Friday, June 7, 2013

Controversy in Wikipedia in Australia

We've had a lot of interest in our maps of controversy in Wikipedia. However, one problem is that none of those maps allow us to drill down into the geography of conflict in any particular country.

As such, I'd like to start sharing a few more country specific maps of controversy; starting with Australia:


The top-10 most controversial articles is Australia are:

1) Australia (not mapped as a point)
2) Sydney
3) Newington College
4) Dapto High School
5) Melbourne
6) Sydney Airport
7) Anglican Church Grammar School
8) Brisbane
9) Melbourne Airport
10) 2005 Cronulla Riots

Some of these entries are likely high-traffic articles and it makes sense that they might be characterised by a lot of controversy. But why are so many schools listed in the top-10? My suspicion is that we're seeing the effects of vandalism by a few students who might want to have voice in the digital representations of the institution that they spend most of their day confined in.

In other words, this map of Australia shows us that controversy in user-generated content can arise from not just about the usual/expected topics of politics and religion, but also more mundane issues like school vandalism.

Read more about this work here:

Yasseri, Taha, Spoerri, Anselm, Graham, Mark and Kertesz, Janos, (2014) The Most Controversial Topics in Wikipedia: A Multilingual and Geographical Analysis. In: Fichman P., Hara N., editors, Global Wikipedia: International and cross-cultural issues in online collaboration. Scarecrow Press. Available at SSRN.

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