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Wikipedia is a free multilingual online encyclopedia written and maintained by a community of volunteers, known as Wikipedians, through open collaboration and using a wiki-based editing system called MediaWiki. Wikipedia is the largest and most-read reference work in history. Launched in 2001, Wikipedia developed by 2006 into the largest encyclopedia in the world, and has consistently been one of the 10 most popular websites in the world. It is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, an American non-profit organization funded mainly through donations.
Wikipedia was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger on January 15, 2001.