2019:Research/Understanding content moderation on English Wikipedia

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Notes


Abstract[edit | edit source]

The tasks of monitoring for and removal of content that violates Wikipedia’s guidelines is carried out by the community of volunteer editors. This study, conducted by researchers at the Berkman Klein Center, seeks to aid in the Wikimedia Foundation’s understanding and public discussion of Wikipedia's content moderation systems.

The study will provide an overview and assessment of English Wikipedia content moderation practices and policy implementation. The study will consist of several complementary components: a review of the regulatory context, a literature review of prior related research, development of a taxonomy of speech targeted for moderation, and two original research endeavors: a qualitative analysis based on interviews of volunteer Wikipedia content editors and a quantitative analysis of Wikipedia content removal, which will build upon prior efforts.

Ultimately, the findings from the project will help the Wikimedia Foundation to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the community’s efforts to moderate content. It will support Wikimedia’s efforts to educate lawmakers about the scale and efficacy of its community-driven model of removing harmful and illegal content. It will also provide a benchmark which can be returned to in order to better understand the effects of content removal laws and other regulatory trends on these community processes.

Authors[edit | edit source]

Urs Gasser, Robert Faris, Justin Clark, Adam Holland, Hillary Ross, Casey Tilton (Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University)

Relevance to Wikimedia Community[edit | edit source]

Ultimately, the findings from the research will help the Wikimedia Foundation to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the community’s efforts to moderate content and to improve the quality of content and positivity of conduct on the platform. It will support Wikimedia’s efforts to educate lawmakers about the scale and efficacy of its community-driven model of removing harmful and illegal content. It will also provide a benchmark which can be returned to in order to better understand the effects of content removal laws and other regulatory trends on these community processes.

Session type[edit | edit source]

22-min presentation.

Presenters[edit | edit source]

Justin Clark and Casey Tilton (Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University)

Participants [subscribe here!][edit | edit source]

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