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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts during the UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz stadium in Lisbon on May 24, 2014. Jean Catuffe—Getty Images

The 100 Most Obsessed-Over People on the Web

May 27, 2014

Every April, TIME publishes a list of the 100 most influential people in the world, drawing on a year's worth of headlines and the editorial judgment of editors from across the magazine. It's an unapologetically subjective undertaking; there are no batting averages or on-base percentages when it comes to a slippery subject like influence.

I don't have much to do with this list, but from the sidelines I got to wondering whether there was a quantitative way to produce something similar. Wikipedia was a logical place to start since it has both unprecedented breadth--there are over 600,000 living people on the site--and a remarkably consistent structure for each entry.

Based upon my research, here are the 100 most obsessed-over people on the web.

NAMESCORE
1.

George W. Bush

43rd President of the United States

65.6
2.

Barack Obama

American politician, 44th President of the United States

45.3
3.

Madonna

American singer, actress, author

37.63
4.

Beyoncé

American singer-songwriter, actress, and fashion designer

36.73
5.

Janet Jackson

American singer-songwriter and actress

36.37
6.

Silvio Berlusconi

Italian politician, entrepreneur, and media proprietor

35.53
7.

Bob Dylan

American rock and folk musician

34.46
8.

Pope Benedict XVI

265th pope

34.02
9.

Mitt Romney

American politician

33.87
10.

Bill Clinton

42nd President of the United States.

33.64
11.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, U.S. First Lady

33.34
12.

Christina Aguilera

American singer and songwriter

33.13
13.

Mariah Carey

American singer

32.6
14.

Eminem

Hip Hop rapper

32.18
15.

Al Gore

45th Vice President of the United States

32.02
16.

Britney Spears

American musician, singer, songwriter, actress, author

31.71
17.

Hulk Hogan

American professional wrestler

31.64
18.

Roger Federer

Swiss tennis professional

30.32
19.

Paul McCartney

English rock musician

30.26
20.

Jimmy Carter

President of the United States

29.8
21.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portuguese footballer

29.49
22.

David Beckham

Professional footballer

29.21
23.

George H. W. Bush

41st president of the United States.

29.17
24.

Big Show

Professional wrestler; actor

28.86
25.

John McCain

U.S. Senator from Arizona; 2008 Republican Presidential nominee

28.8
26.

Shaquille O'Neal

Professional basketball player

28.78
27.

Vladimir Putin

2nd President of the Russian Federation

28.74
28.

Fidel Castro

President of Cuba

28.7
29.

John Kerry

U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, 2004 presidential nominee for the Democratic Party

28.5
30.

Cher

singer, actress, songwriter, author, entertainer

28.27
31.

Rafael Nadal

Spanish tennis player

28.18
32.

Michael Jordan

Professional National Basketball Association player and businessman

27.87
33.

Jeff Gordon

American stock car racing driver

27.56
34.

John Cena

Professional wrestler, an amateur hip hop musician and actor

27.4
35.

The Undertaker

Professional wrestler

27.4
36.

Lady Gaga

American pop singer

27.27
37.

Noam Chomsky

linguist, psychologist, and activist

27.13
38.

Kane (wrestler)

Professional wrestler and actor

27.03
39.

Edward Snowden

System administrator

26.83
40.

Tony Blair

Politician; Former Prime minister of the United Kingdom

26.75
41.

Steven Spielberg

American film director and producer

26.75
42.

Lionel Messi

Argentine footballer

26.72
43.

Serena Williams

American multi-champion tennis player

26.68
44.

Kobe Bryant

Professional basketball player

26.6
45.

Sarah Palin

Governor of Alaska

26.46
46.

Clint Eastwood

Actor, director, film producer, composer, politician

26.36
47.

Kurt Angle

An American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and 1996 Olympic gold medalist

26.16
48.

Carrie Underwood

American country music singer; ''American Idol'' winner

26.1
49.

Jean Chrétien

20th Prime Minister of Canada (1993 - 2003)

25.84
50.

Dwayne Johnson

Professional wrestler, film actor

25.68
51.

Taylor Swift

Singer and songwriter

25.59
52.

LeBron James

American basketball player

25.53
53.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, politician

25.51
54.

Dick Cheney

Vice President of the United States

25.5
55.

Yulia Tymoshenko

Ukrainian politician

25.37
56.

CM Punk

Professional wrestler

24.97
57.

Bret Hart

Retired Professional Wrestler

24.84
58.

David Cameron

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

24.83
59.

Marine Le Pen

French politician

24.72
60.

Eric Clapton

guitarist, singer, and composer

24.66
61.

Novak Djokovic

Serbian tennis player

24.55
62.

Joe Biden

Vice President of the United States

24.3
63.

Jennifer Lopez

Entertainer

24.29
64.

Peyton Manning

American college football player, professional football player, quarterback, Super Bowl champion

24.19
65.

Nicole Scherzinger

American singer, dancer

24.15
66.

Rihanna

Singer, songwriter

24.13
67.

Shakira

Colombian singer

24.03
68.

Sachin Tendulkar

Indian cricketer

23.98
69.

Ron Paul

U.S. libertarian, physician, politician, obstetrician

23.95
70.

Pope Francis

266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

23.94
71.

Chris Jericho

Professional wrestler, musician, television host and author

23.93
72.

Maria Sharapova

Russian tennis player

23.86
73.

Edge (wrestler)

Professional wrestler

23.78
74.

Thierry Henry

Footballer

23.43
75.

MC Hammer

Rapper, entrepreneur, actor

23.34
76.

Kelly Clarkson

Singer-songwriter, actress

23.32
77.

Michael Schumacher

Racing driver, Formula 1 driver, 7 times world champion

23.25
78.

Yoko Ono

Artist

23.11
79.

Donald Trump

Businessman, television personality

23.02
80.

Elton John

English musician

23.01
81.

Rey Mysterio

Mexican American Professional wrestler

23
82.

Elizabeth II

Queen regnant of the Commonwealth realms

22.99
83.

Rob Van Dam

American film actor and professional wrestler

22.99
84.

Magic Johnson

Retired American professional basketball player

22.95
85.

Pink (singer)

Singer

22.92
86.

Triple H

Professional wrestler

22.81
87.

Kylie Minogue

pop singer, songwriter, actress

22.81
88.

Kanye West

American recording artist, record producer

22.8
89.

Andy Murray

Tennis player

22.78
90.

Celine Dion

Canadian singer and actor

22.76
91.

50 Cent

Rapper, entrepreneur, investor, and actor

22.74
92.

Derek Jeter

American professional baseball player, shortstop

22.67
93.

Paris Hilton

American celebrity

22.61
94.

Ric Flair

Professional wrestler

22.56
95.

Oprah Winfrey

Talk show host

22.53
96.

Michele Bachmann

American politician

22.23
97.

Diego Maradona

Argentine footballer and manager

22.19
98.

Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani politician

22.08
99.

Shahrukh Khan

Film actor

22.07
100.

Lance Armstrong

American professional road racing cyclist

22.06

Methodology

To begin with, I collected some data on each of these pages: The number of words, the number of times it has been edited, and a handful of other measurements. A very simple algorithm combines these factors into a single estimate of the page's "prominence," an imperfect term for how important a person is on the site.

I gathered eight statistics for each living person's Wikipedia page:

  • Number of words
  • Number of links to other Wikipedia pages
  • Number of external links (which are typically references)
  • Number of categories the person is in
  • Total number of revisions to the page
  • Number of unique individuals who have edited the page as a signed-in editors
  • Number of anonymous edits
  • Number of vandalisms, as identified in editing notes

Once this data was in place, I used a statistical method known as "principal component analysis" to reduce these values into a smaller set of scores. The full methodology, as well as the raw data for the top 100,000-or-so pages, is available on the GitHub page for this project. The code for crawling Wikipedia is also provided open-source in a separate GitHub repository.

One of the most curious findings is that professional wrestlers have amazingly detailed Wikipedia pages that often surpass heads of state in their breadth and detail. There are 15 current or former wrestlers in the top 100 people on this list.

Many thanks to Chris Franck, an assistant research professor in statistics at Virginia Tech, for his consultation during this analysis.

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