Internet Geographer


Controversy in Wikipedia in the UK and Ireland

Following up on the previous post on controversy in Wikipedia in Australia (and the original post on the geography of controversy in Wikipedia), I wanted to switch hemispheres.

The map below illustrate controversy in Wikipedia in the UK in Ireland:

Excluding country names (which all have a lot of controversy, but can’t be easily plotted on a point map), the top ten most controversial articles in the UK and Ireland are:

1) Birmingham
2) Principality of Sealand
3) Blackburn Rovers F.C.
4) London
5) St Christopher Iba Mar Diop College of Medicine
6) Cardiff Airport
7) Manchester
8) Cardiff
9) Strabane
10) Cornwall

As we saw in the Australian example, some of these places likely pop up simply because they are large, high-traffic, articles. It is notable, however, that all of the Scottish urban centres (Glasgow and Edinburgh in particular) seem to be relatively controversy free.

Basically, we’re seeing some unexpected findings about what Wikipedia editors in the UK feel worth fighting about: which is a trend that I’ve long noticed in the encyclopaedia. That is, seemingly mundane and everyday topics can sometimes generate much more attention and argument than the things, processes and places that you might expect people to be fighting about.