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TypeOnline encyclopedia
LanguageAvailable in many languages
FounderJimmy Wales, Larry Sanger
LaunchedJanuary 15, 2001
ContentWritten and maintained by volunteers
PurposeTo provide accurate and comprehensive information on a wide range of topics
AccessFree and open to the public
Number of ArticlesOver 61 million (as of December 2021)
Number of LanguagesOver 300 (as of December 2021)

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It is a collaborative project that aims to provide accurate and comprehensive information on a wide range of topics. Wikipedia is written and maintained by volunteers from around the world, and it is funded by donations.

Wikipedia articles are written in a neutral, unbiased tone and are based on reliable sources such as academic journals, books, and news articles. The accuracy and quality of Wikipedia articles are constantly monitored and improved by the community of volunteers, who work to ensure that the information provided is accurate and up-to-date.

Wikipedia is available in many languages and is accessed by millions of people every day. It is a valuable resource for information on a wide variety of topics, including history, science, current events, and much more.


Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. The website was initially funded by Bomis, a web portal that Wales and Sanger had founded in 1996. Wikipedia was inspired by Nupedia, an online encyclopedia that was also founded by Wales and Sanger. Unlike Nupedia, which was written by experts and required a lengthy review process before articles could be published, Wikipedia allowed anyone to create and edit articles.

The concept of an online encyclopedia that was open to contributions from anyone was revolutionary at the time, and Wikipedia quickly gained popularity. By 2002, it had over 20,000 articles in English, and it had expanded to include articles in other languages by 2003.

Over the years, Wikipedia has grown significantly, and as of December 2021, it had over 61 million articles in over 300 languages. It has become a valuable resource for information on a wide range of topics and is accessed by millions of people every day. Despite some criticism for its reliance on volunteers and the potential for inaccuracies, Wikipedia has remained a popular and widely-used source of information.

Policies and laws

Wikipedia has a number of policies and guidelines that help to ensure the accuracy and quality of its articles. These policies and guidelines are created and maintained by the Wikipedia community and are intended to help ensure that the content on the site is verifiable, neutral, and free from bias.

One of the key policies of Wikipedia is the “neutral point of view” (NPOV) policy, which states that all articles should represent a neutral perspective on the subject they cover. This means that articles should not take sides or advocate for a particular point of view, but should present a balanced and unbiased view of the subject.

Other important policies include the “verifiability” policy, which requires that all information in articles be supported by reliable sources, and the “no original research” policy, which prohibits the inclusion of unpublished or original research in articles.

In addition to these policies, Wikipedia is subject to a number of laws and regulations that govern its operation. For example, Wikipedia is subject to copyright laws, which protect the intellectual property rights of the individuals and organizations that contribute content to the site. Wikipedia also has to comply with laws related to defamation, privacy, and other legal issues.


Wikipedia is a collaborative project that is governed by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the growth of Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects. The Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for the overall management and operation of Wikipedia, including its financial and legal affairs, and it works to ensure that the website is reliable, accurate, and accessible to all.

Wikipedia is written and maintained by volunteers from around the world, and the Wikimedia Foundation relies on the contributions of these volunteers to create and maintain the content on the site. Wikipedia is a decentralized organization, and decisions about the content and direction of the site are made by the community of volunteers through a process of consensus-based decision-making.

The Wikimedia Foundation is governed by a board of trustees, which is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the organization and overseeing its activities. The board of trustees is composed of individuals with expertise in fields such as technology, law, and philanthropy, and it is elected by the Wikimedia community.

In addition to the board of trustees, the Wikimedia Foundation has a number of other bodies and committees that help to govern the organization and ensure that it is operating effectively. These bodies and committees include the Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, the Wikipedia Community Council, and the Arbitration Committee, among others.


The Wikipedia community consists of the volunteers who write and maintain the content on the site, as well as the readers who use and rely on Wikipedia for information. The community is decentralized and is made up of individuals from around the world who share a common goal of creating a comprehensive and reliable source of knowledge.

Members of the Wikipedia community contribute to the site in a variety of ways, including writing and editing articles, reviewing and improving the content of existing articles, and participating in discussions about the direction and policies of the site.

The Wikipedia community is governed by a set of policies and guidelines, which are created and maintained by the community itself. Decisions about the content and direction of the site are made through a process of consensus-based decision-making, which allows the community to come to a consensus about the best course of action.

In addition to the volunteers who contribute to the site, the Wikipedia community also includes the readers who use the site as a source of information. These readers come from all over the world and represent a diverse range of backgrounds and interests. They play a critical role in the success of Wikipedia by providing feedback, support, and input into the direction of the site.

Language editions

Wikipedia is available in many languages, , there were over 300 language editions of the site. Each language edition is maintained by a community of volunteers who write and edit articles in that language. The content of the different language editions is largely the same, although there may be some variations due to cultural differences or the availability of sources.

The largest Wikipedia language editions are the English, Spanish, and French editions, which each have millions of articles. Other popular language editions include the German, Italian, Russian, and Chinese editions. There are also many smaller language editions, including editions in languages spoken by small communities or in countries with limited internet access.

The different language editions of Wikipedia are coordinated through the Wikimedia Foundation, which supports the growth and development of the site in all languages. The Wikimedia Foundation also provides tools and resources to help the different language communities collaborate and share content across language boundaries.

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