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With Government Shutdown, Obamacare Battleground: Wikipedia

The Obamacare debate resulted in a legislative impasse and a government shutdown as both parties pour millions into promoting and defending their position. This time, however, the war of words is not limited to Congress and the news media.

According to a Wikipedia monitoring service WikiExperts, one of the new battlegrounds is Wikipedia, where every word in the 13,000-word Obamacare article is bitterly fought over.

It says with nearly 400 million unique visitors each month and 3,000 consultations per second, the virtual battle on Wikipedia is not surprising.

Anyone researching the subject online is bound to come across the highly search-engine-optimized Wikipedia profile page, making it an essential opinion-forming and consumer information tool.

[ Also Read: When Obamacare becomes a Funny Game ]

Nearly 1,400 individual users have made edits to the Obamacare page over its history, with seven editors making 100 or more edits. It is estimated that a whopping 4,500 hours were spent shaping the page.

Applying a typical high-profile Wikipedia visibility work rate of $250 per hour, the cost of labor put into editing this work would exceed one million dollars, according to WikiExperts.

[ Also Read: How Indian Journalists Mislead Voters Using Social Media Data ]

“This editorial war on Wikipedia is pretty representative of the high impact Wikipedia profiles now play in forming public opinion about political issues, brands, products, corporations,” said Alex Konanykhin, CEO of, the Wikipedia visibility agency.

In addition to political enthusiasts, and social media and public relations professionals, the participants most likely include the parties with direct interest in the outcome of the Obamacare fight: doctors, insurance executives, etc.

Other editors with no direct interest in the outcome may also be participating. Since all editing on Wikipedia is anonymous, it is impossible to say with certainty who’s who, says WikiExperts.

There are seven words of discussion for every word on the page itself and over 360 references. The text of the page has over 5,450 total revisions, including over 1,000 from anonymous IP-addresses.

Photo courtesy: White House /

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