Top 25 Report: Most Popular Wikipedia Articles of the Week (March 2 to 8, 2014)Edit

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Summary: An intensely busy week, with the highest entry point in over a year, as a confluence of celebratory, curious and urgent topics pushed typical residents like Facebook and Deaths in 2014 to the fringes. The Academy Awards didn't quite have the presence they did last year (12 topics, rather than 14) and failed to claim the top spot, which was taken, unsurprisingly, by the increasingly frantic region of Crimea. Five slots were in some way related to the ongoing crisis in that part of the world, which is bringing back uncomfortable memories of the darker days of the Cold War, and even managed to colour the Oscars thanks to Jared Leto. On a more positive note, the start of Lent and its associated feasts were again popular this year, with Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras just missing the top 25.

For the week of March 2 to 8, the 25 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the report of the 5,000 most viewed pages, were:

Rank Last Wks Article Class Views Image Notes
1 4 2 Crimea   1,381,295 The evil of a strategic position is to be the plaything of great powers, and, 160 years after inspiring the war that gave us the Charge of the Light Brigade, the Siege of Sevastopol,* the balaclava, and Florence Nightingale, the hapless peninsula has become so again.

*The first one, anyway

2 - - Jared Leto   1,284,466 To the surprise of absolutely no one, this handsome onetime My So-Called Life actor won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. To quite a few people's surprise, however, he then used his acceptance speech to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the LGBT community, which of course had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Russia's sudden decision not to broadcast the Oscars. No siree.
3 - - Lupita Nyong'o   1,218,156 This virtually unknown Kenyan/Mexican actress won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 12 Years A Slave, and set the media abuzz with her red-carpet style.
4 2 3 Ukraine   1,038,754 Things are moving fast in the country, from protest to revolution to armed hostility. It has now reached the point where anything I say will probably be obsolete by the time this is published. But it's fair to say things are getting pretty hairy; the last time Vladimir Putin asserted his manhood to his near neighbours, the conflict lasted a week. Here's hoping a similar outcome prevails now.
5 - - 12 Years a Slave (film)   898,627 Although it only won 3 Oscars on the night, one of them was Best Picture, ensuring that Solomon Northup's account of his captivity in the antebellum American South would generate massive interest from the public.
6 - - 86th Academy Awards   840,314 Many of the wins may have seemed predestined, but the down-to-the-wire marathon for Best Picture between box office hits Gravity and 12 Years A Slave generated the show's highest ratings since The Return of the King walked away with the shop, proving once again that audiences want to see the films they watched win.
7 - - Matthew McConaughey   827,293 Again to no one's surprise, the Hollywood hunk once thought slightly adrift won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club
8 - - Dallas Buyers Club   764,350 This film drew attention to a much-neglected part of history (the botched response of the American authorities to the early spread of the AIDS epidemic) but was noted in the end mainly for the committed performances it inspired.
9 3 6 True Detective (TV series)   703,977 This HBO police procedural stars Woody Harrelson and actor-of-the-moment Matthew McConaughey
10 - - Ash Wednesday   694,377 There was a time, not so long ago really, when this moveable feast marking the first day of Lent would have been the main topic of discussion among the public. Times have changed. Most people don't even fast for Lent any more, let alone show their devotion by marking their foreheads with ash.
11 - - Kim Novak   677,446 An open letter to the human race: Grow the heck up. Seriously. An actress who starred in a film considered by many to be the best ever made keeps a low profile for decades, then decides to show up at the Oscars to present a minor award and... Oooh the humanity! The horror! She's had some bad plastic surgery! How dare she show her withered visage in public! Burn the witch! And so on. Leaving aside the fact that it's incredibly bad form to throw someone whose name you likely didn't know until that night onto the sacrificial flames of social media, there surely are other things we should be worried about right now.
12 - 2 Leonardo DiCaprio   591,071 The Internet's favourite to win the Best Actor Oscar may not have succeeded, but that obviously did not lessen any goodwill.
13 - 2 International Women's Day   567,474 March 8 is International Women's Day, and each year, a Google Doodle sees fit to remind us.
14 16 12 Frozen (2013 film)   504,247 Even excluding its Oscar win for Best Original Song, Disney's de facto sequel to Tangled has become something of a sensation. It reclaimed the top spot in the US charts on its sixth weekend (a feat only matched by Avatar and Titanic), has already outgrossed its quasi-predecessor both domestically and worldwide, having recently joined the exclusive $1 billion club. I must say I'm looking forward to the phenomenon fading, as it means I won't constantly hear that Madonna song in my head every time I do this.
15 - - Cate Blanchett   493,771 No one doubted that Hollywood's icon of class and elf-queen for hire would cap her astounding awards season with an Oscar, though they may have been surprised to learn that she celebrated her win by getting a tattoo, or dropped an F-bomb during the backstage press conference.
16 - - Idina Menzel   484,474 The Tony-winning singer/actress who played the lead role in Frozen appeared at the Oscars to sing the winning song. Unfortunately, she's more likely in this list for John Travolta referring to her as "Adele Dazeem" in his introduction, a flub that has generated an inordinate amount of media attention.
17 - - Vladimir Putin   478,163 The creepy-eyed President of Russia seems set on redrawing the lines of the European map. It remains to be seen whether anyone will stand in his way.
18 - - 2014 Crimean crisis   471,350 Only 8 days old as of this datum, the summation page for this rapidly changing topic has been born into the spotlight.
19 - - Gravity (film)   470,313 Like Star Wars before it, this scifi flick managed to win the most Oscars without claiming top prize. But then, the Academy has always had a queasy reaction to science fiction. Just ask Stanley Kubrick.
20 - 6 Amazon.com   458,165 The popular online shopping site makes its first reappearance in the top 25 since August. There doesn't appear to be any particular reason why, although it's always in the news, and there are always discussions about it.
21 - - Lent   454,085 The 40 days before Easter were traditionally seen as a period of fasting, abstinence and personal reflection; not attributes commonly promoted or strived for these days, so people obviously are curious about it.
22 - - Crimean War   452,288 For a relatively short war from so long ago, the Crimean War has lasted long in the memory. But one wonders, is this current surge of interest contemplation of horrors past, or anticipation of the future?
23 6 60 Facebook   451,025 A perennially popular article.
24 - 10 Jennifer Lawrence   411,952 Wikipedia's favourite actress was another Internet favourite to win an Oscar, though she didn't. She did manage to trip on her dress endearingly again though.
25 7 50 Deaths in 2014   406,330 The list of deaths in the current year is always quite a popular article.
  • Number of views needed to reach Top 25 this week: 406,330. Last week: 246,408.

ExclusionsEdit

  • This list excludes the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages, and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Please keep in mind that the explanations given for these articles' popularity are, fundamentally, guesses. Just because I can't find a reason for an article to be included doesn't mean there isn't one; conversely, just because a plausible reason is found for a view spike, that doesn't mean it wasn't due to a bot.
  • There are a number of articles that reappear frequently in the top 25 for no determined reason, and have been excluded as likely being due to automated views. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the talk page if you wish.
    • Java: My only guess is a bot searching for the programming language.
    • Several articles related to global warming (including global warming) have been removed from this list; their continued high view counts are raising suspicions of artificial inflation. I'll believe that Climategate was #1 during a typhoon, but that it got more hits than Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving? No.
    • IPv6: I have to face facts; I've been allowing this into the top 25 for months as it is the kind of issue that would appeal to web denizens (ala Bitcoin) but its insane popularity is just too high explain by human interest alone. It's getting help.
  • Specific exclusions this week:
    • Equilibrium constant: When an obscure technical topic such as this appears in the top 25, it's usually the result of a Reddit thread. Not this time apparently.
    • Zofia Palak: And our intellectual, Europhillic stalker strikes again. This time, the lucky gal's an associate professor of special psychopedagogy at Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. Should she be notified? I mean yeah this whole thing's a bit silly, but it's also kinda creepy.