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Updated Dec 6, 2023, 12:21pm EST
South Asia
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India dominated Wikipedia in 2023

India's Virat Kohli in the Cricket World Cup final
REUTERS/Andrew Boyers
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The most-read English-language page on Wikipedia this year was about ChatGPT, the chatbot that, perhaps ironically, was partly trained on Wikipedia’s thousands of articles.

The list of top articles of 2023 was dominated by India-related topics, with the 2023 Cricket World Cup taking the No. 3 spot and two Indian films in the top 10. Taylor Swift, who was recently named as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, fell behind at No. 12, according to Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that runs the crowdsourced online encyclopedia.

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India’s success on the list speaks to the growing prominence of India’s English-speaking population. Wikipedia has about 4,700 English-language volunteer editors in India, behind only the U.S. and U.K., a Wikimedia Foundation spokesperson told CNN, touting the country’s “rich media environment and information technology sector.” This year, India surpassed China — where Wikipedia is blocked — as the world’s most populous country. It also has the second-largest population of English speakers after the U.S. Just over half of Indians, 759 million, are active internet users, and that number is set to grow to 900 million by 2025, according to a study.

Since Wikipedia started tracking its most popular pages in 2015, no cricket article had made it on the list. That changed this year, with four cricket-related pages in the top 10. India hosted the Cricket World Cup this year, yielding economic dividends across the country. Officials said the tournament’s final, which India lost to Australia, was the “most watched event of any kind in Indian television history.” One media executive told Mint that cricket is “considered a religion in India. … The impact on ad spends, travel, hospitality, sporting gear, sporting attire, event and promotion agencies is huge.”

The Barbenheimer phenomenon was a global media story this year, as Barbie and Oppenheimer debuted in theaters on the same day. Barbie came out on top at the box office, but in the battle for Wikipedia views, Oppenheimer reigned supreme, coming in at No. 5 overall. People most likely searched for the film to learn more about its subject J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had the No. 7 page. Wikipedia noted that Oppenheimer-related topics were especially popular in other languages on the site, including Italian. The Hindi-language films Pathaan and Jawan, both starring actor Shah Rukh Khan, also made the global top 10 list.

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