This article is about the online encyclopedia. For Wikipedia's home page, see Wikipedia's Main Page. For Wikipedia's visitor introduction, see Wikipedia's About Page. For other uses, see Wikipedia (disambiguation).
"The Free Encyclopedia" redirects here. For other encyclopedias, see List of encyclopedias.
A white sphere made of large jigsaw pieces, with letters from several alphabets shown on the pieces
The logo of Wikipedia, a globe featuring glyphs from several writing systems
Type of site
Available in 301 languages
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Created by Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger
Alexa rank Steady 5 (Global, June 2018)
Registration Optional[notes 1]
Users >273,403 active users[notes 2] and >76,254,543 registered users
Launched January 15, 2001; 17 years ago
Current status Active
CC Attribution / Share-Alike 3.0
Most text is also dual-licensed under GFDL; media licensing varies
Written in LAMP platform
OCLC number 52075003
Wikipedia (/ˌwɪkɪˈpiːdiə/ (About this sound listen), /ˌwɪkiˈpiːdiə/ (About this sound listen) WIK-ih-PEE-dee-ə) is a multilingual, web-based, free encyclopedia based on a model of openly editable content. It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, and is one of the most popular websites by Alexa rank. It is owned and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which operates on money it receives from donors.
Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Sanger coined its name, a blend of wiki[notes 3] and encyclopedia. Initially an English-language encyclopedia, versions in other languages were quickly developed. With 5,687,059 articles,[notes 4] the English Wikipedia is the largest of the more than 290 Wikipedia encyclopedias. Overall, Wikipedia comprises more than 40 million articles in 301 different languages and had 18 billion page views and nearly 500 million unique visitors each month as of February 2014.
As of March 2017, Wikipedia had about 40,000 Featured Articles and Good Articles covering vital topics. In 2005, Nature published a peer review comparing 42 science articles from Encyclopædia Britannica and Wikipedia and found that Wikipedia's level of accuracy approached that of Encyclopædia Britannica. 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 it was testament to the vision of Jimmy Wales.
Wikipedia has been criticized for exhibiting systemic bias, for presenting a mixture of "truths, half truths, and some falsehoods", and for being subject to manipulation and spin in controversial topics. In 2017, Facebook announced that it would help readers detect fake news by suitable links to Wikipedia articles. YouTube announced a similar plan in 2018. In response, the Washington Post headlined, "Wikipedia, the ‘good cop’ of the Internet