Founder of Wikipedia visits Denver to discuss future of internet

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DENVER — The man who changed the way millions of people search for things on the internet visited the Mile High City on Thursday.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales discussed the future of the internet and the role mobile technology will play in it.

“Wikipedia, for example, we’ve just seen, fairly recently, our first day ever where we had more mobile phone page views than desktop page views. So that’s how big it’s getting,” Wales said.

Wikipedia is used by about 400 million people each month, Wales said. He said when you look at the developing world, the next billion people who go online in the next five years will primarily use mobile phones instead of computers.

“I think it’s a trend that’s coming faster than people realize, and it’s going to have a bigger impact than people realize,” Wales said.

In terms of his website, viewers were curious to know whether Wales thought it would ever be considered a valid source of citation for school papers since most high schools and colleges prohibit students from sourcing it on projects.

“Our goal is to be as high quality as possible. But our goal is not to be citation in school papers,” Wales said.

Wikipedia’s credibility comes under question because it allows users to edit pages. Someone can pretty much write whatever they want about anyone else, even if it’s not true.

Wales said Wikipedia has dedicated community groups who try to police misinformation that’s published. The site’s 250 employees also help.

“It’s not perfect, but people try really hard to make it as good as it can be,” Wales said.

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