Work-to-rule: The emergence of algorithmic governance in wikipedia

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Work-to-rule: The emergence of algorithmic governance in wikipedia is a 2013 conference paper written in English by Muller-Birn C., Dobusch L., Herbsleb J.D. and published in ACM International Conference Proceeding Series.

[edit] Abstract

Research has shown the importance of a functioning governance system for the success of peer production communities. It particularly highlights the role of human coordination and communication within the governance regime. In this article, we extend this line of research by differentiating two categories of governance mechanisms. The first category is based primarily on communication, in which social norms emerge that are often formalized by written rules and guidelines. The second category refers to the technical infrastructure that enables users to access artifacts, and that allows the community to communicate and coordinate their collective actions to create those artifacts. We collected qualitative and quantitative data from Wikipedia in order to show how a community's consensus gradually converts social mechanisms into algorithmic mechanisms. In detail, we analyze algorithmic governance mechanisms in two embedded cases: The software extension "flagged revisions" and the bot "xqbot". Our insights point towards a growing relevance of algorithmic governance in the realm of governing large-scale peer production communities. This extends previous research, in which algorithmic governance is almost absent. Further research is needed to unfold, understand, and also modify existing interdependencies between social and algorithmic governance mechanisms.

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