Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has strongly denied that the online encyclopedia is suffering an administrator crisis due to lack of new recruitments.
However, the Wikimedia Foundation, the group that operates Wikipedia, showed contrasting statistics figures indicating that the number of new users being granted administrator status is rapidly falling. Wikipedia can be edited by any online user, but the admins reserve the right to special tasks such as deleting posts.
The current count of appointed admins stand at 1,461 but the recruitment graph shows that new appointments are decreasing steadily, leading to concerns on user participation in the website. As compared to more than 50 new admins appointed in December 2011, less than two persons have been granted admin rights in May and June this year.
Jimmy Wales said, “The number of admins has been stable for about two years, there’s really nothing going on.” Wikimedia also admitted that the site is growing in popularity but the number of active general users is declining too.
The free multilingual Internet encyclopedia is completely dependent on it’s volunteers for new articles and content editing. A statement released by the parent company earlier this year highlighted the “intractable” problem of falling numbers, “Declining participation is by far the most serious problem facing the Wikimedia projects: the success of the projects is entirely dependent upon a thriving, healthy editing community. We are responding with a multi-faceted approach.”
The Foundation also announced a new tool under development – Article Feedback, which will allow online users to give their feedback but not necessarily edit them.