The online encyclopedia Wikipedia marked its 20th anniversary in 2021. With its philosophy “knowledge by all, for all”, Wikipedia has all but replaced printed encyclopedias in our collective consciousness. What does this mean for the world’s accumulated knowledge?
For more than 20 years now, people can look up online answers to all manner of questions. With some 50 million articles in almost 300 languages, Wikipedia would appear to be a treasure trove of knowledge. Anyone can contribute. But little is known about the individual creators of this enormous pool of information. What motivates them to devote unpaid time in the service of human knowledge? And what happens if the collective is infiltrated by contributors with a hidden agenda in the pay of nations or industry giants? Why is 85% of the content provided by what’s become known as stereotypical “angry white men” contributing content that they consider relevant for the planet? And will artificial intelligence soon take over? This film provides a critical appraisal of the pros and cons of the online encyclopedia.