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English Wikipedia facts for kids

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English Wikipedia
Logo of the English Wikipedia
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia project
Available in English
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Created by English wiki community
Commercial No
Registration Optional, but needed for some tasks including
  • protected page edit
  • page creation
  • file upload
Launched 15 January 2001; 21 years ago (2001-01-15)
Content license
Creative Commons Attribution/
(most text also dual-licensed under GFDL)
Media licensing varies

The English Wikipedia is the English language edition of the Wikipedia encyclopedia. English is the first language in which Wikipedia was written. It was started on 15 January 2001. It is the largest encyclopedia in the world, and the largest version of Wikipedia since April 2019. It has more than 6,085,700 articles as of May 2020. In October 2015, the total volume of the compressed texts of the English Wikipedia's articles added up to 11.5 gigabytes.

The Simple English Wikipedia is a variation in which most of the articles use only basic English vocabulary (simplewiki). There is also the Old English (Ænglisc/Anglo-Saxon) Wikipedia (angwiki). It has a newsletter called The Signpost.

Wikipedias in other languages have imitated some of its technical and organizational features.

As the English Wikipedia is very popular, there can be many people editing the wiki in one minute. This made the Special:RecentChanges less effective for understanding changes. Instead, editors can select and watch for changes in particular articles, using the "watchlist" feature of MediaWiki. Some also use special software to detect and fix vandalism.

Some people think that the English Language Wikipedia shows bias and unfairness. Editors of reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned Wikipedia's utility and status as an encyclopedia. An example of bias is that around 90% of Wikipedia editors are male. Other people think that Wikipedia is more useful than other encyclopedias because it is large and can be updated quickly.

Wikipedia Blackout Screen
The English language Wikipedia page from 18 January 2012, illustrating its international blackout in opposition to SOPA and PIPA.

In 2012 the logo of the English Wikipedia like most Wikipedias was slightly changed. However, some Wikipedias, like the Simple English Wikipedia, still kept the old logo.

Related pages

  • The English Wikipedia main page
  • English Wikipedia Statistics Page

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