The top Wikipedia edit wars: religion, politics and wrestling

The most edited Wikipedia topics have been revealed: politics, religion, and, oddly, a list of staff at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

A group of researchers, including the Oxford Internet Institute, have examined a March 2010 sample of Wikipedia articles across ten languages, tracking the ferocity of the edits.

They specifically looked at “reverts” – when an editor makes a change that is immediately undone by another editor – revealing the most controversial subjects on the site.

“Our results indicate that Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopedia; it is also a window into convergent and divergent social-spatial priorities, interests and preferences,” the report said.

Religion and politics dominated all ten language rankings, while “homeopathy”, “global warming” and “Jesus” were heavily debated in multiple languages.

One odd entry on the ranking was “list of WWE employees” – an article that’s possibly edited frequently because it’s little more than a roster of people who appeared on the wrestling circuit, but manages to rank above global warming in English-language edits.

A quarter of the most controversial articles dealt with politics, while 17% regarded places, such as cities or towns, and 15% involved religion or belief.

“Religion, politics and geographical places seem to be the common fields of editorial wars in all editions, however with local effects: far-right politics and nationalism in Hungarian, current Iranian political figures in Persian, Sex and Gender related topics in Czech and football clubs in Spanish Wikipedias are evident examples for these localities,” the report said.

In English, the most controversial topics in 2010 were:

George W. Bush

Anarchism

Muhammad

List of World Wrestling Entertainment employees

Global warming

Circumcision

United States

Jesus

Race and intelligence

Christianity

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