On Wikipedia is an entry on reliability of Wikipedia. If Jorge Luis Borges edited a Wikipedia entry, it would be on the reliability of wikipedia. The existence of an entry on Wikipedia of the reliability of Wikipedia should be in the Oxford English Dictionary in the definition of the British slang term “cheeky.” If I ran Wikipedia I would rewrite large sections of the Wikipedia entry on the reliability of Wikipedia every day, ensuring that it proved the Wikipedia is, in fact, not reliable. But who does run Wikipedia? Here’s more from One Zero:
Now 20 years later — Wikipedia’s birthday is this Friday — nearly 300,000 editors (or “Wikipedians”) now volunteer their time to write, edit, block, squabble over, and scrub every corner of the sprawling encyclopedia. They call it “the project,” and they are dedicated to what they call its five pillars: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view; Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute; Wikipedia’s editors should treat each other with respect and civility; and Wikipedia has no firm rules.
Behind the site itself is the Wikimedia Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that takes care of the servers, fundraising, legal challenges, and many initiatives that advance the project. Its most essential task: delicately handling volunteer editors, about 40,000 of whom are most active on English Wikipedia and more than 500 of whom have active “admin” status, which allows them to wield powers such as blocking and editing protected pages.
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