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Tolstoy leads a varied pack

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By Milowent

There is no unifying theme we can slap on top article popularity this week. A Google Doodle for Leo Tolstoy's birthday propelled that 19th century author to the top spot, followed by the thirteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Current events, including the suspension of American footballer Ray Rice after release of video footage of a domestic violence incident, and the release of the video game Destiny, followed close behind. And in the slightly quirky category, another alleged revelation of the identity of Jack the Ripper, a mystery which has remained unsolved since 1888, took up spots 6 and 9.

The greater WP:TOP25 is also a scatter shot of items including actress Brittany Murphy (#17) and the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying rounds (#22). The only new hard news entry in the extended list is the Scottish independence referendum, 2014 at #21, and which is sure to rise in the next report.

For the full top 25 list, see WP:TOP25. See this section for an explanation of any exclusions.

For the week of 7 to 13 September 2014, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the report of the 5,000 most viewed pages, were:

Rank Article Class Views Image Notes
1 Leo Tolstoy C-class 755,226
A Google Doodle on 9 September commemorating the 186th birthday of this Russian writer of War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877) was enough to put this article in the top spot for the week.
2 September 11 attacks b-class 745,804
Last year this article was #1 for the week on the Top 25 Report, so it is not surprising it is bested only by a Google Doodle this year. Views are about 240,000 lower this year, but that could be due in part to competition from the current world conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (#5). Last year, this solemn anniversary only had to compete with twerking.
3 Ray Rice C-class 655,572
On September 8, footage was released by TMZ of this American football player sucker punching his fiancée unconscious on an elevator, leading to the issuance of an indefinite suspension the same day. The world has known about this event of domestic violence for months, and the National Football League's decision in July to only suspend Rice for two games for assault caused much public outcry. It seems letting the world see the video of the encounter, which was sent to the NFL months ago but not released, made it too hard for them to keep downplaying this event.
4 Destiny (video game) C-class 573,518
This video game was released on September 9, and by the next day publisher Activision claimed that it was the most successful new gaming franchise launch of all time, with more than $500 million USD in sales to retail stores and consumers worldwide.
5 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant C-class 553,631
Down from #3 last week. The world continues to struggle with how to assess and treat this brutal group. Less importantly the world also struggles with what to call it. Politicians rotate among "ISIL" (the abbreviation of this article title), ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), and simply the "Islamic State." In Syria, ISIS's detractors use the term "Daʿesh", which sounds like "Dash", based on the Arabic letters for the Arabic ISIL name.
6 Aaron Kosminski Start-Class 481,805 Kosminski has long been one of the persons suspected of being the infamous 1888 London killer Jack the Ripper. A claim by author Russell Edwards this week to have proven Kosminski's guilt using DNA evidence caused much internet attention. It is an interesting and remarkable claim, and thus somewhat likely to fade away if disproved, leaving people with the vague impression that it was true, like most sensationalistic claims of this type. Head on over to Jack the Ripper suspects if you want to see the gallery of all possible suspects.
7 Deaths in 2014 List 446,753
The list of deaths in the current year is always a popular article. Deaths this week included: Fanny Godin (pictured at left), the oldest living Belgian, at age 112 (September 7); American fast-food restauranteur S. Truett Cathy (September 8); Scottish guitarist and former member of the band Primal Scream, Robert Young (September 9); 1960s Japanese track athlete Yoshinori Sakai (September 10); German actor Joachim Fuchsberger (September 11); former Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid (September 12); and Serbian footballer Milan Galić (September 13).
8 Richard Kiel B-class 444,110
The most viewed death of the week. Kiel, who died on September 10, was an American actor best known for his role of the steel-toothed Jaws in the 1970s James Bond movies The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
9 Jack the Ripper Good Article 441,407
See #6.
10 Joan Rivers B-class 435,784
Down from #1 last week. The brassy, pioneering comedian died on September 4.
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