Jointly They Edit: Examining the Impact of Community Identification on Political Interaction in Wikipedia

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Jointly They Edit: Examining the Impact of Community Identification on Political Interaction in Wikipedia is a 2013 journal article written in English by Jessica J. Neff, David Laniado, Karolin E. Kappler, Yana Volkovich, Pablo Aragón, Andreas Kaltenbrunner and published in PLOS ONE.

[edit] Abstract

Background

In their 2005 study, Adamic and Glance coined the memorable phrase ‘divided they blog’, referring to a trend of cyberbalkanization in the political blogosphere, with liberal and conservative blogs tending to link to other blogs with a similar political slant, and not to one another. As political discussion and activity increasingly moves online, the power of framing political discourses is shifting from mass media to social media.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Continued examination of political interactions online is critical, and we extend this line of research by examining the activities of political users within the Wikipedia community. First, we examined how users in Wikipedia choose to display their political affiliation. Next, we analyzed the patterns of cross-party interaction and community participation among those users proclaiming a political affiliation. In contrast to previous analyses of other social media, we did not find strong trends indicating a preference to interact with members of the same political party within the Wikipedia community.

Conclusions/Significance

Our results indicate that users who proclaim their political affiliation within the community tend to proclaim their identity as a ‘Wikipedian’ even more loudly. It seems that the shared identity of ‘being Wikipedian’ may be strong enough to triumph over other potentially divisive facets of personal identity, such as political affiliation.

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