Wikia mainpage 2010-12-21
|Archiving status||Partially saved|
|IRC channel||(on EFnet)|
Wikia Inc. is a company that runs a MediaWiki farm hosting several thousand user-made wikis under a wide variety of subjects. The wikis are branded under the names Fandom (fandom.com), Wikia (wikia.org) and others.
Like Wikipedia, Wikia content is primarily available under a free content license, usually the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. Unlike Wikipedia, Wikia wikis don't enjoy from regular production of data dumps, so the possibility to reuse their content is rather limited and their survival is more at risk.
Dumps are produced only on demand, hence – normally – for a small minority of wikis (in a typical month, about 50 random wikis are dumped). Users with appropriate rights (as of 2013, autoconfirmed users, sysops and higher) can request a dump at the same Special:Statistics; the request is processed in a "first in, first out" queue, max one wiki every 5 minutes, usually during low traffic hours (23–8 UTC). For small wikis, a new dump may be created in mere seconds after the request.
There are two XML dumps per wiki (both in 7z format, formerly gzip):
- Full history dump (large), e.g. https://s3.amazonaws.com/wikia_xml_dumps/m/mu/muppet_pages_full.xml.7z
- Last version dump (small), e.g. https://s3.amazonaws.com/wikia_xml_dumps/m/mu/muppet_pages_current.xml.7z
- Images: _images.tar (not always produced)
More information can be found at Wikia:Database download.
Two "complete" dumps of Wikia exist, 2008 and 2010. A 2007 dump (not verified) also exists. After 2010, Wikia stopped making regular dumps. At some point around 2010, Wikia also started deleting inactive wikis, so it's possible that some content only exists in those early dumps.
In May 2013, only a couple dumps were produced every day, around 2-3 UTC, whatever amount of dumps is requested; till October 2013, no XML dumps were produced at all, only images.tar dumps of all the uploads to a wiki. If you request too many dumps, your account may be blocked from requesting more, without notice (the button to request a dump disappears).
A directory list to access to all backups used to be at http://dumps.wikia.net/ ; no equivalent for the new host exists. All dumps (about 50k wikis) have been erased in July 2013 due to unspecified technical problems. Since 2013-10-02 the dumps are produced again and stored on Amazon's S3: all the previous dumps were lost. Since about November 2013, dumps have been (very) slowly repopulated after user requests, but bigger wikis have invalid gz files.
A script to list all unarchived Wikia wikis has been produced.
As of 2015-01, dumps for closed/archived/"old" wikis (how many?) will no longer be published and the 7z format is used instead. There are other bugs which make many big wikis have invalid XML files (prematurely terminated before
</mediawiki>). In February 2016 there was an attempt to fix the XML, but as of 2017-07 it's still broken.
As of 2017, only administrators are allowed to request a dump update for a wiki.
In 2018-2019, Wikia became known as problematic for censoring user-generated content, sometimes closing entire wikis for fear of offending advertisers. Uncyclopedia, killed 2019-05-14, is one example. Wikia might leave an XML dump (text only, no images) available for download temporarily after a closure - but does not always do so.
Since 2016, several domain name changes have happened. Most wikis were moved under fandom.com, some under wikia.org. Additionally, language-specific subdomains have been eliminated and replaced by directories on the same subdomain, for instance townn-titles.fandom.com/ru.
Around April 2019, the very prominent LyricWiki was closed, as in frozen: no further edits are allowed, but content is still available. The copyright status of the wiki had always been questionable. Elsewhere in 2019, some companies escalated their dubious copyright claims on lyrics against other aggregators like Google and LyricFind (who had also given a license to Wikia).
As of 2020, some old dumps (at least one from 2017) are linked from Special:Statistics, but give an error 403 (code "InvalidObjectState" or just "AccessDenied"). Other dumps work and appear to be served from Glacier (at least one 2018 dump returns an HTTP 200 with header "x-amz-storage-class: GLACIER").
As of February 2020, Wikia wikis get created and shut down at a rate of over 4000 per week. The very large majority of inactive, closed and deleted wikis are just wikis which failed to receive any real contribution in their life; however, sometimes things are more complicated.
As of February 2020, some wikis are listed as active which are actually fatally broken due to a database error (missing database table):     . A certain pattern in their names suggests they might have been hit by some particularly harsh form of deletion which eradicates the database tables before the wikis are even fully removed from MediaWiki configuration.
There have been substantial numbers of wiki communities leaving Wikia for various reasons, including two ad-heavy forced reskins in 2008 and 2010 and censorship of images to a PG13 level in 2012. Wikia has a de-facto policy of leaving the old wiki open and editable after the community has gone elsewhere, as a direct competitor to the new sites. This leaves two (or more) forks of the same project.
Do *not* presume the Wikia version of a wiki is the only version or the most up-to-date version as it may be years out of date if the original authors left years ago. There is a partial list of moved wikis at http://awa.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Moved_wikis
Former Wikia projects which are now independent will need to be backed up individually from their new homes.
Wikia's own wikis are not reliably reached by following redirects between domains, since the split into wikia.org and fandom.com. Especially problematic are non-English wikis, which are now second-class citizens of the URL structure. For instance https://academicjobs.wikia.com/ redirects to https://academicjobs.wikia.org/ but https://parnu.wikia.com redirects to Not a valid community although https://parnu.wikia.org/et/ exists; https://parnu.wikia.org/ doesn't redirect to the proper path but instead shows an error message which links the correct path. http://et.parnu.wikia.com/ does redirect to the new location https://parnu.wikia.org/et/ .
Acquisition of Curse Media
Curse is the home of a successful Fandom competitor - Gamepedia - and many other gaming related projects, including end-of-life websites.
The account migration e-mails were sent out on 2018-12-24 and 2019-01-08:
We wanted to reach out again to remind you that Curse Media will be joining the Fandom team. We’ve contacted you to ask for your consent to transfer your account terms and the personal data associated with your account to Fandom, and are sending you this note as a reminder to ensure you can continue to enjoy access to our sites without interruption.
So that you can keep enjoying Curse Media after the transition, we are asking for your consent to transfer your account terms and personal data associated with your account to Fandom to the extent they relate to Curse Media. You will be unable to access your account on the Curse Media sites/services after the transition, unless you provide consent. You can provide consent by clicking the link below, or you can learn more by visiting here (or the link below corresponding to your preferred language). Providing consent will not impact your existing relationship with Twitch in connection with other Twitch Services.
We sincerely appreciate your involvement with our communities, and we hope that you’ll join us for this exciting new chapter.
[...] Additionally, Curse Media maintains archives of certain end-of-life websites (e.g., arenajunkies.com, azurilland.com) as a service to the community. These archives will also be transferred.
Impacted sites and services:
- D&D Beyond App
- www.gamepedia.com and associated apps
- innkeeper.com & Innkeeper App
- Innkeeper Twitch Extension
- muthead.com and the Muthead app
- https://community.fandom.com/wiki/WAM (Wiki Activity Monitor, rank of top 5000 wikis by mysterious criteria)
- Wikistats of Wikia dynamically sortable to any criteria, self-updating every six hours by cronjob (disabled due to complaints for excessive requests)
- wikia_sites.bsh, a script to produce a list of Wikia sites as a csv file
- Wikia International Holdings, Inc. of Delaware, registered at C3924394 in the California Business Entities Records.
- https://community.fandom.com/wiki/User_blog:Brandon_Rhea/Fandom_and_Curse_Media_are_joining_forces - Official statement of Curse Media acquisition
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_LLC - Current owner "Fandom"