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Study reveals the most controversial Wikipedia pages of all time

Wikipedia turns 20 on January 15th, 2021. Over the years it’s become a respected, and sometimes contentious, source of information with over 6.1 million English articles and 3.6 billion words.

But what Wikipedia pages have had the most revisions since 2001? Web design and development agency, Rouge Media, has analysed the 500 most-edited pages to find the internet’s most controversial topics, ranging from the predictable to the outright strange…

With over 52,000 edits in 20 years, Wikipedia’s most-controversial page is, surprisingly, “WWE wrestlers”.

Founded in the 1950s, WWE is an American media and entertainment company known for professional wrestling. Hundreds of wrestlers have graced the WWE ring, including famous alumni Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who has since become the world’s highest-paid actor, Hulk Hogan who had his own action figures, video games, exercise sets, and even his own cartoon series, and 13-time WWE Champion John Cena.

But its 70-year history hasn’t been without controversy. There’s been drug scandals, fatalities, name changes and lawsuits…a lot of lawsuits. So, it’s no surprise the WWE wrestlers page requires a lot of upkeep.

In second place is the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. His Wikipedia page has been edited 47,107 times so far. His presidency was marked by a number of catastrophic events, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Hurricane Katrina and the longest post-World War II recession. 

Two other US presidents make the top 10 list of the most controversial Wikipedia pages – Donald Trump in 5th place and Barack Obama in 10th place. Before his inauguration in January 2017, Donald Trump’s page was in 41st place overall with 19,673 edits. In three years, this has jumped to 32,274 and continues to rise during his controversial first term. In comparison, Barak Obama’s page has had 27,746 edits.

Coming in third place is the United States itself with 40,884 edits. As a nation, the USA has existed for less than 250 years since its independence in 1776, but it has a rich history – clearly. The rest of the top 10 most-edited Wikipedia include: Wikipedia itself with 35,567 page edits, Michael Jackson (31,179), Jesus (30,565), ABS-CBN programs (28,946) and the Catholic Church (28,056). 

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia which anyone can write for or help edit. Despite its continued popularity, the number of voluntary editors has fallen over the last 15 years. At the time of writing there are around 130,000. 

Interestingly, one man has made more than 3 million edits and has written over 35,000 articles on Wikipedia. He was named by Time magazine as one of the top 25 most influential people on the internet. He also still lives at home with his parents.

Andy Woods, Design Director of Rouge Media commented on the findings:

“It’s really interesting to reflect on 20 years of Wikipedia by exploring its most edited pages. It’s no surprise to see polarising presidents in the top 10, but what is unexpected is just how controversial and ever-changing the WWE wrestlers page is.

“Despite being 20 years old, it’s clear Wikipedia is here to stay. Its goal of compiling everything there is to know about everything may be a never-ending one, but it’s clear that no matter the subject, there’s always something more to add. Even if it’s the dreaded [citation needed].”

You can view and explore the full results, both all-time and month-by-month, here.

By admin