Wikipedia coverage of Donald Trump

Donald Trump is covered extensively on Wikipedia.


English Wikipedia

Man in a blue suit, lips curved, staring at camera
Man in black suit, smiling
In one discussion, users debated between an image of Trump staring at the camera (left) and an image of Trump smiling at a CPAC event (right). Editors ultimately chose an alternative image.

Following Trump's campaign announcement in June 2015, the article for Donald Trump on English Wikipedia began receiving an increase in edits. In 2015, Trump's article received thousands of edits more than the previous year, and received more edits in January 2016 than other candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Hillary Clinton. In total, Trump's article received over 10,000 edits from its creation to January 2016.

During the 2016 presidential election, features of Trump's article were frequently debated. The infobox for Trump's article, for instance, featured an image of Trump staring at the camera with lips slightly turned down at the corners. Editors debated an alternative image of Trump smiling at a CPAC event, with accusations of pro-Trump bias towards editors who supported the new image. Ultimately, editors chose a third image lacking expression. Several other images were debated, although editors often pointed out drawbacks with each image, such as an unusual expression, a perceived "turkey neck", and objects within the foreground. Editors changed the article for the president of the United States repeatedly prior to Trump's inauguration, with the article ultimately declaring Trump president at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Following the Iowa caucuses, in which Trump placed second behind Cruz, the domain was changed to redirect to Trump's article. Brian Connelly, who registered the domain in 1995, changed the domain following Trump's proposed travel ban against Muslims. Although the domain rarely redirects to figures for political purposes, Connelly felt that the "definition of a loser" is "a man who attacks Muslims" and "pushes fear and doubt". By May 2016, no longer redirected to the article; following the 2020 presidential election—in which Trump lost to Joe Biden—the domain once again redirected to Trump's article.

Articles for topics related to Trump have also been created. In March 2016, a user created the article "Donald J Drumpf", referring to a fictitious character created by comedian John Oliver in a segment on the late-night talk show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, referring to Trump's ancestral surname "Drumpf". An article for Trump's impeachment was created in November 2016 on the word of two academics, who predicted Trump would be impeached upon taking office. The article was deleted hours later. Trump would later be impeached twice and acquitted both times. Following the 2017 Riyadh summit, internet users turned images released of the event featuring Trump touching an illuminated globe into an Internet meme; an article for the meme was created a day later.

On multiple occasions, Trump's article has been vandalized. In July 2015, vandals erased Trump's page, receiving media attention. In one such instance, an editor replaced the contents of the page with "Lets [sic] be fair, nobody cares about him." In March 2016, an IP address used by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) edited the article to state Trump was homosexual, and later homosexual and transgender. Other edits made include replacing mentions of Trump's name with Drumpf, deleting the page and replacing it with profanities, and editing Trump's birthplace to be hell. In spite of this, editors have been able to keep the page stable, preventing a hoax claiming Trump had died of a heart attack from appearing on the page.

By September 2016, Trump's article had become the 28th most edited for a person on the site. Trump's page was edited more time in an election cycle than other Republican nominees since 2004, according to The Washington Post. In 2016, the Wikimedia Foundation revealed that Trump's article was the second-most edited on the site, behind the article for deaths in 2016.

On November 22, 2018, the infobox image for Trump was replaced with a penis. The image was returned by Siri when pulling up information on Trump, such as his age. In response, Apple changed Siri to refer to Wolfram Alpha rather than Wikipedia. The article was fully protected, meaning that only administrators could edit it, from its previous extended confirmed protection status, requiring editors to have a specified number of edits and time on the site. In the days that followed, attackers used hacked user accounts—including an administrator account—to replace the image. The vandalism occurred several days after the Wikimedia Foundation overhauled its security for administrators; two-factor authentication was made mandatory for some administrators, although the latter still did not prevent the attacks. In response, the Wikimedia Foundation changed its rules to prevent administrators from unblocking themselves. Referred to as the "nuclear option", the move attracted significant controversy.

Trump's presidency caused significant gridlock on his article. In one such instance, editors debated the inclusion of the 2018 Russia–United States summit, with administrators ultimately supporting its inclusion. In the third paragraph of the lead section of the article, some editors took issue with the sentence, "Many of his comments and actions have been characterized as racially charged or racist", believing that "racially charged" is ambiguous and a potential euphemism.

Articles loosely related to Trump have also been topics of discussion. The article for heights of presidents stirred controversy when editors disagreed on Trump's height; while most agreed that Trump was at least six feet tall, Trump's exact height was hotly debated. While some editors believed he is 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm) based on a driver's license, others contested Trump was 6 feet 3 inches (191 cm) based on a White House doctor. During a rally at Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum, Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale claimed that 20,000 attendees were the rally, when Williams Arena seats 8,000 people. Parscale later clarifying that the number includes people outside of the venue and people at Pitt–Greenville Airport. In spite of this, a user changed the seating capacity in the infobox from 8,000 people to 20,000. Following Trump's first impeachment, an editor edited the article for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)—in which Trump cameos in as the owner of the Plaza Hotel—to state that Trump is the first cast member of the film to be impeached. Another editor edited the article for the United States Senate to claim that "[The Senate] died on January 31, 2020", when the Senate voted to acquit Donald Trump.

On January 6, 2021, Wikipedia editor Jason Moore created the article for the January 6 United States Capitol attack. As the attack unfolded, hundreds of editors worked towards expanding the article.

Chinese Wikipedia

In June 2017, students at Northwestern University and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities presented a research paper on article-as-concepts. The article for the family of Donald Trump is used as an example of the drawbacks of Wikipedia articles-as-concepts. On Chinese Wikipedia, the article for the family of Donald Trump does not exist, leaving the only source of family information as the article for Trump himself. In comparison, English Wikipedia covers the family of Donald Trump in far greater detail.

Wikimedia Commons

Man in suit and blue tie smiles at camera
Wikimedia Commons editors debated the copyright of this image.

In June 2017, a Wikimedia Commons user claimed that the White House's official portrait of Trump was not the work of the United States government, but rather a photographer known as Doug Coulter, and thus did not qualify for public domain status.

This page was last updated at 2023-04-03 18:05 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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