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Namuwiki logo.png
Type of site
Available inKorean
Ownerumanle S.R.L.
Alexa rankGlobal: 678
South Korea: 7
(Oct 2018)[1]
Launched18 April 2015; 4 years ago (2015-04-18)
Current statusOnline
Content license

Namuwiki (Korean: 나무위키) is a Paraguay-based Korean wiki which was created on April 17, 2015. Its name, "Namu" (나무) literally means "tree" in Korean. The wiki uses its own proprietary Wiki software named The Seed. With the motto of "Namuwiki, The tree of knowledge that we grow together.", its goal is to guarantee every users' freedom and rights equally, and to share the knowledge and information.[3] It is currently the second largest wiki in the Korean language, topped by the Korean Wikipedia.[4]


On April 2015, one of the largest subculture wiki in Korea, Rigveda Wiki, suffered a community dispute on the copyright status of the content. The site owner, Cheongdong, had been secretly changing the user agreement to privatize Rigveda Wiki for himself. This in turn resulted in a huge vandalism of all articles from the users, prompting the website to temporarily bring down the servers.[5] Namuwiki was created by a user named Namu with the fork of Rigveda Wiki's database before its vandalism. Having taken Rigveda Wiki's database on the April 11th, Namuwiki launched on April 17th. The article count of Namuwiki surpassed that of Rigveda Wiki on the April 25th, and surpassed Rigveda Wiki's original article count on May 12th.[6] Namuwiki emerged as one of the biggest wikis forked from Rigveda Wiki.[7]

On May 2016, Namu transferred Namuwiki's server management rights to a new owner, Umanle, a company based in Paraguay.[8]

In September 2018, the site started displaying advertisements on top of each article, ostensibly to pay for server rental fee.[9]



Like its predecessor Rigveda Wiki, Namuwiki's narrative in articles are lightly worded, often containing jokes or references to subculture. Many of the articles contain references to subculture knowledge from various places, including movies, games, and online memes. It has an unique form of narrative through the use of a strikethrough, where strikethroughs are primarily applied on sentences that are written on the article as part of a joke. Bolding is used liberally within the articles, often to highlight an important phrase. Although the primary focus are articles about subcultures (the original topic of Rigveda wiki) like games, anime, and movies, there are also many articles on science, history, scholarship and current events. It doesn't aim to provide verifiable information and acknowledges, on its article about itself,[10] that its extremely permissive policies can cause the content to be incorrect, biased or defamatory, especially when few users are active on a topic. As a result, the articles on Namuwiki are less scholarly than the likes of Korean Wikipedia.

Contents of Namuwiki are ostensibly licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Korea (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license).[11]

As of February 2019, Namuwiki contains approximately 636,667 main articles and over 1,400,530 files.[12]


Namuwiki contains over 100 projects in various areas. Areas that it cover include games, transportation, military, sports, history, education, etc. As of January 2019, there are a total of 143 projects in Namuwiki.[13]

Press coverage[edit]

On March 2017, MK News[14] wrote an article about Namuwiki, talking about its 'humorous' nature of the articles. It attested that Namuwiki's growth is founded on the narrative of the articles written for an average person with slices of humor. However, it also noted that while the number of articles are something to take note of, the loose accuracy regulations that the site has in comparison to Korean Wikipedia has made it a danger zone for biased opinions.

On November 2018, the representative of MediaToday(Korean news outlet), Junghwan Lee, brought up Namuwiki as a positive example for news outlets to follow in the context of fake news. He mentioned that information born from many people online with discussion, deletion, and adjustments ultimately creates truthful information.[15]

On January 9th, 2019, Korean politician Haejoo Cho formally announced that he had deleted an article about himself within Namuwiki himself due to possibly containing 'false elements' about himself.[16]



The fact that the host of the wiki, Umanle S.R.L., is based in Asunción in Paraguay, has led to doubts on whether legal venues are available to Korean citizens to seek correction of information they consider damaging, given the difficulties both in identifying the individual responsible of the contribution and in holding a foreign entity accountable.[17] It is hypothesized that due to the content of the wiki being forked from Rigveda Wiki and defamatory material within the site can be taken for legal action within Korea, a transfer from a private owner, Namu, to the host Umanle S.R.L. was made.

There are no known information about Umanle S.R.L., however, as there are no information of the company members nor its owner. Although data from Paraguay's ministry of finance suggest that the company does exist,[18] there are no proofs otherwise suggesting that it is not a dummy corporation.

Although Namuwiki's license is non-commercial, Umanle S.R.L. is a for-profit corporation. Although Umanle S.R.L. gained profit through Namuwiki's subsidiary community service Namulive, it started to display advertisements on top of each article on Namuwiki from September 2018 for server rental fees.[9] However, as Umanle S.R.L. have announced that they will not reveal their advertisement profit usage for the server,[19] there are rising questions to the non-commercial license of Namuwiki.[11]

When the host's name, Umanle, is flipped backwards, it becomes El Namu. It is unclear what this may have in relation to the previous site owner Namu.

"Gender equalism"[edit]

On 2016 August, One Namuwiki user made an article about 'equalism'.[20] The article falsely claimed that a new ideology, 'equalism', has appeared in the West, and wrote multiple remarks that went against feminist ideologies. As the online climate of South Korea during the time was heated with radical feminist website Megalia,[21] the article quickly gained a lot of attraction and contributions. Although most of the assertions and reference included in the article were false or made up, contents of it were widely spread over Korean society, resulting in false articles about the concept of equalism.[22] Around the same time, Wikipedia article on egalitarianism was also vandalized, forcibly writing in the concept of 'equalism',[23] which was quickly removed. The false article existed for longer than 6 months, until the country's Feminist wiki called Femiwiki brought forward specific and definite arguments on January 24, 2017. Soon, it was proved that most of the facts written were false, and the original idea of equalism was mostly fabrication.[24] Later, the disputed article was rewritten at full length. It is now renamed as "Namuwiki Gender Equalism Fabrication Case".[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Archived from the original on 2018-10-24. Retrieved Oct 24, 2018.
  2. ^나무위키
  3. ^ "namuwiki-나무위키:기본방침" (in Korean). 2017-02-15. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05.
  4. ^ "한국어 위키 목록", 위키백과, 우리 모두의 백과사전 (in Korean), 2019-01-26, retrieved 2019-02-11
  5. ^ "'리그베다 위키' 영리화 사태". 파이낸셜투데이 (in Korean). 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  6. ^ "나무위키/역사 - 나무위키". Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  7. ^ "[2016 웹컬처 키워드] 국내 집단지성 위키, '대위키시대' 도래 : 네이버 뉴스". (in Korean). 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  8. ^ "나무위키:보존문서/공지사항 (토론) - 나무위키 소유권 이전에 대한 공지 - 나무위키". Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  9. ^ a b "공지사항 - 광고 부착과 관련한 공지". (in Korean). 2018-09-15. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  10. ^ "나무위키/비판" (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  11. ^ a b "나무위키" (Wiki) (in Korean). Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  12. ^ "namuwiki-나무위키:문서 수" (in Korean). 2018-08-08.
  13. ^ "나무위키:프로젝트 - 나무위키". Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  14. ^ "나무위키 10년…유머로 키운 `잡학다식`의 숲". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  15. ^ 미디어오늘 (2018-11-06). ""'가짜뉴스' 논란, 언론이 '나무위키'에게 배워야"". 미디어오늘 (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  16. ^ "사라진 문캠 흔적? 조해주 "나무위키, 내가 지웠다"". (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-03-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Datos Proveidos por la SET". Ministerio de Hacienda. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  19. ^ "문의게시판 - 광고 부착 관련". (in Korean). 2018-09-15. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  20. ^ "나무위키 성 평등주의 날조 사건 - 나무위키". Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  21. ^ "'나무위키 성 평등주의 날조 사건'에 대하여". 허프포스트코리아 (in Korean). 2017-02-03. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  22. ^ "[카드뉴스] '경찰 추산' 맞먹는 페미니스트의 통계조작 – 리얼뉴스". 2017-01-29. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  23. ^ "Talk:Egalitarianism", Wikipedia, 2019-02-07, retrieved 2019-02-11
  24. ^ "페미니즘 비판하던 '이퀄리즘'은 누리꾼이 만들어낸 '창작품'". 경항신문 (in Korean). 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  25. ^ "나무위키 성 평등주의 날조 사건 - 나무위키". Retrieved 2019-02-11.

External links[edit]