Characterizing Incivility on Wikipedia

civility 4Oh this should be good.

Livestreaming in an hour, but they are posted eventually.

The next Research Showcase will be live-streamed next Wednesday, July 17, at 11:30 AM PDT/18:30 UTC.


YouTube stream:

Characterizing Incivility on Wikipedia

Elizabeth Whittaker, University of Michigan School of Information

In a society whose citizens have a variety of viewpoints, there is a
question of how citizens can govern themselves in ways that allow these
viewpoints to co-exist. Online deliberation has been posited as a problem solving mechanism in this context, and civility can be thought of as a mechanism that facilitates this deliberation. Civility can thus be thought of as a method of interaction that encourages collaboration, while incivility disrupts collaboration. However, it is important to note that the nature of online civility is shaped by its history and the technical architecture scaffolding it. Civility as a concept has been used both to promote equal deliberation and to exclude the marginalized from deliberation, so we should be careful to ensure that our conceptualizations of incivility reflect what we intend them to in order to avoid unintentionally reinforcing inequality….

“unintentionally” lol.

Not all bias is unconscious.

It gets better:

To this end, we examined Wikipedia editors’ perceptions of interactions
that disrupt collaboration through 15 semi-structured interviews. Wikipedia is a highly deliberative platform, as editors need to reach consensus about what will appear on the article page, a process that often involves deliberation to coordinate, and any disruption to this process should be apparent. We found that incivility on Wikipedia typically occurs in one of three ways: through weaponization of Wikipedia’s policies, weaponization of Wikipedia’s technical features, and through more typical vitriolic content. These methods of incivility were gendered, and had the practical effect of discouraging women from editing. We implicate this pattern as one of the underlying causes of Wikipedia’s gender gap.

No, really?

(Can I say “No shit, Sherlock” here?)

It’s nice to have someone break it down into parts though

  • weaponization of Wikipedia’s policies,
  • weaponization of Wikipedia’s technical features,
  • and through more typical vitriolic content

Speaking of which, I believe someone did slow down the archiving bot on the WP:FRAM talk page. Makes it look like more discussion than is actually happening, other than Pine’s wall of text, but most garden-variety users won’t know it’s being staged.

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