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These are the top 25 Wikipedia articles of 2015

person using wikipedia
The encyclopedia isn’t dead — it’s just changed format. While we may no longer line our shelves with hardback books lettering A through Z, human curiosity (and ingenuity) has developed a better way of cataloging information, and it goes by the name Wikipedia. The phrase may be “Google it,” but what we really mean is “Go look it up on Wikipedia,” and in 2015, people looked at a lot on the digital repository. Last year, Wikipedia logged more than 5 million articles in English, an impressive achievement nearly 15 years in the making (the site was born back in 2001). And in 2015, these were the 25 most-read articles:

  1. Deaths in 2015 (27,885,484)
  2. Chris Kyle (27,765,570)
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (23,523,985)
  4. Facebook (22,330,302)
  5. Stephen Hawking (20,060,944)
  6. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (19,335,481)
  7. List of Bollywood films of 2015 (18,171,094)
  8. Google (18,107,283)
  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (17,409,029)
  10. United States (16,855,064)
  11. Kanye West (16,478,369)
  12. Game of Thrones (16,135,993)
  13. Star Wars (15,580,814)
  14. Wikipedia (15,157,792)
  15. Furious 7 (14,740,823)
  16. Jurassic World (14,283,010)
  17. Donald Trump (14,052,391)
  18. Fifty Shades of Grey (13,362,580)
  19. Pablo Escobar (13,190,232)
  20. India (12,864,393 )
  21. 2015 in film (12,542,233)
  22. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (12,436,450)
  23. Ronda Rousey (12,298,765)
  24. Paul Walker (12,201,471)
  25. World War II (12,149,875)

Films seemed to pique the most interest — eight articles in the top 25 were about movies. This marks a distinct shift in readers’ interests, as just four film-related articles made the list in 2013 and 2014 combined. Previously, television shows were far more popular topics on Wikipedia, which may suggest the return of full-length features to the top of the entertainment pile. This year, just two articles were related to TV — Game of Thrones and Pablo Escobar, the subject of the Netflix hit Narcos.

Deaths in 2015, rather morbidly, took top honors, but in general, current events were very rarely searched on Wikipedia. With the exception of Donald Trump, who seemed to dominate in just about every aspect of the Internet last year, Wikipedia readers seemed less inclined to learn about the Paris attacks or ISIS. Of course, it does seem unlikely that you would get your up-to-date news from Wikipedia, so perhaps this discrepancy makes sense.

So read on, Wiki users — keep broadening those horizons in 2016 and beyond.

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Lulu Chang
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