Wikipedia coverage of death

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Sydwhunte was the first to update the Elizabeth II Wikipedia article following her death.[1][2]

Editors of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia tend to update Wikipedia articles with information about deaths quickly after people die.[3][4] Web developer and Wikipedia editor Hay Kranen coined the term "deaditor" to refer to these editors.[5] Articles about people often have large spikes in views just after they die. For example, the article about designer Kate Spade averaged 2,117 views in 48-hour periods before her death. In the 48 hours after her death, it got 3,417,416, an increase of 161,427%.[6][7]

Media have remarked on the site's quick updates after the deaths of people such as Michael Jackson,[8] Elizabeth II,[5][9][10] and Henry Kissinger.[11][12]

In January 2009, in response to false death reports on the English Wikipedia articles about Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy, the site's co-founder Jimmy Wales proposed that pages be moderated using Flagged Revisions, a form of protection under which certain revisions of a protected page must be accepted by an experienced editor before becoming visible to readers.[13] The feature, known as "pending changes" on English Wikipedia, was first implemented in 2010, though by 2021 it was not widely used on biographies of living people and was unmaintained.[14][15]

When a subject of a biography dies of a disease, its progress may also be described.[16][17]


  1. ^ Rauwerda, Annie (9 September 2022). "Who the hell updated Queen Elizabeth II's Wikipedia page so quickly?". Input. Archived from the original on 20 October 2022. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  2. ^ Mannix, Liam (13 September 2022). "Evidence suggests Wikipedia is accurate and reliable. When are we going to start taking it seriously?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 6 March 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2022.
  3. ^ Harrison, Stephen (16 August 2018). "Meet the People Who Quickly Update Wikipedia Pages When a Celebrity Like Aretha Franklin Dies". Slate Magazine. Archived from the original on 1 November 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  4. ^ Thomas, Rhys (5 October 2022). "Inside the world of Wikipedia's deaditors". The Face. Archived from the original on 2 February 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  5. ^ a b McNamee, Kai (15 September 2022). "Fastest 'was' in the West: Inside Wikipedia's race to cover the queen's death". NPR. Archived from the original on 15 January 2023. Retrieved 22 January 2023.
  6. ^ Samora, Russell (August 2018). "Life After Death on Wikipedia". The Pudding. Archived from the original on 23 February 2023. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  7. ^ Rosen, Rebecca J. (6 February 2013). "If You Want Your Wikipedia Page to Get a Ton of Traffic, Die While Performing at the Super Bowl Half-Time Show". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 27 February 2023. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  8. ^ Steiner, Thomas; van Hooland, Seth; Summers, Ed (13 May 2013). "MJ no more: Using concurrent wikipedia edit spikes with social network plausibility checks for breaking news detection". Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on World Wide Web. pp. 791–794. doi:10.1145/2487788.2488049. ISBN 9781450320382. S2CID 15540545.
  9. ^ Lukpat, Alyssa (18 September 2022). "When Queen Elizabeth II Died, Wikipedia's 'Deaditors' Were Ready". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 9 October 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  10. ^ Parsons, Jeff (9 September 2022). "How Wikipedia responded when news of the Queen's death broke". Metro. Archived from the original on 17 December 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  11. ^ Huggins, Katherine (30 November 2023). "'I'd put that on my resume': Wikipedia editor brags she was 'the girl' who changed 'is' to 'was' on Henry Kissinger's page". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on 1 December 2023. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  12. ^ Rose, Janus (30 November 2023). "Wikipedia Editor Who First Noted Henry Kissinger's Death Has Become an 'Instant Legend'". Vice. Archived from the original on 1 December 2023. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  13. ^ Snyder, Chris (26 January 2009). "Jimmy Wales Pushes For Flagged Revisions After Fake Death Reports". Wired. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  14. ^ phoebe and HaeB (7 June 2010). ""Pending changes" trial to start on June 14".
  15. ^ Legoktm (31 January 2021). "The people who built Wikipedia, technically".
  16. ^ Mahroum, Naim; Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi; Sharif, Kassem; Gianfredi, Vincenza; Nucci, Daniele; Rosselli, Roberto; Brigo, Francesco; Adawi, Mohammad; Amital, Howard; Watad, Abdulla (June 2018). "Leveraging Google Trends, Twitter, and Wikipedia to Investigate the Impact of a Celebrity's Death From Rheumatoid Arthritis". JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 24 (4): 188–192. doi:10.1097/RHU.0000000000000692. PMC 9915341. PMID 29461342. S2CID 3442166.
  17. ^ Naik, Hiten; Johnson, Maximilian Desmond Dimitri; Johnson, Michael Roger (15 June 2021). "Internet Interest in Colon Cancer Following the Death of Chadwick Boseman: Infoveillance Study". Journal of Medical Internet Research. 23 (6): e27052. doi:10.2196/27052. PMC 8277405. PMID 34128824.