Though many technology platforms have advanced efforts to deal with the spread of COVID-19 information online, global numbers suggest that users are switching to Wikipedia as a reliable source to share and find coronavirus updates.
Around 4,500+ Wikipedia pages have been made to record different aspects of the disease, its proliferation to different countries, the race to find a cure and viral conspiracies. Among the total pages, the English-language articles on Wikipedia about the coronavirus alone have registered over 240 M views.
Wikipedia Breaks 5 Years Old Record with High traffic Amid COVID-19
Earlier this April, the Foundation witnessed a record five-year high with 673 million+ page views in a 24-hours across its projects. The volume of traffic was mainly if not entirely related to Covid-19 Wikipedia articles.
The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that hosts Wikipedia. The reputation shown by page views of Wikipedia articles about COVID-19 often reveals major developments in the timeline of the coronavirus pandemic. “For instance, on March 12, 2020, the day after the World Health Organisation classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, the main English language Wikipedia’s article about the coronavirus had 1.4m+ views alone, an increase of 73% from the day before the WHO’s declaration.
The fame of these pages intimates how public interest in accessing coronavirus information is growing as the outbreak rages on. Even when the majority of the pages in around 164 languages are under appropriate protections that restrict who can contribute to the articles, Wikipedia has observed an average of 163 edits per hour since December 2019, when the first cases were reported from the eipcentre Wuhan, China.
Like the other technology platforms, people can find misinformation on Wikipedia as well. However, rather than viral hoaxes and false remedies, a dedicated page titled as ‘Misinformation related to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic’ is actively charting and exposing falsehoods related to the coronavirus outbreak.