English Wikipedia (abbreviated en-WP) is the English-language version of Wikipedia. It is the original Wikipedia, and although the project has since expanded to over 300 languages, English Wikipedia remains the largest. It is the de facto global Wikipedia, in the sense that smaller Wikipedias look to the English Wikipedia as a source for translations into their language (efforts are ongoing as of 2020 to establish a true language-independent global Wikipedia).
Facts and statistics
Started: January 2001
Founders: Larry Sanger, Jimmy Wales
Current size: 6,501,108 articles
Total edits: 1,084,091,276
Active editors: 123,858 in the past month
English Wikipedia has the most generally comprehensive and high-quality coverage of human knowledge of any Wikipedia or other encyclopedia, although its quality remains uneven across different areas.
- Areas of strength
- Breaking news and current events
- Popular culture
- Hard sciences
- Areas of weakness
- Social sciences
- Geography and culture of non-English speaking parts of the world
- Unique qualities
- Highly developed bureaucracy, with intricate rulesets/processes
- Significant weight placed on adminship (despite ostensibly being "no big deal")
- Very active use of software robots for maintenance tasks
- RefToolbar for convenient insertion of citations through the source editor.
- Playful introduction through The Wikipedia Adventure game.
- Categorization of redirects. For example, en:Template:R with possibilities marks redirect pages with potential to develop into a standalone article.
- Categorization of drafts
- Template-based edit request system for each protection level.
- Combating vandalism and promotional editing
- Achieving neutrality and maintaining user trust in an increasingly polarized information landscape
- Addressing systemic bias against women, poor people, non-white people, and other groups underrepresented among editors
- Language aspects
There is no set standard on the variety of English to use, other than that it should remain consistent within articles. By default, American spellings tend to dominate over British spellings and other varieties.
History and impact
- How to destroy Wikipedia essay (in English, 2001)
- Departure of Larry Sanger (March 2002)
- John Seigenthaler hoax (2005)
- One million articles (in English, March 2006)
- Essjay controversy (in English, March 2007)
- SOPA blackout (January 2012)
- Introduction of the VisualEditor (December 2012)
- Introduction of the Pending changes protection feature after test phase, to mitigate disruptive editing without denying constructive contribution from newcomers.
- Addition of the "Template editor" protection level (pink lock) for high-traffic templates (October 2013)
- Orangemoody sockpuppet case (in English, August 2015)
- Five million articles (in English, November 2015)
- Addition of the extended confirmed protection option (blue lock) (April 2016)
- Removal of the "Pending Changes Level 2" (orange lock) page protection option (January 2017)
- Removal of Wikidata central descriptions from under page titles of mobile front end/"Minerva" skin (March 2017)
- Fram ban controversy (in English, June 2019)
- One of the most trafficked websites in the world, attracting around 1.5 billion visitors per month (as of March 2020)
- Largest and most comprehensive record of humanity's collective knowledge in history
- Inspired many other language editions, projects