The Most Controversial Topics in Wikipedia: A Multilingual and Geographical Analysis
Global Wikipedia: International and Cross-Cultural Issues in Online Collaboration, Fichman P., Hara N., eds., Scarecrow Press, 2014
31 Pages Posted: 24 May 2013 Last revised: 4 Jul 2014
Date Written: May 23, 2013
We present, visualize and analyse the similarities and differences between the controversial topics related to “edit wars” identified in 10 different language versions of Wikipedia. After a brief review of the related work we describe the methods developed to locate, measure, and categorize the controversial topics in the different languages. Visualizations of the degree of overlap between the top 100 list of most controversial articles in different languages and the content related geographical locations will be presented. We discuss what the presented analysis and visualizations can tell us about the multicultural aspects of Wikipedia, and, in general, about cultures of peer-production with focus on universal and specifically, local features. We demonstrate that Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopaedia; it is also a window into divergent social-spatial priorities, interests and preferences.
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