Life

Wikipedia’s 15 Most Edited Entries Offer Insight Into What We Care About (And Argue Over)

Believe it or not, Wikipedia has been around for 15 years. Consider: if the ubiquitous user-edited knowledgebase were a human born screaming into this world back in 2001, today it would be talking back to its parents and preparing to get its driver’s permit. With 5,053,647 articles as of the release’s press time, and 808,187,367 edits to its name, The Free Encyclopedia is kind of a big deal.

In honor of the special day, the folks over at the Wikimedia Foundation (hiya, Jimmy Wales!) have chosen to forgo the cake and instead released a list of the 15 most edited pages on the English-speaking site. Do you want to take a wild guess at who or what ended up in the No. 1 spot?

Yep, that’s right. Our nation’s beloved 43rd American president, George W. Bush. It’s not such a huge surprise to see him at the top of the most-edited list. Or the other 14 contenders, for that matter. Check out the list below:

Okay, maybe there were a few surprises on the list. Who would’ve thought that the list of WWE personnel would make it all the way up to the No. 2 spot? And Britney Spears above the Beatles? All in all, though, it’s a list made up of some fairly controversial figures, from Jesus to the Catholic Church to Adolf Hitler.

The Foundation also broke the results down into year-by-year categories, which ends up being a fascinating study of trends and newsmakers of the past 15 years. For example, 2001’s most-edited page was Creationism. The following year, after actual edits to Wikipedia’s main page, the most-edited page was the List of Canadians. What? Fast-forward through things like 2004’s presidential election, the Wii craze, Miss Universe 2010, and Gangam Style, and you reach 2015:

Last year’s most-edited stories proved once again that Wikipedia can still be zany, despite all its accomplishments. While Deaths of the year was still the most-edited story, Geospatial summary of the High Peaks/Summits of the Juneau Icefield was #2—one editor made 7,265 edits, and everyone else made 29.

All we can say is, someone really had a bone to pick with the Juneau Icefield.

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