Ubisoft Reconfirms You Can Play Watch_Dogs Without An Internet Connection


Ubisoft has reconfirmed that Watch_Dogs can be played completely offline. Although the upcoming open-world game doesn’t require an Internet connection, players who connect online will be able to enjoy extra features, like a multiplayer mode in which you can try to hack another player via controlling surveillance cameras. Watch_Dogs will be released November 19th on multiple platforms, including Wii U, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


    1. If you mean giving us the option of enjoying full games with a complete offline story and no whiny kids online, then thank you Microsoft for your xboxone blunder. Offline gaming should always be the precedence.

      1. I think he means that they have to reconfirm that the game is not always online as in that it is not to take for granted anylonger.

      2. Wikipedia

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Jump to: navigation, search

        This article is about the Internet encyclopedia. For other uses, see Wikipedia (disambiguation).

        For Wikipedia’s non-encyclopedic visitor introduction, see Wikipedia:About. For the main page, see Main Page.

        Page semi-protected


        A white sphere made of large jigsaw pieces. Letters from several alphabets are shown on the pieces.
        Wikipedia wordmark

        The logo of Wikipedia, a globe featuring glyphs from several writing systems

        Wikipedia’s homepage with links to many languages.

        Screenshot of Wikipedia’s multilingual portal

        Web address

        The Free Encyclopedia that anyone can edit


        Type of site
        Internet encyclopedia

        Optional, but is required for certain tasks such as editing protected pages, creating pages in English Wikipedia and uploading files

        Available language(s)
        276 active editions (286 in total)

        Over 77,000 active editors[1]

        Content license
        CC Attribution / Share-Alike 3.0
        Most text also dual-licensed under GFDL, media licensing varies

        Wikimedia Foundation

        Created by
        Jimmy Wales, Larry Sanger[2]

        January 15, 2001 (12 years ago)

        Alexa rank
        Decrease 7 (July 2013)[3]

        Current status

        Wikipedia (Listeni/ˌwɪkɨˈpiːdiə/ or Listeni/ˌwɪkiˈpiːdiə/ WIK-i-PEE-dee-ə) is a collaboratively edited, multilingual, free Internet encyclopedia supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia’s 30 million articles in 286 languages, including over 4.2 million in the English Wikipedia, are written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone having access to the site and not being blocked.[4] It is the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet,[3][5][6][7][8] ranking seventh globally among all websites on Alexa as of June 2013, and having an estimated 365 million readers worldwide.[3][9]

        Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.[10] Sanger coined the name Wikipedia,[11] which is a portmanteau of wiki (a type of collaborative website, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”)[12] and encyclopedia.

        Wikipedia’s departure from the expert-driven style of encyclopedia building and the presence of a large body of unacademic content have received extensive attention in print media. In 2006, Time magazine recognized Wikipedia’s participation in the rapid growth of online collaboration and interaction by millions of people around the world, in addition to YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook.[13] Wikipedia has also been praised as a news source due to articles related to breaking news often being rapidly updated.[14][15][16]

        The open nature of Wikipedia has led to various concerns, such as the quality of writing,[17] the amount of vandalism[18][19] and the accuracy of information. Some articles contain unverified or inconsistent information,[20] though a 2005 investigation in Nature showed that the science articles they compared came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of “serious errors”.[21] Britannica replied that the study’s methodology and conclusions were flawed,[22] but Nature reacted to this refutation with both a formal response and a point-by-point rebuttal of Britannica’s main objections.[23]

        [hide] 1 Nature 1.1 Editing
        1.2 Organization of article pages
        1.3 Vandalism
        1.4 Rules and laws governing content and editor behavior

        1.5 Privacy
        1.6 Community

        1.7 Language editions

        2 History
        3 Analysis of content 3.1 Accuracy of content
        3.2 Quality of writing
        3.3 Coverage of topics and systemic bias
        3.4 Citing Wikipedia
        3.5 Explicit content

        4 Operation 4.1 Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia chapters
        4.2 Software and hardware

        5 Access to content 5.1 Content licensing
        5.2 Methods of access

        6 Impact 6.1 Sister projects – Wikimedia
        6.2 Impact on publishing
        6.3 Cultural significance

        6.4 Scientific use

        7 Related projects
        8 See also
        9 References 9.1 Notes
        9.2 Further reading

        10 External links


        “ As the popular joke goes, ‘The problem with Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work.’ ”

        —Miikka Ryökäs,[clarification needed] [24]


        File:Wiki feel stupid v2.ogv

        In April 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation conducted a Wikipedia usability study, questioning users about the editing mechanism.[25]
        In a departure from the style of traditional encyclopedias, Wikipedia is open to outside editing. This means that, with the exception of particularly sensitive and/or vandalism-prone pages that are “protected” to some degree,[26] the reader of an article can edit the text without needing approval, doing so with a registered account or even anonymously. Different language editions modify this policy to some extent; for example, only registered users may create a new article in the English edition.[27] No article is considered to be owned by its creator or any other editor, nor is it vetted by any recognized authority. Instead, editors are supposed to agree on the content and structure of articles by consensus.[28]

        By default, an edit to an article becomes available immediately, prior to any review. As such, an article may contain inaccuracies, ideological biases, or even patent nonsense, until or unless another editor corrects the problem. Different language editions, each under separate administrative control, are free to modify this policy. For example, the German Wikipedia maintains “stable versions” of articles,[29] which have passed certain reviews. Following the protracted trials and community discussion, the “pending changes” system was introduced to English Wikipedia in December 2012.[30] Under this system, new users’ edits to certain controversial or vandalism-prone articles would be “subject to review from an established Wikipedia editor before publication”.

        Web page showing side-by-side comparison of an article highlighting changed paragraphs.

        Editors keep track of changes to articles by checking the difference between two revisions of a page, displayed here in yellow and blue.
        Contributors, whether registered or not, can take advantage of features available in the software that powers Wikipedia. The “History” page belonging to each article records every single past revision of the article, though a revision with libelous content, criminal threats or copyright infringements may be removed retroactively.[31] Editors can use this page to undo undesirable changes or restore lost content. The “Talk” page associated with each article helps coordinate work among multiple editors.[32] Importantly, editors may use the “Talk” page to reach consensus,[33] sometimes through the use of polling.

        In addition, editors may view the most “recent changes” to the website, which are displayed in reverse chronology. Regular contributors often maintain a “watchlist” of articles of interest to them, in order to easily track recent changes to those articles. In language editions with many articles, editors tend to prefer the “watchlist” because the number of edits has become too large to follow in “recent changes”. New page patrol is a process by which newly created articles are checked for obvious problems.[34] A frequently vandalized article can be semi-protected, allowing only well established users to edit it.[35] A particularly contentious article may be locked so that only administrators are able to make changes.[36]

        The editing interface of Wikipedia.
        Computer programs called bots have been used widely to correct common misspellings and stylistic issues, or to start articles such as geography entries in a standard format from statistical data.[37][38][39] There are also some bots designed to warn users making “undesirable” edits,[40] block on the creation of links to particular websites, and block on edits from particular accounts or IP address ranges. Bots on Wikipedia must be approved by administration prior to activation.[41]

        Organization of article pages

        Articles in Wikipedia are loosely organized according to their development status and subject matter.[42] A new article often starts as a “stub”, a very short page consisting of definitions and some links. On the other extreme, the most developed articles may be nominated for “featured article” status. One “featured article” per day, as selected by editors, appears on the main page of Wikipedia.[43][44] Researcher Giacomo Poderi found that articles tend to reach featured status via the intensive work of a few editors.[45] A 2010 study found unevenness in quality among featured articles and concluded that the community process is ineffective in assessing the quality of articles.[46] In 2007, in preparation for producing a print version, the English-language Wikipedia introduced an assessment scale against which the quality of articles is judged.[47]

        A group of Wikipedia editors may form a WikiProject to focus their work on a specific topic area, using its associated discussion page to coordinate changes across multiple articles.


        Main article: Vandalism on Wikipedia

        Any edit that changes content in a way that deliberately compromises the integrity of Wikipedia is considered vandalism. The most common and obvious types of vandalism include insertion of obscenities and crude humor. Vandalism can also include advertising language, and other types of spam.[48] Sometimes editors commit vandalism by removing information or entirely blanking a given page. Less common types of vandalism, such as the deliberate addition of plausible but false information to an article, can be more difficult to detect. Vandals can introduce irrelevant formatting, modify page semantics such as the page’s title or categorization, manipulate the underlying code of an article, or utilize images disruptively.[49]

        The opportunity for vandalism provides a number of unique challenges to Wikipedia. One criticism is that, at any moment, a reader of an article cannot be certain that it has not been compromised by the insertion of false information or the removal of essential information. Former Encyclopædia Britannica editor-in-chief Robert McHenry once described the predicament using a simile: [50] [51]

        The user who visits Wikipedia to learn about some subject, to confirm some matter of fact, is rather in the position of a visitor to a public restroom. It may be obviously dirty, so that he knows to exercise great care, or it may seem fairly clean, so that he may be lulled into a false sense of security. What he certainly does not know is who has used the facilities before him.

        White-haired elderly gentleman in suit and tie speaks at a podium.

        John Seigenthaler has described Wikipedia as “a flawed and irresponsible research tool”.[52]
        Obvious vandalism is generally easy to remove from wiki articles; in practice, the median time to detect and fix vandalism is a few minutes.[18][19] However, in one high-profile incident in 2005, false information was introduced into the biography of American political figure John Seigenthaler and remained undetected for four months.[52] John Seigenthaler, the founding editorial director of USA Today and founder of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, called Wales and asked whether he had any way of knowing who contributed the misinformation. Wales replied that he did not, although the perpetrator was eventually traced.[53][54] This incident led to policy changes on the site, specifically targeted at tightening up the verifiability of all biographical articles of living people.[55]

        Rules and laws governing content and editor behavior

        Content in Wikipedia is subject to the laws (in particular, the copyright laws) of the United States and of the U.S. state of Florida, where the majority of Wikipedia’s servers are located. Beyond legal matters, the editorial principles of Wikipedia are embodied in the “five pillars”, and numerous policies and guidelines that are intended to shape the content appropriately. Even these rules are stored in wiki form, and Wikipedia editors as a community write and revise the website’s policies and guidelines.[56] Editors can enforce rules by deleting or modifying non-compliant material. Originally, rules on the non-English editions of Wikipedia were based on a translation of the rules on the English Wikipedia. They have since diverged to some extent.

        English Wikipedia

        Main article: English Wikipedia

        Main Page of the English Wikipedia on October 20, 2010.

        The mobile version of the English Wikipedia Main Page in the Safari web browser on an iPod Touch
        Content policies

        According to the rules on the English Wikipedia, each entry in Wikipedia, to be worthy of inclusion, must be about a topic that is encyclopedic and is not a dictionary entry or dictionary-like.[57] A topic should also meet Wikipedia’s standards of “notability”,[58] which usually means that it must have received significant coverage in reliable secondary sources such as mainstream media or major academic journals that are independent of the subject of the topic. Further, Wikipedia intends to convey only knowledge that is already established and recognized.[59] It must not present new information or original research. A claim that is likely to be challenged requires a reference to a reliable source. Among Wikipedia editors, this is often phrased as “verifiability, not truth” to express the idea that the readers, not the encyclopedia, are ultimately responsible for checking the truthfulness of the articles and making their own interpretations.[60] This can lead to the removal of information that is valid, thus hindering inclusion of knowledge and growth of the encyclopedia.[61] Finally, Wikipedia must not take sides.[62] All opinions and viewpoints, if attributable to external sources, must enjoy an appropriate share of coverage within an article.[63] This is known as neutral point of view (NPOV).

        Dispute resolution

        Wikipedia has many methods of settling disputes. A “BOLD, revert, discuss” cycle sometimes occurs, in which an editor changes something, another editor reverts the change, and then the two editors discuss the issue on a talk page. When editors disregard this process – when a change is repeatedly done by one editor and then undone by another – an “edit war” may be asserted to have begun.[64] The provenance of this phrase “edit war” is unknown.[65]

        In order to gain a broader community consensus, editors can raise issues at the Village Pump, or initiate a Request for Comment. An editor can report impolite, uncivil, or otherwise problematic communications with another editor via the “Wikiquette Assistance” noticeboard. [needs update] Such postings themselves have no binding or disciplinary power. Specialized forums exist for centralizing discussion on specific decisions, such as whether or not an article should be deleted. Mediation is sometimes used, although it has been deemed by some Wikipedians to be unhelpful for resolving particularly contentious disputes.[66]


        The Arbitration Committee is the ultimate dispute resolution method. Although disputes usually arise from a disagreement between two opposing views on how articles should read, the Arbitration Committee explicitly refuses to directly rule on which view should be adopted. Statistical analyses suggest that the committee ignores the content of disputes and focuses on the way disputes are conducted instead,[67] functioning not so much to resolve disputes and make peace between conflicting editors, but to weed out problematic editors while allowing potentially productive editors back in to participate. Therefore, the committee does not dictate the content of articles, although it sometimes condemns content changes when it deems the new content violates Wikipedia policies (for example, if the new content is biased). Its remedies include cautions and probations (used in 63.2% of cases) and banning editors from articles (43.3%), subject matters (23.4%) or Wikipedia (15.7%). Complete bans from Wikipedia are largely limited to instances of impersonation and anti-social behavior. When conduct is not impersonation or anti-social, but rather anti-consensus or violating editing policies, warnings tend to be issued.[68]


        One privacy concern in the case of Wikipedia is the right of a private citizen to remain private: to remain a “private citizen” rather than a “public figure” in the eyes of the law.[69] It is a battle between the right to be anonymous in cyberspace and the right to be anonymous in real life (“meatspace”). A particular problem occurs in the case of an individual who is relatively unimportant and for whom there exists a Wikipedia page against her or his wishes.

        In January 2006, a German court ordered the German Wikipedia shut down within Germany because it stated the full name of Boris Floricic, aka “Tron”, a deceased hacker. On February 9, 2006, the injunction against Wikimedia Deutschland was overturned, with the court rejecting the notion that Tron’s right to privacy or that of his parents were being violated.[70]


        Main article: Community of Wikipedia

        Wikimania, an annual conference for users of Wikipedia and other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation.
        Wikipedia’s community has been described as cult-like,[71] although not always with entirely negative connotations,[72] and criticized for failing to accommodate inexperienced users.[73] The project’s preference for cohesiveness, even if it requires compromise that includes disregard of credentials, has been referred to as “anti-elitism”.[74]

        Power structure

        The Wikipedia community has established “a bureaucracy of sorts”, including “a clear power structure that gives volunteer administrators the authority to exercise editorial control”.[75][76][77]

        Editors in good standing in the community can run for one of many levels of volunteer stewardship: this begins with “administrator”,[78][79] a group of privileged users who have the ability to delete pages, lock articles from being changed in case of vandalism or editorial disputes, and block users from editing. Despite the name, administrators are not supposed to enjoy any special privilege in decision-making; instead, their powers are mostly limited to making edits that have project-wide effects and thus are disallowed to ordinary editors, and to block users making disruptive edits (such as vandalism).[80][81] As the process of vetting potential Wikipedia administrators has become more rigorous, fewer editors are promoted to admin status than in years past.[82]


        Demographics of Wikipedia editors.
        Wikipedia does not require that its users provide identification.[83] However, as Wikipedia grew, “Who writes Wikipedia?” became one of the questions frequently asked on the project, often with a reference to other Web 2.0 projects such as Digg.[84] Wales once argued that only “a community … a dedicated group of a few hundred volunteers” makes the bulk of contributions to Wikipedia and that the project is therefore “much like any traditional organization”. Wales performed a study finding that over 50% of all the edits were done by just 0.7% of the users (at the time: 524 people). This method of evaluating contributions was later disputed by Aaron Swartz, who noted that several articles he sampled had large portions of their content (measured by number of characters) contributed by users with low edit counts.[85] A 2007 study by researchers from Dartmouth College found that “anonymous and infrequent contributors to Wikipedia … are as reliable a source of knowledge as those contributors who register with the site”.[86]

        In 2003, economics PhD student Andrea Ciffolilli argued that the low transaction costs of participating in wiki software create a catalyst for collaborative development, and that such features as easy access to past versions of a page favor “creative construction” over “creative destruction”.[87] In his 2008 book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, Zittrain cites Wikipedia’s success as a case study in how open collaboration has fostered innovation on the web.[88] A 2008 study found that Wikipedians were less agreeable, open, and conscientious than others.[89][90] A 2009 study suggested there was “evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content”.[91]

        At OOPSLA 2009, Wikimedia chief technology officer and senior software architect Brion Vibber gave a presentation entitled “Community Performance Optimization: Making Your People Run as Smoothly as Your Site”[92] in which he discussed the challenges of handling the contributions from a large community and compared the process to that of software development.


        File:Editing Hoxne Hoard at the British Museum.ogv

        Wikipedians and British Museum curators collaborate on the article Hoxne Hoard in June 2010.
        Members of the community interact with each other predominantly via “talk” pages, which are wiki-edited pages that are associated with articles, as well as via talk pages that are specific to particular contributors, and talk pages that help run the site. These pages help the contributors reach consensus about what the contents of the articles should be, how the site’s rules may change, and to take actions with respect to any problems within the community.[93]

        The Wikipedia Signpost is the community newspaper on the English Wikipedia,[94] and was founded by Michael Snow, an administrator and the former chair of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees.[95] It covers news and events from the site, as well as major events from sister projects, such as Wikimedia Commons.[96]

        Positive reinforcement

        Wikipedians sometimes award one another barnstars for good work. These personalized tokens of appreciation reveal a wide range of valued work extending far beyond simple editing to include social support, administrative actions, and types of articulation work. The barnstar phenomenon has been analyzed by researchers seeking to determine what implications it might have for other communities engaged in large-scale collaborations.[97]

        New users

        Up to sixty percent of Wikipedia’s registered users never make another edit after their first 24 hours. Possible explanations are that such users register for only a single purpose, or are scared away by their experiences.[98] Goldman writes that editors who fail to comply with Wikipedia cultural rituals, such as signing talk pages, implicitly signal that they are Wikipedia outsiders, increasing the odds that Wikipedia insiders will target their contributions as a threat. Becoming a Wikipedia insider involves non-trivial costs: the contributor is expected to build a user page, learn Wikipedia-specific technological codes, submit to an arcane dispute resolution process, and learn a “baffling culture rich with in-jokes and insider references”. Non-logged-in users are in some sense second-class citizens on Wikipedia,[99] as “participants are accredited by members of the wiki community, who have a vested interest in preserving the quality of the work product, on the basis of their ongoing participation”,[100] but the contribution histories of IP addresses cannot necessarily with any certainty be credited to, or blamed upon, a particular user.

        A 2009 study by Business Insider editor and journalist Henry Blodget[101] showed that in a random sample of articles most content in Wikipedia (measured by the amount of contributed text that survives to the latest sampled edit) is created by “outsiders” (users with low edit counts), while most editing and formatting is done by “insiders” (a select group of established users).


        Estimation of contributions shares from different regions in the world to different Wikipedia editions.
        One study found that the contributor base to Wikipedia “was barely 13% women; the average age of a contributor was in the mid-20s”. Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, hopes to see female editing contributions increase to twenty-five percent by 2015.[102] Linda Basch, president of the National Council for Research on Women, noted the contrast in these Wikipedia editor statistics with the percentage of women currently completing bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and PhD programs in the United States (all at rates of fifty percent or greater).[103]

        In a research article published in PLoS ONE in 2012, Yasseri et al., based on the circadian patterns of editorial activities of the community, have estimated the share of contributions to different editions of Wikipedia from different regions of the world. For instance, it has been reported that edits from North America are limited to almost 50% in the English Wikipedia and this value decreases to twenty-five percent in simple English Wikipedia. The article also covers some other editions in different languages.[104] The Wikimedia Foundation hopes to increase the number of editors in the Global South to thirty-seven percent by 2015.[105]

        Language editions

        See also: List of Wikipedias

        Percentage of all Wikipedia articles in English (red) and top ten largest language editions (blue). As of July 2007 less than 23% of Wikipedia articles are in English.
        There are currently 285 language editions (or language versions) of Wikipedia; of these, seven have over one million articles each (English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian), four more have over 700,000 articles (Swedish, Polish, Japanese and Portuguese), 35 more have over 100,000 articles and 73 more have over 10,000 articles.[106] [107] The largest, the English Wikipedia, has over 4.2 million articles. As of June 2013, according to Alexa, the English subdomain (; English Wikipedia) receives approximately 56% of Wikipedia’s cumulative traffic, with the remaining split among the other languages (Spanish: 9%; Japanese: 8%; Russian: 6%; German: 5%; French: 4%; Italian: 3%).[3] As of April 2013, the five largest language editions are (in order of article count) the English, German, Dutch, French, and Italian Wikipedias.[108] The coexistence of multilingual content on Wikipedia is made possible by Unicode, whose support was first introduced into Wikipedia in January 2002 by Brion Vibber after he had similarly implemented the alphabet of Esperanto.[109][110]

        Since Wikipedia is based on the Web and therefore worldwide, contributors of a same language edition may use different dialects or may come from different countries (as is the case for the English edition). These differences may lead to some conflicts over spelling differences (e.g. colour versus color)[111] or points of view.[112]

        Though the various language editions are held to global policies such as “neutral point of view”, they diverge on some points of policy and practice, most notably on whether images that are not licensed freely may be used under a claim of fair use.[113][114][115]

        Jimmy Wales has described Wikipedia as “an effort to create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language”.[116] Though each language edition functions more or less independently, some efforts are made to supervise them all. They are coordinated in part by Meta-Wiki, the Wikimedia Foundation’s wiki devoted to maintaining all of its projects (Wikipedia and others).[117] For instance, Meta-Wiki provides important statistics on all language editions of Wikipedia,[118] and it maintains a list of articles every Wikipedia should have.[119] The list concerns basic content by subject: biography, history, geography, society, culture, science, technology, and mathematics. As for the rest, it is not rare for articles strongly related to a particular language not to have counterparts in another edition. For example, articles about small towns in the United States might only be available in English, even when they meet notability criteria of other language Wikipedia projects.

        Translated articles represent only a small portion of articles in most editions, in part because fully automated translation of articles is disallowed.[120] Articles available in more than one language may offer “interwiki links”, which link to the counterpart articles in other editions.


        Main article: History of Wikipedia

        Logo reading “ the free encyclopedia” in blue with large initial “N”.

        Wikipedia originally developed from another encyclopedia project, Nupedia.
        Wikipedia began as a complementary project for Nupedia, a free online English-language encyclopedia project whose articles were written by experts and reviewed under a formal process. Nupedia was founded on March 9, 2000, under the ownership of Bomis, a web portal company. Its main figures were the Bomis CEO Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, editor-in-chief for Nupedia and later Wikipedia. Nupedia was licensed initially under its own Nupedia Open Content License, switching to the GNU Free Documentation License before Wikipedia’s founding at the urging of Richard Stallman.[121] Sanger and Wales founded Wikipedia.[122][123] While Wales is credited with defining the goal of making a publicly editable encyclopedia,[124][125] Sanger is usually credited with the strategy of using a wiki to reach that goal.[126] On January 10, 2001, Sanger proposed on the Nupedia mailing list to create a wiki as a “feeder” project for Nupedia.[127]

        Wikipedia was formally launched on January 15, 2001, as a single English-language edition at,[128] and announced by Sanger on the Nupedia mailing list.[124] Wikipedia’s policy of “neutral point-of-view”[129] was codified in its initial months. Otherwise, there were relatively few rules initially and Wikipedia operated independently of Nupedia.[124]

        Number of articles in the English Wikipedia (in blue)
        Wikipedia gained early contributors from Nupedia, Slashdot postings, and web search engine indexing. On August 8, 2001, Wikipedia had over 8,000 articles.[130] On September 25, 2001, Wikipedia had over 13,000 articles.[131] And by the end of 2001 it had grown to approximately 20,000 articles and 18 language editions. By late 2002, it had reached 26 language editions, 46 by the end of 2003, and 161 by the final days of 2004.[132] Nupedia and Wikipedia coexisted until the former’s servers were taken down permanently in 2003, and its text was incorporated into Wikipedia. English Wikipedia passed the mark of two million articles on September 9, 2007, making it the largest encyclopedia ever assembled, surpassing even the 1407 Yongle Encyclopedia, which had held the record for 600 years.[133]

        Citing fears of commercial advertising and lack of control in Wikipedia, users of the Spanish Wikipedia forked from Wikipedia to create the Enciclopedia Libre in February 2002.[134] These moves encouraged Wales to announce that Wikipedia would not display advertisements, and to change Wikipedia’s domain from to[135]

        Growth of the number of articles in the English Wikipedia (in blue)
        Though the English Wikipedia reached three million articles in August 2009, the growth of the edition, in terms of the numbers of articles and of contributors, appears to have peaked around early 2007.[136] Around 1,800 articles were added daily to the encyclopedia in 2006; by 2013 that average was roughly 800.[137] A team at the Palo Alto Research Center attributed this slowing of growth to the project’s increasing exclusivity and resistance to change.[138] Others suggest that the growth is flattening naturally because articles that could be called “low-hanging fruit” – topics that clearly merit an article – have already been created and built up extensively.[139][140][141]

        In November 2009, a researcher at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid (Spain) found that the English Wikipedia had lost 49,000 editors during the first three months of 2009; in comparison, the project lost only 4,900 editors during the same period in 2008.[142][143] The Wall Street Journal cited the array of rules applied to editing and disputes related to such content among the reasons for this trend.[144] Wales disputed these claims in 2009, denying the decline and questioning the methodology of the study.[145] Two years later, Wales acknowledged the presence of a slight decline, noting a decrease from “a little more than 36,000 writers” in June 2010 to 35,800 in June 2011.[146] Nevertheless, in the same interview, he claimed the number of editors was “stable and sustainable”. In July 2012, the Atlantic reported that the number of administrators is also in decline.[147]

        In January 2007, Wikipedia entered for the first time the top-ten list of the most popular websites in the United States, according to comScore Networks. With 42.9 million unique visitors, Wikipedia was ranked number 9, surpassing the New York Times (#10) and Apple (#11). This marked a significant increase over January 2006, when the rank was number 33, with Wikipedia receiving around 18.3 million unique visitors.[148] As of June 2013, Wikipedia is the seventh most popular website worldwide according to Alexa Internet,[3] receiving more than 2.7 billion U.S. pageviews every month,[149] out of a global monthly total of over 12 billion pageviews.[150]

        Wikipedia blackout protest against SOPA on January 18, 2012
        On January 18, 2012, the English Wikipedia participated in a series of coordinated protests against two proposed laws in the United States Congress—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)—by blacking out its pages for 24 hours.[151] More than 162 million people viewed the blackout explanation page that temporarily replaced Wikipedia content.[152][153]

        Loveland and Reagle argue that, in process, Wikipedia follows a long tradition of historical encyclopedias that accumulated improvements piecemeal through “stigmergic accumulation”.[154][155]

        Analysis of content

        See also: Academic studies about Wikipedia and Criticism of Wikipedia

        Although poorly written articles are flagged for improvement,[156] critics note that the style and quality of individual articles may vary greatly. Others argue that inherent biases (willful or not) arise in the presentation of facts, especially controversial topics and public or historical figures. Although Wikipedia’s stated mission is to provide information and not argue value judgements, articles often contain overly specialized, trivial, or objectionable material.[157]

        In 2006, the Wikipedia Watch criticism website listed dozens of examples of plagiarism by Wikipedia editors on the English version.[158] Wales has said in this respect: “We need to deal with such activities with absolute harshness, no mercy, because this kind of plagiarism is 100% at odds with all of our core principles.”[158]

        Accuracy of content

        Main article: Reliability of Wikipedia

        Articles for traditional encyclopedias such as Encyclopædia Britannica are carefully and deliberately written by experts, lending such encyclopedias a reputation for accuracy. Conversely, Wikipedia is often cited for factual inaccuracies and misrepresentations. However, a non-scientific report in the journal Nature in 2005 suggested that for some scientific articles Wikipedia came close to the level of accuracy of Encyclopædia Britannica and had a similar rate of “serious errors.”[21] These claims have been disputed by, among others, Encyclopædia Britannica.[22][159] Although Nature gave a point by point rebuttal of Britannica’s argument,[23] the Nature report did agree that the structure of Wikipedia’s articles was often poor.

        As a consequence of the open structure, Wikipedia “makes no guarantee of validity” of its content, since no one is ultimately responsible for any claims appearing in it.[160] Concerns have been raised regarding the lack of accountability that results from users’ anonymity,[161] the insertion of false information,[162] vandalism, and similar problems.

        Economist Tyler Cowen wrote: “If I had to guess whether Wikipedia or the median refereed journal article on economics was more likely to be true, after a not so long think I would opt for Wikipedia.” He comments that some traditional sources of non-fiction suffer from systemic biases and novel results, in his opinion, are over-reported in journal articles and relevant information is omitted from news reports. However, he also cautions that errors are frequently found on Internet sites, and that academics and experts must be vigilant in correcting them.[163]

        Critics argue that Wikipedia’s open nature and a lack of proper sources for most of the information makes it unreliable.[164] Some commentators suggest that Wikipedia may be reliable, but that the reliability of any given article is not clear.[165] Editors of traditional reference works such as the Encyclopædia Britannica have questioned the project’s utility and status as an encyclopedia.[166]

        Wikipedia’s open structure inherently makes it an easy target for Internet trolls, spamming, and those with an agenda to push.[31][167] The addition of political spin to articles by organizations including members of the US House of Representatives and special interest groups[20] has been noted,[168] and organizations such as Microsoft have offered financial incentives to work on certain articles.[169] For example, in August 2007, the website WikiScanner began to trace the sources of changes made to Wikipedia by anonymous editors without Wikipedia accounts. The program revealed that many such edits were made by corporations or government agencies changing the content of articles related to them, their personnel or their work.[170] These issues have been parodied, notably by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.[171]

        Quality of writing

        Because contributors usually rewrite small portions of an entry rather than making full-length revisions, high- and low-quality content may be intermingled within an entry. Roy Rosenzweig, a history professor, stated that American National Biography Online outperformed Wikipedia in terms of its “clear and engaging prose”, which, he said, was an important aspect of good historical writing.[172] Contrasting Wikipedia’s treatment of Abraham Lincoln to that of Civil War historian James McPherson in American National Biography Online, he said that both were essentially accurate and covered the major episodes in Lincoln’s life, but praised “McPherson’s richer contextualization… his artful use of quotations to capture Lincoln’s voice … and … his ability to convey a profound message in a handful of words.” By contrast, he gives an example of Wikipedia’s prose that he finds “both verbose and dull”. Rosenzweig also criticized the “waffling—encouraged by the npov policy—[which] means that it is hard to discern any overall interpretive stance in Wikipedia history”. By example, he quoted the conclusion of Wikipedia’s article on William Clarke Quantrill. While generally praising the article, he pointed out its “waffling” conclusion: “Some historians…remember him as an opportunistic, bloodthirsty outlaw, while others continue to view him as a daring soldier and local folk hero.”[172]

        Other critics have made similar charges that, even if Wikipedia articles are factually accurate, they are often written in a poor, almost unreadable style. Frequent Wikipedia critic Andrew Orlowski commented: “Even when a Wikipedia entry is 100 per cent factually correct, and those facts have been carefully chosen, it all too often reads as if it has been translated from one language to another then into to a third, passing an illiterate translator at each stage.”[173] A study of cancer articles by Yaacov Lawrence of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University found that the entries were mostly accurate, but they were written at college reading level, as opposed to the ninth grade level seen in the Physician Data Query. He said that “Wikipedia’s lack of readability may reflect its varied origins and haphazard editing”.[174] The Economist argued that better-written articles tend to be more reliable: “inelegant or ranting prose usually reflects muddled thoughts and incomplete information”.[175]

        Coverage of topics and systemic bias

        See also: Notability in English Wikipedia

        Wikipedia seeks to create a summary of all human knowledge in the form of an online encyclopedia, with each topic of knowledge covered encyclopedically in one article. Since it has terabytes of disk space, it can have far more topics than can be covered by any conventional printed encyclopedia.[176] It also contains materials that some people may find objectionable, offensive, or pornographic (see further).[177] It was made clear that this policy is not up for debate, and the policy has sometimes proved controversial. For instance, in 2008, Wikipedia rejected an online petition against the inclusion of Muhammad’s depictions in its English edition, citing this policy. The presence of politically, religiously, and pornographically sensitive materials in Wikipedia has led to the censorship of Wikipedia by national authorities in China,[178] Pakistan[179] and the United Kingdom,[180] among other countries. In addition, Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, has criticized Wikipedia not for the pornographic content but for the fact that the content is accessible to children, and contains extreme and detailed photographs and films.[181]

        A 2008 study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Palo Alto Research Center gave a distribution of topics as well as growth (from July 2006 to January 2008) in each field:[182]

        Pie chart of Wikipedia content by subject as of January 2008[182]
        Culture and the arts: 30% (210%)
        Biographies and persons: 15% (97%)
        Geography and places: 14% (52%)
        Society and social sciences: 12% (83%)
        History and events: 11% (143%)
        Natural and physical sciences: 9% (213%)
        Technology and the applied sciences: 4% (−6%)
        Religions and belief systems: 2% (38%)
        Health: 2% (42%)
        Mathematics and logic: 1% (146%)
        Thought and philosophy: 1% (160%)

        These numbers refer only to the quantity of articles: it is possible for one topic to contain a large number of short articles and another to contain a small number of large ones. Through its “Wikipedia Loves Libraries” program, Wikipedia has partnered with major public libraries such as the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts to expand its coverage of underrepresented subjects and articles.[183]

        Furthermore, the exact coverage of Wikipedia is under constant review by the editors, and disagreements are not uncommon (see also deletionism and inclusionism).[184][185]

        As of September 2009, Wikipedia articles cover about half a million places on Earth. However, research conducted by the Oxford Internet Institute has shown that the geographic distribution of articles is highly uneven. Most articles are written about North America, Europe, and East Asia, with very little coverage of large parts of the developing world, including most of Africa.[186]

        When multiple editors contribute to one topic or set of topics, there may arise a systemic bias, such as non-opposite definitions for apparent antonyms. In 2011 Wales noted that the unevenness of coverage is a reflection of the demography of the editors, which predominantly consists of young males with high education levels in the developed world (cf previously)[146] Systemic bias on Wikipedia may follow that of culture generally, for example favouring certain ethnicities or majority religions.[187] It may more specifically follow the biases of Internet culture, inclining to being young, male, English speaking, educated, technologically aware, and wealthy enough to spare time for editing. Biases of its own may include over-emphasis on topics such as pop culture, technology, and current events.[187]

        A “selection bias”[188] may arise when more words per article are devoted to one public figure than a rival public figure. Editors may dispute suspected biases and discuss controversial articles, sometimes at great length. Wales has noted the dangers of bias on controversial political topics or polarizing public figures.[189]

        Citing Wikipedia

        Main article: Reliability of Wikipedia

        Most university lecturers discourage students from citing any encyclopedia in academic work, preferring primary sources;[190] some specifically prohibit Wikipedia citations.[191][192] Wales stresses that encyclopedias of any type are not usually appropriate to use as citeable sources, and should not be relied upon as authoritative.[193] Wales once said he receives about ten e-mails weekly from students saying they got failing grades on papers because they cited Wikipedia; he told the students they got what they deserved. “For God’s sake, you’re in college; don’t cite the encyclopedia”, he said.[194]

        In February 2007 an article in The Harvard Crimson newspaper reported that a few of the professors at Harvard University include Wikipedia in their syllabi, but that there is a split in their perception of using Wikipedia.[195] In June 2007 former president of the American Library Association Michael Gorman condemned Wikipedia, along with Google,[196] stating that academics who endorse the use of Wikipedia are “the intellectual equivalent of a dietitian who recommends a steady diet of Big Macs with everything”. He also said that “a generation of intellectual sluggards incapable of moving beyond the Internet” was being produced at universities. He complains that the web-based sources are discouraging students from learning from the more rare texts which are found only on paper or subscription-only web sites. In the same article Jenny Fry (a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute) commented on academics who cite Wikipedia, saying that: “You cannot say children are intellectually lazy because they are using the Internet when academics are using search engines in their research. The difference is that they have more experience of being critical about what is retrieved and whether it is authoritative. Children need to be told how to use the Internet in a critical and appropriate way.”[196]

        A Harvard law textbook, Legal Research in a Nutshell (2011), cites Wikipedia as a “general source” that “can be a real boon” in “coming up to speed in the law governing a situation” and, “while not authoritative, can provide basic facts as well as leads to more in-depth resources”.[197]

        Explicit content

        Problem? What problem? So, you didn’t know that Wikipedia has a porn problem?

        Dr. Larry Sanger[181]

        Wikipedia has been criticized for allowing information of graphic content. Articles depicting arguably objectionable content (such as feces, corpses, the human penis or vulva) contain graphic pictures and detailed information easily available to anyone with access to the internet, including children.

        The site also includes sexual content such as images and videos of masturbation and ejaculation as well as photos from hardcore pornographic films in its articles.

        The Wikipedia article about Virgin Killer – a 1976 album from German heavy metal band Scorpions – features a picture of the album’s original cover, which depicts a naked prepubescent girl. The original release cover caused controversy and was replaced in some countries. In December 2008, access to the Wikipedia article Virgin Killer was blocked for four days by most Internet service providers in the United Kingdom, after it was reported by a member of the public as child pornography,[198] to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) which issues a stop list to Internet service providers. IWF, a non-profit, non-government-affiliated organization, later criticized the inclusion of the picture as “distasteful”.[199]

        In April 2010, Sanger wrote a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, outlining his concerns that two categories of images on Wikimedia Commons contained child pornography, and were in violation of U.S. federal obscenity law.[200] Sanger later clarified that the images, which were related to pedophilia and one about lolicon, were not of real children, but said that they constituted “obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children”, under the PROTECT Act of 2003.[201] That law bans photographic child pornography and cartoon images and drawings of children that are obscene under American law.[201] Sanger also expressed concerns about access to the images on Wikipedia in schools.[202] Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh strongly rejected Sanger’s accusation,[203] saying that Wikipedia did not have “material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it.”[203] Following the complaint by Sanger, Wales deleted sexual images without consulting the community. After some editors who volunteer to maintain the site argued that the decision to delete had been made hastily, Wales voluntarily gave up some of the powers he had held up to that time as part of his co-founder status. He wrote in a message to the Wikimedia Foundation mailing-list that this action was “in the interest of encouraging this discussion to be about real philosophical/content issues, rather than be about me and how quickly I acted”.[204]


        Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia chapters

        Main article: Wikimedia Foundation

        Wikimedia Foundation logo
        Wikipedia is hosted and funded by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization which also operates Wikipedia-related projects such as Wiktionary and Wikibooks. The Wikimedia Foundation relies on public contributions and grants to fund its mission.[205] The Wikimedia chapters, local associations of users and supporters of the Wikimedia projects, also participate in the promotion, development, and funding of the project.

        Software and hardware

        See also: MediaWiki

        The operation of Wikipedia depends on MediaWiki, a custom-made, free and open source wiki software platform written in PHP and built upon the MySQL database system.[206] The software incorporates programming features such as a macro language, variables, a transclusion system for templates, and URL redirection. MediaWiki is licensed under the GNU General Public License and it is used by all Wikimedia projects, as well as many other wiki projects. Originally, Wikipedia ran on UseModWiki written in Perl by Clifford Adams (Phase I), which initially required CamelCase for article hyperlinks; the present double bracket style was incorporated later. Starting in January 2002 (Phase II), Wikipedia began running on a PHP wiki engine with a MySQL database; this software was custom-made for Wikipedia by Magnus Manske. The Phase II software was repeatedly modified to accommodate the exponentially increasing demand. In July 2002 (Phase III), Wikipedia shifted to the third-generation software, MediaWiki, originally written by Lee Daniel Crocker.

        Several MediaWiki extensions are installed[207] to extend the functionality of the MediaWiki software.

        In April 2005 a Lucene extension[208][209] was added to MediaWiki’s built-in search and Wikipedia switched from MySQL to Lucene for searching. The site currently uses Lucene Search 2.1,[210] which is written in Java and based on Lucene library 2.3.[211]

        Diagram showing flow of data between Wikipedia’s servers. Twenty database servers talk to hundreds of Apache servers in the backend; the Apache servers talk to fifty squids in the frontend.

        Overview of system architecture, December 2010. See server layout diagrams on Meta-Wiki.
        Wikipedia receives between 25,000 and 60,000 page requests per second, depending on time of day.[212] Page requests are first passed to a front-end layer of Squid caching servers.[213] Further statistics are available based on a publicly available 3-months Wikipedia access trace.[214] Requests that cannot be served from the Squid cache are sent to load-balancing servers running the Linux Virtual Server software, which in turn pass the request to one of the Apache web servers for page rendering from the database. The web servers deliver pages as requested, performing page rendering for all the language editions of Wikipedia. To increase speed further, rendered pages are cached in a distributed memory cache until invalidated, allowing page rendering to be skipped entirely for most common page accesses.

        Wikipedia employed a single server until 2004, when the server setup was expanded into a distributed multitier architecture. In January 2005, the project ran on 39 dedicated servers in Florida. This configuration included a single master database server running MySQL, multiple slave database servers, 21 web servers running the Apache HTTP Server, and seven Squid cache servers. Wikipedia currently runs on dedicated clusters of Linux servers (mainly Ubuntu),[215][216] with a few OpenSolaris machines for ZFS. As of December 2009, there were 300 in Florida and 44 in Amsterdam.[217]

        Access to content

        Content licensing

        When the project was started in 2001, all text in Wikipedia was covered by GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL), a copyleft license permitting the redistribution, creation of derivative works, and commercial use of content while authors retain copyright of their work.[218] GFDL was created for software manuals that come with free software programs that are licensed under GPL. This made it a poor choice for a general reference work; for example, the GFDL requires the reprints of materials from Wikipedia to come with a full copy of the GFDL license text. In December 2002, the Creative Commons license was released: it was specifically designed for creative works in general, not just for software manuals. The license gained popularity among bloggers and others distributing creative works on the Web. The Wikipedia project sought the switch to the Creative Commons.[219] Because the two licenses, GFDL and Creative Commons, were incompatible, in November 2008, following the request of the project, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) released a new version of GFDL designed specifically to allow Wikipedia to relicense its content to CC BY-SA by August 1, 2009. (A new version of GFDL automatically covers Wikipedia contents.) In April 2009, Wikipedia and its sister projects held a community-wide referendum which decided the switch in June 2009.[220][221][222][223]

        The handling of media files (e.g., image files) varies across language editions. Some language editions, such as the English Wikipedia, include non-free image files under fair use doctrine, while the others have opted not to, in part due to the lack of fair use doctrines in their home countries (e.g., in Japanese copyright law). Media files covered by free content licenses (e.g., Creative Commons’ CC BY-SA) are shared across language editions via Wikimedia Commons repository, a project operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia’s accommodation of varying international copyright laws regarding images has led some to observe that its photographic coverage of topics lags behind the quality of the encyclopedic text.[224]

        The Wikimedia Foundation is not a licensor of content, but merely a hosting service for the contributors (and licensors) of the Wikipedia. This position has been successfully defended in court.[225][226]

        Methods of access

        Because Wikipedia content is distributed under an open license, anyone can reuse or re-distribute it at no charge. The content of Wikipedia has been published in many forms, both online and offline, outside of the Wikipedia website.
        Web sites – Thousands of “mirror sites” exist that republish content from Wikipedia: two prominent ones, that also include content from other reference sources, are and Another example is Wapedia, which began to display Wikipedia content in a mobile-device-friendly format before Wikipedia itself did.
        Mobile apps – A variety of mobile apps provide access to Wikipedia on hand-held devices, including both Android and iOS devices (see Wikipedia apps). (See also Mobile access.)
        Search engines – Some web search engines make special use of Wikipedia content when displaying search results: examples include Bing (via technology gained from Powerset)[227] and Duck Duck Go.
        Compact discs, DVDs – Collections of Wikipedia articles have been published on optical discs. An English version, 2006 Wikipedia CD Selection, contained about 2,000 articles.[228][229] The Polish-language version contains nearly 240,000 articles.[230] There are German and Spanish-language versions as well.[231][232] Also, “Wikipedia for Schools”, the Wikipedia series of CDs / DVDs produced by Wikipedians and SOS Children, is a free, hand-checked, non-commercial selection from Wikipedia targeted around the UK National Curriculum and intended to be useful for much of the English-speaking world.[233] The project is available online; an equivalent print encyclopedia would require roughly 20 volumes.
        Books – There are efforts to put a select subset of Wikipedia’s articles into printed book form.[234][235] Since 2009, tens of thousands of print on demand books which reproduced English, German, Russian and French Wikipedia articles have been produced by the American company Books LLC and by three Mauritian subsidiaries of the German publisher VDM.[236]
        Semantic Web – The website DBpedia, begun in 2007, is a project that extracts data from the infoboxes and category declarations of the English-language Wikipedia and makes it available in a queriable semantic format, RDF. The possibility has also been raised to have Wikipedia export its data directly in a semantic format, possibly by using the Semantic MediaWiki extension. Such an export of data could also help Wikipedia reuse its own data, both between articles on the same language Wikipedia and between different language Wikipedias.[237]

        Obtaining the full contents of Wikipedia for reuse presents challenges, since direct cloning via a web crawler is discouraged.[238] Wikipedia publishes “dumps” of its contents, but these are text-only; as of 2007 there is no dump available of Wikipedia’s images.[239]

        Several languages of Wikipedia also maintain a reference desk, where volunteers answer questions from the general public. According to a study by Pnina Shachaf in the Journal of Documentation, the quality of the Wikipedia reference desk is comparable to a standard library reference desk, with an accuracy of 55%.[240]

        Mobile access
        See also: Help:Mobile access
        Wikipedia’s original medium was for users to read and edit content using any standard web browser through a fixed internet connection. In addition, Wikipedia content is now accessible through the mobile web.

        Access to Wikipedia from mobile phones was possible as early as 2004, through the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), via the Wapedia service. In June 2007 Wikipedia launched, an official website for wireless devices. In 2009 a newer mobile service was officially released,[241] located at, which caters to more advanced mobile devices such as the iPhone, Android-based devices or WebOS-based devices. Several other methods of mobile access to Wikipedia have emerged. Many devices and applications optimise or enhance the display of Wikipedia content for mobile devices, while some also incorporate additional features such as use of Wikipedia metadata (See Wikipedia:Metadata), such as geoinformation.[242][243]

        Wikipedia Zero is an initiative of the Wikimedia Foundation to expand the reach of the encyclopedia to the developing countries.[244]


        Sister projects – Wikimedia

        Wikipedia has also spawned several sister projects, which are also wikis run by the Wikimedia Foundation: “In Memoriam: September 11 Wiki”,[245] created in October 2002,[246] detailed the September 11 attacks; Wiktionary, a dictionary project, was launched in December 2002;[247] Wikiquote, a collection of quotations, created a week after Wikimedia launched, and Wikibooks, a collection of collaboratively written free textbooks and annotated texts. Wikimedia has since started a number of other projects, including: Wikimedia Commons, a site devoted to free-knowledge multimedia; Wikinews, for citizen journalism; and Wikiversity, a project for the creation of free learning materials and the provision of online learning activities.[248] Of these, only Commons has had success comparable to that of Wikipedia. Another sister project of Wikipedia, Wikispecies, is a catalogue of species. In 2012 Wikivoyage, an editable travel guide, launched.

        Impact on publishing

        Some observers have stated that Wikipedia represents an economic threat to publishers of traditional encyclopedias, who may be unable to compete with a product that is essentially free.[249] Nicholas Carr wrote a 2005 essay, “The amorality of Web 2.0”, that criticized websites with user-generated content, like Wikipedia, for possibly leading to professional (and, in his view, superior) content producers going out of business, because “free trumps quality all the time”. Carr wrote: “Implicit in the ecstatic visions of Web 2.0 is the hegemony of the amateur. I for one can’t imagine anything more frightening.”[250] Others dispute the notion that Wikipedia, or similar efforts, will entirely displace traditional publications. For instance, Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, wrote in Nature that the “wisdom of crowds” approach of Wikipedia will not displace top scientific journals, with their rigorous peer review process.[251]

        Cultural significance

        Main article: Wikipedia in culture

        Graph showing the number of days between every 10,000,000th edit.
        In addition to logistic growth in the number of its articles,[252] Wikipedia has steadily gained status as a general reference website since its inception in 2001.[253] According to Alexa and comScore, Wikipedia is among the ten most visited websites worldwide.[7][254] The growth of Wikipedia has been fueled by its dominant position in Google search results;[255] about 50% of search engine traffic to Wikipedia comes from Google,[256] a good portion of which is related to academic research.[257] The number of readers of Wikipedia worldwide reached 365 million at the end of 2009.[9] The Pew Internet and American Life project found that one third of US Internet users consulted Wikipedia.[258] In October 2006, the site was estimated to have a hypothetical market value of $580 million if it ran advertisements.[259]

        Wikipedia’s content has also been used in academic studies, books, conferences, and court cases.[260][261][262] The Parliament of Canada’s website refers to Wikipedia’s article on same-sex marriage in the “related links” section of its “further reading” list for the Civil Marriage Act.[263] The encyclopedia’s assertions are increasingly used as a source by organizations such as the U.S. federal courts and the World Intellectual Property Organization[264] – though mainly for supporting information rather than information decisive to a case.[265] Content appearing on Wikipedia has also been cited as a source and referenced in some U.S. intelligence agency reports.[266] In December 2008, the scientific journal RNA Biology launched a new section for descriptions of families of RNA molecules and requires authors who contribute to the section to also submit a draft article on the RNA family for publication in Wikipedia.[267]

        Wikipedia has also been used as a source in journalism,[268][269] often without attribution, and several reporters have been dismissed for plagiarizing from Wikipedia.[270][271][272]

        In July 2007 Wikipedia was the focus of a 30-minute documentary on BBC Radio 4[273] which argued that, with increased usage and awareness, the number of references to Wikipedia in popular culture is such that the word is one of a select band of 21st-century nouns that are so familiar (Google, Facebook, YouTube) that they no longer need explanation and are on a par with such 20th-century words as hoovering or Coca-Cola.

        On September 28, 2007, Italian politician Franco Grillini raised a parliamentary question with the minister of cultural resources and activities about the necessity of freedom of panorama. He said that the lack of such freedom forced Wikipedia, “the seventh most consulted website”, to forbid all images of modern Italian buildings and art, and claimed this was hugely damaging to tourist revenues.[274]

        Jimmy Wales receiving the Quadriga A Mission of Enlightenment award.
        On September 16, 2007, The Washington Post reported that Wikipedia had become a focal point in the 2008 U.S. election campaign, saying: “Type

  1. The more we go without clear info on the Wii U version the less likely it is I get this day 1. I want a full video showing the GamePad features, I’ve waited long enough damnit!!!!!!!!!!

    1. The Nintendo Direct Mini confirmed there would be exclusive features for Gamepad use for Watch_Dogs as well as other games. What those features are were not confirmed.

    1. They have shown about 10 seconds of Wii U footage but that’s about it so at this point it’s difficult to compare them

      1. im not asking the world just a ear speaker mic witch seem suddenly to disapear from the earth the moment wiiu released says:

        why less theres no resson for that unless its a poor port

  2. If Ubisoft puts 2 and 2 together (touch screen smartphone = GamePad’s touch screen), the Wii U version of Watch_Dogs will be amazing!

      1. Yeah haha, well that’s good. Even if Ubisoft doesn’t think that the Wii U will go far (or whatever they think. Depends on the day) it’s good to see them still releasing games for the console, unlike almost every other developer ever.

  3. Yeah this is all thanks to our brave commander who fighted very dangerous battle against Ubisoftians to not make this require online! All hail to Commander hip hip hurray! Only you can save this land from its cursed fate, its fate is in your haaaaaaaaands……………………

    1. Ok, so my wordpress account is still ok. Good. Anyway, glad Watchdogs isn’t going Titanfall on us. Don’t need to pay $60 for a full online game.

      BTW, I was under a rock the past week (aka vacation). What did I miss around here?

      1. Nothing but silly trolls vs fanboys fights , some news of indie games and others coming/not coming for wii u , and iwata saying I apologize I wish please understand , the usual

  4. Troll (Internet)

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jump to: navigation, search

    This article is about internet slang. For other uses, see Troll (disambiguation).

    Page semi-protected

    In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally[3][4] or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[6]

    While this sense of the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels subjective, with trolling also used to describe intentionally provocative actions and harassment outside of an online context. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”[7][8]

    [hide] 1 Usage
    2 Origin and Etymology 2.1 In other languages

    3 Trolling, identity, and anonymity
    4 Concern troll
    5 Troll sites
    6 Media coverage and controversy 6.1 Australia
    6.2 United Kingdom
    6.3 United States

    7 Examples
    8 See also
    9 References
    10 Further reading
    11 External links 11.1 Trolling advocacy and safety
    11.2 Background and definitions
    11.3 Academic and debate


    Application of the term troll is subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. Like any pejorative term, it can be used as an ad hominem attack, suggesting a negative motivation.

    As noted in an OS News article titled “Why People Troll and How to Stop Them” (January 25, 2012), “The traditional definition of trolling includes intent. That is, trolls purposely disrupt forums. This definition is too narrow. Whether someone intends to disrupt a thread or not, the results are the same if they do.[3][4] Others have addressed the same issue, e.g., Claire Hardaker, in her Ph.D. thesis[4] “Trolling in asynchronous computer-mediated communication: From user discussions to academic definitions”,[9] and Dr. Phil. Popular recognition of the existence (and prevalence) of non-deliberate, “accidental trolls”, has been documented widely, in sources as diverse as the Urban Dictionary,[10] Nicole Sullivan’s keynote speech at the 2012 Fluent Conference, titled “Don’t Feed the Trolls”[11] Gizmodo,[12] online opinions on the subject written by Silicon Valley executives[13] and comics.[14]

    Regardless of the circumstances, controversial posts may attract a particularly strong response from those unfamiliar with the robust dialogue found in some online, rather than physical, communities. Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore it[citation needed], because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts – hence the often-seen warning: “Please do not feed the trolls”.

    A popular early article defining and explaining the issue of Internet Trolls included the suggestion, The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction to reminding others not to respond to trolls..[1]

    The “trollface” is an image occasionally used to indicate trolling in Internet culture.[15][16][17][18]

    Origin and Etymology

    There are competing theories of where and when troll was first used in Internet slang, with numerous unattested accounts of BBS and UseNet origins in the early 80s or before.

    The origin of the English noun troll in the standard sense of ugly dwarf or giant dates to 1610 and comes from the Old Norse word ‘troll’ meaning giant or demon.[19] The word evokes the trolls of Scandinavian folklore and children’s tales, where they are at times beings bent on mischief and wickedness.[20]

    In modern English usage, trolling may describe the fishing technique of slowly dragging a lure or baited hook from a moving boat[21] whereas trawling describes the generally commercial act of dragging a fishing net.

    Early non-Internet related slang use of trolling for actions deliberately performed to provoke a reaction can be found in the military—by 1972 the term trolling for MiGs was documented in use by US Navy pilots in Vietnam.[22]

    The contemporary slang use of the term is alleged to have appeared on the Internet in the late 1980s,[23] but the earliest known attestation is from the OED in 1992.[24]

    Another claim sets the origin in Usenet in the early 1990s as in the phrase “trolling for newbies”, as used in alt.folklore.urban (AFU).[25][26] Commonly, what is meant is a relatively gentle inside joke by veteran users, presenting questions or topics that had been so overdone that only a new user would respond to them earnestly. For example, a veteran of the group might make a post on the common misconception that glass flows over time. Long-time readers would both recognize the poster’s name and know that the topic had been discussed a lot, but new subscribers to the group would not realize, and would thus respond. These types of trolls served as a practice to identify group insiders. This definition of trolling, considerably narrower than the modern understanding of the term, was considered a positive contribution.[25][27] One of the most notorious AFU trollers, David Mikkelson,[25] went on to create the urban folklore website

    By the late 1990s, alt.folklore.urban had such heavy traffic and participation that trolling of this sort was frowned upon. Others expanded the term to include the practice of playing a seriously misinformed or deluded user, even in newsgroups where one was not a regular; these were often attempts at humor rather than provocation. In such contexts, the noun troll usually referred to an act of trolling, rather than to the author.

    In other languages

    In Chinese, trolling is referred to as bái mù (Chinese: 白目; literally “white eye”), which can be straightforwardly explained as “eyes without pupils”, in the sense that whilst the pupil of the eye is used for vision, the white section of the eye cannot see, and trolling involves blindly talking nonsense over the internet, having total disregard to sensitivities or being oblivious to the situation at hand, akin to having eyes without pupils. An alternative term is bái làn (Chinese: 白爛; literally “white rot”), which describes a post completely nonsensical and full of folly made to upset others, and derives from a Taiwanese slang term for the male genitalia, where genitalia that is pale white in colour represents that someone is young, and thus foolish. Both terms originate from Taiwan, and are also used in Hong Kong and mainland China. Another term, xiǎo bái (Chinese: 小白; literally “little white”) is a derogatory term that refers to both bái mù and bái làn that is used on anonymous posting internet forums. Another common term for a troll used in mainland China is pēn zi (Chinese: 噴子; literally “sprayer, spurter”).

    In Japanese, tsuri (釣り?) means “fishing” and refers to intentionally misleading posts whose only purpose is to get the readers to react, i.e. get trolled. arashi (荒らし?) means “laying waste” and can also be used to refer to simple spamming.

    In Icelandic, þurs (a thurs) or tröll (a troll) may refer to trolls, the verbs þursa (to troll) or þursast (to be trolling, to troll about) may be used.

    In Korean, nak-si (낚시) means “fishing”, and is used to refer to Internet trolling attempts, as well as purposefully misleading post titles. A person who recognizes the troll after having responded (or, in case of a post title nak-si, having read the actual post) would often refer to himself as a caught fish.[citation needed]

    In Portuguese, more commonly in its Brazilian variant, troll (produced [ˈtɾɔw] in most of Brazil as spelling pronunciation) is the usual term to denote internet trolls (examples of common derivate terms are trollismo or trollagem, “trolling”, and the verb trollar, “to troll”, which entered popular use), but an older expression, used by those which want to avoid anglicisms or slangs, is complexo do pombo enxadrista to denote trolling behavior, and pombos enxadristas (literally, “chessplayer pigeons”) or simply pombos are the terms used to name the trolls. The terms are explained by an adage or popular saying: “Arguing with fulano (i.e. John Doe) is the same as playing chess with a pigeon: the pigeon defecates on the table, drop the pieces and simply fly, claiming victory.”

    In Thai, the term “krean” (เกรียน) has been adopted to address Internet trolls. The term literally refers to a closely cropped hairstyle worn by most school boys in Thailand, thus equating Internet trolls to school boys. The term “tob krean” (ตบเกรียน), or “slapping a cropped head”, refers to the act of posting intellectual replies to refute and cause the messages of Internet trolls to be perceived as unintelligent.[citation needed]

    In Sinhala Language this is called ala kiríma (අල කිරීම), which means “Turning it into Potatoes (Sabotage)”. Sometimes it is used as ala vagaa kiríma (අල වගා කිරීම) – “Planting Potatoes”. People/Profiles who does trolling often are called “Potato Planters” – ala vagákaruvan (අල වගාකරුවන්). This seems to be originated from university slang ala veda (අල වැඩ) which means “Potato business” is used for breaking the laws/codes of the university.

    Trolling, identity, and anonymity

    Early incidents of trolling[28] were considered to be the same as flaming, but this has changed with modern usage by the news media to refer to the creation of any content that targets another person. The Internet dictionary NetLingo suggests there are four grades of trolling: playtime trolling, tactical trolling, strategic trolling, and domination trolling.[29] The relationship between trolling and flaming was observed in open-access forums in California, on a series of modem-linked computers in the 1970s, like CommuniTree which when accessed by high school teenagers became a ground for trashing and abuse.[30] Some psychologists have suggested that flaming would be caused by deindividuation or decreased self-evaluation: the anonymity of online postings would lead to disinhibition amongst individuals[31] Others have suggested that although flaming and trolling is often unpleasant, it may be a form of normative behavior that expresses the social identity of a certain user group [32][33] According to Tom Postmes, a professor of social and organisational psychology at the universities of Exeter, England, and Groningen, The Netherlands, and the author of Individuality and the Group, who has studied online behavior for 20 years, “Trolls aspire to violence, to the level of trouble they can cause in an environment. They want it to kick off. They want to promote antipathetic emotions of disgust and outrage, which morbidly gives them a sense of pleasure.”[30]

    In academic literature, the practice of trolling was first documented by Judith Donath (1999). Donath’s paper outlines the ambiguity of identity in a disembodied “virtual community” such as Usenet:

    {{Cquote|In the physical world there is an inherent unity to the self, for the body provides a compelling and convenient definition of identity. The norm is: one body, one identity … The virtual world is different. It is composed of information rather than matter.[34]

    Donath provides a concise overview of identity deception games which trade on the confusion between physical and epistemic community:

    “ Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group’s common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they – and the troll – understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll’s enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group. ”

    Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community. Furthermore, in a group that has become sensitized to trolling – where the rate of deception is high – many honestly naïve questions may be quickly rejected as trollings. This can be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one’s online reputation.[34]

    Susan Herring and colleagues in “Searching for Safety Online: Managing ‘Trolling’ in a Feminist Forum” point out the difficulty inherent in monitoring trolling and maintaining freedom of speech in online communities: “harassment often arises in spaces known for their freedom, lack of censure, and experimental nature”.[35] Free speech may lead to tolerance of trolling behavior, complicating the members’ efforts to maintain an open, yet supportive discussion area, especially for sensitive topics such as race, gender, and sexuality.[35]

    In an effort to reduce uncivil behavior by increasing accountability, many web sites (e.g. Reuters, Facebook, and Gizmodo) now require commenters to register their names and e-mail addresses.[36]

    Concern troll

    A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user claims to hold. The concern troll posts in Web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.[37]

    An example of this occurred in 2006 when Tad Furtado, a staffer for then-Congressman Charles Bass (R-NH), was caught posing as a “concerned” supporter of Bass’ opponent, Democrat Paul Hodes, on several liberal New Hampshire blogs, using the pseudonyms “IndieNH” or “IndyNH”. “IndyNH” expressed concern that Democrats might just be wasting their time or money on Hodes, because Bass was unbeatable.[38][39] Hodes eventually won the election.

    Although the term “concern troll” originated in discussions of online behavior, it now sees increasing use to describe similar behaviors that take place offline. For example, James Wolcott of Vanity Fair accused a conservative New York Daily News columnist of “concern troll” behavior in his efforts to downplay the Mark Foley scandal. Wolcott links what he calls concern trolls to what Saul Alinsky calls “Do-Nothings”, giving a long quote from Alinsky on the Do-Nothings’ method and effects:

    “ These Do-Nothings profess a commitment to social change for ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity, and then abstain from and discourage all effective action for change. They are known by their brand, ‘I agree with your ends but not your means’.[40] ”

    The Hill published an op-ed piece by Markos Moulitsas of the liberal blog Daily Kos titled “Dems: Ignore ‘Concern Trolls'”. The concern trolls in question were not Internet participants; they were Republicans offering public advice and warnings to the Democrats. The author defines “concern trolling” as “offering a poisoned apple in the form of advice to political opponents that, if taken, would harm the recipient”.[41]

    Troll sites

    While many webmasters and forum administrators consider trolls a scourge on their sites, some websites welcome them. For example, a New York Times article discussed troll activity at 4chan and at Encyclopedia Dramatica, which it described as “an online compendium of troll humor and troll lore”.[23] This site and others are often used as a base to troll against sites that their members can not normally post on. These trolls feed off the reactions of their victims because “their agenda is to take delight in causing trouble”.[42]

    Media coverage and controversy

    Mainstream media outlets have focused their attention on the willingness of some Internet trolls to go to extreme lengths in their attempts at eliciting reactions.


    In February 2010, the Australian government became involved after trolls defaced the Facebook tribute pages of murdered children Trinity Bates and Elliott Fletcher. Australian communications minister Stephen Conroy decried the attacks, committed mainly by 4chan users, as evidence of the need for greater Internet regulation, stating, “This argument that the Internet is some mystical creation that no laws should apply to, that is a recipe for anarchy and the wild west.”[43] Facebook responded by strongly urging administrators to be aware of ways to ban users and remove inappropriate content from Facebook pages.[44] In 2012, the Daily Telegraph started a campaign to take action against “Twitter trolls”, who abuse and threaten users. Several high-profile Australians including Charlotte Dawson, Robbie Farah, Laura Dundovic, and Ray Hadley have been victims of trolling.[45][46][47]

    United Kingdom

    In the United Kingdom, contributions made to the Internet are covered by the Communications Act 2003. Sending messages which are “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character” is an offense whether they are received by the intended recipient or not.[48] Several people have been imprisoned in the UK for trolling.[49] Sean Duffy, who mocked the testimonial page of a dead teenager, was sentenced to eighteen weeks in prison and banned from using social networking sites for five years.[50] Jamie Counsel was sentenced to four years for trying to incite riots.[51] Trolls of the testimonial page of Georgia Varley faced no prosecution due to misunderstandings of the legal system in the wake of the term trolling being popularized.[52] In October 2012, a twenty-year-old man was jailed for twelve weeks for posting offensive jokes to a support group for friends and family of April Jones.[53] Later that month, The Register said there was a viewpoint that “the Crown Prosecution Service needs to reel in cops who are busily collaring trolls more or less at random … usually responding to public pressure from media or social media”.[54]

    United States

    On March 31, 2010, the Today Show ran a segment detailing the deaths of three separate adolescent girls and trolls’ subsequent reactions to their deaths. Shortly after the suicide of high school student Alexis Pilkington, anonymous posters began trolling for reactions across various message boards, referring to Pilkington as a “suicidal slut”, and posting graphic images on her Facebook memorial page. The segment also included an exposé of a 2006 accident, in which an eighteen-year old fatally crashed her father’s car into a highway pylon; trolls emailed her grieving family the leaked pictures of her mutilated corpse.[8] In 2012, the subject of trolling was featured on the HBO series The Newsroom.


    As reported on April 8, 1999, investors became victims of trolling via an online financial discussion regarding PairGain, a telephone equipment company based in California. Trolls operating in the stock’s Yahoo Finance chat room posted a fabricated Bloomberg News article stating that an Israeli telecom company could potentially acquire PairGain. As a result, PairGain’s stock jumped by 31%. However, the stock promptly crashed after the reports were identified as false.[55]

    So-called Gold Membership trolling originated in 2007 on 4chan boards, users posting fake images claiming to offer upgraded 4chan account privileges; without a “Gold” account, one could not view certain content. This turned out to be a hoax designed to fool board members, especially newcomers. It was copied and became an Internet meme. In some cases, this type of troll has been used as a scam, most notably on Facebook, where fake Facebook Gold Account upgrade ads have proliferated in order to link users to dubious websites and other content.[56]

    The case of Zeran v. America Online, Inc. resulted primarily from trolling. Six days after the Oklahoma City bombing, anonymous users posted advertisements for shirts celebrating the bombing on AOL message boards, claiming that the shirts could be obtained by contacting Mr. Kenneth Zeran. The posts listed Zeran’s address and home phone number. Zeran was subsequently harassed.[55]

    Anti-Scientology protests by Anonymous, commonly known as Project Chanology, are sometimes labeled as “trolling” by media such as Wired,[57] and the participants sometimes explicitly self-identify as “trolls”.

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