Swedish man and his prolific bot are responsible for 8.5% of all Wikipedia articles


Sverker Johansson, 53, has volunteered as a Wikipedia editor for the past 7 years and may be the online encyclopedia's most prolific contributor.

A Wall Street Journal profile credits him for 2.7 million articles, or 8.5% of the entire collection.

He has been particularly prolific cataloging obscure animal species, including butterflies and beetles, and is proud of his work highlighting towns in the Philippines. About one-third of his entries are uploaded to the Swedish language version of Wikipedia, and the rest are composed in two versions of Filipino, one of which is his wife's native tongue. An administrator holding degrees in linguistics, civil engineering, economics and particle physics, he says he has long been interested in "the origin of things, oh, everything."

It isn't uncommon, however, for Wikipedia purists to complain about his method. That is because the bulk of his entries have been created by a computer software program—known as a bot. Critics say bots crowd out the creativity only humans can generate. Mr. Johansson's program scrubs databases and other digital sources for information, and then packages it into an article. On a good day, he says his "Lsjbot" creates up to 10,000 new entries.

Read the full profile, and watch video, here at WSJ.com.