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Wikipedia has passed a notable milestone in its quest to give the world “collaborative free knowledge,” with the revelation by The Wikimedia Foundation that it now provides more than five million English-language articles.

Founded in 2001, the omnipresent online encyclopedia has taken almost 15 years to achieve this magic milestone, which was reached when Australian Cas Liber (who has already created around 1,500 articles) started a page about a rare shrub called persoonia terminalis.

For context, the English-language version of Wikipedia hit two million articles in 2007, three million in 2009, and four million in 2012. The next most popular language on Wikipedia is actually Swedish, which recently passed two million articles, followed by German (1.87 million), Dutch (1.84 million), and French (1.69 million). The Wikimedia Foundation says that the total size of Wikipedia weighs in at 30 terabytes.

Today’s news comes a week after an administrator at the Wikimedia Foundation criticized the amount of media coverage received by Wikipedia, in light of the fact that it is one of the Internet’s most visited websites: “Both qualitatively and quantitatively, news coverage is inadequate for a website and movement as large and influential as Wikipedia and Wikimedia.”

Earlier this year, the Wikimedia Foundation helped support an art installation that would enable anyone to buy a 7,471-volume printed version of Wikipedia, providing they had $500,000 to spare.


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