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Wikipedia founder talks fake news and the need for neutrality at Montreal event


Published on August 11, 2017

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, poses for a portrait in Mexico City, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Wales says the free online encyclopedia has emerged as a trusted source of information in an era of fake news.Wales says that as traditional media outlets have declined and lost the trust of the public, Wikipedia has stepped up to fill the gap. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP/Berenice Bautista

MONTREAL — Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says the free online encyclopedia has emerged as a trusted source of information in an era of fake news.

Wales says that as traditional media outlets have declined and lost the trust of the public, Wikipedia has stepped up to fill the gap.

His comments were made this morning in Montreal during a panel discussion at the opening of the annual Wikimania conference.

The three-day conference is gathering about 1,000 people for a series of training sessions, presentations and workshops that focus on the future of free knowledge projects.

The discussion also touched on the encyclopedia's efforts to combat harassment, improve diversity and stay neutral in the partisan online world.

Wales has also launched a separate crowd-funded news website that is produced by a team of journalists and community volunteers.

The Canadian Press