Emerging Technology

New research reveals how Wikipedia “editorial wars” unfold

Andrew Sadauskas /

Wikipedia “editorial wars” on controversial articles tend to be concentrated in short bursts of activity amongst small groups of contributors, new research has revealed.

An editorial war is when two or more contributors repeatedly overwrite each other’s contributions on a (usually controversial) article.

The study, conducted by the Budapest University of Technology and Economics Department of Theoretical Physics, applied a theoretical physics algorithm to the edit history of both controversial and peaceful articles to analyse the dynamics at play in “editorial wars” on the online encyclopaedia.

The research is of particular interest to many businesses that actively monitor and edit Wikipedia articles on their businesses or products.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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