Wrong And Rewrite

Wikipedia's Lamest Edit Wars

by Stephen Von Worley on August 10, 2010

McCandless' Articles Of War

To a self-appointed Defender of the Truth, Wikipedia might just be the best thing since sliced bread. In only a few minutes and with slightly more effort than using a TV remote, you can perfectly define any topic to the entire world? Amazing!

Then, here comes trouble – in the form of another Defender of the Truth with a different opinion. Defender #1 edits the Wikipedia article about that silvery, lightweight metal used to make airplanes and soda cans, calling it aluminum. Defender #2, from across the pond, says “Blimey, no! The proper spelling is aluminium!” Number One removes the errant i. Number Two puts it back. Then, a third Defender points out that it was originally dubbed alumium, and everyone goes crazy! The argument – and edits – continue ad infinitum, because online, there’s no mom around to stop the four-year-olds from bickering…

Wikipedia catalogs these battles on its Lamest Edit Wars page, which British data journalist David McCandless has recently fashioned into the charming infographic Articles Of War (excerpted above). See the whole thing on Information Is Beautiful, and while you’re there, don’t miss McCandless’ minimalist Goggle Boxes and viz-of-the-year contender Planes Or Volcano?

Now, please excuse me while I go fix Wikipedia’s ice cream entry. Some asshole keeps writing that the best flavor is chocolate, but clearly, it’s tutti frutti!

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