The 20 most-edited Wikipedia pages of 2016 reveal what topics people cared about this year — and fought over

Wikipedia may look smooth on the outside, but just below the surface there is an ongoing discussion over how certain people and events are going to be remembered.

This process involves the editing of pages, sometimes over and over again, by the site’s most passionate users. If you look at the most-edited pages, you can see the topics that our society is trying to make sense of, or fighting over. Some of these pages have over 45,000 edits, and range from individual entertainers to religions to wars.

Every year Wikipedia releases an official list of the most-edited English language pages for a given year. There are some big ones that often show up: deaths, sports results, music releases, and so on. But there are also topics that are very particular to a given time, and show what our obsessions were that year.

For 2016, there should be no surprise over the one that loomed large: The 2016 US presidential election. Donald Trump took the number two spot, the list of Hillary Clinton’s endorsements took the third, and election itself took the fourth. Pop culture events that made it into the top 20 were Kanye West’s album “The Life of Pablo,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and painter Vincent van Gough, who was the subject of a big page rewrite this year.

Here is the full list:

Most-edited Wikipedia pages in 2016

Deaths in 2016(18,230 edits)

Donald Trump(8,933)

List of Hillary Clinton presidential campaign endorsements(6,527)

United States presidential election, 2016(6,162)

Republican Party presidential primaries, 2016(5,715)

2016 Orlando nightclub shooting(5,540)

Bailando 2015(5,342)

Donald Trump presidential campaign endorsements, 2016(5,328)

2016 in sports(5,277)

2016 in South Korean music(5,074)

Beverly Gray(4,957)

Statewide opinion polling for the United States presidential election(4,743)

Panama Papers(4,659)

2016 in Philippine television(4,600)

2016 Pacific typhoon season(4,244)

2016 Atlantic hurricane season(3,874)

Democratic Party presidential primaries, 2016(3,736)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice(3,593)

The Life of Pablo(3,574)

Vincent van Gogh(3,551)

While many of these are constantly updating lists, which makes sense, one of the most fascinating areas of debate in Wikipedia centers around people, and the list of public figures whose legacies are in dispute. We also looked at which people had the all-time most-edited pages.

You have those you might expect, like ex-presidents or dictators, but also a run of professional wrestlers you probably never knew were so disputed.

We have compiled a list of the top 29 most-edited pages of people on Wikipedia, along with a sample edit from each. Edits removing portions of the text are shown in red, and edits adding new text are shown in blue.

Here is the list:


29. Bill Clinton

Before edit:

Born and raised in Arkansas, Clinton became a student leader and a skilled musician.

After edit:

Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas.


28. Kelly Clarkson

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Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images

Before edit:

Her sixth studio album, ‘Piece by Piece’ was released in March 2015 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, thus collecting her third number one album and tying Carrie Underwood for most number one albums for an American Idol alumni.

After edit:

In 2015, Clarkson released her seventh studio album, “Piece by Piece”, becoming her third number one album on the “Billboard” 200 Chart.


27. Big Show (wrestler)

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Getty/Leigh Vogel / Stringer

Before edit:

Big Show at Fort Bragg.

After edit:

Big Show arriving at a hamburger eating contest.


26. Albert Einstein

Before edit:

However, in 1929, Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe is expanding, Einstein exclaimed after his Mount Wilson visit with Hubble: “If there is no quasi-static world, then away with the cosmological term!

After edit:

After his Mount Wilson visit with Hubble, Einstein formally discarded the cosmological constant, claiming it is “theoretically unsatisfactory anyway.”


25. Thomas Jefferson

source
Wikipedia

Before edit:

Although in recent times he has been criticized by some historians for his record concerning slavery.

After edit:

Although in recent times he has been criticized by some historians over owning slaves.


24. Triple H (wrestler)

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Kevin Mazur/Getty

Before edit:

”Paul Michael Levesque” (born July 27, 1969), better known by his “‘Triple H” (an abbreviation of his full name, ”Hunter Hearst Helmsley”), is an American business executive, professional wrestler, actor, and former bodybuilder.

After edit:

”Paul Michael Levesque” (born July 27, 1969), better known by his “‘Triple H” (an abbreviation of his full name, ”Hunter Hearst Helmsley”), is an American business executive, professional wrestler, actor, author, and former bodybuilder.


23. Pope John Paul II

source
Wikimedia Commons

Before edit:

In 1994, John Paul II visited Catania and told victims of Mafia violence to “rise it up and un-cloak yourself in light and justice, shout EXECTO PATRONUM!!!”

After edit:

In 1994, John Paul II visited Catania and told victims of Mafia violence to “rise up and cloak yourself in light and justice!”


22. Edge (wrestler)

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Flickr/felipe bascuñan

Before edit:

Weight = 252 lb

After edit:

Weight = 241 lb


21. Madonna

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Kevin Winter/WireImage via Getty Images

Sample edit:

”Madonna Louise Ciccone” (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman.

Changed to:

”Madonna Louise Ciccone” (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and businesswoman.


20. Christina Aguilera

source
Kevin Winter/Getty

Before edit:

”Christina María Aguilera”’ (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter,and actress.

After edit:

”’Christina María Aguilera”’ (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer and songwriter.


19. Paul McCartney

source
Ken Ishii/Getty Images

Before edit:

With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, widely regarded as one of the most popular and influential acts in the history of rock music.

After edit:

With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential acts in the history of rock music.


18. Ronald Reagan

source
Wikimedia Commons

Before edit:

An icon among Republicans, he ranks highly in public and critical opinion of U.S. Presidents, and his tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States.

After edit:

An icon among Republicans, he ranks favorably in public and critical opinion of U.S. Presidents, and his tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States.


17. Donald Trump

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Donald Trump.
source
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Before edit:

Born and raised in hell, Trump received a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968.

After edit:

Born and raised in New York, Trump received a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968.


16. Elvis Presley

Before edit:

Presley’s ancestry was primarily a Western European mix: on his mother’s side, he was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman; one of Gladys’ great-great-grandmothers was Cherokee.

After edit:

Presley’s ancestry was primarily a Western European mix: on his mother’s side, he was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman; one of Gladys’ great-great-grandmothers, Morning Dove White, was possibly a Cherokee Native American.


15. Vijay (actor)

source
Wikipedia

Before edit:

He is currently shooting for his next film, directed by Atlee (director) titled Theri (film) was launched on 26 June 2015 in Chennai.The First Look of Theri (Film) released on 25th November, 2015 to earth shattering response from celebrities and audiences. The Film is scheduled to release on Tamil New Year (14th April 2016).

After edit:

He is currently shooting for his next film, directed by Atlee (director) titled Theri (film) was launched on 26 June 2015 in Chennai.


14. Mariah Carey

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Mark Davis/Getty Images

Before edit:

During the recording of the album, Carey began to deviate from her R&B and pop beginnings and slowly moved into hip hop. This musical change became evident with the release of ”Butterfly” (1997), at which time Carey had separated from Mottola.

After edit:

During the recording of the album, Carey began to deviate from her slower R&B and ballad-oriented beginnings and slowly transitioned into hip hop. This musical change became further established with the release of ”Butterfly” (1997), which was released during the midst of her separation from Mottola.


13. John Cena (wrestler)

source
Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures/”Trainwreck”

Before edit:

Cena announced that he would issue an open challenge each week on ”Raw” with his United States Championship on the line, where he would defeat the likes of Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Bad News Barrett, Kane, El Generico, Zack Ryder and Neville.

After edit:

Cena announced that he would issue an open challenge each week on ”Raw” with his United States Championship on the line, where he would defeat the likes of Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Bad News Barrett, Kane, El Generico, and Zack Ryder.


12. Eminem

Before edit:

The revelation causes an uproar in the control room; a man identifying himself as Marshall’s publicist tries to stop the interview but is held back by Skylark’s producer, Aaron Rappaport.

After edit:

The revelation causes an uproar in the control room: Eminem’s publicist tries to stop the interview but is held back by Skylark’s producer.


11. Muhammad

source
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kaaba_mirror_edit_jj.jpg

Before edit:

Muhammad has been criticized ever since he claimed prophethood. He had been attacked by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism, as well as for issues concerning his marriages, and his military expeditions across Arabia.

After edit:

Criticism of Muhammad has existed since the time he declared himself to be the Messenger of God. He has been criticized by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism and equality of mankind. Other critics, in later times, criticized him for his multiple marriages and his military expeditions across Arabia. The Qur’an, in response to those critics, says: They want to extinguish the light of God ‘”with their mouths”‘, but God will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.


10. Beyoncé

source
Alphonso Chan/Getty

Before edit:

Mathew is African-American, while Tina is of Louisiana Creole descent (with African, Native American, French, and 1/16th Irish, ancestry).

After edit:

Mathew is African-American, while Tina is of Louisiana Creole descent (with African, Native American, French, and 1/32th Irish ancestry).


9. Kane (wrestler)

source
Flickr/DuckPuppy

Before edit:

Early career (1992-1995)

After edit:

Early career (1992-1994)


8. Roger Federer

source
ESPN

Before edit:

Most commentators and players regard Federer as the greatest tennis player of all time.

After edit:

Many commentators and players regard Federer as the greatest tennis player of all time.


7. The Undertaker (wrestler)

source
YouTube/WWE

Before edit:

At Battleground (2015) in July, Undertaker returned as a villian, attacking Brock Lesnar with a low blow and other maneuvers during his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins, which caused the match to end in a no contest (the next night on “Raw”, Lillian Garcia announced that Lesnar had own by disqualification).

After edit:

At Battleground (2015) in July, Undertaker returned attacking Brock Lesnar during his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins, which caused the match to end in disqualification.


6. Britney Spears

source
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Before edit:

Spears’s eponymous eighth studio album ”Britney Jean” was released in 2013; it spawned the international hit “Work Bitch”, however the album made little commercial impact.

After edit:

Spears’s eponymous eighth studio album ”Britney Jean” was released in 2013; it spawned the top 15 hit “Work Bitch”, however it became the lowest-selling record of her career.


5. Adolf Hitler

source
Bundesarchiv

Before edit:

”Adolf Hitler” (1889-1945) was the leader of the NSDAP (from 1919) and dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Appointed ”Reichskanzler” on January 30, 1933, he assumed the twin titles of ”Führer und Reichskanzler” (leader and chancellor) after President Paul von Hindenburg’s death. Early years…

After edit:

”Adolf Hitler” (1889-1945) was the leader of the NSDAP (from 1919) and dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Appointed ”Reichskanzler” on January 30, 1933, he assumed the twin titles of ”Führer und Reichskanzler” (leader and chancellor) after President Paul von Hindenburg’s death (August 2, 1934). Under his leadership, Germany started World War II and committed the holocaust.


4. Barack Obama

Before edit:

In foreign policy, Obama ordered 2014 American intervention in Iraq U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

After edit:

In foreign policy, Obama ordered 2014 American intervention in Iraq U.S. military intervention in Iraq.


3. Michael Jackson

source
REUTERS

Before edit:

Both of Jackson’s parents have denied the longstanding allegations of abuse.

After edit:

Both of Jackson’s parents have disagreed with the longstanding allegations of abuse, with Katherine stating that while the whippings are considered abuse today, such action was a common way to discipline children back then.


2. Jesus

source
MAMJODH/Flickr

Before edit:

It is the last conversation with Jesus reported in the Bible until the Book of Revelation in which a man named John receives a revelation from Jesus concerning the Christian eschatologylast days when Jesus is predicted to return.

After edit:

It is the last conversation with Jesus reported in the Bible until the Book of Revelation in which a man named John receives a revelation from Jesus concerning the Christian eschatologylast days when Jesus is predicted to return victoriously.


1. George W. Bush

source
Getty

Before edit:

”George ‘Dubya’ Walker Bush” (born July 6, 1946)…He is also the brother of Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida.

After edit:

”George Walker Bush” (born July 6, 1946).