The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent

Interviewing Jimmy Wales, Cofounder of Wikipedia

Episode 460 of the Cyberlaw Podcast


In this bonus episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, I interview Jimmy Wales, the cofounder of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a rare survivor from the Internet Hippie Age, coexisting like a great herbivorous dinosaur with Facebook, Twitter, and the other carnivorous mammals of Web 2.0. Perhaps not coincidentally, Jimmy is the most prominent founder of a massive internet institution not to become a billionaire. We explore why that is, and how he feels about it.

I ask Jimmy whether Wikipedia's model is sustainable, and what new challenges lie ahead for the online encyclopedia. We explore the claim that Wikipedia has a lefty bias, and whether a neutral point of view can be maintained by including only material from trusted sources. I ask Jimmy about a concrete example—what looks to me like an idiosyncratically biased entry in Wikipedia for "Communism."

We close with an exploration of the opportunities and risks posed for Wikipedia by ChatGPT and other large language AI models.

Download 460th Episode (mp3)

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