Polish Wikipedia celebrates 20th birthday

On Sunday, Polish Wikipedia celebrated its 20th “birthday”. Every month, this virtual encyclopedia is visited by 30 million users and is made up of a very diverse community. The Polish-language Wikipedia appeared in 2001, a few months after its creation in the US. It was one of the first non-English language versions.

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Since 2016, the number of active editors of Polish Wikipedia has been growing. Currently, Wikipedia is recognised as the world’s largest, freely available and free source of knowledge. There are about 1.5 million entries in the Polish language version. This website is one of the 10 most visited websites in Poland.

As Nina Gabryś, the spokeswoman of the Wikimedia Polska Association the Polish-language Wikipedia was founded by internist Krzysztof Jasiutowicz and physicist Paweł Jochym. The first article was devoted to the Titius-Bode rule. Initially, it functioned as an independent project Polish Free Network Encyclopedia and was located at wiki.rozeta.com.pl, owned by the Kraków entrepreneur Shift.

On January 12, 2002, at the suggestion of the authors of the English version, the Polish-language Wikipedia joined the international project and moved to pl.wikipedia.com, and on November 22, 2002 - to the address it can be found at today - pl.wikipedia.org.

“Wikipedia has always been guided by the ideas of openness and cooperation, it is a project that is co-created by thousands of people all over Poland on an ongoing basis. Anyone can join the spontaneously developing community of volunteers at any time and boldly modify the pages,” Ms Gabryś encouraged. A total of more than 4,600 editors and editors oversee Wikipedia articles and the development of sister projects such as Wiktionary and Wikisource.

In January this year. prof. Dariusz Jemielniak from Koźmiński University in Warsaw, wikipedist, member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation confirmed once again that there are no ads on Wikipedia and there never will be. “We made this decision years ago. If we were forced to place advertisements, we would also have to think about suspending the operation of the website. We believe that the sum of human knowledge should be available for free. And for free it does not mean ‘for the users’ data’ or for their viewing time,” he said then.

Prof. Jemielniak said that although the entire Wikipedia is 50 times larger than the Britannica encyclopedia, there is still plenty of room to develop it. “If someone uses Wikipedia, I believe that it is their ethical duty to either donate to Wikipedia or to support it with their work: be it correcting a comma or adding a sentence, paragraph, or slogan. The more hands we have to work, the better the common good we create. I would encourage everyone to develop entries in Wikipedia in the field they are interested in. It will surely turn out that a lot of information is still missing there,” he suggested.