News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
You are here: Home / World Wide Web / Wikipedia's Most Controversial Topics
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Which Wikipedia Topics Are Most Controversial?
Which Wikipedia Topics Are Most Controversial?
By Barry Levine / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
JULY
18
2013


The back-and-forth changes between some Wikipedia entries for famous people or events are only the tip of the iceberg. According to researchers who have investigated the popular, crowd-sourced online encyclopedia, some Wikipedia topics change back and forth with the frequency of the borders of some European countries in the early 20th century.

The researchers, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and three other institutions, looked at logs of changes made to various entries to determine the most frequently revised subjects.

"Our results indicate that Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopedia," the researchers said in a summary of their research. It is also, they said, "a window into convergent and divergent social-spatial priorities, interests and preferences."

The trick was to find which topics were the most controversial, not simply those that changed frequently. Determining the most controversial topics is no small feat, given that Wikipedia has about 77,000 contributors to more than 22 million entries in 285 languages.

Not Just Frequent Changes

Frequent changes could simply indicate that the topic has frequent updates, such as the political uprisings in the Arab world. But the degree to which revisions were then revised could determine controversy and the passion of the participants. The analysis looked at millions of articles from 10 language versions of Wikipedia.

The researchers also grouped the 10 languages into three main sets, with English, German, French, Spanish in one group, and a second group containing Czech, Hungarian, and Romanian. Arabic, Persian and Hebrew were in a third group.

To determine the most intense edit wars, Taha Yasseri of the University of Oxford and his team focused on "mutual reverts," meaning that one editor thoroughly revised the changes done by another. The team decided that it could determine the controversiality of an article by "summing the weights of all mutually reverting editor pairs, excluding the topmost pair, and multiplying this number by the total number of editors involved in the article."

The Falklands and Romanian Soccer

Using the "mutual reverts" metric, the research team was able to determine the top 10 most controversial topics across the 10 language editions. In order, they were: George W. Bush, anarchism, the prophet Muhammed, the list of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. employees, global warming, circumcision, the United States, Jesus, race and intelligence, and Christianity.

Articles relating to anti-Semitism and Israel, such as Israel itself, Adolf Hitler or the Holocaust, were the subject of edit wars in all three language sets, for instance, while some topics are highly controversial only in one language or language set, such as the article about the Falkland Islands/the Islas Malvinas in the Spanish version of Wikipedia. For French editors, an article about the French politician Segolene Royal was the subject of much editorial fighting, and Romanians fought over information about the Universitatea Craiova soccer club.

In the next version of their research, the team will look at how editorial wars proceed over time. No indication yet why the list of the World Wrestling Entertainment employees would be so controversial, across different languages.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY BE OF INTEREST
Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.
MORE IN WORLD WIDE WEB
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Who Is the Hacker Group Lizard Squad?
Are they dangerous or just obnoxious? That’s what many are wondering about the hacker group Lizard Squad, which tweeted out a bomb threat that grounded a flight with a Sony exec aboard.
 
Are Government Spies Tipping Off Tor?
Less than a month ago, tech news headlines heralded a Tor Project breach. Now, some are saying that government spies are sharing information with Tor to help it prevent future breaches.
 
Backoff Malware Hits 1,000+ Businesses, Likely More
More than 1,000 businesses across the U.S. might have been affected by Backoff, a new kind of point-of-sale (PoS) malware, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Alert: HP Recalls 5 Million Notebook AC Power Cords
HP is recalling about 5.6 million notebook computer AC power cords in the U.S. and another 446,700 in Canada because of possible overheating, which can pose a fire and burn hazard.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Set To Release Largest iPad Ever
Tech giant Apple seems to have adopted the mantra “go big or go home.” The company is planning to introduce its largest iPad ever: a 12.9-inch behemoth that will dwarf its largest existing models.
 
Verizon Hops on the Voice-Over-LTE Bandwagon
Wireless provider Verizon is gearing up for a nationwide launch of its Voice-over-LTE service over the next several weeks, promising clearer and crisper phone calls and a Skype-like video service.
 
Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Law in California; Will Other States Follow?
California’s new law -- signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday -- aimed at deterring cellphone theft could mean most mobile phones sold in the U.S. will soon include similar “kill-switch” tech.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.