John Howard is one of Wikipedia’s most controversial topics.
According to researchers from Oxford, Rutgers and Central European universities, John Howard ranks at 44th among Wikipedia’s most disputed pages.
Their study, titled The Most Controversial Topics in Wikipedia: A Multilingual and Geographical Analysis takes a look at so-called ‘WikiWars’ – editing skirmishes where contributors revise and re-revise one another’s competing accounts of the facts.
In the English language, the former Liberal PM’s page was more contentious than those about libertarian US presidential candidate Ron Paul and the firebrand former Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr Howard’s entry also out-skirmished what you may think of as more popular hot topics like creation science, homosexuality, Fox News, evolution, and even the Almighty himself… God.
Former US president, George W Bush, was found to have the most controversial English version page of all, followed by anarchism at two, and the Muslim prophet Muhammad at 3. At number 4 came a list of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) performers.
Aggregated across all 10 Wikipedia language editions, the most contested entries were Hitler, Israel, the Holocaust, and God.
“Our results indicate that Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopaedia; it is also a window into convergent and divergent social-spatial priorities, interests and preferences,” the study’s authors wrote.
According to a Fairfax Media report, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet staff were found to have edited Wikipedia entries linked to John Howard in 2007, including a page detailing the Children Overboard affair.
IMAGE: Former Australian prime minister, John Howard. (Library photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)