Users of the English version of Wikipedia tend to focus their searches around their media consumption, according to an analysis of 2017’s top pages by a group of the site’s editors.

Why it matters: As the Internet’s top repository of information, Wikipedia searches can give us an insight into what intrigues people most — and when. In 2017’s tumultuous political climate, it seems most English speakers wanted to learn more about relaxingly banal matters, like their favorite show on Netflix.

Expand chart
Expand chart
Data: Wikipedia Annual Top 50 Report - 2017; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The trend: 18 of the year's top 25 pages were centered around film or television content.

  • Viewers of Netflix's "The Crown" and PBS' "Victoria" tend to want to fact check their royal binges, as Elizabeth II's page clocked in at #3 and Victoria's at #13. (In keeping with a fascination with the royal family, Meghan Markle, fresh off her engagement to Prince Harry, also cracked the top five.)
  • Game of Thrones is so popular that not only did the series' main page land at #6, but the individual page for the 7th season managed to eclipse it at #4.
  • Indian moviegoers held a lot of sway as three slots were occupied by Bollywood-related searches, spurred by the Indian box office juggernaut Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (#11).

When people aren't watching TV or movies, they're searching for some of the most popular news topics in the worlds of politics and tech that spiked throughout the year.

  • Examples: Donald Trump (unsurprisingly, #2), Bitcoin (#9), and Elon Musk (#24).

One nihilistic thing: Though the majority of the most popular Wikipedia pages had to do with more light-hearted content, last year’s top page was “Deaths in 2017.”

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 mins ago - Health

Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Many of the states where coronavirus cases have recently skyrocketed are also seeing the highest death rates in the nation, a painful reminder that wherever the virus goes, death eventually follows.

Between the lines: Deaths usually lag behind cases by a few weeks. Given America's record-high case counts, it's reasonable to expect that death rates across the country will continue to rise in tandem.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
26 mins ago - Science

Pandemic scrambles Americans' acceptance of science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic is throwing a wrench into Americans' understanding of science, which has big implications for climate change.

Driving the news: Recent focus groups in battleground states suggest some voters are more skeptical of scientists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while surveys reveal the persistence of a deep partisan divide.

Spotify has a Joe Rogan dilemma

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Spotify is getting slammed for allowing Joe Rogan, one of its most popular podcasters, to host far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his show.

Why it matters: The company, which still distributes mostly music, will begin to encounter more of these types of problems as it expands its podcast business.