What is the most-edited article on Wikipedia? 15-year-old site reveals all

15 Jan 2016

It’s been 15 years since Wikipedia first graced our computer screens, and in that time there’s been millions upon millions of edits to articles, with the site revealing its top 15 most-edited articles to mark its birthday.

Currently, the seventh most-visited website on the entire planet, Wikipedia is without question one of the most powerful entities for good on the internet with its strict adherence to the open-source online encyclopaedia model that has seen it become a college student’s best friend, and one that has filled our heads with amazing historical tidbits.

But not everything was particularly rosy for Wikipedia in 2015 as the voluntary organisation struggled to maintain a balance between finding the finances to run on a daily basis, while trying to keep its team of editors across the world from engaging in unethical activities.

It couldn’t do this in some cases, however, with organisations being discovered that were creating ‘sock puppet’ accounts to give companies favourable profiles on Wikipedia in exchange for cash, or even governments interfering with editing for their own political benefits.

And now, revealing the 15 most-edited articles in Wikipedia, it comes as little surprise to find that the article about former US president George W Bush ranks in first place with a whopping 45,862 edits.

Wikipedia edits

The top 15 Wikipedia edits of all time. Image via Wikimedia Commons

This might not come as a surprise given that the controversial president found himself as being responsible for the scientifically-judged most controversial topic on Wikipedia in 2014.

While some others on the list might come as a surprise, it seems the dedication of fans of WWE wrestling knows no bounds as the ‘list of WWE personnel’ ranks second in the list of most edits ever, not far behind George W Bush, with 42,836 edits.

It’s also worth noting that since she sang her way into pop culture with her song Hit Me Baby One More Time in 1999, Britney Spears has been considered more worthy of edits than little-known things like WWII and those obscure Liverpudlians, The Beatles.

Wikipedia has also asked its users to contribute to a giant survey of their opinions on the site, for which it has selected a few promotional tidbits from those who clearly have nothing but glowing praise for it.

“Wikipedia is why, even though I spent most of my adult life out of school as a refugee, when I finally got to a safe place and into a university, I was able not only to compete with my peers, but to excel,” says one contributor.

I think it’s fair to say we should all probably be tipping our proverbial hats in Wikipedia’s direction.

White House in rainbow colours image via Rina Schild/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic