15 Surprising Facts About Wikipedia
While bosses and teachers might dub it as an unreliable website, Wikipedia’s popularity is undeniable. Today, Wikipedia has 299 different language versions, more than 32.5 million active editors and an average 600 new articles a day just on the English Wikipedia site. It’s safe to say, since its launch in January 2001 by tech entrepreneurs Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia has shaken up the internet.
Quickly rising to prominence, Wikipedia was one of the first user-generated online encyclopedias where people from the general public could become editors and contribute content.
From Wikipedia theme songs to celebrations, here are 15 facts about Wikipedia that you probably didn’t know.
Wikipedia’s official theme song is “Hotel Wikipedia.”
It receives around 600 new articles every day.
Tens of millions of people use Wikipedia.
People vote on what the last Wikipedia topic ever will be.
If for some reason Wikipedia were to ever go under, it has a “last topic pool” where people can guess what the topic will be of the last-ever Wikipedia article. Each user has up to three votes and the directions are simple: “Add the article name to the appropriate section and sign it with four tildes. If the section doesn't exist yet, make it.” The last Wikipedia edit ever will be on that same page and it will be the announcement of the winner.
It saves some of the weirdest articles.
It banned congresspeople for a week.
Its birthday is called “Wikipedia Day.”
It supports 299 different languages.
It has strange policies such as “No angry Mastodons.”
While most websites might have simple and straightforward policies such as “No harmful language” or “No disclosing personal information,” that’s not the case for Wikipedia. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Wikipedia conveys many of its out-there policies through silly titles like “No climbing Reichstag dressed as Spiderman,” which intends to stop people from escalating content “to the extent of scaling public buildings dressed as popular comic book characters.” It also has “Jimbo’s prayer” and “No curses,” which seek to prevent people from casting any malicious hexes, spells or enchantments on the Wiki community.
It was originally supposed to be written by only experts.
Wikipedia was originally supposed to complement Nupedia, an online encyclopedia founded by tech entrepreneurs Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. However, Nupedia was only written by experts, which meant content became very limited and slow to publish. "My initial idea was that the wiki would be set up as part of Nupedia; it was to be a way for the public to develop a stream of content that could be fed into the Nupedia process," Sanger wrote in a memoir published on Slashdot.
As a result, Wales and Sanger launched Wikipedia, which overtook Nupedia and allowed the general public to add and edit articles.
The most viewed page is always the Main Page.
The user with the most edits is called Ser Amantio di Nicolao.
Steve Job’s page has the most views for a single day.
Other than the Main Page, the most visited article on a single day is on Steve Jobs the day after the Apple co-founder died, Oct. 6, 2011, with 7.4 million views. Following Jobs's article is the page on Donald Trump. After he won the presidential election on Nov. 9, 2016, his page received 6.1 million views.