Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute
Pillar 3 promises that the knowledge on Wikipedia will be free forever, because of the generosity and altruism embodied by our editors every day. These contributors know that their work is and always will be for the public good, no matter how it is reused, remixed and shared. “All editors freely license their work to the public,” Pillar 3 says, “and no editor owns an article.”
Wikimedia’s Content Is Everywhere You Look
All information across Wikimedia projects can be freely reused by others so it has the greatest reach possible and can appear in a limitless array of ways. In 2021-22, that’s exactly what happened, whether it was on social media sites where users cited Wikipedia articles countless times a day; images from Wikimedia Commons that media outlets around the world used to illustrate important stories; or the millions of queries that virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa answered by accessing Wikipedia articles.
Content from Wikimedia projects was everywhere you looked this year, reflecting our commitment to content that will always be free for public use.
Here are just a few more examples of how people around the world were able to share and participate in Wikimedia projects in 2021-22:
- In 2022, legal representatives submitted more than 40 legal briefs to the United States’ Supreme Court that used Wikipedia articles to cite factual knowledge — a reflection of Wikipedia’s long-standing use as a knowledge source in the global court system.
- After Queen Elizabeth II’s death was announced on September 8, 2022, Wikipedia’s articles on the monarch saw a record amount of traffic. The Queen’s Wikipedia article, across 180+ languages, was viewed 19.9 million times, the most views on a topic in a single day ever. In a display of remarkable efficiency and dedication, Wikipedia editors swiftly updated the article on Queen Elizabeth II mere seconds after the official announcement of her passing.
- Wikimedia Commons editors stood by last July to upload historic images from the James Webb Space Telescope as soon as they were available. To report on the telescope’s milestone mission, which began in December 2021, media around the world published images from Commons that told the full story.
- As part of the Wikimedia Foundation’s “Reading Wikipedia in the Classroom” project, classrooms of secondary students in Nigeria participated in sessions where they developed greater media-literacy skills, including how to spot bias in the information they consume.
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