Wikipedia’s Lamest Edit Wars

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

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  • http://www.andrew-liebchen.com Andrew Liebchen

    I don’t understand. How are the boxes sized? Obviously not by the number of comments, maybe by the length of the fight?

  • http://www.lukeradl.com Luke

    Great vis!

    Under Jesus you say there was a dispute over whether to use “B.C. or A.D.” BC and AD are part of the same system. The dispute was over whether to use the BC/AD system or the modern standard notation of BCE/CE.

  • http://www.goingonabearhunt.com Ellie

    One day Wikipedia will be finished and all that will remain will be a few never-ending battles of English vs American usage. The can be no victor.

  • http://www.melodiefabriek.nl Marco Raaphorst

    haha, great!

  • Ryan

    Why can’t Wikipedia adopt an American English style policy? It’s an American website, fercryinoutloud. Let’s keep it consistent.

  • Anon

    And there will be no honor honour honor honour honor respect in that war.

  • nwt

    Amazing. Do you also plan a visualization of Wikipedia’s more serious edit wars (if you haven’t made that already, of course)? That would be very interesting indeed.

  • Peter McGlasses

    Just checked the band is/are edit history and found this nugget:

    “Stop it. This debate has been going on for years. I am not getting into an edit war over one word. However, bands such as U2 ‘are’ a band since they are British. US bands get ‘is’.”

    Oops. Metafight!

  • http://www.sonawane.co.uk Neelesh Sonawane

    David, just watched the Newsnight episode with yourself and Neville Brody. I don’t get it, why did you not talk about improving accessibility of this data – making it more interesting so expanding it’s appeal – rather than being a dull table that most would overlook. I have to say Neville seemed really out of touch.

  • msilfan

    My favorite is Rule 34 (Internet meme). The Wikipedia editors agree that “The meme is most certainly not notable in that there is no non-trivial coverage of it”.

    So they have “salted” it which means deleting the page every time some new editor sees the lack and tries to make one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rule_34_%28Internet_meme%29

    The Fanlore Wiki has an entry though: http://fanlore.org/wiki/Rule_34

  • Gladys

    Well, I do not see the reason for any wars-English is English everyone has a right to interpret

  • Simon

    Great to see how many edits some of these articles have!

    A never ending battle, doesn’t really matter any, language will continue to change so in a couple of years the problems people have been mentioning above may not be around any more.

  • Joris Aerts

    I think you do some amazing stuff with information. really inspiring.
    Thanks for all your great work.

  • http://www.translia.com translation services

    experienced Wikipedians lose their heads and devote every waking moment to edit warring over the most trivial thing. This page documents our lamest examples. It isn’t comprehensive or authoritative.

  • http://www.mantek.com.au/aboutus/Pages/aboutmantek.aspx Mantek

    Why Wikipedia can not accept American English style of politics? This is a U.S. site, fercryinoutloud. Keep it consistent.

  • Anon

    Seriously?
    “are the band”?
    REALLY?

  • http://daveswhiteboard.com Dave Ferguson

    I used to edit the occasional article on Wikipedia, but gave up in the face of relentless combatants for a particular point of view. As a longtime editor noted, the original name for Wikipedia was “Unemployed Ph.D. Death Match.”

    The reality is that much of the easy work has been done–there’s at least a stub of an article on pretty much anything. Articles with any size to them attract adherents, which isn’t a bad thing on its own. Over time, though, singlemindedness begins to meld with bloodymindedness.

  • http://blogerocasional.blogspot.com.es/ Joan U

    There have been memorable edit wars in languages other than English. In French, for instance, there was a long-running debate about whether the vegetable scientifically known as Cichorium endivia or Cichorium intybus should be called “endive” as the French do, or “chicon” as the French-speaking Belgians do (Belgium is the world’s largest exporter of endives; actually is the Flemish part of Belgium that does the exporting, there the vegetable is called “Witloof”).

  • aimee

    you should really fix your texts on a cpl of these graphs so their actually readable. right now some are so blurry and missing parts of letters that its impossible to read and understand. also on some like the ‘colours in countries’ graph you should give some written instructions or at least explain what the colours mean and how the graph should be read and interpreded. thanks.