Maybe you didn’t grow up with the internet, or maybe you’re just curious about what exactly Wikipedia is. For starters, Wikipedia is a free online reference library for all internet users to use. Students often come across Wikipedia when doing research for school projects, and everyday searchers likely see Wikipedia in search results for answers to common knowledge questions.
Wikipedia contains millions of articles of information that are further divided into subpages called “Wikis,” which make the library much easier to navigate and more user friendly. The online resource is managed by a community of volunteer Wiki editors to ensure that information is factually accurate and up-to-date.
What is the purpose of Wikipedia?
Wikipedia was created to share the world’s knowledge with everyone. It is the world’s largest free and non-profit online encyclopedia for public use to reference. It strives to maintain a neutral point of view and maintain as much factual information as possible.
Information can be added, edited, or removed by anyone who creates a Wikipedia account, but changes may take time to be approved and reflected by the editorial team. Although Wikipedia often earns a bad reputation from educators because of this ability for virtually anyone to change published information, it is verified information that is fact-checked by a team of volunteer editors regularly.
Why should I have a Wikipedia page?
Notable figures and business owners alike can consider creating their own Wikipedia page for searchers to easily find commonly accessible information about their lives and brands, respectively.
Having a Wikipedia page allows you to share public information about yourself or your brand to a much larger audience. You can choose to include information that many might not know about you, which may add interest or appeal to yourself or your brand.
Including humanitarian or volunteer work, environmental or social commitments are great ideas to include on your Wiki page. You may also include external links for further reference at the bottom of your Wikipedia page that viewers can click on to find more information about you.
Who writes content for Wikipedia?
The Wikipedia community of users is responsible for writing and maintaining Wikipedia articles. There are millions of articles within the free encyclopedia, so Wikipedia contributors are responsible for making sure information published is accurate and reliably sourced.
Information is considered open source, meaning it should be easily accessible and common knowledge to those who seek it. Sources of information should be unbiased and as factual as possible.
Who owns Wikipedia?
Wikipedia is an open source, free online encyclopedia, so there is no owner of Wikipedia per say. You could think of it like every user has partial ownership to make sure information is correct and to report misinformation when you see it.
However, as Wikipedia has grown, it now lives as a property under the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation group. The current CEO is Maryana Iskander.
What is the history of Wikipedia?
Wikipedia originated from another encyclopedia project called Nupedia back in 2000 under the ownership of Bomis, a web portal company. Bomis CEO at the time was Jimmy Wales and chief editing officer for Nupedia was Larry Sanger, and the two are now known as the co-founders of what we now call Wikipedia, which was launched in January of 2001.
While it is not the first free encyclopedia to be published on the web, it certainly has been the most successful and remains one of the top visited sites in the world to this day.
How do you know if the information on Wikipedia is correct and accurate?
Editing on Wikipedia is a process—there are protocols to ensure information isn’t carelessly deleted, misinformation caught and corrected, etc. It is daunting to know that information can be changed by any user without needing an account, however, Wikipedia utilizes a few systems to ensure falsehoods are corrected in a timely manner.
There’s a process in place with moderators to ensure accuracy of information at all times. For example, registered users are the only ones who can create new Wiki pages, add media to entries, and edit pages without their IP address being shown.
If you feel a certain page has false information, you can publicly edit it yourself or click the “Talk” tab in the upper right corner of the page and file a dispute. A dispute will alert editors and flag the page for further investigation.