Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars/Ethnic feuds

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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.

Ethnic feuds[edit]


Freddie Mercury[edit]

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? You'd be surprised how many people this pissed off, to the point that it is still a hotly contested item over there. Oh, and this one, like all the others, had its share of random vandals, people leaving unmarked anonymous insults, and gnashing of teeth.

Ivana Miličević[edit]

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.

"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.

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; so was he Serbian? Croatian? Austrian? Austro-Hungarian? 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 contitute 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? Make sure that, when you change it, you don't even think about citing any source, but please feel free to insult whoever put in the previous ethnicity. Anonymous editors--be sure to insert multitudes of different "real names" of her, with no sourcing whatsoever.

Werner Herzog[edit]

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


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.)

Andy Murray[edit]

Is this Grand Slam winning tennis player, Scottish or British. Despite the compromise in the lead of calling him both Scottish and British every year when Wimbledon comes around you can always see an edit war or talkpage arguments about the subject. 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." 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".

Places and other things[edit]

Dokdo Liancourt Rocks Takeshima DokdoDokdoLiancourt Rocks → ?[edit]

A group of sinking volcanic rocks has been claimed by both Japan and Korea since really really long ago. 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 Wikipedians (of Korean or Japanese citizenship) 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. Few Wikipedians of non-Japanese or Korean descent and newspapers 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?

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).


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!)

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?[1] 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.[2] 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?[3] In the mean time, 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. The talk page for Hummus currently states: "The article Hummus, along with other articles relating to the Arab–Israeli conflict, is currently subject to active arbitration remedies".

Pavlova (food)[edit]

Not the dancer, but rather the tasty antipodean dessert, which was invented in Australia[4], New Zealand [5], Australia[6], [7], [8], New Zealand...

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 ™.

The Body of Water formerly known as the Sea of Japan (East Sea), soon to be replaced by the symbols 日朝鮮本海 and then simply called The Sea! See Prince.

Sea of Japan[edit]

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 is 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 Dispute between the body of water between Japan and Korea? (Ironically, the neutrality of the Sea of Japan naming dispute is disputed.) 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 between Japan and Korea"?

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.

See also[edit]