Deaths in 2016 dominated Wikipedia’s top 10 list of edits this year

22 Dec 2016

Mourning the loss of David Bowie. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

Wikipedia has given a detailed account of the most-edited pages in one of the least liked years, and by a clear margin, ‘Deaths in 2016’ dominated people’s thoughts.

When we weren’t recoiling in horror at many of the tragedies that occurred across the globe this year, famous deaths in 2016 provided the icing on a cake no one wanted.

From David Bowie to Alan Rickman and Prince in between, the world lost many pop culture icons unexpectedly, and when it came to preserving their memories for future generations, Wikipedia seemed to be the place to go.

US politics also dominates

Each year, the vast, open-source online encyclopaedia releases its list of top 10 most-edited articles of the year, and going by this year’s statistics, these deaths of music, TV and film stars dominated people’s minds.

In a blog post reviewing the year, Wikipedia noted that there were 18,230 edits of the ‘Deaths in 2016’ page.

When compared with last year, however – to ease fears that 2016 was an anomaly – the number of edits remains largely the same, with a slight increase of around 100 edits this year.

In second place – but still significantly behind deaths in 2016 – was the page dedicated to US president-elect, Donald Trump, who had 8,933 edits to his page this year.

Unsurprisingly, almost everyone involved with his election, stories surrounding his upbringing, previous political and financial dealings, and his inappropriate comments all played a part in propelling the soon-to-be former businessman to the top of the chart.

Wikipedia edits 2016

The top 10 Wikipedia edits in 2016. Image: Wikimedia

Surprise Irish entries

The presidential elections remained a hot topic throughout the year, with another four of the top 10 making up the most-edited articles. The combined number of edits was close to 24,000.

Terrorism also rose to prominence among the Wikipedia editing community, with the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting generating 5,540 edits, following what was the worst attack on US soil since 11 September 2001.

Noting some of the surprise entries this year, Wikipedia mentioned two articles related to early Irish Christianity which took several spots on the most-edited list by month.

This included the Archdeacon of Kells, as the seventh-most-edited article in September, and Manchán of Mohill, a Christian saint in Ireland nearly five hundred years ago, appears at number eight in October and November.

The full list on a month-by-month basis can be read here.

Fans mourning the loss of David Bowie. Image: 360b/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic