Spanish Wikipedia

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Favicon of Wikipedia Spanish Wikipedia
Main Page of the Spanish Wikipedia in April 2021
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia project
Available inSpanish
HeadquartersMiami, Florida
OwnerWikimedia Foundation
LaunchedMay 11, 2001; 23 years ago (2001-05-11)

The Spanish Wikipedia (Spanish: Wikipedia en español) is a Spanish-language edition of Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia. It has 1,954,664 articles. Started in May 2001, it reached 100,000 articles on March 8, 2006, and 1,000,000 articles on May 16, 2013. It is the 8th-largest Wikipedia as measured by the number of articles and has the 4th-most edits. It also ranks 12th in terms of article depth among Wikipedias.


In February 2002, Larry Sanger wrote an e-mail to a mailing list stating that Bomis was considering selling advertisements on Wikipedia. Edgar Enyedy, a user on the Spanish Wikipedia, criticized the proposal. Jimmy Wales and Sanger responded by saying that they did not immediately plan to implement advertisements,[1] but Enyedy began establishing a fork. Enciclopedia Libre was established by February 26, 2002. Enyedy persuaded most of the Spanish Wikipedians into going to the fork. By the end of 2002, over 10,000 articles were posted on the new site, and the Spanish Wikipedia was inactive for the rest of the year. Andrew Lih wrote that "for a long time it seemed that Spanish Wikipeda [sic] would be the unfortunate runt left from the Spanish fork."[2] The general popularity of Wikipedia attracted new users to the Spanish Wikipedia who were unfamiliar with the fork and these users came by June 2003.[2][clarification needed] By the end of that year the Spanish Wikipedia had over 10,000 articles. The size of the Spanish Wikipedia overtook that of the fork in the northern hemisphere in the fall of 2004.[2]

Lih stated in 2009 that the concepts of advertising and forking were still sensitive issues for the Wikipedia community because "It took more than a year for the Spanish Wikipedia to get back on its feet again" after the fork had been initiated.[2]

After the spin-off, the Spanish Wikipedia had very little activity until the upgrade to the Phase III of the software, later renamed MediaWiki, when the number of new users started to increase again.[citation needed] Both projects continue to co-exist, but the Spanish Wikipedia is by far the more active of the two.[3][4]

Key dates[edit]

Historical article counts. The Spanish Wikipedia is shown in red; Enciclopedia Libre is blue.
  • March 16, 2001: Jimmy Wales announced the internationalization of Wikipedia.[5]
  • May 11, 2001: The Spanish Wikipedia is established along with eight other wikis. Its first domain was[6]
  • May 21, 2001: The oldest known article, Anexo:Países (English translation: Countries of the world), is created.
  • February 26, 2002: many contributors left to form the Enciclopedia Libre Universal en Español, rejecting perceived censorship and the possibility of advertising on the Bomis-supported Wikipedia.[7]
  • October 23, 2002: the domain is changed to
  • June 30, 2003: the mailing list for the Spanish Wikipedia is created (Wikies-l).[8]
  • October 6, 2003: first bot created on this Wikipedia. Its user name is SpeedyGonzalez.
  • July 18, 2004: the Spanish edition switches to UTF-8, allowing any character to be used directly in forms.
  • December 9, 2004: it is decided that Wikipedia in Spanish will use free images only.[9]
  • August 24, 2006: three checkusers are elected.[10] They can examine IP addresses.
  • December 11, 2006: following a vote, the Arbitration Committee, whose local name is Comité de Resolución de Conflictos (CRC) is created.[10]
  • June 11, 2007: last local image was erased, so all media are retrieved from Wikimedia Commons.
  • September 1, 2007: first local chapter of Wikimedia Foundation is created in a Spanish-speaking country (Argentina).
  • December 13, 2008: it was decided to eliminate the stub template from Spanish Wikipedia.[11]
  • March 25, 2009: the first oversighters are elected.[12] They can delete edits such that they cannot be seen by regular administrators.
  • April 15, 2009: the Arbitration Committee is dissolved after a vote.[13]
  • May 16, 2013: the Spanish Wikipedia became the seventh Wikipedia to cross the million article count.
  • January 20, 2019: the Spanish Wikipedia reaches the count of 1,500,000 articles.

Size and users[edit]

Active editors by country
Country percent
 United States
 Costa Rica
October 2021
Source: Wikimedia Statistics
- Page Edits Per Wikipedia Language - Breakdown
The countries in which the Spanish Wikipedia is the most popular language version of Wikipedia are shown in yellow.
Page views by country of origin on the Spanish Wikipedia

It has the second most users, after the English Wikipedia.[14] However, it is ranked eighth for number of articles, below other Wikipedias devoted to languages with smaller numbers of speakers, such as German, French, Cebuano, Dutch and Russian. In terms of quality, parameters such as article size (over 2 KB: 40%) show it as the second out of the ten largest Wikipedias after the German one.[15] As of October 2012, Spanish Wikipedia is the fourth Wikipedia in terms of the number of edits,[16] as well as the third Wikipedia by the number of page views.[17]

By country of origin, by September 2017, Spain was the main contributor to the Spanish Wikipedia (39.2% of edits). It is followed by Argentina (10.7%), Chile (8.8%), the Netherlands (8.4%), Mexico (7.0%), Venezuela (5.1%), Peru (3.5%), the United States (3.1%), Colombia (2.7%), Uruguay (1.3%) and Germany (1.1%).[18] Note that a number of bots are hosted in the Netherlands.

Among the countries where Spanish is either an official language or a de facto national language, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela have established local chapters of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Usage in Spain[edit]

Following a 2007 study by Netsuus (online market analysis enterprises) on the use of Wikipedia in Spain, it was revealed that most users consult Spanish Wikipedia (97%) compared to Wikipedias in other regional languages (2.17% for Wikipedia in Catalan, 0.64% in Galician and 0.26% in Basque).[19]

Differences from other Wikipedias[edit]

  • The Spanish Wikipedia only accepts free images, and has rejected fair use since 2004, after a public vote.[9] In 2006, it was decided to phase out the use of local image uploads and to exclusively use Wikimedia Commons for images and other media in the future.[20]
  • Unlike the French and English Wikipedias, the Spanish Wikipedia does not have an Arbitration Committee. A local version was created in January 2007 (comprising seven members, chosen by public vote),[10] and dissolved in 2009 after another vote.[13]
  • Some templates, like the navigation templates,[21] have been deprecated, being the only Wikipedia where it is forbidden to use these templates, instead relying on categories that perform the same function.
  • Terminology in Spanish:

Evaluation and criticism[edit]

A comparative study by the Colegio Libre de Eméritos, made by Manuel Arias Maldonado (University of Málaga) and published in 2010, compared some articles with those of the English and German Wikipedias. It concluded that the Spanish version of Wikipedia was the least reliable of the three. It found it to be more cumbersome and imprecise than the German and English Wikipedias, stated that it often lacked reliable sources, including much unreferenced data, and found it to be too dependent on online references.[22]

During Wikimania 2009, free-software activist Richard Stallman criticized the Spanish Wikipedia for restricting links to the left-wing web site and allegedly banning users who had complained about what had happened. Participants on the Spanish Wikipedia responded that is primarily a news aggregator, that links to aggregators should be replaced with links to original publishers whenever possible, and that they considered the issue to be one of spam.[23]

According to a 2013 Oxford University study, five of the ten most disputed pages on the Spanish Wikipedia were football (soccer) clubs, including Club América, FC Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Alianza Lima, and Newell's Old Boys.[24]

Political bias[edit]

The Spanish Wikipedia has been criticized for offering a whitewashed coverage of politician Cristina Kirchner while presenting a negative portrayal of her opponent Mauricio Macri.[25][26][27]

In September 2022 a manifesto signed by Juan Carlos Girauta, Álvaro Vargas Llosa, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, Joaquín Leguina, Albert Rivera, Daniel Lacalle and Toni Cantó (figures associated with Spanish right-wing parties like Partido Popular and Ciudadanos, or right-wing media like Libertad Digital) among others was published denouncing political bias on the Spanish Wikipedia.[28]


  1. ^ Lih, p. 137.
  2. ^ a b c d Lih, p. 138.
  3. ^ "Enciclopedia Libre Universal: Special Stats" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  4. ^ Estadísticas
  5. ^ "Wikipedia mailing list message: Alternative language wikipedias". 16 March 2001. Archived from the original on 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  6. ^ "[Wikipedia-l] new language wikis". 11 May 2001. Archived from the original on 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
  7. ^ "Enciclopedia:Por qué estamos aquí y no en" (in Spanish). 25 July 2007. Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  8. ^ "[Wikies-l] Inauguracion de la lista". Archived from the original on 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
  9. ^ a b es:Wikipedia:Votaciones/2004/Usar sólo imágenes libres
  10. ^ a b c Votaciones/2006/Creación del Comité de resolución de conflictos
  11. ^ Consultas de borrado/Plantilla:Esbozo
  12. ^ Supresores/Votación/2009
  13. ^ a b Votaciones/2009/Sobre la disolución del Comité de Resolución de Conflictos
  14. ^ "List of Wikipedias". Archived from the original on 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
  15. ^ "Wikipedia Statistics Tables - Articles over 2Kb". Archived from the original on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2012-06-18.
  16. ^ "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Page Edits Per Wikipedia Language - Breakdown". Archived from the original on 2011-11-08. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  17. ^ "Page Views for Wikipedia, All Platforms, Normalized". Archived from the original on 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
  18. ^ Edits by project and country of origin as described in Meta.
  19. ^ "Especial: Lenguas Oficiales en Wikipedia". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-26.
  20. ^ es:Wikipedia:Votaciones/2006/Cambiar políticas y reglas de uso de imágenes
  21. ^ es:Wikipedia:Plantillas de navegación
  22. ^ Manuel Arias Maldonado. "Wikipedia: un estudio comparado" (PDF) (in Spanish). p. 49. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  23. ^ Cohen, Noam (August 27, 2009). "A War of Words Over Wikipedia's Spanish Version". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  24. ^ Gross, Doug. "Wiki wars: The 10 most controversial Wikipedia pages Archived 2016-04-12 at the Wayback Machine." (Archive) CNN. July 24, 2013. Retrieved on July 26, 2013.
  25. ^ "Wikipedia. La tendencia prokirchnerista que esconde la enciclopedia virtual". LA NACION (in Spanish). 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  26. ^ Fontevecchia, Agustino (2020-08-08). "Cristina vs. Google and the invisible battle for Wikipedia". Buenos Aires Times. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  27. ^ "¿Kirchnerpedia? La militancia copó las definiciones políticas de Wikipedia". LA NACION (in Spanish). 2021-07-22. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  28. ^ "Denuncian el sesgo político encubierto de Wikipedia en español". ABC (in Spanish). 2022-09-16.


External links[edit]