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Who Runs Wikipedia Now?

In the vast ocean of information that is the internet, one name stands out as a beacon of knowledge, constantly evolving and expanding with the collective efforts of millions of individuals worldwide: Wikipedia.

Since its inception in 2001, this collaborative online encyclopedia has transformed the way we access and share information, becoming an indispensable resource for students, researchers, and curious minds alike. But who exactly runs Wikipedia now? Gone are the days of a single founder steering the ship. Instead, the reins have been handed over to a diverse and passionate community of volunteers, supported by an organization known as the Wikimedia Foundation.

In this blog post, we will delve into the inner workings of Wikipedia, exploring the transition from founder-led to community-led governance and shedding light on the remarkable people who power this incredible platform of knowledge. Join us on this journey to uncover the fascinating story of who runs Wikipedia now and how this democratic model has shaped the world’s largest encyclopedia.

Who Runs Wikipedia Now?

In the vast expanse of the internet, Wikipedia stands as a beacon of knowledge and a testament to the power of collaborative efforts. Since its inception in 2001, this remarkable online encyclopedia has undergone a transformation in its governance model, shifting from being founder-led to being driven by a diverse and passionate community. So, who runs Wikipedia now? Let’s delve into the intricacies of its governance structure to uncover the answer.

At the core of Wikipedia’s operations is the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that plays a vital role in supporting and facilitating the growth of the platform. Established in 2003 by Jimmy Wales, the Wikimedia Foundation serves as the steward of Wikipedia and its sister projects, ensuring their continued development and sustainability. While the foundation provides essential resources and infrastructure, it is important to note that the day-to-day operations and content creation on Wikipedia are primarily driven by the community.

The Wikimedia community is an expansive network of volunteers, editors, administrators, and contributors who collectively manage and shape the content on Wikipedia. These passionate individuals dedicate their time, knowledge, and skills to create, edit, and maintain the vast repository of information available on the platform. They adhere to Wikipedia’s policies, guidelines, and best practices, striving for accuracy, neutrality, and reliability in the articles they contribute to.

Editors form the backbone of the Wikimedia community. They are responsible for researching, writing, and refining articles, ensuring that information is well-sourced, unbiased, and presented in a clear and coherent manner. Editors engage in discussions, collaborate with fellow community members, and constantly strive to improve the quality and accuracy of Wikipedia’s content.

Administrators, also known as sysops, take on additional responsibilities within the community. They have access to certain privileges that enable them to manage user accounts, protect pages from vandalism, and enforce Wikipedia’s policies. Administrators play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the platform, mediating conflicts, and ensuring a positive editing environment.

Volunteers are an integral part of the Wikimedia community as well. They contribute their expertise, time, and skills to various aspects of Wikipedia, including peer review, categorization, outreach, and education. Through their efforts, volunteers enhance the quality and accessibility of content, broaden the scope of coverage, and help address biases and content gaps.

It is important to note that the Wikimedia community operates under a decentralized and consensus-based governance model. Decisions regarding policies, guidelines, and changes to Wikipedia are made collectively through discussions, debates, and consensus-building processes. The community relies on open communication, transparent discussions, and collaborative decision-making to ensure that the platform evolves in a manner that reflects the collective wisdom and interests of its members.

In summary, while the Wikimedia Foundation provides the necessary support and infrastructure, it is the vibrant and passionate community of volunteers, editors, and administrators that truly runs Wikipedia. It is their dedication, expertise, and collaborative efforts that have propelled Wikipedia to become one of the most comprehensive and widely accessed sources of information in the world. As you read articles on Wikipedia, remember that they are the result of a collective endeavor, driven by individuals who are committed to the values of open knowledge and the dissemination of accurate and reliable information.

As a reader, you can also become a contributor and be a part of this remarkable community. By sharing your knowledge, contributing to articles, or supporting the Wikimedia Foundation’s initiatives, you can play a role in shaping the future of Wikipedia. Together, we can continue to uphold the spirit of collaboration, openness, and free access to knowledge that defines this extraordinary online encyclopedia.

The Wikimedia Foundation

Wikimedia Foundation’s Role

At the heart of Wikipedia’s operations lies the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization that plays a pivotal role in supporting and facilitating the growth of the platform. Founded in 2003 by Jimmy Wales, the Wikimedia Foundation is dedicated to empowering and engaging people around the world to collect and develop educational content under free licenses.

The foundation serves as the legal and organizational backbone for Wikipedia and its sister projects, providing the necessary infrastructure, resources, and guidance to ensure their smooth functioning. Its primary mission is to “empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain and to disseminate it effectively and globally.”

One of the key responsibilities of the Wikimedia Foundation is to oversee the technical infrastructure that powers Wikipedia, ensuring its availability, reliability, and security. This involves managing the servers, databases, and software that support the website, as well as addressing any technical issues or challenges that may arise.

Additionally, the Wikimedia Foundation plays a crucial role in fundraising to sustain the operations of Wikipedia. Through campaigns and donations from individuals and organizations, the foundation raises the necessary funds to cover the costs associated with hosting, maintaining, and improving the platform. These resources allow Wikipedia to remain free, ad-free, and accessible to all.

Furthermore, the Wikimedia Foundation supports the Wikimedia community, which comprises a diverse network of volunteer contributors, editors, and administrators. It fosters collaboration and knowledge-sharing among community members, provides tools and resources to aid their work, and encourages the growth and development of local Wikimedia chapters and affiliates worldwide.

As an advocate for open knowledge and free access to information, the Wikimedia Foundation also engages in advocacy efforts to promote policies that align with its mission. It works to protect and defend the principles of freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge on the internet, advocating for open licensing and sharing of educational content.

Overall, the Wikimedia Foundation plays a critical role in the governance and sustenance of Wikipedia. Through its technical support, fundraising efforts, community engagement, and advocacy work, the foundation empowers the global community to collaboratively build and maintain this invaluable resource of knowledge for the benefit of all.

Mission And Goals Of The Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation operates with a clear mission and a set of overarching goals that guide its work in supporting Wikipedia and its sister projects. These mission and goals reflect the foundation’s commitment to knowledge accessibility, openness, and the empowerment of individuals to contribute to the collective pool of human knowledge. Let’s explore mission and goals of the foundation:

  1. Mission: The Wikimedia Foundation’s mission is to “empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain and to disseminate it effectively and globally.” This mission statement encapsulates the foundation’s dedication to facilitating the creation, expansion, and distribution of knowledge in a manner that is free, open, and accessible to all.
  2. Free knowledge: At the core of the Wikimedia Foundation’s goals is the belief in the value of free knowledge. It strives to promote the idea that knowledge should be available to everyone without cost, legal restrictions, or barriers. By encouraging the use of open licenses, such as the Creative Commons licenses, the foundation ensures that the content contributed to Wikipedia and its projects can be freely shared, reused, and built upon by others.
  3. Community collaboration: The foundation recognizes that the power of Wikipedia lies in the collaborative efforts of a diverse community of volunteers. It aims to foster and support this vibrant community, providing the necessary tools, resources, and platforms for individuals to come together, share their expertise, and collaborate on creating and improving content.
  4. Accessibility and inclusivity: Another key goal of the Wikimedia Foundation is to make knowledge accessible to the widest possible audience. It strives to remove barriers that may hinder individuals from accessing or contributing to Wikipedia, including language barriers, technological limitations, and geographical disparities. The foundation supports initiatives to expand Wikipedia’s reach, improve its multilingual coverage, and make it more inclusive and representative of diverse perspectives and cultures.
  5. Technological innovation: As technology continues to evolve, the Wikimedia Foundation recognizes the importance of staying at the forefront of technological advancements. It aims to leverage innovative tools, software, and infrastructure to enhance the user experience, streamline content creation and curation processes, and improve the overall functionality and reliability of Wikipedia.
  6. Advocacy for open knowledge: The Wikimedia Foundation actively engages in advocacy efforts to promote policies and practices that align with its mission. It works to defend and promote freedom of expression, privacy, and access to knowledge on the internet. The foundation advocates for open licensing, open data, and the free exchange of information, collaborating with like-minded organizations and individuals to protect and advance the principles of open knowledge.

Through these mission and goals, the Wikimedia Foundation continues to empower individuals, foster collaboration, and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge on a global scale. By upholding the values of openness, accessibility, and community engagement, the foundation plays a vital role in ensuring that Wikipedia remains a trusted and invaluable resource for generations to come.

Community-Driven Governance

Understanding The Concept Of “Wikimedia Community”

The success and continued growth of Wikipedia and its sister projects would not be possible without the passionate and dedicated individuals who form the Wikimedia community. The term “Wikimedia community” refers to the diverse network of volunteers, editors, administrators, and contributors who come together to create, curate, and maintain the vast repository of knowledge that is Wikipedia. Let’s delve deeper into this concept to understand its significance:

  1. Collaboration and shared purpose: The Wikimedia community is united by a shared purpose: the collective pursuit of creating and disseminating knowledge freely. These individuals come from various backgrounds, cultures, and areas of expertise, but they share a common commitment to the principles of open knowledge and collaborative creation. They work together to improve existing articles, create new content, fact-check information, and ensure the accuracy and reliability of Wikipedia.
  2. Volunteer-driven efforts: The Wikimedia community is largely composed of volunteers who generously contribute their time, knowledge, and skills to the projects. These volunteers are not paid employees but individuals who are passionate about sharing knowledge and believe in the power of open collaboration. They dedicate countless hours to researching, writing, editing, and reviewing articles, driven by their intrinsic motivation and the desire to make information accessible to all.
  3. Self-governance and decision-making: The Wikimedia community operates under a decentralized and self-governing model. Decisions regarding content policies, guidelines, and project governance are made collectively through consensus-building processes. Various community-driven structures, such as the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia chapters, and community-elected bodies like the Wikimedia Board of Trustees, play roles in facilitating discussions, resolving disputes, and ensuring the smooth functioning of the community.
  4. Openness and inclusivity: One of the defining characteristics of the Wikimedia community is its commitment to openness and inclusivity. The community welcomes individuals from all walks of life and encourages contributions from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This commitment to diversity ensures that Wikipedia reflects a wide range of viewpoints, cultural nuances, and subject expertise, resulting in a more comprehensive and balanced representation of knowledge.
  5. Mentorship and knowledge sharing: The Wikimedia community places a strong emphasis on mentorship and knowledge sharing. Experienced contributors actively guide and support newcomers, providing assistance in navigating the editing process, understanding community norms, and improving their skills. This culture of mentorship fosters a collaborative and supportive environment, encouraging individuals to contribute, learn, and grow within the community.
  6. Community events and gatherings: The Wikimedia community organizes various events and gatherings, both online and offline, to foster camaraderie, knowledge exchange, and collaboration. These events range from local meetups and edit-a-thons to international conferences and hackathons. They provide opportunities for community members to connect, share experiences, discuss important topics, and collectively work towards the improvement of Wikipedia and its projects.

In essence, the Wikimedia community embodies the spirit of collective collaboration and shared responsibility that drives Wikipedia’s success. It is through the collective efforts, expertise, and dedication of these volunteers that Wikipedia continues to evolve, expand, and maintain its position as one of the most comprehensive and widely accessed sources of knowledge in the world.

Role Of Editors, Administrators, And Volunteers

The smooth operation and ongoing development of Wikipedia rely heavily on the active involvement of editors, administrators, and volunteers. These dedicated individuals play crucial roles in maintaining the quality, accuracy, and reliability of the content on the platform. Let’s explore the specific roles and responsibilities they undertake within the Wikimedia community:

  1. Editors:
    • Content creation and improvement: Editors are the lifeblood of Wikipedia, responsible for creating and improving articles. They conduct research, write unbiased and well-sourced content, and ensure that the information presented is accurate, neutral, and adheres to Wikipedia’s content policies and guidelines.
    • Fact-checking and citation: Editors verify the information presented in articles, fact-check claims, and add reliable sources to support the content. They play a vital role in upholding the credibility and integrity of Wikipedia by ensuring that statements are backed by reputable sources.
    • Collaboration and discussion: Editors engage in discussions with other community members on article talk pages, user talk pages, and community forums. They collaborate with fellow editors, seek consensus on disputed content, and work together to resolve conflicts or disagreements.
  2. Administrators:
    • User and content management: Administrators, also known as sysops, have additional privileges that enable them to manage user accounts, protect pages from vandalism, delete inappropriate content, and block disruptive users. They help maintain the integrity of the site and ensure a positive editing environment.
    • Conflict resolution: Administrators intervene in cases of disputes, vandalism, or disruptive behavior. They mediate conflicts, enforce Wikipedia’s policies, and take appropriate action, such as warning or blocking users who violate community guidelines.
    • Technical maintenance: Administrators may assist in technical tasks related to Wikipedia’s infrastructure and software. They help ensure that the platform runs smoothly, address technical issues, and implement updates or changes as needed.
  3. Volunteers:
    • Peer review and quality control: Volunteers participate in peer review processes to assess the quality and accuracy of articles. They provide feedback, make suggestions for improvement, and help identify and rectify any errors or shortcomings in the content.
    • Categorization and organization: Volunteers contribute to organizing and categorizing articles, improving navigation, and enhancing the overall structure of Wikipedia. They help ensure that content is well-organized and accessible to readers.
    • Outreach and education: Some volunteers engage in outreach initiatives, raising awareness about Wikipedia and its mission, and encouraging participation from new contributors. They may organize workshops, edit-a-thons, or training sessions to teach editing skills and promote responsible content creation.

Collectively, editors, administrators, and volunteers form the backbone of the Wikimedia community. Their dedication, expertise, and collaborative efforts contribute to the ongoing growth and maintenance of Wikipedia, making it a reliable and comprehensive source of knowledge for millions of users worldwide. Their commitment to upholding the values of open collaboration and accuracy helps maintain the high standards that have made Wikipedia a trusted resource for information.

Challenges And Future Outlook

Addressing Bias And Systemic Issues In Wikipedia

As an open and collaborative platform, Wikipedia strives to provide accurate and neutral information to its readers. However, like any human endeavor, it is not immune to bias and systemic issues that can inadvertently influence its content. Recognizing this, the Wikimedia community actively works to address these challenges and improve the overall reliability and inclusivity of Wikipedia. Let’s explore some of the initiatives and strategies employed to tackle bias and systemic issues:

  1. Neutral point of view (NPOV):
    • NPOV policy: Wikipedia’s core content policy is the “Neutral Point of View” (NPOV). It requires editors to present information from multiple perspectives, giving due weight to different viewpoints and avoiding bias. The community actively promotes adherence to this policy to ensure that articles reflect a balanced and unbiased view.
  2. Reliable sources and verifiability:
    • Citing reliable sources: Wikipedia relies on reliable sources to support its content. Editors are encouraged to cite reputable sources that provide factual and verifiable information, reducing the risk of bias. This emphasis on sourcing helps maintain the credibility of the content and allows readers to verify the information presented.
  3. Conflict of interest (COI) guidelines:
    • COI policies: Wikipedia has established guidelines to address conflicts of interest. Editors are encouraged to disclose any potential conflicts and avoid editing articles where they have personal or financial interests. This helps mitigate the influence of biased or promotional content and ensures transparency.
  4. Diversity and representation:
    • Broadening participation: The Wikimedia community recognizes the importance of diverse perspectives and strives to expand participation from underrepresented groups. Efforts are made to encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to contribute their knowledge and experiences, resulting in a more inclusive and comprehensive representation of topics.
    • WikiProjects and task forces: Collaborative efforts, such as WikiProjects and task forces, focus on specific areas of interest or underrepresented subjects. These initiatives aim to improve the coverage and quality of articles related to those topics, while also addressing bias and filling information gaps.
  5. Ongoing community discussions and guidelines:
    • Community discussions: The Wikimedia community engages in ongoing discussions to address bias and systemic issues. Users actively participate in dialogues on talk pages, community forums, and mailing lists to identify and rectify problematic content or biased perspectives.
    • Guidelines and best practices: The community develops and refines guidelines and best practices that encourage editors to be aware of and mitigate bias. These resources provide guidance on sourcing, neutral writing, and avoiding systemic bias, helping editors navigate potential pitfalls.
  6. Collaboration with external organizations:
    • Partnerships and collaborations: The Wikimedia Foundation and the community collaborate with external organizations to improve the quality and accuracy of content. Partnerships with libraries, educational institutions, and fact-checking organizations help enrich Wikipedia’s content, reduce bias, and ensure that information is backed by reputable sources.

While Wikipedia continues to evolve, addressing bias and systemic issues remains an ongoing effort. The Wikimedia community is committed to the principles of neutrality, inclusivity, and reliability, continuously working towards creating a more accurate, diverse, and unbiased encyclopedia. By leveraging the collective wisdom and engagement of editors, volunteers, and readers, Wikipedia strives to be a trusted source of knowledge that reflects the richness and complexity of the world we live in.

Ensuring Diversity And Representation Within The Community

The Wikimedia community recognizes the importance of diversity and representation in shaping a comprehensive and inclusive knowledge platform. By embracing and encouraging contributions from individuals with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, efforts are made to ensure that Wikipedia reflects the richness and complexity of the world’s knowledge. Here are some key strategies and initiatives aimed at fostering diversity and representation within the community:

  1. Outreach and recruitment:
    • Engaging underrepresented communities: The community actively works to engage and recruit individuals from underrepresented communities, including women, people of color, and marginalized groups. Outreach initiatives, workshops, and edit-a-thons are organized to introduce these communities to Wikipedia and encourage their participation.
    • Collaboration with organizations: Partnerships with organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, such as universities, cultural institutions, and community groups, help broaden the community’s reach and diversify its contributors.
  2. Training and mentorship:
    • Skill-building programs: Training programs and workshops are conducted to equip new contributors with the necessary skills and knowledge for editing. These initiatives support individuals who may be unfamiliar with Wikipedia’s editing process, empowering them to become active participants in shaping the content.
    • Mentorship and support: Mentorship programs pair experienced editors with newcomers, providing guidance, feedback, and support. Mentors help navigate the community’s norms, provide editing tips, and foster an inclusive environment where contributors feel valued and supported.
  3. Content and coverage:
    • Addressing content gaps: The community actively works to address content gaps and biases in Wikipedia’s coverage. WikiProjects and task forces focus on specific areas of interest, such as women’s history, LGBTQ+ topics, or marginalized communities, aiming to improve the quality and depth of coverage in those areas.
    • Inclusive perspectives: Encouraging contributors to bring their unique perspectives and experiences to articles helps enrich the content. By incorporating diverse viewpoints and narratives, Wikipedia becomes a more inclusive and representative source of information.
  4. Community guidelines and policies:
    • Civility and respectful communication: Community guidelines emphasize the importance of civility, respect, and constructive engagement. Creating an environment that values diverse perspectives and encourages respectful dialogue fosters a culture of inclusivity within the community.
    • Policies against discrimination: Wikipedia’s policies explicitly prohibit discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. These policies reinforce the commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive community.
  5. Feedback and accountability:
    • Encouraging feedback: The community actively seeks feedback from readers and contributors on issues of bias or representation. Feedback mechanisms, such as article talk pages, help identify areas that require improvement, allowing the community to address concerns and make necessary adjustments.
    • Accountability and transparency: The Wikimedia Foundation and the community maintain a commitment to transparency and accountability. Community discussions, public record-keeping, and reporting mechanisms provide opportunities for users to raise concerns and hold the community accountable for addressing bias or representation issues.

By embracing diversity, fostering representation, and creating an inclusive environment, the Wikimedia community aims to ensure that Wikipedia continues to grow as a reliable, comprehensive, and equitable source of knowledge. It is through the collective efforts and engagement of individuals from various backgrounds that Wikipedia can truly reflect the world’s diverse perspectives and contribute to a more inclusive understanding of our shared history, culture, and knowledge.


In a world where information is abundant but often unreliable, Wikipedia stands tall as a shining example of collective knowledge creation and democratized access to information. From its humble beginnings to its current status as the go-to online encyclopedia, the question of who runs Wikipedia now reveals a remarkable story of community-driven governance and the power of collaboration.

Gone are the days of a single founder steering the ship. Instead, the Wikimedia Foundation, supported by a diverse and passionate community, takes the helm. The Wikimedia Foundation serves as the organizational backbone, providing the necessary infrastructure, resources, and guidance to sustain Wikipedia’s operations. With a mission to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license, the foundation plays a crucial role in upholding the principles of open knowledge and ensuring the accessibility of information to all.

At the heart of Wikipedia’s success lies the Wikimedia community – a vast network of volunteers, editors, administrators, and contributors who pour their expertise, time, and dedication into shaping and maintaining the platform. These individuals, driven by their passion for sharing knowledge and their commitment to neutrality and accuracy, form the lifeblood of Wikipedia. Through their collective efforts, they create, curate, fact-check, and improve articles, transforming Wikipedia into an unparalleled resource of information that transcends borders, languages, and cultures.

The Wikimedia community operates with a shared purpose – the pursuit of knowledge and the belief that information should be freely accessible to all. Editors meticulously craft articles, ensuring accuracy, balance, and adherence to Wikipedia’s policies. Administrators provide oversight, ensuring a positive editing environment and resolving conflicts. Volunteers contribute their time, skills, and perspectives, enriching the content and ensuring its representation of diverse viewpoints. Together, they form a collaborative force that drives the continuous growth and improvement of Wikipedia.

While Wikipedia’s community-led governance model has brought tremendous success, it is not without its challenges. Bias, systemic issues, and content gaps occasionally surface, reminding us that even the most noble endeavors are not immune to human fallibility. However, the Wikimedia community does not shy away from these challenges; instead, it actively addresses them.

Efforts to address bias and systemic issues in Wikipedia are ongoing. The community adheres to the principles of neutrality, emphasizes the use of reliable sources, and continually refines guidelines and policies to mitigate bias and improve content quality. Initiatives to promote diversity and representation are in place, aiming to engage underrepresented communities, foster inclusivity, and close content gaps. By actively seeking feedback, encouraging accountability, and maintaining transparency, the community demonstrates its commitment to improvement and responsiveness to the needs of its users.

As we conclude this exploration of who runs Wikipedia now, we must acknowledge the dynamic nature of this collaborative endeavor. Wikipedia’s governance continues to evolve, adapt, and refine its practices, guided by the spirit of inclusivity, accuracy, and accessibility. It is a living testament to the power of collective wisdom, demonstrating the immense potential of individuals coming together to share, shape, and preserve knowledge for the betterment of society.

In a world marked by division and misinformation, Wikipedia remains a beacon of hope, where people from all walks of life can contribute to a shared body of knowledge. It is a testament to what can be achieved when we harness the power of collaboration, celebrate diversity, and uphold the principles of openness and accuracy. As readers, contributors, or supporters, we all have a role to play in the ongoing success of Wikipedia. Let us embrace this responsibility, recognizing the impact that each of us can have in shaping the world’s largest encyclopedia and empowering future generations with the gift of knowledge.