Wikipedia publishes 10 millionth article

The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, available free and without advertisements, editable by anyone, published its 10 millionth article on March 30.

The landmark article was about “Nicholas Hilliard,” an English goldsmith and limner, published in the Hungarian Wikipedia, according to a press release from the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia editions in 253 languages.

The largest single language edition is English, which has 2.3 million articles.

“It’s incredible to think that we’ve grown from one Wikipedia in English to over 250 language Wikipedias,” said Wikimedia founder Jimmy Wales in a news release. “Ten million articles is something we could never have imagined happening so fast when we embarked on Wikipedia in 2001. This is a testament to the incredible dedication of our volunteers around the world.”

In recent weeks, the Wikimedia Foundation and, in particular, its founder have been rocked by scandals.

On March 11, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that former Novell computer scientist Jeff Merkey alleged Wales had made complimentary edits to his biographical article, in exchange for a donation to the Wikimedia Foundation. Wales denied Merkey’s claims and called them “nonsense.”

The week before those accusations, Wales was accused by former Wikimedia Foundation executive Danny Wool of misusing the non-profit organization’s funds, claiming Wales had attempted to expense a visit to a Moscow massage parlour and high-priced bottles of wine. In an interview with CNET TV, Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation executive director, described Wool as “a disgruntled former employee” and called his claims “a whole bunch of unsubstantiated rumours and gossip.”

That same week, Wales’s former girlfriend, journalist Rachel Marsden, also leaked purported instant message transcripts with Wales, which implied Wales had used his influence to change an article about Marsden on Wikipedia. Wales ended his relationship with Marsden and made a public statement to that effect on Wikipedia, and in response Marsden opened an auction for some of Wales’s clothing on eBay.

Portions of this article are taken from Wikinews, which is licenced for use under the Creative Commons Deed Attribution 2.5

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