SESSION 4: 10.00 – 12.30. Saturday, March 27
Following Wikipedia’s description of Neutral Point of View (NPoV) as one of its core principles, articles must represent fairly, proportionately, and as much as possible without bias, all significant views on a topic. From a controversy stud- ies perspective the free encyclopedia represents a desire to resolve controver- sies (the term used to describe shared uncertainty and disagreement).
Systems are in place, including technical tools and content agents, to adhere to NPoV guidelines and as such Wikipedia can be seen a controversy-defusing device. Matters of dispute are sent to the discussion page, controversial arti- cles are forked and content agents such as bots deal with vandalism and dubi- ous content. Disentangling the consensus reached on Wikipedia, by analyzing the traces left throughout the system (in the form of edit histories, forkings, bot activity and other metrics), Wikipedia may be repurposed to inquire into social controversies.