Wikipedia is an open source wiki website. Anybody can register, post informational articles, and update those that already exist in the system. It is considered self-editing because other users will view the changes and can then opt to alter the page once again or leave it as it is. Researchers from the University of Oxford have decided that it is possible to use the number and frequency of changes made as an indication of how hotly debated a particular topic or subject is.
Following a study of Wikipedia pages, they decided to list those pages that were most often changed and then instantly changed back by another editor, claiming that this was a clearer indication of debate over that subject than simply looking at the pages that were changed most often. They argued that a page may be changed or updated frequently with new information, so that hot topics or emerging technologies would appear at the top of the list.
Using this criteria, the researchers showed that George W Bush is the most hotly debated Wikipedia topic. Anarchism was in second place while the Prophet Muhammad was the third most debated article. Word Wrestling Entertainment employees and Global warming filled the fourth and fifth spots respectively.
The study took account of national versions of the site and there were some clear differences in different regions around the world. For example, French politician Segolene Royal was the most hotly debated page on the French edition of the Wikipedia website. Religions and beliefs were popular in almost all versions and in the overall ranking table too. Further research is to be conducted by the scientists in the future.