Wikipedia is a digital encyclopedia maintained collaboratively by thousands of users worldwide. Among the 10 most accessed sites in the world, Wikipedia is available in 293 different languages and covers a wide range of topics, from games to recurring and important themes from history, political science, society and economics.
Next, you will learn about eight unusual facts about the project, which one day only involved the participation of specialists, who are sometimes unfairly accused of being inaccurate and who would not have existed without pornography.
Man creates more than 2.7 million articles on Wikipedia, 8.5% of the site
List brings eight curiosities from Wikipedia Photo: Melissa Cruz / dnetc
1. Wikipedia wouldn't have existed without pornography
Jimmy Wales created Wikipedia with resources generated by porn site Photo: Reproduo / The New York Times
In the 1990s, Jimmy Wales was one of Wikipedia's creators and made money from Bomis, a search engine and blog for pictures of naked women. The money went to the Nupedia project.
2. The idea was that only experts would write
Nupedia had the same collaborative and free idea, but it was intended to be written and reviewed only by experts. Photo: Reproduo / Wikimedia
Wikipedia was born out of an earlier project, called Nupedia. Nupedia was intended to be a free encyclopedia on the Internet whose content was generated collaboratively, but with a big difference: the articles would be written only by experts.
The problem with this approach is that the process of generating the material and reviewing it through a group of experts from each area of interest has proved too slow and impractical in the long run.
3. Distorted subject coverage
Profile of the majority of employees – men, young people and residents of countries in the northern hemisphere – reflects on the scope of the encyclopedia's subjects Photo: Reproduo / Filipe Garrett
It may seem that, among 40 million articles in 293 different languages, there is no subject that Wikipedia does not address. However, an analysis by MIT (Technological Institute of Massaschusetts) shows a series of distortions: Wikipedia has extensive content about Pokmon and porn actresses, but little information about writers or locations on the African continent. This type of distortion is attributed to the concentration of authors in countries in the northern hemisphere.
4. It is very difficult to make lies thrive within Wikipedia
Wikipedia has a number of mechanisms to prevent the vandalization of articles and the spread of lies Photo: Divulgao / Wikipdia
There is a misconception that it is possible to change the content of articles in order to create misleading and false information. In fact, Wikipedia's mechanism combats this type of practice: it is only possible to include new information in articles either to expand the topic or correct incorrect data present in the original text.
That is why pages vandalized with false information are reversed in the last legitimate version in a few minutes.
5. Among the ten most accessed sites in the world
Wikipedia one of the most popular sites in the world Photo: Divulgao / Wikimedia
Estimates vary slightly, but Wikipedia is always among the ten most visited Internet sites in the world. According to official figures of those responsible for the encyclopedia, there are 500 million people per month and a total number of pages that is more than 18 billion.
6. Wiki a word of Hawaiian origin
Term "wiki" became synonymous with a collaborative platform maintained by users Photo: Reproduo / Filipe Garrett
"Wiki" is a Hawaiian word, and it means fast. However, the concept of collaborative and free editing by a community gave another meaning to the term which, on the Internet, came to mean created and edited by users. Today there are wikis that use the Wikipedia model on very specific subjects, such as movies, games, series and books.
Portuguese language version of the encyclopedia had 4.2 billion views in 2017 Photo: Reproduction / Filipe Garrett
The pace of Wikipedia's editing and content creation is impressive. Official data point to an average of 1 million editions per day and three million new pages created in March alone. In total, Wikipedia already has a volume of data in the 36 GB range, something that may seem little in a world of 1 TB disks and SSDs, but it is worth mentioning that most of this data volume is only text.
Throughout 2017, Wikipedia was viewed four billion times by Brazilians and the entire volume of data from the Brazilian version of the encyclopedia is equivalent to 68 megabytes. It is worth remembering that these numbers cover all Wikipedia services, such as Wikiquote, Wiktionary, Wikinews and so on.
8. Wikipedia and the quality of information
Despite its fame, Wikipedia is reliable Photo: Melissa Cruz / dnetc
It is common to hear that you should not trust Wikipedia and that there is a lot of incorrect information in the encyclopedia. However, a study in the 2005 Nature magazine shows that scientific articles from Wikipedia are, in general, as reliable and correct as those found in the traditional British Encyclopedia. Another study, from 2016, shows that the information available on medicines and diseases on Wikipedia is 99.5% accurate and that the digital encyclopedia is not bad compared to books in the area.