Wikipedia is the largest repository of human knowledge in history, maintained and stewarded by a global community of editors in hundreds of languages. Wikipedia isn’t a collection of essays designed to sway people’s opinions. Nor is it a collection of almanac-like facts or a place for first-hand eye-witness accounts. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia; constantly growing, constantly improving as new articles and edits appear, constantly answering the worldwide need for accurate, accessible information.
How We Are Working Toward Knowledge Equity
For thousands of years encyclopedias have existed to help people understand the world around them. Wikipedia takes this guiding ideal to a global scale with a wider platform than any other encyclopedia in human history. The Wikimedia Foundation is committed to increasing access to knowledge for every single human on earth. It is not enough for an encyclopedia to live as volumes on bookshelves; we must meet people where they are, in the languages they speak, on the devices they use, and with the up-to-date information they need.
In 2021-2022, large numbers of people continued to use Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, reflecting the mission to provide free knowledge to everyone, everywhere. This year readers from around the world accessed more than 20 billion pages from at least 1.5 billion unique devices.
The volunteer community also continued to go above and beyond as they demonstrated their remarkable dedication to free knowledge projects by adding 2.7 million articles and making 1.8 billion edits to Wikipedia. Wikipedia expanded to more than 320 language editions this year, more languages than any other large online platform.
The Wikimedia Foundation is also committed to supporting the Wikimedia movement to increase knowledge equity, ensuring everyone has access and representation on Wikimedia projects regardless of their background or circumstances. In 2021-2022, we made progress through such important initiatives as Project Rewrite, which calls attention to gender gaps and highlights the movement’s efforts to close them on Wikimedia projects. Global editing events amplified the goal of Project Rewrite and added scores of Wikipedia articles about women to the projects.
We also focused on bridging accessibility gaps on our projects for people living in Africa, by aiming to improve access and promote the creation of articles about and by African people and topics. We launched a partnership with the African Union, called the African Knowledge Initiative, that will allow contributors to access resources, tap African Union publications and data sources, and recruit and train other volunteers. This project serves as a space for experimentation, capacity-building, and connection for African communities. It is already showing progress, with African user groups growing faster than anywhere else in the world.
Wikipedia is the world’s encyclopedia. Our work towards making it equitable and accessible will continue and anyone the world over is invited to join the effort.