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Jimmy Wales, "the genius behind Wikipedia," is in Romania for the first time


Wikipedia does not discourage people to read books and students or journalists' laziness is a human problem, not related to the platform that hosts information from all over the world, Jimmy Wales, the one who initiated and who coordinates this online phenomenon, told a Tuesday's press conference in Bucharest.

In the meeting with the press, Wales spoke about the philosophy behind Wikipedia, the future of the platform and about the "zero-compromise" policy when there are censorship tendencies.

He said that in the case of breaking news, such as the one about the terror attack in Brussels on Tuesday, the main sources are the mainstream media, such as BBC, plus the efforts of Wikipedia volunteers. For example, he recounted, during the Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, the volunteers who could read weather data very accurately were very active on Wikipedia.

In this context, he denied Wikipedia texts being written by robots.

Wales said that the Wikipedia project would never be finished and this aspect is the "charm" of the platform.

He added that this platform should not be the source of academic papers, to the same extent that no other encyclopedia should be so, but rather a starting point for research.

Wales said that in order to maintain the editorial independence of Wikipedia, he chose that the funding come from small investors and the platform's annual budget is 60 million dollars, which is a small budget for no. 5 website in the world.

Jimmy Wales, considered "the genius behind Wikipedia," is in Romania for the first time, and he will reveal in a conference, late on Tuesday, the philosophy behind the famous platform and how he has succeeded in revolutionizing the way people worldwide have access to information.

Each month, over 80,000 volunteers from all over the world contribute to the writing of more than 7,000 new articles per day, accessed by over 500 million single visitors. Currently, Wikipedia contains more than 36 million articles, available free of charge in over 280 languages.

Included by Time magazine among the top 100 most influential personalities, Jimmy Wales is an American entrepreneur, a member of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society of the Harvard University and a member of the MIT Center of Collective Intelligence. Wales started Wikipedia in 2001.