Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars/Ethnic feuds

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

PLEASE include two or three edit history links about the lame edit war. It would be also useful to list the date the edit war was added.

People[edit]

Chopin[edit]

Was Chopin Polish, French, Polish–French, or French–Polish? For years, there has been a low-level (and at times high-intensity) conflict about which country can claim Chopin as its son. Or was it Szopen? The observer learns a lot about the Napoleonic code, about the nuances of "citizenship", "nationality", and "ethnicity". Students of law can argue the finer points of jus sanguinis and jus soli. The use of "Polish-born" is branded as a racist slur. There is spirited debate about whether the citing of a passage of law is considered original research, tantamount to "dropping Mentos into a bottle of Pepsi to see if it will explode." Can you emigrate from a country of which you are not a citizen? Can you receive citizenship if you already have it? The possibilities for intensive study are endless. Celebrity witnesses such as Obama, Churchill, Sean Taro Ono Lennon, and Dr. Seuss are pressed into making appearances. Collateral damage even reaches WP:Lame, where the Chopin entry is removed because of an alleged lack of lameness. And then there are the trolls. Even Chopin's remains are divided. The body rests in Paris, the heart in Warsaw.

Ányos Jedlik[edit]

He is considered by both Hungarians and Slovaks to be the unsung father of the dynamo and electric motor. But what was his true ethnicity, Hungarian or Slovak?[1] At one point, the score in this heated battle was 16 citations to 4 in favour of the Hungarian side, with the Slovak side being handed both {{Dubious}} and {{Verify source}} tags. It appears that the dust has settled and the Hungarian side won, but at the cost of nine citation numbers immediately after "Hungarian".

Freddie Mercury[edit]

Freddie halts a Queen gig mid-show after an audience member disputes his ancestry.

There was a feud that was going on for a long time on this one concerning Freddie Mercury's true ancestry. Is he the most famous Iranian rock star? Indian? Parsi? Azeri? You'd be surprised how many people get this annoyed, to the point that it is still a hotly contested item over there. Just one example can be seen here. Oh, and this one, like all the others, had its share of random vandals, people leaving unmarked anonymous insults, and gnashing of teeth. Let's just say for now he's a Parsi whose parents originated from India! Just don't even think of suggesting he's "left" Queen or is an "ex-member" of the band, though, or you'll really get people's hackles up....

Ivana Miličević[edit]

But whence came this great beauty? Is she a "Bosnian actress of Croatian descent/ethnicity" or a "Croatian actress"? Should she be called American without sourcing because she's resided in America for nearly 30 years? Is she "Bosnian" because she was born in Sarajevo or "Bosnian-born" because Bosnia did not exist as a nation when she was born there? Go ahead and edit the article and see how long your version lasts before someone reverts you!

Jennifer Aniston[edit]

Is she American or American-born? Is she Greek-American? Is she English-American? Is she Greek-and-English-American? Does she need all-those-prefixes-in-front-of-her-nationality-American? Did Kiriakis mastermind the entire affair?

Franz Liszt[edit]

Born in what was then Hungary but is now part of Austria to ethnic German parents whose families had lived in Hungary for a long time, and we had all thought it was common knowledge that Liszt claimed Hungary as his homeland and Hungarian as his nationality. Er, didn't he? Cue the largest and most acrimonious war in recent memory! It was mercifully confined to the talk page, but what a talk page it was. What was Liszt's real name, Franz or Ferenc? (It was actually Franciscus.) If he was such a Hungarian patriot, why didn't he fight in the war of independence in 1848? If he was really Hungarian, why is his "Hungarian"-style music actually based on Gypsy music? If he really thought he was Hungarian, why did he spend so much time in France? Why couldn't he write better lyrics for the Kronungslied? What is the significance of the Chopin-esque left hand octaves in Funerailles, Octobre 1849? What event of October 1849 was he referring to, the crushing of the Hungarian rebellion or the death of Chopin? Or was it the publication of Heinrich Heine's rude poem about him? Why couldn't he learn to speak Hungarian better? Did he like goulash? Could he dance the csárdás? The farce was compounded by the occasional appearance of anonymous trolls who insisted that Liszt was, in fact, a Slovak.

Jeremy Lin[edit]

Is he American or American-born? Is he Chinese-American? Is he Taiwanese-American? With Chinese and Taiwanese Chinese-Taiwanese and AmericansMainland Chinese and Taiwan Chinese Real Chinese and Chinese who had forgotten their ancestors Freedom fighters and threat to humanity Mao Zedong worshippers and modern Chinese "Unionists" and "Independencrats" reviving arguments that once almost sabotaged zh.wiki, this article has the (mis)fortune to have a lengthy FAQ which uses statements like "Chinese can also be Taiwanese just like Chinese can also be Beijingers" and "Jeremy Lin's maternal grandma lives in Zhejiang and thus he has undisputed Chinese descent" to satisfy both sides.

"What is my nationality?"

Nicolaus Copernicus[edit]

Was he Polish, German, or Prussian? Or did he have no nationality at all that bears mentioning? If Copernicus were around today, he might have suggested that he would be satisfied to be remembered as an astronomer, but we will never know. Was he ever married? What is his middle name? No one knows exactly. Whether this edit war will spread to the page on his memorial on the periodic table is unknown.

Nikola Tesla[edit]

Born of Serbian parents in a part of the Austrian Empire, which a short time later became a part of the Hungarian half of Austria-Hungary and is now in Croatia. He eventually became a naturalized citizen of the US. So was he Serbian? Croatian? Austrian? Austro-Hungarian? Istro-Romanian? Jewish? American? Martian? You decide! But don't forget to leave an edit summary saying how pathetic it is to choose any other version.

P. G. Wodehouse[edit]

Who said the English-speaking world was immune to inane ethnological disputes? This debate, over a single word in the article, consumed most of the month of September 2007. The key question is: is he an English writer or is he a British writer of English origin? Can we add American in there somewhere because he moved to America at age 74? Well over 50% of the talk page is dedicated to this one issue. The two editors warring over it filed simultaneous 3RR reports against each other and a RFC. Accusations of weasel wording appear in the talk page. Fine points of policy debated: does reverting to prevent a revert war constitute a real revert? Does it count as a revert if you call it vandalism, even if it is a content dispute? Is it bad faith to remove HTML comments from the page if only editors will see them, or do such invisible comments constitute a vandalism of their own? Is it a bad thing to use the "minor" button to "conceal" changes?

Raven Riley[edit]

Is this porn star Italian? Native American? Puerto Rican? Cypriot? Does she have Indian blood? Who cares? But make sure that, when you change it, you don't even think about citing any source; please feel free to insult whoever put in the previous ethnicity. Anonymous editors: be sure to insert multitudes of her different "real names," with no sourcing whatsoever.

Werner Herzog[edit]

Born in Germany, supposedly of a German mother and a Yugoslav father, and raised in Bavaria, Germany. Does that make Herzog: a) Croatian or b) Serbian? How about the fact that the relatives live in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Use edit summaries to publish interviews that you conducted – or heard rumors about. Mirrors and forks are great sources too. After consulting a printed source, it turns out that it was the mother who was from Croatia. Ouch.

Saladin[edit]

Biographers who knew him said his family was Kurdish. But was he a Kurd, Arab, Turk, Persian, Armenian, some combination of these, or something else? Were his father and uncle Kurds, or Arabs, or Kurdicized Arabs, or Turks, or Kurdicized Turks? Does it depend on the ethnicity of his mother, about whom we know literally nothing? He definitely spoke Arabic, but did he speak Kurdish too? Or Turkish? He was born in Tikrit, so does that make him Iraqi? Syrian? Mesopotamian? Kurdistani? If he is ethnically Kurdish, is the Ayyubid dynasty that followed him a Kurdish dynasty? Does modern Kurdish nationalism have anything to do with the Kurds of the 12th century? (This spills over into various articles about the Ayyubid dynasty too.)

Milla Jovovich[edit]

Is Милица Наташа Јововић/Milica Jovović Serbian/Montenegrin or only Serbian? Montenegrin became the official language of Montenegro in 2007 and received a new standard on 10 July 2009, but it has been promoted by the Montenegrin community since 2004. Montenegro legally seceded from Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, but Milla was born in Ukraine in the Soviet Union in 1975 to a Russian/Ukrainian mother and father of Serbian (Serbian/Montenegrin?) extraction when Serbia (Serbia and Montenegro?) was still in Yugoslavia. Where do you stand?

Orpheus[edit]

A mercifully brief edit war over whether Orpheus can be classified as Greek, Thracian, or Macedonian. And to what extent does "Thracian" mean "Bulgarian"? The fact that it is normally rather hard to determine the origin of mythical figures didn't seem to bother any of the warriors in the slightest.

John Logie Baird[edit]

Apparently one may be Scottish, or British, but not both. Good thing he wasn't from some more hot-headed part of the world. A year-long, low-intensity desultory chain of edits and reversions consumes human time and effort with no net content added to the Encyclopedia.

U2[edit]

Are U2 an "Irish band" or simply a band that happens to be from Ireland, since two of their members were born in the UK? Many discussions have taken place over the course of several years as whether "U2 are an Irish rock band" or simply "U2 are a rock band" should be included in the text. Edit wars continued back and forth, and at one point the article even read "U2 are an Irish and British rock band" (which didn't last very long). A similar compromise could have been "an Irish rock band with two British members". And this was in addition to a debate on whether "is" or "are" should be used! Casey Kasem may have foreshadowed this edit war decades ago when he offered his first impression of U2 early in their career: "This is bullshit. Nobody cares. These guys are from England and who gives a shit!". Eventually, a heated discussion took place for over two-and-a-half weeks that resulted in at least one editor getting blocked and many more getting warnings, to eventually come to the conclusion that U2 are, in fact, an Irish band. (At least for now.) And why did nobody even edit war over to use "is" or "are"? What is life?

Nelly Furtado[edit]

Is she Canadian or Portuguese-Canadian? Editors ruthlessly argue over the formalities of citizenship and nationality. Which country's laws of citizenship should be used? Apparently, she was born to Portuguese parents and has released albums in Portuguese, but "she was born, lives, and works in Canada". Accusations of xenophobia are made. Much like reality television, this could get nasty.

Andy Murray[edit]

Is this Grand Slam winning tennis player from Scotland, (or Great Scotland) the UK, or Great Britain? Despite the compromise in the lead of calling him both Scottish and British, users and IP's don't realize that they are talking about the same place, so every year, when Wimbledon comes around, you can always see an edit war or talk page arguments about the subject, and like tennis, the final result of this edit war will never be known. Mainly going down the line of Murray called himself Scottish. Murray is anti-English and British after the media misinterpreted a joke with Des Kelly and Tim Henman in 2006 so therefore he must be Scottish. We can't have Scottish in the lead; he doesn't represent Scotland, he has to play for Great Britain. Any of which gets shouted down by the other argument and goes round and round all summer until a regular editor reverts it back to the "consensus compromise." Of course, consumers of the British press will be aware that, to those south of the border, Murray is British until he loses a match, at which point he reverts to Scottishness. But the truly lame thing on this page is that's not the only regular edit war. The page also sees an argument of whether Murray was born in Dunblane or Glasgow.

Lepa Brena[edit]

This rip roaring revert riot picked up considerable speed between November 2013 and January 2014, with disputes generally involving whether references to events of the Yugoslav Wars should be included, with debates and occasional insults about "political propaganda".

James Clerk Maxwell[edit]

Was his nationality Scottish or British or both? Should the infobox in the article list him as (1) British nationality or (2) Scottish nationality and British citizenship, or (3) Scottish & British nationality (no citizenship) or (4) no nationality and citizenship? Users and IPs relentlessly argue over the formalities of nationality & citizenship in more than 27,000 words of discussion (and counting). Editors then adopt a strategy to argue over which of the versions should be in place until the discussion resolves the questions, but it remains a mystery as to whether they did so expecting that the questions will never be resolved.

George Michael[edit]

Was he Jewish through his maternal grandmother or never at all? People who claim his grandmother was Jewish quote an L.A. Times article wherein George Michael himself claims that "His maternal grandmother was Jewish but married a Gentile and raised her children with no knowledge of their Semitic heritage. This was during World War II, and 'she thought if they didn't know that their mother was Jewish, they wouldn't be at risk,' Michael said". They also claim that it should stay in the article because being Jewish (ethnicity) and practicing Judaism (religion) are two different things. The opposition claims that George Michael was simply confused with the name of his grandmother, Daisy Angold Young, and mistook Angold for a Jewish surname. One of the opposition found genealogy for George Michael's grandmother leading back to 1828 in London. The same person linked an article talking about Christmas songs written by Jewish people on an interfaith support website that claims Michael being Jewish is an internet myth. All of this arguing led to mass edit warring, accusations of Jews and non-Jews trying to white-wash history, and anti-semitism. The dates on the talk pages span from 2/10/07-12/20/08, 6/25/11-1/11/13, 12/30/16-1/5/17, and 10/19/17-11/14/17. Three of the many examples of 3RR are here:[2], [3], [4].

21 Savage[edit]

How many nationalities does he have? A lot. Born to Haitian-Dominican parents in the UK, but raised in Atlanta, Georgia from 7 years old, the citizenship status of 21 Savage has been disputed since his arrest in Feburary 2019. Is he English? British? American? British-American? Or, according to Sir Savage the 21st himself, African-American? Discussion on the talk page included debating his rights to being a British national, noting the nationality laws between the UK and the US differ. As of now, he is described as a rapper who was born in England and based in Georgia. Due to his debated status, should his date be listed as "22 October" or "October 22"? Does he even qualify for DACA protection? Why does he have a 12 car garage? Pronounciation rules on 'garage' need not apply.

Tadeusz Kościuszko[edit]

In a world where the boundaries of nations and principalities fluctuated, and he was an itinerant revolutionary, who can claim him?

Places and other things[edit]

Liancourt Rocks[edit]

DokdoLiancourt RocksTakeshimaDokdoDokdoLiancourt Rocks → ?

No, this is not the title of an album by the band Liancourt, but a group of sinking volcanic rocks that has been claimed by both Japan and Korea since really, really long ago. [5] Evidence of ownership for either side rests on hard-to-read decaying pieces of old paper. This is not a silly dispute as the rocks have important economic and military value, yada yada yada. Serious Japanese or Korean Wikipedians may even choose to make these rocks their place of residence (living there not required!) to bolster their case. This article extensively documents every little factoid that could possibly indicate ownership by one country, with each, of course, having a countering statement. Newspapers and internet forums like 2channel are part of the discussion, yet everyone claims their POV is NPOV. As properly befitting this major political issue, most edit summaries begin with "rv..." Luckily, at least the title of the article has been settled on...or has it? See also: Liancourt Rocks dispute.

Association of British Counties[edit]

You'd have thought Counties of the United Kingdom would be a fairly uncontroversial subject, but no – this insider outsider pressure group involving ninety-two eighty-six UK counties (that doesn't involve Government policy) is guaranteed to bring out the red mist every once in a while. One thing's for sure, the edit warring on this article is far from over…

The "British Isles"[edit]

Is this phrasing acceptable? Does it geographically include the entire Northern European archipelago; or is the term inherently anti-Irish? Should it always be "the UK and Ireland" instead? Campaign-like warring removals and reversions on nearly any article containing the words 'British Isles' have resulted in topic bans, grueling skirmishes replete with sock warriors, and general misery over the thing. No consensus has truly emerged as to an ideal term; or even if the existing one is really a problem or not.

Caesar salad[edit]

Friends, Romans, countrymen...
...I'd like something light for lunch today.

Was this tasty salad invented in Mexico in 1924, or in ancient Rome? Is it named after Caesar Cardini or Julius Caesar? Is it spelled Caesar, Cesar, César, or Cesare? If you add tomatoes is it still a Caesar or is it something called a "Letchworth salad"? A slow motion edit war stretching out over a year two three four five years is surely the best way to find out!

Ceviche[edit]

Was this marinated raw fish delicacy invented in Peru, or in Ecuador? Or maybe Mexico, Polynesia, Spain, Chile, Granada, Argentina.…

Derry/Londonderry[edit]

Should the article on this city in Northern Ireland be called Derry or should it be called Londonderry? With loyalists and republicans (and even nationalists) on both sides, don't expect an answer soon. *cough*WP:DERRY/WP:LONDONDERRY*cough*

Enceladus[edit]

Even 1.40 billion kilometers (870 million miles) from Earth, politics matters

An image on this featured article shows the tiny moon of Saturn superimposed on a map of the British Isles, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands Great Britain and Ireland, Luxembourg, and the North Sea. Cue edit warring, accusations of vandalism, and full protection of the article.

Export House, that internationally renowned tower block in Woking[edit]

Multiple back and forth about whether the local nickname for the building is the bat building or the B.A.T building (from British American Tobacco). For a while this was resolved by quoting both, but then further edit warring ensued as to whether it should be followed by '(more commonly known as bat)' or B.A.T. Looking for citations showed that it is mostly referred to as BAT, which led to the absurdity of three versions of the nickname in the lead for this barely notable tower block in a small provincial town. Costumed climbing of said tower now seems inevitable, presumably dressed as an alternative superhero from usual.

Florina and other towns in Macedonia (Greece)[edit]

Edit war about whether the alternative name Lerin is Macedonian, Bulgarian or South Slavic (which covers both Macedonian and Bulgarian).

Fustanella[edit]

Who first donned a frilly skirt and threatened to kill anyone who questioned his manhood over it? Was he Albanian or Greek? If Albanian, Gheg or Tosk? Thankfully, none of the modern day warriors on this topic have access to real weapons (we hope!)

Grand Theft Auto IV[edit]

Is Niko Bellic (the main character) Serbian, Slovak, Bosnian, Croatian, Russian, or from some unnamed Eastern European country? Normally reliable sources do not agree on the matter (with those written pre-launch suggesting the character is Russian, and post-launch Serbian or Croatian), and the actual game itself is just ambiguous enough about the subject to create dissent (and of course this is a part of the world where nationalist feelings run high, see Balkanization - even the order that Croatia and Serbia are listed also offends some.). At one point, the article contained five consecutive citations, repeated each of the three times the character's nationality is mentioned, totalling a whopping fifteen citation numbers throughout the article to justify the purported nationality of a fictional video game character. The article reached eventual consensus on the nationality issue (unknown) and the name of the war (an unknown war in Eastern Europe) based on the author(s) having not revealed the information about the character. Despite it being over a decade since the game's release, and despite edit notices and warning text in the article body and an FAQ on the talk page, the subject still receives many edits a year, and the subject is repeatedly raised on the article talk page.

Hogenakkal Falls[edit]

Are these beautiful waterfalls on the Kaveri River located in Tamil Nadu – or on the border between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka – or in Tamil Nadu on its border with Karnataka? Or is it really the Cauvery river, and Hogenakal Falls? Do a dispute over water usage, and a separate dispute over access to an island below the Falls, have no bearing on this, or do they prove that the location of the Falls must be on the border? Whatever you believe, be sure to bring a (Google) map to the debate, and point out that your opponent's sources are not RS or NPOV!

Hummus and friends[edit]

Hummus: they love it in Israel, so shouldn't it be in Category:Israeli cuisine? Or is it a purely Arab food that the Zionists have illegally occupied?[6] After a related skirmish on Za'atar, the ingredients were listed in alphabetical order, but was this all part of a shrewd Zionist plot? Don't be silly, came the response: and anybody who removes the Hebrew name from the first sentence is a racist vandal.[7] Meanwhile, back at Hummus, an attempt is made to replace a mention that the Oxford English Dictionary says that the word entered English via Turkish with a reference to the Greek name for the dish. Finally, Tabbouleh saw action, this time mercifully free of Arab-Israeli connotations; instead, the question was: can we call this dish a part of Levantine cuisine, or is the very term "Levantine" a European colonial plot to divide the great Arab nation?[8]

In the meantime, another attempt is made to expunge the Turks from description of the traditional Greek (or maybe Arab) dish of pita (or is it pitta?), while controversy bubbles as to whether a photo of an Israeli falafel house constitutes "Zionism".

Conclusion: Tasty snacks in the Middle East are hilariously politicized. As of January 2015, the talk page for Hummus states: "The article Hummus, along with other articles relating to the Arab–Israeli conflict, is currently subject to active arbitration remedies".

Lake Michigan–Huron[edit]

Is it a lake or is it just a name? Or is it a system? And if it is a system, how is it distinct from the Great Lakes system? And if it is just a name how can it be the largest lake? [9] If it's not a lake, then is it one body of water? [10] Or is it a lake just hydrologically? Should it be called a lacustrine entity instead? Is this a category error or definitional attribute? Or there is simply no such entity [11]. And is notifying any WikiProjects forum shopping? [12] And, most importantly, who should be topic banned?

National House Building Council[edit]

Why lay bricks when you can edit bits? The headquarters of this British organisation are located in Buckinghamshire. But should it be called 'Buckinghamshire, England' or 'Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom'? In April 2008, this crucial issue became the focus of an edit war involving no fewer than 8 users and one anonymous editor over a period of a week. (This is particularly inexplicable since England is, of course, part of the United Kingdom.) On April 23, the participants finally settled on 'England' and the edit war ended – perhaps in recognition of St. George's Day?

Pavlova (food)[edit]

Not the dancer, but rather the tasty antipodean dessert, which was invented in Australia[13], New Zealand [14], Australia[15], [16], [17], New Zealand [18], Rabbit Season, Duck Season, fire!

But surely this is just Western propaganda, the great Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, invented this dessert to make dogs salivate, as we all know, The Truth ™.

Rajni Kanth[edit]

There was a dispute on the order and necessity of transliteration of the famous actor Rajni Kanth's names into languages like Marathi, Hindi, and Kannada. The people for the inclusion and giving a higher priority believed that the actor has significant history in that state of India, as well as sufficient fan-following to merit a transliteration, while the editors from Tamil origin were of the opinion that they would be surrendering their most prized possession. The talk page had been bubbling with so many threads on this singular issue. In 2011-12, a consensus was reached after an RfC: All the Indic language scripts would be replaced with the IPA for such articles.

Šarplaninac[edit]

Does the Šarplaninac (Yugoslav/Illyrian shepherd dog) originate from Kosovo, Albania, Serbia and/or Macedonia? Nobody can agree, but even flags are being hoisted at this point in the infobox.

Sea of Japan[edit]

The Body of Water Formerly Known as the Sea of Japan (East Sea), soon to be replaced by the symbols Japan-Korea relationship and then simply called The Sea! See Prince or FYROM.

Should it be called the Sea of Japan, the East Sea, or even the East Sea of Korea? Are both names valid, and if so, should the article be named Sea of Japan (East Sea) or Sea of Japan / East Sea? Or should it be the actual most common English and international name Sea of Japan (East Sea), parentheses and all? Should the dispute page be called the Sea of Japan naming dispute, or the Naming dispute over the body of water between Japan and Korea and the Russian Far East? Given the existence of other names meaning "East Sea" in other languages, should East Sea redirect to the disambiguation page or to the "body of water bordered by Japan, Russia and Korea"?

Siena College[edit]

Which unincorporated (and thus unbounded) hamlet of the town of Colonie north of Albany, New York, is this small Catholic liberal arts college in: Loudonville or Newtonville? The college's website says Loudonville, but how can we trust it when the Colonie Town Hall just across US 9 uses Newtonville for its address? Discussion reaches 30,000 words, reverts spill across all three articles, two get protected, an informal RFC is opened and one editor briefly retires.

Hata clan[edit]

No one believes the Hata tribe of Asia are in any way Jewish. Yet we seem to have an ongoing edit war merely over how to say that, with the book ref from respected author Jon Entine stating the fact that all sides (and sane people) would agree on, right there at the bottom of page 117.

Vipera palaestinae[edit]

Snakes from the Middle East are hilariously politicized too! This one is found in Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and either 'Palestine' or 'the Palestinian territories'. Users have been edit-warring for six years now over how to describe it. The opinions of the snake itself on the political status of Palestine are unknown.

Szlachta[edit]

Can the Khmelnytsky uprising be described as an "anti-Polish" revolt? Or was it just a revolt that happened to be against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? Moreover, why is any of this in the lead section of a largely unrelated article about a class of Polish gentry? One editor quits wikipedia, and another spends multiple days making more arguments on the talk page long after anyone else has presumably stopped paying attention. Hop on over to the talk page to witness some truly remarkable feats of formatting and a case study in how not to use quotes to prove a point.

See also[edit]