Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2013-12-11/Traffic report
Deaths of Mandela, Walker top the list
Summary: When one edits this page for too long, one is tempted to appoint oneself as the psychoanalyst for the human race, or at least the English-speaking portion thereof. Since nearly everyone uses Wikipedia, the constant stream of TV updates, pointless celebrity scandals, and inquiries after who has died can seem like a dreary peek into humanity's surprisingly banal collective consciousness.
So when two notable deaths occur in the same week, one a treasure of the world widely regarded as a true Great Man in a time of comparative minnows who died peacefully in his sleep after a long life; the other a mid-tier actor who died in a car crash, the cynic can smugly note that the latter got nearly twice as many views as the former, and that humankind once again rushed to scandal, while ignoring the passing of history. Except for one thing: stats can lie. In fact, actor Paul Walker's tragic and grisly death was announced on 1 December, the day this list began counting, while Nelson Mandela's passing was announced late on 5 December, two days before the end. Per day, Mandela's death generated more than twice the views of Walker's. While the public sympathise with the tragedy of Walker's death, it appears they aren't being led by sensationalism alone.
See WP:TOP25 for the complete top 25 report.
For the week of 1 to 7 December, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the report of the 5,000 most viewed pages* were:
Rank Last Wks Article Class Views Image Notes 1 - - Paul Walker 7,406,813 (includes Paul walker) The tragic death on the road of this Hollywood star became the week's major talking point. 2 - 5 Nelson Mandela 4,267,723 The 95-year-old father of the new South Africa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and global inspiration finally succumbed to his long illness on December 5, triggering tributes from around the world. 3 - - Maria Callas 2,592,011 The hugely popular and influential operatic soprano got a Google Doodle on what would have been her 90th birthday on December 2. 4 - - Carlos Finlay 2,591,877 The Cuban doctor who identified the Aedes mosquito as the vector for yellow fever got a Google Doodle on what would have been his 180th birthday on December 3. 5 - - Tinnitus 1,250,021 A sudden spike near the end of the week for this medical condition (better known as "ringing in the ears") may have been due to the announcement of a purported treatment developed at the University of Texas. 6 - - Fast & Furious 7 758,749 Production has shut down on the next installment of what had been a money-printing franchise with the death of its returning star, Paul Walker. Director James Wan has insisted it will be finished. 7 - - Apartheid in South Africa 723,078 The death of Nelson Mandela led to renewed attention for the iniquitous system he suffered to end. 8 - - Kevin Carter 531,666 The South African photojournalist, who committed suicide shortly after winning the Pulitzer Prize for his photograph of a starving young girl in Sudan being eyed by a hungry vulture, became a topic of discussion on Reddit this week. 9 6 4 Bitcoin 521,192 The digital currency is back in the news this week. Bankers have suggested it may prove a legitimate competitor to real money, even though others have argued they are best described as a store of value rather than a functional currency. An attempt to declare "Bitcoin Black Friday" to try and get people to actually spend them instead of hoarding them (Except that, from one point of view, hoarding them is exactly the right thing to do if their value continues to skyrocket as it has done) led to the purchase of a great deal of gold, swapping one store of value for another. 10 12 48 484,711 A perennially popular article