Wikipedia’s most popular articles of 2023: From ‘Pathan’ to Oppenheimer

India, the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and the Shahrukh Khan-starrer ‘Jawan’ and ‘Pathan’ are among this year’s most read and popular articles on the world’s largest encyclopedia Wikipedia, according to data released on Tuesday.

Pathan and Oppenheimer were among the most viewed pages of Wikipedia in 2023.

According to data released by the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that hosts Wikipedia, English Wikipedia received over 84 billion views this year alone and the top five articles of the year were ChatGPT with 49,490,406 pageviews, followed in second place by Deaths in 2023 (42,666,860), the 2023 Cricket World Cup in third place (38,171,653), the Indian Premier League on the fourth spot (32,012,810) and the film Oppenheimer (28,348,248).

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The foundation announced Wikipedia’s top 25 most popular articles of 2023 and topics related to India, including the country’s top favourites cricket and Bollywood, were in the list. These included the Cricket World Cup, coming in again at the number 6 spot with 25,961,417 pageviews, film ‘Jawan’ on the 8th spot with 21,791,126 pageviews, 2023 Indian Premier League (20,694,974) and another Khan blockbuster ‘Pathan’ rounding off the top 10 with 19,932,509 pageviews.

India too was among the most popular topics on Wikipedia with 13,850,178 pageviews and coming in on the 21st spot in the list.

“The most-viewed Wikipedia articles of 2023 tell the story of you and society at large seeking out knowledge about our ever-changing world from the world’s largest encyclopedia,” the foundation said.

On Cricket, the foundation said while it is one of the most popular sports in the world, no cricket article has ever been the year-end most popular articles lists since the Wikimedia Foundation first started publishing them in 2015.

“Until now,” it said. “In 2023, cricket comprised a full 16% of English Wikipedia’s top 25 articles. The third most-viewed article in our annual list is about the 2023 Cricket World Cup, which received 304% more interest this year vs. its last edition. That included over 1.25 million views on the day of the tournament final.”

Australia won the 2023 Cricket World Cup, defeating India in the final played in Ahmedabad last month. Indian cricketer Virat Kohli, who was awarded Player of the Tournament, received “more pageviews on Wikipedia this year (over ten million) than all those recorded for the 2019 Cricket World Cup that year (a bit under 9.5 million).”

Wikimedia Foundation said its data suggests that a healthy percentage of the pageviews to the World Cup, Indian Premier League, 2023 Indian Premier League, and English football’s Premier League English Wikipedia articles “came from people returning to the pages over an extended period of time.”

Among movies on the list, Wikimedia said not far behind the Christopher Nolan-directed hit Oppenheimer were two more films that shared wildly successful 2023 releases – ‘Pathaan’ and ‘Jawan’, which became two of the highest-grossing Hindi-language films of all time.

“Pathaan was released first in January 2023, and broke several box office records. Those accomplishments were short-lived, as Jawan surpassed them after its release in September. Both films featured Shah Rukh Khan as the main lead actor. Around their release dates, both films peaked at over one million views in a single day on English Wikipedia alone,” it said.

Global celebrities Taylor Swift, ‘Friends’ star Matthew Perry and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk were also on the list of Wikipedia’s most-viewed articles of 2023.

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