At first glance this looks like another puff piece about how Wikipedians are always improving. But look again. According to this chart, there are just as many if not more bot edits than human edits.
But see what they did there? The bot edits are artificially divided into “group bots” and bots with “bot” in the name. Don’t all bots have “bot” in the name? (Ah, yes, they do except for “CommonsDelinker”, last edit Mar 31, 2018, and “D6”, last edit Mar 30, 2014. Hmm, no raw numbers.)
The result is to make it look like there are more human edits than bot edits, with only occasional bot bursts. But what if you add all the bots together in the chart?
Looks more like the bots are taking over.
But this is all freehand, it is not even based on data. And the original chart is not sourced either. Chance are it came from somewhere here on these analytics pages, but how would you reproduce it, much less do your own data? (Oh look over there: SPARQL!)
In that case, what about the ACTRIAL trial, started September 14, 2017, ended March 14, 2018. Here is “new articles per day” for English Wikipedia, with some colors added for comparing ACTRIAL months with each other.
|Mar 2018||1209986||6102||32946||3698||5.6 M||723||97.9||3.7 M||8.2 M|
|Feb 2018||1203884||4988||29491||3350||5.6 M||726||97.7||3.4 M||8.2 M|
|Jan 2018||1198896||5483||31584||3713||5.6 M||722||97.4||3.6 M||8.1 M|
|Dec 2017||1193413||5322||30072||3434||5.5 M||644||97.2||3.4 M||8.1 M|
|Nov 2017||1188091||6043||31678||3484||5.5 M||743||96.9||3.3 M||8.1 M|
|Oct 2017||1182048||5824||31080||3512||5.5 M||615||96.7||3.3 M||8.0 M|
|Sep 2017||1176224||5029||29243||3336||5.5 M||639||96.4||3.3 M||8.0 M|
|Aug 2017||1171195||5656||30112||3493||5.5 M||640||96.2||3.4 M||7.9 M|
|Jul 2017||1165539||5504||29983||3518||5.4 M||679||95.9||3.4 M||7.9 M|
|Jun 2017||1160035||5345||29406||3430||5.4 M||658||95.6||3.7 M||7.8 M|
|May 2017||1154690||6187||31820||3540||5.4 M||664||95.3||3.5 M||7.8 M|
|Apr 2017||1148503||6421||32060||3525||5.4 M||737||95||3.4 M||7.7 M|
|Mar 2017||1142082||7138||34010||3582||5.4 M||873||94.8||3.7 M||7.7 M|
|Feb 2017||1134944||5922||30539||3376||5.3 M||754||94.6||3.3 M||7.7 M|
|Jan 2017||1129022||6104||32043||3728||5.3 M||796||94.3||3.6 M||7.6 M|
|Dec 2016||1122918||5904||30456||3390||5.3 M||811||94.1||3.5 M||7.6 M|
|Nov 2016||1117014||6067||30440||3272||5.3 M||717||93.9||3.5 M||7.6 M|
|Oct 2016||1110947||5723||29721||3395||5.2 M||727||93.6||3.6 M||7.5 M|
|Sep 2016||1105224||5423||29195||3338||5.2 M||833||93.3||3.4 M||7.5 M|
|Aug 2016||1099801||5600||29548||3449||5.2 M||760||93.1||3.3 M||7.4 M|
|Jul 2016||1094201||5436||29162||3324||5.2 M||733||92.9||3.2 M||7.4 M|
|Jun 2016||1088765||5472||29063||3238||5.1 M||697||92.7||3.3 M||7.4 M|
|May 2016||1083293||6161||30777||3418||5.1 M||841||92.4||3.6 M||7.3 M|
|Apr 2016||1077132||6157||30820||3365||5.1 M||767||92.2||3.4 M||7.3 M|
|Mar 2016||1070975||6347||31736||3510||5.1 M||785||91.9||3.6 M||7.2 M|
|Feb 2016||1064628||5796||29838||3278||5.0 M||813||91.7||3.4 M||7.1 M|
|Jan 2016||1058832||5864||31051||3545||5.0 M||818||91.4||3.4 M||7.1 M|
|Dec 2015||1052968||5573||29397||3335||5.0 M||746||91.2||3.0 M||7.0 M|
|Nov 2015||1047395||6176||30581||3376||5.0 M||776||91||3.1 M||7.0 M|
|Oct 2015||1041219||6036||30579||3421||4.9 M||762||90.8||3.2 M||7.0 M|
|Sep 2015||1035183||5745||29526||3399||4.9 M||709||90.6||3.1 M||6.9 M|
Kind of hard to see.
Looks like fewer articles right? So that’s good, right? Not so much work for patrollers? Maybe they can’t make a patroller bot. So how many of these articles were deleted? Were they useful articles? Can’t tell.
This page might make it easier: New articles per day by language. I have made the English wiki in red so you can see it.
So there were only 723 article per day this March, but ten years ago there were twice as many. In fact, there have not been this few new articles since 2004.
So Wikipedia is dying? And they are trying to hide it by counting bot edits as user edits?
You know, I can’t tell, and there isn’t enough data here to find out. But something here just doesn’t feel right. And you know what they say about that.
I for one welcome our new bot overlords.
Also the new edits per month. You can see the yearly dip in June. But at this scale you can’t see that there are at least 100 fewer new articles per day compared to the previous year.
And my favorite, content vs.. non-content edits. How much is dramah.