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Respecting the word's etymology, if authority is now being practised by corporations, it is therefore the result of collaboration of individuals as an entity. Wikipedia is perhaps an interesting case. It shows us how a corporation of individuals can perform authority over the practice of knowledge. Since its creation, it has managed to become one of the most popular and trusted Encyclopedias over the world. More than 12 % of the internauts use it on a daily basis. But the content is created and regulated by individuals on the simple basis that they care about it and are ready to dedicate time to it. They all remain anonymous and unpaid. We can attribute the first Encyclopedia to Diderot and D'Alembert, with the help of specialists in the different topics covered. But Wikipedia doesn't rely on expertise but on the wish to take part, who will remain anonymous and non identificable. This also means that the body can evolve constantly, ones can leave and ones can join at any time. Anyone can edit articles, add articles or spot any article that causes dilemna and discuss it with the other peer governors, in an open and public discussion that paradoxally gives an impression of transparency. Due to these constant slipages in the roles people attribute to themselves, wikipedia works more on the model of a heterarchy than a strict hierarchy.
The system of observation in peer work, is characterised by Holoptism, as opposed to panopticism.
The P2P foundation defines it in these terms : the ability for any member to have horizontal knowledge of what the others are doing, but also the vertical knowledge related to the aims of the project.


This page provides assistance with the most common questions about Wikipedia.

To start, please click on a relevant link to what you want assistance for below, or simply search for other available help pages that are not linked here using the search box to the right. If you wish, you can browse for your desired help page instead.

I want to report a problem with an article

If there is a problem with an article about yourself, a family member, a friend or a colleague, please add a discussion to the biographies of living persons noticeboard.

If you spot a problem with an article, you can fix it directly, by clicking on the "Edit" link at the beginning of that page. See the "I want to edit Wikipedia" section of this page for more information.

If you don't feel ready to fix the article yourself, please post a message on the article's talk page. This will bring the matter to the attention of others who work on that article. There is a "Talk" link at the beginning of every article page.

Alternatively you can contact us. If it's an article about you or your organization, see Contact us - Subjects.

I want to create a new article or upload media

Check Your first article to see if your topic is appropriate, then the Article wizard will walk you through creating the article.

Once you have created an article, see Writing better articles for guidance on how to improve it and what to include (like reference citations).

For contributing images, audio or video files, see the [to uploading images]. Then the Upload wizard will guide you through that process.

I have a factual question

If searching Wikipedia has not answered your question (for example, questions like "Which country has the world's largest fishing fleet?"), try the Reference Desk. Volunteers there will attempt to answer your questions on any topic, or point you towards the information you need.

I'm stuck


For your convenience, answers have been recorded for the most frequently asked questions.

You can find also where to ask questions or make comments.

You can ask questions about using Wikipedia at the Help desk or at the Teahouse. Volunteers will respond as soon as possible.

Or Template:Input link and a volunteer will visit you there!

You can get live help with editing in the help chatroom.

I want info about browsing or searching

The Readers' FAQ and our "About" page contain the most commonly sought information about Wikipedia.

There is a search box in the upper-right corner of every page with the word "Search" in it. Just type what you are looking for in there and then press Template:Key press. See Help:Searching for more details.

There are other ways to browse and explore Wikipedia articles; many can be found at Portal:Contents. Also see our disclaimer for cautions about Wikipedia's limitations.

I want to edit Wikipedia

Contributing is easy: see how to edit a page or contributing to Wikipedia. For a quick summary on participating, see the plain and simple guide. The Cheatsheet can remind you of basic wiki markup. You can practice editing and experiment in a sandbox. Or play the Wikipedia Adventure to learn to edit in an hour.

Be bold in improving articles! When adding facts, please provide references so others may verify them. If you are affiliated with the article subject, please see our conflict of interest guideline.

If you're looking for places you can help out, the community portal is the place to go.

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