Religion & Wikipedia: The ‘Edit Wars’ Rage On 

(Huffpost) – “Most of the debates on religion related articles are about the historical facts and reliability of the references. There are less debates on concepts or ideologies and most of the edit wars are on the details of the historical events reported in the article and whether there are ways to proof them from multiple sources.” 

Scientists have analyzed page edits in 10 editions of Wikipedia to determine thetopics most often fought over by editors of the open encyclopedia. The most debated topics included many religious subjects, like Jesus and God, according to research done by Taha Yasseri, Anselm Spoerri, Mark Graham, and János Kertész.

Rather than merely citing pages that changed a lot, they identified pages involved in “edit wars,” that involved editors making changes that were almost instantly undone by another contributor. This proved the best method of finding controversial pages as pages often updated could simply belong to a rapidly changing field or topic. However, pages with words and phrases constantly removed and reinserted indicated a passionate disagreement surrounding the issue at hand.

The most controversial pages across all ten editions of Wikipedia were:

  • Israel
  • Adolf Hitler
  • The Holocaust
  • God

Other controversial subjects were Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad, and Christianity.

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