What the world researched in 2020, through the lens of Wikipedia

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,441   +132
Staff member
In brief: Wikipedia entries shouldn’t be taken as gospel, but it is a good place to start when researching a topic or navigating a rabbit hole. And in 2020, plenty of people turned to the online encyclopedia to learn more about two key topics of interest: the Covid-19 pandemic and the US presidential election.

According to Wikipedia’s annual list of the most-popular English articles, seven of the top 10 Wikipedia articles of 2020 were about either the pandemic or the election. Topping the list was the entry for “Covid-19 pandemic” which has amassed more than 83 million pageviews (as of December 15, 2020).

Outside of the pandemic and politics, users were also curious about those who died in 2020 including NBA legend Kobe Bryant, Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput and American actor Chadwick Boseman.

In the tech category, serial entrepreneur Elon Musk placed 12th with more than 21 million pageviews while YouTube ranked 23rd with just north of 15 million pageviews.

The top 10 results alone generated some 392 million pageviews. According to the most recent statistics, the English version of Wikipedia consists of 6.2 million articles.

The list largely mirroring what we saw in Google’s annual Year in Search report earlier this month.

Wikipedia plans to update the list again in early January to reflect the final two weeks of the year.

Permalink to story.

 

TomSEA

Posts: 3,320   +2,068
I honestly don't know why Wikipedia gets a bad rap for being inaccurate. I use it almost daily and have never found an article to be flawed. Sensitive articles (like "Trump," "Covid vaccine," etc.) that people would maliciously alter are locked and only certain trusted users have access to edit. So they've nipped that problem in the bud.

Where else are you going to go for encyclopedia-type information? The library? Fat chance of that happening. People go to the library these days to use the public computers so they can watch porn - and look up stuff on Wikipedia. 😛
 

psycros

Posts: 3,569   +4,348
I honestly don't know why Wikipedia gets a bad rap for being inaccurate. I use it almost daily and have never found an article to be flawed. Sensitive articles (like "Trump," "Covid vaccine," etc.) that people would maliciously alter are locked and only certain trusted users have access to edit. So they've nipped that problem in the bud.

Where else are you going to go for encyclopedia-type information? The library? Fat chance of that happening. People go to the library these days to use the public computers so they can watch porn - and look up stuff on Wikipedia. 😛

Are you serious? You honestly think that people aren't fully aware of the inaccuracies in those locked articles? Only allowing a tiny handful of people editing access to a huge amount of content is the exact opposite of Wikipedia's original mission. Their just another propaganda outlet now.
 

TomSEA

Posts: 3,320   +2,068
Are you serious? You honestly think that people aren't fully aware of the inaccuracies in those locked articles? Only allowing a tiny handful of people editing access to a huge amount of content is the exact opposite of Wikipedia's original mission. Their just another propaganda outlet now.

Prove it. Show me one locked mainstream article that's skewed to a specific point of view.
 

trparky

Posts: 946   +1,009
Prove it. Show me one locked mainstream article that's skewed to a specific point of view.
Meanwhile, let's compare that to...

The George W. Bush Wikipedia is practically filled with the word "controversy" but if we look at Barack Obama's article it's the cleanest piece that I've ever seen. No mention of any controversies; not even the biggest one during his administration namely the ATF gunwalking scandal (Fast and Furious).

Wikipedia is very slanted to the left and these two articles show it as plain as day.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
On any non-controversial scientific or technical subject, Wikipedia is extremely accurate -- though the articles are often painfully digressive, riddled with gratuitous circumlocutions.

On any political or socially-sensitive subject, the articles are so slanted as to be no more than propagandistic piffle.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 116   +112
...
On any non-controversial scientific or technical subject, Wikipedia is extremely accurate -- though the articles are often painfully digressive, riddled with gratuitous circumlocutions.

On any political or socially-sensitive subject, the articles are so slanted as to be no more than propagandistic piffle.

A ^^ propagandist ^^ is a person who tries to persuade people to support a particular idea or group ^^ by giving inaccurate ^^ information. ^^

/ "articles are often painfully digressive, riddled with gratuitous circumlocution" /

Who are you trying to impress? Russia?

Think about windage when typing for the main, those choice terms are probably less effective than intended.

Complaining about Wikipedia on some website, is of course, how to solve any problem with a Wikipedia article. They should remove their [edit] button, posthaste.
 

Crinkles

Posts: 116   +112
The George W. Bush Wikipedia is practically filled with the word "controversy" but if we look at Barack Obama's article it's the cleanest piece that I've ever seen. No mention of any controversies; not even the biggest one during his administration namely the ATF gunwalking scandal (Fast and Furious).

Wikipedia is very slanted to the left and these two articles show it as plain as day.

You'll always find what you're looking for, it's forgone that searches end when the sercher is happy with the result.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
A ^^ propagandist ^^ is a person who tries to persuade people to support a particular idea or group ^^ by giving inaccurate ^^ information. ^^
Untrue, of course. Propaganda may contain actual lies, but it is a hundred times more likely to be simply misleading, through a biased and highly incomplete selection of the facts. Most of the anti-US propaganda the Soviets fed its citizenry was accurate, and simply use slanted information presented out of context.

To take a slightly more current example, I recall several highly critical stories of Trump's UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, having exorbitant $50,000 curtains installed in her NY residence. The articles all failed to mention that those curtains were purchased by Haley's predecessor, Obama appointee Samantha Power. Other stories castigated Trump's HUD Secretary Ben Carson for his purchase of a $30,000 conference table, leaving out the fact that several Obama officials -- including those well below the level of a Cabinet Secretary, had purchased tables costing two or more times as much.

Propaganda. Lying by omission.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 268   +428
Meanwhile, let's compare that to...

The George W. Bush Wikipedia is practically filled with the word "controversy" but if we look at Barack Obama's article it's the cleanest piece that I've ever seen. No mention of any controversies; not even the biggest one during his administration namely the ATF gunwalking scandal (Fast and Furious).

Wikipedia is very slanted to the left and these two articles show it as plain as day.

Conservatives seem to be quite preoccupied with their coverage but somehow this rarely seems to lead to any kind of introspection. Perhaps the media and Wikipedia are not as left as you think but rather more or less centrist, and it is your perspective that is off to the right?

You should consider that Wikipedia is an international effort, reflecting a consensus that might not have much overlap with contemporary talking points of the US right wing. Talking points that have grown more and more estranged from reality over the last decades. Your might consider a typical Kayleigh McEnany interview perfectly acceptable but there are scores or people that think they sound like the ramblings of an insane person.
 

trparky

Posts: 946   +1,009
Perhaps the media and Wikipedia are not as left as you think but rather more or less centrist, and it is your perspective that is off to the right?
Your argument would have held water if it weren't for the fact that Wikipedia made George W. Bush out to be some kind of evil bad guy. If you read his article it's scathing with several scandals like you wouldn't believe. Meanwhile, if you look at Barack Obama's article it's clean with no mention of scandals at all. Why is that? Why are they making him out to look as pure as the driven snow?

Your might consider a typical Kayleigh McEnany interview perfectly acceptable but there are scores or people that think they sound like the ramblings of an insane person.
I don't even know who he is and have never heard of him.

I am not far right or far left in any way, I sit squarely in the middle in between these two insane camps catching flak from both sides. I will gladly call out both sides for their stupidity. Case in point... Mitch McConnel is a bastard for holding out on the $2000 check. However, on the flipside I'll blame Nancy Pelosi for not getting the checks out to us months ago.

See? There's blame to be passed around on all sides and I'll dish it out equally to both sides as I see fit.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,219
You should consider that Wikipedia is an international effort, reflecting a consensus
Your error is the assumption that consensus equates to truth. The fallacy is even more apparent when you realize that the "consensus" is only among those the Wikipedia bureaucracy allow unrestrained editing rights.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 268   +428
Your error is the assumption that consensus equates to truth. The fallacy is even more apparent when you realize that the "consensus" is only among those the Wikipedia bureaucracy allow unrestrained editing rights.

Consensus may not equate to truth but neither does being the outlier. But why would you even argue truth at all? Trump enablers have shown time and time again that you hold that concept in very low regard.

And as I mentioned before and as you demonstrate here once more, Conservatives will discourse at length about what they perceive as bias against them but hardly ever accept that they have any responsibility of their own for being disinvited from public fora like Wikipedia, Twitter and Youtube. If you don't want your editing rights to be restrained, or your content flagged with disclaimers, or demonetized, how about not engaging in the kinds of behavior that leads to those restrictions?
 

trparky

Posts: 946   +1,009
If you don't want your editing rights to be restrained, or your content flagged with disclaimers, or demonetized, how about not engaging in the kinds of behavior that leads to those restrictions?
That I'd have to agree with. If you act like an @sshole, be prepared to be treated as if you are an @sshole. I get it. Many on either extreme side of the political spectrum generally act like @ssholes and m0rons and should be treated as such.

However, I still bring up the question of why is George W. Bush's article filled with such scandals yet Barack Obama's Wikipedia article barely mentions even one yet we know that there were a few. I don't get it. Why? There's got to be a reason.