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Controversial is defined as:

  • large number of upvotes and downvotes
  • large number of comments

If you can think of extra criteria, feel free to edit the question.

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1  
Is this meant as a joke...? Because the same question has been asked, and answered, quite recently, hasn't it? The top downvoted answer has something like 40 downvotes. – Pëkka May 18 '10 at 18:36
2  
@Questions - he's looking for controversial, not most downvoted. – user27414 May 18 '10 at 18:41
1  
Related: stackoverflow.com/questions/406760/… – user27414 May 18 '10 at 19:02
2  
How is this different from meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12756/…? – kennytm May 18 '10 at 19:09
    
@Kenny This doesn't specify "Non-wiki" – Grace Note May 18 '10 at 19:13

This answer has +156/-169 with 43 comments. I think it's an especially good candidate for "most controversial" since up- and down-votes are rather balanced.

More controversies:

select postid, up_count, -down_count, comm_count
from
  (select postid, count(id) as up_count from votes where votetypeid = 2
     group by postid) as u
  INNER JOIN
  (select postid, count(id) as down_count from votes where votetypeid = 3
     group by postid) as d
  USING (postid)
  INNER JOIN
  (select postid, count(id) as comm_count from comments
     group by postid) as c
  USING (postid)
where up_count > 5 and down_count > 5 and comm_count > 5
order by log(up_count) + log(down_count) - log(1 + abs(up_count-down_count)) +
         log(comm_count) desc
limit 100;
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Depends on how you define it. By pure numbers, I'd say it would have to be this one (now 'deleted') -- 1172 up, 107 down, and 105 comments.

But nobody was arguing about it.

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3  
Yeah, but the reason for those downvotes wasn't controversy over the answer, it was a tug of war to try and keep the vote total at 256. – gnostradamus May 18 '10 at 18:48
    
ah, my claim to fame... – Kip May 18 '10 at 18:59

This answer is +20/-65, and has the lowest vote total on SO.

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