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Death and politics: Wikipedia reveals its most-edited pages of 2016

Following in the footsteps of Google, Facebook, and Appleas well as Digital Trends – Wikipedia has just a unveiled a 2016 chart of its own, this one showing stats for the most-edited pages on its site over the last 12 months.

It’s a snapshot of the year’s major events and controversial happenings, and perhaps a reflection of the kind of things enthusiastic Wikipedia editors are currently squabbling over to get a page looking just how they want it.

Death and politics

With so many high-profile figures passing away this year – Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, and John Glenn to name just a few – it’s little wonder the “Deaths in 2016” page sits atop Wikipedia’s chart with 18,230 edits, a position the “Deaths in …” entry finds itself in most years.

The following five spots probably won’t surprise you either, with each one featuring a politics-related page. Ranking highest among them is Donald Trump, whose 14,000-word Wikipedia entry saw a sizable 8,933 page revisions, though with The Donald in the news this year more than he’s ever been, that’s kind of understandable. Pages for “United States presidential election,” “Hilary Clinton presidential campaign endorsements,” and “Republican Party presidential primaries” also received plenty of attention among editors, with all of them ranking in the top five.

Looking further down the list, we see the tragic Orlando nightclub attack in June appearing as the sixth most-edited page on Wikipedia in the last 12 months.

But there are a few surprises in the chart, too. At number seven, for example, is “Bailando 2015,” a page that tells you everything you need to know about last year’s season of Argentina’s long-running TV dance competition. According to Wikipedia’s data, the entry warranted 5,432 edits this year, mostly updates to contestant information, by the looks of it.

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Another page that contains mainly updated stats rather than more descriptive information is “2016 in South Korean music,” which sits at number 10, while at 20 you’ll find Vincent van Gogh, whose page has so far received 3,551 edits this year. The painter’s appearance in the list appears to be the result of a concerted effort by four motivated Wikipedia editors to knock van Gogh’s page into shape to gain it “featured” status – indicating an entry of high quality – the timing perhaps partly linked to the imminent release of a new animated feature about the artist.

Human editors numbering in the tens of thousands keep Wikipedia’s pages up to date and – hopefully – accurate, though they also receive help from computer software that works on updating article content.