What is Wikipedia and is it Accurate?
What is Wikipedia
In short, Wikipedia is a multilingual, openly collaborative online information platform. Like the "wikis" that came before it, the online encyclopedia's content is editable by volunteers from across the globe. Wikipedia has tens of thousands of editors, from issue experts to the casual fans, who can expand, delete, or change information at will. This allows for a wide array of information to be supplied and verified about a particular person, place, or thing. As a result, Wikipedia can function as a great starting point for research, providing users with general information that can be followed up with more legitimate and reliable sources outside of the site.
Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Sanger coined its name as a portmanteau of "wiki" and "encyclopedia". It was initially an English-language encyclopedia, but versions in other languages were quickly developed. With 6.3 million articles, the English Wikipedia is the largest of the 317 Wikipedia encyclopedias. Overall, Wikipedia comprises more than 55 million articles, attracting 1.7 billion unique visitors per month.
Wikipedia has been criticized for its uneven accuracy and for exhibiting systemic bias, including gender bias, with the majority of editors being male.[undue weight? – discuss] Edit-a-thons have been held to encourage female editors and increase the coverage of women's topics. In 2006, Time magazine stated that the open-door policy of allowing anyone to edit had made Wikipedia the biggest and possibly the best encyclopedia in the world, and was a testament to the vision of Jimmy Wales. The project's reputation improved further in the 2010s as it increased efforts to improve its quality and reliability, based on its unique structure, curation and absence of commercial bias. In 2018, Facebook and YouTube announced that they would help users detect fake news by suggesting links to related Wikipedia articles.