Wikipedia is an open-source digital compendium that is created through the cooperative contribution of a group of users who are referred to as Wikipedians. Any individual who has registered on the platform can formulate an article for publication. Editing articles does not mandate registration. The name of the website is derived from wiki, which is a server software that permits users to modify website content using their web browser.
Wikipedia has been subjected to criticisms, which argue that its openness renders it untrustworthy and lacking in authority. As articles are not attributed to specific writers, there is no public accountability for the content produced. Furthermore, the fact that anyone can modify an article means that the website is susceptible to dishonest alterations.
What Is Wikipedia ?
Wikipedia is an online encyclopaedia that was established in 2001 and functions under an open-source management system. The nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation oversees it. Collaborative software called wiki is employed by Wikipedia to simplify the creation and enhancement of articles. Despite some well-publicised issues that have highlighted Wikipedia's editorial process, they have had little impact on the public's use of the resource, which is one of the most frequently visited websites on the internet.
Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger established Wikipedia in January 2001 as a derivative of a prior encyclopaedia initiative called Nupedia. Initially, the intent behind creating Wikipedia was to furnish content for Nupedia. However, with the growing prevalence of the wiki site, it soon exceeded the boundaries of the previous project. As of January 2015, the platform offered in excess of five million articles in the English language and an even greater number in all other languages combined. At that juncture, Wikipedia was ranked as the seventh-most widely used website on the Internet by Alexa. Among the top ten, Wikipedia was the only non-commercial website.
Origin And Growth Of Wikipedia
In 1996, Jimmy Wales, a thriving bond trader, relocated to San Diego, California to establish Bomis, Inc., a company that provides a gateway to the internet. In March 2000, Wales established Nupedia, a cost-free digital encyclopaedia, with Larry Sanger as the editor-in-chief. Nupedia was structured similarly to already existing encyclopaedias, with a consultative board of specialists and an extended review process. By January 2001, less than two dozen articles had been completed, and Sanger suggested supplementing Nupedia with an open-source encyclopaedia based on wiki software. On January 15, 2001, Wikipedia was introduced as a feature of Nupedia.com, but after objections from the consultative board, it was relaunched as an independent website a few days later. In its initial year, Wikipedia grew to about 20,000 articles in 18 languages, including French, German, Polish, Dutch, Hebrew, Chinese, and Esperanto. In 2003, Nupedia was discontinued, and its articles were moved to Wikipedia.
To counter this slowdown, the Wikimedia Foundation began to concentrate its expansion efforts on the non-English versions of Wikipedia, which by 2011 numbered more than 250. With some versions already having amassed hundreds of thousands of articles, such as the French and German versions, which both boasted more than one million, specific attention was given to languages of the developing world, such as Swahili and Tamil, in an attempt to reach populations otherwise underserved by the Internet. However, one obstacle to Wikipedia's ability to reach a truly global audience was the Chinese government's periodic restrictions of access to all of the site's content with China.
Protocols and Procedure Of Wikipedia
The open-source production model of Wikipedia is a prime example of Web 2.0 where social software connects users in both their real and virtual workplaces. The Wikipedia community follows a set of standard principles, including neutrality and the belief that contributors participate sincerely and deliberately. Readers can correct errors, and disputes are resolved through contributor discussions. Other principles include staying within defined parameters, respecting copyright laws, and being flexible with other rules.
This reinforces the belief that the open-source process will produce the best product. As a result, the encyclopaedia contains publicly accessible stubs and talk pages. However, inviting readers to serve as authors or editors can lead to inaccuracies or deliberate vandalism. Wikipedia relies on its users to monitor and clean up articles, and trusted contributors receive administrator privileges to quickly address serious problems.
Issue Related to Wikipedia
Despite occasional criticism over its inclusion of sensitive material, such as images of Rorschach Test inkblots, Wikipedia has embraced openness in certain circumstances. Although users attempted to add the information, Wikipedia's administrators complied until Rohde's eventual escape. In 2010, it was discovered that Wikimedia Commons, a site used by the Wikimedia Foundation as a media file repository, contained pornographic images, some of which depicted illegal acts involving children. While no such images were found on Wikipedia itself, the scandal prompted founder Jimmy Wales to encourage administrators to remove any inappropriate content from Wikimedia sites.
Wikipedia administrators also have the ability to block specific IP addresses, which was used in 2006 when it was discovered that staff members of US congressional representatives had edited articles to remove unfavourable details. This revelation led graduate student Virgil Griffith to create Wikipedia Scanner, or WikiScanner, in 2007. By linking IP addresses to Wikipedia edits, Griffith created a database that revealed widespread editing from corporate and government computers. Although most edits were unrelated to the editors' positions, a pattern emerged of articles being edited to reflect favourably on their hosts.
The reliability of Wikipedia as a reference tool has been debated by scholars and educators. While many classrooms discourage or prohibit its use, in 2010 the Wikimedia Foundation partnered with US public policy professors to develop coursework where students contributed content to the site. As Wikipedia has become a ubiquitous part of the online landscape, its legitimacy has been reinforced by an increasing number of citations in US judicial opinions and a German government program to improve coverage of renewable resources on the German-language site.
In general, Wikipedia persists as a beneficial source for individuals seeking knowledge on various subjects. Although it is crucial to scrutinise its material and evaluate it carefully, it still serves as a beneficial instrument for education and investigation.
Wikipedia has established various measures and principles to tackle these concerns, such as a policy on impartiality, a policy on verifiability, and a guideline on dependable sources. In general, Wikipedia persists as a significant reference for individuals seeking to gain knowledge on a diverse array of subjects, but it is crucial to evaluate its material judiciously and meticulously.