Steven Pruitt

Steven Pruitt is an American Wikipedia editor who holds the highest number of edits made on the English Wikipedia. With over three million edits and more than 35,000 articles created, he was named as one of the 25 most important influencers on the Internet by Time magazine in 2017.[3] Pruitt edits under the pseudonym Ser Amantio di Nicolao, a reference to a minor character in Giacomo Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi.[2] He fights systemic bias on Wikipedia to promote female inclusion via the Women in Red project.[4]

Steven Pruitt
Pruitt in a jacket and tie
Pruitt in 2018
Bornc. 1984[1]
Alma materCollege of William & Mary (BA)
Years active2006–present
Known forMost edits on the English Wikipedia
HonorsTime's "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet", 2017

Early life and education

Pruitt was born around 1984 in San Antonio, Texas, the only child of parents Alla Pruitt, a Russian Jewish immigrant, and Donald Pruitt of Richmond, Virginia.[1] He graduated from St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia in 2002. He attended the College of William & Mary and graduated in 2006 with a degree in art history.[1]

Career

Pruitt is a contractor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where he works with records and information.[3]

Wikipedia editing

Pruitt began editing Wikipedia in 2004. His first Wikipedia article was about Peter Francisco, a Portuguese-born Revolutionary War hero known as the "Virginia Hercules", who is Pruitt's "great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather."[1][5] He created his current account in 2006 while a senior at the College of William & Mary.[3] As of February 2019, Pruitt had made over 3 million edits to Wikipedia, more than any other editor on the English Wikipedia. He surpassed editor Justin Knapp for most edits in 2015. Pruitt believes he made his first edit to Wikipedia in June 2004.[2] His Wikipedia edits have included creating articles on more than 600 women, in order to counter the site's gender gap.[6][1]

Interviews

Pruitt was featured on CBS This Morning in January 2019. In the interview Pruitt described how the first article he worked on was about a distant ancestor (Peter Francisco).[1] He described his commitment to help boost Wikipedia's coverage of notable women, one area in which Wikipedia critics have noted the site falls short.[6]

Personal life

Pruitt's non-Wikipedia-related interests include the Capitol Hill Chorale, in which he sings. He is also an avid fan of opera, which provided inspiration for his username "Ser Amantio di Nicolao" – after a minor character in the 1918 Puccini opera Gianni Schicchi.[1]

Distinctions

  • Time's "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet" (2017)

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Eshleman, Tina (September 17, 2018). "The Wikiman | How the most prolific Wikipedia editor is expanding what we know about the world". W&M Alumni Magazine. No. Fall 2018. College of William & Mary. Archived from the original on April 10, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Meet The World's Most Prolific Wikipedia Editor". Vocativ. January 15, 2016. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet". Time. June 26, 2017. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  4. ^ Malloy, Daniel (February 13, 2018). "This Prolific Nerd Is Shaping the Future of Wikipedia". OZY. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Harrison, Stephen (October 2, 2018). "The Wikipedia contributor behind 2.5 million edits". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Meet the man behind a third of what's on Wikipedia". CBS News. January 26, 2019. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019. The last statistic I saw was that 17.6 percent of the biographical articles on Wikipedia are about women, on the English Wikipedia I should say," Pruitt said. "It was under 15 percent a couple of years ago which shows you how much we have been able to move the needle.