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The Media

Tool Shows the Arguments Behind Wikipedia Entries 115

Al writes "A team of researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center have created a tool that shows how much argument has gone into crafting an entry. Ed Chi, a senior research scientist for augmented social cognition at PARC, obtained access to Wikipedia edit data and used it to build a tool that shows whether users have fought over the accuracy of a page by rapidly re-editing each other's changes. Experiments suggest that the method provides a better measure of 'controversy' than simply having Wikipedia editors add a warning to a suspect page. Their software, called Wikidashboard, serves up a Wikipedia entry, but adds an info-graphic revealing who has been editing it and how often it has been reedited. Of course, this doesn't reveal whether a Wikipedia entry is truly accurate, but it might at least highlight an underlying bias or vested interest."

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