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Thread: Ever get into a fight on Wikipedia? Read this.

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Ever get into a fight on Wikipedia? Read this.

    There might be hope when Wikipedia editors battle it out and everything is a mess.


    https://techxplore.com/news/2018-11-...udy-tools.html

    Why some Wikipedia disputes go unresolved—Study identifies reasons, offers predictive tools

    by Rob Matheson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Wikipedia has enabled large-scale, open collaboration on the internet's largest general-reference resource. But, as with many collaborative writing projects, crafting the content can be a contentious subject. Often, multiple Wikipedia editors will disagree on certain changes to articles or policies. One of the main ways to officially resolve such disputes is the Requests for Comment (RfC) process. Quarreling editors will publicize their deliberation on a forum, where other Wikipedia editors will chime in and a neutral editor will make a final decision.

    Ideally, this should solve all issues. But a novel study by MIT researchers finds debilitating factors—such as excessive bickering and poorly worded arguments—have led to about one-third of RfCs going unresolved. For the study, the researchers compiled and analyzed the first-ever comprehensive dataset of RfC conversations, captured over an eight-year period, and conducted interviews with editors who frequently close RfCs, to understand why they don't find a resolution. They also developed a machine-learning model that leverages that dataset to predict when RfCs may go stale. And, they recommend digital tools that could make deliberation and resolution more effective.

    "It was surprising to see a full third of the discussions were not closed," says Amy X. Zhang, a PhD candidate in MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and co-author on the paper, which is being presented at this week's ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. "On Wikipedia, everyone's a volunteer. People are putting in the work, and they have interest … and editors may be waiting on someone to close so they can get back to editing. We know, looking through the discussions, the job of reading through and resolving a big deliberation is hard, especially with back and forth and contentiousness. [We hope to] help that person do that work."
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    — Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

  2. #2
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    I like the concept of "excessive bickering" - as if there's a desirable or appropriate level of bickering.
    Maybe there is - it is Bickerpedia, after all.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

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    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  3. #3
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    "Neutral editor"... Ain't no such animal.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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