What is impressive about Wikipedia is that information is updated so quickly.

Any big event, like a death of a celebrity or whatever, it'll appear on there quicker than some news sites.

I'm just wondering though, Wikipedia also keeps current information that is relatively minor.

For example, this is the page of Roger Federer. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_federer )

Now he's a high profile tennis player but he's not really famous for his double's record. Nevertheless, his current doubles ranking is displayed.

So my question is, is his current doubles ranking just updated manually by someone every time it changes or is there some sort of automated process that Wikipedia sources this data from somewhere in order to update this statistic?


Some parts of the Wikipedia are edited by bots. They are special scripts that can do extensive but unintelligent editing, such as updating links to other language wiki pages automatically.

This kind of information rich updates are created by real users. There are a lot of dedicated users on Wikipedia and most of these users constantly follow certain articles and constantly update the content. Commonly these dedicated users are experts, enthusiasts or professionals on the articles they edit.

You can examine the history page for the Roger Federer article to keep track of changes. Generally bots leave a special comment to the edits they make. So you can easily distinguish between a bot and a real editor.

  • BTW updating links to other languages is now done using wikidata, bots are not needed for that anymore.
    – svick
    Sep 11 '13 at 16:27

If you look at the source code of the page, his current doubles ranking is added by this line:

|currentdoublesranking = No. 1263 (19 March 2012)

You can then use WikiBlame (linked from any history page as “Revision history search”) to find out who added that line to the source. It will take you to a revision made by user Cpfig, who clearly isn't a bot account.

So, this piece of information was not updated by some bot, it was added by a person. And from my experience, that is the case with almost all data on Wikipedia. But there certainly are cases where bot updates or even creates a page. For example, see the first paragraph of Wikipedia:2010 US Census on explanation about what some bot did in the past.

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