As well as being the biggest free source of information on the internet, Wikipedia is also a huge provider of controversy.
Researchers from the University of Oxford have now formulated a way to rank subjects to determine which ones are the most likely to get people's blood boiling.
In an effort to define controversy they looked at the editing history of an article looking for ones that were continuously changed then re-edited by different authors.
These co-called 'mutual re-verts' were then counted. The most controversial topics in the English Wikipedia are:
- George W Bush
- List of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. employees
- Global Warming
- United States
- Race and intelligence
They also looked at other languages, grouping them into sets. Alongside English was German, French and Spanish while another set showed Hungarian, Romanian, Arabic, Farsi and Hebrew.
Common themes were found throughout.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, politics and religion scored highly across the board. Football was also a controversial topic especially in Spain.
Most interestingly are the rather odd topics that crop up.
- Why is a list of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. employees so controversial?
- Why are Czechoslovakians so obsessed with homosexuality?
- Are the Hungarian topics indicative of a strong right-wing movement?
- What on earth can be controversial about the Romanian Disney Channel?
- Why are Germans fretting over Croatia?
Unfortunately a little more digging may be necessary to find out...