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Back in 2010, the world was still skeptical of Wikipedia. High school teachers and college professors warned students to never, ever use it for research. If you ever tried to cite it in an argument, your opponent would mock it as unreliable. Late night hosts like Stephen Colbert would enlist their audiences to flood a specific Wikipedia page and vandalize it. Celebrities and major companies would treat it as a vanity project, editing their own pages while making absolutely no effort to disclose their conflict of interest.

Flash forward to 2020, and Wikipedia certainly has more respect. The Wikimedia Foundation, which acts as its official steward, has tens of millions of dollars in the bank. While college professors don’t view it as a primary source for research, they’ll sometimes endorse it as a starting point for said research. And nearly everyone recognizes it as one of the most influential websites on the internet.

But though tens of millions of people use Wikipedia every day, most only have a passing understanding of how a core group of a few thousand volunteer editors perform the vast majority of contributions to its articles.

One of those editors is Bill Beutler. For the past decade, Bill has consulted with hundreds of brands, helping them to edit their Wikipedia pages without running afoul of the platform’s strict rules. I recently interviewed Bill about the problems that have plagued Wikipedia for the past decade and the issues its community will need to address in the decade to come.

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