Earlier this month, somebody created a Wikipedia web page for Barbenheimer, the web phenomenon impressed by the simultaneous launch of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, two extremely anticipated motion pictures with rave evaluations which might be anticipated to usher in tens of millions on the field workplace this summer time. The creation of the Wikipedia web page was adopted by weeks of debate about how the web page needs to be organized, the place it ought to reside, what pictures needs to be included, if Barbie’s full title wanted to be part of it, and if all of this could simply be deleted.
For these of you who’ve been dwelling beneath a rock, Barbenheimer is a web based meme referencing the truth that the Barbie film and Oppenheimer had been launched in theaters on the identical day, July 21. Whereas it has actually picked up steam in the previous couple of weeks, the precise origins of the meme date again to April 2022, when WB Discovery introduced that the then-upcoming Barbie movie could be launched on July 21, 2023. Web customers rapidly seen that was the identical launch date for Oppenheimer and shortly started making jokes about seeing the 2 motion pictures on the identical day. From there, fan artwork, customized t-shirts, and poster mash-ups had been created and unfold throughout social media. Even actors concerned with the movies have acknowledged Barbenheimer.
So, a popular culture phenomenon of Barbenheimer proportions actually warrants a Wikipedia web page. I imply, it’s not just like the creation of this web page would result in a web based warfare, proper?
The Barbenheimer Wikipedia web page results in a web based warfare
On July 1, Wikipedia consumer Freoh created a redirect for Barbenheimer. Anybody who searched Wikipedia for the net phenomenon could be “redirected” to the Oppenheimer movie article. A couple of minutes later, Freoh modified their thoughts and redirected customers to the Barbie film web page as a substitute. Based on Freoh, the explanation for the change was that it appeared like “the Barbie film folks have embraced it extra.”
A number of hours later, Wikipedia consumer Manasbose obtained concerned. This consumer didn’t assume the meme needs to be a redirect. As a substitute, they thought it deserved its very personal Wikipedia web page. So that they rapidly created one and began to broaden on it. As identified by the Twitter account, Depths of Wikipedia, the primary hours of the Barbenheimer web page had been wild. In its infancy, the web page steered that “Oppenbarbie” was a standard various title for the meme. For the following few hours, it was largely simply Manasbose and another customers modifying and increasing the web page.
Then extra customers obtained concerned. On July 10, consumer Shmoovyshlasagna eliminated the alt title Oppenbarbie and added a remark that “no one cool” says that. “That shit scrapes my entire mouth,” stated Shmoovyshlasagna. “Barbenheimer rolls easily. Give it some thought.”
At this level, the web page was rising quick, with a lot of edits being made, sections being modified, total components of it being deleted, after which all of it modified once more by dozens of customers. Some needed Pikmin 4 thrown into the combination, because it additionally was set to launch on July 21. Some needed higher, much less ugly pictures of Barbie. And a few needed all of it gone.
The tried assassination of Barbenheimer
On July 11, consumer InfiniteNexus nominated the Barbenheimer web page for deletion. They defined that they weren’t certain why this text was created, suggesting this was simply one of many dozens of viral memes that pop up yearly. They believed that the web page didn’t have to exist and as a substitute, a brief part concerning the phenomenon might be included within the articles concerning the movies Barbie and Oppenheimer
“It’s unlikely that this matter will obtain important, sustained protection,” stated InfiniteNexus. “And even when it does, it’s too early to inform at this stage, when neither movie has even been launched.”
When an article on Wikipedia is nominated for deletion, different customers weigh in on the matter and vote for what they assume ought to occur subsequent. Many occasions, these conversations aren’t too intense or prolonged. That is some actually behind-the-scenes, deep-in-the-bowels of Wikipedia shit that most individuals who use the positioning by no means interact with or take into consideration.
However that wasn’t the case this time. As a substitute, the request for deletion web page for Barbenheimer exploded.
Some editors cited the 20-Yr Check, an outdated Wikipedia normal that means solely issues that will probably be remembered or understood in 20 years ought to obtain articles. They believed this on-line meme didn’t go the take a look at and that in just a few years, no one would care concerning the Barbenheimer phenomenon.
Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Wikipedia editors concerned disagreed and started voting en masse to maintain the web page alive. Many cited that Barbenheimer had grown past a easy web meme and was truly affecting ticket gross sales, was being talked about by Hollywood stars, and was being reported on by respected shops like Selection, IGN, and so forth. Others additionally identified that there was an excessive amount of info within the article to easily dump all of it into the Barbie and Oppenheimer film pages. And sooner or later, the Barbenheimer web page might even present helpful info and context for researchers seeking to higher perceive the entire phenomenon.
After 5 days, almost 100 completely different editors voted and solely about 20 steered the web page be deleted or merged into the primary movies’ articles. Compared, most deletion debates solely get a dozen or so votes and infrequently finish within the web page being killed. However not this time. On July 16, after 1000’s of phrases had been written throughout a number of sections of Wikipedia’s typically unseen bureaucratic channels, Barbenheimer was allowed to reside.
The continued warfare over Barbie and Oppenheimer’s meme web page
Although the warfare over the web page’s existence was settled, folks weren’t executed preventing.
A fast peek at Barbeheimer’s discuss web page (a extra behind-the-scenes discussion board the place editors talk about adjustments and tweaks) reveals numerous debates concerning the article. For instance, there was quite a lot of controversy over together with Barbie’s full title within the caption under the web page’s prime picture. This finally advanced into folks suggesting the caption also needs to embody Oppenheimer’s full title and nickname, Oppie, too. One other debate occurred over which picture of Barbie ought to even be used within the article.
Issues have lastly calmed down over on the Barbenheimer Wikipedia web page after weeks of arguments. Many of the current edits are minor, fixing typos, including new hyperlinks, or rearranging sentences. Nevertheless, the warfare is probably going not over—among the editors concerned with the web page’s deletion nomination steered they could return to the talk in just a few months, assuming no one will care by then.
However I do know the web. I do know Wikipedia editors. Somebody will nonetheless care. And no one goes to surrender an inch on this digital battlefield, even when it means preventing for months or years over a web page a couple of foolish meme.