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How Wikipedia’s ‘Deaditors’ Sprang Into Action on Queen Elizabeth II’s Page After Her Death

By Jody Serrano for GIZMODO

RIP, Queen Elizabeth II. There are a lot of things to do in the digital realm when a monarch dies, and one of the first places people go when a famous person dies is Wikipedia. While some on the internet were glued to Twitter or the BBC, checking for news or watching the planes en route to Balmoral Castle, one group of dedicated Wikipedia editors sprang into action updating the late queen’s page in the minutes after Buckingham Palace announced the news.

Wikipedia editors who race to change the page of a person who died are playfully referred to as “deaditors.” Annie Rauwerda, the creator behind the well-known and beloved Depths of Wikipedia Twitter account, took a moment on Friday to explain to her followers what was happening on Queen Elizabeth’s Wikipedia page behind the scenes on the day of her death. For those who don’t know about the work done (for free) by the countless editors on Wikipedia, Rauwerda’s tale was riveting—an online soap opera in which users debated what picture to use, created additional articles on the death and subsequent reactions, and wondered what to call Charles.

According to Rauwerda, the late Queen’s page had been “pretty exciting” the whole day of her death. Editors were, for example, choosing a historical picture to update the Queen’s page in the case of her passing. As explained by Rauwerda, “once someone dies, wikipedia generally uses a good historical pic instead of a recent elderly pic.”  For more, click here.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

By | September 13, 2022 | Journalism, Media Culture

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