Wikipedia's Most Edited: Who Tops the List?

One News Page Staff Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Wikipedia's Most Edited: Who Tops the List?by 👨‍💻 Graham Pierrepoint

As the people’s encyclopedia – Wikipedia – celebrated its fifteenth birthday last week, there have been some interesting data and lists made public which show who or what has received the most edits or rewrites during the decade and a half in which the site has been online. Unlike encyclopedia volumes and tomes of old, Wikipedia revolutionized knowledge online, with people anywhere having the ability to write and edit any article on anyone or anything – however, with the dawn of vandalism on the site came stricter moderation, meaning that while some of Wikipedia’s critics will still state that facts are to be taken at face value, the site has come a long way in its authenticity.

The English version of Wikipedia has seen a total of around 808 million individual edits made during its first fifteen years, over a staggering five million pages – which, according to the BBC, has seen a number of public figures grace the top of the ‘most edited list’. The most edited articles on the site include former US president George W Bush, with 45,862 edits, the list of World Wrestling Entertainment personnel, with 42,836 and the United States of America, with 35,742 edits. It is interesting to see who and what have encouraged the most visits, edits and alterations – will they mostly be down to changes in the news, differences of opinion, or even vandalism? We would have to look closer into each case to be sure.

Other entries in the top 15 most edited pages include Wikipedia itself (33,958), the late Michael Jackson (28,152 edits) and the Catholic Church (26,421) – three subjects which may have encouraged controversy or particular schools of thought over their tenure as Wikipedia pages – and Jesus’ article (garnering 25,084 edits) inches ahead of Barack Obama’s 24,708, Adolf Hitler’s 24,612 and Britney Spears’ 23,802, making the list rather eclectic – and perhaps even indicative of what Internet users particularly like to read about.

As years go by, it will be highly likely that Wikipedia remains a steadfast source of knowledge and facts for Internet users, with it also being likely that we will see big changes in the list of ‘most edited’ at the next big birthday for the site in 2021 – its twentieth anniversary – and with a trust fund having been set up to ensure the site’s survival for some time to come, it is likely that we will see another list spring up in five years’ time!


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