Is Wikipedia information true?

Story in the first: The Wikipedia Promise

SEND DATE Mon., 11.01.21 | 11:35 pm | The first

20 years ago Jimmy Wales made the first entry on Wikipedia: "Hello world". An invitation to the Internet to take part in the knowledge project. Wikipedia was ridiculed at first, but now the online encyclopedia has permeated all areas of our everyday lives.

Wikipedia contains more than 50 million articles and is the largest encyclopedia of all time. But who do we actually ask when we ask Wikipedia?

Everyone can take notes

Wikipedia begins with a promise: the production of knowledge, which has been in the hands of small elites for thousands of years, is being radically democratized: everyone can take notes, regardless of their level of education, origin or political convictions. Is the global project the utopia that has come true?

The documentary provides a deep insight into the inner workings of Wikipedia. Above all they have their say: the Wikipedians. Authors from Germany, France, Ghana, Tunisia, South Africa, the USA and other countries - the people behind the facade of the website. The result is the complex picture of an encyclopedia, the creation of which is often bitterly fought over content, visibility and interpretative sovereignty.

Founders Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger tell of the project's early boom, which they would never have dared to dream of. But why is Larry Sanger one of Wikipedia's harshest critics today?

Mirror of society

Wikipedia shows itself as a mirror of a society in which old perspectives are shaken and the supposed foundations of our worldview are shaken. Women and people from the global south are underrepresented on Wikipedia - both in terms of authorship and the content of the website. But more and more authors no longer want to accept this status quo.

Has "The Wikipedia Promise" been kept? What is Wikipedia 20 years after it was founded: conservative or still radical? A new Internet version of the elitist and Eurocentric knowledge production or a truly global project?

A film by Lorenza Castella and Jascha Hannover

Online first 48 hours before broadcast in the ARD media library (as of November 24, 2020)