Wars on editing Wikipedia articles, uncovered

February 28, 2013

CSIC researcher Maxi San Miguel, director of the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC), a joint research Institute of CSIC and the University of the Balearic Islands, explains: "We say there is a conflict when there is an unusual high number of editing and corrections in articles related to some topic or personage on which there are very divergent or polarised opinions. Our model identifies the different types of behaviours according to two main parameters: the reposition rate of editors as time goes by; and the level of tolerance, that is, how different your opinion must be on the written article so that you decide to take part".

The study describes the generic behaviours observed on a statistical analysis of a large number of articles. Representative examples of those behaviours are observed in articles about the Dresden bombing, Japan and anarchism. Detailed analysis of these three inputs reveals how editors interact and influence each other both directly (through the discussion page of the article) and indirectly (through alternative interactions in the text).

Types of behaviours

The simplest type of behaviour is one in which there are a clash of opinions and a large number of editing, but agreement is reached in a relatively short time. Another typical behaviour is that in which three groups of editors interact: one with a fixed number of individuals that form one "mainstream" and two opposing more "extremist" groups. In this case, consensus is only reached after a long time and the result may not correspond to the initial mainstream view. In the case of a dynamic scenario, where new editors are gradually replacing those who started the conflict, researchers found alternating periods of conflict and consensus, depending on the rate of newcomers and the degree of controversy in the article's topic, indefinitely repeated over time.

CSIC researcher concludes: "Despite all, the model shows that even the most opposing opinions finally converge over time, even without direct interaction between dissenting contributors. The article itself takes part in this process since it brings the opinions of individuals together and helps the convergence process".
Jáanos Török, Gerardo Iñiguez, Taha Yasseri, Maxi San Miguel, Kimmo Kaski, and János Kertész. Opinions, Conflicts and Consensus: Modeling Social Dynamics in a Collaborative Environment.

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Related Conflict Articles from Brightsurf:

Aboriginal rock art, frontier conflict and a swastika
A hidden Murray River rockshelter speaks volumes about local Aboriginal and European settlement in the Riverland, with symbols of conflict -- including a swastika symbol -- discovered in Aboriginal rock art.

Study of civilians with conflict-related wounds helps improve the care in conflict zones
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have carried out the first randomized trial of civilians with acute conflict-related wounds at two hospitals in areas affected by armed conflict.

Researchers study the intricate link between climate and conflict
New research from the University of Notre Dame is shedding light on the unexpected effects climate change could have on regional instability and violent conflict.

Achieving optimal collaboration when goals conflict
New research suggests that, when two people must work together on a physical task despite conflicting goals, the amount of information available about each other's actions influences how quickly and optimally they learn to collaborate.

Do we trust artificial intelligence agents to mediate conflict? Not entirely
We may listen to facts from Siri or Alexa, or directions from Google Maps or Waze, but would we let a virtual agent enabled by artificial intelligence help mediate conflict among team members?

Tension around autonomy increases family conflict at end of life
Conflict within families can be stressful and confusing, and it can lead to feelings of sadness.

Coca and conflict: the factors fuelling Colombian deforestation
Deforestation in Colombia has been linked to armed conflict and forests' proximity to coca crops, the plant from which cocaine is derived.

Global burden of mental health in conflict settings
People living in countries that have experienced armed conflict are five times more likely to develop anxiety or depression, a University of Queensland research collaboration has found.

Climate change increases potential for conflict and violence
Images of extensive flooding or fire-ravaged communities help us see how climate change is accelerating the severity of natural disasters.

AI systems shed light on root cause of religious conflict
Artificial intelligence can help us to better understand the causes of religious violence and to potentially control it, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.

Read More: Conflict News and Conflict Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.