On 15 January 2021, the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia marked its 20th birthday.
Since being launched back in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, the website has accumulated millions of articles in dozens of languages (with the English version alone featuring over 6,229,000) compiled by thousands of editors from all over the world.
The name of the project, coined by Sanger, is a portmanteau of Hawaiian word wiki (meaning quick) and encyclopedia.
This anniversary did not go unnoticed on social media, with many wishing the site many happy returns.
Our friends at Wikipedia have been showing the world the true power of collaboration on the open internet for the past 20 years. Thank goodness there's something to celebrate.— Mozilla (@mozilla) January 15, 2021
Happy birthday, @Wikipedia! 🎉 #Wikipedia20 https://t.co/tsCHJboYyy
Today @Wikipedia celebrates its 20th birthday.— Tim Berners-Lee (@timberners_lee) January 15, 2021
It stands as a shining example of the #WebWeWant — an open, collaborative space providing free access to knowledge across the globe.
Thank you @jimmy_wales & the whole @Wikimedia community. Here’s to the next 20 years. #Wikipedia20 https://t.co/rDUnOANe7z
Wikipedia is 20-years-old. Weird to think that it wasn't a thing until I was like 10. In my head it's been around since the days of Adam & Eve— Sam Shead (@Sam_L_Shead) January 15, 2021
Happy birthday @Wikipedia 🎉 - celebrating 20 awesome years since @jimmy_wales & @lsanger launched the online encyclopaedia.— Alex Jackson (@alexkeysjackson) January 15, 2021
Here's just a few of the amazing Wikipedians from across the globe who make the site what it is today #Wikipedia20 @krmaher https://t.co/8hXOAn3W5B pic.twitter.com/Wnp3HC5BgY
Despite all of Wikipedia's pros, however, the very concept of the free encyclopedia presents a potential problem, as it can be edited by anyone, anytime, which means that certain information added to it may be unreliable, at least until the necessary corrections are made.