June 4, 2014


Michael Jackson's Wikipedia Page Gets More Revisions Than Obama, Jesus

Getty Images, 3
Getty Images, 3

When the website FiveThirtyEight rounded up the 100 Most-Edited Wikipedia pages, it was no shocker that George W. Bush's Wiki entry is the site's most edited and re-edited page. Sure, he's retreated out of the public sphere, but debate over his legacy is never-ending. 

Similarly, Wiki pages for Jesus, Barack Obama, Adolf Hitler and the Catholic Church have been subject to thousands of revisions since they were first published. But here's a tidbit that's rather surprising: Michael Jackson's Wikipedia page is one of the Top 5 most-revised Wikis ever.

Yes, Wiki's bio for the pop star who died five years ago gets rewritten more often than pages for our sitting president, the subject of evolution, 9/11 and even the Christian savior. And these figures don't include edits done to related pages like Thriller or the moonwalk.

Lest you chalk this glut of revisions up to his posthumous album Xscape or that MJ hologram, take a look at the edits to his page from February 2014. It was revised more than 50 times that month, and most of those changes had to do with users tweaking sections about his wealth, legacy and even debating whether he bleached his skin.

The next most-debated pop star on Wikipedia is Britney Spears, who beats World War II, the Beatles and global warming when it comes to controversial Wiki pages. Britney is a very hot topic, so much that her album Blackout actually has more revisions than Madonna's entire Wiki entry—not to mention pages for cannabis and Scientology.

The idea of "written history" is pretty much dead in the Internet era. We continually change our understanding of past events and figures, and our encyclopedias reflect that. But apparently, pop stars are still the most divisive figures around, besting presidents and prophets by far.