Understanding the signature of controversial Wikipedia articles through motifs in editor revision networks

James R. Ashford, Alun Preece, Liam D. Turner, Diane Felmlee, Roger M. Whitaker, Don Towsley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Wikipedia serves as a good example of how editors collaborate to form and maintain an article. The relationship between editors, derived from their sequence of editing activity, results in a directed network structure called the revision network, that potentially holds valuable insights into editing activity. In this paper we create revision networks to assess differences between controversial and non-controversial articles, as labelled by Wikipedia. Originating from complex networks, we apply motif analysis, which determines the under or over-representation of induced sub-structures, in this case triads of editors. We analyse 21,631 Wikipedia articles in this way, and use principal component analysis to consider the relationship between their motif subgraph ratio profiles. Results show that a small number of induced triads play an important role in characterising relationships between editors, with controversial articles having a tendency to cluster. This provides useful insight into editing behaviour and interaction capturing counter-narratives, without recourse to semantic analysis. It also provides a potentially useful feature for future prediction of controversial Wikipedia articles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Web Conference 2019 - Companion of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages1180-1187
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450366755
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 13 2019
Event2019 World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: May 13 2019May 17 2019

Publication series

NameThe Web Conference 2019 - Companion of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019

Conference

Conference2019 World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period5/13/195/17/19

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software

Cite this

Ashford, J. R., Preece, A., Turner, L. D., Felmlee, D., Whitaker, R. M., & Towsley, D. (2019). Understanding the signature of controversial Wikipedia articles through motifs in editor revision networks. In The Web Conference 2019 - Companion of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019 (pp. 1180-1187). (The Web Conference 2019 - Companion of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3308560.3316754