The Students’ “Savior”: Things You Don’t Know about Wikipedia

wiki_wordleWikipedia, the online encyclopedia without which many students fear their home assignments would be left undone, celebrates today 15 years. From its modest beginning in 2001, it has become one of the most popular websites.

Like most teenagers, Wikipedia has had several tense episodes over time. Yahoo! emerged with a beautiful selection of the less known things about one of the most famous sites in the world today.

The most edited article of all times is dedicated to the 43th US president, George W. Bush. It has been amended for 45,862 times so far, followed closely by the page of World Wrestling Entertainment, with 42,836 modifications.

Wikipedia has more than 27 million registered users, but only 1,300 are administrators. They are the ones who can edit the articles, so it’s not a good idea to upset them.

Wikipedia was founded by either entrepreneur Jimmy Wales or Wales in collaboration with Larry Sanger, depending on what you choose to believe. Rumors emerged in 2005, according to which Sangers Wales had removed his name from the history of Wikipedia. To this day, no one knows what the truth is. Also, a less known fact is that Wales founded Bomis, a startup dedicated to adult content, obviously pornographic. Wales vehemently denies to ever being part of the pornography industry.


In 2006, several members of the US Congress were caught editing their Wikipedia pages, to put them in a better light. Joe Biden was one of them. We can not blame him. However, it was at hand.

There are websites that are based on the same operating mode as Wikipedia, such as Wookieepedia created for Star Wars or Memory Alpha – about Star Trek. Both use Wikia, a platform created by Wales and Beesley Starling Andel in 2004. Since Wikipedia is something that proves to be serious, it organizes an annual conference called Wikimania, in different cities in the world.

Since Wikipedia is something that proves to be serious, it hosts an annual conference called Wikimania, in different cities in the world.

In 2007, Wikipedia administrator, Ryan Jordan, who used the pseudonym Essjay, was accused of fraud. It claimed the doctorate in theology and professor at a private university, and later it was discovered that much of the material published by him was taken from “Catholicism for Dummies.” In 2007, Sanger left Wikipedia to start up its own online encyclopedia. It’s called Citizendium and is based on information provided by real experts. It has only 17,000 items now, which means about 0.0034% of Wikipedia.

Despite frequent criticism regarding accuracy, a 2005 study showed that Wikipedia and Encyclopaedia Britannica, to date 237 years old, are similarly reliable concerning quality of the information they provide. In 2012, the famous encyclopedia turned digital.


Wikipedia authors and publishers have been sued several times for defamation, worth mentioning by billionaire Louis Bacon, Barbara Baeur, and Sylvia Scott Gibson – the author of Latawnya, the Naughty Horse, Learn to Say “No” to Drugs.

Dissatisfied with Wikipedia’s too pronounced tendency towards liberalism, Conservatives created Conservapedia in 2006. Articles about global warming, evolution, and Obama are conclusive, but perhaps not as the authors might have wanted.

In 2013, an asteroid discovered by Ukrainian astronomers was named 274301 Wikipedia, without allowing other astronomers to edit the Wikipedia page.


Also, although the chances you do not know are low, you can have Wikipedia at home, the printed edition. Michael Mandiberg, artist and programmer, built a software capable of storing all data on Wikipedia, creating thousands of volumes, which are then printed. The project came to life with the help of Wikimedia Foundation and is set to be showcased between June 18 and July 2 at Denny Gallery in New York, according to Venture Beat.

Moreover, people can order physical copies of Wikipedia – 7471 volumes, each of them 700 pages. The price of the entire collection amounts some $500,000, but individual volumes cost only $80. “We do not expect anyone to buy the whole collection, but it’s important to know that one could do that,” spokesman of Wikimedia said.

The concept behind printing Wikipedia is not new. In 2008, the Wikimedia Foundation provided a custom printing service, allowing enthusiasts to create books based on Wikipedia articles, at a lower scale. The project did not have a resounding success, as through no more than 15,000 books have been created so far.

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