The crazy war on Wikipedia for the term Barbenheimer

Barbenheimer mix poster

Image created by Sean Longmore

We are not telling you anything new if we tell you that this summer the box office is completely eclipsed by two films: Barbie and oppenheimer. Such is the case that both films completely monopolize conversations about cinema and are the reason for numerous memes on social networks. The thing is not there. The phenomenon is such that it has even been given a name, Barbenheimer, a word whose registration in Wikipedia has generated one of the most absurd battles that are remembered in the history of the Internet.

The two great premieres of the season

It had been a long time since two films at the same time generated such expectation. Even more so when it comes to two films so diametrically opposed. We talk, of course, about Barbie and Oppenheimer, two proposals, as we pointed out, very different, that are managing to attract the public en masse to the cinemas.

Margot Robbie as Barbie

The fact that both films were released on the same day, July 21had such a good review from the specialized press and generated so much expectation, has caused many to look for the three feet of the cat and even generate an infamous number of memes related to the tapes.

Cillian Murphy as Robert Oppenheimer in Nolan's film

The phenomenon has even received a name, «Barbenheimer», a word that someone saw fit to record in Wikipedia, thereby unleashing a soap opera almost unprecedented in the history of the famous database.

Barbenheimer, the concept that brings Wikipedia upside down

It all starts with the entry of the word Barbenheimer in Wikipedia. Apparently, it was considered that the concept had enough weight on the internet to exist in the database, so there was no hesitation in creating it and leaving it for posterity on the web. But one user was convinced that this word really should redirect directly to the Wikipedia article of oppenheimer and created a redirect to make it so. Minutes later, however, he regret of it and changed the redirect to the movie article Barbie. The reason? That, according to this user, the tape directed by Greta Gerwig was having even more repercussions among the public.

Hours later, among another user in action. He considers that Barbenheimer should not redirect to either of the two films, but that he should have his own article, so he creates it and begins to promote it on social networks. Not only that. In the article he reflects that the phenomenon can also be alternatively known as “Openbarbie”.

Barbenheimer's Wikipedia article

But not everyone agrees with that statement. So much so that another user edits the article to indicate that no one “cool” uses the term oppenbarbie and that it is pronounced even in a hasty way (nothing to do with Barbenheimer). The editions by more users continue (the growth of the article is crazy as well as the continuous modifications), sections are deleted, new ones are added… someone even proposes that Pikmin 4 be included in the equation -yes, the game for Nintendo Switch- because it has also been released on July 21.

Until July 11, someone proposes that the article be deleted by submitting it for removal on Wikipedia. Your arguments? That viralization of the name and its memes are not much greater than that of other internet phenomena and that instead, the term Oppenheimer should be mentioned in passing in the articles of the two films, without giving it more hype.

Then start a debate without precedents. In Kotaku -where they explain all this history– they say that when a Wikipedia article is proposed for elimination, a discussion period for other users to think and that this is usually slow, very slow. Nothing is further from reality.

The proposed deletion of the Oppenheimer article has generated a lively conversation where many people defend the decision while others refute it. Those who bet on its elimination point out that an appeal should be made to the 20-Year Testa old Wikipedia “rule” which suggests that only things that will be remembered or understood 20 years from now deserve an article in the database, something that will not happen (according to these arguments) with this phenomenon.

Even with this, the positive vote ended up weighing on the negative one and the article continue online Today. But the fight is not over. Now users are arguing over trivialities such as whether Barbie’s full name should be used in a photo or the nickname “Oppie” (that’s what they called Robert Oppenheimer, which is mentioned in the movie).

In Kotaku indicate that in recent days the article has received only minor changes related to typographical errors or brief additions, but that the war could go on In a few months, when the boom ends and the removal of the article is therefore proposed again.

If people put so much effort into other more important things…

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