Guinness World Records – Wikipedia

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**History and Evolution of Guinness World Records:**
– Co-founded by Norris McWhirter and Ross in London in August 1955.
– Idea sparked by Sir Hugh Beaver’s shooting party incident in Ireland.
– First edition published in August 1955, becoming a bestseller in the UK.
– Sold over 100 million copies in 100 countries and 37 languages.
– Recent editions focus on individual record feats in various competitions.
– Covers a wide range of records from Olympic weightlifting to video game playing.
– Latest edition, the 70th, published on 15 September 2023, focusing on the ocean and water.

**Ownership and Criticism of Guinness World Records:**
– Guinness Superlatives formed in 1954 to publish the first book.
– Rights to the book in the US repurchased by Guinness in 1989.
– Ownership passed from Guinness PLC to Gullane Entertainment to the Jim Pattison Group.
– Headquarters in London, with museum attractions in Orlando, Florida.
– Faced criticism for inventing new records as publicity stunts since 2008.
– Accused of creating records for companies and individuals.
– Employ record adjudicators to verify record authenticity.

**Media and Recognition by Guinness World Records:**
– Extended beyond print to include television series and museums.
– Published in 100 countries and 23 languages.
– Primary international source for cataloging and verifying world records.
– Bestows records to individuals like Ashrita Furman.
– Recognizes achievements across various fields.
– Known for being a respected authority on firsts, feats, and trivia.

**Ethical and Safety Standards of Guinness World Records:**
– Dropped all alcohol records in 1991, then reinstated them in 2008.
– Does not accept records related to harming animals or unethical acts.
– Removed records like listing a prolific serial killer.
– Safety concerns led to the closure and reopening of certain categories.
– Declines subjective claims like beauty records.
– Closed the dreadlock category in 2010 due to judging difficulties.

**Business Model and Controversies of Guinness World Records:**
– Revenue declined with the rise of the Internet in the 2000s.
– Shifted to generating revenue from record-holders themselves.
– Corporations and celebrities pay fees for setting or breaking records for publicity.
– Criticized for blurring the line between content and advertisement.
– Allegations of laundering the reputation of oppressive governments in 2024.
– Concerns raised regarding record titles set for UAE’s police forces and Egypt’s military.

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