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Visualizing the Wikipedia Power Struggle 174

todd450 pointed us to a nifty visualization of Wikipedia and controversial articles in it. The image started with a network of 650,000 articles color coded to indicate activity. The original image is apparently 5' square, but the sample image they have is still pretty neat.
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Visualizing the Wikipedia Power Struggle

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  • Wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Adam Zweimiller ( 710977 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:38AM (#19207901) Homepage
    So not only is the submitter shamelessly plugging his own site, but it:

    A) Crashes before there are 9 comments and B) Doesn't know how to spell "still" Glad to see slashdot's standards are still so high, CmdrTaco. Thanks.
  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:46AM (#19207993) Homepage Journal
    I too have given up in helping Wikipedia through creating new articles or editting obviously bad ones. It just doesn't matter. If not for the idiots in some areas its the political slant in others that is just mind boggling. Wiki died the day that intrest groups found it and realized they could sway public opinion by marginalizing a site which supposedly has accurate information.
  • by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @09:58AM (#19208119)
    Topic: "Visualizing the Wikipedia power struggles"

    Page, visualizing the power struggle: "Service Temporarily Unavailable
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later."

    R.I.P. Wikipedia lost the power struggle...
  • by sjwest ( 948274 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @10:14AM (#19208267)

    Being an idiot on 400 subjects has to count for something.

    I edit one page of the wiki and no more very occasionally. Since any moron can write what they like there super but if any moron who is a 'super-moron' on 400 topics just shows that being 'responsible' is a strange state of mind.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2007 @10:30AM (#19208441)
    those are very good criticisms and probably entirely valid. i have some questions though. when you pick up the new york times and read an article by reporter x, does reporter x cite his or her sources? if reporter x gets the facts wrong, how do you find out about it? will the story have changed when you pick up the paper in a week? how do you know how many people have edited the story? how do you even know how many people had input into the reporter's final work? did you notice that in your lengthy and valid critique you were able to tell us about the originators of certain articles, their inherent biases and other things? you also mentioned several pages of discussion. is there any way to find out what gets discussed when an article gets published at cnn.com?

    as i said, your criticisms are valid, but contained in the criticism are good arguments as to why wikipedia is possibly the best source of information we have commonly available. when you buy an encyclopaedia you have no idea at all about the processes and biases that lead to the weight of paper you hold in your hand. with wikipedia at least you have some idea of how the content is created. it's funny that people treat wikipedia with the skepticism they should view all media with.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:07AM (#19208853)
    Have you considered contributing your time to Conservapedia [conservapedia.com]? I've found that it's a much more trustworthy source than the liberal internationalist Wikipedia. Just look at how the article on Homosexuality opens:

    Homosexuality is sexual activity between members of the same sex.
    Sexual relations between two men is condemned in both Old and New Testaments. It is forbidden directly four times in the Bible.

    Doesn't that sound better than Wikipedia?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:15AM (#19208951)
    I'm not a Wikipedia editor, or the guy who wrote the grandparent comment, or in any other way connected with this discussion, but your comment comes off as really smarmy and unpleasant. Assuming that because this guy is critical of the big W that '(presumably, you're an editor who disagreed with a decision that applied to you, as in perhaps you tried to use Wikipedia as a MySpace site, or were pushing a point of view in contravention of the site policies, or were upset when the article your wrote about your math teacher was deleted as 'non-notable')' is very childish and indicative that you really are unwilling to listen to dissenting viewpoints, which is sort of the foundation of any collaborative endeavor.

    Additionally, sad as it seems to say, yes, we did learn some valuable things from those medical experiments. While they were disgusting and reprehensible ( particularly, to my mind, the high altitude work done at Dachau ), it does make sense to use the data rather than expose another round of subjects to less intense but still stressful and dangerous experiments provided the methodology employed was sound.

    Not to get too deeply into the debate as to whether using that research to save lives helps to inject their loss to society with some essence of hope, the fact is that the truth is the truth regardless of which mouth it comes from. If this site, whatever it is, is saying true, uncomplimentary things about Wikipedia, they are still true, even if the participants should be laboring under restraining orders for harassing Wikipedia staff members.

    You said that mentioning Wikipedia Review was not inherently bad in and of itself, but then went on to say that referencing it to support a viewpoint was - what else should the grandparent mention it for? As part of a delicious ham sandwich? Can you give an example of a mentioning context that you would find acceptable?

    Good day to you sir.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @11:32AM (#19209165) Homepage
    Have you ever been to a soccer match? There's 11 guys on each team that desperately wants everything to be a call in their favor, and one referee that's supposed to be neutral. He gets hounded about 98% of the time. At times you'd think he was dumb, deaf, blind, bought and that his walking dog needs glasses from the sound of it.

    Now imagine a match where the fans could overturn the referee's decision. Repeatedly, both sides. "Free kick for the red team" "No, free kick for the blue team" "No, free kick for the red team". Every so often a guy would run around and show all the players the red card, and you'd have to undo it.

    You get the pleasure of being called partial by morons who are so far from being level it's a wonder they don't tip over. And you sure don't get paid for it, or have any league that'll slap the worst personal attacks. You've got zero authority except temporarily locking edits which is like getting between two NFL teams waiting for the play signal again.

    That pretty much sums up the fun of trying to get a neutral and balanced article on a controversial topic in Wikipedia. I understand perfectly those who give up. I use Wikipedia for quick "what is that?" and simple facts. If I want to form an opinion on something, I'm not looking to wikipedia for a balanced view...
  • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @12:43PM (#19209919)
    I think wikipedia has absolutely blew away every existing encyclopedias ever existed out there. I really hate the idea of oversourcing, as some subjects are so blatantly obvious to even bother referencing. I appreciate all articles but there comes a point when it is obvious the root of all problem is "Vandalism"!!!

    Someone pull the plug on IP editing. They should be required to setup with a legit email and at least a 3 day wait. Users who trash articles with BS comments should have their account deleted right away and make them start over.
  • Re:Very Leftist (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quila ( 201335 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @01:06PM (#19210189)
    I considered it, but some things still rubbed me wrong. What I can't do is get into either of the main parties.

    Democrat: Out of your bedroom and into your business.
    Republican: Out of your business and into your bedroom.

    But there's been some crossover, each inheriting the worst traits of the other.
  • by ShinmaWa ( 449201 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @01:19PM (#19210339)
    If they use their position to censor speech unnecessarily, then yes I totally support that.

    So, you support real-life criminal harassment over silly crap that happens on a volunteer-run free website? Wow.

    You really need to get a sense of perspective, dude.

  • by MarkH ( 8415 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @02:02PM (#19210973)
    Of course controversial subjects are fought over.

    Expecting any guide to provide the definitive perfect global view of topics like 'Jesus', 'Islam', 'terrorism' is asking a bit much. In fact we might find the endless edits and discussion on these key topics provide invaluable data to future anthropologists for the Zeitgeist around a topic at a particular time.

    Any book or guide purporting to be the definitive guide would be the anti-thesis of many social science aims - we should encourage skepticism of sources. Like any secondary or tertiary source - as long as you use with open eyes then no problem.

  • Re:Very Leftist (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:37PM (#19212155)
    "Wikipedia's slant is more of an accident, a result of the populace..."

    The average view of the population is, by definition, the center of the political spectrum. Of course, one population can be to the left/right of another.

    Incidentally, politics is not one-dimensional at all, the whole "right vs left" thing is an incredible simplification... at the very least there is the freedom/authoritarian axis, and in reality each issue and sub-issue is its own dimension and you take a position at some point. I'm a pro-assassination pacifist, a pro-nuclear-power and pro-globalization environmentalist, an anarchist who accepts that taxation and government is necessary at some level...
  • by 2TecTom ( 311314 ) on Monday May 21, 2007 @03:49PM (#19212331) Homepage Journal
    and therefore, one distinct advantage it has over traditional encylopedias is in its ability to reflect changing beliefs and controversies

    personally i'm tired of "either or" type thinking, in fact, I use each and every resource

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.