Courage is not the absence of fear (August 26 to September 1)
Once again, we have a report dominated by death. The omnipresent, inescapable reaper, bound to strike down each and every person reading this with the same ferocious, fearsome, fatal fall. The looming specter, lurking in the shadows of our collective existence, waiting for the moment to capitalise upon our unpreparedness, and unwillingness to let go of life. This week's report in particular is spearheaded by one prominent death—that of Senator John McCain, whose demise has propelled not only his own (former) BLP to an enormous viewcount, but also those of his extended family. Various subjects interject between the McCain bios, from the ongoing sporting bonanza over in Asia to the latest young adult hit streaming on Netflix. Owing to McCain's seismic impact on Wikipedia views, the report is considerably more lopsided than normal, but that neither detracts from nor diminishes its inherent intrigue.
For the week of August 26 to September 1, 2018, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia were:
|1||John McCain||6,187,238||We begin with the biggest news of the week, and the fourth-highest views of the year—the death of John McCain, one of the most prominent members of the United States Senate and leaders of the Grand Old Party over the past few decades. McCain first rose to fame following his torturous tenure as a prisoner of war of North Vietnam, and subsequently climbed up the political ranks. He was denied the head job by a certain charismatic Democrat, and he never served in a cabinet position either, but rather remained a massively influential voice in the Senate, especially in recent years as he rejected Trumpian proposals on issues such as healthcare. Diagnosed with glioblastoma last year, the news of his passing was perhaps an inevitability in the interim, yet this didn't prevent him making seismic waves in terms of page views amongst the dogged denizens of Wikipedia, whose intrigue led them to tunnel through various familiar links, including McCain's widow Cindy (#2), and divorced wife Carol (#3).|
|4||2018 Asian Games||1,152,563||Aside from the aforementioned death of a senator, the other recurrent story at the apex of this iteration of the report is the Asian Games, which have drawn to a close as of the time of writing. Held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, the games shone a spotlight upon the very best Asian athletes, as—like the alchemists of yonder—they transformed their blood, sweat, and tears (along with their incredible athletic aptitudes) into some precious metals. Evidently, their sporting endeavours engrossed a cohort of our readers, landing the event in the top 5 once again.|
|5||Meghan McCain||1,148,650||As with a large number of massive deaths, McCain's demise seems to have inspired a large amount of link-clicking, as readers and editors of Wikipedia click through all the family members of a deceased person, discovering all they can on a curiosity-fuelled binge. In the case of Meghan, McCain's daughter, they would have discovered her burgeoning television career, which has thus far culminated with a gig co-hosting The View alongside Whoopi Goldberg and company.|
|6||2018 Asian Games medal table||1,042,412||A list recounting all of the medals awarded to the participants of #4. With an astonishing 289 medals, it was China who reigned supreme. This shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise to avid fans of the Games, given that they have achieved this feat on ten consecutive occasions. Perhaps more impressive was the fact that 46% of their medals were of the aureate inclination, which bodes well for Chinese prospects in the next games, which they will host in Hangzhou.|
|7||India at the 2018 Asian Games||982,059||Once again, a large amount of the attention paid towards the Asian Games came from India, as people from Uttar Pradesh to Kerala browsed the information superhighway to check up on their country's progress. India only placed eighth on the medal table, so one has to imagine that the swarm of page views stems not from their performance, but from the fact that the nation has the second most anglophones worldwide. Nonetheless, there were some highlights, such as the victory of Rohan Bopanna (pictured) and his partner Divij Sharan in tennis.|
|8||Deaths in 2018||771,880||People die. Some of those people have attracted attention from reliable sources, and have Wikipedia articles. Upon their deaths, their names coalesce and convene on a list for the deceased. The morbid among us love this list, and ensure that it never leaves the Top 25. Bad news sells, after all. The numbers observing this week's voyage down the Styx was especially buoyant courtesy of #1.|
|9||Aretha Franklin||726,044||The musically inclined on Wikipedia are evidently still reeling from the death of the "Queen of Soul", as she still attracts swathes of views a fortnight past her untimely passing. However, in a very odd convergence of topics, the Special One inadvertedly honoured Franklin's legacy during a ridiculous meltdown following his team's 3–0 defeat to 'arry and Co. Personally, I think that all any of us can ask for in our prayers is a little respect when we're at home.|
|10||Crazy Rich Asians (film)||722,067||Hollywood doesn't exactly have a spotless record when it comes to the portrayal of minorities on the silver screen. This has been particularly true of roles of Asian origin. Just ask Cowboy Khan or Puck the Stereotype for evidence. Nonetheless, diversity pays these days, and the latest surprise hit has proven this once more, as Warner Bros. makes significant bank off the back of the film, which looks likely to three-peat at #1 in the box office. No word on its quality, as it isn't out in the Emerald Isle just yet, but my more stately friends have assured me that it is quite entertaining.|
My tea's gone cold, I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all (September 2 to 8)
Yet another week led by mourning. Along with holdover John McCain (#6) and the never-leaving death list (#9), the top two entries are actor Burt Reynolds, dying after a long life at 82 (and bringing along two exes) and rapper Mac Miller, gone too soon at 26 (bringing along an ex, #8, some loony fans turned against). Hip hop also makes itself present with Eminem (#10) and a young rapper he's now on a beef with (#7). The rest, we'll split them in threes: protesters are recognized (#3), executives are judged, and judges are protested; the US Open ends for women (#4) while European football starts a new tournament; TV is present through BET, Netflix, and Amazon Prime; India learns about a holiday inspiration, watches movies, and decriminalizes homosexuals; and the US celebrates a holiday watching scary (#5) and funny movies.
For the week of September 2 to 8, 2018, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia were:
|1||Burt Reynolds||4,068,946||Burt Reynolds was an icon of Hollywood manliness in the 1970s and 1980s, starring in hits such as Deliverance and Smokey and the Bandit (while also having this hilarious cameo in Mel Brooks' Silent Movie). In the 1990s, he experienced a brief resurrection with Boogie Nights that even earned him an Academy Award nomination. And now his storied career ends with his death at the age of 82 due to a heart attack.|
|2||Mac Miller||3,812,212||Celebrated rapper Mac Miller died of a possible drug overdose, a few months short of becoming another musician who died at 27. Not that hip hop departures usually get to that age—XXXTentacion earlier this year being a sad example of this—as they brag about living dangerously (see also: this list).|
|3||Colin Kaepernick||1,244,891||Believe in something.|
Even if it means sacrificing everything.
|4||Naomi Osaka||1,243,354||The first Japanese tennis player to win a Grand Slam, namely the US Open, is a woman who is multi-ethnic to the extreme: along with a name and complexion that show she's biracial Japanese (her father is Haitian), Osaka was raised in the United States.|
|5||The Nun (2018 film)||1,202,025||A great case for those who think Hollywood sequels, prequels, and whatnot sometimes get a little too far: a scary nun who appeared in one scene of The Conjuring 2 followed the steps of Annabelle and got its own picture. Reviews have been unflattering, finding it full of many sins (boo!) of the horror genre (along with that of being unintentionally funny), but it still handily recouped its $22 million budget in just its opening weekend with $57 million, enough to both top the box office and be the largest opening of The Conjuring Universe.|
|6||John McCain||1,045,213||The late war-hero-turned-politician—who, along with a long tenure as senator, was the Republican candidate in the 2008 presidential election—had his memorial services held this week.|
|7||Machine Gun Kelly (rapper)||942,841||After Eminem (#10) had a diss track on Machine Gun Kelly, "Not Alike", the Cleveland rapper replied to the Rap God with a track called "Rap Devil". Time will tell if bad things will ensue for MGK.|
|8||Ariana Grande||822,927||As if mourning the death of ex-boyfriend Mac Miller (#2) wasn't bad enough for this pop singer, ill-tempered fans decided to blame her for the rapper's death. Unlike the ones calling her "Mac Killer", Ms. Grande has been thoughtful and civilized about the matter.|
|9||Deaths in 2018||786,247||It's a shame we have to die, my dear|
No one's getting out of here alive
|10||Eminem||766,293||Twenty years after introducing Slim Shady in "My Name Is", Marshall Matters showed he's still atop the rap genre with the surprise release of new album Kamikaze, full of diss tracks on just about everybody—including people much younger than Em such as Machine Gun Kelly (#7). It also included a rap based on the Marvel anti-hero Venom, tied to the upcoming movie.|
The Court of the Rising Sun (September 9 to 15)
While incorporating some notable deaths, this week's iteration of the Top 25 Report is not entirely consumed by them, a nice change of pace from recent weeks. Rather, it is the action at Flushing Meadows, and a controversy embroiling tennis' biggest female name, which takes centre court. Further down, the list is populated with a veritable cornucopia of visual treats, from blockbuster releases to streaming delights. Google also contributes an engrossing entry, which almost excuses them for their surveillance of us all, while Eminem's return makes the list feel less empty. Finally, of course, the shadow of 9/11 weighs heavily over the report too. More diversity than recent reports ensures that this one is intriguing. Enjoy.
For the week of September 2 to 8, 2018, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia were:
|1||Naomi Osaka||2,104,708||Sport makes its way atop the report again, forcing me to reminisce of heady days of yonder. Simpler times, before a string of high-profile deaths took over. Osaka became the first Japanese victor of a Grand Slam, triumphing over her heavily favoured opponent (#9) in straight sets amidst controversy, and thus claiming pride, glory, and fame in Flushing Meadows; this propelled gargantuan views on her article, lifting the sportswoman to #1.|
|2||Mac Miller||1,587,222||And now from rising stars to fallen ones, we return to the land of the deceased with the 26-year-old rapper behind hits such as 100 Grandkids and an ode to el futuro Presidente. Having died of an apparent drug overdose, just missing on an infamous illustrious club, hip-hop fans flocked toward his article, while his more heinous and repugnant fans took it as an opportunity to harass his ex-girlfriend.|
|3||September 11 attacks||1,565,391||Franklin Delano Roosevelt infamously declared December 7 to be a "date that will live in infamy". For the modern generations, that date is September 11. Very few people will ever forget first hearing of the incident that felled two towers, and cost nearly 3,000 people their lives. The 20th century was changed irrevocably and profoundly by the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, its ramifications clearly persisting as far as the fall of the Berlin Wall. History will come to see 9/11 in a similar fashion, the catalyst for the War on Terror, a war whose consequences are still playing out, even with the malevolent mastermind gone. A day that changed America forever; a day that proved the Big Apple was strong; a day that will live forever in infamy, lest we ever forget—as such, with the seventeenth anniversary falling during the week, it is scarcely surprising to see it here.|
|4||The Nun (2018 film)||1,277,971||After a duo of films about a doll made a tidy return, Warner Bros. returned to the well to conjure another box office hit. The film itself is supposedly less superb than its receipts would indicate, reliant on lazy scares and melodrama (habits horror movies should shake). From my perspective, a possessed and demonic novitiate is far from the scariest thing related to the convent.|
|5||The Predator (film)||880,436||Speaking of mediocre Hollywood releases, we have the newest installment in the apex sci-fi franchise. The unstoppable, well, predator, returns to the silver screen some thirty years after it tormented the T-800 and—despite the immense talent on show, and the solid reputation of the director—the flick has underwhelmed both financially and critically. Guess we don't all get to the choppa.|
|6||M. Visvesvaraya||758,439||M. Visvesvaraya, an engineer from India, appears on the list courtesy of Google (it was always going to be Google or /r/TIL) as the search engine giant devoted a doodle to the genius responsible for many monumental civil engineering triumphs across India, from the Krishna Raja Sagara dam to the flood defence system of Hyderabad. Most of his work centred on the Mysore State, earning him both a knighthood and the Bharat Ratna.|
|7||Deaths in 2018||737,098||Ever a constant on the report, the reaper slices into the Top 10 once more as yet another raft of people were ferried down the Stygian way this week. And, as ever, swathes of people checked in on the list of the fallen, bolstered in terms of views by the demises of #2 and #10.|
|8||Elon Musk||729,998||Elon Musk has taken a few reputational knocks in recent months. Following the Tham Luang cave rescue, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO controversially referred to one of the cave divers as a "pedo". More recently, he smoked a joint during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience, sending Tesla shares into a tailspin (from which they have recovered), despite the increasing legality of the drug stateside. All of this contributed to an inordinately high amount of views on the billionaire genius' article.|
|9||Serena Williams||614,288||Serena, with 23 Grand Slam titles to her name as a solo player, is indisputably the greatest female tennis player of her generation. Thus, it came as a shock that she lost on home |
|10||Burt Reynolds||603,183||Hollywood lost a great last week as Burt Reynolds succumbed to cardiac arrest at the age of 82, and the ramifications of his death were still rippling this week, seeing him make the Top 10. The actor, famed for his captivating turn in Smokey and the Bandit amongst many other renowned flicks, was one of the largest stars in Hollywood for a generation, and will be sorely missed.|
Wikipedia Hits the Mat (September 16 to 22)
Some weeks are slow, but this one was so bad views-wise that for the first time since 2014 the report is topped by something with less than 800,000 views. And said #1 is a wrestling event, and there are some more violent sports entries as well (#8 and #14 are boxers, #15 and #20 American football players). Otherwise, readers sought predators of the sexual (#5, #7) and alien hunter kind (#6), rap arguments (#3), scary movies and TV, India spicing things up a bit with TV (#3) and cricket, movies in theaters (#10) or having their trailers released (#9), Elon Musk still on the news, and some stuff that you just can count on appearing—holidays, Netflix, and, of course, death (#2).
For the week of September 16 to 22, 2018, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia were:
|1||Hell in a Cell (2018)||754,131||The tenth edition of this wrestling event (though not the only one to feature said cage) was held in San Antonio, Texas.|
|2||Deaths in 2018||730,409||Things are so slow that the only constant was people checking our obituary.|
|3||Machine Gun Kelly (rapper)||706,982||This is as big as you're gonna get, so enjoy it|
Had to give you a career to destroy it
|4||Anup Jalota||635,774||This popular Indian singer is on the current edition of the popular show Bigg Boss.|
|5||Christine Blasey Ford||560,826||The latest step in at least delaying the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination (#7) was given by this psychologist and professor, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault back when they were in high school.|
|6||The Predator (film)||559,729|
The extraterrestrial big-game hunter—whose appearance is described in the movie as "an alien Whoopi Goldberg" (in Brazil, we compare him to Carlinhos Brown) and who has already butted heads with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover, Adrien Brody, and the Alien—returned to theaters in a production that wasn't DIY, but still made by Black & Dekker. Full of blood, quips, and action, but a bit weird in its plotting, The Predator has split critics and fans while also struggling a bit in the box office ($40 million in the US and $94 million worldwide, against a budget of $88 million). As a fan of those movies, I hope it isn't the end for this ugly mofo.
|7||Brett Kavanaugh||550,921||In the words of Samantha Bee "I can't believe this needs saying, but it's never okay to try to rape somebody (#5)—not even in high school! Not even if you're totally gonna be a Supreme Court justice."|
|8||Gennady Golovkin||546,964||One year after a controversial bout with Canelo Álvarez that ended in a split draw, the Kazakh middleweight world champion fought him again—and lost his titles.|
|9||Carol Danvers||536,859||The trailer for Captain Marvel was released, giving comic fans a first look at the superheroine played by Brie Larson (pictured).|
|10||A Simple Favor (film)||505,694||Anna Kendrick (pictured) investigates the disappearance of Blake Lively in this mystery film by Paul Feig (back to directing after the unfairly maligned Ghostbusters, and only his second movie that isn't a comedy), which has been getting positive reviews and good box office. Maybe I'll give it a shot.|
- These lists exclude the Wikipedia main page, non-article pages (such as redlinks), and anomalous entries (such as DDoS attacks or likely automated views). Since mobile view data became available to the Report in October 2014, we exclude articles that have almost no mobile views (5–6% or less) or almost all mobile views (94–95% or more) because they are very likely to be automated views based on our experience and research of the issue. Please feel free to discuss any removal on the Top 25 Report talk page if you wish.