The 27 most controversial people on Wikipedia -- featuring Britney Spears, Bill Clinton, and Adolf Hitler

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
The Most Controversial Wikipedia Article Is George W. Bush's


Wikipedia may look smooth on the outside, but just below the surface there is an ongoing war over how certain people and events are going to be remembered.

That war involves small edits made, sometimes over and over again, by the site's most passionate users. If you look at the most edited pages you can see the topics that our society is still fighting over. Some of these pages have over 45,000 edits, and range from entertainers to religions to wars.

But one of the most fascinating areas of debate centers around people, and the list of public figures whose legacies are in dispute in the world's most popular encyclopedia is incredibly varied. You have those you might expect, like ex-presidents or dictators, but also a run of professional wrestlers you probably never knew were so disputed.

We have compiled a list of the top 27 most-edited pages of people on Wikipedia, along with a sample edit from each. Edits removing portions of the text are shown in red, and edits adding new text are shown in blue.

See photos of who made the list:

28 PHOTOS
Most controversial public figures on Wikipedia
See Gallery
The 27 most controversial people on Wikipedia -- featuring Britney Spears, Bill Clinton, and Adolf Hitler
Former US Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gestures at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland, outside Washington, DC on February 26, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for TUESDAY, AUGUST 18 included actor Johnny Knoxville, NBA World Champion Steph Curry (shoes, The Curry Two) and musical guest Kelly Clarkson. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at an event marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in New Orleans. The event also featured remarks by House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)
This Sunday, Feb. 5, 1865 photo made available by the Library of Congress shows President Abraham Lincoln in Washington. This image is last photo in the president's last photo session during his life. (AP Photo/Library of Congress, Alexander Gardner)
Long Bushy hair and thick mustache have been trademarks in the makeup of Dr. Albert Einstein, famed scientist who died on April 18 at Princeton, N.J. He is shown in various stages of his life as he appeared about 1934. (AP Photo)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 03: Paul 'Triple H' Levesque attends WWE's 2014 SuperStars For Kids at the New Orleans Museum of Art on April 3, 2014 in New Orleans. (Photo by Josh Brasted/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Professional wrestler The Edge attends the WrestleMania XXVII press conference at Hard Rock Cafe New York on March 30, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Oct. 16, 1978 file photo, Pope John Paul II makes his first appearance after his election at the balcony of Peters Dome at the Vatican. The pope has approved a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II's intercession and set May 1 as the date for the beloved pontiff to be beatified. Pope Benedict XVI declared in a decree Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, that the cure of a French nun who suffered from Parkinson's disease was miraculous, the last step needed for the beatification. (AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti, File)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Madonna attends 'China: Through the Looking Glass', the 2015 Costume Institute Gala, at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 15: Christina Aguilera performs at Apollo in the Hamptons 2015 at The Creeks on August 15, 2015 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Apollo)
Former President Ronald Reagan, is shown in his office in the Century City section of Los Angeles, Ca., Feb. 5, 1990. Reagan, the cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, trying to scale back government and making people believe it was "morning again in America," died June 5, 2004. He was 93. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
Paul McCartney performs in concert during his “Out There Tour 2015” at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, June 21, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23: John Cena enters the ring at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
Elvis Presley is shown performing in Providence, R.I. on May 23, 1977, three months before his death. (AP Photo)
Singer Mariah Carey is honored with the 2,556th star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California on August 5, 2015. Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200-million albums sold so far and 18 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 singles. AFP PHOTO/MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Eminem attends the premiere of "Southpaw" at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square on Monday, July 20, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
(GERMANY OUT) Muhammad*around 570-08.06.632+Prophet, founder of IslamMuhammad dictates the Quran- undated (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 22: WWE wrestler Kane attends the 'Scooby Doo! WrestleMania Mystery' New York Premiere at Tribeca Cinemas on March 22, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Singer Beyonce arrives at a recording studio in Soho on May 14, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 23: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia to win the mens singles final at the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center on August 23, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23: The Undertaker recovers during his fight against Brock Lesner at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Britney Spears arrives to the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)
A portrait of Adolf Hitler, head of the Fascist movement in Germany taken around Nov. 4, 1930, wearing his Fascist uniform. (AP Photo)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 24: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the keynote address at the National Clean Energy Summit 8.0 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on August 24, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Political and economic leaders are attending the summit to discuss a domestic policy agenda to advance alternative energy for the country's future. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Christ the Redeemer, Last Supper. After an engraving by W French. (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Pop star Michael Jackson waves to fans as he arrives at the Santa Barbara County courthouse Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2005, in Santa Maria, Calif. Jury selection continues for Jackson who is charged with child molestation. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
Former President George W. Bush speaks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program and the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative national summit, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington. The summit focuses on creating employment opportunities for post-9/11 veterans and military families. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


Read below for their edited Wikipedia pages:

27. Sarah Palin

Before edit:

Palin has opposed Democratic reform attempts under the Obama administration. She opposed the 2009 House bill, charging that it would lead to rationing of health care by a bureaucracy on the basis of social worth, which she described using the term "death panels", though her charge was debunked.

After edit:

Palin opposed the 2010 health care reform package, saying it would lead to rationing of health care by a bureaucracy, which she described using the term "death panels."


26. Kelly Clarkson

Before edit:

Her sixth studio album, 'Piece by Piece' was released in March 2015 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, thus collecting her third number one album and tying Carrie Underwood for most number one albums for an American Idol alumni.

After edit:

In 2015, Clarkson released her seventh studio album, "Piece by Piece", becoming her third number one album on the "Billboard" 200 Chart.


25. Bill Clinton

Before edit:

Born and raised in Arkansas,Clinton became a student leader and a skilled musician.

After edit:

Clinton was born and raised in Arkansas.


24. Abraham Lincoln

Before edit:

His Gettysburg Address of 1863 became an iconic statement of America's dedication to the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.

After edit:

His Gettysburg Address of 1863 became an iconic endorsement of the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.


23. Albert Einstein

Before edit:

However, in 1929, Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe is expanding, Einstein exclaimed after his Mount Wilson visit with Hubble: "If there is no quasi-static world, then away with the cosmological term!

After edit:

After his Mount Wilson visit with Hubble, Einstein formally discarded the cosmological constant, claiming it is "theoretically unsatisfactory anyway."


22. Triple H (wrestler)

Before edit:

''Paul Michael Levesque" (born July 27, 1969), better known by his "'Triple H'' (an abbreviation of his full name, ''Hunter Hearst Helmsley''), is an American business executive, professional wrestler, actor, and former bodybuilder.

After edit:

''Paul Michael Levesque" (born July 27, 1969), better known by his "'Triple H'' (an abbreviation of his full name, ''Hunter Hearst Helmsley''), is an American business executive, professional wrestler, actor, author, and former bodybuilder.


21. Edge (wrestler)

Before edit:

Weight = 252 lb

After edit:

Weight = 241 lb


20. Pope John Paul II

Before edit:

In 1994, John Paul II visited Catania and told victims of Mafia violence to "rise itup and un-cloak yourself in light and justice, shout EXECTO PATRONUM!!!"

After edit:

In 1994, John Paul II visited Catania and told victims of Mafia violence to "rise up and cloak yourself in light and justice!"


19. Madonna

Sample edit:

''Madonna Louise Ciccone'' (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman.

Changed to:

''Madonna Louise Ciccone'' (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, and businesswoman.


18. Christina Aguilera

Before edit:

''Christina María Aguilera''' (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress.

After edit:

'''Christina María Aguilera''' (born December 18, 1980) is an American singer and songwriter.


17. Ronald Reagan

Before edit:

An icon among Republicans, he ranks highly in public and critical opinion of U.S. Presidents, and his tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States.

After edit:

An icon among Republicans, he ranks favorably in public and critical opinion of U.S. Presidents, and his tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States.


16. Paul McCartney

Before edit:

With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, widely regarded as one of the most popular and influential acts in the history of rock music.

After edit:

With John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential acts in the history of rock music.


15. John Cena (wrestler)

Before edit:

Cena announced that he would issue an open challenge each week on ''Raw'' with his United States Championship on the line, where he would defeat the likes of Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Bad News Barrett, Kane, El Generico, Zack Ryder and Neville.

After edit:

Cena announced that he would issue an open challenge each week on ''Raw'' with his United States Championship on the line, where he would defeat the likes of Dean Ambrose, Stardust, Bad News Barrett, Kane, El Generico, and Zack Ryder.


14. Elvis Presley

Before edit:

Presley's ancestry was primarily a Western European mix: on his mother's side, he was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman; one of Gladys' great-great-grandmothers was Cherokee.

After edit:

Presley's ancestry was primarily a Western European mix: on his mother's side, he was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman; one of Gladys' great-great-grandmothers, Morning Dove White, was possibly a Cherokee Native American.


13. Mariah Carey

Before edit:

During the recording of the album, Carey began to deviate from her R&B and pop beginnings and slowly moved into hip hop. This musical change became evident with the release of ''Butterfly'' (1997), at which time Carey had separated from Mottola.

After edit:

During the recording of the album, Carey began to deviate from her slower R&B and ballad-orientedbeginnings and slowly transitioned into hip hop. This musical change became further establishedwith the release of ''Butterfly'' (1997), which was released during the midst of her separation from Mottola.


12. Eminem

Before edit:

The revelation causes an uproar in the control room; a man identifying himself as Marshall's publicist tries to stop the interview but is held back by Skylark's producer, Aaron Rappaport.

After edit:

The revelation causes an uproar in the control room: Eminem's publicist tries to stop the interview but is held back by Skylark's producer.


11. Muhammad

Before edit:

Muhammad has been criticized ever since he claimed prophethood. He had been attacked by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism, as well as for issues concerninghis marriages, and his military expeditions across Arabia.

After edit:

Criticism of Muhammad has existed since the time he declared himself to be the Messenger of God. He has been criticized by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism and equality of mankind. Other critics, in later times, criticized him for his multiple marriages and his military expeditions across Arabia. The Qur'an, in response to those critics, says: They want to extinguish the light of God '"with their mouths"', but God will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.


10. Kane (wrestler)

Before edit:

Early career (1992-1995)

After edit:

Early career (1992-1994)


9. Beyoncé

Before edit:

Mathew is African-American, while Tina is of Louisiana Creole descent (with African, Native American, French, and 1/16th Irish, ancestry).

After edit:

Mathew is African-American, while Tina is of Louisiana Creole descent (with African, Native American, French, and 1/32thIrish ancestry).


8. Roger Federer

Before edit:

Most commentators and players regard Federer as the greatest tennis player of all time.

After edit:

Many commentators and players regard Federer as the greatest tennis player of all time.


7. The Undertaker (wrestler)

Before edit:

At Battleground (2015) in July, Undertaker returned as a villian, attacking Brock Lesnar with a low blow and other maneuvers during his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins, which caused the match to end in a no contest (the next night on "Raw", Lillian Garcia announced that Lesnar had own by disqualification).

After edit:

At Battleground (2015) in July, Undertaker returned attacking Brock Lesnar during his WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Seth Rollins, which caused the match to end in disqualification.


6. Britney Spears

Before edit:

Spears's eponymous eighth studio album ''Britney Jean'' was released in 2013; it spawned the internationalhit "Work Bitch", however the album made little commercial impact.

After edit:

Spears's eponymous eighth studio album ''Britney Jean'' was released in 2013; it spawned the top 15 hit "Work Bitch", however it became the lowest-selling record of her career.


5. Adolf Hitler

Before edit:

''Adolf Hitler'' (1889-1945) was the leader of the NSDAP (from 1919) and dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Appointed ''Reichskanzler'' on January 30, 1933, he assumed the twin titles of ''Führer und Reichskanzler'' (leader and chancellor) after President Paul von Hindenburg's death. Early years...

After edit:

''Adolf Hitler'' (1889-1945) was the leader of the NSDAP (from 1919) and dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Appointed ''Reichskanzler'' on January 30, 1933, he assumed the twin titles of ''Führer und Reichskanzler'' (leader and chancellor) after President Paul von Hindenburg's death (August 2, 1934). Under his leadership, Germany started World War II and committed the holocaust.


4. Barack Obama

Before edit:

In foreign policy, Obama ordered 2014 American intervention in Iraq U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

After edit:

In foreign policy, Obama ordered 2014 American intervention in Iraq U.S. military intervention in Iraq.


3. Jesus

Before edit:

It is the last conversation with Jesus reported in the Bible until the Book of Revelation in which a man named John receives a revelation from Jesus concerning the Christian eschatologylast days when Jesus is predicted to return.

After edit:

It is the last conversation with Jesus reported in the Bible until the Book of Revelation in which a man named John receives a revelation from Jesus concerning the Christian eschatologylast days when Jesus is predicted to return victoriously.


2. Michael Jackson

Before edit:

Both of Jackson's parents have denied the longstanding allegations of abuse.

After edit:

Both of Jackson's parents have disagreed withthe longstanding allegations of abuse, with Katherine stating that while the whippings are considered abuse today, such action was a common way to discipline children back then.


1. George W. Bush

Before edit:

''George 'Dubya' Walker Bush'' (born July 6, 1946)...He is also the brother of Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida.

After edit:

''George Walker Bush'' (born July 6, 1946).


See Also:

SEE ALSO: George W. Bush has the most controversial Wikipedia page of all time — and the edits are fascinating

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners