation copyright dispute for more
  • In April and May 2010, there was controversy over the hosting and display of sexual drawing and pornographic images including images of children on Wikipedia It led to the mass removal of pornographic content from Wikimedia Foundation sites
  • In November 2012, Lord Justice Leveson wrote in his report on British press standards, "The Independent was founded in 1986 by the journalists Andreas Whittam Smith, Stephen Glover and Brett Straub" He had used the Wikipedia article for The Independent newspaper as his source, but an act of vandalism had replaced Matthew Symonds a genuine co-founder with Brett Straub an unknown character The Economist said of the Leveson report, "Parts of it are a scissors-and-paste job culled from Wikipedia"
  • In late 2013, commentators publicly shared observations of the reappearance of many of the pornographic images deleted from Wikipedia since 2010

Notable forks and derivatives

There are a number of Wikipedia mirrors and forks No list of sites using the software is maintained, A significant number of sites use the MediaWiki software and concept, popularized by Wikipedia

Specialized foreign language forks using the Wikipedia concept include Enciclopedia Libre Spanish, Wikiweise German, WikiZnanie Russian, Susningnu Swedish, and Baidu Baike Chinese Some of these such as Enciclopedia Libre use GFDL or compatible licenses as used by Wikipedia, leading to exchange of material with their respective language Wikipedias

In 2006, Larry Sanger founded Citizendium, based upon a modified version of MediaWiki The site cited its aims were 'to improve on the Wikipedia model with "gentle expert oversight", among other things' See also Nupedia

Publication on other media

The German Wikipedia was the first to be partly published also using other media rather than online on the internet, including releases on CD in November 2004 and more extended versions on CDs or DVD in April 2005 and December 2006 In December 2005, the publisher Zenodot Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, a sister company of Directmedia, published a 139-page book explaining Wikipedia, its history and policies, which was accompanied by a 75 GB DVD containing 300,000 articles and 100,000 images from the German Wikipedia Originally, Directmedia also announced plans to print the German Wikipedia in its entirety, in 100 volumes of 800 pages each Publication was due to begin in October 2006, and finish in 2010 In March 2006, however, this project was called off

In September 2008, Bertelsmann published a 1000 pages volume with a selection of popular German Wikipedia articles Bertelsmann paid voluntarily 1 Euro per sold copy to Wikimedia Deutschland

The first CD version containing a selection of articles from the English Wikipedia was published in April 2006 by SOS Children as the 2006 Wikipedia CD Selection In April 2007, "Wikipedia Version 05", a CD containing around 2000 articles selected from the online encyclopedia was published by the Wikimedia Foundation and Linterweb The selection of articles included was based on both the quality of the online version and the importance of the topic to be included This CD version was created as a test-case in preparation for a DVD version including far more articles The CD version can be purchased online, downloaded as a DVD image file or Torrent file, or accessed online at the project's website

A free software project has also been launched to make a static version of Wikipedia available for use on iPods The "Encyclopodia" project was started around March 2006 and can currently be used on 1st to 4th generation iPods


In limited ways, the Wikimedia Foundation is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act In the defamation action Bauer et al v Glatzer et al, it was held that Wikimedia had no case to answer because of this section A similar law in France caused a lawsuit to be dismissed in October 2007 In 2013, a German appeals court the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart ruled that Wikipedia is a "service provider" not a "content provider", and as such is immune from liability as long as it takes down content that is accused of being illegal

See also

  • Internet portal
  • History of wikis
  • The Wikipedia Revolution


  1. ^ a b c "List of Wikipedias – Grand Total updated daily" Wikimediaorg Retrieved 20 December 2014 
  2. ^ "Wikipediaorg WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools" WHOIS Retrieved 2016-10-24 
  3. ^ a b "Wikipedia of Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger" History Computer 2010 Retrieved 9 November 2013 
  4. ^ "Philosophy" GNU Retrieved 5 November 2013 
  5. ^ a b Stallman, Richard 18 December 2000 "The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource" GNU Retrieved 11 March 2014 
  6. ^ "WikiHistory" WikiWikiWeb Retrieved 15 May 2013 
  7. ^ a b c "Wikipediaorg Site Info" Alexa Internet Retrieved 30 June 2015 
  8. ^ a b c "The future of Wikipedia: WikiPeaks" The Economist 1 March 2014 Retrieved 2 April 2014 
  9. ^ http://reportcardwmflabsorg/
  10. ^ a b "comScore Ranks the Top 50 US Digital Media Properties for January 2015" comScore 24 February 2015 Retrieved 17 March 2015 
  11. ^ a b Reagle, Joseph 2010 Good Faith Collaboration The Culture of Wikipedia MIT Press ISBN 978-0-262-01447-2 Chapter 2: "The Pursuit of the Universal Encyclopedia"
  12. ^ "Slashdot Comments | GNUPedia Project Starting" Slashdotorg 17 January 2001 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  13. ^ "The Free Encyclopedia Project" GNUorg 2012 Retrieved 20 December 2012 
  14. ^ Poe, Marshall September 2006 "The Hive" The Atlantic Monthly Retrieved 25 March 2007 Wales and Sanger created the first Nupedia wiki on 10 January 2001 The initial purpose was to get the public to add entries that would then be “fed into the Nupedia process” of authorization Most of Nupedia’s expert volunteers, however, wanted nothing to do with this, so Sanger decided to launch a separate site called “Wikipedia” Neither Sanger nor Wales looked on Wikipedia as anything more than a lark This is evident in Sanger’s flip announcement of Wikipedia to the Nupedia discussion list “Humor me,” he wrote “Go there and add a little article It will take all of five or ten minutes” And, to Sanger’s surprise, go they did Within a few days, Wikipedia outstripped Nupedia in terms of quantity, if not quality, and a small community developed In late January, Sanger created a Wikipedia discussion list Wikipedia-L to facilitate discussion of the project 
  15. ^ a b Sidener, Jonathan 6 December 2004 "Everyone's Encyclopedia" The San Diego Union-Tribune Retrieved 25 March 2007 
  16. ^ a b c d "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir – Part I" and "Part II", Slashdot, April 2005 Retrieved on 25 March 2007 "The actual development of this encyclopedia was the task he gave me to work on So I arrived in San Diego in early February, 2000, to get to work One of the first things I asked Jimmy is how free a rein I had in designing the project What were my constraints, and in what areas was I free to exercise my own creativity He replied, as I clearly recall, that most of the decisions should be mine; and in most respects, as a manager, Jimmy was indeed very hands-off Nevertheless, I always did consult with him about important decisions, and moreover, I wanted his advice Now, Jimmy was quite clear that he wanted the project to be in principle open to everyone to develop, just as open source software is to an extent Beyond this, however, I believe I was given a pretty free rein So I spent the first month or so thinking very broadly about different possibilities" —Larry Sanger
  17. ^ Kaplan Andreas, Haenlein Michael 2014 Collaborative projects social media application: About Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Business Horizons, Volume 57 Issue 5, pp617–626
  18. ^ a b My resignation: Larry Sanger metawikimediacom – "I was more or less offered the job of editing Nupedia when I was, as an ABD philosophy graduate student, soliciting Jimbo's and other friends' advice on a website I was thinking of starting It was the first I had heard of Jimbo's idea of an open content encyclopedia, and I was delighted to take the job"
  19. ^ a b "Ben Kovitz" WikiWikiWeb Retrieved 25 March 2007  – see also Ben Kovitz' fuller account which he links from there
  20. ^ a b c Moody, Glyn 13 July 2006 "This time, it'll be a Wikipedia written by experts" London: The Guardian Retrieved 25 March 2007 -- While casting around for a way to speed up article production, Sanger met with Ben Kovitz, an old friend, in January 2001 Kovitz introduced Sanger to the idea of the wiki, invented in 1995 by Ward Cunningham: web pages that anyone could write and edit "My first reaction was that this really could be what would solve the problem," Sanger explains, "because the software was already written, and this community of people on WikiWikiWeb" – the first wiki – "had created something like 14,000 pages" Nupedia, by contrast, had produced barely two dozen articles Sanger took up the idea immediately: "I wrote up a proposal and sent it that evening, and the wiki was then set up for me to work on" But this was not Wikipedia as we know it "Originally it was the Nupedia Wiki – our idea was to use it as an article incubator for Nupedia Articles could begin life on this wiki, be developed collaboratively and, when they got to a certain stage of development, be put it into the Nupedia system"
  21. ^ a b Sidener, Jonathan 23 September 2006 "Wikipedia co-founder looks to add accountability, end anarchy" The San Diego Union-Tribune Retrieved 25 March 2007 The origins of Wikipedia date to 2000, when Sanger was finishing his doctoral thesis in philosophy and had an idea for a Web site 
  22. ^ Poe, Marshall September 2006 "The Hive" The Atlantic Monthly p 3 Retrieved 25 March 2007 -- Over tacos that night, Sanger explained his concerns about Nupedia's lack of progress, the root cause of which was its serial editorial system As Nupedia was then structured, no stage of the editorial process could proceed before the previous stage was completed Kovitz brought up the wiki and sketched out "wiki magic", the mysterious process by which communities with common interests work to improve wiki pages by incremental contributions If it worked for the rambunctious hacker culture of programming, Kovitz said, it could work for any online collaborative project The wiki could break the Nupedia bottleneck by permitting volunteers to work simultaneously all over the project With Kovitz in tow, Sanger rushed back to his apartment and called Wales to share the idea Over the next few days he wrote a formal proposal for Wales and started a page on Cunningham's wiki called "WikiPedia"
  23. ^ a b Wales, Jimmy 30 October 2001 "LinkBacks" Email Wikimedia Retrieved 25 March 2007 
  24. ^ "Assignment Zero First Take: Wiki Innovators Rethink Openness" Wired News 3 May 2007 Archived from the original on 2014-03-28 Retrieved 1 November 2007  Wiredcom states: "Wales offered the following on-the-record comment in an e-mail to NewAssignmentnet editor Jay Rosen 'Larry Sanger was my employee working under my direct supervision during the entire process of launching Wikipedia He was not the originator of the proposal to use a wiki for the encyclopedia project – that was Jeremy Rosenfeld'"
  25. ^ Rogers Cadenhead "Wikipedia Founder Looks Out for Number 1" Retrieved 15 October 2006 
  26. ^ Also stated on Wikipedia, on Friday 2 December 2005 permanent reference
  27. ^ Stated on Wikipedia on Monday 14 March 2005: reference
  28. ^ Larry Sanger 10 January 2001 "Let's make a wiki" Nupedia mailing list Archived from the original on 14 April 2003 
  29. ^ Message by Jimmy Wales Wednesday 17 December 2008 Retrieved Saturday 30 January 2010
  30. ^ "Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles" Wikipedia Retrieved on Tuesday 30 January 2007
  31. ^ The Wikipedia Revolution by Andrew Lih
  32. ^ Larry Sanger "Wikipedia is up!" Nupedia-l mailing list message Wednesday 17 January 2001
  33. ^ a b "Britannica and Free Content" Slashdot 26 July 2001 
  34. ^ "Nupedia and Project Gutenberg Directors Answer" Slashdot 5 March 2001 
  35. ^ "Everything2 Hits One Million Nodes" Slashdot 29 March 2001 
  36. ^ Britannica or Nupedia The Future of Free Encyclopedias Wednesday 25 July 2001
  37. ^ "Fact driven Collegial This site wants you" New York Times Thursday 20 September 2001 Retrieved Wednesday 17 July 2013
  38. ^ Announcement of finding of Wikipedia's earliest history Wikimediaorg 2010 Retrieved 5 April 2013
  39. ^ "Alternative language Wikipedias" Lists Wikimedia 15 March 2001 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  40. ^ "History of the Catalan Homepage" Wikipedia Archived from the original on 13 April 2001 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  41. ^ The Wayback Machine: An early Japanese Wikipedia HomePage revision #3, dated Tuesday 20 March 2001 23:00 Retrieved Tuesday 4 November 2008
  42. ^ An Internet Archive's snapshot of English Wikipedia HomePage, dated Friday 30 March 2001, showing links to the three first sister projects, "Deutsch German", "Catalan", and "Nihongo Japanese"
  43. ^ Multilingual monthly statistics
  44. ^ "First edition in the Catalan Wikipedia" in Catalan Wikipedia Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  45. ^ This table, for instance, misses Japanese and German articles such as this one and this one, both dated 6 April 2001
  46. ^ The Documentation on the French Wikipedia mentions the date of 23 March 2001, but this date is not supported by Wikipedia snapshots on the Internet Archive, nor by Jason Richney's letter, which was dated 11 May 2001 see below
  47. ^ Letter of Jason Richey to wikipedia-l mailing list 11 May 2001
  48. ^ "Homepage from the Internet Archive" Wikipedia Archived from the original on 18 November 2001 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  49. ^ Wikipedia:Announcements May 2001
  50. ^ "International Wikipedia" Wikipedia Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  51. ^ Wikipedia: Announcements 2001
  52. ^ "International Wikipedias statistics" Wikipedia Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  53. ^ a b Schiff, Stacy 31 July 2006 "Know It All" The New Yorker Archived from the original on 22 November 2008 Retrieved 25 April 2009 
  54. ^ Anderson, Nate 25 February 2007 "Citizendium: building a better Wikipedia" Ars Technica Retrieved 22 October 2011 
  55. ^ "Family-Friendly Policy" encitizendiumorg Retrieved 16 November 2013
  56. ^ a b Anderson, Nate 25 February 2007 "Citizendium: building a better Wikipedia" Ars Technica Retrieved 25 March 2007 
  57. ^ Poe, Marshall September 2006 "The Hive" The Atlantic Retrieved 1 January 2007 
  58. ^ Larry Sanger 10 January 2001 "Let's make a wiki" Nupedia-l mailing list Internet Archive Archived from the original on 14 April 2003 
  59. ^ " Re: The wiki" nupediacom Archived from the original on 14 April 2003 
  60. ^ Network Solutions 2007 WHOIS domain registration information results for wikipediacom from Network Solutions Retrieved 27 July 2007
  61. ^ Network Solutions 2007 "WHOIS domain registration information results for wikipediaorg from Network Solutions" Retrieved 27 July 2007
  62. ^ "Wikipediaorg Site Info" Alexa Internet Retrieved 6 September 2010 
  63. ^ Wales on Sunday 26 August 2001 Knowledge at your fingertips Game On : Internet Chatwriting, "Both Encarta and Britannica are official publications with well-deserved reputations But there are other options, such as the homemade encyclopaedias One is Wikipedia wwwwikipediacom which uses clever software to build an encyclopaedia from scratch Wiki is software installed on a web server that allows anyone to edit any of the pages At the Wikipedia, anyone can write about any subject they know about The idea is that over time, enough experts will offer their knowledge for free and build up the world's ultimate hand-built database of knowledge The disadvantage is that it's still an ongoing project So far about 8,000 articles have been written and the editors are aiming for 100,000"
  64. ^ October 2001 homepage screenshot shows the "Breaking News" header up top, as well as the 11 September 2001 block of articles under "Current events"; the 9/11 page shows the activist nature of the page, as well as the large number of subtopics created to cover the event
  65. ^ a b "387 F3d 1303" PDF Archived from the original PDF on 2012-12-21 Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  66. ^ Peoples, Lee January 2010 "The Citation of Wikipedia in Judicial Opinions" Yale Journal of Law and Technology 12
  67. ^ a b WP:BLP was started on 17 December 2005, with the narrative "I started this due to the Daniel Brandt situation" Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons
  68. ^ "Growing pains for Wikipedia" CNET Retrieved 16 July 2010
  69. ^ Similar Search Results: Google Wins 29 January 2007
  70. ^ See the special page: Special:Statistics: 5,078,036 registered user accounts as at 13 August 2007, excluding anonymous editors who have not created accounts
  71. ^ Source: Wikipedia:Size comparisons as of 13 August 2007
  72. ^ From around Q3 2006 Wikipedia's growth rate has been approximately linear, source: Wikipedia:Statistics – new article count by month 2006–2007
  73. ^ eg, cases such as Crystal Gail Mangum and Daniel Brandt
  74. ^ "English Wikipedia Reaches 2 Million Articles" Wikimedia Foundation, 9 September 2007 Retrieved 3 June 2012
  75. ^ "Ciekawe wydarzenia w Internecie" PC World Polish in Polish 1 December 2007 Retrieved 26 April 2013 
  76. ^ Yves Nevelsteen 15 September 2007 "Volapuko jam superas Esperanton en Türk Arama Motoruo" Libera Folio in Esperanto Retrieved 26 April 2013 
  77. ^ Simonite, Tom 22 October 2013 "The Decline of Wikipedia" MIT Technology Review Retrieved 7 November 2013 
  78. ^ "Wikipedia Statistics, Article count official" Wikimediaorg December 2014 Retrieved 20 December 2014
  79. ^ "Three million articles" Wikipedia Signpost 17 August 2009 Retrieved 7 April 2012
  80. ^ "Wikipedia – 50 Best Websites 2009" TIME 24 August 2009 Retrieved 24 November 2011
  81. ^ Bergsma, Mark 24 March 2010 "Global Outage cooling failure and DNS" Wikimedia Technical Blog Retrieved 30 March 2010 
  82. ^ Perez, Juan Carlos 25 March 2010 "Wikipedia Suffers Global Collapse" PC World Retrieved 30 March 2010 
  83. ^ a b "New features" Wikipedia Archived from the original on 2010-08-22 Retrieved 6 September 2010 
  84. ^ Total edits in Wikimedia projects – 1 billionth edit screenshot Retrieved 19 November 2011
  85. ^ "Wikipedia 10" Tenwikipediaorg Retrieved 26 February 2014 
  86. ^ Wikipedia celebrates a decade of edit wars, controversy and Internet dominance networkworldcom
  87. ^ "Wikipedia hosts India conference amid expansion push" BBC News 19 November 2011
  88. ^ "Wikipedia, 10 years old, targets India" Reuters 12 January 2011 Retrieved 13 January 2011 
  89. ^ "Italian Wikipedia Hidden To Protest WireTap Law" PC Magazine Retrieved 6 October 2011
  90. ^ Kapoor, Amit 26 October 2011 "Wikipedia seeks global operator partners to enable free access" Wikimedia blog 
  91. ^ "Wikipedia Zero" MediaWiki Retrieved 27 May 2012 
  92. ^ TJ Ortenzi, Wikipedia blackout coming 18 January, says co-founder Jimmy Wales The Washington Post 16 January 2012
  93. ^ "Russian Wikipedia shuts in protest" UKPA via Google 10 July 2012 
  94. ^ "Wikidata announcement on Facebook" Wikimedia Deutschland Retrieved 28 October 2015 
  95. ^ "Wikidata to provide structured data for all Wikipedia versions" CNET 30 March 2012 Retrieved 1 April 2012
  96. ^ Perez, Sarah 30 March 2012 "Wikipedia's Next Big Thing: Wikidata, A Machine-Readable, User-Editable Database Funded By Google, Paul Allen And Others" TechCrunch 
  97. ^ a b c Pintscher, Lydia 13 February 2013 "Wikidata live on the English Wikipedia" Wikimedia Deutschland Retrieved 15 February 2013 
  98. ^ James Titcomb "First man to make 1 million Wikipedia edits" Daily Telegraph 20 April 2012 Retrieved 14 February 2013
  99. ^ "Wikipedia Volunteer Editor Reaches 1 Million Edits" Mashable 24 April 2012 Retrieved 14 February 2013
  100. ^ "Hardest working man on the internet passes one million Wikipedia edits" Engadgetcom Retrieved 3 September 2012 
  101. ^ Alissa Skelton 23 April 2012 "Wikipedia Volunteer Editor Reaches 1 Million Edits" Mashable Retrieved 24 October 2012 
  102. ^ a b "English language Wikipedia hits 4 million articles!" Wikimedia UK Blog Wikimedia UK Retrieved 13 July 2012 
  103. ^ Rosen, Rebecca J 25 October 2012 "Surmounting the Insurmountable: Wikipedia Is Nearing Completion, in a Sense" The Atlantic Retrieved 27 October 2012 
  104. ^ Wikipediaorg Site Info Alexacom Retrieved 8 November 2012
  105. ^ http://allthingsdcom/20121220/the-fifth-biggest-site-in-the-world-operated-on-a-budget-of-27m-last-year, by Liz Gannes; AllThingsD became a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Company Inc in 2005, and was absorbed into WSJcom during 2013
  106. ^ Workman, Robert 5 February 2013 "Asteroid Re-Named 'Wikipedia'" TechNewsDaily Retrieved 7 February 2013 
  107. ^ Willsher, Kim 7 April 2013 "French secret service accused of censorship over Wikipedia page" The Guardian London Retrieved 9 April 2013 
  108. ^ a b Arthur, Charles 2 July 2013 "Boot up: wireless contact lens, Wikipedia's visual editing, Samsung's share slide and more" The Guardian London Retrieved 2 July 2013 
  109. ^ a b "Edit Wikipedia on the go" Wikimediaorg 25 July 2013 Retrieved 2 April 2014
  110. ^ "Wikipedia 1,000-volume print edition planned" The Guardian 20 February 2014 Retrieved 12 April 2014 
  111. ^ Day, Matthew 10 October 2014 "Polish town to build statue honouring Wikipedia" Daily Telegraph Retrieved 11 October 2014 
  112. ^ "Wikimedia Statistics" 20 April 2011 Retrieved 14 October 2011 
  113. ^ Jennifer Schuessler, “Moving Wikipedia From Computer to Many, Many Bookshelves” New York Times, 16 June 2015
  114. ^ "Wikipediaorg Site Info" Alexa Internet Retrieved 7 July 2016 
  115. ^ Lih, Andrew March 17, 2009 The Wikipedia Revolution Hachette Digital, Inc pp 99–106 ISBN 9781401395858 
  116. ^ Lih, p 99
  117. ^ "Server swapping soon" Retrieved 10 February 2007 
  118. ^ "Wikipedia:Categorization", Wikipedia Retrieved on 30 January 2007
  119. ^ "Wikipedia:Template namespace", Wikipedia Retrieved on 17 September 2007
  120. ^ "Wikipedia:Featured articles" Wikipedia Retrieved 30 January 2007
  121. ^ "International logo vote/Finalists" Meta-Wiki Wikimedia Retrieved 8 July 2006 
  122. ^ "Portal:Biology" English Wikipedia Retrieved 31 January 2007
  123. ^ Portals on German Wikipedia ordered by date of creation
  124. ^ "NeutralPointOfView" Wikipedia Archived from the original on 16 April 2001 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  125. ^ "A few things are absolute and non-negotiable, though NPOV for example" in statement by Jimbo Wales in November 2003 and, in this thread reconfirmed by Jimbo Wales in April 2006 in the context of lawsuits
  126. ^ Nupediacom editorial policy guidelines Version 331 16 November 2000 Retrieved 7 September 2007
  127. ^ "Nupedia articles are, in terms of their content, to be unbiased There may be respectable reference works that permit authors to take recognizable stands on controversial issues, but this is not one of them "On every issue is it very difficult or impossible for the reader to determine what the view is to which the author adheres" for each controversial view discussed, the author of an article at a bare minimum mention various opposing views that are taken seriously by any significant minority of experts or concerned parties on the subject In a final version of the article, every party to the controversy in question must be able to judge that its views have been fairly presented, or as fairly as is possible in a context in which other, opposing views must also be presented as fairly as possible" webarchiveorg
  128. ^ "Wikipedia:WikiProject proposal – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" English Wikipedia 18 May 2008 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  129. ^ Why we are here and not in Wikipedia in Spanish, under GFDL
  130. ^ "Estadísticas – Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre" in Spanish Eswikipediaorg Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  131. ^ First substantial edit to Wikipedia:Manual of Style, Wikipedia 23 August 2002 Retrieved on 30 January 2007
  132. ^ "Wikimedia News/2002 – Meta" Metawikimediaorg Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  133. ^ "Wikipedia:Autobiography – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" Enwikipediaorg 30 July 2003 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  134. ^ "Wikipedia:Community Portal", Wikipedia Retrieved on 30 January 2007
  135. ^ "CheckUser policy", Meta-Wiki Retrieved on 25 January 2007 Checkuser function had previously existed, but was known as Espionage – for example, in the Arbitration Committee case of JarlaxleArtemis
  136. ^ Checkuser proposal
  137. ^ "Page creation restrictions", Wikipedia Signpost / English Wikipedia Retrieved on 31 January 2007
  138. ^ "Semi-protection policy", Wikipedia Signpost / English Wikipedia Retrieved on 30 January 2007
  139. ^ Esperanza organization disbanded after deletion discussion 2 January 2007
  140. ^ a b "Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Esperanza – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" Enwikipediaorg Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  141. ^ New group aims to promote Wiki-Love 19 September 2005
  142. ^ Riehle, Dirk "How and Why Wikipedia Works: An Interview with Angela Beesley, Elisabeth Bauer, and Kizu Naoko" Riehleorg 2006
  143. ^ "Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2006-01-16/Trademark registered" Wikipedia 16 January 2006 Retrieved 14 January 2007 
  144. ^ "Angela Beesley resigns from Wikimedia Foundation board", Wikimedia Foundation press release, 7 July 2006
  145. ^ One million Wikipedia articles
  146. ^ "Wikipedia Publishes 500,000th English Article" Wikimediafoundationorg Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  147. ^ a b While this article was announced as the milestone on the Main Page, multiple articles qualified due to the continuous creation and deletion of pages on the site
  148. ^ "English Wikipedia Announces Thousandth Featured Article" Wikimedia Foundation 8 June 2006 Retrieved 21 December 2012
  149. ^ Welcome speech, Jimbo Wales, Wikimania 2006 audio
  150. ^ "A Schools Global Citizen Resource from SOS Children" Fixedreferenceorg Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  151. ^ "Fund drives/2005/Q1" Wikimedia Foundation Retrieved 25 January 2007
  152. ^ "Fund drives/2005/Q4" Wikimedia Foundation Retrieved 25 January 2007
  153. ^ "UPDATED: Analysis: Wikipedia's 2008 fund raising campaign" TGDaily 9 January 2009 Retrieved 4 January 2012
  154. ^ MSNBC
  155. ^ Huffington Post
  156. ^ "Wikipedia Kicks Off 2010 Fundraising Campaign" Newssoftpediacom 2010 Retrieved 10 November 2013
  157. ^ "Wikipedia hits $16 million fundraising target" TGDaily 3 January 2011 Retrieved 17 May 2011
  158. ^ "Wikimedia donations total US$20 million for 2011" TGDaily 2 January 2012 Retrieved 4 January 2012
  159. ^ "Wikipedia raises $25 million during fundraising campaign" Tom's Guide 29 December 2012 Retrieved 10 November 2012 
  160. ^ In deciding the trademark of F1 racing, the UK Intellectual Property Office considered both the reliability of Wikipedia, and its usefulness as a reliable source of evidence: "Wikipedia has sometimes suffered from the self-editing that is intrinsic to it, giving rise at times to potentially libellous statements However, inherently, I cannot see that what is in Wikipedia is any less likely to be true than what is published in a book or on the websites of news organisations did not express any concerns about the Wikipedia evidence I consider that the evidence from Wikipedia can be taken at face value" The case turned substantively upon evidence cited from Wikipedia in 2006 as to the usage and interpretation of the term "F1"
  161. ^ "On Wikipedia, Debating 2008 Hopefuls' Every Facet" Washington Post 17 September 2007 "at the same time, it's hard to find a more up-to-date, detailed, thorough article on Obama than Wikipedia's As of Friday, Obama's article – more than 22 pages long, with 15 sections covering his personal and professional life – had a reference list of 167 sources"
  162. ^ "Wikipedia emerges as key source for Virginia Tech shootings" New York Times via Cyberjournalistnet 2007 "Even The Roanoke Times, which is published near Blacksburg, Va, where the university is located, noted on Thursday that Wikipedia 'has emerged as the clearinghouse for detailed information on the event'"
  163. ^ "A History Department Bans Citing Wikipedia as a Research Source" New York Times 21 February 2007
  164. ^ Child, Maxwell L "Professors Split on Wiki Debate" The Harvard Crimson 26 February 2007
  165. ^ "Wikipedia 'edit wars' revealed" BBC 18 July 2013 Retrieved 18 July 2013 
  166. ^ "Atze muss zahlen", Klemperts' blog "recent changes" on 27 June 2007: Recentchangesde
  167. ^ "Caught in the deadly web of the internet" Robert Fisk The Independent 21 April 2007 Retrieved 24 July 2007
  168. ^ Jay, Paul 22 June 2007 "A question of authority" CBC News Archived from the original on 2007-06-29 Retrieved 24 July 2007 
  169. ^ "Lawmaker apologizes for blocking Wikipedia" Reuters 19 November 2008 Retrieved 20 November 2008 
  170. ^ News release of Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland Retrieved 10 December 2008
  171. ^ "Wikimedia Deutschland press release" PDF Archived from the original PDF on 2010-12-04 ; ORF Futurezone Retrieved 27 May 2010
  172. ^ Weltde: Wie ich im Internet zum Juden erklärt wurde
  173. ^ Schwartz, John 12 November 2009 "Two German Killers Demanding Anonymity Sue Wikipedia's Parent" New York Times Retrieved 13 November 2009 
  174. ^ "Copy of cease and desist letter PDF" PDF Wired Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  175. ^ Terdiman, Daniel December 21, 2005 "Wikipedia founder modifies his bio" CNET 
  176. ^ a b c d e f Bergstein, Brian 25 March 2007 "Sanger says he co-started Wikipedia" msnbccom Associated Press Retrieved 28 March 2007 The nascent Web encyclopedia Citizendium springs from Larry Sanger, a philosophy PhD who counts himself as a co-founder of Wikipedia, the site he now hopes to usurp The claim doesn't seem particularly controversial – Sanger has long been cited as a co-founder Yet the other founder, Jimmy Wales, isn't happy about it  — Brian Bergstein
  177. ^ "Rules To Consider" Ignore all rules Internet Archive Archived from the original on 16 April 2001 Retrieved 25 March 2007 
  178. ^ Thomson, Iain 13 April 2007 "Wikipedia 'broken beyond repair' says co-founder" Information World Review Retrieved 15 April 2007 
  179. ^ a b Mitchell, Dan 24 December 2005 "Insider Editing at Wikipedia" The New York Times Retrieved 25 March 2007 
  180. ^ Hansen, Evan 19 December 2005 "Wikipedia Founder Edits Own Bio" Wired Wired News Archived from the original on 2006-12-30 Retrieved 25 March 2007 
  181. ^ Finkelstein, Seth 12 February 2009 "What's in a name Everything, when you're talking wiki value" The Guardian London Retrieved 12 February 2009 
  182. ^ a b Peter Meyers 20 September 2001 "Fact-Driven Collegial This Site Wants You" The New York Times Retrieved 18 April 2007 It's kind of surprising that you could just open up a site and let people work," said Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's co-founder and the chief executive of Bomis, a San Diego search engine company that donates the computer resources for the project "There's kind of this real social pressure to not argue about things" Instead, he said, "there's a general consensus among all of the really busy volunteers about what an encyclopedia article needs to be like 
  183. ^ James Niccolai, "Wikipedia taking on the vandals in Germany" PC Advisor 26 September 2006
  184. ^ Bishop, Todd 26 January 2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Microsoft Notebook: Wiki pioneer planted the seed and watched it grow
  185. ^ Wales, Jimmy 6 August 2002 "3apes open content web directory" Yahoo! Tech Groups forum post WebCite Archived from the original on 1 April 2009 Retrieved 3 April 2009 I'm Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Nupedia and Wikipedia, the open content encyclopedias 
  186. ^ a b "nupedia-l Introduction" Webarchiveorg Archived from the original on 10 July 2003 Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  187. ^ Heim, Judy 4 September 2001 "Free the Encyclopedias!" Technology Review Retrieved 25 March 2007 
  188. ^ a b "GNUPedia Project Announcement – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation FSF" Webarchiveorg Archived from the original on 9 November 2013 Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  189. ^ "slec : Mensajes : 194–223 de 3699" Argroupsyahoocom Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  190. ^ Norwegian https://wwwgnuorg/encyclopedia/anencyctxt
  191. ^ "GNUPedia Anuncio del Proyecto – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation FSF" Webarchiveorg Archived from the original on 12 May 2013 Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  192. ^ "GNUPedia Project Starting" Slashdot Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  193. ^ " Nupedia" Listsgnuorg Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  194. ^ "Re: Nupedia" Listsgnuorg Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  195. ^ "Re: Important decisions should not be rushed" Listsgnuorg Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  196. ^ "Re: GNE 's Not Nupedia" Listsgnuorg 8 February 2001 Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  197. ^ "About the project" Listsgnuorg 3 February 2001 Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  198. ^ "Advertising on Wikipedia – Meta" Metawikimediaorg Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  199. ^ "Advertising on Wikipedia – Meta" Metawikimediaorg Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  200. ^ " Announcing Wikimedia Foundation" Listswikimediaorg Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  201. ^ "Frequently asked questions" Wikimedia Foundation Retrieved 19 November 2013 
  202. ^ Nature "Internet encyclopaedias go head to head" Naturecom Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  203. ^ "The Nature peer review" Nature Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  204. ^ Britannica: Fatally Flawed Refuting the recent study on encyclopedic accuracy by the journal Nature PDF
  205. ^ Nature's responses to Encyclopædia Britannica, Nature 23 March 2006 Retrieved on 25 January 2007
  206. ^ Nate Anderson 31 January 2006 "Congressional staffers edit boss's bio on Wikipedia" arstechnica Condé Nast Retrieved 9 June 2014 
  207. ^ Information included the mention of an opponent's son's arrest in a fatal drunk driving accident, and allegations of questionable business practices of another opponent "Online postings changed; ex-Gregoire aide resigns" Seattle Times 28 April 2006 Archived from the original on 2011-05-24 Retrieved 27 July 2013 
  208. ^ "Wikipedia Founder Refutes Claims That It Banned Qatar" Thomas Claburn InformationWeek 2 January 2007
  209. ^ Bergstein, Brian 23 January 2007 "Microsoft offers cash for Wikipedia edit" MSNBC Retrieved 1 February 2007 
  210. ^ Schiff, Stacy 24 July 2006 "Annals of Information: Know It All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise" The New Yorker Archived from the original on 2006-08-13 Retrieved 16 April 2007 
  211. ^ Finkelstein, Seth 8 March 2007 "Read me first" The Guardian London Retrieved 16 April 2007 
  212. ^ "Braindead obituarists hoaxed by Wikipedia" Andrew Orlowski The Register 3 October 2007
  213. ^ "Bauer v Wikimedia et al | Electronic Frontier Foundation" Efforg Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  214. ^ "EFF and Sheppard Mullin Defend Wikipedia in Defamation Case | Electronic Frontier Foundation" Efforg 2 May 2008 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  215. ^ Motion to quash case PDF EFForg 1 May 2008 Retrieved 19 October 2012
  216. ^ "Bauer v Wikimedia | Citizen Media Law Project" Citmedialaworg 31 January 2008 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  217. ^ Maev Kennedy "Legal row over National Portrait Gallery images placed on Wikipedia" The Guardian 14 July 2009
  218. ^ "National Portrait Gallery receives support from BAPLA in its legal fight against Wikipedia" Bjp-onlinecom Archived from the original on 16 January 2010 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  219. ^ BBC Gallery in Wikipedia legal threat
  220. ^ "National Portrait Gallery sues Wikipedia" Metrocouk 14 July 2009 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  221. ^ BBC "Wikipedia painting row escalates" 17 July 2009
  222. ^ Schofield, Jack 12 May 2010 "Wikipedia's porn purge, and cleaning up for the iPad" London: guardiancouk Retrieved 24 October 2010 
  223. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Wikipedia's Parent Company Starts Purging Porn From Its Websites" Fox News 7 May 2010 Retrieved 24 October 2010 
  224. ^ "Wikimedia pornography row deepens as Wales cedes rights" BBC 10 May 2010 Retrieved 24 October 2010 
  225. ^ "Jimmy Wales – Where things stand now" 8 May 2010 Retrieved 28 November 2010 
  226. ^ "Wikimedia pornography row deepens as Wales cedes rights" BBC 10 May 2010 Retrieved 28 November 2010 
  227. ^ Andy McSmith 30 November 2012 "Leveson's Wikipedia moment: how internet 'research' on The Independent's history left him red-faced" The Independent London Retrieved 8 December 2012 
  228. ^ "The Leveson Inquiry: Hacked to pieces" The Economist 8 December 2012 Retrieved 26 December 2012 
  229. ^ Gray, Lila September 17, 2013 "Wikipedia Gives Porn a Break" XBIZcom Retrieved October 20, 2013 
  230. ^ Cohen, Jason Z 3 March 2008 "Citizendium's Larry Sanger: Experts Make It Better" LinuxInsider ECT News Network Retrieved 8 March 2008 
  231. ^ McCarthy, Caroline 23 January 2007 "Citizendium: Wikipedia co-founder Sanger's Wikipedia rival" CNET News Retrieved 5 April 2007 
  232. ^ "Wikipedia, Die freie Enzyklopädie" in German Retrieved 25 April 2007 
  233. ^ "Neue Wikipedia-DVD im Handel und zum Download" in German Retrieved 25 April 2007 
  234. ^ "Wikipedia wird noch nicht gedruckt" in German Retrieved 25 April 2007 
  235. ^ Titelinformationen, Bertelsmann site Retrieved 7 October 2008
  236. ^ "SOS Children releases 2006 Wikipedia CD Selection" SOS Children 4 June 2006 Retrieved 25 April 2007 
  237. ^ "Wikipedia 05 available on a CD-ROM" April 2007 Retrieved 25 April 2007 
  238. ^ "Wikipedia maakt cd voor internetlozen" in Dutch tweakersnet 25 April 2007 Retrieved 25 April 2007 
  239. ^ "Encyclopodia – the encyclopedia on your iPod" Sourceforge Retrieved 25 April 2007 
  240. ^ "Judge tosses Matawan literary agent's defamation lawsuit against Wikipedia – Asbury Park Press" Mappcom Archived from the original on 2008-08-28 Retrieved 13 April 2010 
  241. ^ Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-11-05/French lawsuit 5 November 2007
  242. ^ In legal victory, German court rules Wikimedia Foundation need not proactively check for illegal or inaccurate content, Wikimedia Blog

External links

Wikipedia records and archives

Wikipedia's project files contain a large quantity of reference and archive material Useful internal resources on Wikipedia history include:

Historical summaries

  • Category:Wikipedia years – historical events by year
  • Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles
  • History of Wikipedia – from the Wikipedia:Meta
  • Wikipedia:Historic debates
  • Wikipedia:Wikipedia records
  • meta:Wikimedia News – news and milestones index from all Wikipedias
  • Wikipedia:History of Wikipedia bots

Size and statistics

  • Statswikimediaorg – the Wikimedia Foundation's main interface for all project statistics, including the various and combined Wikipedia's
  • Wikipedia:Milestones
  • Wikipedia:Statistics
  • Wikipedia:Size of Wikipedia

Discussion and debate archives

  • Wikipedia:Mailing lists
  • Wikipedia:Announcement archive


  • Wikipedia:CamelCase and Wikipedia
  • Nostalgia Wikipedia – a snapshot of Wikipedia from 20 December 2001, running a later version of MediaWiki for security reasons but using a skin that looks like the software of the time
  • Larry Sanger on the origins of Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia:Volunteer Fire Department – handling of major editorial influx Disbanded when no longer needed 2004
  • Wikipedia:Magnus Manske Day – MediaWiki software goes live into production

Sister projects

Third party

  • The Free Universal Encyclopedia and Learning Resource — Free Software Foundation endorsement of Nupedia later updated to include Wikipedia 1999
  • Early Wikipedia snapshot via Internet Archive 28 February 2001
  • New York Times on Wikipedia September 2001
  • Larry Sanger "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir" and "Part II" Slashdot 18 April 2005 – 19 April 2005
  • Giles, Jim, "Internet encyclopaedias go head to head" Nature comparison between Wikipedia and Britannica 14 December 2005 subscription required
  • "Fatally Flawed: Refuting the recent study on encyclopedic accuracy by the journal Nature" Encyclopædia Britannica March 2006
  • Nature's responses to Encyclopædia Britannica Nature 23 March 2006 subscription required

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History of Wikipedia

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History of Wikipedia
History of Wikipedia
History of Wikipedia viewing the topic.
History of Wikipedia what, History of Wikipedia who, History of Wikipedia explanation

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